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Mac Mini for Video Editing?????

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations/Reviews' started by GadgetGirl, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. macrumors newbie


    I would like to know if the mac mini will handle basic video editing. I plan to use Final Cut Express, and add more ram. What do you guys think? I know that the iBooks and PB's will be G5s by the end of the year, but the mini is in my price range.


  2. macrumors member

    I just cut a 50 minute feature movie in FCP on my Powerbook (specs in sig) and it never skipped a beat. Contrary to popular belief video editing does NOT require a high end system, it just takes a little longer to render things. Considering the mac mini is faster in almost every way than my powerbook you should be fine. Also make sure you get 512 ram minimum. 256 will be very, very slow.
  3. macrumors 6502

    I think you will be fine. Yes, adding RAM will be a big thing.

    There are already a handful of other similar threads of people saying they have computers with inferior technology to the Mac mini and are able to Photoshop and do video editing fine. I think they key phrase you used is "basic." You are certainly not going to want to be making a living editing feature films, but for casual/amateur use, it should be fine.

    I think you will be happy with the performance, unless you try to compare it to a G5. I have one of the new iMac's (see sig) and I think it flies, but I haven't tried to compare it to a dual 2.5 because I know it would make mine feel slow.

    You could go to an Apple store starting this weekend when the mini's should go on display and try them out, but you would have to remember that they are severely limited by base RAM.

    Good luck.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    fce HD needs a minimum of 384mb ram to run and 512mb ram for RT Extreme.
    the 40gb hd is small and it is recommended that you store your video files on a different hd to your os/fce.
    the mini has one firewire port. so if you are using an external firewire drive and a camera daisy-chained expect dropped frames.
    it should work ok, the above things could cause a few hiccups along the way.
  5. macrumors newbie


    Would using a firewire hub eliminate dropped frames?

  6. macrumors member


    I have an external drive and I daisy chain my camera to it, have not had a dropped frame once.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Wouldn't hooking the external drive up via USB 2.0, and the Camera via Firewire be better? Having the external drive on USB 2.0, is better than overloading the firewire connection, right?
  8. macrumors newbie

    Makes perfect sense to me!

  9. macrumors regular

    Not necessarily. The FW bus is wide enough to support camera and HD. In fact, on many occasions I have plugged my camera into my external FW drive and captured the footage TO that drive through FCP. No problems.
  10. macrumors 6502


    hahaha, I use a quicksilver 867 for all my work (video, 3d) and it works just dandy for me. The mini, with a bump up in the ram will do you just fine.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    same here, I use a 733 G4 & FCP no problems.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Thanks to all of you for your advice.....I've been planning to switch for some time now and it's much more affordable at this point.

  13. Moderator emeritus


    I have an iBook G4 800, 640 MB RAM and capture video through my camera which goes through my firewire drive and the video is captured to my firewire drive. Captured 2 1/2 hours worth of video and didn't have a single dropped frame. Works just fine far as I can tell.
  14. macrumors 68040


    just out of curiosity... if you haven't switched yet, you don't have FCE yet, right? have you tried iMovie? for "basic" video editing, iMovie is fairly competent... and it would be included in the mini.
  15. macrumors regular


    unless you are going to make the next star wars movie, the Mac Mini is perfectly fine for video editing. I use my Powerbook G4 1.25mhz with Final Cut Pro HD. You need at least 512mb of Ram and you might want to get an
    external Firewire drive to hold the video footage - which takes up a lot of hard drive space. Good luck!
  16. macrumors 6502a


    it still ends up going in on one firewire bus.
    dropped frames can still happen.
    usb 2 doesn't have the read/write speed to run an external without hiccups,
    (even though it is theoretically faster than firewire 400).
    my points are worst case scenarios.
    it's good to know of possible limitations.
    dropped frames may not happen but if they do you know why.
    just recapture from that point.
    the mini will be a good way to start with fce/fcp.
    happy cutting.
  17. macrumors 604


    Small question, how do you know if a frame got dropped? I am doing the same thing (Cam -> FW HD -> iBook -> FW HD) and I didn't notice anything wrong with it, but I am not sure what to look for! :rolleyes:
  18. macrumors 603


    don't do it

    It does in theory, but in practice it doesn't work (at least not for me). I bought a USB2 drive enclosure and a 160 gig drive to pop in it, and started editing a project using FCE 1. At first it was great. Capturing to the drive, playback, scrubbing from the timeline, it all worked fine. But as the project took shape certain things started to slow down and stutter, presumably as I started to saturate the bandwidth available to the USB2 bus. I still got my project done, and it wasn't a huge deal, but it was annoying and it was only getting worse as my project got more involved.

    I'd get a Firewire case with daisy-chain instead.
  19. macrumors 68000


    i have not had sucess with DV editing on an external USB 2.0 drive on either Mac or PC ... stick with FW.

    i know people who video edit with iMovie/FCExpress on old style iMac ... though, i wouldn't suggest it. :p

  20. macrumors 6502

    This is unrelated to the topic, but i use a USB 2.0 external drive, which has caused some problems while capturing to that. Can I change FCP's setting to not stop capturing when frames are dropped?? Most of the footage I capture would be fine with a few dropped frames here or there. I typically end up capturing to my PB's HD and then moving the files later...
  21. macrumors regular


    I do SD video editing on a Titanium Powerbook (1GHz, 512MB RAM) with FCP. Works perfectly, even for advanced stuff like color correction, LiveType and so on. I use an external FW hard disk. No problems here. Oh, just get a big display... (I used to work with my 22" CRT but got myself a shiny new 23" Cinema display - it rocks...). For _very advanced_ stuff like Motion, you need a G5 with a $$$ graphics card. But for everything else, the mini would be just perfect.

    I have a Sony video camera (DCR-PC330E) which allows me to use in/out FW DV and analog convert it, so I can use a TV to see the results in realtime.

    Good luck...
  22. macrumors 6502

    I don't see why everyone fails to mention this: the most important computer item you will get for video editing is the display. For Final Cut Express, it does help to have a nice processor and a good gig of RAM, but you will be much more limited by a small monitor than a slow computer. First time users of Final Cut, especially those accustomed to iMovie, can not deal with the amount of screen real estate required by the program. Using Final Cut without a widescreen display can be very limiting and will greatly slow you down because you will have to keep reconfiguring your windows for different types of editing. Obviously if the price range you are looking in is that of the mac mini or, ahem, "Ghetto Mac", than you can't afford to buy a nice new widescreen display to go with your computer and as such, the cheapest thing to do would be to get either an iMac G5, with the advantage being better video support for things like titles and effects in editing, or an iMac G4, the only advantage being price. This way you can spend a little extra and at least get a decent display.
  23. macrumors regular


    1. I suppose she has a display already, or no Mac mini...
    2. A CRT is much more affordable (21" is $350+)

    BTW, a Mac mini for video editing has one big setback: No dual monitor support, that is...
  24. macrumors newbie


    Thanks FW daisy chain it is, with the mac mini......yeah! My pockets are happy!
  25. macrumors newbie


    Yes, I will try imovie first, but I have 'pro-sumer' experience and would soon love to take advantage of the extra features of FCE.


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