Is Sept'23 the right time to buy a Mac mini M2, or should I wait a bit more?

I am leaving my corporate life, going into teaching.

I have to return the MacBook. This MacBook has been migrated from a few MacBooks in the same company over the past 12 years, so I have tons of customizing and I’d like to migrate them to a new, personal Mac mini which I want to purchase (yay! to education discount)

However, as I will be leaving in October, I need to make the Mac mini purchase soon. I know Apple does not announce M3 in the Sept, iPhone event, but when will they announce? In the past, did they do it at the year end or in 1Q or 2Q?

The current company has also locked down the USB ports, so I cannot do a Time Machine backup to an external drive. I have to migrate before I return the MacBooks. I don’t have Backblaze and I doubt I can install one in the company computer.

I can live with all the grubs, leftovers, corporate junk in the new Mac mini… I just don’t want to spend days to customise the new Macs from scratch.

Any ideas if I should buy now or buy later and thus, customise everything again.

The MacRumours Buying Guide says to buy now. No new Mini expected anytime soon. If you want more power the Studio was just updated.

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I don’t know such thing exists, so thank you very much.

Here’s the link to those who stumbled upon this discussion:

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Rumors are saying an M3 is coming. But not likely a Mini. So you’re probably safe if you really need to update. I personally would wait.

I’m running a M1 iMac and it has more power than I need. I don’t expect to replace it for another 3-4 years, if that. As long as I can tun a current OS and don’t lose features, I’m set.

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One of my use cases for this new Mac Mini is to learn iOS development. I have already started watching some video from Udemy. So, ideally, I’d like the Mac Mini to be as current as possible, as having a teacher’s salary might not let me update it as frequent as I like. I think I will wait until end Sept, and buy it in October, in time for me to migrate before having to return the MacBook by end October.

If you get the Mac mini before you return the MacBook you may be able to move all your data over to the mini via Ethernet cable. Now if the MacBooks have usb ports locked down, Ethernet for network restore to another computer may be also blocked.

When the company issue me a new MacBook over the years, I have used Migration Assistant and (wifi?) to copy data over to the new computer, so I am pretty confident that it will work for my transfer to the new mini. Maybe wireless migration is fine, I don’t know for sure.

I’m sort of settling for the M2 Pro.

Apparently, if I want to bite the cost bullet, I could either choose 16GB to 32GB memory or 1TB to 2TB for the same upgrade price.

Sigh, what a difficult decision. More storage is always good but, I think in this time and day, I could have an external USB-C SSD storage should I want more space but, I will never be able to get more memory. However, 32GB sounds overkill for programming.

What would the forum hive mind choose?

Since a Mac mini is stationary, I would prioritize a RAM upgrade over storage.

Like you said, it’s very easy to add fast external storage these days.
Not to mention that it’ll be way cheaper than what Apple charges.

If you plan to connect the Mac mini via ethernet, I would consider upgrading the port to 10 Gigabit.

Having said all that, if you start to add too many upgrades the price will creep up fast.
At this point it might be better to get a base Mac Studio instead (32 GB RAM, 512 storage, 10 gb ethernet, M2 Max, more ports).

Mac miniș tend to have better value if you stick as close to the default configs as possible.

Going to Apple US website, what you said is true. The m2 Pro mini-32gb-1tb-10Gbps is US$1,999 vs mac Studio 32gb-2tb of US$2,199, a difference of US$200.

But in Apple Malaysia website, in local currency, the difference are quite significant - translated to around US$400 differences (*)

I am not sure why though. I do see in some forums saying that the mac mini is Made In Malaysia, so the mini is slightly cheaper for us. I don’t know. The mac Studio is way out of my reach.

(*) This is retail price comparison. I haven’t counted education discount which bring down the mac mini further. And Studio is not available for education discount.

If your company issued device had USB ports blocked, it seems that company has strong restrictions in terms of data leak prevention from employees. Please consider the legal implications of copying all that data indiscriminately to a personal device. Have they given consent for this operation?

That’s a good point. I believe once I removed the MDM profile from my system, all company related files will be auto deleted.

I checked the Buying Guide today and it now becomes “Neutral - Mid Product Cycle”… zzzzz