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Old Oct 28, 2014, 11:05 PM   #1
loby
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Mac Mini i7 2012 Server configuration for Final Cut Pro X

Need some advise and expertise please for configuration:

I just purchased a 2012 Mac Mini Server i7 Quad-Core 2.3MHz and want to use it to work with Final Cut Pro X.

I could not get a i7 2.6MHz - no longer on the internet new for purchase anywhere.

Like most who do amateur video stuff, I cannot afford a Mac Pro. I have been using my Mac Air 2013 i7 for video editing/rendering with a Belkin thunderbolt express dock, but don't want to burn it out and need something else. $ are now short.

Like most people, I was waiting for the new mac mini's and was disappointed... Have a 27" Cinema Display (still like it-not thunderbolt) and is why I don't get an iMac or Macbook (have a Macbook Air).

Previous setup:
1. Mac Mini 2009 (upgraded RAM to 8 gigs, upgraded stocked 350 gig HD drive to 128 SSD drive and used external drives) - still fast for general stuff (to my surprise, even with Yosemite) and used it for basic video/audio stuff, but need now more power.
2. I then used my 2013 i7 Air with external drives for rendering and worked well, but again should not use my Air for heavier FCX or Logic stuff.

Main Question:
What would be the best configuration/upgrade or whatever to maximize my configuration for video editing-rendering?

Now Current Configuration:
1. Mac Mini i7 Late-2012 Quad-core 2.3 MHz, 4 gigs. RAM, 1 TB drives (2x-500gigs - Apple stock).
2. 27" Cinema Display (not Thunderbolt) - still like it and will use it (may save and sell to get a 27" Thunderbolt display some day).
3. Belkin thunderbolt express dock (used it with the 2013 Air - worked well). Like to not use it since I just bought the Mac Mini Late 2012 server
4. 3x USB-3 3 TB drives (1x Porsche Design, 2x Seagate-s)


Thoughts for upgrade:
1. upgrade stock 4 gigs RAM to 16 gigs (no brainer).
2. Take off server and either use OS X Mavericks or Yosemite (or Mountain Lion?) - not sure.
3. Not sure - should I eventually upgrade the HD drives to SSDs when able - $
4. If I use external drives for rendering, are the 1 TB stock HD drives ok or should I upgrade to SSD when able - $?
5. Do I need to RAID my external drives or stand-alone ok..?

Issue:
Since I use a 27" Cinema Display, it will plug into the one thunderbolt port, so I cannot use a thunderbolt drive for speed (save $ to buy a thunderbolt external HD someday) unless I eventually sell my 27" Cinema Display and get a Thunderbolt display which will have another thunderbolt port. This is why I may need to use the Belkin dock station.

Thanks and appreciate responses.

Last edited by loby; Oct 28, 2014 at 11:14 PM.
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Old Oct 28, 2014, 11:36 PM   #2
grandM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: A Belgian waffle!
Quote:
Originally Posted by loby View Post
Need some advise and expertise please for configuration:

I just purchased a 2012 Mac Mini Server i7 Quad-Core 2.3MHz and want to use it to work with Final Cut Pro X.

I could not get a i7 2.6MHz - no longer on the internet new for purchase anywhere.

Like most who do amateur video stuff, I cannot afford a Mac Pro. I have been using my Mac Air 2013 i7 for video editing/rendering with a Belkin thunderbolt express dock, but don't want to burn it out and need something else. $ are now short.

Like most people, I was waiting for the new mac mini's and was disappointed... Have a 27" Cinema Display (still like it-not thunderbolt) and is why I don't get an iMac or Macbook (have a Macbook Air).

Previous setup:
1. Mac Mini 2009 (upgraded RAM to 8 gigs, upgraded stocked 350 gig HD drive to 128 SSD drive and used external drives) - still fast for general stuff (to my surprise, even with Yosemite) and used it for basic video/audio stuff, but need now more power.
2. I then used my 2013 i7 Air with external drives for rendering and worked well, but again should not use my Air for heavier FCX or Logic stuff.

Main Question:
What would be the best configuration/upgrade or whatever to maximize my configuration for video editing-rendering?

Now Current Configuration:
1. Mac Mini i7 Late-2012 Quad-core 2.3 MHz, 4 gigs. RAM, 1 TB drives (2x-500gigs - Apple stock).
2. 27" Cinema Display (not Thunderbolt) - still like it and will use it (may save and sell to get a 27" Thunderbolt display some day).
3. Belkin thunderbolt express dock (used it with the 2013 Air - worked well). Like to not use it since I just bought the Mac Mini Late 2012 server
4. 3x USB-3 3 TB drives (1x Porsche Design, 2x Seagate-s)


Thoughts for upgrade:
1. upgrade stock 4 gigs RAM to 16 gigs (no brainer).
2. Take off server and either use OS X Mavericks or Yosemite (or Mountain Lion?) - not sure.
3. Not sure - should I eventually upgrade the HD drives to SSDs when able - $
4. If I use external drives for rendering, are the 1 TB stock HD drives ok or should I upgrade to SSD when able - $?
5. Do I need to RAID my external drives or stand-alone ok..?

