So I ordered a new MacBook Pro. Here are the specs and my thinking:
Over the last year, I’ve been using an M1 Mac mini and a 13″ MacBook Pro. Throughout that process I’ve learned a few things. First, with the crazy battery life of the M1 machine; it is really nice having a light, portable Mac. Second, the Mac mini is nice, but it would help me if my production machine was portable. What I mean by that is more about moving about the house than out in the world. With the big COVID shake-up hitting our house, I’ve lost my walled-off studio and instead am installed more centrally in the house. Overall, I prefer the change, but sometimes I need to go into a room to podcast or record screencasts. That really isn’t possible with the Mac mini, but a big MacBook Pro would be perfect for this. With the MacBook Pro, I can keep it connected to my big screen, but also disconnect and move with it.
Why 16″ and not 14″? I intend to keep the small M1 MacBook Pro for trips out of the house. This MacBook Pro I’m buying is expensive. I don’t want to be banging it up on the road unless I have a real good reason to take it with me. For non-production tasks, the M1 is perfect, light, and gets crazy battery life. So since I have a light machine for the road, why not the big boy for home? Also, I like big screens.
M1 Pro, not M1 Max
I’ve been getting plenty of production out of the M1. Doubling that will make things even better for me. However, quadrupling it with the M1 Max seemed like overkill for my needs and my budget. I got the stock M1 Pro processor count: 10 cores, 16 graphics cores. For what I make, this computer is going to scream.
Memory – 32 Gigabytes
I continue to believe that it is hard to get more bang for your buck than by adding memory. With modern Macs, that decision only happens at the time of original purchase. Memory makes everything run better and faster. That being said, if the M1 Pro had the option to go to 64 Gigabytes (it does not), I still probably would have stopped at 32.
Storage – 4 Terabytes
Yup, you read that right. This was the option where I spent the most money. My current data load is right at 2 Terabytes. Moreover, I continue to add more big files and media as I generate videos for MacSparky and the DLR Field Guide. I intend to ramp both of those up even more over the next year. I’m tired of shuffling storage between internal and external drives and decided this was a solvable problem if I’d just throw (a lot of) money at it. So I did. As I spend the next several years filling up 4TB, I’ll try not to think about how much it cost.
Color – Silver
Because I’m sick of space gray.
Using the Apple Trade In Program
A few days before the Apple event, I took my M1 Mac mini, an aging iMac, and a few other bits of Apple gear in the Apple Store. I sold it all back to Apple for about $2,000 in Apple Store gift cards. I could have made more selling the hardware myself, but the whole process with Apple only took 20 minutes and I don’t have to worry about hearing back from some crazy buyer. Either way, I got rid of the extra hardware and was able to get my new MacBook Pro for $2,000 less. The only hang-up was that there was a problem with the Apple Online Store at launch. It couldn’t accept gift cards for the first few hours, setting back my ship date. I tell the entire story on this week’s episode of MPU dropping later today (or tomorrow).
Anyway, that’s the specs for my next Mac.