Nick Bodmer

Busy day.

Which Mac Desktop should I buy?

For the past few weeks, I’ve been debating between a Mac Mini with M2 Pro or a Mac Studio with M1 Max. I eventually decided on the M2 Pro with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. It felt like the right balance for me - I know 16GB has been enough on my M1 MacBook Air, and maxing out the CPU performance has been my only issue. However, 512GB of storage is more than enough for me now. I’ll add an external SSD to keep my entire iCloud Photo Library locally.

I’m confident this Mac Mini with M2 Pro will last me a couple of years, and if the M3 makes a big difference when it comes out, I can always look at the Mac Studio. But for now, this feels like the right decision!

I decided to buy the base Mac Mini with M2 Pro (16GB, 512GB), after waffling between a spec’d up version and a Mac Studio. Here’s my reasoning:

  • 16GB has been just fine on my M1 MBA
  • Maxing out the CPU has been the only issue I’ve had
  • I’m using less than 512TB currently, and switching to a desktop means I can very easily add a 2TB SSD. Finally, I can keep my entire iCloud photo library locally.

Now I’ll feel fine for the next year or two, and if the M3 with the process shrink makes a big difference, I can look at a Mac Studio or something.

When it comes to choosing the best computer for my needs, I recently decided to purchase an Apple Mac Mini with the M2 Pro processor (16GB, 512GB).

This was not an easy decision to make, as I had to consider my current computing needs as well as my future needs. The choice was ultimately between purchasing the specced-up version of the Mac Mini, or going for a Mac Studio. After a lot of thought, I decided on the Mac Mini. Here’s why:

Firstly, currently I own an M1 Macbook Air and with 16GB of RAM, I feel that I have enough memory to comfortably work with. While I have experienced some slowdowns and lags at times, it has been due to the processor, not the RAM.

Secondly, I currently only use 512 GB of storage, meaning that I do not need a bigger storage capacity as I do not store too much data. Once I switch to a desktop computer, I can easily add in a 2TB SSD, and this will be perfectly suitable for me. I love being able to keep my entire iCloud photo library stored locally.

Finally, I am confident that the Mac Mini M2 Pro will serve me well for the next couple of years. I believe that the M2 Pro is the perfect processor for my needs, and I do not need to worry about upgrading straight away. If in the future the Mac Mini M3 and its process shrink makes a difference, then I can look into buying a Mac Studio or something else.

All things considered, I am really happy with my decision to go for the Mac Mini M2 Pro. It has all the features I need and I am confident that it will provide me with the computing power I need for the foreseeable future. I am looking forward to seeing the amazing things I can do with the Mac Mini.

Photochromic Sunglasses: Generic vs Transitions XTRActive

I have been buying all my prescription glasses at for years, and about a year ago, I decided to try their “photochromatic” lenses. These are glasses that are clear indoors, but when you are outside, they darken automatically to become sunglasses.

Eyebuydirect offers multiple options for photochromic lens upgrades:

  • ‘Generic’ Photochromic - ~$36
  • Transitions Signature - ~$100
  • Transitions XTRActive: ~$140

My first pair was the generic photochromic lenses, and they worked really well. I had only two complaints: They did not get dark in the car (the UV-blocking glass of the car prevents it from changing), and they were slow to ‘transition’ back to clear when you walked indoors after being outside.

I broke the frame of those glasses and when reordering, decided to give the “Transitions XTRActive” a try. The eyebuydirect website says this about Transitions XTRActive:

Transitions® XTRActive® lenses deliver the best extra darkness and the best extra light protection indoors & outdoors. They’re clear indoors with a hint of protective tint and darken outdoors, even in the car. They also block 100% UVA/UVB and filter harmful blue light indoors & outdoors.

I was really excited to have them work in the car! However, real-life results haven’t been that impressive. They darken a bit in the car, but not to “full sunglasses” darkness. Also, they have a slight tint all the time. The description sort of points this out, but I didn’t understand that fully until I got them.

My recommendation, skip the Transitions branded stuff; the generic photochromic for $36 bucks is a great deal.