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Mac mini M2 (non-pro) or MacBook Pro M2?


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Hi,

I am currently using an early 2013 MacBook Pro.

I will be upgrading to an M2 chip Mac (either a Mac mini (non-pro) or a MacBook Pro).

Here're the configurations that I'm looking at:
Mac mini M2:
Apple M2 with 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine
16GB unified memory
512GB SSD storage

MacBook Pro 16":
Apple M2 Pro with 12-core CPU, 19-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine
16GB unified memory
512GB SSD storage

I was thinking about the 14" MacBook Pro (base version) as well.
Do you'll think it would be just fine or would the screen be too small for photo editing?

Other uses would include programming, web browsing and watching movies.

Any suggestions regarding the sort of configuration that I should go for?


Thanks

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Welcome!

First of all you should decide if you mainly need to also work a lot mobile (on the go) or not, since if you need something primary for the go (on the road, being mobile since working often at different places etc.) then opt for a MacBook Pro/Air. - When you primary need it just at home stationary, then go for a MacMini with a big external monitor.

Some of my thoughts here ...

16 GB RAM is more what I would call as being an absolute minimum nowadays and in order to be a little bit more safe here for the future, I would opt for 32 GB RAM, the same applies to a SSD, where I would go instead with a 1 TB one (as you can't upgrade/change those afterwards). So even if enhancing the RAM & SSD capacity will be expensier here, it might pay of in overall amortization when seen for some years usage.

On 4/6/2023 at 3:32 PM, shr1975 said:

I was thinking about the 14" MacBook Pro (base version) as well.
Do you'll think it would be just fine or would the screen be too small for photo editing?

Well for either it will be in the long run too small for photo/image editing and common development tasks (...running concurrently IDEs, DB managers, AppServers etc., so several multiwindow based software systems in parallel...), since it shows up (fits on screen) at best just one+1/2 windows. Thus you should keep in mind to also use/get a bigger external monitor (...as far as you don't have already one) you connect the 14" MacBook Pro to then.

So some setup like these ...

Dell-34-Ultra-Wide.jpg.62cd5aacbf971ff0c33a22c4cb95a817.jpg

curved_code1.jpg.de281f2937afd651442b0411f8193713.jpg

dell_monitor.webp.e8cc23d2638361a9384fd1f1ee617531.webp

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Publisher 1.10.8 ◆ OSX El Capitan
☛ Affinity V2.3 apps ◆ MacOS Sonoma 14.2 ◆ iPad OS 17.2

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On 4/6/2023 at 9:32 AM, shr1975 said:

MacBook Pro 16":
Apple M2 Pro with 12-core CPU, 19-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine
16GB unified memory

make it 32gb unified memory and you have a beast, seriously. the speed the macbook pro start and load is insanely fast. there's more advantage for the 16" than the 14" but at the end it's your money. from pro to max is about what you do with your computer, i just bought one and i am really happy with, even though some program need Rosetta for now and not everything is fully functional with m2 chips... it is still an incredible boost from a late 2013 imac.

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Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

 

I will go for the M2 Pro Mac Mini with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB of SSD.

Anything higher than this would be beyond my budget.

 

With the M2 Mac Mini, there is no option for 32 GB RAM; the highest is 24 GB.

But by then we start getting close to the M2 Pro territory with the price.

 

I think with the M2 Pro chip, 16 GB RAM should be more than enough for my use cases.

 

Any suggestions for a budget 27 inch 4k monitor?

 

 

Thanks,

Sanjay

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1 hour ago, shr1975 said:

Any suggestions for a budget 27 inch 4k monitor?

There are many options here in the 27"-28" 4K monitor segment ...

  • Samsung 4K U28R552UQR
  • LG 27UP650-W 4K
  • PHILIPS 275E2FAE 4K
  • Benq - EW2880U 4K
  • DELL S2721QS 4K
  • ... and so on ...

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Publisher 1.10.8 ◆ OSX El Capitan
☛ Affinity V2.3 apps ◆ MacOS Sonoma 14.2 ◆ iPad OS 17.2

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I haven't added it up with these machines, but in general Apple prices laptops about $1000 more than the equivalent desktop.

The power is going to be effectively the same, so it comes down to whether you want a laptop. I personally wouldn't want to work on a small laptop screen all day long.

You might consider maxing out the RAM. Affinity Photo can make good use of it, especially if you have more than one picture open, if you work at 300 DPI, etc.

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