Trade MacBook Pro (Mid-2017/15.4") for 2018 Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MrBiggs, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. MrBiggs macrumors newbie


    Sep 22, 2016
    Honolulu, HI
    I've been going through my head a scenario:

    - Trade my current MacBook Pro to a new Mac Mini

    While this may seem crazy to some, I have some reasoning about it, that'd I'd like to hear others thoughts on.

    First, as for the whole laptop thing, well... in my particular case this MacBook spends 95% of it time on my desk, plugged into a large 43-inch monitor. The times I do take it off the desk are only for the occasionally movie to watch or if I put my son down for a nap in the same room and need to work (I do music production on the side and this MacBook is primarily used for that). Outside of those instances, I do not carry it with me daily. A few times I have taken it with me to friends houses or when me and my wife have traveled out somewhere, but its use at those times was regulated to something an iPad can handle (of which I do not own, but am planning to recitfy that).

    Anyways, with that being said, I have been thinking of moving away from this MacBook and into this new Mac Mini for the purposes I use it for. Performance wise, I should gain a fair bit more power, as my current 4-core i7 can get pretty taxed when I'm running Logic Pro fully. I haven't had too many crashes, but the fan in this laptop DEFINITELY kicks up to a loud noise when I am making music.

    My question is... what are the Pros and Cons other see in such a switch.

    My thoughts:


    - higher performance
    - upgrade-able memory past 16GB
    - smaller footprint (its on a desk anyways)
    - more focused use case (I tend to like devices with a set goal/task, especially for my computers)
    - future expansion with e-GPU
    - better I/O support
    - 10GB ethernet (supports 1, 2.5, 5 and 10GB)


    - lose laptop portability
    - lack of travel use
    - necessity of additional accessories (IDK if this is really a con at all)
    - buying/swapping another computer and moving over data

    That is kind of all the thoughts I had. Because I use a laptop like a desktop, I'm more leaning towards the idea this is a win and later on buying an iPad can cover me when I travel.

    Any ideas?
  2. pallymore macrumors regular


    Sep 24, 2013
    Boston, MA
    I wouldn't do it.

    The mini is not necessarily much faster than the 15mbp. Unless you really need 64GB of RAM.
    There are TB3 10Gbit-Ethernet adapters if you absolutely have to have them.

    Also the iGPU in the mini is terrible - if you are using a 4k monitor, expect to see UI lags.

    It's nice to have a laptop when you need to use it on the go.

    In terms of cooling - maybe take another look at your setup to see if you can improve the airflow around the MBP - especially around the vents. Sometimes getting a good stand helps cooling a lot.
  3. MrBiggs thread starter macrumors newbie


    Sep 22, 2016
    Honolulu, HI
    I'm very much interested in the memory portion of the Mac mini.

    Previously, I was running Windows 10 built PC with an OC i7 @ 4.5GHZ w/ 32GB RAM.

    The reason I decided to switch was my desire to try Logic Pro across other music apps for production. For that reason, I am very happy with the change, as the creative side of things has greatly increased.

    However, the power dip was tangible for me at the beginning. I've since changed my workflow, but certain things I haven't really taken advantage of, that the Mini is missing.

    For instance, my PC build had a GTX1070 GPU, I never gamed on it or edited any 4K video. I also was running a standard 1080P monitor. With the MacBook I dropped down to a notebook-class Radeon 560, pushing a 4K Monitor. However, still my usage doesn't have the MacBook switching to the GPU from any monitors I've observed. It remains on the integrated one.

    This is why when looking at the Mac mini the iGPU didn't give me any pause. The internal GPU of say the 6-Core i5/i7 can push a monitor to that resolution without issue, from what I know, though I could be wrong.

    But, eGPU opens up that world further into something like a 1080Ti, where the laptop, could essentially do as well, but the setup would be cumbersome.

    As for the cooling, the laptop is on top, unobstructed with ample air movement around it. In general, programs like Logic Pro and Pro Tools are resource hogs. If I open too many plug ins, I can currently crash the 16Gb of memory I have now, almost on command. The ability to move into 32Gb for MUCH cheaper than updating to a 32GB MacBook Pro, is intriguing.

    Good points you gave though... the monitor on iGPU is something I need to research more, as I have no plans to drop to a more inferior monitor.

  4. macintoshmac macrumors 68030


    May 13, 2010
    Well said. 630 is probably the same that is used in the MBP 15 since it is integrated. Memory on the other hand.. with the mini, you open yourself to 32, 64, maybe 128, depending on what the mini can handle. Plugins love RAM.

    I think the decision could be based on RAM. Get an eGPU when graphics begin to feel short and you can keep any monitor you want. Though this mini is supposed to drive a 4K just fine.

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3 October 31, 2018