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  #1  
Old 11-07-2020, 01:20 PM
TrentWilliams TrentWilliams is offline
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Default 2020 Mac Mini or wait for ARM?

Hey everyone! Looking for advice.

I'm thinking of buying a Mac Mini with an eGPU to use as my main workstation (upgrading from a 2013 iMac). I'm wondering whether I buy one now, or wait a year for Apple's processors to be integrated, *knowing that there will be a few years of software transition on top of that.

Any advice you might have is appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2020, 02:25 PM
Robruce Robruce is offline
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Default Re: 2020 Mac Mini or wait for ARM?

In the same boat with a 2012 MBP and it's blazing fast unqualified i3 CPU
It's been surprisingly productive and solid even up through PT 2019/Mojave. Kind of amazing.

A i7 MacMini is likely in the offing though. That will be enough of a power boost boost to keep me working happy for a long time.

No idea how long ARM will take. Can't really wait around to find out for various reasons.
I'm far from being a power user running a commercial facility, so I can understand why some
might hold off. cheers -robruce
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  #3  
Old 11-07-2020, 05:26 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: 2020 Mac Mini or wait for ARM?

Apple is expected to announce their first Arm based systems this coming week (Tuesday 9th). I'd wait and see what the said there and and the reaction to that.

Avid has an event on the 12th. I'd hope that Avid takes that opportunity to talk about their Mac Arm roadmap, I'll be very impressed if Avid does, they are unfortunately not great about communicating with customers.

But the idea here of others having much useful advice for you is pretty unlikely. There is a lot of unknowns but the biggest unknowns are all about you. What your needs are, budget, etc. If I was running a business and a current computer was affecting my ability to work I'd have little worry about buying a high-end Intel Mac now, otherwise I might be more inclined to wait. And either way I'd be waiting to see what is announced in the next few weeks--there has been some speculation it might be more than just a Macbook air type computer and might even include a Mac mini type system.

You mention eGPU, you don't necesarilly need an eGPU to run Pro Tools on a Mac Mini. Do you have multiple monitors to run etc? Deciding to buy an eGPU may just be sinking unneeded cost here into that system that may have less useful lifespan due to the arm transition. My starting point with most Macs to max out the internal SSD storage a much as you can and of possible to fit samples, sessions etc. on that drive then run them there. Unfortunately you pay the Apple tax on storage.
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Old 11-08-2020, 05:43 AM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: 2020 Mac Mini or wait for ARM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentWilliams View Post
Hey everyone! Looking for advice.

I'm thinking of buying a Mac Mini with an eGPU to use as my main workstation (upgrading from a 2013 iMac). I'm wondering whether I buy one now, or wait a year for Apple's processors to be integrated, *knowing that there will be a few years of software transition on top of that.

Any advice you might have is appreciated!
If you NEED a new computer then I'd say to grab the current Mini. From the emails I've been getting s/w developers are saying to stay away from Big Sur which is what will more likely than not be on the ARM Macs. For instance Bombich is having issues having Carbon Copy Cloner make bootable backups in BS (Big Sur). You don't want to fly without having a bootable clone of your system.
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2020, 07:45 AM
Will Russell's Avatar
Will Russell Will Russell is offline
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Default Re: 2020 Mac Mini or wait for ARM?

I am also in the same boat wanting to move forward at some point from my souped up 2009 12 core cheese grater. It is still rocking hard at the moment but im starting to feel the pull to move to to a machine that has thunderbolt ports and is capable of running Catalina or later.

I too have been looking seriously at the Mac mini and every time I think I’m going to pull the trigger on buying one, (in my case with an expansion chassis for my HDX card), I read about somebody who uses the mini for regular pro work who has managed to cook it up in a year or so because apparently those suckers run hot under load.

