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PH39

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 20, 2023
4
4
Ready to order a Mac mini - just trying to decide which one. M2 with 24GB ($1059 EDU pricing) or M2 Pro 16GB ($1199 EDU pricing). Light work, occasional photo / video editing but nothing major. Replacing an 8 year old iMac (16GB - never had any problems) so I'm sure either one is more than I need now. But the question is 5 years from now which one will be better? I like the better video of the pro (up to 8k at 60hz or 4k at 240hz) although I don't have a monitor that supports either now. I like the idea of 24GB on the M2 for future proofing (who knows what the next cool thing is that might be a memory hog).

I'm already overbuying my needs - so can't justify the additional $360 to go from 16GB to 32GB on the Pro. I know there is no right answer here, just looking for some opinions. Thanks
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
5,160
7,269
USA
Ready to order a Mac mini - just trying to decide which one. M2 with 24GB ($1059 EDU pricing) or M2 Pro 16GB ($1199 EDU pricing). Light work, occasional photo / video editing but nothing major. Replacing an 8 year old iMac (16GB - never had any problems) so I'm sure either one is more than I need now. But the question is 5 years from now which one will be better? I like the better video of the pro (up to 8k at 60hz or 4k at 240hz) although I don't have a monitor that supports either now. I like the idea of 24GB on the M2 for future proofing (who knows what the next cool thing is that might be a memory hog).

I'm already overbuying my needs - so can't justify the additional $360 to go from 16GB to 32GB on the Pro. I know there is no right answer here, just looking for some opinions. Thanks
Regular M2 with 16GB/ 512 for $879. The problem with spending so much extra on upgrades to "future proof" is you'll feel the need to keep it longer after spending so much and you'll be using a slug of a computer instead of a more modern one for three extra years.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
25,739
10,616
M2pro.
No contest (even with less RAM).

Didn't I read that the RAM bandwith for the M2pro is fully TWICE the speed as for the M2 (non "pro")?
 
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IngerMan

macrumors 68000
Feb 21, 2011
1,935
827
Michigan
both great options but the extra ports on the Pro is where I would lean. I use almost all my ports on my 2018 i7, I would not want to give up half of them.
 

gusping

macrumors 68000
Mar 12, 2012
1,593
1,630
both great options but the extra ports on the Pro is where I would lean. I use almost all my ports on my 2018 i7, I would not want to give up half of them.
My thinking as well. I went with the M2 Pro 16GB RAM/1TB SSD model. More ports, 3 displays instead of 2 and a faster SSD.
 
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dcarmichael

macrumors newbie
Feb 6, 2015
7
1
Regular M2 with 16GB/ 512 for $879. The problem with spending so much extra on upgrades to "future proof" is you'll feel the need to keep it longer after spending so much and you'll be using a slug of a computer instead of a more modern one for three extra years.
I've been seriously looking at an M2 Pro with 32GB RAM/4TB SSD.
(I'm an electronic music producer who uses a lot of virtual instruments and sample libraries, and those libraries can take up a lot of disk space.)

For such a use case, would you go with a larger internal SSD or would you have a smaller internal SSD and an external HDD/SSD combination like the OWC miniStack STX? (SSD for the libraries/content, HDD for projects.)
 

PH39

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 20, 2023
4
4
I've been seriously looking at an M2 Pro with 32GB RAM/4TB SSD.
(I'm an electronic music producer who uses a lot of virtual instruments and sample libraries, and those libraries can take up a lot of disk space.)

For such a use case, would you go with a larger internal SSD or would you have a smaller internal SSD and an external HDD/SSD combination like the OWC miniStack STX? (SSD for the libraries/content, HDD for projects.)
I use cloud storage for items I don't use regularly - so 512GB SSD works for me. Ministack is nice and much cheaper than the Apple premium priced internal SSDs, but you still have the issue of off site backups if you want to be safe (and in your line of business its probably critical) and I have had occasional problems with external SSDs losing connections and having to reboot. My suggestion is to consider buying the largest internal SSD you think you need for files you work on regularly, and then use cloud storage for backup and less often used files.

