Sensible monitor for new Mac mini M1

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Hi, I’m looking at taking the plunge with a new Mac mini M1 to update my 2015 iMac. Having been spoilt with my 5k Retina display for the last few years, I will need a decent but sensibly priced monitor. I’m looking for something that is at least 27” and hopefully around the 32” size.

In addition to PS and LR I edit 4K video on FCPX.

I’m a little out of touch with monitor shopping since the iMac, and I used to have a triple screen windows setup.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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LG Ultra wide, get a 10-bit. I would opt for the 34 inch model about £580, they do a 5k if you want but that one is quite pricey.

Something like this. It will be like having dual monitors without the bezel in the center.

 
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Hi, I’m looking at taking the plunge with a new Mac mini M1 to update my 2015 iMac. Having been spoilt with my 5k Retina display for the last few years, I will need a decent but sensibly priced monitor. I’m looking for something that is at least 27” and hopefully around the 32” size.

In addition to PS and LR I edit 4K video on FCPX.

I’m a little out of touch with monitor shopping since the iMac, and I used to have a triple screen windows setup.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
I will be keeping an eye on you Mr Gremlin as I am very keen to know how the mini handles Photoshop ;) if it is as good as they say then the price makes it a no brainer.
 
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gremlin16
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It’s early days, but the reviews (pinch of salt) are very promising. I ran a benchmark test on my iMac (late 2015 32gb ram) last night and when compared with the same tests on the mini, the figures were 3 times better! I’m sure a new iMac with M1 chips will fly, but I also think the price will be at least £2500.

So, £1100 for a specced up mini (16gb ram 512 SSD) £500 for a screen still gives a significant saving.
 
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Can you use the iMac as a monitor, temporarily?

You can do that with some iMacs.
 

nandbytes

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@gremlin16 - i am going to keep an eye on this thread. I basically have the same iMac as you and am looking to buy the mini. the 16GM RAM version of the mini is not shipping yet I think.

but I am wondering how we the topaz labs AI software will run on the new M1 with no discrete graphics....
 
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gremlin16
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@gremlin16 - i am going to keep an eye on this thread. I basically have the same iMac as you and am looking to buy the mini. the 16GM RAM version of the mini is not shipping yet I think.

but I am wondering how we the topaz labs AI software will run on the new M1 with no discrete graphics....
I can order the 8gb and have it delivered tomorrow, but as you point out, the 16gb is a good 2 week wait. I'm having the internal wrangle of 'do i need 16gb ram or would 8gb do the job?'

The benchmark tests are all done on the 8gb. I think my main quandary is that the M1 chip is a whole new way of doing things, and I am stuck in the old school thought of 'as much ram as you can afford' category.
 
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I can order the 8gb and have it delivered tomorrow, but as you point out, the 16gb is a good 2 week wait. I'm having the internal wrangle of 'do i need 16gb ram or would 8gb do the job?'

The benchmark tests are all done on the 8gb. I think my main quandary is that the M1 chip is a whole new way of doing things, and I am stuck in the old school thought of 'as much ram as you can afford' category.
I know someone who bought an 8G MBA and is sending it back and ordering a 16G.

I have 32G of RAM in my iMac, and it will eat up as much as it can get. More RAM is always better.
 

nandbytes

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not all RAM is the same.... you cannot compare the M1 mac's specs like for like with an intel machine.

you can see that from the ipads and iphones (p.s. not defending these as i greatly dislike them!) whose benchmarks match or beat many android devices with higher specs inc. ones with 2-3 times the RAM.

I wouldn't worry about 16GB RAM on M1 machines.
@gremlin16 if you would like to have more "in depth" conversation about M1 feel free to PM me ;)
 
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Is there no higher capacity than even 16gb - by today's standard it is reasonable...but by tomorrows it might not be.
Because the RAM is built in, not just onto the PCB, but into the Chip itself, they only offer max 16G as the current version. All these are basically entry level machines, I suspect in the next 12 months they will offer say the 15" MBP with 32G or the iMac with 64G.
 
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not all RAM is the same.... you cannot compare the M1 mac's specs like for like with an intel machine.

you can see that from the ipads and iphones (p.s. not defending these as i greatly dislike them!) whose benchmarks match or beat many android devices with higher specs inc. ones with 2-3 times the RAM.
No, but as someone who actually bought a M1 MBA and is sending it back...with these running. I wouldn't think adding LR or Video editing will help things much.

His comments are also

"
Switching between apps when I have a fair amount open (mail, 4-5 safari tabs, teams, Spotify, 2-3 excel spreadsheets, WhatsApp, finder) you notice some delay/pop-in when those apps and their content is pulled from swap back into memory. This can also cause animations (swiping between full screen apps) to be a little jerky. The pop in can also be a bit jarring.

The system although it has 8GB RAM, seems to leave 1-1.5GB free at all times, I guess it would be for GPU VRAM.

Check out this swap. The web app where I am doing some dev work is caning my memory."

So it seems out of the 8G, it reserves some always as spare. Meaning you don't really get 8G, why I would go for 16G. Regardless how ARM does it's RAM allocation and how it works, a large file is a large file when you come to edit.

