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2018 Mac Mini

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Will Wilson

Will Wilson

All the gear, no idea
any thoughts on external storage for the mac mini? multi ssd, usb-c, small and not expensive like the blackmagic ones.

These are the ones i found so far.
(price starts adding up with usb-c and m2.)


someone should come up with one that can be placed on top or on th side and matches the look.
I just got the akitio thunder3 quad mini. Takes 4 ssd over thunderbolt 3 and with software raid 0 should be perfect .
 

N.Caffrey

Senior Member
I could be in the market in the new year for a new machine. New Mac Pro is out my reach. What are your thoughts on the Mac Mini (with decent or top specs) vs iMac (probably not the Pro version, assuming there's gonna be a refresh of the normal one). One thing I'm really fed up with with my macbook pro is the noise of the fans, that's why despite liking the idea of a more portable rig I was looking for something less noisy.
 

mauriziodececco

Maurizio, composer and piano player in Paris
I just got the akitio thunder3 quad mini. Takes 4 ssd over thunderbolt 3 and with software raid 0 should be perfect .
My personal bet is that cheap Thunderbolt 3 .m2 enclosures will appear between today and the day l'll buy a new Mac. Third parties T3 .m2 external disk start to appear, this means the right chips are on the market; price of the chips go down very fast, and soon (6 to 12 month) amazon will have enclosures within the traditional price range.
Than an external T3 .m2 SSD will have a reasonable price :->
Maurizio
 
OP
Will Wilson

Will Wilson

All the gear, no idea
I could be in the market in the new year for a new machine. New Mac Pro is out my reach. What are your thoughts on the Mac Mini (with decent or top specs) vs iMac (probably not the Pro version, assuming there's gonna be a refresh of the normal one). One thing I'm really fed up with with my macbook pro is the noise of the fans, that's why despite liking the idea of a more portable rig I was looking for something less noisy.
I was looking at the Mac Mini but as I do like to play games on PC as well and didn't want to have 2 machines I opted for the iMac. Although the Mac Mini technically supports eGPU Bootcamp doesn't really and sounded like it was going to be a pain in the ass. I picked up a 5k 2017 i7 iMac (4.2Ghz) with 64GB RAM, 2TB SSD and Radeon 580 GFX for £3k used in the UK. When I factored in all the additional costs to get close with the Mac Mini it didn't make sense for me....that and the beautiful screen!

I was considered waiting for a new iMac in 2019 but 2 things put me off, the price of a new machine and also will the RAM be user upgradeable?
 
OP
Will Wilson

Will Wilson

All the gear, no idea
My personal bet is that cheap Thunderbolt 3 .m2 enclosures will appear between today and the day l'll buy a new Mac. Third parties T3 .m2 external disk start to appear, this means the right chips are on the market; price of the chips go down very fast, and soon (6 to 12 month) amazon will have enclosures within the traditional price range.
Than an external T3 .m2 SSD will have a reasonable price :->
Maurizio
For me I already had 4 x 1TB SATA SSD. But if as you say they do appear and come down in price then I'll simply add a couple of M2 nVME SSD to the rig as and when I need to.
 

gsilbers

Part of Pulsesetter-Sounds.com
I just got the akitio thunder3 quad mini. Takes 4 ssd over thunderbolt 3 and with software raid 0 should be perfect .
interesting. i saw that one but that one as many other ones seem to try to have 3.5 drive option which make it bigger. and maybe thats why it needs a fan? is the fan audible?
 
OP
Will Wilson

Will Wilson

All the gear, no idea
interesting. i saw that one but that one as many other ones seem to try to have 3.5 drive option which make it bigger. and maybe thats why it needs a fan? is the fan audible?
Not really plus it has an external fan off switch if you do need to turn the fan off for an audio recording or something .
 

simfoe

New Member
Do you think this would work well as a Master with VEPro? Would the base model be sufficient? I have a decently specced PC but could do with sharing the load and looking to go back to Mac OSX.
 

Soundhound

Senior Member
I'm starting to wonder about the amount of cpu horsepower I'm needing. There seem to be more and more kontakt instruments that eat cpu cycles more and more. I'm still on a 2012 iMac that's rated about 12,000 or so (whatever that's measuring) on Geekbench Mac.I run most everything though VEP to help with keeping the load low within Logic...

The 2018 MM is at about 25,000, roughly the same as a 2013 Mac Pro.... Double is lovely and hopefully that's all I'd need for a while, but I wonder if this next generation is going to require even more horsepower. That's the iMac Pro/Mac Pro range and I hope I don't have to cough up the dough for one of those things...
 

