New computer (looking for recommendations..please)

Hi All…I have a early 2015 MBP that I use as my main computer. I use it mostly for content creation (I write books, articles, etc), and the occasional short video.

It’s been a solid workhorse, however a few things.

  1. I only use it as a desktop, and have-not removed it from my desk in about two years
  2. It can no longer get the new OS updates, being on Apple’s “old” computer list.
  3. I use a second monitor with it
  4. I just received another monitor
  5. I did replace the battery a few years back (due to swelling) and was told that could happen again in a few years.

I was thinking of replacing the MPB with a Mac mini, m1. So I can use both monitors, have a small foot print on my desk, and keep up to date with software.

I welcome any thoughts/guidance/kick in the pants.

Thanks for any and all…


I think the longevity of the Mac Mini is fantastic and a great choice for a desktop-only machine. I think it’s a good idea to have at least one stationary mac in a household that can not only serve as a primary machine but one that can also be used as a workstation/server later on down the road. An additional benefit of having a Mini (or any machine that can be always on) is that you can also use it as a caching server simply by turning on that option in System Preferences (now System Settings). If you have multiple Apple devices at home, it can speed up things like iOS updates by storing and distributing them to other devices on your network, saving bandwidth.


Personally, I’d either look at a low end Mac Studio or consider waiting for a new Mini. The base M1 processor is over 2 years old now and given how long you kept your previous Mac, something more current than an M1 might be a good idea.


Mini sounds good to me, given your use.
Single-core speeds of the M1 (as in the Mini), M1 Pro and Max (as in the Studio) are all the same. Given your workflow detailed above, you wouldn’t gain anything with a Studio.
The M1 will be quite a step up from your 2015. I traded my 2015 MBP in on a 2020 13” M1 MBP, and the performance difference was worth it.

There’s also the price to consider:
Studio 32GiB, 1T, $2200
Mini 16GiB, 1T, $1300


Your thoughts of buying an M1 Mac Mini for your needs are right on target. The Studio model would be overkill. My suggestion would be choosing the 16gb of RAM and 512 SSD version, since you hold on to your Mac longer than most. If you didn’t have that second monitor, I might lean towards an iMac.

Enjoy whatever you decide to purchase!


Thanks runhikemike, I appreciate the advice!

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Thanks ACautionaryTale…the studio would be out of my price range, but the idea of waiting for next version of mini has appeal. Appreciated!

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Thanks JohnAlt, really appreciate that insight, and thanks for sharing your experience.

I opted for the M1 iMac because I only wanted one monitor on my desk. The 24” screen has been the perfect for me. If necessary I can always add a 2nd monitor. In your case the Mini might be a better choice since you already have the monitors. If you can wait it might be worth it to get the next iteration of the Mini.

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I’m in pretty much the same situation as you, and I’ve arrived at pretty much the same conclusions. The Studio looks like a great machine but it’s overkill for me. The Mini and a good monitor is where I’m heading. I do think @ACautionaryTale’s advice to wait for a refresh is good advice if you can wait.

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I misread your content creation use cases and agree that a Studio would be overkill. Good luck with whatever path you choose :slight_smile:

It was a good exercise for me to go look at the Studio…I appreciate the prompt. A nice piece of equipment.

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I think this has been one of the most under-acknowledged Apple factoids in the last two years.


Though I think your macbook pro is probably good for another 2 years, since it will still get security updates for that time I understand replacement is an option.
Having said that I personally would go for the mac mini for the workload described.

as an aside: I also have a macbook pro 2015 on my desk, and still use it as my daily driver.
I worked around the “no more OS updates” by switching it to Ubuntu linux, which gets me all updates until 2027, so as long as the hardware lasts my OS will be up to date and perfectly usable as an office machine (and it’s lightning fast again :-))

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Another vote for an M1 Mini, although check the Apple Refurb store:

You can usually get the equivalent of a free RAM or SSD upgrade by shopping refurb. And because it’s a desktop machine, prioritize RAM rather than SSD. SSD can always be added externally if necessary.

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Note: it is quite possible new MacBook Pro 14 and 16 " and maybe Mac Mini (M2 versions) may come out very soon (before Jan 2023) - you might want to wait to see what they offer - and older devices may go on sale at that time.

Another vote for the Mac Mini because of your dual monitor situation. For a similar use case recently we opted for the M1 iMac at home, but there was no multi-monitor requirement. It is the M1 with 8GB RAM and it is more than enough. Great machine.

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Keep in mind that one of the external displays has to be connected via HDMI. I recommend you make sure the display supports its native resolution at the desired frame rate (e.g. at least 60Hz) over HDMI.

A Mac Mini definitely seems the way to go; even the base model M1 is really powerful.
But, if you’re not in a rush I also suggest waiting for an M2 version.
It could be 6 days, 6 months, or a year away though…

And the M1 Mini would be cheaper then, too. :slightly_smiling_face:

But don’t play this game. It’ll drive you nuts. Buy what you can afford when you need or want it as Apple will always produce something “better” a short time later.