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Old 05-08-2019, 04:27 PM
jeremiahmoore jeremiahmoore is offline
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Default Mac Mini 2018 for Pro Tools...?

Mac Mini 2018: Who's running one for Pro Tools?

Still cranking away over here on a 3.33 6-core Westmere cheese grater... but newer machines have much more throughput, and the 2018 Mac Mini has impressive specs vs price ratio.

I know some music folks using them and having a good experience so far, but scant info from the audio post community.

-jeremiah
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:40 PM
Sardi Sardi is online now
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Pro Tools...?

There’s an entire thread on here about it and a pretty detailed one in the Music Computers section over on Gearslutz.


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  #3  
Old 05-09-2019, 10:27 AM
Leverson Leverson is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Pro Tools...?

In my edit room I'm still using a 2011 mac mini server and it's honestly still holding up fine. A bit long in the tooth now, I'm actually looking at upgrading it to the new 2018 one, but it's held up perfectly fine for 5.1 feature film and TV sound editorial work with hundreds of tracks. And those are pretty ancient hardware specs at this point. (Although note: this is for sound editorial, not mixing and using less real time plugins and reverbs than my mix room workstation).

Things that are a bummer with the new mini: non-user removable hard drives, and while 'technically' user-upgradable RAM it's an overly complicated process. The old style (pre 2014) mini's were really easy to pop open the case and upgrade the RAM and pair of internal drives to larger sizes or SSDs (all of which helped extend its useable life). But still better than the 2014 version where you couldn't user-upgrade ANYTHING. That was a disappointing release.

Anyways, if anybody is using the new style mini for Pro Tools and post I'd love to hear about it in the conversation here! If I bite the bullet and upgrade my edit room to the new one I'll let everyone know what I think of it compared to the old ones and how it handles processing and sessions and all that fun stuff.
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Old 05-09-2019, 12:47 PM
jeremiahmoore jeremiahmoore is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Pro Tools...?

Thanks.

I didn't see any posts about the matter in the post/surround forum, hence my asking. (Our needs and use patterns differ from music, so I feel it's worth investigating here.)

I'm looking into a new CPU for sound design and mix. Basically pushing the limits of what PT can do in a single session. Right now I run very large native-only sessions on a 2012 "cheese grater" machine, but I do have to constrain my use of plugins, particularly some newer tools which are more CPU hungry.

The 2018 mac mini boasts better specs than the "trashcan" mac pros (except perhaps for GPU), at a lower price. ...And if GPU is an issue an external unit can be added via Thunderbolt 3. So I'm curious if folks are flocking to them; Based on the response so far, I'd say the answer is no. Many of us are holding out to see if Apple will announce a "Pro" mac as they've been promising to for years, but the 2018 Mini seems quite promising on paper...once the USB audio issue's resolved (and I think it is now?) ... so I'm seeking validation of that idea from other users.

-jeremiah
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:44 PM
Leverson Leverson is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Pro Tools...?

Well, I know it's not a direct comparison, but if you want to compare to the performance of a trash can, my main mix computer is a 6-core trashcan mac pro and I fully max out my native PT ultimate session voice counts and I have lots of plugins, numerous surround reverbs and all kinds of stuff going on in supersessions and I've never even come close to maxing out my CPU. Most of the time I'm still hovering at less than 40% on very active sessions. So it's got loads of power to spare, and again that's only the 6-core version.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:18 AM
philper philper is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini 2018 for Pro Tools...?

Does this Mini not have the firmware bug I read about that was an issue for digital audio? I'm 3 minis down the road and like them very much, particularly their small footprint and comparitively large # of ports for an Apple computer anymore. I wish they hadn't taken away the SD slot and weren't so hell-bent on making all the connectors the same, but that's less of an issue on a mini than a portable computer. Non-user upgradability is another thing that Apple forces you to buy into if you want a new machine anymore. That said I will probably get another mini when I can and, as Apple wants, buy the most tricked out config I can since I won't be able to upgrade anything later on.
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