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2020 M1 Mac Mini for a Great Price!
#57959 02/17/21 06:12 PM
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The "base" model 2020 M1 Mac Mini is on sale at Costco for $600:

https://www.costco.com/CatalogSearch?dept=All&keyword=new+mac+mini

I am a member of Costco, and it sure is tempting. But my late 2018 Mac Mini is only 12 months old, and there are still some significant software issues with M1 Macs (specifically backup/cloning software). Still, definitely tempting!

Re: 2020 M1 Mac Mini for a Great Price!
MartyByrde #57961 02/17/21 11:51 PM
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That is a great price, but remember there is no upgrade for either the memory or storage in an M1 Mac as it is all on the fabric and that $600 model has only 8GB of RAM and 265GB storage which doesn't leave much breathing room.


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Re: 2020 M1 Mac Mini for a Great Price!
joemikeb #57963 02/18/21 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by joemikeb
That is a great price, but remember there is no upgrade for either the memory or storage in an M1 Mac as it is all on the fabric and that $600 model has only 8GB of RAM and 265GB storage which doesn't leave much breathing room.

For my purposes, it is easily enough. My 2018 Mac Mini has a 256 gig SSD and 8 gig of Ram, and it runs fast and smooth. Of course I make a concerted effort to kepp my machines lean, mean, and clean.

Re: 2020 M1 Mac Mini for a Great Price!
MartyByrde #57969 02/18/21 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MartyByrde
For my purposes, it is easily enough. My 2018 Mac Mini has a 256 gig SSD and 8 gig of Ram, and it runs fast and smooth. Of course I make a concerted effort to kepp my machines lean, mean, and clean.
Yeah I keep my Mac running clean and mean too. Normally I don't have more than fifteen or sixteen apps, utilities, etc., running at the same time so I have plenty of CPU cycles available for BOINC applications. 👨🏻‍🔬


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Re: 2020 M1 Mac Mini for a Great Price!
joemikeb #57970 02/18/21 06:31 PM
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This is interesting to hear and the answer to my observation may be the way in which the new M1 SOC Macs utilize memory. I am running Catalina on a late 2014 27" iMac with 16 GB of RAM. As I type this 9 GB of memory are in use with only 5 running apps showing in the Dock. However, Dropbox and the Music app are using just under 1 GB according to Activity Monitor (about 95% of CPU is idle). Could I get by with "only" 8 GB?


On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 27" iMacs, Macbook Air, macOS 10.15.x,; iPhones, iPods and iPads galore!
Re: 2020 M1 Mac Mini for a Great Price!
joemikeb #57972 02/18/21 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by joemikeb
Originally Posted by MartyByrde
For my purposes, it is easily enough. My 2018 Mac Mini has a 256 gig SSD and 8 gig of Ram, and it runs fast and smooth. Of course I make a concerted effort to kepp my machines lean, mean, and clean.
Yeah I keep my Mac running clean and mean too. Normally I don't have more than fifteen or sixteen apps, utilities, etc., running at the same time so I have plenty of CPU cycles available for BOINC applications. 👨🏻‍🔬

First, I run only 1 application for about 99% of my computer usage.

Secondly, on my late 2018 Mac Mini right now, I have 25 gig allocated for Tech Tool Pro's eDrive, and have almost 112 gig left out of the remaining 230 gig. For my MacBook Air, I even have more free space than that.

Last edited by MartyByrde; 02/18/21 08:38 PM.
Re: 2020 M1 Mac Mini for a Great Price!
Ira L #57973 02/18/21 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Ira L
This is interesting to hear and the answer to my observation may be the way in which the new M1 SOC Macs utilize memory. I am running Catalina on a late 2014 27" iMac with 16 GB of RAM. As I type this 9 GB of memory are in use with only 5 running apps showing in the Dock. However, Dropbox and the Music app are using just under 1 GB according to Activity Monitor (about 95% of CPU is idle). Could I get by with "only" 8 GB?
It all depends on what applications you use and what you do with them. With all of the stuff I am typically running Activity monitor typically shows Memory Pressure at around 20% with >7GB App memory, just over 2GB Wired, ~1GB Compressed, ~5.5GB in cached files, and <700MB in swap files. System Monitor indicates the four low speed/power Cores running between <10 and up to 50% each. The four high speed/power cores mostly zero with one or two occasionally peaking at 75 to 80%.

So yes, the average user would probably be fine with 8GB of memory, 256GB storage might also be okay UNLESS you are an app collector like me; or have a lot of pictures and/or tunes and eschew the use of iCloud and keep everything on the local drive at full resolution. (I only have 61GB free on a 512GB internal drive and virtually all of my tunes are on iCloud, I only keep "optimized" images locally, and my 250+GB database is on an external SSD.)


joemikeb • moderator
Re: 2020 M1 Mac Mini for a Great Price!
joemikeb #57974 02/18/21 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by joemikeb
Originally Posted by Ira L
This is interesting to hear and the answer to my observation may be the way in which the new M1 SOC Macs utilize memory. I am running Catalina on a late 2014 27" iMac with 16 GB of RAM. As I type this 9 GB of memory are in use with only 5 running apps showing in the Dock. However, Dropbox and the Music app are using just under 1 GB according to Activity Monitor (about 95% of CPU is idle). Could I get by with "only" 8 GB?
It all depends on what applications you use and what you do with them. With all of the stuff I am typically running Activity monitor typically shows Memory Pressure at around 20% with >7GB App memory, just over 2GB Wired, ~1GB Compressed, ~5.5GB in cached files, and <700MB in swap files. System Monitor indicates the four low speed/power Cores running between <10 and up to 50% each. The four high speed/power cores mostly zero with one or two occasionally peaking at 75 to 80%.

So yes, the average user would probably be fine with 8GB of memory, 256GB storage might also be okay UNLESS you are an app collector like me; or have a lot of pictures and/or tunes and eschew the use of iCloud and keep everything on the local drive at full resolution. (I only have 61GB free on a 512GB internal drive and virtually all of my tunes are on iCloud, I only keep "optimized" images locally, and my 250+GB database is on an external SSD.)

Myself, I do use only third party applications, but again, I typically am only running one application at a time (for example, right now I am only running Brave). For some smaller data files I need, they are on my Mini's internal SSD. But, for photos, "older" data files that I might need, movies, TV series, etc., I store them on external SSDs. That works really well for me.

The one area where things can get somewhat "tight" is memory. When I use Brave, I visit about 13 sites, including this one. Although I do it sequentially, one site that tends to "eat" memory is yahoo.com. The main reason for that is when I click to read a story there, most of them contain a good amount of graphics, and sometimes videos. Even when I leave yahoo, most of the used memory is not "given back", per se. So, I will frequently launch the excellent freeware app Memory Clean, and it will clean up a lot of "not given back" memory. That works fine for me.


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