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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 5, 2023
Hi, I'm going to buy my brother a MacBook Air. 2020 model M1 processor with 8Gb RAM 256Gb SSD 8 cores is cheap right now. My brother controls his business mostly from an internet-based system, so he downloads very few programs to the computer. He keeps more documents on the computer, such as Word, PDF. For this reason, I think the M2 will be too much for him, if I buy the M1 instead, it will be enough for him. However, only 164Gb of the 256Gb SSD size is available. To me, it's worth very little. If I buy the 512Gb version of the M1, this time the price is the same as the 256Gb version of the M2. He uses 2Tb iCloud on his iPhone 13 Pro Max device and the number of images is quite high due to his job, as I remember the last time there were 40,000 images... if I buy a 256Gb M1 MacBook, can He use it with 2Tb iCloud? When this 2Tb is full, we have no choice to do either.. He does not currently use Windows himself, and the portable HDDs he uses are one of the NTFS and FAT32 types running on Windows. If I buy a MacBook, I need exFAT to use these HDDs. I don't trust the software. That's why I'm thinking of throwing all the data on the HDD somewhere else, completely resetting the HDD and setting its format to exFAT, a somewhat primitive method, so... naturally, this also requires a lot of work and large areas. That's why I haven't decided yet. I also need to buy a converter so that he can use USB or something on a MacBook. Do you think it's a good choice to buy a 256Gb 8 Gb ram and 8 core M1 2020 while it's cheap right now -on discount- according to the situations I wrote? Or does it make sense to buy M1 512Gb for the price of M2 Air 256Gb? Thanks…


macrumors 603
May 20, 2010
Los Angeles, CA
A few things:

1) iCloud does not compensate nor augment the internal storage of your Apple devices. Your photos, for example, need to take up space in iCloud to be made available to other devices and to be not tied to any one specific device - and they need to take up local device space for each device they reside on.

2) I own a variety of M1 Macs. Though, they are either one of the following two, (a) the 8GB of RAM; 256GB SSD; 7 GPU core variety or (b) the 16GB of RAM; 512GB SSD (though I do have 1TB on one of them); 8 GPU core variety. If all you are installing is Microsoft Office apps and you're just storing documents, 256GB will probably be fine. Though, to be safe, I'd go with 512GB since you can't change your mind after the fact (carrying around external drives is cumbersome).

3) Buying an M2 with 256GB SSD results in a faster processor you've already stated your bother doesn't need and a slower drive. Poor bang for buck proposition here. M1 with 512GB ought to be fine.

4) Your Mac can read FAT32, NTFS, and exFAT all natively. Your Mac can only write to FAT32 and exFAT. Do with that what you will.

5) My experience using the 8GB RAM/256GB SSD/7GPU Core configuration of M1 Macs is that they're fine, until you decide to have a ton of browser tabs open. Couple that with Mail, Messages, Notes, and literally any other app thereafter, and it starts to bog down. Not to mention you do wear down the SSD a bit by doing enough of that.


macrumors 68000
May 17, 2011
M1 vs. M2 doesn't make much difference, however I would generally advise against buying a new computer with only 8GB of RAM as that is likely to limit longevity. My Mac mini M1 16GB usually has about 12GB occupied by applications, including a few GB compressed, just by running some regular office and messaging applications, no heavy hitters.
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