Kyle Preston

I accidentally do things on purpose
Just want to thank everyone for sharing their wisdom on this topic the past few months. I'll be picking up a fully-loaded Mac Mini when I get back from vacation. Haven't decided if I'm gonna do the RAM myself yet or not; seems sillier then it should be. But if anyone wants more specific tests, happy to share info :).
 

simsung

New Member
Just want to thank everyone for sharing their wisdom on this topic the past few months. I'll be picking up a fully-loaded Mac Mini when I get back from vacation. Haven't decided if I'm gonna do the RAM myself yet or not; seems sillier then it should be. But if anyone wants more specific tests, happy to share info :).
its really very easy to update the ram yourself and you save lots of money.

before someone else asked about the fan noise - thats no problem at the MM. i only recognize it when bouncing. during work in daw i cant hear it.
i also have the issue of external storage, since i want to change from multidock (which is awesome) to a mobile solution. it seems we re on the edge of a change from 2,5" to m2 and right now the timing is not good because there are not the right m2 devices out ,yet - only one: owc 4m2. but this is not suitable for audio work because of an airplane like fan. it seems there is no alternative on the market yet. only one 2 slot m2 - very cheap, but only sata (which means slower). i guess there are versy cool solutions coming the next months
 

simsung

New Member
that one looks nice, but it seems to be out of stock everywhere. i cant find even one store in germany. and how about fan, it was one, do you know how loud it is?
its the same phenomena as with the thunderbay 4 mini - why is it discontinued? its much smaller than the thunderbay 4. but they only updated the thunderbay 4 to tb3.
 

OLB

Member
I just received this enclosure and stacked it with 2 Samsung Evos. At first when I started the thing, the fan was annoying. Almost returned it. BUT it has a switch on the back and when you move it between fan positions it can be turned off completely. Completely silent!

When copying data I would turn the fan on, just in case. But when idling it doesn't become hot at all. I will need to test it when streaming kontakt libraries. So that'll be interesting.

So far this looks great for studio and especially mobile use. It's super fast, lightweight, however it comes with an external power supply but it powers my MBP at the same time. So I can leave the Mac charger at home. Kind of cancels each other out.

Quick benchmarks 1275 write, 1580 read. With RAID I believe it doubles that but I'll use it mostly for Kontakt so I don't think RAID won't be any beneficial.
4K random read +/- 45mb/s

Also I removed that greenish rubber cover immediately.. I prefer the aluminium case.
 

Attachments

Chris Hurst

www.chrishurstmusic.com
Ok, I’ve just completed my first film using the 2018 Mac mini and to summarise...this thing is a beast.

It was a supernatural thriller, so I wasn’t running a huge orchestral template more likely 50-60 Kontakt instances, but lots of plugins for sound design, also lots of automation.

I only heard the fans on exporting and the only stumbling block was the occasional Logic single core overload if I forgot to select an audio track as the track count increased.

I had one random shutdown, which was an inconvenience. I was running samples off external thunderbolt 3 ssd drives with no issues whatsoever.

Very pleased with the performance, however I will still likely go for an external GPU at some point, as that is likely to help.

Hope that is helpful.
 
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ironbut

Active Member
Fantastic report Chris!
Can't wait to hear how and external GPU effects the performance.
I think a few of us who are using our cheese graters have upgraded cards already so this is going to be a natural upgrade for the mini.
 

IFM

Senior Member
Fantastic report Chris!
Can't wait to hear how and external GPU effects the performance.
I think a few of us who are using our cheese graters have upgraded cards already so this is going to be a natural upgrade for the mini.
That’s what I was thinking too. I have a new Metal comparable card in mine.
 

N.Caffrey

Senior Member
Any more feedback from users? Quite close to ordering one.

Also, if I get the 32gb and want to upgrade to 64gb later, what will happen to my 32 gb? Will I have to pay for the full 64gb or will they deduct the cost from the 32gb?
 

FriFlo

Senior Member
Any more feedback from users? Quite close to ordering one.

Also, if I get the 32gb and want to upgrade to 64gb later, what will happen to my 32 gb? Will I have to pay for the full 64gb or will they deduct the cost from the 32gb?
You will do it yourself or let some guy do it to sell the 32gb on eBay after that. This is one of the things keeping me from going for a Mac mini. Still waiting for the Mac Pro announcement. Some things about the mini are nice though! Mainly the 10gbe option for a great connection to slaves with VEpro. Other things not so much. The cost is very high at this point to buy 64gb ram and especially lots of space for samples (SSD) and also backup (HD). That is what keeps me holding out with my ancient 5.1 Mac Pro a little longer. Once you make the jump you say goodbye to everything PCIe and internal SATA. That makes it costly and on top of that Tb 3 might soon be obsolete again.
 
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