Upcoming New Purchase - Good idea or Bad idea? Chime in!

Hey MPU,

If you saw my other posts in the last day or so, my external monitor died out on me, and my Macbook Pro has a swollen battery. I talked to Apple, the earliest appointment is this Saturday, and then 3-5 business of fixing.

All this caused me to rethink my setup, I am considering switching to a Mac Mini, based on how my computer habits have changed. For example, I haven’t touched the Macbook Pro from clamshell mode (long enough that I didn’t notice the swollen battery). It’s always powered on and connected to the monitor. If I purchase the 16in Macbook Pro (or one of the newer macs) would I encounter this same problem again in the future?

This led to me to the Mac Mini scenario. I have been reading lots of skepticism surrounding the new ones and figured it would be safer to just buy the Intel one but get it with all the specs maxed out. ($2899).

So…good idea or bad idea???

caveat - in case someone suggests iMac / iMac Pro - I ruled it out because I would need to purchase an additional screen (or TV) for my PS4 / PS5 / Switch. I haven’t found anything that would allow me to run them to the iMac.

Apple did introduce a battery health management feature in 10.15.5 that might make these sorts of issues with an almost always plugged in laptop less likely.

It strikes me as a good idea. The only downside is that you’re giving up Touch ID o the MacBook, but if you’re always using it in clamshell, you aren’t getting that anyway.

Plus, the lifespan of the Mac mini is typically very long, so even if it’s no longer your main computer some day, it can have a useful life as some kind of server/media center/etc.


Are you using an external camera for zoom?

I don’t think the battery issue is the determining factor here.

The question is - are you likely to need a portable/laptop computer over the lifetime of this new device?

Sure your computer habits have changed, probably over the last year; I doubt any of us kept the same habits for work or home life in 2020. The question is- what are your needs for a mobile computer likely to be for the next 5 years or so? If this is your only computer, do you plan to ever go on vacation or otherwise travel and will you want access to your computer then?

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Go with the Mini (Intel based) but upgrade the RAM yourself. This will save quite a bit of money to use towards other purchases.

Besides the M1 Mini only comes in Silver… Space Gray is the only way to go!


Unless you need to run Windows, I would suggest the M1 mini. Or wait for version 2 of the Apple silicon mini. As one who has lived through a few “transitions” in over 25 years, now is NOT the time to buy the “old” tech - I never found it to work out. Your mileage may vary.

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Yes, I haven’t used the internal camera in a long time.

Good points to put. I don’t believe I would, because I have a 12.9 iPad Pro for my needs when I travel or go on vacation. Anything critical that I need (speaking engagements) are on the iPad Pro after I finish all my research.

Side note - it’s been in a clamshell mode since 2017 :slight_smile:

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The Mini is the way to fly. I have one of the 2018 Minis, and I love it. I went to the Apple refurb store - https://www.apple.com/shop/refurbished/mac/mac-mini - and waited a few days until something showed up that fit the specs I was looking for.

If you’re looking at doing a RAM upgrade yourself, as suggested above, I would suggest Googling for the procedure and making sure you’re comfortable with it. The RAM upgrade procedure on the current model is much more than “unscrew the lid, swap the sticks”. Still definitely do-able, but gauge your comfort zone. :slight_smile:

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IMO yes, you will eventually have the same problem. Battery powered devices are designed to run on battery. I’ve had to replace/repair numerous laptops for executives who only used them as desktops. YMMV

If you don’t need a mobile computer buy a mini.

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I’m in the camp of not buying the old hardware at the end of life. But then I also tend to keep computers and other gear in daily use much longer than most folks here seem to.

So my take on it is it’s a bad idea. I’d go ahead and go with the M1 Mini. Apple has a vested interest in making sure their silicon is funcitonal. Sure, I am also not an early adopter but at this time, when you need something now I’d say get the latest youc and max out the specs on it so it will last.

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Picked up a base model Mac Mini M1 last week. I took whatever was in stock (8GB, 512HD) just so I can get back on track with my work and assignments quickly. It’s been running since November 18…experiencing a few random things. I am not sure if its because its only 8GB of RAM, or if Big Sur is glitchy.

My first noticeable glitch-up, I only had these apps open (that I remember being open)


Text Input was very sluggish, I would write (either in a document or Message) and it would take a few seconds for the words to appear on the screen. It was most noticeable in Messages.

If anyone has comments, please feel free to add…I haven’t installed the Adobe Creative Suite or MS Office yet, trying to hold off as long as I can before putting more Intel-based apps.

Intel Apps

Universal Apps

App Not Installed Yet (waiting to see workflow needs or compatibility)

A Better Finder Attributes 6
Adobe Creative Suite (mainly Audition, Photoshop, Lightroom)
Alfred 4
Audio Hijack
Bartender 3
Gemini 2
HyperDock (need to find an alternative)
Keyboard Maestro
MediaHuman Audio Converter
NTFS for Mac
PDF Expert
Pocket City
The Unarchiver
YAC Reader

Logos is one of the least efficient and most CPU hungry apps I’ve ever owned. It has always struck me as being over-developed and due to its cross-platform nature, I think the end result is something hugely inefficient.

I try to get by using app.logos.com for as much as possible.

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