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iCyprus

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 23, 2015
111
95
Amsterdam, NL
I need to buy a Mac mini asap for my studies. Since the M2 base model is quite slow I don't know if it is worth buying it with 256GB. I was thinking to buy the M2 512GB or the M1 model with 512GB which is faster. What do you think?
 

major77

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2003
15
22
It's all relative. The 'slow' 256GB drive is 1500MB/s. Sure, that's only 50% of the speed of the 512GB drive, and a quarter of the 1TB in the M2 Pro, but the thing is still blazing fast.

Of course, it's nice to have more storage, and 8GB RAM will be an issue for some, but if all you really need is something to handle web browsing & productivity apps then any of these options is going to be perfectly fine. Of all the reasons to avoid the M2 base model though, the speed is really at the end of the list.
 

iCyprus

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 23, 2015
111
95
Amsterdam, NL
It's all relative. The 'slow' 256GB drive is 1500MB/s. Sure, that's only 50% of the speed of the 512GB drive, and a quarter of the 1TB in the M2 Pro, but the thing is still blazing fast.

Of course, it's nice to have more storage, and 8GB RAM will be an issue for some, but if all you really need is something to handle web browsing & productivity apps then any of these options is going to be perfectly fine. Of all the reasons to avoid the M2 base model though, the speed is really at the end of the list.

I will use it for writing academic papers, using anatomy apps, and in general, having many tabs and apps open simultaneously. On top of that, I will edit some photos and 4K videos.
 

major77

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2003
15
22
On top of that, I will edit some photos and 4K videos.
Well see, now we're getting into 16GB/512GB territory. Yes, you can edit 4K video on the base model, but 16GB is likely going to make that a smoother experience. And that 4K video is going to take up a lot of space, and you'd want to keep a good chunk of your internal drive free.

There's no reason you can't do any of this stuff on the base model though, so it depends on how often you expect to do these things & your budget.

I still wouldn't get hung up on the SSD speed in your decision though.
 

CausticPuppy

macrumors 68000
May 1, 2012
1,536
68
So you would go for the 16GB RAM instead of focusing on the SSD speed? This is a wise option

Also, I can always add an external SSD
More RAM will mean less paging, so performance will be less dependent on SSD speed when using memory-intensive software. And with the right enclosure you can get read speeds nearly 2X faster than the internal drive.
 

iCyprus

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 23, 2015
111
95
Amsterdam, NL
More RAM will mean less paging, so performance will be less dependent on SSD speed when using memory-intensive software. And with the right enclosure you can get read speeds nearly 2X faster than the internal drive.
I lean towards the 8GB 512SSD. It's value for money I guess.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,756
12,864
OP wrote:
"I was thinking to buy the M2 512GB or the M1 model with 512GB"

More important than drive size is the amount of RAM.
You want 16gb of RAM in ANY Mini you buy.
Otherwise, it will be "hitting the drive" with excessive disk swaps (virtual memory).

If you're going to spend extra for the 512gb drive in the m2, why not just buy the base model m2pro? More $$$, but for that you get:
- 16gb RAM
- 512gb SSD
and...
- FOUR tbolt/USBc ports on the back, instead of just 2.
 
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iCyprus

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 23, 2015
111
95
Amsterdam, NL
OP wrote:
"I was thinking to buy the M2 512GB or the M1 model with 512GB"

More important than drive size is the amount of RAM.
You want 16gb of RAM in ANY Mini you buy.
Otherwise, it will be "hitting the drive" with excessive disk swaps (virtual memory).

If you're going to spend extra for the 512gb drive in the m2, why not just buy the base model m2pro? More $$$, but for that you get:
- 16gb RAM
- 512gb SSD
and...
- FOUR tbolt/USBc ports on the back, instead of just 2.
When I started looking for a Mac mini I wanted to buy the 16GB RAM version but here in Europe is around $1900. The 512GB SSD 8GB RAM model is not even $800.


Problem is, I don't want to spend 2K for a Mac mini. That is the only reason I will probably go for the 512GB base version.
 
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