Replacement for an aging Mac Pro?

As my 2012 Mac Pro (Mojave) seems to be aging a bit, I woke up to a NOT gray screen Wednesday morning, force quit, reboot, updated some outdated Apps, rebooted, watched the Console for a while, but no nasties came up… So I did a CCC clone of the 2Tb SSD to the two 2Tb spinners and it’s been OK since.

But it has me looking at replacements again, current/rumored Mac Pros are way too costly for me. Was looking at the Sudio, but now the mini may be where I need to look.

Setting one up with a 2Tb SSD & 32Gb RAM, gets me to $2,299 +tx +AppleCare+, real quick, and there does not seem to be any way to go for lesser SSD or RAM, upgrade later… So a total closer to $2600…

Need to hit the Lottery I guess,

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I bought a MacBook Pro 13" with the M1 chip and I love it. Here’s a link to the new one with the M2 chip. Would you consider one of these?


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I upgraded from the M1 to the M2 and didn’t not notice any difference in practical use, even knowing the clock speed was faster. When loading applications, accessing storage and so on, all the factors combined seem to leave it undistinguished from my excellent M1 experience.

Is anyone here from the Apple Users Group community as far back as 2004 at TMF? I have recently added the original Apple board to Shrewd’m here, with the earlier name the TMF used back in 2004 (Apple Users Group):

— Manlobbi


For investing topics there is also the Apple board itself:

— Manlobbi

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No, I’m not looking for a laptop, I have had an 11" MBA quite a while, only use it for travel…Also a 2012 MBP 13", but it needs a battery, more RAM, and larger SSD, and while it runs Catalina, I’m not too interested in pumping money into another 10 year old machine. GD used it through college, I wiped it, but am more interested in a desktop replacement, using the 32" Dell monitor already in use… And I’m spoiled with the 32Gb Ram, 2Tb drives in my current Mac Pro… Just getting concerned, as it ages… Can’t run the current Office, MacDraft, PhotoShop…

My speed needs aren’t so vital, less video than I thought I’d be playing with, and likely the M1 would be fine, other than trying to jump ahead so I can keep the various software back up to date… Mostly looking to keep th RAM pumped up, just in case, and the drives lare enough to clone my current Tb or so of ‘stuff’ over with space to spare… Current Mac Pro has a 2 Tb SSD plus 3 other 2 Tb spinners for clones and Time Machine… those all will have to go into an external case it seems, no matter where I end up…


I’m not sure why you would not consider a laptop. Especially if you already have a Dell monitor! My setup is just like a desktop, but it’s mobile too!.

If you purchase a wireless mouse and keyboard from Apple, and a nice little laptop stand from Amazon, you’ll have essentially a desktop, with dual monitors, a full keyboard and mouse, and can unplug the laptop as needed and travel with it. You essentially have the best of both worlds.

Here’s a pic of my setup.



Except that my desk is covered in junk, your setup and mine are about the same.

I’m a Windows guy. For decades I assembled my PCs from parts… case, power supply, motherboard, etc. When my last one was getting kind of old a couple of years ago I bought a laptop to replace it. When I’m home it makes no difference. When I’m away I just pack it and the wireless mouse, and have all the software and browser configuration I use every day.

One point about my configuration that may not apply to the Apple world. I have a Kensington Dock. A single USB-C cable connects it to the laptop. That is the only connection to the laptop. The dock provides power over that cable. The dock connects to my monitor, ethernet, laser printer, label printer, backup drive, speakers and wired keyboard. All over that single cable, which blows my mind. When I travel I unplug that one cable. When I get home I plug in that one cable.


Ha! So am I! Look closely at the picture I posted and you will notice that I am also running Windows on this Mac (second window behind my browser). Love Parallels VM software that allows me to have the best of both worlds - Mac for stuff that runs and looks great on a Mac (and across the entire Apple environment) and Windows for Quicken (which has a Mac version, but it’s light years behind the Windows version).


