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Wow! Already a year with my 2020 13” MacBook Pro! In some ways, it doesn’t seem that long. In others, it does.

What can I say? Has it lived up to my expectations, or hasn’t it? Yes and no. 

Yes

I think the best thing about this computer is the performance it offers when you’re not multitasking when apps are doing heavy processing. By far.

No

When I’m processing my files in Capture One and trying to get other work done, within a minute or two, the CPU will start to throttle down in performance and the fans will kick in.

But Yes

The thing is: it’s not my long-term workhorse.

I never intended this laptop to be my everyday workhorse. From the very beginning, I knew my new MacBook Pro would be a dedicated mobile station. Later, I would have an incredibly powerful desktop machine later.

It’s been a year. So what’s up?

Well, business has been slow. You know? 2020? Which for many reasons, still worked out for me. Basically, the move will get delayed year. It’s just business needs. And, the delay, is going to work out even better.

The Surprise - The Mac Pro Mini

During 2020, Apple came out with their first Apple Silicon-based Mac. The M1 chip. Basically, this chip installed in all the models, obliterated their Intel-based versions. A whole new level of computing has arrived. It will be one of those moments in history in technology. I’ve seen a few.

Moving forward and over a 2-year period, all Mac computers will have their CPUs migrated from Intel to Apple. Obviously. But there was something that came from all this that no one had really expected: Apple’s development of a Mac Pro Mini.

Mac Pro. Image: Apple

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People love the Mac Pro. I certainly do. Especially creatives. We’ve been wanting something like this for years. A super-powerful machine with expansion. Apple delivered. At a cost. Literally. It’s an expensive machine. If you’re making the money, it’s worth it. But money is money. Especially if you’re a small shop. Which most creatives are.

But to many people’s surprise, Apple said they were developing a smaller version of the Mac Pro that would be Apple Silicon-based!

A proposed image of the Mac Pro Mini with the Current Mac Pro. Image: 9to5Mac

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I like to think I’m one of the voices that Apple heard on mostly the 9to5Mac forums, about the need for a Mac that has the Mac Pro’s power but not the necessarily needed expansion slots. There have been some ideas what it would look like. Basically, look at the current Mac Pro and make it half as tall. Done.

Have we talked about the processor? Not only have the M1 based Macs obliterated their Intel-based counterparts, but the Mac Pro Mini will be getting processors with 2.5x – 5x the number of processing cores in them. 20 – 40 core processors! Even the lower-end version should be in the top 3 of best performing Macs. The 40-core version should obliterate anything else.

And best of all, this will come in a smaller and most likely, less-expensive piece of kit.

Hopefully!

It is supposed to be available in 2022. Probably announced in October/November of 2021. Which they’ve done with more expensive, corporate machines. So businesses can buy them early in the year and write the purchase off on taxes.

What If?

The Mac Pro Mini may not happen. Maybe it will be too expensive for its performance? Or simply, too expensive for me? Maybe.

Higher-end Macs are coming with higher-performing Apple Silicon. Even the base, that’s the base Mac mini, is almost 2x faster than MacBook Pro. And it’s relatively cheap. Apple will be coming out with a higher-end version soon. Then there is the rumored 30” iMac Pro. There will be plenty of options. They’ll each have their pros and cons. But first choice: Mac Pro Mini.

Proposed super Mac. Mini. Image: Cult of Mac

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Am I Happy with My MacBook Pro?

Absolutely! It’s been a great machine for its intended purpose. Processing will be enough until my desktop machines arrives in whatever form that takes. For a couple of years, the most I see using the MacBook Pro is editing event photography on the way back from the shoot and then, processing it on the desktop. Somewhere around 2023, I will probably get a new one to handle heavier loads. Especially where video is concerned. Probably even get the larger model.

The Future

We’re living in an incredible time for technology. Especially if you’re a creative. While even the most powerful Mac Pro would still take months if not longer to render a movie like Toy Story 1, the creative options you have are almost limitless. It’s really about how much someone wants to learn and work to get something done.

It’s up to you.

Ricardo Gomez Photography

Originally from San Francisco, Ricardo is now a New York-based photographer specializing in editorial and commercial photography.
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