1 2 Previous Next 26 Replies Latest reply: Jul 26, 2012 8:49 AM by mesa3077boogie Go to original post
  • 15. Re: Is it worth it to buy a mac mini? or imac instead?
    mesa3077boogie Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Hello Buddy. I cannot speak for logic but i can speak for protools. Protools is the industry standard DAW (digital audio workstation). I would only ever consider it for mixing and making music first and foremost above all other DAW softwares.


    RAM greater than 4gb will NOTeffect your DAW or mixing performance at all. Protools in its current 32bit state only utilizes 3.4-3.6gb RAM total. (however getting 8gb RAM is not a bad idea since it so  cheap, but it will not "boost" your DAW performance) Therefore anything above that will not be used in your protools mix. Im not sure if logic utilizes more RAM than that or not but protools currently does not.


    I would get the mac mini server version with quad core. Reason being: you will be able to move you studio and get any sized external monitor you want and wont have to be married to a 21 or 27" imac screen every time you need to hit the road.


    DAW's are processor heavy and are not RAM intensive like  video or graphic design. The only way your DAW when running protools uses more than the previously spoken about 3.4-3.6gb RAM is when using virtual instruments that are not in AVID or digidesing sample libraries. Something like a addictive drums or BFD drums are sameple libraries and virtual instruments  and their samples are pulled up in RAM while the CPU is processing the sounds. These would utilize the extra RAM aboce the 3.6gb RAM, NOT the DAW.


    IMPORTANT: Protools is NOTcompatible with Lion as of yet! (I assume logic LE is not either) Protools is NOT capable with Server versions of OSX either. most audio interfaces that are USB or firewire also are NOT yet compatible with Server OSX or Lion as of yet.




    NOTE: the i7 mac mini server is not a 2.7ghz i7 processor as per your first post, it is only a 2.0ghz i7 btw.


    IF you do decide to get the 2011 mac mini server with quad core, you will have to purchase a snow leopard retail installer disc. Install snow leopard to an external harddrive as your boot volume. Back up the external hard drive boot volume using time machine on a separate or partitioned pard of this external drive and then restore that backup back on to your new mac mini thats currently loaded with lion. You CANNOT merely install snow leopard onto the new mac mini , the mac will now let you do so. You will get errors everytime you try, you must "fool: the mac and "force" it to revert to an earlier OS such as snow leopard. You CANNOT run protools on lion and you CANNOT run protools on a Server OS. You will get errors all day and all night. the way i described is the ONLY way to run this. Trust me from experience.


    When you do you get your DAW set up on the mac mini. Its nice because you can partition the other drive to run lion still if you want and then you can use the 2nd drive that has lion installed on it as your record version and it will run Waaaay better than any USB external drive or firewire drive. This is very convenient compared to the imacs but can take days to set up. Time machine and the the snow leoopard retail version Disc is key though. I use a mac mini server my self and have dealt with this for months including expensive technical phone calls for support.


    I have a lion OSX set up on my mac mini and a 60GB partition set up on the second hard drive running snow leopard. Protools projects are saved to the Lion hard drive when booting form the snow leopard side.


    you will continue to run into these issues when upgrading or changing equipment when dealing with audio recording. Your best bet is to pick a great system that works, put it on a partitioned drive and dont update or change anything until the host application (AVID/protools in this case) is absolutely ready for a change.


    I hope this helped and did not confuse the crap out of you!



    <Edited By Host>

  • 16. Re: Is it worth it to buy a mac mini? or imac instead?
    mapex_venus Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Does the slower, 5400 rpm HDD on the Mini make a big difference? I am thinking of a Mini as well and plan to use an external FW800 drive for recording, but Logic still has to load plugins / sample etc. from the onboard HDD.

  • 17. Re: Is it worth it to buy a mac mini? or imac instead?
    Creeper74 Level 2 Level 2 (360 points)

    if you're talking about the difference between 5400RPM and 7200RPM, then you can see that the 7200 is 33% faster than the 5400.  Of course, this won't translate into 33% better performance across the board, but one is definitely better performing than the other.  I can't speak to how that looks in Logic, and like I tell everyone that asks, unless you have the two side-by-side, you won't notice the difference.


    I would think that if the recording is going to FW, the plug-ins can't be that large as to impact performance when loading from the local hard drive.  If you're buying from the Apple store, I'd suggest taking advantage of the two-week return policy. 

  • 18. Re: Is it worth it to buy a mac mini? or imac instead?
    mapex_venus Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I ended up getting a Mac Mini server (i7 2.0 Ghz, quad-core). This Mini has 7200 rpm dual hard drives. I read a many reviews where this setup was used very successfully, and turned out better than iMac configurations. I will be testing my setup over the next several days and will post back. 

  • 19. Re: Is it worth it to buy a mac mini? or imac instead?
    adams7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm also trying to decide between Mini and iMac.