I do think it would be a mistake to jump on these new arm processor machines soon, for all of the reasons we all know: it’s going to take quite some time for software manufacturers to catch up. So I think it would be wise to consider an Intel machine that will most likely serve us well for many years. In addition, both Apple and Avid have major announcements next week and it will be interesting to see what direction is indicated by these 2 companies.
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Old 11-08-2020, 08:18 AM
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Ben Jenssen Ben Jenssen is online now
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Default Re: 2020 Mac Mini or wait for ARM?

When I got my 2018 mac mini this summer, on thing became immediately obvious; big bluetooth performance problems.

I looked around and found lots of discussions about this, and now, months later, after trying everything I can think of, I have no solution. I agree with folk out there who thinks it's simply a design flaw; cramming in all those TB3 and USB3 port around the bluetooth antenna is causing interference. It's obvious that as you plug in more storage devices, the bluetooth deteriorates. Some people also have problems with wifi.

25 page thread over at macrumors.com about bluetooth problems on 2018 mac minis (I read most of it):
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads...ssues.2157086/

My thread over there, with details on my bluetooth problems:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads...#post-28940811

Of course, if you don't need bluetooth and can do without wifi - it's a good mac.
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2020, 09:59 AM
boomspot boomspot is offline
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Default Re: 2020 Mac Mini or wait for ARM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Jenssen View Post
When I got my 2018 mac mini this summer, on thing became immediately obvious; big bluetooth performance problems.

I looked around and found lots of discussions about this, and now, months later, after trying everything I can think of, I have no solution. I agree with folk out there who thinks it's simply a design flaw; cramming in all those TB3 and USB3 port around the bluetooth antenna is causing interference. It's obvious that as you plug in more storage devices, the bluetooth deteriorates. Some people also have problems with wifi.

25 page thread over at macrumors.com about bluetooth problems on 2018 mac minis (I read most of it):
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads...ssues.2157086/


My thread over there, with details on my bluetooth problems:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads...#post-28940811

Of course, if you don't need bluetooth and can do without wifi - it's a good mac.
I sold off my 2018 Mini to a friend a few months ago and ended up buying another another one with a larger hard drive. Interestingly, the unit I sold him had zero wifi or bluetooth issues at my location using my wireless keyboard, trackpad, hub, drives ... but he was running into all kinds of bluetooth dropouts. My suspicion is it comes down to the peripherals one is using.

Last edited by boomspot; 11-08-2020 at 10:00 AM. Reason: Formatting
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Old 11-08-2020, 10:07 AM
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Ben Jenssen Ben Jenssen is online now
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Default Re: 2020 Mac Mini or wait for ARM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boomspot View Post
I sold off my 2018 Mini to a friend a few months ago and ended up buying another another one with a larger hard drive. Interestingly, the unit I sold him had zero wifi or bluetooth issues at my location using my wireless keyboard, trackpad, hub, drives ... but he was running into all kinds of bluetooth dropouts. My suspicion is it comes down to the peripherals one is using.
Well, I switched to the mac mini from a 2017 imac. Same devices connected, same bluetooth devices, same room. Imac had no problems, Mac mini simply fails, bluetooth-wise.
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  #9  
Old 11-08-2020, 06:58 PM
Robruce Robruce is offline
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Default Re: 2020 Mac Mini or wait for ARM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Jenssen View Post
Of course, if you don't need bluetooth and can do without wifi - it's a good mac.......
Thanks for posting about this issue. Good to know. Fortunately I use neither regularly and just placed an order with Apple today.
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  #10  
Old 11-08-2020, 07:45 PM
Robruce Robruce is offline
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Default Re: 2020 Mac Mini or wait for ARM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Russell View Post
I am also in the same boat
sniiiip

I read about somebody who uses the mini for regular pro work who has managed to cook it up in a year or so because apparently those suckers run hot under load.
Thanks for the info. It figures that heat is an issue but I just ordered one anyway.

Unless the Mac Mini's exterior bottom plastic plate serves some purpose - it's staying off after RAM installation. Also the machine will be on 1/2 inch blocks, meltdowns hopefully avoided. Rob
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