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Mac Mini tomorrow

Discussion in 'Mac OS' started by tehrv, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. tehrv

    tehrv New Member

    I'm going to buy a Mac Mini tomorrow for Logic. I assume that I will be running some number of virtual instruments immediately. In 6 months or less, I will probably need to get a good interface and do some recording. This machine will be used only for Logic (and maybe Digital Performer).


    1) I figure I'll buy one with 4GB and add 12GB more. Is that the way to go?

    2) I believe I am supposed to get an external hard drive. Which one should I get? Or what are the specifications for a suitable one? What goes on the external drive? Everything except Logic itself?

    3) Which internal hard drive should I get? Here are the possibilities:

    1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    1TB Fusion Drive
    256GB Solid State Drive

    4) Which processor?

    2.3GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
    2.6GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7

    5) Is the sound card that comes with a Mac Mini good enough? Or am I supposed to get some other sound card? So suppose I buy an expensive interface. What sound card will I use then?

  3. Spookymooo

    Spookymooo New Member

    Trying to work out all this myself. Any success?
  4. michaelo

    michaelo LUG Emeritus

    Assuming you can afford the extra, get as much ram as you can. 16 GB is good.
    Get any reputable brand of external drive 1TB or bigger. You will record your audio files to this.
    A SSD drive will greatly increase the general speed of your system. If you don't have a lot of huge sample libraries then 256 GB may be enough. Definitely do not get the 5400 rpm drive. Slow as death...
    You could reasonably choose to save some money on the speed of the processor. The perceived difference between 2.3 and 2.6Ghz will not be much. Unless of course you are the sort of guy to max everything out all the time. Then get as much grunt as you can afford.
    Lastly, you will need to purchase an external I/O device (a sound card in old pc language). This will provide you with mic inputs and control of levels and output to your speakers. Plenty to choose from that will give great results without a ton of money. HTH
  5. charlie

    charlie Senior member

    I too may be in the market for a new Mac but am a bit on the fence about buying the Mac Mini...
    My blessed 2009 Mac Pro is beginning to show its age and is in a downward spiral of dying a painful death.:huh:
    Having the Mac Pro made me into a snob who really liked having 4 SATA internal drives at my disposal. This now seems something that Apple is moving away from... Se la vie...:ooold:
    Enter the Mac Mini!
    For just under $1k, I could have a kickin' little machine...
    The positives are that the current Mini has one FW800, 4 USB3 ports, one T-bolt port and an HDMI for video (plus ethernet.)
    I also learned that this model allows you to replace RAM yourself :thmbup:(which Apple seems to be rallying against over the last few years...):confused:
    I could get 16 gigs RAM for around $60 which would be great.

    The negatives are that the Mini is more than 2 years old and has a lo-end video card. It "only" has one T-bolt port and because of it's design, the Mini needs to connect to drives externally.:ddhorse:
    The rumor mill states that a new Mini is around the corner but I'm sure that means that the various old school features I like today will be replaced by whatever is new.

    The Mac Mini really is in the right price point for me though, thousands less than that new Mac Pro and has that FW800 which means I could still use my Apogee Duet as an interface.
    Anyone else here using the Mini with good, bad & ugly tales to tell?
    I appreciate any opinions about this computer.
  6. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Hey Charlie,

    I am in a similar boat. My 2008 MacPro tower, loaded with four nice big drives, is doing fine for the moment, but struggling with some of the more recent plug-in updates and sample libraries I have been throwing at it. And I am also considering a Mac Mini with some outboard HD storage.

    One of the enclosures I am considering is this one:

    Does anyone have any experience with this? Or any other relevant thoughts or input regarding external storage for us old time tower users who have grown accustomed to having multiple drives constantly spinning?
  7. mt100uk

    mt100uk Senior member

    Hi, it depends what you're after, In terms of raw power, I'd think your Mac Pro would (still) be faster than any of the current minis, certainly for brute processing, my quad 3.5Ghz i7 iMac is only marginally faster than my old Mac pro

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. charlie

    charlie Senior member

    That's my issue... For possibly the first time, i'm actually confused with what to buy from Apple.
    I cant afford that ridiculously expensive new Mac Pro, and i dont know if a MacBook Pro is practical for me these days.
    My present Mac Pro which does have the horse-power I need is having severe crashes and takes me 20 minutes just to get up and running per day. All the IT guys I have spoken to confirm that my tower is having a multitude of hardware and firmware issues...
    Realistically, I most likely won't be able to fix the tower so, the 2012 Mac Mini seems viable but isn't blowing me away with its specs...
    I feel like it may be more of a stop-gap solution so I don't lose too much productivity.
  9. charlie

    charlie Senior member

    I am scoping the same one. -question, with a dock like this, can you access the drives individually, or must it be as a RAID configuration?
    Just curious.
    Please post here if you do pull the trigger with the mini.
  10. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    I'm not planning on making the change in the immediate future. I think I can hold off for a while longer. My tower is humming along perfectly. It's just raw computing power that is becoming the issue.

    I can't imagine that it would be for raid only. I certainly am looking, like you, to be able to access individual drives. I'll report back if I hear anything more about it.
  11. charlie

    charlie Senior member

    File under FWIW:

    Depending on how this new model is outfitted & designed, I'll either pick up the new one or just grab the 2012 Mini for even cheaper... I read somewhere that the price was dropping for the Mini already in some markets; usually the sign of a new model about to be released to replace it.

    -Of course this interest in his Mini is all because my 2009 Mac Pro is having Logic Board issues... Anyone here ever go through getting a Logic Board replaced? Wondering if it would be worth it to try fixing my tower or just go for the Mini.:confused:

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