    Another good point for the server Mini is two hard drives may be better for video edit work because you may be able to put the video input and output files on different drives.  That would reduce the drive head movements for faster rendering.  That was a standard trick the last time I did video edits a few years ago with Sony Vegas (originally made by Sonic Foundry).  Possibly the same thing can be done with music work.


    I suppose the two-drive advantage may not be as important these days with more RAM available to buffer the disk files.


    Another point for the Mini in my situation is I have the computer in the same room as my TV which is usually on for monitoring news etc,even though I'm usually looking at the computer screen.  Some monitors have several types of video and TV inputs so you can connect a set-top-box or cable feed, and use PIP or other monitor features, and leave the stand-alone TV turned off, to save power.

  • 20. Re: Is it worth it to buy a mac mini? or imac instead?
    The Knight Poet Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I think it was wise not settling for a 5400 RPM drive. For surfing the web, no problem. For recording digital audio, forget about it.

  • 21. Re: Is it worth it to buy a mac mini? or imac instead?
    The Knight Poet Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    For video editing as with audio editing, the most important configuration option (in my opinion) is to have a separate system drive (boot drive) where all the program files are stored and another hard drive (internal or external) where the digital audio/video files are located. It's nice to know that both the iMac and the Mac Mini offer this two-HD set-up as an optional customized enhancement. The (SSD's) Solid State Drives have no moving parts so they are quieter and cooler and faster and generally more reliable from what I've heard (ideal for a system/boot drive). Of course, it's probably worth mentioning they are priced higher than their louder hotter slower less-reliable counterparts. But despite the extra cost, the personalized Mac Mini hard drive option at The Apple Store that appeals to me the most is the one offering a primary 256 GB Solid State Drive + a secondary 750 GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 RPM.


    As an interested observer of all Mac models, I've been watching the Mac Mini's evolve over the years and it is truly amazing to see how far they have advanced from a technological perspective from what they were years ago to what they are now. Heck, they even have something today that the 12-core Mac Pro's don't have yet namely a Thunderbolt port. This is particularly interesting since they are on opposite sides of the cost spectrum. And with a Thunderbolt Pegasus RAID system, you could achieve data transfer speeds that would make any HD video editor's head spin fast enough to require image stabilization. However, keep in mind that the Mac Mini server edition does NOT have a discrete graphics card even though the other Mac Mini models do. I'm sure it was just an overheating thing that was flagged by someone on Apple's team of enlightened engineers and there might even be a workaround for this apparent deficiency down the road when someone starts selling a Thunderbolt interface that turns the external addition of popular graphics cards via Thunderbolt from a wild dream into an even wilder reality! I predict that within a year (if not sooner), you'll be able to use PCI-slots with a Mac Mini because they will be part of these not-yet-invented Thunderbolt peripherals I'm talking about and that could open up a whole new world of Mac Mini possibilities.

  • 22. Re: Is it worth it to buy a mac mini? or imac instead?
    The Knight Poet Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Well, it looks like "it" has already been invented by Magma (with a pre-2012 projected release date) although I will admit that the pre-order price of US $979 is a bit higher than I had envisioned:



  • 23. Re: Is it worth it to buy a mac mini? or imac instead?
    Kc2ine Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    apple mac mini is the best desktop computer in the world




    I wonder if this ridiculous statement  will be removed too...

  • 24. Re: Is it worth it to buy a mac mini? or imac instead?
    mesa3077boogie Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I second that buddy! Apple and ALL of their CIA-forum agents alike are all my favorite people!

  • 25. Re: Is it worth it to buy a mac mini? or imac instead?
    David Cun Level 4 Level 4 (1,380 points)

    "...Ive got two nice slim 22" LG MONITORS..."

    That tipped the scales toward the Mini.  That and mesa3077's excellent setup info...

  • 26. Re: Is it worth it to buy a mac mini? or imac instead?
    mesa3077boogie Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Referring to my earlier post listed above of running Protools on the the 2011 mini server. That post is months old now. Protools 9.0.5 and 9.0.6 as well as any version of Protools 10 are all now compatible with lion 10.7.x.  Protools IS compatible with lion server as well but will run smoother if you can get your lion server 5.3 (i7 quad) to run regular lion versus lion server.  Protools is NOT compatible with Snow Leopard Sever 10.6.X as server application and utilities were integrated with the OS. Lion server 10.7.X is NOT integrated meaning that the server utilities and applications are treated like apps rather than integrated in the OS, meaning that they should theroetically not interfere with operation unless you install them or actiave them.  However its been my experience that regular lion (non server) works better with protools.


    Also the method I described for installing Snow Leopard on the 2011 mac mini preloaded with lion server does NOT work. The listed method only works on the 2010 mac mini snow leopard and converting it to client snow leopard. 

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