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Is a Mac Mini good enough for commercial music production.

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Is a Mac Mini good enough for commercial music production.

Postby Will-m » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:58 pm

Would a 2020 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 with 32 ram be ok for a small commercial recording studio? I have been using an early 2008 Mac Pro 2.8 GHz Quad=Core 16 ram for the past 12 years . I am now considering buying a new Mac mini, or possibility an iMac. (I don’t really like the idea of screen being Integrated with the computer though).
Any information would be gratefully appreciated.
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Re: Is a Mac Mini good enough for commercial music production.

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:11 pm

Others will be along to disagree, I'm sure, but that sounds to me like a good, beefy box that'll handle pretty large projects (I'm assuming SSDs for storage).

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Re: Is a Mac Mini good enough for commercial music production.

Postby resistorman » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:12 pm

Yes.
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Re: Is a Mac Mini good enough for commercial music production.

Postby IAA » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:49 pm

I’d agree, plenty big enough unless you’re heading into Zimmer type productions....
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Re: Is a Mac Mini good enough for commercial music production.

Postby G-Doubleyou » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:26 pm

You should be fine, I have an ancient 2011 MBP quad i7, that I never overloaded with sessions of 40 -50 tracks with effects.

Currently transitioning to a 2018 3.2 GHz 6-core Mini, it smokes the MBP, and my 2012 2.3GHz 4-core i7 Mini!

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Re: Is a Mac Mini good enough for commercial music production.

Postby brucie » Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:59 pm

Yes, very much so
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Re: Is a Mac Mini good enough for commercial music production.

Postby Dave B » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:51 pm

Yes.

Years ago, when I moved from a Mac Pro to a 2011/2013 era Mini (with 16gb ram, quad core i7 and ssd), we did some benchmarks and a mate took a great interest in the results. It turns out, he was doing Mac support for about half the UK tv/commercial composers - all of whom were baulking at the change in spec to the new Mac Pro trashcan. I later learned that he was so impressed that most of them changed to that..

Now, I'm suggesting that this is what caused Apple to dumb the Mini down around that time ... but ....

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Re: Is a Mac Mini good enough for commercial music production.

Postby ConcertinaChap » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:30 pm

I've got one of them, Dave. It's not my main box any more but it's still a very useful machine.

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Re: Is a Mac Mini good enough for commercial music production.

Postby Kayvon » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:56 pm

At £600 for 24gb of RAM you'd hope so.

It's repeatedly making me think twice (thrice? 4x?) about pulling the trigger on one.

I have a similar way of thinking about separating the screen & computer and if I'm right you're roughly paying the same but with the iMac you benefit from a graphics card.

If you spec both of them to 3.2GHz processors with 32gb RAM and 1TB SSDs you're basically paying £550 for the 21.5" screen and graphics card if you assume you can get £100 for the magic mouse and keyboard on eBay.

The 24" Ultrafine exclusively from Apple is £629 but you don't need to spend much more than £250 to a get a 24" 4K from a decent manufacturer. Quite how they compare I don't know but you can plug HDMI/DP into them at least. Annoying that no-one sells a 21.5" panel as I actually don't use all the real estate of my 24", I resize Ableton to a ~19" 4:3 window with no wallpaper in the background. With the Mini you also get two extra USB-C ports vs the USB 3 ones on the iMac.

As I say, I'm holding off dropping that £600 for 24gb of RAM but otherwise everything else looks kosher. There's a few old reports of thermal throttling from around the release time of the Mini, similarly with the iMac but there's not much a cursory Google throws up more recently.
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Re: Is a Mac Mini good enough for commercial music production.

Postby schmeet » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:38 pm

I just bought a top of the line iMac 27” with the fastest CPU (8 cores).
It doesn’t arrive for a couple of weeks, and because of this thread, I looked up Mac mini specs, and they are impressive.

Would I notice the difference between the 8 core iMac and 6 core mini? I already have 3rd party RAM to bump it up to 64GB. I do some pretty big audio/synth projects, and also some video editing.

Should I cancel my iMac order and change it to a mini? Then I could get a giant monitor and still save a bunch of money...

What do you all think?
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Re: Is a Mac Mini good enough for commercial music production.

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:05 pm

Couldn't make that choice for you but I'd say it's certainly one to think about.

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Re: Is a Mac Mini good enough for commercial music production.

Postby Kayvon » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:48 pm

schmeet wrote:I already have 3rd party RAM to bump it up to 64GB.

Perhaps there is partially your answer. Would you not be spending much of the extra on Apple's RAM tax if you went Mac mini? Unless you're willing to spend more then again just to get bigger than a 27" monitor. Also perhaps you're willing to open up the Mini yourself and jam that 3rd party ram in.

I get the feeling that part of my aversion to iMac is just unfounded worry. I mean it's not like the internet is awash with iMac issues. I haven't heard anything tbh.

I guess it might come down to however many years down the line are you gonna be able to recoup some of the cost of that integrated iMac screen on resale? What with the ARM announcement I'm not sure I'd put my money on/in it. I've never looked at 2nd hand prices for iMacs though.
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Re: Is a Mac Mini good enough for commercial music production.

Postby schmeet » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:19 pm

Kayvon wrote:
schmeet wrote:I already have 3rd party RAM to bump it up to 64GB.

Perhaps there is partially your answer. Would you not be spending much of the extra on Apple's RAM tax if you went Mac mini? Unless you're willing to spend more then again just to get bigger than a 27" monitor. Also perhaps you're willing to open up the Mini yourself and jam that 3rd party ram in.

I get the feeling that part of my aversion to iMac is just unfounded worry. I mean it's not like the internet is awash with iMac issues. I haven't heard anything tbh.

I guess it might come down to however many years down the line are you gonna be able to recoup some of the cost of that integrated iMac screen on resale? What with the ARM announcement I'm not sure I'd put my money on/in it. I've never looked at 2nd hand prices for iMacs though.
I didn't realize you voided the warranty on the mini if you replace the RAM yourself. And oh my, I just looked at the directions on the OWC website for replacing the RAM. 40 minutes they say. Yow. For the iMac it's within warranty and takes a couple of minutes. And it's $1000 to get the RAM from Apple. Booo.

I've been very happy with my current 27" iMac. That display is pretty and back when I got it, it looked huge. But now I have a 32" Omen on my work PC and it really is nicer to work on than the 27", even if it's not as beautiful.

Recouping costs by selling is never part of my equation. I buy a mac and I drive it into the ground. I can't upgrade the OS any more on mine, but I got a good 9 years out of it. Apple deems it only good for recycling at this point.

I guess since I have to pay an extra $700 for RAM, and the processing is slower I'll stick with the iMac I have on order.
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