There isn't a world where less RAM is better surely (besides on your wallet). We are comparing M1 with 8G vs M1 with 16G. It's Apples vs Apples, not Apples vs Oranges.

 
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Would definitely wait for the 16 gig version, even with the way MacOS uses efficient memory mapping, 8 gig would struggle IMHO

I have 32 gig in my machine and running PS and InDesign along with Mail, Safari and a few other apps it is using just over 11 gig. Having said that I have never seen my machine use a swap file.
Screenshot 2020-11-25 at 11.56.50 (2).png
 
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nandbytes

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so thing about swap memory in macs is they use them regardless of how much you have. there are youtube videos showing 160GB RAM macs pros still using swap memory even when its no where closing to filling up the RAM.

I think basically any long running tasks/apps that hasn't been used recently end up in swap memory.

I have a colleague who has 8GB version of MBP from day 1, uses for it for final cut pro and is really happy with it.

but i don't think anyone knows how the devs at apple have programmed the system for SWAP memory. just because someones laptop is using it heavily (M1 or intel) doesn't necessarily mean they need more RAM or everyone needs more RAM.
 
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nandbytes

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No, but as someone who actually bought a M1 MBA and is sending it back...with these running. I wouldn't think adding LR or Video editing will help things much.

His comments are also

"
Switching between apps when I have a fair amount open (mail, 4-5 safari tabs, teams, Spotify, 2-3 excel spreadsheets, WhatsApp, finder) you notice some delay/pop-in when those apps and their content is pulled from swap back into memory. This can also cause animations (swiping between full screen apps) to be a little jerky. The pop in can also be a bit jarring.

The system although it has 8GB RAM, seems to leave 1-1.5GB free at all times, I guess it would be for GPU VRAM.

Check out this swap. The web app where I am doing some dev work is caning my memory."

So it seems out of the 8G, it reserves some always as spare. Meaning you don't really get 8G, why I would go for 16G. Regardless how ARM does it's RAM allocation and how it works, a large file is a large file when you come to edit.

There isn't a world where less RAM is better surely (besides on your wallet). We are comparing M1 with 8G vs M1 with 16G. It's Apples vs Apples, not Apples vs Oranges.

I don't think any one is saying less RAM is better. just as more of anything in specs wise is better. I think the point was less RAM wasn't a problem for these new M1 macs.

I appreciate your friend has had problems, I also know people who don't have problems. I am guessing it all simply depends on how people use their computers which is never going to be the same. every one uses their computers in their own way and only way find out if a mac/PC works for you is to use it or over spec the hell out of it lol.

I am personally definitely going to wait for 16GB version at the minimum simply because i run a lot of things at the same time inc. a million chrome tabs.
in fact for me i am not even sure 16GB is enough. At the same time I do feel 16GB M1 macs will perform as well as 32GB intel ones. i won't know till i try it for myself.
 
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so thing about swap memory in macs is they use them regardless of how much you have. there are youtube videos showing 160GB RAM macs pros still using swap memory even when its no where closing to filling up the RAM.

I think basically any long running tasks/apps that hasn't been used recently end up in swap memory.

I have a colleague who has 8GB version from day 1, uses for it for final cut pro and is really happy with it.

but i don't think anyone knows how the devs at apple have programmed the system for SWAP memory. just because someones laptop is using it heavily (M1 or intel) doesn't necessarily mean they need more RAM or everyone needs more RAM.
But that's today. The trend ever since computers have been invented is that they use more memory every day. This was true back in 1982 and it is true in 2002 and it is true still in 2020. It might be fine 8G today, unless they stop software development or unless never upgrade your OS and software or you know you are not getting new cameras with higher pixels or shoot higher bitrate, or you know the max file size that you are working on will be fixed until you replace the computer. Basically freeze your workflow in this moment in time forever. The simple fact is, base on how computers need more RAM all the time since it was invented, more RAM is just a wiser choice, especially if you can choose to have it and when you can afford it.
 

nandbytes

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But that's today. The trend ever since computers have been invented is that they use more memory every day. This was true back in 1982 and it is true in 2002 and it is true still in 2020. It might be fine 8G today, unless they stop software development or unless never upgrade your OS and software or you know you are not getting new cameras with higher pixels or shoot higher bitrate, or you know the max file size that you are working on will be fixed until you replace the computer. Basically freeze your workflow in this moment in time forever. The simple fact is, base on how computers need more RAM all the time since it was invented, more RAM is just a wiser choice, especially if you can choose to have it and when you can afford it.
hmm.... was thinking about it and tbh the amount RAM required for my workload hasn't increased all that much in recent times.
if anything i could do with more vRAM.

I don't really need any more amount of RAM than I did 5-6 years ago tbh.
may be that's just me.
 

nandbytes

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Just happened to come across this youtube vid about 8 v 16 gig Arm Macs
LINKY
I've saw this yesterday and I like their tests. But it's not quite how I would use my computer though or any one would use their computer I think.
just tells me that I will be able to use lightroom without huge issues which is great. but i don't think any one can emulate how you or I use our computers other that ourselves lol.
 