But then again - it's only money. If you can swing the 4TB SSD price go for it :)
 
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sublunar

macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2007
1,992
1,326
I've been seriously looking at an M2 Pro with 32GB RAM/4TB SSD.
(I'm an electronic music producer who uses a lot of virtual instruments and sample libraries, and those libraries can take up a lot of disk space.)

For such a use case, would you go with a larger internal SSD or would you have a smaller internal SSD and an external HDD/SSD combination like the OWC miniStack STX? (SSD for the libraries/content, HDD for projects.)
I think the Apple ladder at this stage indicates that adding a lot of BTO upgrades to an M2 Pro mini (same as M2 mini) could point at a Mac Studio (with M1 Max) being the better purchase. It comes with 32Gb RAM already so you should price up from there and compare.

An external HDD would be slower than having everything on internal SSD (highly convenient, super fast performance), but a reasonable compromise might be to purchase an external SSD - something like a Samsung T7, which has a 10Gb/sec transfer speed - to hold instruments, sample libraries, and projects.
 
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Wonderwing

macrumors newbie
Oct 18, 2021
5
10
I've been seriously looking at an M2 Pro with 32GB RAM/4TB SSD.
(I'm an electronic music producer who uses a lot of virtual instruments and sample libraries, and those libraries can take up a lot of disk space.)

For such a use case, would you go with a larger internal SSD or would you have a smaller internal SSD and an external HDD/SSD combination like the OWC miniStack STX? (SSD for the libraries/content, HDD for projects.)
The M2 Pro with 32 GB RAM is a good choice - but honestly I'd just recommend getting an external SSD. They are like half the price of Apple's hilariously overpriced storage. You probably won't even notice the speed difference either, I know I haven't.
 
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JD2015

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2014
780
443
I've been seriously looking at an M2 Pro with 32GB RAM/4TB SSD.
(I'm an electronic music producer who uses a lot of virtual instruments and sample libraries, and those libraries can take up a lot of disk space.)

For such a use case, would you go with a larger internal SSD or would you have a smaller internal SSD and an external HDD/SSD combination like the OWC miniStack STX? (SSD for the libraries/content, HDD for projects.)
In your case internal memory is so much faster than any external drive. Time is money so they say. you can always back up using an external SSD after finished a project and or updated your libraries.
 

sublunar

macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2007
1,992
1,326
Ready to order a Mac mini - just trying to decide which one. M2 with 24GB ($1059 EDU pricing) or M2 Pro 16GB ($1199 EDU pricing). Light work, occasional photo / video editing but nothing major. Replacing an 8 year old iMac (16GB - never had any problems) so I'm sure either one is more than I need now. But the question is 5 years from now which one will be better? I like the better video of the pro (up to 8k at 60hz or 4k at 240hz) although I don't have a monitor that supports either now. I like the idea of 24GB on the M2 for future proofing (who knows what the next cool thing is that might be a memory hog).

I'm already overbuying my needs - so can't justify the additional $360 to go from 16GB to 32GB on the Pro. I know there is no right answer here, just looking for some opinions. Thanks
I'd say that the M2 Pro with 16Gb RAM is the better all rounder over a 24Gb M2. Reasons have already been given by other posters.

I'll also say that (as in my other post) look at picking a SKU with the least BTO options on - you'll get it quicker and get better resale from it later. The fact that an M2 Pro mini exists with 16Gb RAM and 512 SSD as base options makes it better value in my eyes than trying to add more upgrades to a basic M2 which has fewer ports, less monitor flexibility than some might like and predictably lower performance than an M2 Pro.
 
