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  #21  
Old 11-10-2018, 07:09 PM
AlexLakis AlexLakis is offline
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Default Re: New Mac Mini released

Okay,


Made a few adjustments in System (disabled Sleep, Bluetooth, Time Machine, etc..)

Upgraded OSX to 10.14.1...Cuz, why the **** not?

Installed iLok manager and Pro Tools 12.6. Installation of Pro Tools beach-balled for about 30 seconds, then decided it was time to work, so I'm glad I was patient with it!

I'm currently 10-minutes into recording on a single track at a buffer size of 64 with my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. No issues even while I post this with Pro Tools recording in the background! "Ignore Errors" in unchecked, "Dynamic Plugin Processing" is checked (some people say to uncheck this but I've never had a problem with it), Video Engine disabled.

Next I'll be installing my plugin bundles one at a time and repeating the test along the way. After that, I'll try opening a complex mix session and see where the fan noise and CPU meters are at.

So far, so good!

Last edited by AlexLakis; 11-10-2018 at 09:06 PM.
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  #22  
Old 11-10-2018, 07:39 PM
StratoBobster StratoBobster is offline
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Location: Olympia, WA USA
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Default Re: New Mac Mini released

Thanks for the update - looking forward to the next report.
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  #23  
Old 11-11-2018, 12:28 AM
AlexLakis AlexLakis is offline
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Default Re: New Mac Mini released

Okay, here comes a long post, typing as I go here...



First of all, methinks I was thinking a little too highly of my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2...I'm getting serious CPU spikes at a buffer size of 64 (no errors/dropouts/etc., tho!) CPU up to 15% on a naked rec-armed track with spikes up to 60%. Changing the buffer size to 128 brought the CPU down to 1% with no spikes whatsoever. So, yeah, I think I just forgot this interface is only supported down to 128 in Pro Tools (this is all at 44.1/24, btw.)

Also forgot to mention I'm running an Apple 27" Thunderbolt 1 display. Connected to the Thunderbolt 3 port via converter.

All right! The following plugins (latest versions obtained on websites) have been installed one-by-one-by-manufacturer and tested (plugin inserted on track, GUI up, record track for 5 minutes, no errors and NO CPU SPIKES):


-Slate (Everything Bundle + SSD5 + Trigger 2)
-Waves (various V10 plugins)
-DMG (Equilibrium)
-Valhalla (all)
-Kush (UBK-1, Pusher, Clairphonic)
-Eiosis (AirEQ Premium)
-iZotope (RX Elements 6)
-IK (Amplitube 4 MAX)
-Antares (Auto-Tune EFX 3)
-A couple of secret weapons.
-Celemony (Melodyne Editor 4)...Funny thing, after installing this one, Pro Tools asked on startup if it could access my Contacts! DO NOT WANT. P.S. Where's the ARA integration, Avid?



None of these plugins impacted the CPU or the stability of the system just by being installed and loaded.



In the process, I once made the mistake of launching Pro Tools when iLok Manager was open. Bad idea. Couldn't even force quit, had to hard reset the Mac.


Also to note, Slate VMR still takes a loooong time to load initially (like, 10 whole seconds ) even after the latest iLok update that "improves load times". The price of greatness...




Okay, let's get down to the nitty gritty. I loaded a pretty intense session from last week; multiple inserts on every track, lots of bus routing and aux tracks, automation, a couple virtual instruments, plugins on the master bus (including FG-X just for the haterz). It loaded right up! Annnnd across the line:


(old system) Mid-2012 Macbook Pro (quad i7 2.7 16GB RAM) = ~60% CPU with spikes up to ~72% at 1024 buffer size.


(new system) Late-2018 Mac Mini (hex i7 3.2 32GB RAM) = ~23% CPU with spikes up to ~31% at 1024 buffer size.


So, what were we talking about? Oh, the new Mac Mini? I forgot it was sitting there two feet from my face! That's how quiet it is. This session caused my MBP to get pretty loud as MBPs go. The Mini is dead and I mean DEAD silent under the same load. The Mini is slightly warm to the touch.



Let's see if we can make this kitty purr...Surely 10 instances of Slate FG-X on the master will suffice...Adding them while Pro Tools is playing back...There we go! Still playing back, CPU Total is reading 72% spiking to...waitaminute...It's spiking PAST 100%...And it's still not throwing an error, stopping playback, or glitching! Never seen this before. Looking at the core usage, I see the usual suspect middle core (core 6 in my case) at 56%. Core 5 & 7 are at 10%. The rest of the 12 cores are at 1%.


SO, either:


(a): Pro Tools CPU meters are rubbish and mean nothing.
(b): Pro Tools does a horrible job of spreading load across multiple cores.
(c): All of the above.


