Switch To Mac mini 2018 From MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MadDoc, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. MadDoc macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2005

    I do a lot of dev work (Xojo, Ruby, Swift) with my 2.8Ghz i7 16GB 15" 2017 MacBook Pro. I have recently started working full time for myself so I now tend to use the notebook in clamshell mode hooked up to a nice 4K LG monitor that I like.

    I'm thinking of switching from a notebook to a desktop (since 99% of my time is spent at my office desk) if it gives me more performance. The tools I use are Xcode, Sublime Text and Sketch. I also really hate the sleep/wake issues that come from running a notebook in clamshell mode.

    I've been looking at the new Mac mini (6 core, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD). Is this likely to be a significant improvement in performance compared to my current 2017 MacBook Pro? I would sell the notebook to part fund the Mac Mini but I don't want to switch to a desktop if the performance doesn't justify it.

    Any thoughts or advice?
  2. adamkharris macrumors newbie


    Oct 17, 2016
    I am having similar thoughts, I have an early 2013 MBP i7 2.4 that still runs damn well but I am at my home office much more these days. I run Adobe CC, Xcode, FCPX the most.
  3. Eithanius macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2005
    Thinking of switching from 2010 MBP to a 2018 MM as well. Since I got an iPad for portability I’m thinking of getting a MM for media server instead...
  4. Macintosh IIcx macrumors 6502

    Macintosh IIcx

    Jul 3, 2014
    I like your thought,

    However, we really need to see some reviews because right now we don’t know whether the Mac Mini will throttle with the 6 cores on full load. If the cooling system in the Mac Mini is up to the task of handling the 6 cores, I would seriously consider it.

    One very nice thing about the Mac Mini is that it is actually fairly portable; you just need a monitor where you end up.

    I would also get an eGPU for good graphics performance, but not sure that matters to you.
  5. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    One of the specs shows double the cooling capacity. So if the old chips are 32w, it should work well.
  6. Spankey macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2007
    I’m having thoughts. I would probably go back down to a smaller laptop as well just for portability.
  7. MadDoc thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2005
    I might wait a week or two for the reviews to come in. Having searched a little on the Web, it certainly looks like the hexacore Mini adds significant improvement over the i7 in my current MBP. If I sold the MBP it would also give me scope to pick up one of the new MacBook Airs for the odd occasion I need to travel to a client, etc...
  8. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    Very much in the same headspace as you, also a dev (architect/writer), I'm on a 2015 MBP 15", 2.5GHz/16GB RAM/512GB/370X , it stays "docked" about 98% of the time - honestly, other than writing something occasionally, I don't like doing any work on the machine without my big dual displays, mechanical keyboard and mouse.

    For me, a max spec CPU Mini would be a decent bump in performance, I'd probably go with the same storage, and I'd do the base RAM and upgrade to 32GB with 3rd party RAM. I suppose at the end of the day, the integrated GPU would be just as effective as my 370X for my typical tasks, none of which are GPU intensive (I had a GTX-1080 notebook when I was heavily involved in AR/VR work, haven't needed it since, in fact, sold it :)).

    If I did want/need way more GPU power, I'd look into a Blackmagic eGPU option (580 or Vega).

    FWIW, I previously owned 2012 i5 and i7QC minis and loved them.
  9. Apple2GS macrumors member


    Jul 31, 2016
    US of A
    My plan is to sell my MacBook Pro 15, keep my 2015 MacBook, and buy the Mac Mini. The MacBook 12 is perfect for travel.
  10. Tom80112 macrumors member