Issue:
Since I use a 27" Cinema Display, it will plug into the one thunderbolt port, so I cannot use a thunderbolt drive for speed (save $ to buy a thunderbolt external HD someday) unless I eventually sell my 27" Cinema Display and get a Thunderbolt display which will have another thunderbolt port. This is why I may need to use the Belkin dock station.

Thanks and appreciate responses.
I have just looked up the minimum specs on https://www.apple.com/benl/final-cut-pro/specs/

OS X v10.9.2 or later
4GB of RAM (8GB recommended for 4K)
OpenCL-capable graphics card or Intel HD Graphics 3000 or later
256MB of VRAM (1GB recommended for 4K)
3.5GB of disk space

I would stick in 16GB and a ssd of 256GB
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Old Oct 28, 2014, 11:46 PM   #3
grandM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: A Belgian waffle!
Quote:
Originally Posted by loby View Post
Need some advise and expertise please for configuration:

I just purchased a 2012 Mac Mini Server i7 Quad-Core 2.3MHz and want to use it to work with Final Cut Pro X.

I could not get a i7 2.6MHz - no longer on the internet new for purchase anywhere.

Like most who do amateur video stuff, I cannot afford a Mac Pro. I have been using my Mac Air 2013 i7 for video editing/rendering with a Belkin thunderbolt express dock, but don't want to burn it out and need something else. $ are now short.

Like most people, I was waiting for the new mac mini's and was disappointed... Have a 27" Cinema Display (still like it-not thunderbolt) and is why I don't get an iMac or Macbook (have a Macbook Air).

Previous setup:
1. Mac Mini 2009 (upgraded RAM to 8 gigs, upgraded stocked 350 gig HD drive to 128 SSD drive and used external drives) - still fast for general stuff (to my surprise, even with Yosemite) and used it for basic video/audio stuff, but need now more power.
2. I then used my 2013 i7 Air with external drives for rendering and worked well, but again should not use my Air for heavier FCX or Logic stuff.

Main Question:
What would be the best configuration/upgrade or whatever to maximize my configuration for video editing-rendering?

Now Current Configuration:
1. Mac Mini i7 Late-2012 Quad-core 2.3 MHz, 4 gigs. RAM, 1 TB drives (2x-500gigs - Apple stock).
2. 27" Cinema Display (not Thunderbolt) - still like it and will use it (may save and sell to get a 27" Thunderbolt display some day).
3. Belkin thunderbolt express dock (used it with the 2013 Air - worked well). Like to not use it since I just bought the Mac Mini Late 2012 server
4. 3x USB-3 3 TB drives (1x Porsche Design, 2x Seagate-s)


Thoughts for upgrade:
1. upgrade stock 4 gigs RAM to 16 gigs (no brainer).
2. Take off server and either use OS X Mavericks or Yosemite (or Mountain Lion?) - not sure.
3. Not sure - should I eventually upgrade the HD drives to SSDs when able - $
4. If I use external drives for rendering, are the 1 TB stock HD drives ok or should I upgrade to SSD when able - $?
5. Do I need to RAID my external drives or stand-alone ok..?

Issue:
Since I use a 27" Cinema Display, it will plug into the one thunderbolt port, so I cannot use a thunderbolt drive for speed (save $ to buy a thunderbolt external HD someday) unless I eventually sell my 27" Cinema Display and get a Thunderbolt display which will have another thunderbolt port. This is why I may need to use the Belkin dock station.

Thanks and appreciate responses.
here you go, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlTiZpQJEzI
Series of 8 episodes on mac mini 2012 with video software
he used - I7 2,3Ghz Quad Core
- 1TB Hdd 5400rpm
- 16GB Ram 1600Mhz
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Old Oct 29, 2014, 07:14 AM   #4
RCAFBrat
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Montreal, QC
My suggestion:

(1) One 8 GB stick of RAM (gives you 10 GB installed)

(2) Replace one HDD with a ~500 GB SSD

Use the SSD for OS, apps and all projects you are working on (scratch, media, etc assuming projects fit).

Don't worry about:

(1) external TB storage; get a decent USB 3.0 enclosue that features UASP (I just picked one up for $20 and my Samsung 840 EVO flies in it, almost double the speed of a USB 3.0 enclosure from same manufacturer that did not feature UASP)

(2) splitting OS, apps, scratch, etc since SSD does not have same latency as HDD - you wouldn't notice the difference and better to spend limited $ on a single large as possible SSD

Cheers

Last edited by RCAFBrat; Oct 29, 2014 at 08:20 AM.
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