Just never cared for them, other than travel, and even then, find it not used much by either of us, other than local research in our wanderings… As I noted, I’ve had a variety of laptops from PCs at work to Mac Books for myself or GKs for their schoolwork. PCs I put up with at work, but once retired, turned it all in or recycled them all, last one, literally bounced on the garage floor on its way out, after pulling it’s HD…

My Apple history goes back to the '70s, Apple ]]+, //e, //c, ///, and a variety of Macs from an earluy Fat Mac to the current Mac Pro (2012)… We had a local Mac user Group, but before that the Apple Core down in SF, over many years the need for support faded, as did those groups, as well as the old BMUG, in Berkeley, CA & Boston, MA… Our local NCMUG had over 600 members at one tome, local meetings, booths at the SF MacWorld Expo, as well as local weekend events from time to time, 2 or 3 local Apple Dealers, now they’ve all faded away as the need slid, the Apple Stores opened…

My PC experiences, from DOS on to WinNT were never comparable. Malware, virus BS, get to work, have a headache, Malware, registration messed up, lose a day, or most of it sorting it out, our IT guy/gal, 100 miles away, busy trying to keep others going, too… Old klutsy legacy software, mandated out of HQ, in the field we were pretty rough on the hardware that wasn’t really all that great, yet they paid dearly, I think the last laptop, finally solid was an LG S series, I turned that back in '02 as I retired… Mcaffee likley caused more headaches than protected us, Norton wasn’t allowed, but about the same, even their Mac versions were carp… So, no, no Win anything, ever again, the last PC here was a Sony Vaio, also malware susceptible, spent more time keeping it cleaned up than using, was actually for my DW’s use of Office, we kept it… Once she retired it was outta here… DW’s 27" iMac is holding up well…

Anyway, nop, no PCs, no laptops other than the collected older Apple ones… Still an Apple //e and a variety of other Apple stuff in the garage, museum donations, maybe one day…

Current quest is for the desktop Mac Pro (2012) replacement… Mac Mini, plus external HD case seems to be the winner… Mobility is handled by our iPhones, MB Air…

Have zero interest, need for any Win stuff…



I would get a 512 GB - 1 TB M2 Pro Mac Mini with an external 1-2 TB Sandisk Extreme portable SSD drive.

I was a Windows guy and poweruser for 30 years. I think Windows is on par with MacOS nowadays, and that includes malware protection. However, I just love my M2 MBA and the Apple ecosystem, so I completely understand where OP is coming from. Unless one builds one’s own PC (been there done that), most desktop PCs cut corners.


Problem, is, mine, of course, is the current 2 Tb OWC SSD main boot drive has over 1 Tb in use already, and, I seem to slowly be adding to it… And unlike what I thought was the culprit, photos, documents are the biggest storage space eater. Hence the nudge to go for the 2 Tb SSD in the replacement… Looking at Documents, I see a couple Gb of duplicated movie files, but the rest are really collections of projects, over many years… Backed up on DVDs, no doubt, but few even have DVD RW drives any more… I could cut back on RAM, but 32Gb seems to be working…

I think I can find an external case, keep the current HDs, SSD or at least a couple for cloned & TM backup… Still means a special order, not an off the shelf mini…

As a WeCo installer/Tech/system analyst, I’ve assembled powered, tested, turned over to customers man, many systems in my near 40 years, tinkered a bit in the early 6502 Apple’s, interesting att he time, still delve into the Console, Terminal from time to time, see what’s going on, but was never interested in DOS/Win more than needed to keep mine, DWs going at the time… Work systems in Ess, were Unix, so poked in there a bit, but with customer services involved, no playtime. Did have a PDP-8 on the job at times, used for testing our hardware, even an Apple, an HP portable for some testing, but they were only tools… Just really never had any interest in them for my own interests…

Still working, this 2012 Mac Pro, occasional warning signs, latest a kernel panic, tho, rather be able to move on up to the latest OS, applications… Office 365 is blocked unil I get past Mojave, but is on DW’a iMac… Don’t really need it on the MacBook Air…

Coffee, need Coffee, GO KC!


