Apple Silicon - Late 2020 Mac Mini M1, an interesting option?

So as a “content creator”, I do like to follow information and news pertaining to what I do and different tools that allow me to do what I want. Of course for tech one of the big hubbubs lately has been the new M1 chip from Apple in their tablets, new macbooks, and the mac mini.

How good of a proposition do you think it is and why?
I’m a bit curious because I saw on Amazon they had renewed M1 Mac mini base models for a pretty attractive price:

(vs $699 Apple Retail).

Honestly it’s a bit tempting for me to have a separate computer for streaming on Twitch as well as some light photoshop/illustrator duties. I’m pretty confident my current rig could still outrender this when using Davinci Resolve, although probably not by as much as the price difference between my system and this might suggest haha.

What do you all think of the Mac M1 mini as a concept? A decent mini(ish) PC? Wait for Apple Silicon M1x?

Do you think there needs to be more ARM app support to justify its existence?


I will happily replace my 2014 MBP 15" with the new M1 (or Mx)-based 16" Macbook pro coming out soon if it supports enough RAM. The move back to the (slightly) less shitty keyboard and back to more ports, and to Magsafe for charging versus USB-C (that’s the rumor, anyway) is encouraging. Though, let’s be real, I will of course still use my YAS62 or NeXT non-adb board instead of the built-in kb.

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I don’t really see the point in the mac mini, i think the apple processors make a lot more sense in a laptop where their power efficiency really shines, whereas in the mac mini doesn’t have a battery so power efficiency isn’t so important. tbh I haven’t really followed the mac mini at all though, so I have no idea how good the value proposition in terms of computer power/cost/application support. With apple throwing their support behind it it seems app support can only get better.

I bought one a month or so ago with 16gb of RAM. I’m a developer, not a content creator, but I absolutely love it.

There are still weird things I needed to do to get some of my dev software working properly, but I’m seeing more and more support added as people have time to update things to accommodate the ARM chips. Rosetta 2 works fine for me where it’s needed.

I now daily this over my Ryzen 1700 pc and haven’t really had any performance complaints. If anything, some of the things I do have sped up because it’s has better WiFi than I had on my pc. Major bonus is that it’s sooooo quiet - noise from my pc case fans, though slight, really bugged me.

If I had to go back in time and decide whether or not to pick mine up, I’d definitely buy it again.


i’m not very well versed in performance/computing so i’m wondering if you could contextualize this for casuals/noobs:

i have a late 2012 mac mini 2.3 core i7 with 16 GB (self-upgraded) RAM. it’s not bad but she’s getting slow in her old age. would i notice the difference between my mini and the stock 8 GB RAM and the new M1 chip as far as speed or should i make sure to stick with 16GB RAM? don’t laugh, but I’m playing FFXIV on my old mini and getting flack for not playing on a PC. i’m wondering if the new mac minis are more than enough for non-high definition, older online games.

also, how much did yours end up costing?

What’s your current rig?

I’m also looking into mac mini at the moment since it’s cheaper than the macbooks and I like working with at least 16" screen and current m1s only has the 13" variant.

Aside from app compatibility issues, which should be updated soon(hopefully), I think it’s a good buy if this is your first dive to Apple ecosystem.

In addition, there’s an ongoing list of applications tested in m1 in here:


My current rig is pretty acceptable for now;

RTX 2060 super
32gb ram

Nothing fancy or top of the line, but it gets the job done. Most importantly, it has one of those rare things called a graphics card :joy:


I wouldn’t buy them from Amazon because the built-in storage is so tiny for me. I have a 2018 mac mini with 1TB and 32GB of RAM and that seems OK but I’ll get an m1 once I can, even with less RAM it’ll be much faster. The performance jump is supposed to be ridiculous.


My 2060 super has just been sitting in my old rig doing nothing since I made the switch…

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that’s what im curious about–would the base 8GB ram on the M1 be enough for those of us with 2012 (me) and you (2018) mac minis? i haven’t seen any articles yet regarding the performance jump.

