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New Mac Mini - good enough?


Oliver Daniel
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I agree with the above sentiments about getting one and trying it out.

In terms of RAM and Apple vs PC, I've found that Apple handles RAM better than PCs, but it all falls apart if you run out of space on the SSD, so I'd suggest finding some SSD benchmarks if they're around yet, and buying the largest one that has good speeds.  I haven't kept up with the tech, but it used to be that there was a sweet spot in size where below and above that size the performance suffered.

I recently bought a new 13" MBP but seriously considered the Mac Mini as you sure get a lot of performance for your money compared to other Macs.

One thing I've wondered with the benchmarks is the T2 chip, which supposedly accelerates encoding and decoding, but it doesn't appear in things like the Activity Monitor, and I struggled to find the detail about which types of files it worked with.  For example, maybe it works with h265, but is that only 420 or 422, and what about 10-bit, etc etc.

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4 minutes ago, kye said:

I agree with the above sentiments about getting one and trying it out.

In terms of RAM and Apple vs PC, I've found that Apple handles RAM better than PCs, but it all falls apart if you run out of space on the SSD, so I'd suggest finding some SSD benchmarks if they're around yet, and buying the largest one that has good speeds.  I haven't kept up with the tech, but it used to be that there was a sweet spot in size where below and above that size the performance suffered.

I recently bought a new 13" MBP but seriously considered the Mac Mini as you sure get a lot of performance for your money compared to other Macs.

One thing I've wondered with the benchmarks is the T2 chip, which supposedly accelerates encoding and decoding, but it doesn't appear in things like the Activity Monitor, and I struggled to find the detail about which types of files it worked with.  For example, maybe it works with h265, but is that only 420 or 422, and what about 10-bit, etc etc.

It works fine with HEVC 4:2:2 10-bit (and other variants too) as a lot of iPad users have reported being able to easily play back footage in that format.

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46 minutes ago, TheBoogieKnight said:

It works fine with HEVC 4:2:2 10-bit (and other variants too) as a lot of iPad users have reported being able to easily play back footage in that format.

That’s actually a big misconception since 10bit 422 footage was actually transcoded on the iPad Pro when importing it to the app just until today, when Lumafusion 2.4 came out, with native support of 10bit h265 footage.

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At $700-800 I would just try the Mac Mini to see if it works for you.

From everything I have seen so far that these are absolutely awesome as editing machines. I would max out the RAM for sure though.

The RAM is shared with the GPU, which explains the OK performance in games and other GPU heavy tasks. However, when it comes to editing you have to think of it differently now as there is dedicated hardware on chip that is doing the heavy lifting. The GPU and CPU essential do nothing.

I am still waiting for a real world test with R5 footage before I buy MBP. Only having 16GB RAM worries me, but if it can handle decent sized 4K projects with a sprinkle of 8K footage then I’m all in.

I think the harder thing is when they finally release 16in MBP with M1X or M2 and I get that itch to upgrade even though its overkill...

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If anyone is using Resolve and looking at the new Macs, this shows very good results:

Note that there's a special download link to the new version for the M1 Macs.

TLDR: the cheapest Mac mini plays 4 x 4K files simultaneously with 2 nodes of grading on each clip.

 

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30 minutes ago, kye said:

If anyone is using Resolve and looking at the new Macs, this shows very good results:

Note that there's a special download link to the new version for the M1 Macs.

TLDR: the cheapest Mac mini plays 4 x 4K files simultaneously with 2 nodes of grading on each clip.

 

h264 8bit on what it seems a HD timeline.....
 

Any video showing 4k 265 10bit 4:2:2 on a 4k dci with a 2-3 nodes with and without NR?

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On 11/17/2020 at 1:40 PM, Oliver Daniel said:

I use FCP and have done for 13 years. I'm not using a PC, ever. Sorry. 

Ok perfect ... But I would consider the Black Magic Design ecosystem, made up of cameras \ codecs \ editing software ...

at least for the future ... that is, bear in mind that you may one day have to move to Da Vinci ...

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41 minutes ago, maxmizer said:

Ok perfect ... But I would consider the Black Magic Design ecosystem, made up of cameras \ codecs \ editing software ...

at least for the future ... that is, bear in mind that you may one day have to move to Da Vinci ...

Thanks for the suggestion but it's not happening unless FCP is deleted off the planet and all my cameras are set on fire. 

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10 minutes ago, Oliver Daniel said:

Thanks for the suggestion but it's not happening unless FCP is deleted off the planet and all my cameras are set on fire. 

Dear Friend, only the future has the answer ... are you afraid of the future?
Think once Indesign and Quarkxexpress was only on Mac
And going to the print shop was painful if you didn't have a Mac
Now I rarely see Mac for graphics and dtp considered that runs all
on a trivial Win PC ... Of course some nostalgic ....

