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Old 06-15-2012, 05:59 PM
fretcruiser fretcruiser is offline
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Default Mac Mini, Mac Mini Server, or iMac?

Well... It's time for an upgrade. I currently have an HP running windows 7 and a dual core pentium d 2.8 ghz processor. Basically, I do full rock band PT sessions (probably 6-8 instances of POD Farm, EZ drummer, some other reverbs, eqs, compressors, etc. usually around 20 tracks in all) At this point on my Windows setup I'm getting significant issues when I get to about 8 tracks with effects and instruments on it.

With that being said, I've pretty much decided to cross enemy lines and become a Mac user. I'm looking to buy one within the next week or so. At this point, I'm pulling my hair out trying to figure out which to get.

1)The all in 1 iMac is very tempting because basically all I would need to buy would be a USB hub and an external hard drive since all of my current drives are internal SATA drives. This has a Quad core i5 which is right up my alley.

2) The Mac Mini. Fantastic price, but it only has a dual core i5 at 2.3 ghz, and I'm not sure if thats any better than my current Pentium D dual core 2.8 ghz. I'm wondering if this guy is capable of handling what I need it to do, Pro Tools wise.

3) The Mac Mini server already has the 2nd internal hard drive and a quad i7. This seems to be the best value.

Again, I don't have a professional studio. I just want to be able to have a 20-24 track session with a decent amount of effects without bogging down the CPU. If I can get away with the Mac Mini at $599 I'd like to, but I'm just not sure if it's up to task. Any advice?
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:40 AM
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SpinningDisk SpinningDisk is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini, Mac Mini Server, or iMac?

I would go with the iMac. Like you said it's all in one. You don't have to purchase a monitor for it. But still continue to do your home work. My iMac is almost seven years old. I can get about thirty tracks going with plugins on what tracks I need. Yes, there are times when I push it and I get what I deserve. Being you will only run Twenty tracks, you should be all right. I said the same thing when I got mine. You always want more. Plus the new iMacs are pretty fast and powerful. Others will chime in. Oh yeah, they look good too and don't have as many viruses as does the PC's.

Good luck.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:47 PM
CME CME is offline
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Either way get the quad-core i7. Cores is more important than clock speed and the i7's all hyper thread. However the i7 in the iMac is faster so it would be the top performer of those 3. You mention running lots of amp plug ins. Those are notorious CPU hogs. So you'll want the fastest you can afford. If you can't afford the upgraded iMac and already have a monitor the mini is a terrific value. There's also the option of a used Mac pro. I'd again recommend a 3.1 or later. Those were the first to offer hyper threading.

Also here in Mac land FireWire is the way to go for external drives. If you're gonna transfer sessions make sure you have a spare drive (and thumb drives are fine) just for this. It will need to be formatted in fat32 as that's the only file system both will read, but neither can use as a session drive.


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Old 06-17-2012, 01:02 PM
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YYR123 YYR123 is offline
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Mac mini with the i7 quad - server option along with the extra internal hard drive - u can upgrade the ram yourself (AFAIK)

I think it (MM) would be the best bet performance price wise - but the iMac is by far the coolest looking computer in the land so I u have the cash upgrade and get the i7 if u can - and don't they have the option for the 2nd internal install??
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:18 PM
CME CME is offline
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Yes there are additional hard drive options on the iMac. Check out owc for even more options.

And definitely buy your ram HD's ect from someone besides apple. Owc is a good choice. But there are others.


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Old 06-17-2012, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: Mac Mini, Mac Mini Server, or iMac?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CME View Post
And definitely buy your ram HD's ect from someone besides apple. Owc is a good choice. But there are others.
+forever

I always say it, and I will continue to do so.

OWC is a good choice because you're always going to get exactly what you need every time, and at a much cheaper price than Apple. However, they are still far more expensive than going and getting the parts yourself from say, a local computer shop (do NOT go to a box store like Best Buy, unless you really want to go home with the wrong thing). You just have to be a bit more learned in which parts you need.
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