Just over a month ago - but way back in 2022 time - I wrote about trying to decide if I should upgrade to a Mac Studio from my current 2019 16” MacBook Pro. Now a month later here in early 2023 Apple announced an upgraded Mac mini with an M2 Apple Silicon based system.

Now that reviews and comparisons to the Mac Studio are being published, it’s looking like the 2023 Mac mini is a great substitute for the more expensive Mac Studio for most of us who don’t spend all day inside a video production app.

What I Use my Mac For

What I wrote in December 2022 (shockingly!) still holds true:

Most of the time - let’s say 70% - I’m using my Mac, I have Logic Pro open editing podcasts with 2 - 6 tracks of audio. I use minimal plugins live while editing, so it’s fairly easy even for my MacBook Pro to keep up.
Another 20% of the time I’ve got Final Cut Pro open editing a video, like Learn with Jason. This is where my MacBook Pro starts to show it’s age - and it’s mainly in the importing or exporting of video.
The final 10% of time is spent invoicing, emailing, Notion’ing, and social media time wasting. I could use a 2013 Mac mini for most of that work and not miss a beat.

Upgrade Path with the Mac mini

If I go Mac mini, I want to get it fairly loaded up since there’s no ability to upgrade it later, so the spec I’m looking at is:

  • M2 Pro with the 12-core CPU / 19-core GPU upgrade for $375CAD
  • 16GB RAM (toying with the 32GB upgrade but $$$!)
  • 1TB SSD (I'd love to get 2TB but again, $$$!)
  • for $2,324CAD + taxes

Which is just over $650CAD + taxes cheaper than the cheapest Mac Studio model I’d priced out a month ago. But that was also a Mac Studio - with M1 Max with a 10-core CPU / 32-core GPU.

In benchmarks, the M2 Pro Mac mini performs better than the M1 Max Mac Studio - not by a large margin, but enough the price being less for the mini makes it a great deal for my use cases.

The only bonus wrinkle Apple could throw into the situation is releasing a M2 or M3 iMac / Mac Studio upgrade, but that likely won’t happen until the fall of 2023.

Time for a few more months of indecision, just in time for Apple to update one piece of the puzzle again.

When to Upgrade My Mac - One (mini) Month Later

When is the right time to upgrade my Mac?