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Old 08-05-2019, 02:37 PM
George2000 George2000 is offline
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Default Mac Mini i7 2018 vs. iMac i9 2019

Difficult question, I know.

But I am looking at getting either the new Mac Mini i7 or the new iMac i9. I would put 64GB of RAM in, and upgrade to the internal 1TB SSD. So, all things being equal the iMac i9 will probably outpace the Mac Mini... BUT. has anyone had experience running sessions with both?

I don't need really high track counts (<50), but I will be running quite a few plugins and VI's.

My question is: How much of a performance difference will I see between these two machines? I have heard that the new Mac Mini is a powerhouse. If I can save some $$$ and get the Mac Mini, I would prefer that.

Thanks all!
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Old 08-06-2019, 05:53 AM
fourthtunz fourthtunz is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini i7 2018 vs. iMac i9 2019

I have the I7 mini with the 1T drive and 8 gigs of ram. I bought the 32 gig set from amazon but haven't had time to install it yet.
Just for fun I ran a project that had about 55 tracks and 10 instruments that I could not run on a mac book pro and it ran great even off the internal drive..
the memory was maxed out but it ran all the way to the end so
I think this will be all the mac I need for a while.
Now that they've reduced the prices of the internal drives you can probably pick up a refurb for a great price.
The iMacs are great but way too much $$ way more than I need and I like my 32" monitor.
Good luck!
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:29 PM
George2000 George2000 is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini i7 2018 vs. iMac i9 2019

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Originally Posted by fourthtunz View Post
The iMacs are great but way too much $$ way more than I need and I like my 32" monitor.
Good luck!
Yeah, I kinda feel like you're really paying for the monitor on the iMacs. I really wonder what the performance difference is (when using Pro Tools) from the Mini's i7 6-core 3.2GHz to the iMac's i9 8-core 3.6Ghz.

Last edited by George2000; 08-06-2019 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 08-06-2019, 11:49 PM
AlexLakis AlexLakis is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini i7 2018 vs. iMac i9 2019

Hm, let's focus less on the performance difference and focus more on your needs/wants.

Price? Advantage Mini. Factoring in the additional price of a new display ($1000), a "maxed-out" Mini is $1800 less than the base model CPU iMac with 64GB or RAM.

Does the rig need to be portable? Depends on your definition of portable. I have two 27" Apple Thunderbolt displays, one at home and one at my studio, I simply plop my Mini in a tote bag and its good to go. If you need more portable than that, you want a Macbook. I don't consider iMacs "portable", but someone else might and that's okay!

Do you want to use your own display? Advantage Mini.

Fan noise around ear-level under heavy loads? I can't really speak for the iMac, but my 2018 Mac Mini is dead silent up thru 50% CPU load (I haven't taxed it higher...The only time the fans kick on is when I'm bouncing offline) and you can stow it just about anywhere.

Processing power? Advantage iMac.

For me, a typical rock/pop production it's usually 30-60 tracks with multiple plugins per track, auxs, headphone sends, and a few virtual instruments (mostly sample-based). I haven't crested 50% on Pro Tool's "new and improved" CPU meter. Just a few simple clicks and I can drop the buffer size and track on top of all of that at the eleventh hour.

If you run more than a couple sample-based VIs, RAM is going to be important for you (I have 32GB and get by just fine, but you may want more...I know the RAM in the 2018 Mini is "user upgrade-able" (kind of a PITA) up to 64GB, not sure about the iMac.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:16 AM
George2000 George2000 is offline
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Default Re: Mac Mini i7 2018 vs. iMac i9 2019

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Originally Posted by AlexLakis View Post
Fan noise around ear-level under heavy loads? I can't really speak for the iMac, but my 2018 Mac Mini is dead silent up thru 50% CPU load (I haven't taxed it higher...The only time the fans kick on is when I'm bouncing offline) and you can stow it just about anywhere.
Yeah I wonder about fan noise on the 2019 iMacs (not Pro). Does anyone have any more insight into this? I have read some reports of the previous gen of iMacs having fan noise sometimes. Would be good to know if this has been resolved or not.
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