Mac Mini upgrade on a budget

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
tarzan1234 Regular Member • Posts: 175
Re: Mac Mini upgrade on a budget

rb61 wrote:

Budget is $600-1000

The biggest challenge is processing/editing RAW images with Affinity Photo.

If I were you, I would get a Mac mini M1 with 8 or 16GB of RAM/256 GB of SSD, then pick up a fast external SSD if you need more storage. It will be sitting on your desk so no need to pay Apple a crazy amount of money for larger internal SSD.

I've been using a Mini M1 8GB/256GB that I picked up over the weekend for less than 600 bucks (Some workaround involved, Target was selling $100 Apple gift card with $20 promotion during black Friday, so I picked up 7 of them to pay for the Mac mini for a total of 140 bucks back) and by all benchmarks, it is more than twice as fast as my 2015 MacBook Pro 15 quad core with 16GB of RAM and dedicated graphics. It also flies through 50MP RAW files (Canon 5DSR) in Lightroom without any issues, and Lightroom is not even native to this M1 thing yet, it's still the Intel version running through Rosetta2. I still remember how my previous MacBook Pro 13 with only 8GB of RAM really struggled with Lightroom and 20MP RAW files (Canon 6D). I don't know what Apple did with their new CPU and software but I can tell this thing is really different and it has no problem handling 50MP Raw files, at least, in the way that I process them. I can't speak for people who often stitch many files together and then add many many layers in Photoshop. The best thing is, it is dead silent and not even warm, while the MacBook Pro runs like a jet engine when you put it to work.

Not all rosy early adopters, we all have to be patient. I still have to wait for a new version of NEC SpectraView II calibration software so can I calibrate my NEC display properly. Stuff like that will take time to resolve.

 tarzan1234's gear list:tarzan1234's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EF 70-200mm F4L USM Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM +4 more
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