But we all knew it was (c) to begin with. Anyways, I finally got the Mini to crap out (playback stops, "Out of CPU" error message) at 18 instances of FG-X. I've been running playback now with 17 instances of FG-X for 10 minutes...CPU Total is going berserk but Pro Tools doesn't seem to care! I can even open up the GUIs and edit paramaters at will! The Mini is pretty darn hot to the touch. I still cannot hear it AT ALL 2 feet in front of my face. If I put my ear up to the back, I can hear the fan going faintly. A 7200RPM drive reading data at the same distance would probably be 5-10x louder than this.



Welp, that's the conclusion of my oh-so-scientific Mac Mini tests. They went really well! Gonna be hard for me to crap this baby out in practice. For now. I'm glad Pro Tools 12.6 works on Mojave. This week I'll move it to the studio and run tests with two VRS-8s. My goal is to run 44.1/24 at a buffer size of 64 with 16 tracks recording with 4 sends per track and 4 headphone auxs with a modest-to-moderate plugin load. I'll also test a stereo track recording with higher track/plugin count. I'll post back here then.


Last edited by AlexLakis; 11-14-2018 at 02:23 PM.
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  #24  
Old 11-12-2018, 01:29 AM
reneo reneo is offline
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Default Re: New Mac Mini released

I've got the 6core 3.2ghz i7 with 32Gb memory, 1TB SSD. A 4K LG Ultra HD display (HDMI) and a Samsung full HD display (satechi usb-c to hdmi adapter).

For audio: Apogee Duet on 128 buffer size. Video Engine enabled, video-file is an dnxhd file 69gb.

I've loaded a huge protools-session with sounddesign for a movie. 100+ tracks 5.1 routing, lots of reverbs, compressing, limiting, etc... 48khz 24bit.

It's all running fine CPU is at 20%.

I'm already in love with this machine!!!

Last edited by reneo; 11-12-2018 at 02:16 AM.
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  #25  
Old 11-12-2018, 05:40 AM
Tim R. Tim R. is offline
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Default Re: New Mac Mini released

Quote:
Originally Posted by reneo View Post
I've got the 6core 3.2ghz i7 with 32Gb memory, 1TB SSD. A 4K LG Ultra HD display (HDMI) and a Samsung full HD display (satechi usb-c to hdmi adapter).

For audio: Apogee Duet on 128 buffer size. Video Engine enabled, video-file is an dnxhd file 69gb.

I've loaded a huge protools-session with sounddesign for a movie. 100+ tracks 5.1 routing, lots of reverbs, compressing, limiting, etc... 48khz 24bit.

It's all running fine CPU is at 20%.

I'm already in love with this machine!!!
How's the fan noise when running your huge sessions?
__________________
Tim Reisig
System 1: Pro Tools Ultimate 2020.9, HD Native TB, HD OMNI, S3/Artist Transport/Eucontrol 20.6, Rosetta 800 w/XHD card
Mac OS 10.14.6, 2018 Mac Mini 3Ghz i5, 32Gig RAM

System 2: Pro Tools 2019.12 (no Hardware), Mac OS 10.14.6, MBP (Retina 13in, Early 2015, 3.1Ghz i7, 16Gig RAM)
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  #26  
Old 11-12-2018, 09:40 AM
reneo reneo is offline
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Default Re: New Mac Mini released

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
How's the fan noise when running your huge sessions?
Can’t hear anything. My 7200rpm hard disk is making more noise, so time to move protoolssessions to the internal SSD.
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  #27  
Old 11-12-2018, 11:34 AM
Balanced Jack Balanced Jack is offline
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Default Re: New Mac Mini released

Thanks for the info. Really appreciate the time you’ve taken to post. Hoping to pull the trigger on a new machine early next year. This could be it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  #28  
Old 11-12-2018, 05:11 PM
AlexLakis AlexLakis is offline
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Default Re: New Mac Mini released

Quote:
Originally Posted by reneo View Post
Can’t hear anything. My 7200rpm hard disk is making more noise, so time to move protoolssessions to the internal SSD.

It's great, I did the same exact thing and moved all my sessions to SSDs cuz I could hear the spinner drives over the Mac Mini.
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  #29  
Old 11-13-2018, 07:58 AM
A Chapman A Chapman is offline
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Default Re: New Mac Mini released

Quote:
Originally Posted by JFreak View Post
Too bad. For me the soldered storage is a dealbreaker. Don't actually mind soldered CPU but I am fairly sure in couple of years I need more terabytes than is affordable today.
Ever so slightly puzzled by this. Surely you could just attach a TB3 drive of whatever size you want? You could even run OS X from it, and you wouldn't notice any difference. I understand it's nice to have it all in one box, but for me non-upgradeable storage certainly isn't a dealbreaker.
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  #30  
Old 11-13-2018, 07:59 AM
A Chapman A Chapman is offline
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Default Re: New Mac Mini released

Is anyone here running an HDX card in an external chassis with the 2018 Mac Mini? Really interested to hear what setup is working if so. Many thanks!
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