    Jun 14, 2010
    Same here. I have a 2017 MacBook Pro 16GB/512GB SSD take-home machine from work. I want to give back to them and buy a mini because I hate the large space it takes up on my desk, all the wires hanging out like a mess, and the USB-C to USB dongle that I have to plug into a USB hub just so I can plug in my ext hard drive, Phone, Thumb drive, and smart card for VPN use. I hate the MacBook as a desktop setup.. I'll give up a free computer and pay out-of-pocket to get something smaller/neater.
  11. killawat macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2014
    Yeah I'm in a similar boat. When I was a lot more portable being able to go "desktop mode" was a godsend and allowed me to not have to buy an entirely new Mac at home. Now that I'm chained to my desk 99% of the time, same deal. The innards of my machine are pristine, keyboard untouched, screen looks nice, Touch Bar and Touch ID practically useless even though I paid for it. Hey, it was the only TB3 machine Apple offered in 2016, so I gladly bought into it. Now I get to detach my eGPU (and maybe cal digit dock, haven't decided that one yet) and port em over to the Mac mini.
  12. Mainsail macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2010
    I am considering the same thing. I have a MBA that basically sits in clamshell mode most of the time. When it comes time to replace it, I can’t decide between the new MBA or a Mac Mini. I already have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. My needs are pretty simple (iWork, Mail, Safari, Messages, Notes, Photos, iMovie). When I am mobile, I love just carrying an inexpensive 2017 iPad.
  13. bumfluff macrumors regular


    Sep 21, 2014
    Same here, I think a lot of people are in the same boat. With this announcement im transition to MM for a desktop and and IPP for mobile work (not dev but travel often with presentations, photo editing, etc.). I think a lot people have gotten a MBP over the years and it just stays docked, plays right into Apple's IPP=computer push.
  14. Mainsail macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2010
    Yeah. In my case, the costs are pretty much the same (assuming one already has a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.....which is the case if using the laptop in clamshell mode):
    • Mac Mini + iPad Pro = $800 + $800 = $1,600
    • New MBA + 2018 iPad = $1,200 + $330 = $1,530
    Of course, I am talking about entry level devices, so .......YMMV.
  15. Maccotto macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2012
    I have similar problem,
    I have the previous macbook touch 15" model with radeon 460 and a noice desktop windows with old i7 3770k, a new geforce 1060 and 16gb ram.
    I use them for lightroom and photoshop (With desktop i play sometimes with blizzard games as starcraft II or diablo 3 and they don't need a lot of hardware).I use rarely imoive for some simple videos.
    I usually download and fix photos for after share them or backup them, in this moment i moved the lightroom library into desktop because i hate the notebook into desktop mode (Tons of adaptors and cables+ dock!).

    My idea is change the desktop with a mac mini and make more space and less noise in my studio .
    I think to buy 13 version+17 upgrade and use the other money for hard disk and ram upgrade.

    The questions are:
    1) can i work great with lightroom and photoshop?
    2) Can be a good idea 128gb+external hdd or do you think is necessary the 256gb version?
  16. mralexandercom macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2018
    I am doing the switch, I was hoping that there would be an iMac 2018 version but instead I will be getting mac mini, with i7, 32GB ram, 256/512 SSD and 10GB ethernet. I will add external SSD.

    This is a fairly good cost effective solution, will cost me about $1,500 for the Mac Mini.

    I am working on a MBP at the moment.
  17. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    128 will rarely be enough for a workstation so the question is how important is it to be fast or internal. You can add fast external (x5) but it’s nearly as $$ and not nearly as fast. So a popular configuration will be 128 for OS+apps, then a big slow ssd for files, like the T5.

    Ps and LR should love this.
  18. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Buy a Mini and KEEP the MacBook Pro.

    There's NOTHING that beats having a great desktop AND a good laptop, too! ;)
  19. Maccotto macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2012
    I won't sell my MacBook Pro , if I buy I will buy for change the big and noise desktop win
  20. mixart macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2012
    I'm also strongly considering selling my MacBook Pro 2.9/16GB/512GB/560 2017 and buy an Mac Mini 3.2Ghz 6-Core/512GB SSD and upgrade from 8 to 32GB by my self. I use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects for professional use. Right now it is hooked up to my LG 5K UltraFine.

    I'm waiting for the reviews, and if it is silent under fully load, I'm will buy one. And use my iPad Pro for travelling and for showcase projects for my customers.
  21. Ethan Coohill macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2015
    The only reason I’m considering this is cause I just pulled the trigger on a. 256gb 11” iPad Pro. Don’t need a laptop anymore really. But just got my 2018 MacBook Pro a few months back.
  22. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Sell the mbp before the new one hits: https://swappa.com/laptops/buy/macbook-pro-2018-15-touch

    Then get a usbc screen both devices can use. Best of pad and best of Mac in the same workstation.

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21 November 1, 2018