Depends on how ram intensive your workloads are. If you’re frequently bumping into your upper limit at 32gb, you’ll start hitting swap a lot. I went with 16gb model and am fine as a dev, but really depends on workloads. I think people tend to overestimate ram needs, but I’ll still buy as much as I can now given it’s non upgradeable later on.


I would definitely go with the 16gb model. I am sort of upset Apple even offers an 8gb model. Many applications run a lot slower with 8 GB compared to 16gb. I wish the base model came with 16gb and they offered a 32gb model as the upgrade; if that was the case, I’d probably still go with the 16gb for my purposes. I personally got the 16gb one w/ 1 tb SSD because I like the 2800 mb/s performance I’m getting from the internal SSD and it keeps the limited number of thunderbolt 3 ports free.

I figure the 8gb mac mini will be outdated much faster than the 16gb version as the OS and apps continue to become more bloated and consume more and more memory.

I am coming from an intel i7-3770K 16gb Hackintosh I built back in 2012. Served me well for 9 years, but now Ivy Bridge doens’t run Big Sur and it was time to upgrade the hardware. I didn’t want to spend $800 to upgrade to more Intel hardware since Apple is phasing Intel out; plus it is nice for OS updates and everything just works.

This little Mini is faster than many Intel based systems and runs at a fraction of power, saving me probably about $200 or more in electricity over 5 years.


Definitely want to echo that 8gb on current mac os is not a good time. I had work computer for a bit that was a 2019 macbook pro with only 8gb of ram and it really couldn’t hang. Had issues with firefox, vim and docker running at the same time. A very reasonable workload.


To be honest at this point, if I was still considering maybe picking up a Mac, the new 24" iMacs are pretty tempting considering that 4.5k retina display; but then again the 1299 version lacks the gigabit ethernet and extra couple usb ports that the 1499 version has and I think those are pretty important.

Of course those listings are with only 8gb and I don’t think we can see what the pricing for the 16gb one is yet. womp womp womp.

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I use my computer with a 40" 4K UHD TV at 60 fps.

Is there a noticeable difference between the screens on an iMac and a 4K UHD TV? How much do those extra pixels help? I can’t see the individual pixels on this 40" 4K TV up close even.

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Personally I’ve never had a TV that I felt was sufficient at being a monitor, but I also haven’t personally used a TV as a monitor in the last 5 years :stuck_out_tongue:.

In terms of color accuracy and pixel density, the iMac’s 24" 4.5k screen probably has a leg up on a vast majority of 4k TVs these days. Of course whether or not someone will care to notice these features might be lost on someone looking to save a buck and go with a mac mini with an existing monitor/tv. That’s the route I’d most likely go.

I calibrated the TV to be as close to my iPad and iPhone as possible. It’s working okay I guess. I imagine I’d be blown away if I looked at the Mac displays in the apple store. I paid liek $250 for this Samsung 4K UHD 40" :slight_smile: I would get the imac but the screen is much too small. I need 40" because I sit in a recliner with feet up on desk with keyboard resting in lap and mouse arm recliner arm :slight_smile: Helps with my circulation :slight_smile:


Yeah and the new Mac Mini M1 is not upgradeable. It’s like the iPhone, system on a chip. Have to sell it and buy another to upgrade. To me 16gb is mandatory. I personally think Apple might be doing this deliberately so the 8gb machines need replacing in short order, increasing their sales and decreasing the resale value.

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I bought my M1 mini less than 14 days ago so I still have time to return it. When I had ordered it it did not have an option for 10gb wired ethernet. However recenlty they now offer 10gb wired ethernet for $100 more. The system isn’t upgradeable so you have to buy it built in. Wondering if I should return this and spend $100 more for the 10gb ethernet. I have the Mac mini M1 that has 1gb wired ethernet built in. Although I don’t share data in a netowrk with other computers here which require high speed. Also my internet connection is around 200mb/s . Just wondering about the future, say 5 years from now and the resale value of the mini later on. I am all about saving as much money as possible, and that means getting a system that will resell well later.

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