Is this Mac Mini sufficiently powerful for heavy Pro Tools etc use?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mmmhmm, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. mmmhmm macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2019
    I'm an audio producer and composer and looking to buy a Mac Mini for my studio. I use Pro Tools, Ableton and Logic pretty heavily, though not usually for recording lots of instruments at the same time. That said, I work in the box, so there's lots of plugins and processes all happening at once so i'm hoping to make sure I buy something with enough power. Would this thing do the job? It seems like it would to me but would love a second opinion.

    Mac mini 3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 - Space Grey

    Originally released October 2018

    16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM memory

    512GB PCIe-based SSD1

    Four Thunderbolt 3 ports (up to 40 Gbps)

    Intel UHD Graphics 630

    Gigabit Ethernet port
  2. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
  3. Deanster macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2005
    Yep, it might in fact be overkill on the processor.

    Even very complex audio processing is child's play for today's processors. Compared to HD or 4K video, you simply can't have enough complexity in an audio project to push the capacity of a modern desktop CPU.

    The decision about quad/hexacore setups will be governed by how your plugins utilize the cores, it's possible that if you're running enough different stuff at once you might see an advantage to the hexacore setup, but in general you don't get a lot of advantage from increased cores unless you're doing a lot of rendering or other tasks that can be efficiently chopped into bits and run in parallel, AND the software you're using is set up to do that well.

    By contrast, 4K video remains a desktop-crusher, everyone I know who works with heavy video routinely has moved away from macs entirely and is running 12-core Windows setups with multi video cards and SSD arrays.

    Uncompressed CD audio runs at 1.4Mbit/s, while 1080p Blu-Ray video runs at 40Mbit/sec, and compressed 4K records at 100Mbit/s or more, if your gear can accept it that fast.
  4. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Excellent choice. Only thing to add - consider more RAM. As well, expect to require more drive space (external) for your work and storage. The reason this 'maybe too much cpu' option is a good one, is that people often forget that more than one app may be open as well as future proofing as apps themselves start to exploit more of the processors.
  5. kwikdeth macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tempe, AZ
    i would do 8GB instead of 16, then upgrade w/ third party RAM up to 32 or maybe even 64GB.

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4 April 26, 2019