mac mini or mac studio

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    Topic: mac mini or mac studio Read 491 Times
  • Morris Taub
    Morris Taub
    Posts: 15
    Computers & Displays
    on: August 6, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    First off I have to say I’m totally wanting a base level mac studio. With 32 gigs of ram and even just a 512gb hard disk I think I’d be good to go.

    The main software I’d be using is Lightroom and Photoshop. I do sometimes play with DxO. Use nik suite, mostly. I don’t work with tons of layers. Just two to four at times. Lately it seems Lightroom is helping me get to ‘finished’ all by itself. These two programs handle most of my work.

    Oh, I’d be upgrading from a 2015 macbook pro…it’s the mid 2015 version, 16gb of ram, AMD radeon r9m370x 2gb graphics, plus Intel Iris pro…it’s a 2.5ghz quad core intel i7…

    My MBP still works, so I am waiting till maybe this Fall sometime to upgrade/trade it in. It has been handling a lot. Two monitors. No 4k. I just print, no video work, with an older NEC 2690wuxi, and a newer NEC PA271Q. Color has been really good for me. I use the older monitor for library, the newer monitor to edit photos on…

    One monitor is connected direct via a thunderbolt 2 port on the macbook pro, it’s thunderbolt 2 to dvi-i on the back of the older NEC. The other is connected via a thunderbolt 2 port on the back of a Caldigit TS2 to displayport on the back of the newer NEC. I’ve also got ethernet connected via the caldigit ts2. I did have my older monitor working via the hdmi port, but no longer use it that way.

    I’ve got hard drives and ssd drives in two external towers. They are connected via thunderbolt 2 cables right now. I know I’d need adapters. They are Akitio external enclosures. They hold my photo library and several backups. I also run lightroom off an external ssd. So. I’ve got about 250gb left on my computers internal drive, why I think I’d be ok with another 512gb internal ssd from apple.

    As you can see, this macbook pro is handling a lot and doing it really well for just about 7 years now. And why I’m drawn to the mac studio. It seems a good move up. I don’t need the third screen of a new macbook pro or the portability.

    But lately I’ve been looking at the cheaper mac mini. For about 1600 I can get a pretty loaded mac mini. Only down side, only 16gb of ram. But I can save about 500-600 bucks. I’m wondering if apple might give us a 32gb option for the mac mini this fall. Who knows.

    Two things.

    1. I no longer work for money. I have retired, but still do a lot of photo work and retouching. So if things take a little longer, I go make some soup or coffee or tea or something.

    2. As I’ve typed this up, looking at how much is attached to my current computer, it seems the base mac studio is the way to go to handle it all without too much stress. Maybe I just needed to detail this for myself as well.


    your thoughts, suggestions, always welcome…i know it takes me time to work things out sometimes before I start understanding something from a few good perspectives…



    ps. the m1 imacs, what’s next for us thread was really helpful, educational about what to expect as i attempt an upgrade…





    Jeff Schewe
    Jeff Schewe
    Gold Member
    Posts: 135
    Re: mac mini or mac studio
    Reply #1 on: August 7, 2022 at 10:56 pm

    I’m running the loaded Mac Studio, but I have a friend running the M1 Mini and he loves it.

    I’m not sure how easy it will be to connect your 2690…it’s pretty tough to use old video on the TB4 channels, I went with USBC cables to connect my dual PA311D displays.


    I’m fairly pleased with the Studio but don’t love there current OS. Lots of issues with Monterey…less issues with the M1 part of upgrading. I came from a 2017 iMac Pro but NOT running Monterey.


    the thing I decided was to go with the ultra and get 6 TB4 ports…lots of stuff I need to connect!

    Morris Taub
    Morris Taub
    Posts: 15
    Re: mac mini or mac studio
    Reply #2 on: August 9, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    Hi, Jeff, and thanks.

    I read about your upgrade struggle. Not fun. But reading it helps me try and pinpoint problems.

    Not sure what I’d do if my old nec 2690 doesn’t work. It is still good enough that I wouldn’t toss it. No way. But I hear you about the connection problems that might happen. Dang. I bought it back in April 2009. Still going strong, but for some minor tinting far right and left, a slight cream color.

    Also fingers crossed about my tb2 external enclosures. They are more recent, but still. It all matters.

    I think I will wait till October. Rumors about a possible mac mini upgrade (mac mini pro?) I’d just want a bit more ram available, 32gb. I have lots of stuff attached but I’m no power user, so to speak.

    It’ll also depend how close the price gets me to the base mac studio. If it’s close I’ll just do that, make use of the abundant ports and all its power.

    If I need to add something like another Caldigit ts4 for extra ports, that won’t make sense for the additional cost.

    Lastly. I’m using 12.5 Monterey on my 2015 laptop and haven’t had problems. Although twice now since I’ve updated I’ve woken it from sleep and just blank screens, so I have to restart.

    thanks again,


    Bud James
    Bud James
    Posts: 93
    Re: mac mini or mac studio
    Reply #3 on: August 15, 2022 at 5:43 am

    I replaced an 1997 iMac Pro with a new Mac Studio M1 Max, 64GB RAM and 2TB in May. Based on GeekBench tests, the MacStudio runs rings around the iMacPro.

    The Mac Mini with M1 chip is not a slouch, but since I can keep my Macs for years, I went for the much more capable MacStudio. We spend thousands of dollars on our camera gear so having a capable Mac that will perform for years is a good investment.

    I use Capture One Pro as my primary image processor for my 40 and 60 MB files from my Leica cameras. The MacStudio handles these with ease. It’s a screamer.

    If you have an Apple credit card, you can buy Apple products directly from Apple with 0% financing on a 12 month payment plan for new Macs and MacBooks. Apple also gave me $1,900 for trading in my iMacPro towards the cost of a Mac Studio.

    Bud James

    Please check out my fine art and travel photography at


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