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Since the price (16 giga versions not yet available) is not a trivial thing:
Mac mini M1 with 16 gb ram and 512 gb disk will cost more than 1000 dollars (in Italy 1300 euros) ...
Mac book pro M1 with 16 gb and 512 gb of disk will cost more than 1500 dollars (in Italy 1800 euros) ...
More or less ... a lot of money for what he does
For less than 1000 dollars I mount I9, 32gb ram, gtx 1080, 1terra ssd ..

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4 hours ago, maxmizer said:

Since the price (16 giga versions not yet available) is not a trivial thing:
Mac mini M1 with 16 gb ram and 512 gb disk will cost more than 1000 dollars (in Italy 1300 euros) ...
Mac book pro M1 with 16 gb and 512 gb of disk will cost more than 1500 dollars (in Italy 1800 euros) ...
More or less ... a lot of money for what he does
For less than 1000 dollars I mount I9, 32gb ram, gtx 1080, 1terra ssd ..

I'm fine with Mac, I have no problems with it. I have a whole business ecosystem around it. All the apps I've bought are Mac. 

I've used FCP for 13 years. I'm happy with it and making platform changes isn't a priority whatsoever. 

I also don't like Windows OS. I get no pleasure using it. 

Sorry to disappoint you. 

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8 hours ago, maxmizer said:

Since the price (16 giga versions not yet available) is not a trivial thing:
Mac mini M1 with 16 gb ram and 512 gb disk will cost more than 1000 dollars (in Italy 1300 euros) ...
Mac book pro M1 with 16 gb and 512 gb of disk will cost more than 1500 dollars (in Italy 1800 euros) ...
More or less ... a lot of money for what he does
For less than 1000 dollars I mount I9, 32gb ram, gtx 1080, 1terra ssd ..

These priorities comes down to where in your career you are. For someone just starting out, it can make sense to choose a system based on cost and to optimize hardware to save cost. For someone in the height of their career, the frustration of using an unfamiliar system or having to wait for h265 to transcode might be much higher than the cost of the hardware their using.

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3 minutes ago, UncleBobsPhotography said:

These priorities comes down to where in your career you are. For someone just starting out, it can make sense to choose a system based on cost and to optimize hardware to save cost. For someone in the height of their career, the frustration of using an unfamiliar system or having to wait for h265 to transcode might be much higher than the cost of the hardware their using.

True. But the base Mini is $700, $900 if you bump it to 16gb ram. 2TB USB-c SSD's are around $200, no need to get a bigger internal drive. I edit from a Sandisk Extreme and a Samsung T5. 

Chris

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To further add to the Mac v PC conversation, I think people underestimate the fact that film-making is a creative pursuit focusing on a visual and auditory experience.

Every creative pursuit requires that the creator be comfortable to create, which is a function of building an environment that suits the tastes and preferences of the creator.  The fact that film-making is a visual and auditory craft means that the kind of creators that it attracts are people that care about visual and auditory aesthetics, so it makes sense that the visual and auditory experience of the creative environment will directly impact the quality and quantity of the creative work, and how good the creative process is to experience for the creator.

Considering that video editing is done on computers, this directly maps to the choice of a computer.

Only considering the price that you pay for every million floating point operations per second is a valid perspective if it is your perspective.  Others have their own perspectives, and they will always be different, either subtly or radically, and that is part of the beauty of people and creativity.  I would hate it if we were all the same and every movie or TV show I watched was created the way that I would have created it - how dull and predictable such a thing would be.

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2 hours ago, Oliver Daniel said:

F**k it. These H265 files are a nightmare. 

Got the top spec Mac Mini with the LG Ultrafine 5k. 

I have just done the same. Have been using the same decent spec imac for the last 6 years and been happy with it but since h265 arrived I have been generating a lot of proxies!

I only use FCPX and Lightroom so hoping for big performance gains. Bit weird to think of a Mac Mini as an upgrade. 

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59 minutes ago, Fairkid said:

I have just done the same. Have been using the same decent spec imac for the last 6 years and been happy with it but since h265 arrived I have been generating a lot of proxies!

I only use FCPX and Lightroom so hoping for big performance gains. Bit weird to think of a Mac Mini as an upgrade. 

Congrats. 

Yes I felt the same. I had my eye on the new iMac boasted up to the max - but in a strange turn of events I end up with a Mac Mini. 

I only ever use FCP, sometimes Lightroom and Photoshop. Don’t use anything else. 

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5 hours ago, Oliver Daniel said:

F**k it. These H265 files are a nightmare. 

Got the top spec Mac Mini with the LG Ultrafine 5k. 

That seems like the sensible option to me.

It's a standard hardware configuration and makes the setup 100% Apple, which bodes well for optimisation and support in future updates and FCPX optimisations.

Keep us informed about performance when you get it all setup 🙂 

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