M1 Mac mini usurps Mac Pro and tops MBP in super-widescreen rig [Setups]

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A Mac mini usurped a 16-inch MacBook Pro in this super-widescreen setup.
A Mac mini usurped a 16-inch MacBook Pro in this super-widescreen setup.
Photo: OSJdesigns@Reddit

A lot of folks eagerly await new MacBook Pro models, preferably with updated M1 chips. You know, the ones not introduced at WWDC as predicted? In the meantime, plenty of people are snapping up the affordable and reportedly fabulous M1 Mac mini. We’ve seen it over and over again in our far-flung travels among Setups online.

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While a fair number of Intel-powered MacBook Pros are being shown the door, Redditor OJSdesigns recently unloaded a 16-core 2019 Mac Pro in favor of an M1 Mac mini. So far it’s working out well, judging by the gushing praise in his post.

M1 Mac mini replaces Mac Pro, outdoes MacBook Pro

Admittedly, he sold the Mac Pro for financial reasons, he said. And he used the proceeds to grab not just an M1 Mac mini, but a PC, too. When (and if) Apple finally puts an M1 chip in a Mac Pro, he’ll get that as well.

“I sold it and bought a M1 Mac Mini, as well as upgrading to a PC for rendering,” he said. “It has a 16 core processor as well as a RTX3090. I will more than likely upgrade to the next Mac Pro when Apple Silicon is introduced, as it will help with 3D work and rendering.”

In the meantime, he’s still got a 2015 MacBook Pro in his setup. He can’t help but contrast the older machine’s slower, more labored performance with the mini’s spritely vibe.

“The fans even go off when I’m booting [the MBP] up, but the Mac Mini is just silent,” he said, commisserating with another recent MPB seller. “I love it so much.”

He really couldn’t say enough about the mini’s silence relative to other machines.

“By far one of my favorite things about it is how quiet it is. So I’ve got two hard drives under the desk for my product shots and one for all copies of my final videos and those actually make more noise then the Mac mini when editing haha,” he enthused.

M1 Mac mini handles the ultrawide display

OJSdesigns said he had trouble using his MacBook Pro with his magnificent new display. It’s an LG 49WL95C Curved Ultrawide IPS Monitor with a whopping 5120 x 1440 pixel resolution. The MPB couldn’t harness those pixels via HDMI cable. After some fiddling, the mini is working well, though.

“I saw that Apple released some statement saying they were working on the problem with some ultrawides,” he said. “But I’ve only had an issue with USB-C so I’m just using [DisplayPort] and it works perfectly (I’m using the CalDigit TS3 if that helps).”

Premium sound

The super-wide monitor also packs two 10-watt speakers. Not that he cares. For real sound, he’s got Yamaha HS8 powered studio monitors to go along with his Mackie audio interface and Rode mic setup.

He recently acquired the Yamahas to replace a set of JBL 104 monitors. The HS8s “just win hands down,” he said. An audiphile commenter urged him to put them on speaker stands a little bit behind the desk, tilted forward.

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