New Mac buying advice needed: Mini M2 or M2 Pro?

I’m trying to decide between the Mac Mini M2, upgraded to 500gb SSD and 16gb RAM. And the Mini M2 Pro. The price difference is £350, so while not massive, enough to make me pause for thought.

This is the setup I want to replace.

At the moment there are two machines sitting on my desk. A 2017 27in iMac, hooked up to a 27in 5k monitor (so dual screen). And a Mac Mini M1 (base model) hooked up to another 27in 5k monitor. So making two machines and three monitors (2x 5k and the iMac screen).

The iMac is the workhorse. Typically running all the time on this is Safari, Spark email, RWC, Affinity Photo & Designer, Nuleo (icons), Transit FTP, Apple Notes and Reminders, Macdown, BB Edit, Numbers, Pages, Whatsapp Desktop, Dropbox, Bit Warden, plus a few other small apps. These are more or less always running, as they get used consistently throughout a typical working day.

On the Mini M1 runs Apple Mail (it works as an email archive plus a SPAM filter), Security Spy (for my home CCTV system), Syncovery (a backup app which constantly backs up several external drives and my servers), Spotify, And occasionally Chrome for testing.

Essentially, the iMac is my work machine and is allowed to sleep when I’m not working. The Mini M1 is the backup machine, used for on-the-fly archiving and playing music. It runs 24/7, never sleeps.

I’d like to look at using just the one machine for all this, with only two screens (my desk is one of those sit/stand jobbies, and it’s starting to creak when being raised due to the weight!).

I know the M1 Mini is a powerhouse, for it’s size/cost. So maybe the M2 with bigger SSD and RAM will suffice. But I also realise there is a lot going on for one machine, so perhaps I should opt for the M2 Pro.

In the UK prices are about £1050 for the upgraded M2, or £1400 for the M2 Pro. It’s not a huge difference, but enough to mean if I can get away with the M2, I will!

I’m curious to hear from others who use either of these machines and how they perform. And from those who know more about Macs in general than me (I only use them!), and which you feel would be best suited.

I’ve no interest in going for an iMac, or studio, or any other Mac. Macs, in general, are far too overpriced and locked down nowadays to consider anything above the Mini.

1 Like

Just my 2 cents Steve given I have a similar hardware set up. Where you have a weight issue why not consider using just 2 monitors as I now do - most monitors will accept multiple feeds and both MM’s could feed them (as they do in my case) - switching between them is easily achieved with a quick Alfred keyboard command when one or the other isn’t required to be displaying - just a thought

IMHO none of these require a PRO. If you would do a lot of video editing or rendering, or need three monitors, I would use a PRO.

I have a Mini M2 16/512, and beside several apps you are using I am also running Parallels with Windows on it, which is just fine.


Having had the 32GB machine for about two weeks now; and now having worked a little bit with Screenflow 10/iMovie, I stand by the statement above; I would have been absolutely fine with the M1Pro 16GB model. Although one can never have too much RAM, I suppose, the extra couple hundred dollars would have paid for AppleCare+ - a better use of the money since it’s pretty obvious that 16GB would have been fine, even with all those apps (and two 27" monitors) in use.

I’ve wondered about this many times but never made the purchase. Is it really worth it?

In my opinion, AppleCare+ is absolutely worth the expense, especially if you’re someone who frequently travels with your MacBook. Accidental damages, like spills on the keyboard or dropping the device and causing damage are covered under AppleCare+, which provides an added layer of peace of mind.

Now, if I were buying a desktop Mac, the chances of accidental damages goes way down; I wouldn’t buy the coverage.

1 Like

Aha, yes understood. Thanks.

Thank for the comments.

I should mention, the weight thing isn’t the driving force to upgrade. I want to simplify things, and go to a single machine.

Thanks for the comments, @dave After testing the 8 GB M1 I have I know 16 GB RAM will be plenty. The way the new M machines handle things is super efficient. It’s the processing grunt of the regular M2 I’m concerned about.

All the tasks that the two machines will presently be doing will be done by 1, that’s quite a lot of background stuff.

@Jannis, what are your thoughts on that?

If your 2017 iMac was able to handle all the above tasks, then the M2 is also able to do so.
Which leaves us with the apps used on the M1.

Difference between M2 (8 core cpu) and M2 Pro (in the base config 10 core cpu) are 2 performance cores (and better memory bandwidth?). I doubt any of the apps used on your M1 would use the performance cores. You can easily check with eg. iStat Pro if your current M1 is performing heavy tasks or is bored 🥱

See detailed geekbench results of single and multi core performance below.

If the 350£ are a question for you (yes, would be for me also) I would go with the M2 16/512. I also was thinking about the Pro (10 core), but at the end the additional costs haven’t been outweighed the additional performance.

Maybe also have a look at refurbished Mac Minis. I also got a refurbished one which was like new including Apple warranty.


Good advice, thanks Jannis.

I second that. My experience with Apple’s refurbished products has been largely positive. In fact, a close friend of mine who has been with Apple for quite some time once shared that many “refurbished” items are often returns from customers who simply wanted a different model or specification. Because of this insight, I’ve been buying refurbished for years and have saved considerably.

On one occasion, I did encounter a hiccup with a refurbished product that had connectivity issues. However, Apple offers a 14-day evaluation period. Given how frequently most of us use our devices, this is ample time to test and ensure everything’s up to the mark. If there’s an issue, Apple facilitates a hassle-free return and even covers the return shipping costs.

For my latest MBP, I purchased a Pro 16GB (refurbished) and decided to return it because it took so long to draw RapidWeaver pages. I was hoping that upgrading to the Max 32GB would resolve them, but it didn’t make a significant difference (if I’d done my homework, I would have known that). I chose to keep it regardless, but it’s good to know the option to return exists. My 32GB model is also a refurbished unit.

Actually, I was having some problems with RW taking a long time to draw RW pages in a particular project of mine. I found a very strange thing I did not write about here, because it has already been discussed. That is, if you open the project file, then open the SharedPluginData folder of the project, and then open the YHStacksPlugin folder, there are a lot of files not belonging to the project. Erasing the image files in there that do not belong to the project made my project responsive again. Be careful not to erase the Contents.Plist file, because that will make the project useless. A bad thing happened a short while later; all of those files came back. I erased them again and got a responsive project, but they came back a third time, and I gave up and made a completely new project from scratch. We sit here with some of the most powerful computers on the planet, and RW behaves like we are using an old Atari ST or something??? Making people contemplate buying even more expensive versions of the same computer to no avail. Spending hard-earned money on something that is already too expensive. Normally, I would not use words like this, but in this case, I am not shy to ask: what the hell is going on? So please check if this is the problem before giving Apple a big gift 😀

I think you experienced “the bloat”

1 Like

Hej Konfuzzious, yes, I know. That’s why I didn’t write about it earlier. However, I thought I’d mention it now so people can check for that issue before considering replacing their already powerful machine with one that’s only slightly more powerful, thereby spending a lot of money on Apple. I just forgot to mention that in my message 😂. My goodness…😅.

1 Like

@TemplateRepo please let me know once you have decided which Mac you have chosen in order to update this thread.

1 Like

I’d like to add something to the discussion:

Couple a questions about buying refurbished:

  1. Did you save much?
  2. A/o @dave on average, what’s the typical discount percentage?
  3. Is the packaging like new or do they send it off in brown cardboard boxes?
  4. Cables and stuff with it?

My M2 16/512 is originally 1159€. I saved 200€ when purchasing over a 3rd party seller (

There wasn’t the modal available directly from Apple refurbished at this point in time.

It came with everything and was like new, 2 months old.

1 Like