Screen Shot 2023-02-12 at 10.11.31 AM

How bout them Chiefs!
and love that coffee too…doc


And lately I’m getting warnings from xfinity that my email client (Office 365’s Outlook) doesn’t meet their soon to be applied upgrades… I am way behind on Office updates as I’m stuck at Mojave… So I need to decide on which mac Mini I am going to actually BUY!

The Non-Pro model has RAM limits of 24Gb, with a 2Tb SSD, at $1899,
The Pro, if I drop to 16Gb RAM, 2Tb SSD, adds up to $1999, but 32Gb tacks on another $400… Quite a difference…

## Memory

M2 Pro includes superfast unified memory, which is more efficient than traditional RAM. This single pool of high-performance memory allows apps to quickly share data between the CPU, GPU, and Neural Engine. This means you can do more with unified memory than you could with the same amount of traditional RAM.

Your Mac mini comes standard with 16GB of memory — more than enough for the things you do every day and for running multiple applications at once. If you regularly do graphics-intensive tasks, like editing or rendering 4K video, you can choose 32GB. The more unified memory you choose, the more apps you can run simultaneously with a higher rate of performance.

Adding AppleCare+, Tax…

A Coin flip… Aghhhh…

I purchased a 14" Macbook M1 pro with 16GB of RAM (to upgrade from my 16" 2012 Macbook Pro Retina with an intel i7). I was very leery of limiting myself to just 16GB, but it’s been half a year now with no issues at all. The machine runs speedy fast, and I keep 30-40 tabs open at all times in Safari, and 15-20 tabs open at all times in Chrome. I run the Office suite, mostly Excel all the time, and various other apps periodically. The thing runs like a champ.

I did add AppleCare+, more for the improved support than for worrying that something may break. These things are very well designed and appear to be quite durable.


I looked at laptops, but I’m paying a lot for the screen & keyboard, don’t really need that, may have to borrow a 2nd monitor for the switchover… I just donated a couple Sony 19" flat screens, guess I should have saved one, maybe friend/relative has one for me… So still a tossup… Negotiating with my CFO…

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I wasn’t suggesting buying a laptop. Didn’t we discuss that a few weeks ago here?

I was saying that the M1 pro with 16GB RAM appears to be way more than sufficient for “normal” use of the computer for people like us. If you’re a heavy-duty gamer or a video editor, perhaps that is not the case, and you need more power/RAM.

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No Problem, just ruminating some more, M1/M2, 16/24/32 Gb, I did find a 4 slot SAT external case So I can move my collection of 2Tb drives out of the old Mac Pro, continue to use those as clones or workspace in case I get ambitious with things… Still haven’t pulled the trigger…

I have an old Macbbook Pro here I could get by with, but it needs RAM, battery, not sure what I’m going to do with it, our eldest granddaughter used it through college and beyond, but it need help…

I’m curious what you do with your Mac that needs so much memory. Do you do a lot of video editing? You can use Activity Monitor to track your memory usage as you go about your most memory intensive tasks.

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May not ‘need’ all the memory, but over the years, I’ve found that compters like to have the extra RAM to stay happy… And I know that these Mac Mini’s are not upgradabe at a later date if the need comes along, video editing, photoshop or other photo or video editor. My old 2012 Mac Pro has 32Gb, Activity NMonitor, with no real work going on, shows 21Gb in use, by the various applications I leave open… So I lean towards continuing looking at that 32Gb as where I’d like to be. However, with the newer processors, better RAM use, it may not matter that much in the later Mac OS’s…

Nothing particularly intensive at the moment. I just hate to be limited if I don’t have to be…

Still not sure what I’ll do with the elderly Mac Pro… It is a beast, it sets on a stand to the left of my desk, the stand brings it, with a 1/4" Plexiglas top to the same level as my desk top, so more space to lose paperwork, stuff, in… Might just leave it there, but powered down…

So a +/- $400 choice, maybe go less Ram, use that money for the HD enclosure, other stuff, or go all out for the max… So, still ruminating…

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