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New setup: Mac Mini vs. iMac /iMac Pro

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New setup: Mac Mini vs. iMac /iMac Pro

Postby rikki rivett » Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:47 am

I want to put together a home setup where I can work on studio projects, in case of the need to quarantine, and also to enable more time around the family.

My studio rig is a 2010 MacPro 2x2.4 Ghz, 48GB RAM, 1TB SSD and 4/4/8TB SATA drives. Generally works well though I do max it out when using a lot of plugins, and also running Omnisphere-which is on a SATA drive, not the SSD.

I was looking at a MacMini but my IT Tech recommends an iMac as being the better option, cost-wise. My main concern is cooling/fan noise and data storage/connectivity. The iMacs only go up to 16GB RAM and I need more, so it’d have to be an iMac Pro, and they seem really expensive.

The 10GB ethernet is very tempting too. My studio RAID system NAS/QNAP (Raid 6 array with a redundant spare) which carries all our projects from over 20 years plus all kinds of sound libraries, has 24TB, and with the relatively low cost of big harddrives drives it almost could be worth duplicating it at home.

Any thoughts comparing iMacs/iMacPro/Mac Mini?

Thanks :-)

RR
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Re: New setup: Mac Mini vs. iMac /iMac Pro

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:05 pm

I have an iMac Pro. Yes, they are expensive, but it was a birthday present to myself when I was a bit flush with cash, plus you can save a good few hundred buying Apple refurb.

At the time I bought it I might well have been tempted by the new Mini except it hadn't been released yet. It looks a nice beast and would have been a simple slot in for my previous box, a 2012 Mini which had died hence the replacement.

So the iMac Pro is indeed a lovely machine, overspecified (probably grossly so) for my usage and dead quiet when powered up, but there's a certain comfort in knowing you're never going to run out of cycles.

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Re: New setup: Mac Mini vs. iMac /iMac Pro

Postby desmond » Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:05 pm

Fan noise is likely a problem with iMacs if you're working the CPU hard. There's not really enough cooling, and the fans are up and in your face - you can't really get away from them.

The iMac Pro is much much better in this regard, but is obviously priced at a premium.

At least you can position a Mac Mini further away and help keep fan noise away from you..
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Re: New setup: Mac Mini vs. iMac /iMac Pro

Postby G-Doubleyou » Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:23 pm

I have a 3.2GHz i7 6-core Mini.

From the benchmarks I've seen even the low end iMac Pro is a more powerful machine.

The Mini suits me fine, coming from a quad 2.3 GHz i7 it's a big boost.

I've only heard the fans engage when running CPU stressing benchmarks.

:thumbup:
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Re: New setup: Mac Mini vs. iMac /iMac Pro

Postby rikki rivett » Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:30 pm

Thanks for the replies! I've found out about a particular 2019 model 27-inch iMac which has an 8-core i9 processor and can also be outfitted with plenty of RAM, maybe as much as 128GB! Drool...... :thumbup:

My Mach Tech says that the i9 8-core comes pretty close to the iMac Pro's performance but is much less expensive (depending n what you put in it of course).

That's what we're going for for now, looking at various configuration options.

Best

RR
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Re: New setup: Mac Mini vs. iMac /iMac Pro

Postby redlester » Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:00 pm

rikki rivett wrote:The iMacs only go up to 16GB RAM and I need more, so it’d have to be an iMac Pro, and they seem really expensive.

Is this a typo? The current iMacs can go up to 128GB RAM if you get the i9 model.

Current Mac Mini goes up to 64GB maximum.
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Re: New setup: Mac Mini vs. iMac /iMac Pro

Postby rikki rivett » Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:51 pm

redlester wrote:
rikki rivett wrote:The iMacs only go up to 16GB RAM and I need more, so it’d have to be an iMac Pro, and they seem really expensive.

Is this a typo? The current iMacs can go up to 128GB RAM if you get the i9 model.

Current Mac Mini goes up to 64GB maximum.

It's not a typo....it was my mistake- you're correct, I didn't yet know about the i9 model ;-). In the Apple Store 64GB is the max offered for the 27inch i9. But a "made to order" machine can go to 128GB apparently. When you go the specs in the Apple store 32Gb was the maximum for the 21 inch iMac.
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Re: New setup: Mac Mini vs. iMac /iMac Pro

Postby redlester » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:29 pm

rikki rivett wrote:
redlester wrote:
rikki rivett wrote:The iMacs only go up to 16GB RAM and I need more, so it’d have to be an iMac Pro, and they seem really expensive.

Is this a typo? The current iMacs can go up to 128GB RAM if you get the i9 model.

Current Mac Mini goes up to 64GB maximum.

It's not a typo....it was my mistake- you're correct, I didn't yet know about the i9 model ;-). In the Apple Store 64GB is the max offered for the 27inch i9. But a "made to order" machine can go to 128GB apparently. When you go the specs in the Apple store 32Gb was the maximum for the 21 inch iMac.

Yes am not sure you can get 128GB direct from Apple, and if you could I assume they would charge an absolute fortune. But from what I’ve read it can be user-upgraded to 128GB, according to this:
https://blog.macsales.com/47735-its-off ... retina-5k/
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Re: New setup: Mac Mini vs. iMac /iMac Pro

Postby rikki rivett » Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:14 pm

Ok, well just to report: I got the 27" iMac i9 with 2x TB SSDs & 64 G RAM. My mac Tech put it together. Cost 3,800 Euros.

It's a lovely machine.

The fan, when it starts up, is noticeably loud. But even in the very warm temperatures we're having, it doesn't seem to run often or for long.

RR
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