Final Cut Express on a Mac mini - viable?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Courtaj, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. Courtaj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    Has anyone run FCE4 on a mini? I've got a C2D 2GHz 2GB mini that more than satisfies the minimum spec requirement, but I wonder if anyone has evidence to the contrary.

  2. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2008
    The program itself should be able to run just fine. What type of video you are editing may be a different story.
  3. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    I think FCE4 has a video card ram requirement IIRC, whatever it is, it's just something editable in a plist file, you can still run it.

    FCE will run fine on your box, but as someone else said, if you're going to do HD on it, you may be disappointed in the realtime effects speed. You can stil do it just fine, you'll just have to play around with the video render size and quality. I've never been bothered by having to do that, I mean back when Final Cut ran on Mac OS 8/9, you didn't even keep all your clips *online*, much less try to play back at full speed! :)
  4. Courtaj thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    Thanks, chaps.

    I'll be putting my mini to use for editing home movies shot on a budget AVCHD camera, and I'm growing tired of using iMovie '08 to import, transferring to iMovie HD, and then putting up with iMovie HD's limitations (especially its audio limitations) and am starting to think about FCE as an alternative.

    I expect that because I can edit HD (albeit transcoded to AIC) in iMovie without problems on the mini then I should be able to do the same in FCE, no? Anyway, given that I'm a student again at the moment, I can get FCE at the reduced rate so it's probably worth a pop.

  5. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2008
    Yep you should be just fine, just know that it may be slow during your "log and transfer" because of CPU limitation. but if time is no factor, you will get by and have far more control over your video over iMovie. I use FCE 4 right now and it's a great way to learn the final cut workflow without dropping the cash to get final cu studio.
  6. arunbalchandar macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2008
    take a look at my specs...


    I have a doubt on the same issue. I am planning to install my final cut E on my mac mini. I checked the specs and don't see any graphics card.

    These are the specs of my mac mini.can you pls take a look at and help me fiigure this out.

    Specs of Mac Mini

    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: Mac mini
    Model Identifier: Macmini1,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core Duo
    Processor Speed: 1.66 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache (per processor): 2 MB
    Memory: 512 MB
    Bus Speed: 667 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: MM11.0055.B08
    SMC Version: 1.3f4
    Serial Number: YM6242GMU36

    System Software Overview:

    System Version: Mac OS X 10.4.11 (8S2167)
    Kernel Version: Darwin 8.11.1
    Boot Volume: Macintosh HD

    Intel GMA 950:

    Chipset Model: GMA 950
    Type: Display
    Bus: Built-In
    VRAM (Total): 64 MB of shared system memory
    Vendor: Intel (0x8086)
    Device ID: 0x27a2
    Revision ID: 0x0003
    Resolution: 1152 x 870 @ 75 Hz
    Depth: 32-bit Color
    Core Image: Hardware Accelerated
    Main Display: Yes
    Mirror: Off
    Online: Yes
    Quartz Extreme: Supported
    Rotation: Supported

    This computer does not appear to have any PCI cards installed.

    Thanks for your advice
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I think the main limitation of the Mini is the disk drive. Maybe you might need a bigger, faster disk. There are guidlines in the in the back ot the FCE User Manual. They have a section of what disk (size and type) is required for what kind of video. I suspect you will want the fastest external disk you can get.

    Also the screen. FCE needs a lot of screen space.

    I ran FCE on a G4 Mini. I was using it only for miniDV format but it work well enough. The Intel Minis are much better.
  8. tgmediapro macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2008
    Why limit yourself

    I have a Mini G4 1.4GHz with 1GB of Ram. I run FCP 4.5 on it just fine. not express, but Pro.
    Now I don't suggest rendering heavy items or a big 90 minute long projects export but it does run. Slow is better than no features. To burn a large DVD off iDVD take all night but it is possible.
    2 years later I had earned enough off it to buy a macpro and fcp studio.
  9. Courtaj thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    Sure enough, FCE4 is running just fine on my mini. Would I like it to be faster? You bet. But considering the capital outlay I'm certainly not complaining!

    @arun: Check the FCE4 hardware requirements here:
    • A Mac computer with a 1.25GHz or faster PowerPC G4, PowerPC G5, Intel Core Duo, Intel Core 2 Duo, or Intel Xeon processor
    • For AVCHD: A Mac computer with an Intel processor
    • 1GB of RAM or more
    • An AGP or PCI Express graphics card compatible with Quartz Extreme; or an Intel GMA integrated graphics processor in a MacBook or Mac mini computer.

    In a nutshell, you're good to go.


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