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I've been thinking about getting one of these 4K Samsung monitors for my MacBook Pro. John Lewis are out of stock at the moment but Amazon has the u28E590D model for about the same price (£240-250).

 

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I've been thinking about getting one of these 4K Samsung monitors for my MacBook Pro. John Lewis are out of stock at the moment but Amazon has the u28E590D model for about the same price (£240-250).

Can't seem to find out if Samsung monitors support 10 bit colours....
 
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Be interested to see how you get on :)

I've always looked at the mini but always ended up with an iMac as getting a screen to match the 27 iMac is expensive....
 

nandbytes

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It states 1 billion colours so I think that is 10-bit. Normally they are 16.7million colours for 8 bit.
hmmm.... i did see that.
I also have this monitor which is 1.07 billion colours

actually seems better than my iMac which is really 8-bits (apple says "millions of colors")
but I am still not sure.... I did email samsung and got a reply similar to yours i.e. it has billion colours but didn't really confirm anything else.
 
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The Dell Ultrasharp range also look like a good choice but tend to be expensive. But this one looks good for the price and can also handle Rec709 video.


Like you, I'm looking around intending to upgrade, so I have no experience of the two monitors I've suggested. I'd be interested to see what you end up with, and how good you think it is.
 
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The Dell Ultrasharp range also look like a good choice but tend to be expensive. But this one looks good for the price and can also handle Rec709 video.


Like you, I'm looking around intending to upgrade, so I have no experience of the two monitors I've suggested. I'd be interested to see what you end up with, and how good you think it is.
On paper, between this Dell and the Samsung above, the Samsung wins because the Dell is an 8 Bit panel, more expensive, lower res.

However, the Samsung is a TN Panel.....so viewing angle is not great and generally TN panels are not great for editing.

Neither really to be honest. I have a 27" BenQ at work which is about £300 which is 10-bit.

The LG I linked to first is a 10-bit, IPS, size of a dual monitor desktop estate. It's more expensive but you are getting 2 panels in 1 really.
 
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nandbytes

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On paper, between this Dell and the Samsung above, the Samsung wins because the Dell is an 8 Bit panel, more expensive, lower res.

However, the Samsung is a TN Panel.....so viewing angle is not great and generally TN panels are not great for editing.

Neither really to be honest. I have a 17" BenQ at work which is about £300 which is 10-bit.

The LG I linked to first is a 10-bit, IPS, size of a dual monitor desktop estate. It's more expensive but you are getting 2 panels in 1 really.
I'd like a monitor like the one you linked first up but I have two monitors already (well the iMac and samsung I linked above). if i can get the iMac sold and the samsung goes back to where it belongs (i.e. work) then I can get something new and shiny :D
I also have two laptops... so i am kinda struggling for space on my desk :-/
 

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Oh dear, all this is making my head hurt :) - part of the reason i got the all in one iMac in the first place.

Next question is, will the 16gb eventually be in stock so i can order for next day like the 8gb or will it always be on a 3 week wait as it's made to order?

Some great suggestions for monitors so far, so thanks everyone for their input. Exciting times!
 

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Oh dear, all this is making my head hurt :) - part of the reason i got the all in one iMac in the first place.

Next question is, will the 16gb eventually be in stock so i can order for next day like the 8gb or will it always be on a 3 week wait as it's made to order?

Some great suggestions for monitors so far, so thanks everyone for their input. Exciting times!
iMac screen's are good but not special...the glossy finish can make judging black points and shadow recovery tricky...

You'll be best with a decent screen from LG, Dell, Benq, etc with a wide colour space (look for IPS panel, 99+% sRGB 98+% adobe RGB) and you'll be fine.

Size isn't everything. Chances are you are sat quite closely to it. 27inch seems pretty good size.
 
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nandbytes

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Oh dear, all this is making my head hurt :) - part of the reason i got the all in one iMac in the first place.

Next question is, will the 16gb eventually be in stock so i can order for next day like the 8gb or will it always be on a 3 week wait as it's made to order?

Some great suggestions for monitors so far, so thanks everyone for their input. Exciting times!
i don't think any one other than apple knows really.

I imagine it will be available like the other models with next day delivery. but I will wait and see what happens.
 
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It's great if Apple have found a way to get better performance at sensible cost. Just don't forget the old maxim that you should buy the Apple you want in 3 years time. These may seem fast now, but that's likely to be temporary.
 
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If you are getting a Mac Mini...get one of these


Put a SSD in the underside for storage. BAM! you have lots of storage, USB ports at the front for easy access, and SD card slot.
 
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It's great if Apple have found a way to get better performance at sensible cost. Just don't forget the old maxim that you should buy the Apple you want in 3 years time. These may seem fast now, but that's likely to be temporary.
The main reason, the biggest reason and the most attractive reason is actually I don't update my Apple machine often.

The 2018 MBP that I bought, it replaced my 2010 Base MBP with Core2Duo. I only use that to take on holiday/travel.

My day to day editing machine is this. I update my Apple machines at 8 years average....and climbing.

 
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