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  #11  
Old 02-04-2020, 12:03 PM
jeremiahmoore jeremiahmoore is offline
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Location: San Francisco
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Post - opinions

Happily running a 2018 Mini here / i7, 32GB / 1TB.

My monitor setup is:
- LG Ultrawide via displayport (I bought the DP version not the TB version)
- Dell 1920x1080 via USB3 to DVI
- Samsung 1920x1080 HDTV via HDMI.
- Alternately the Samsung is fed via Aja T-Tap > HDMI.

Been working on spots and doc work and a long animated short with a track count around 300. Performance has been really good, I've been very pleasantly surprised!

There are fans which ramp when the machine is under load.
I had fears of thermal throttling but I've not experienced trouble yet.
I've get to do a long, grueling project.
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  #12  
Old 02-04-2020, 02:20 PM
smurfyou smurfyou is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Post - opinions

Great reports. I was worried about heat, that’s the main negative I’ve read about.

This is turning out to be a little more complicated. Haven’t picked up the Mini yet. But realizing I need additional upgrades. Forgot my interface is FireWire with zero chance of Catalina compatibility so I need a new interface. Was hoping to put that off for another year. Also realized my trusty Command 8 might not work in Catalina either. But I won’t buy an S1 until they fix the issue of automation dropping out after 50 seconds.... Some surprising buggy behaviors reported in the S1 forum.

And it sounds like it’s a bit of a hassle to downgrade the Mini from Catalina to Mojave. This is changing from a fun experiment to a big upgrade

I can’t promise any comparison numbers or anything now. Looking like I’ll need to just take the plunge and commit to the Mini. And keep the Cheesegrater for a month or two just for backup.

I had considered just getting a 6.1 Pro trash can but that would be moving from a 10 year old computer to a 7 year old computer. Don’t want to be that far behind again.
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  #13  
Old 02-04-2020, 03:32 PM
jeremiahmoore jeremiahmoore is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Post - opinions

I downgraded to Mojave using a USB stick. It was not too bad... I should think going to Catalina would be more disruptive, but of course each person must make their own decision.

Here I'm using RME via USB, and it's going well. I've had a few glitches switching sample rates which have required pro tools relaunch, but that's about it. I've heard of folks using RME firewire interfaces via dongles, presumably that's working OK, no idea about Catalina compatibility.

-jeremiah
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  #14  
Old 02-04-2020, 09:23 PM
smurfyou smurfyou is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Post - opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremiahmoore View Post
I downgraded to Mojave using a USB stick. It was not too bad... I should think going to Catalina would be more disruptive, but of course each person must make their own decision.

Here I'm using RME via USB, and it's going well. I've had a few glitches switching sample rates which have required pro tools relaunch, but that's about it. I've heard of folks using RME firewire interfaces via dongles, presumably that's working OK, no idea about Catalina compatibility.

-jeremiah
I definitely have no desire to use Catalina until things are better sorted out so I will be attempting to downgrade when I get it.

As far as firewire I'd have to use a TB3-TB2 adapter then a TB2-FW. Only ones I saw in my initial search were official Apple brand and it was a ton of money for those little 3" things... If it was a worthwhile expense I'd do it but knowing this MBox 3 Pro won't work past Mojave makes me want to ditch it.
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  #15  
Old 02-09-2020, 03:59 PM
espron espron is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Post - opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurfyou View Post
I need advice from the brain trust here. There are plenty of threads about the Mac Mini i7 but I'm looking for anyone who uses it for Post with real world experience. This is for my home rig. Mac Pro is beyond my budget at this point and I have no interest in iMac or a PC.

I currently use a 5.1 12 core which has certainly served me well. But lately I've been getting AAE errors and out of CPU errors. My projects are not usually that complicated but could be anything from a :30 spot to a feature. I've seen a lot of reports that the Mini has a surprising amount of power and runs well.

I'm trying to think through logistics. Obviously I'll need a hard drive enclosure or two. What about displays? If I run two displays would I have one on the HDMI port with a Displayport adapter and one using a Thunderbolt port with adapter? For video output would an Aja T-Tap do? Looking at Thunderbolt docks for additional connectivity too...

Lastly - eGPU or not? I'd rather not if PT runs OK with the integrated graphics.

Thanks in advance.
I just finished mixing a small feature using a 2018 six core mac mini with HDNative TB+MTRX. With an extra voice pack total voice count was 414 for dx, adr, mx, foley fx and bg. Worked great, in fact when moving to a bigger stage just to check how it played back in a bigger room, I had to have HDX3 to be able to play back the session. Really surprised to see how powerful these little mac minis are with Protools.

Espen
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  #16  
Old 02-09-2020, 08:09 PM
smurfyou smurfyou is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Post - opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by espron View Post
I just finished mixing a small feature using a 2018 six core mac mini with HDNative TB+MTRX. With an extra voice pack total voice count was 414 for dx, adr, mx, foley fx and bg. Worked great, in fact when moving to a bigger stage just to check how it played back in a bigger room, I had to have HDX3 to be able to play back the session. Really surprised to see how powerful these little mac minis are with Protools.

Espen
That is awesome to hear. Thanks!

Really makes you wonder what it would be like if Apple would just make a "Pro" Mini. I nominate the G4 Cube design. Keep the basics of the Mini but add an option for i9 and a GPU. If they can do it with the iMac why not...
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  #17  
Old 03-11-2020, 04:08 PM
itsmemagic itsmemagic is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Post - opinions

I'm assuming no one here uses internal Mac mini ssd for sessions?! and wondering if you have recommendations for external nvme tb3 enclosure/drive

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
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  #18  
Old 03-11-2020, 04:38 PM
jeremiahmoore jeremiahmoore is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Post - opinions

I've been using internal Mac Mini SSD for smaller commercial and corporate sessions, usually not with a super high track count. It's very fast, zero problems.

Externally, here using Samsung T5 usbC drives for large sessions with no issues.

Picture usually on spinning USB3 disk, and audio track counts thus far up to a few hundred on the SSD (though to be fair most of those tracks are not contiguous audio.)

2018 Mini i7 / 32 / 1TB
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  #19  
Old 03-12-2020, 07:39 PM
itsmemagic itsmemagic is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Post - opinions

Cool, thanks for your input.
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  #20  
Old 03-12-2020, 10:40 PM
smurfyou smurfyou is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Post - opinions

I tested using the internal just for kicks. No problems with smaller sessions. I generally like having dedicated drives however.

I can say I don't recommend the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dock. I actually got mine before Pro Tools Expert did their review. But I was surprised by his comment that it was quiet enough to record in the same room. Mine was so loud I sent it back. It would have to go in a machine room which I definitely don't have at home. It had a Noctua fan so I figured it would be quiet but no way. I do wish that out of all these Thunderbolt 3 docks someone would make one that does NOT carry power for a laptop. That would cut down the size of the power brick and the heat generated.

Anyway I bought the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual Mini :
https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MEMDC2KIT/

So far it is fantastic. USB 3.1 Gen2 and sized only for 2.5 SSD's so no fan needed. JBOD or RAID. It is FAST, no need for Thunderbolt. And if you stick with JBOD it can be bus powered (at least with this Mini).

My library drive is an older USB 3.0 RAID that I already had. And I'm using a bare drive dock for backups.
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