Mac Mini M2 Pro vs M1 Studio

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
RELATED
PRODUCTS

Post

I'm probably going to replace my 2019 iMac (i7/8GB/512GB) soon and I was considering going to a Mini M2 Pro (16GB/512GB). However, I started looking around and I'm finding some secondhand M1 Max Studios for around the same price or a little less than a new Mini M2 Pro. I've been reading/watching some reviews and I'm still leaning toward the Mini, but I'd like some input from people who have used them for music production.

A little about my needs...I'm primarily a Logic user and tend to record hardware synths more than software synths, but use a mix of both and do my mixing/effects ITB. I do record vocals in my studio so fan noise is a consideration, although my projects tend to be pretty easy on the CPU because I use more hardware synths than software, so I don't expect that to be an issue, but would love to hear what other people are reporting. I'm also a professional photographer on the side and do some video work; however, I mostly use my MacBook Pro for that work, but will occasionally use Lightroom, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, etc. on this computer - my iMac has handled these apps fine for the most part, so I can't imagine that a Mini M2 or Studio M1 would have any issues. I also have a ton of peripherals, so the cheaper Mini M2s with fewer TB/USB inputs are not an option for me. Finally, I have two Thunderbolt Displays that I'll use with this setup regardless of which option I go with.

TLDR: any reason I should consider a used M1 Max Studio over a new Mini M2 Pro for music production?

UPDATE: I found a motivated seller and got a great deal on a Studio M1 Max, so I went with that and really loving it so far.
Last edited by cryophonik on Sun Mar 03, 2024 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Logic Pro | PolyBrute | MatrixBrute | MiniFreak | Prophet 6 | Trigon 6 | OB-6 | Rev2 | Pro 3 | SE-1X | Polar TI2 | Blofeld | RYTMmk2 | Digitone | Syntakt | Digitakt | Integra-7

Post

I've read your post carefully. I haven't found any other reason for upgrading your relatively new 2019 iMac other than resale value. Is this why you want to upgrade now?

Post

Etienne1973 wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2024 10:26 am I've read your post carefully. I haven't found any other reason for upgrading your relatively new 2019 iMac other than resale value. Is this why you want to upgrade now?
Good point - the 2019 iMac is still perfectly usable, but there are several reasons, the short version being that my son needs a new computer but doesn't need anywhere near the power I need, so he's getting my 2019 iMac and I'm upgrading this time around. I currently use my iMac with a TB display as my second monitor, but we have an additional TB display sitting in our office unused, so I'll use those two and give him the iMac. As I mentioned, the iMac handles most of my needs, but it does choke on some occasions when I need a little more HP for video work or on the rare occasion when I'm using a few CPU-hungry soft synths. I'm also finding the 8GB of RAM to be a limitation sometimes. Overall, I just want a bump up in processing power and RAM.
Logic Pro | PolyBrute | MatrixBrute | MiniFreak | Prophet 6 | Trigon 6 | OB-6 | Rev2 | Pro 3 | SE-1X | Polar TI2 | Blofeld | RYTMmk2 | Digitone | Syntakt | Digitakt | Integra-7

Post

Only 10 months after Mac Studio M1 Max, the current Mac mini M2 Pro model you are interested in was released. The idea that you can run the latest operating system for longer with one of the models is more or less irrelevant.

I assume that both are equally quiet and stay cool even under load. Then the only question that remains is whether you want the generally newer technology (Mac Mini M2 Pro).

What I noticed when comparing the technical specifications of the two models: The Mac Studio has more (8 instead 6) performance CPU cores and more (24 or 32 instead 16 or 19) GPU cores than the Mac mini.

If you get more than 6 performance CPU cores with the Mac mini 12 CPU core built to order? I couldn't find out.

Now Question is whether the newer tech of the Mac Mini will make up for the gap on paper.

Source: Mac Studio M1 Max (2022) vs Mac mini M2 Pro (2023)

Post

BUT the Mac Studio M1 Max has 400GB/s memory bandwidth vs Mac mini M2 Pro "only" 200GB/s.

Post

Yeah, I think what I'm gleaning from all of this is that either one is more than adequate for my music production (i.e., primary) needs and very likely any video (i.e., lower priority) work that I might do on my desktop, but the Studio M1 Max would clearly be the better machine for video work over the long run. But, since I mostly do my video work on my MacBook, the real question probably comes down to whether or not I want the new tech (M2) and a brand new machine vs. the previous tech (M1) and, of course, the additional uncertainty that comes with buying a secondhand machine.
Logic Pro | PolyBrute | MatrixBrute | MiniFreak | Prophet 6 | Trigon 6 | OB-6 | Rev2 | Pro 3 | SE-1X | Polar TI2 | Blofeld | RYTMmk2 | Digitone | Syntakt | Digitakt | Integra-7

Post

Etienne1973 wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2024 12:45 pm BUT the Mac Studio M1 Max has 400GB/s memory bandwidth vs Mac mini M2 Pro "only" 200GB/s.
That is unlikely to affect audio applications.

Not saying the Studio isn't the better machine, but very few applications are sensitive to memory bandwidth.

Return to “Computer Setup and System Configuration”