New Mac advice- now or wait

Hey guys.
An interesting time to be looking at Macs. Here is the challenge:
I am in need of a machine to work with video editing. I have outgrown my entry level Macbook when it comes to working with video.
I can probably push the budget up to $1500.
The i7 Macbook mini with 16GB ram looks like a very good option.

Bearing in mind that I am working with video already, (i’d love for anyone interested to look at my stuff on youtube. But this is not the reason for the post. Check out my flight logs at the cahnnel called Mountain Mode), I dont know how long I can keep doing this on the macbook. So:

  • Do I hang in there and see the Apple silicon options later this year? Do we think there will be a Mac mini option?
  • Does anyone have a sense of what Apple Silicon is going to do to price?
  • Would the i7 current Mac mini handle 4K well?

My biggest tension is wanting the stronger machine now, but also thinking it makes sense to wait for Apple silicon.

Or hey, any other advice in the $1500 range for what I need?

I generally don’t recommend buying the 1st-gen of any Apple hardware. Especially so when it will also involve months of teething pains after launch of new silicon - to both the OS and apps, many of them running in emulation.

What is a ‘MacBook mini’ - the MacBook Air?

The MBA might not be the go-to machine for video editing but if the MBP is out of budget you can certainly use it.

Looking at the pricing strategy for the iPad - iPad Pro, and iPhone - iPhone Max I would assume that new ASi macbooks would be priced about $100-200 higher than current entry levels.

My chrystal ball prediction for the lineup pricing: ASi macbook Air at 1099, macbook at 1299 (dropping the “pro” name) and mac mini at 999. And we’ll all be very happy to pay for the new shiny toys :slight_smile:
They’ll re-introduce the Pro again in a year or so with a $300 price hike to fill up an entry level gap (where there is none)

I think you should look at how long you would want to use the device.
The support for Intel will run out eventually on all current models, probably within the next 3-4 years or so. You would then probably get security updates, but the platform will move on.

I myself can’t wait for the new ASi devices to drop, with >10 years experience on the architecture through the iPad and iPhone I think we’re in for a surprise! I’d REALLY love a Macbook with iPad like battery life, and that does not run hot all the time.
If that;s the only benefit I’ll already be extremely happy.

Actually, some rumors from known leakers suggest that the low-end Macbook will start lower, at approximately $799.

Komiya has already accurately noted launch dates or windows for a number of products including the recently announced iMac, and has predicted announcements this week of AirPods Studio, HomePod 2 and HomePod Mini - so we’ll see if that ends up being accurate.

He says that the Apple Silicon Macs will be unveiled late October, alongside a new iPad Pro and Apple TV 4K.

that would be very nice indeed!

Buy the computer on offer today, at the price you feel comfortable paying. Waiting for what might be on offer at some unspecified future time means losing the benefits you can gain today.

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Arg. I’m sorry. I think autocorrect extended that for me. I meant the Mac mini!

Thanks. Its hard to weigh up what might be in the months ahead, vs what I could get done right now on some solid, tried and tested hardware.

My CPU/GPU knowledge isnt very good. Does anyone have a sense of how well a Mac mini with the Core i7 and 16 GB ram would do with 4k video?

The current Mac mini is a nice machine. It just got refreshed in March (a small storage bump over the 2018 model) but will remain a solid machine for years to come. (I suspect that once Apple skims the majority of Apple Silicon sales over the next 1.5 years they’ll get around to marketing a bargain Mac Mini with an AS chip. But I wouldn’t expect to see it any time soon.)

If you intend to render a lot of video production it might be a slog because the mini uses unimpressive integrated graphics. If you have the time it’ll probably be fine, especially for student assignments. You can get a feel for what the mini does by Googling for video production posts on the 2018 mini, like these:

https://larryjordan.com/articles/configure-a-mac-mini-2018-for-video-editing/

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Great. Thanks. I feel like the mini is probably going to be the most value for money if I want the most power at the lowest price. If I look at the line up on apple.com, does it just make the most sense to go with the maxed out processor (the 3.2Ghz i7) and 16 GB RAM (thats how im getting $1,500 and thats perfect in the budget). Any sense in looking at the one with the i5 chip? and saving $200/using $200 elsewhere?

What video editing do you do? If you use something like Final Cut, it will (probably/hopefully) run fine on Apple Silicon as it’s an Apple Product. The WWDC2020 keynote made it look like the emulation would be fast even for 3rd party heavy-duty apps, but you can never be sure with those things.

Personally, I’m waiting for Apple Silicon so I can run Overcast on my mac. But that’s a rant for another day.

Ive been using Davinci resolve, and would like to not relearn anything. I imagine for now that might work better on the intel chip, but thats just me speculating with not much actual knowledge about this.
Also, to expand on what editing I do: typically 20 minute long, multi camera footage (3-4 cameras). Currently at 1080p but I would like the option of 4K in future.

I have the 2018 Mini, and I love it.

Just noting though that storage isn’t upgradeable down the road, whereas RAM is - although it’s more difficult than previously.

Factor that in when making your decision.

Personally, I’d put a refurb.me watch on the Apple refurbished store, and look for the possibility of getting a little bit more storage or a little bit more RAM for the same price as a new one. That’s exactly what I did, and basically I paid the same amount as I would’ve otherwise but got a terabyte of SSD instead of 512 GB. :slight_smile:

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Then again, new form factors/technologies have also often been first released on more premium models (e.g., retina MacBook Pro). I doubt the first batch of ASi will be within the $1500 budget.

I’d say, if you can, wait a few months to see what they announce. Chances are they will at least announce what’s coming by late October.

In 2006, Apple released Macbooks and Macbook Pros just 4 months apart. There isn’t any particular reason for them to slavishly follow that 14-yr-old schedule today.

My opinion:

I honestly think that it’ll be something like 1.5 to 2 years between the time that the first ARM-based Macs are in the hands of users and the long tail of “growing pains” will be resolved to the point that I’ll feel comfortable transitioning my main computer.

Unless you’re using (or willing to switch to) 100% Apple products, I’d avoid jumping on the first released new Macs, especially if you’re the sort to keep your computers for a longer time between upgrades.

If you can wait for a couple of years before upgrading then I’d wait, if not then I’d buy now. What I wouldn’t do is wait 6 months.

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A) Nobody who is leaking this stuff actually knows anything about Apple’s pricing.

Hardware leaks can happen because of supply chain issues.

Pricing doesn’t usually leak. Not saying never, just saying very rarely.

B) I really don’t expect Apple to lower their prices by any significant margin (i.e. more than what you’d see today on Amazon, etc).

Other than the iPad, can anyone remember Apple introducing anything at a price that was lower than expected?

C) I’d love to be proven wrong.

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As far as pricing goes, I think we can look at the iPad Pro + Magic Keyboard as an indicator of what a likely lower bound might be on new Macs. I can’t imagine that they’d sell an ARM based MacBook for significantly less than a similarly equipped iPad Pro.

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I could. Apple had three tiers of MacBooks until recently, just like they have three tiers of iPads (and four sizes).

$1,500 will give you something to go for, though video editing options will be limited on new devices.
If you need it now, don’t wait for Apple Silicon, which will likely sit in the entry tier.

Just for reference, do have a look at Luke Miani’s YouTube channel as well. He gives great 2nd hand buying advice with higher tier options as well. Most of these have years of life left in them and you will have better specs.

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