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Old Sep 25, 2011, 09:28 PM   #1
CheesyTators
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Base Mac Mini graphics good enough for AVCHD video editing?

Would the base model with an 8GB RAM upgrade and the Intel graphics allow me to edit some AVCHD video from a canon Vixia HD camcorder in iMovie, smoothly? I had an iMac, and would buy one again if I had the money but my budget is only around $600. The iMac obviously had no problems editing the video but I wanted some opinions before I grab the mac mini. It will be used heavily for iMovie, iPhoto and some Photoshop. I do a lot of editing so I will most likely have this mini running full out quite a bit.

Thanks.
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Old May 6, 2012, 09:04 AM   #2
ctyhntr
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I have the same question. I'm torn between getting a 15" MBP or 2 mac minis for video editing in iMovie. I need portability and volume as I need to bring these and camp onsite for 12-14 hours.

Last edited by ctyhntr; May 6, 2012 at 09:08 AM. Reason: update more information.
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Old May 6, 2012, 09:57 AM   #3
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I don't have the current Mini, but I work heavily with AVCHD 2.0 in FCP X, and as far as I can tell from benchmarks, the base Mini should be able to handle it okay. But honestly, if I were you, I'd rather try to find a good deal on a 2,5GHz model with the discrete graphics, because in video editing every percent power means many hours you don't have to work in front of your screen.

I worked on some semi professional projects, so I know you are going to appreciate the extra power in the more expensive Mini. Final Cut Pro X at least utilizes the GPU quite heavily - don't know if this also applies to iMovie '11, but logically it should since the two programs share many functions.
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Old May 7, 2012, 08:31 PM   #4
ctyhntr
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Is FCPX better at tackling AVCHD than iMovie? Right now iMovie meets all my editing needs. I just need a faster process to deal with 1080p, which is why I'm thinking of getting two mac minis instead of a single MBP to speed up my workflow. Right now I have one MBP with the files saved to an USB 2.0 external hard drive. Finalizing and exporting 1 hour of video can take my machine 18-25 hours.

With two mac minis until the stuff for thunderbolt comes out, I was thinking of hooking them up by Gigabit ethernet, which should be faster than 480mb output of USB 2.0.
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Old May 7, 2012, 09:06 PM   #5
earwax69
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What are the spec of your current computer?

If you are using a Duo2Core cpu, expect at least 200% speed gain for the i5, i7.

Im on a pc right now and dont use Final Cut Pro but as I'm a Motion Designer, I often have to edit HD footage. The big bottleneck in editing is the HDD speed. Then the CPU, the ram and the GPU. I dont think Apple products use the GPU cuda cores like Premiere Pro with the mercury engine. I would not worry too much about the GPU.

The mini in itself is not a bad machine. I think your problem now is that you use the USB 2.0 drive as your footage pool. It's slow. Very slow.

If you buy a new machine but keep using your usb drive, I guess you will not see much improvement. Forget about gigabit Ethernet as it is even slower in real-life testing.

http://www.sheldmandu.com/sbs2008/gi...ed-performance

One solution would be to get the mini and replace the internal HDD for a faster 7200 rpm drive. You can put 2 HDD in the 2011 mini with a bit of work.

Solution 2 would be to get a new computer after the refresh at it will have USB 3 like most pc already have.

Also you can tweek your workflow. Did you try other codecs that HVCHD? H264 is really a bitch on the cpu. Better go with some less intensive codecs like ProRes 422 or even quicktime Photo Jpeg at 85% quality...

Edit; do you have a firewire 800 port on your MBP? That would also be faster by a fair bit... 800mps vs 480mps for the usb2... That would decrease your render time quite a bit.
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Old May 13, 2012, 05:15 PM   #6
Tsuchiya
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It can handle it, it'll just be quite time consuming. For what it's worth, the sandy bridge i5 mini, even at 2.3ghz is much more capable than my core 2 macbook pro which I used to edit 1080p/24 video shot on our family camcorder without many issues.

Thinking about it, although I'm happy with my 2011 mini, I can't help but feel that Apple messed up the configurations. A quad core processor plus the seperate graphics chip would have been an ideal combination for most people.

Perhaps it was intentional.
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Old May 13, 2012, 05:31 PM   #7
palmharbor
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Thumbs down Mac Mini 2012

thank God I bought the apple protection plan as I am now on my THIRD mac mini....they refused to repair the second one again so they gave me this new one. I would NOT recommend this product to anyone I liked. Sorry but I consider this cheap chinese crap.
I have a 2000 Flat panel iMac...the first model and it works today and has NEVER needed a repair. I used it while I was awaiting my shipment from CHINA...of the new one. Seriously...just can't recommend it.
Oh, the new LION OS must have been designed by MicroSoft Geeks....no more bouncing of emails...tiny icons in mail...black and white...you must buy the outboard DVD drive,
nothing to recommend.

Last edited by palmharbor; May 13, 2012 at 05:33 PM. Reason: additional remarks
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Old May 13, 2012, 07:55 PM   #8
Ice Dragon
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Sorry you got two lemons. It's a shame although all computers are made in China. At least Apple gave you new ones.
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Old May 14, 2012, 01:47 PM   #9
CausticPuppy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palmharbor View Post
t
I have a 2000 Flat panel iMac...the first model and it works today and has NEVER needed a repair.
Hmmmmm.... The first flat panel iMac came out in 2002.
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Old May 14, 2012, 03:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CausticPuppy View Post
Hmmmmm.... The first flat panel iMac came out in 2002.
I still have that one
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Old May 15, 2012, 12:05 PM   #11
CausticPuppy
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Originally Posted by firemedicmark View Post
I still have that one
Probably one of the best computer designs ever made... maybe one day Apple will at least build in a height-adjustable stand again.
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