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PH39

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 20, 2023
4
4
Regular M2 with 16GB/ 512 for $879. The problem with spending so much extra on upgrades to "future proof" is you'll feel the need to keep it longer after spending so much and you'll be using a slug of a computer instead of a more modern one for three extra years.
Yes - that makes the most sense. But probably unlike most people on a site like this I don't need the latest and greatest. I just want things to be simple and work. I hate buying, setting up, transferring, trouble shooting when something inevitably goes wrong during setup, etc. Not looking forward to it now but I reached the point that I can't wait any longer, and if paying $180-$320 now gets me a year to two longer before I need to do it again, I'm good with that
 

MacProFCP

Contributor
Jun 14, 2007
307
505
Michigan
Ready to order a Mac mini - just trying to decide which one. M2 with 24GB ($1059 EDU pricing) or M2 Pro 16GB ($1199 EDU pricing). Light work, occasional photo / video editing but nothing major. Replacing an 8 year old iMac (16GB - never had any problems) so I'm sure either one is more than I need now. But the question is 5 years from now which one will be better? I like the better video of the pro (up to 8k at 60hz or 4k at 240hz) although I don't have a monitor that supports either now. I like the idea of 24GB on the M2 for future proofing (who knows what the next cool thing is that might be a memory hog).

I'm already overbuying my needs - so can't justify the additional $360 to go from 16GB to 32GB on the Pro. I know there is no right answer here, just looking for some opinions. Thanks
Buy what you think you’ll need to last the lifetime of the machine. A few hundred more now is better than a few thousand in a few years.
 
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xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
9,602
3,919
192.168.1.1
My personal philosophy on buying computers is two-fold.

Either (A) buy the cheapest one and plan on replacing it each year or two, or (B) spend top dollar and keep it 4+ years. Both end up being roughly the same price.

In practice, I tend to go with option B, since I'll "feel" the massive upgrade at the beginning more than going with small incremental upgrades. But, going with the cheaper baseline machines every year or two will keep you always on updated technology (new ports/protocols/displays/etc.), where going with the more expensive but less frequent updates could keep you stuck on, say, Thunderbolt 4 for several years after Thunderbolt 5 comes out (for a hypothetical example).
 
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shinkansenwarrior

macrumors regular
Sep 29, 2015
179
142
Tokyo

MaxTech did the 16GB vs 32GB comparison test and found only a very small difference in performance so 16GB to 24GB would not a really make big difference. 16GB RAM option good cost performance. Base pro chip upgrade may be useful as you do some video editing and if you plan to upgrade your monitor at some point. Many of us looking at the mini are pondering exactly which config is best. 16GB RAM/1TB I would go .... with base M2Pro seems a good balance. But in the end it is your choice. Hope you are happy with your new Mac what ever decision you make!
 

Alex Cai

macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2021
234
151
Somewhere in Shanghai
If it’s just pure light work i’d chose M2
I currently have M2 Air and it can handle photo and video editing. around 3 months ago I tried to play resident evil village (saw it on WWDC) on M2 Air and it only reached 30fps on low image quality. M2 is suffienct for everything except gaming
 

Wahlstrm

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2013
812
802
Both are good enough for most things.

If you never need to plug in external stuff like a dongle, webcam, ssd, charging cable for Magic Keyboard, Mouse, Trackpad, iPhone, iPad or stuff like that then buy the M2.

But, if you think you’ll ever want/need to permanently connect anything in addition to a single HDMI-monitor then the M2PRO is highly preferable.

..And then you might want to look at the Mac Studio as a potential buy instead.
 
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Peter Hunter

macrumors newbie
Jan 19, 2023
7
8
Same boat and I just ordered the 24+512GB M2 version. The M2 model is powerful enough for the current intel mac users. 24GB RAM is more future-proof. If you prefer the M2pro version, you need to upgrade to 1TB to get the full speed of SSD, and 32 GB RAM to get future proof. When you check the price, it's nearly doubled the price of the M2 version with 24GB RAM and even more expensive than the Mac studio base model.

Future-proof is not based on only the spec but the price. M3 chips will be 3nm compared to the current 5nm. The upgrade will be huge. I think the M2 version is a better choice now.
 
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NeonNights

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2022
158
139
I wanted 1 TB storage regardless so the 10-core M2 Pro+16GB was only $140 more than M2+24GB ($1379 vs $1239 on Apple education store, that anyone can order from).

