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  #1  
Old 04-04-2024, 05:38 PM
skipburz skipburz is offline
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Default Mac Mini M2 Pro vs M2 Max

So sorry for another "which Mac is better?" thread; but there have been so many changes over the past couple of years with both Macs and PT, I have a bit of buyer's paralysis.

I'm going to purchase a new Mac for my home studio. I'm currently using a 2021 16" Mac Book Pro M1 Max with 32GB, which travels between the studio at the college where I teach and my home tracking/mixing studio. I do all music production (no video editing or video post production). Ninety-percent of the time I'm in Pro Tools, but occasionally use Logic Pro and LUNA. My current M1 Max does everything I need and hasn't given me a minute's trouble recording at either 48k or 96k. When tracking a big band, I might have 16-24 mics up, and when mixing no more than 30-40 tracks - most of the times much fewer.

I'm looking at two different machines:
1) Mac Mini M2 Pro with 10-core CPU, 32GB memory, 1TB SSD
2) M2 Max Studio with 12-core CPU, 32GB, 1 TB SSD

The M2 Max cost about $300 more than the Mac Mini. So, which machine do you think will meet my needs? Are there any other options under $2,500 that I should be looking at?

I'm sure either machine will come with the latest version of Sonoma, so I'll just have to hold my breath and hope everything works.

Thoughts? Again, sorry for the basic questions. Thanks for your input.

Best,
Skip B.

Last edited by skipburz; 04-05-2024 at 04:11 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-04-2024, 06:33 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Mac Mini M2 Pro vs M2 Max

What actual Mac are you talking about? A Mac Studio?

I would start by trying to size any Mac to try to run sessions and samples off the internal SSD. At least to see if that's possible/what it will cost. 1TB seems a bit small for that, at least to me.

Do you expect 32 GB to last you enough years to amortize this computer? My own thinking would be to get a larger memory system to be sure, and by then at least for me with additional memory and SSD the Mini vs Studio equation is going to be go with Studio. If you really don't need any of that and are comfortable you can get some years of use out of 32 GB then go for that. The M2 Max has double the size L3 cache of the M2 Pro and that may give a useful improvements in performance. Both systems have 8 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores.
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Old 04-04-2024, 08:56 PM
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JFreak JFreak is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini M2 Pro vs M2 Max

Why not just upgrade the mini for 12-core model?
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Old 04-04-2024, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: Mac Mini M2 Pro vs M2 Max

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
Do you expect 32 GB to last you enough years to amortize this computer?
I am not a heavy VI user, but 16GB of M1 mini has been plenty ever since its introduction. Only thing I envy about M2 mini is extra two thunderbolts, while memory upgrade to 32 would not hurt.
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Old 04-05-2024, 04:08 AM
skipburz skipburz is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini M2 Pro vs M2 Max

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
What actual Mac are you talking about? A Mac Studio?

I would start by trying to size any Mac to try to run sessions and samples off the internal SSD. At least to see if that's possible/what it will cost. 1TB seems a bit small for that, at least to me.

Do you expect 32 GB to last you enough years to amortize this computer? My own thinking would be to get a larger memory system to be sure, and by then at least for me with additional memory and SSD the Mini vs Studio equation is going to be go with Studio. If you really don't need any of that and are comfortable you can get some years of use out of 32 GB then go for that. The M2 Max has double the size L3 cache of the M2 Pro and that may give a useful improvements in performance. Both systems have 8 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores.
Thanks for the input. Yes, a Mac Studio. I record mostly real instruments, utilizing very few samples, VI, loops, etc. I also have 1TB and 2TB external drives where I store the few sample and loop packs that I do use. Therefore, I'm pretty comfortable with a 1TB internal. My current 1TB drive on my MB Pro that I've used the past 3 years is not even half full. The 32 GB question is a good one. The 32 GB I currently have has never once been an issue. Perhaps it's because I'm in the UAD world and have a ton of DSP chips. Most of my heavy-use plugins are utilizing DSP.
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Old 04-05-2024, 04:11 AM
skipburz skipburz is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini M2 Pro vs M2 Max

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Originally Posted by JFreak View Post
Why not just upgrade the mini for 12-core model?
Thanks, it's a good question. If I get a mini that 12-core rather 10-core, I'm at the same exact price as the Studio with 12-core. So, I'm not sure if by that point I shouldn't just go with the Studio.
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Old 04-05-2024, 04:27 AM
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Farhoof Farhoof is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini M2 Pro vs M2 Max

Go with the Studio. At the same spec (12 core and 10gbit ethernet) it's probably even cheaper but has more GPU cores, which looking at past PT releases will be the first bottleneck you hit (apart from faulty ssd's or not enough ram at initial buy).

You can roll back to Ventura with ease if needed.
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Old 04-05-2024, 08:42 AM
skipburz skipburz is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini M2 Pro vs M2 Max

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farhoof View Post
Go with the Studio. At the same spec (12 core and 10gbit ethernet) it's probably even cheaper but has more GPU cores, which looking at past PT releases will be the first bottleneck you hit (apart from faulty ssd's or not enough ram at initial buy).

You can roll back to Ventura with ease if needed.
Thanks much. That's probably the way I'll go, upgrading to 64GB, if I can swing it.
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Old 04-12-2024, 07:11 AM
RyanLewis RyanLewis is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini M2 Pro vs M2 Max

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farhoof View Post
Go with the Studio. At the same spec (12 core and 10gbit ethernet) it's probably even cheaper but has more GPU cores, which looking at past PT releases will be the first bottleneck you hit (apart from faulty ssd's or not enough ram at initial buy).
Thanks for the info, I will keep it in my mind. I appreciate you. Do you also feel that essays are very boring and take so much time to complete? Then you are not alone here. I also hate it, but now I have found a solution to this: a https://stateofwriting.com/uk/essay-writing-service website that writes for you if you hire a professional writer from there. I have used them, and they are my favourites now because they are so affordable and they make my work easy.
You can roll back to Ventura with ease if needed.
Thanks for the info, I will keep it in my mind. I appreciate you :)

Last edited by RyanLewis; 04-26-2024 at 08:00 AM.
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  #10  
Old 04-12-2024, 07:20 AM
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JFreak JFreak is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini M2 Pro vs M2 Max

If you can hold your horses, there is a chance there will never be a M3 mini, but M4 mini instead.
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