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James O.

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 13, 2015
22
6
I am running Zoom and finding that it struggles with the 1080p video I feed it. It works fine initially, but ultimately lags and gets bogged down - processor running 100 percent at some points.

The MacBook is a 2.7ghz i7 with four cores.

The newest Mini offers a six core i5 that can boost up to 4ghz.

I know nothing about processors - would the mini be a fast solution more likely to keep up? Maybe someone can quantify it?

Thinking of getting a mini to be my zoom machine but I would need for it to be justified by much better performance. I just dont know how to quantify it.

Anyone?

thanks!
 

Cookie18

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2014
583
684
France
If you want it in numbers:

The i5 Mac Mini is around 30% faster in single core than your MacBook Pro. It is around 300% quicker in multi core performance.

Now, my personal usage seems to be heavier than yours but similar to what you are doing. I am on Skype or a WebRTC video call almost all day. I’m running a 4K monitor and a 1080P/144hz monitor. I am sharing screens, writing in word documents or PowerPoints, I have many tabs and windows open.

Basically, although no one thing there is intensive on an older computer you feel a lag, things don’t open so quick etc.

My i5 Mac Mini hasn’t once skipped a beat. It’s so good that I get frustrated at my 2017 iMac when I have one bouncing ball in an hour of use. The i5 Mac Mini (with 16GB of RAM) will be life changing for you.
 

iluvmacs99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2019
920
671
I am running Zoom and finding that it struggles with the 1080p video I feed it. It works fine initially, but ultimately lags and gets bogged down - processor running 100 percent at some points.

The MacBook is a 2.7ghz i7 with four cores.

The newest Mini offers a six core i5 that can boost up to 4ghz.

I know nothing about processors - would the mini be a fast solution more likely to keep up? Maybe someone can quantify it?

Thinking of getting a mini to be my zoom machine but I would need for it to be justified by much better performance. I just dont know how to quantify it.

Anyone?

thanks!

Depending on how many screens you are planning to run. According to Zoom, the requirement for a 1 screen zoom room is a Quad Core i3 Mini with 8Gb of DDR4 ram. For 2 screens, you need a 6 core i7 (not i5) and 8Gb of ram. For 3 screens and more, you need a 6 core i7 with 16Gb of DDR4 ram. All ram must be in dual channel mode to have better performance.

I recently bought a gaming PC just to be a Zoom machine so I can have multiple screens active for conference calls, the PC with more superior hardware than the Mac Mini was way cheaper for a dedicated Zoom and 4k Davinci Resolve video edit machine. The PC also allows you to hook up a HTC VIVE or an Oculus Rift S for Zoom VR for corporative virtual reality conference calls if your organization supports it.
 
Last edited:

James O.

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 13, 2015
22
6
Thanks very much for the replies everyone.

So here is my situation - I might like to get a fully decked out mini, but now I realize I have a second problem. My 27 inch cinema display seems like it can't be adapted to connect to the mini. The connector plugs into my laptop just fine,the symbol on the display's cable is NOT the lighting bolt but look like the mini displayport symbol I think.

So even if I wanted a mini, I can't use the display.

Something I didn't know is that according to the previous reply, that dual displays require more power. I do connect my laptop to the larger display which is needed for me, but I dont necessarily need the laptop display. If I use the laptop in a closed lid mode, does that alleviate the extra resources needed to drive both screens? Maybe I can save some CPU that way?

ugh.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
7,751
4,618
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I would avoid the 8gb Mini, the onboard graphics use 1.5gb which only leaves 6.5gb for everything else. I see 9gb of RAM in use with only Safari and Mail running on my 2018 Mini and there's a thread here where others report the same. Now, this will still work with only 8gb physical RAM because virtual memory is used, and the SSD in the Mini is so fast that it works very well. However, heavy SSD usage makes the Mini run hot which causes the fan to ramp up and may cause the processor to throttle.

There are several threads about "lag" on the 2018 Mini with only 8gb RAM.
 

James O.

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 13, 2015
22
6
I would avoid the 8gb Mini, the onboard graphics use 1.5gb which only leaves 6.5gb for everything else. I see 9gb of RAM in use with only Safari and Mail running on my 2018 Mini and there's a thread here where others report the same. Now, this will still work with only 8gb physical RAM because virtual memory is used, and the SSD in the Mini is so fast that it works very well. However, heavy SSD usage makes the Mini run hot which causes the fan to ramp up and may cause the processor to throttle.

There are several threads about "lag" on the 2018 Mini with only 8gb RAM.

I was thinking that if I were to pull the trigger on one, I would get 16gb of ram and upgrade to the i7. I didn't realize that the processor upgrade was possible until I went to the purchasing page and saw that was possible. But I wonder then on the mini page why they don't make a bigger deal out of that option being available.
 

iluvmacs99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2019
920
671
Thanks very much for the replies everyone.

So here is my situation - I might like to get a fully decked out mini, but now I realize I have a second problem. My 27 inch cinema display seems like it can't be adapted to connect to the mini. The connector plugs into my laptop just fine,the symbol on the display's cable is NOT the lighting bolt but look like the mini displayport symbol I think.

So even if I wanted a mini, I can't use the display.

Something I didn't know is that according to the previous reply, that dual displays require more power. I do connect my laptop to the larger display which is needed for me, but I dont necessarily need the laptop display. If I use the laptop in a closed lid mode, does that alleviate the extra resources needed to drive both screens? Maybe I can save some CPU that way?

ugh.

Someone had already answered your first question, so I'll answer the second one. The answer is a maybe, because the computer still allocates some GPU ram from the main memory for your first screen if you are using it or not with the internal GPU. So the lag comes from memory paging, because you use 2 screens with one of them a 27" displaying at 1440p or 2K I think. A faster CPU helps smooth out the lag which is why Zoom recommends the i7. If you get an i5 with 16Gb DDR4 memory, you could probably do well with just 2 screens, but i7 would be what Zoom recommends.
 

James O.

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 13, 2015
22
6
Hey everyone - thank you! My problem is now absolutely solved, and it turns out my current laptop is just fine.

I tried a setup where I am only using the one (large) monitor, with the laptop closed to prevent resources from being allocated for that. I ensured the laptop was rebooted to clear any other apps. I ran only Zoom and my whole lag issue, processor being slammed etc completely went away.

Thanks to everyone who contributed, I really appreciate your help. I'm totally fine now and all it cost me was the laptop screen during Zoom calls, which I really did not need at all.

thanks again! All is good here and no money will be spent!
 
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