I'd rather have the M2 Pro performance, HDMI 2.1, and extra Thunderbolt ports versus extra 8GB RAM. I initially ordered M2+24GB but cancelled after seeing some YouTube videos showing very minimal benefit with 24GB RAM, let alone 32GB, on Apple Silicon. More RAM beyond 16GB mostly just reduced swap, which is not a concern for me with the 1 TB option.

I honestly don't notice a huge difference between my current M1 Mini 8/256 versus my M1 MBA 16/512 in daily use. I expect though that the M2 Pro will help me breeze through photo/video exports even faster than the amazing M1! Can't wait for delivery!

 
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gusping

macrumors 68000
Mar 12, 2012
1,593
1,630
I wanted 1 TB storage regardless so the 10-core M2 Pro+16GB was only $140 more than M2+24GB ($1379 vs $1239 on Apple education store, that anyone can order from).

I'd rather have the M2 Pro performance, HDMI 2.1, and extra Thunderbolt ports versus extra 8GB RAM. I initially ordered M2+24GB but cancelled after seeing some YouTube videos showing very minimal benefit with 24GB RAM, let alone 32GB, on Apple Silicon. More RAM beyond 16GB mostly just reduced swap, which is not a concern for me with the 1 TB option.

I honestly don't notice a huge difference between my current M1 Mini 8/256 versus my M1 MBA 16/512 in daily use. I expect though that the M2 Pro will help me breeze through photo/video exports even faster than the amazing M1! Can't wait for delivery!

I was deciding between those two version as well, and also went with the M2 Pro 16GB/1TB version. I am interested to see how the RAM usage compares to my Intel 2018 mini. It sits at c.13GB/16GB usage with not a huge amount open, and chucks easily if I have a couple of YouTube tabs open....
 

Cham2000

macrumors member
Mar 11, 2022
61
43
What is the best compromise with these: A mini M2 Pro with 16GB ram and 1TB ssd, or mini M2 Pro with 32GB ram and 512GB ssd?

For me, the choice is very hard to make.
 

NeonNights

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2022
158
139
What is the best compromise with these: A mini M2 Pro with 16GB ram and 1TB ssd, or mini M2 Pro with 32GB ram and 512GB ssd?

For me, the choice is very hard to make.
Sorry to say "it depends on your usage". I went with 10-core M2 Pro with 16GB/1TB because I know my usage pattern and will utilize the fast local storage more often than I will need the extra RAM.

The most demanding task I will put the Mini through is photo and video editing, no gaming whatsoever. Family photos and 4K/60 videos take up a lot of space. I do have a 10TB NAS and several external SSDs but I prefer to work with project files locally and use the external SSD/NAS as backup.
 
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michelg1970

macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2011
240
63
The Hague - The Netherlands
The M2 Pro with 32 GB RAM is a good choice - but honestly I'd just recommend getting an external SSD. They are like half the price of Apple's hilariously overpriced storage. You probably won't even notice the speed difference either, I know I haven't.
I would agree but I use OneDrive and OneDrive won't let me install the data folder on a removable drive...
 

gusping

macrumors 68000
Mar 12, 2012
1,593
1,630
What is the best compromise with these: A mini M2 Pro with 16GB ram and 1TB ssd, or mini M2 Pro with 32GB ram and 512GB ssd?

For me, the choice is very hard to make.
Sorry to say "it depends on your usage". I went with 10-core M2 Pro with 16GB/1TB because I know my usage pattern and will utilize the fast local storage more often than I will need the extra RAM.

The most demanding task I will put the Mini through is photo and video editing, no gaming whatsoever. Family photos and 4K/60 videos take up a lot of space. I do have a 10TB NAS and several external SSDs but I prefer to work with project files locally and use the external SSD/NAS as backup.
I also went with the 16GB/1TB SSD config. Ask yourself if you really need 32GB RAM. AS Macs still operate very well in most cases when the RAM is being hit hard. Order whichever you think is best and make sure to thoroughly test it in the first 14 days so you can easily return it if necessary.
 
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