i7 mac mini as a video editing machine...

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by gdeusthewhizkid, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. gdeusthewhizkid macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2008

    im a owner of a 2006 mac pro.. This machine is great with all the recent upgrades I've been able to do with it.. I even managed to install mavericks on it.. But I'm looking still for a bit more speed and I think I want to get the i7 mac mini with a 27 inch thunderbolt display and a 8 tb thunderbolt external board for my projects and media files. How is it as a video editing machine mostly using final cut pro x 10.2. Im looking to upgrade a bit and really don't have the money to throw on the new mac pro and I don't like the iMacs because of the expandability of them.. does anyone have this machine and edit with it.. please let me know ..

  2. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    Depending on the current Ram in your 1,1, a less expensive option could be to upgrade your 1,1 to an octocore (e.g. with 2.66 GHz 5355 SLAEG's, which are currently available dead cheap - and the 3.0 GHz 5365's not being that much more expensive, either), which would bring it close to the i7 mini in terms of CPU power.

    You would neither need external thunderbolt storage nor the mini itself and could invest part of the saved money into bigger internal harddrives. Going for a 3rd party 27" display (probably required in this scenario, due to the lack of Thunderbolt on the 1,1) is also a bit cheaper than Apple's offer, which imo is not up to par anymore.

    In general the (i7) mini is a powerful machine and silent when idling. But it tends to get a bit loud under constant (high) load, where the 1,1 merely increases its basic hum.
  3. Petry macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2014
    First of all, the latest version of Final Cut Pro is 10.1.3. If you have 10.2 something is wrong (or you're inside Apple).

    Wait until the 16th of October to see if any new minis are going to be announced. If not, buy a used 2012 quad core i7, with 16Gb of Ram.
    The machine works fine with two internal drives (you can buy the adapter at ifixit), specially if one of them is an SSD.

    I haven't ever seen a machine work flawlessly with video since FCP 7. The Mini is great for it's price, you'll see a huge difference in the new processors speed (comparing to yours 2006 machine) but this ain't a Mac Pro. You won't be able to edit video with it for another 8 years. In two, three years you'll have to do another upgrade (since 16gb is the max the current mini can handle). Specially considering 4K.
  4. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    You may want to also look at the rMBP for video editing

    I use an early 2014 rMBP15 (2.6GHz i7-16GB RAM) and a early 2008 MacPro 2x2.8GHz Quad core (8 cores total) with 10GB RAM for heavy editing. The Mac pro does a little better, especially with anything needing transcoding or rendering (about 10%) . Both blow my recent 2012 mini server (2.3GHz i7) out of the water. All these CPUs have internal SSDs.

    The mini is certainly usable and, because it has more cores to play with, may provide better performance than your 2006, but patience will still be a virtue.

    There are many here that do lightweight editing with a mini and are satisfied.

    You may also want to ask for opinions over in the digital video editing forum

  5. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014
  6. Petry macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2014
    Yeah, the OP asked about a Ford Fiesta and you tell him "hey, buy a Ferrari".

    The MacBook Retina costs A LOT more than the Mini.
    The iMac is almost the same hardware, but with a very costly display and without the ability to add a second drive.
  7. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014

    Is that aimed at me?
  8. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2014
    the cpu, ram , and ssd specs are fine for fcp x but the graphics surely isnt. fcp x is fairly graphics card heavy and your machine would have a problem
  9. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    The OP mentions getting a mini and pairing it up with a Thunderbolt Display - frankly, for price of this combo, a 27-inch iMac is a valid alternative - more processing power, can handle more RAM, etc.
  10. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014
    Yeah thats why I mentioned the iMac. The video card and 32 GB RAM is a huge advantage.


    If you're doing 4k yes, but why couldn't you edit 1080 4 years down the road on the 2012 mini?
  11. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2014
    because in 4 years your clients won't want 1080p deliverables theyll want 4k
  12. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    You know what software you want to use then it would be wise to go into forums and sites that talk about optimal hardware and some comparisons of hardware.

    I like the Mac Mini for my purposes and yes it can be sluggish on certain activities due to lack of GPU "power."

    In your case, you might find that a "newer" model refurb Mac Pro would be a better fit than a new Mini. The advantage might be more cores, ease of adding perhaps a striped set of drives plus of course RAM and GPU options. One of the better parts of a newer refurb Mac Pro would be the bus as I believe yours is PCI 1.2 and newer are 2.x. That is a huge difference.

    Because I deal with graphics, (photo restoration mostly) I have no use for an iMac. - But then again, the new Mac Pro is too pricey for me and the Mini is going nowhere fast. Apple has no desire to make a Mini that is a bit "more" for folks like you (or me for that matter).
  13. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    What movie format are you editing, and especially what frame rate? I would base display choice on that.
  14. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    Don't get the Mini for video editing. Get an iMac or better. New iMacs likely coming on Thursday too.
  15. fathergll macrumors 65816

    Sep 3, 2014
    Well yeah. I'd probably not opt for a mini if I was using it as an actual work computer for editing.
  16. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2014
    same, i would love a high-end mac mini with a beefy gpu and 2-3 TB2 ports for my perfipherals. basically a stripped down nMP.
  17. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    If all one needed was a beefy GPU, several folks have put high end GPUs in Thunderbolt expansion chassis. Doesn't help with TB ports, but at least you won't lose one.
  18. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2014
    TB2 only has about 13.2GB/s bandwtidh...huge bottleneck compared to pci e
  19. MacTCE macrumors 6502


    Dec 20, 2013
    Upstate NY
    Unless you're doing extremely light editing for personal use I wouldn't recommend a Mini. Granted with a refresh to a Haswell CPU and Iris graphics if would be better, but still won't be a pleasant experience for anything intensive. I use my Mac Pro for video editing, but I'm still hoping for the 5K iMac to add ass an additional video editing device and to replace my aging Mini server.
  20. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2007
    When that time comes, and they are willing to pay for 4K. Then you buy hardware.

    better than buying hardware today for something 4 years from now. By then todays hardware is yesterdays old hardware.

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