Purchase recommendation/advice-upgrading MacMini

Hi. I’m new to the forum but have been listening to MPU for several years. I would appreciate any advice and/or recommendations.

I currently have a late 2012 MacMini that is showing its age. I have upgraded the ram and added an SSD. The MacMinis primary use is a physical location for my very large Photos library. The Mini is in a home office. I use a PC when working from home and I use that display with the Mini when I need to use the mini.

My main computer is a 2018 MacBook Pro that I take to work every day when I’m in the office.

When pricing out a MacMini it seem cost prohibitive but the time I add a 4tb or even 8tb hard drive. I’m not sure if I should get a mini with a 2tb and keep the photos library on an external ssd.

I’m not opposed to an iMac with an external ssd. I think I would use the Mac in home office if I had a dedicated display.

Finally if I just forgo the mini or iMac and upgrade my MacBook Pro which is what I use the most what is the best way to manage the photos library? I currently use iCloud Photos. My wife and I have iPhones and she has a Mac book as well. Ideally I would like both of us that have access to the library.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

1 Like

Do you need the library offline?

@Bmd, I also have a 2012 Mac Mini i9 that I am considering upgrading. I only use it as a caching server and a file server where I have Apple Photos set to download all originals so I at least have a local copy that I can back up to Backblaze. I use an 8 TB external spinning drive and a 4 TB external SSD but will eventually go all SSD. Since I only use the mini for storage, I have no display connected to it but use a Macbook to screenshare over the network. That’s been enough to manage it over the last several years but it is easier to have a dedicated display in my opinion.

As for upgrading, I am thinking about the Mac Mini M2 8GB/512GB. I will still attach external storage since I can get an 8TB SSD for under $350 now. However, I’m still on the fence since my current mini is still working fine and use a MacBook Pro as my primary machine.

I’ve been looking for a shared photo library solution for years. I am looking at the Apple Shared Photo Library solution and Mylio but haven’t had time to fully explore either option extensively.