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Anyone using a Mac Mini late 2012 as a Slave?

garyhiebner

Active Member
I've found a Mac Mini late 2012 model with a 2.5Ghz processor at a really good price. Wondering if it's worth using one of these as a slave for a mobile setup with my Macbook Pro late 2012 2.5Ghz. I'm gonna spec up the RAM to 16GB. But just wondering how one of these units will work. So it's only an i5, but if I could possibly build up some of my orchestral elements with BWW and CineBrass, and then run CSS and some percussion on my Macbook that would be great. Just checking if anyone has had any experience with a combo like this. Thanks
 

jcrosby

Senior Member
I have one, love it. I did the dual drive upgrade manually which isn't fun, but well worth the headache...
Like that you can stack two of these as salves and the footprint is virtually nothing...
 

synthpunk

Senior Member
As long as it is a 4 core. We used the server editions in the past as VEP slaves and they worked fine. Nothing like dual locking a couple of these to a rack shelf and forgetting about them. I did have to reinstall OS on one of them from but never knew exactly what caused the issue. Also just keep in mind the 16G of ram limitation.
 
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garyhiebner

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As long as it is a 4 core. We used the server editions in the past as VEP slaves and they worked fine. Nothing like dual locking a couple of these to a rack shelf and forgetting about them. I did have to reinstall OS on one of them from but never knew exactly what caused the issue. Also just keep in mind the 16G of ram limitation.
Unfortunately it's only a dual. Can't find any quad Mac mini near me. And yeah I'm aware of the ram limitation. But yeah I don't mind getting a few of these each for a small set of ample libraries. There size is so small they will sit nicely hidden away in the studio corner.
 
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garyhiebner

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I have one, love it. I did the dual drive upgrade manually which isn't fun, but well worth the headache...
Like that you can stack two of these as salves and the footprint is virtually nothing...
Thanks. Glad to know they run well. I don't think I'll do the dual drive upgrade. I'll just plug some external SSDs into it with the libraries on. And then some not as much used libraries on the internal drive.
 

synthpunk

Senior Member
I do not recommend the dual core Mini's for this application unfortunately. It's really a shame when Apple stopped making quad core Mini's.

Unfortunately it's only a dual. Can't find any quad Mac mini near me. And yeah I'm aware of the ram limitation. But yeah I don't mind getting a few of these each for a small set of ample libraries. There size is so small they will sit nicely hidden away in the studio corner.
 

Luke W

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I started with a 2012 mac mini i5 dual core as my first slave. I upgraded it to 16BG ram and added a ssd as a second drive. Later I added a second slave - 2012 mac mini i7 quad core, added the second ssd and 16GB ram. Pretty huge difference in performance compared to the dual core. I know dual cores will show up on Craigslist with much greater frequency, but if you can wait out a quad core, the difference is absolutely worth it.
 

jcrosby

Senior Member
As long as it is a 4 core. We used the server editions in the past as VEP slaves and they worked fine. Nothing like dual locking a couple of these to a rack shelf and forgetting about them. I did have to reinstall OS on one of them from but never knew exactly what caused the issue. Also just keep in mind the 16G of ram limitation.
Yeah should have mentioned that. Quad core or its not worth the cost. (Assumed this is why they specified the 2012 though... the last of the Quad core minis.)

EDIT: Re-reading looks like it's dual... If that's what you have work with it... But I'd consider looking into a refurbed Quad core server from an authorized reseller.
 
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garyhiebner

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Yeah should have mentioned that. Quad core or its not worth the cost. (Assumed this is why they specified the 2012 though... the last of the Quad core minis.)

EDIT: Re-reading looks like it's dual... If that's what you have work with it... But I'd consider looking into a refurbed Quad core server from an authorized reseller.

Thanks, I might have found a refurbed quad-core. Waiting to see if can get it here.. Thanks for the help @jcrosby
 
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garyhiebner

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I started with a 2012 mac mini i5 dual core as my first slave. I upgraded it to 16BG ram and added a ssd as a second drive. Later I added a second slave - 2012 mac mini i7 quad core, added the second ssd and 16GB ram. Pretty huge difference in performance compared to the dual core. I know dual cores will show up on Craigslist with much greater frequency, but if you can wait out a quad core, the difference is absolutely worth it.

Out of interest @Luke W. How many instruments could your dual core Mac Mini with 16GB RAM handle? I'm only looking for it to host about 20-30 instruments from Berlin Woodwinds and CSS. You think it will handle? I'll purge all the instruments to save on resources.
 
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garyhiebner

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So I've had some luck sourcing a Quad Core 2.3 Late 2012 Mac Mini 16GB RAM for about equivalent of $800 here in South Africa. Or I can get two x Dual Core 2.5Ghz with 16GB RAM for $950. I have two eLicensors for VEPro (running Logic as my DAW so don't need an extra eLicensor for the Master computer). So which way would you think is better. A Quad Core Mac Mini, or two Dual Core 2.5Ghz Mac Mini's with the RAM spec-ed up? Really appreciate the advice guys.

I know there's probably gonna be some responses to rather use a PC slave, but I'm just too much of a Mac fanboy :)
 

Luke W

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Out of interest @Luke W. How many instruments could your dual core Mac Mini with 16GB RAM handle? I'm only looking for it to host about 20-30 instruments from Berlin Woodwinds and CSS. You think it will handle? I'll purge all the instruments to save on resources.
I don't have Berlin Woodwinds or CSS. I tried to run Cinestrings, VSL Special Edition, and Damage out of that dual core but couldn't get more than 20 or so instruments running before I got pops and dropouts.
Having been down the same road as you (I went with a dual core first because of $) - I would have waited for the quad core. Remember: to get these minis to function well as slaves, you have to install that second SSD. (I eventually replaced the main drive with SSD as well - so OS runs on one drive, all the samples live on the other.) Buying two dual cores also means buying two SSDs. IMHO, one quad + one SSD will perform better than 2 duals. Again, just my opinion.
 
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garyhiebner

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I don't have Berlin Woodwinds or CSS. I tried to run Cinestrings, VSL Special Edition, and Damage out of that dual core but couldn't get more than 20 or so instruments running before I got pops and dropouts.
Having been down the same road as you (I went with a dual core first because of $) - I would have waited for the quad core. Remember: to get these minis to function well as slaves, you have to install that second SSD. (I eventually replaced the main drive with SSD as well - so OS runs on one drive, all the samples live on the other.) Buying two dual cores also means buying two SSDs. IMHO, one quad + one SSD will perform better than 2 duals. Again, just my opinion.

Thanks @Luke W. I'm going with the Quad Core. I've got two SSDs. So I'll place the system on one and the samples on another. Thanks for the advice. I found some article somewhere on the benchmarks tests between the quad-cores and dual-cores and wow! there is a big difference. What you running now as a slave @Luke W ?
 

LinusW

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I'm just about to make an old Mac mini server 2012 a slave with Dante Virtual Soundcard. i7-3615QM, 16 GB RAM and I might create a RAID-0 setup of the two 5400 rpm drives and try that. SSD upgrade for later if the slave works good.
 

ThePrioryStudio

Uk Computer
I have a late 2012 Mac Mini, 16Gb RAM. It's unfortunately a dual and not a quad. Runs VEP fine, if not perfectly. I combine it with a few other slaves to get the instances I want. I opted to run it with an external RAID 0 via thunderbolt. More drives equal faster connections, I'd always recommend getting 7200rpm where possible, rather than 5400 laptop drives.
 
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