Mac mini: acceptable for iMovie & iDVD?

canyonblue737

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Jan 10, 2005
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long ago mac user (started with the 128k left after the 2nd generation of powermacs) looking to either A) get a iMac G5 or B) run a Mac mini with my current PC mointor in a dual WinXP/OSX setup.

my *primary* reason for being interested in getting back to the macintosh is the iLife apps, and wanting to use the easy and elegant iMovie and iDVD. would the performance of the Mac Mini be enough to edit and make movies via firewire and a SuperDrive or does it really need a iMac G5?

thanks...
 

HiRez

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Jan 6, 2004
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canyonblue737 said:
my *primary* reason for being interested in getting back to the macintosh is the iLife apps, and wanting to use the easy and elegant iMovie and iDVD. would the performance of the Mac Mini be enough to edit and make movies via firewire and a SuperDrive or does it really need a iMac G5?.
I just wrote something yesterday about this same thing. After playing with a Mini in the Apple Store yesterday I would definitely say YES, which surprised me. With only a stock 256 MB machine, I was able to cut video (high def video no less) in iMovie HD with surprisingly good performance. What I'm not sure about is if you'll be able to stream video out via FireWire without dropping frames because of the very slow hard drive, or if frames would be dropped while capturing. If you do get one, do yourself a favor and get a minimum of 512 MB of RAM though (preferably 1 GB if you're comfortable replacing it yourself -- don't pay Apple $400+ for it). Anyway, the little thing seems very capable of video editing.
 

ravenvii

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Mar 17, 2004
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I really don't understand the hesitation to call the Mac mini a "capable" machine. I mean I used first a PowerBook G4 550 MHz, then a iMac G4 800 MHz, and they do iMovie and iDVD just fine. The mini is almost double the speed of the iMac 800 (the 1.42 GHz one at least).
 

James Craner

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2002
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canyonblue737 said:
long ago mac user (started with the 128k left after the 2nd generation of powermacs) looking to either A) get a iMac G5 or B) run a Mac mini with my current PC mointor in a dual WinXP/OSX setup.

my *primary* reason for being interested in getting back to the macintosh is the iLife apps, and wanting to use the easy and elegant iMovie and iDVD. would the performance of the Mac Mini be enough to edit and make movies via firewire and a SuperDrive or does it really need a iMac G5?

thanks...
The short answer is yes the Mini would be more than capable of running iMovie and iDVD. The performance of the Mini is broadly the same as a 15" Powerbook, which I use all the time to capture and edit movies not just in iMovie, but more recently in Final Cut Express. I suggest that you get 512MB of ram.
 

tdhurst

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Dec 27, 2003
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Huh?

I don't see what all the surprise is about. Movies were made for years on G4 450mhz towers, hell, parts of Star Wars used those machines for editing.
Why would anyone think a consumer level computer wouldn't be able to run consumer level apps (iLife)?
 

Lacero

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Jan 20, 2005
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Well G4s ran OS9 and Final Cut Pro 2.0 on 128MB RAM. OSX itself needs at least 256MB to be of any use. The Mac mini would scream if it were able to boot into OS9, but since it can't it really isn't that fast. iLife, although their consumer app, they require more processing power than their Pro equivalents. Take for example iDVD, it requires more processing power than DVD Studio Pro, although DVDSP is more fully featured.
 

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
appleretailguy said:
I don't see what all the surprise is about. Movies were made for years on G4 450mhz towers, hell, parts of Star Wars used those machines for editing.
Why would anyone think a consumer level computer wouldn't be able to run consumer level apps (iLife)?
I agree. I think there is a misconception when working with video. Alot of people think video takes the most advanced computer around. Maybe it does if a movie is being made, but simple home video editing can be handled by the majority of the computers running X. They may not be fast, they'll get the job done!
 

canyonblue737

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Original poster
Jan 10, 2005
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well that answers my question! here is one more...

is there anything in OS X that specifically takes advantage of a WIDESCREEN display? the reason i ask is i think i am going to replace my 19 inch CRT with a 19-21 inch LCD but for cost reasons i think i am going to go the 4x3 route. i could then get this new display, a KVM switch (does that do DVI or just the normal plug?) and a 1.42 Mac mini with a Super-Drive and I will user upgrade to 1 GB of RAM.

am i "losing" out on anything Mac specific by running it off a 4x3 screen instead of 16x9?
 

ravenvii

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Mar 17, 2004
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canyonblue737 said:
well that answers my question! here is one more...

is there anything in OS X that specifically takes advantage of a WIDESCREEN display? the reason i ask is i think i am going to replace my 19 inch CRT with a 19-21 inch LCD but for cost reasons i think i am going to go the 4x3 route. i could then get this new display, a KVM switch (does that do DVI or just the normal plug?) and a 1.42 Mac mini with a Super-Drive and I will user upgrade to 1 GB of RAM.

am i "losing" out on anything Mac specific by running it off a 4x3 screen instead of 16x9?
Nah, the only thing you lose is the physical extra space and the cool-factor. A 4:3 screen is just fine.
 

HiRez

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Jan 6, 2004
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canyonblue737 said:
am i "losing" out on anything Mac specific by running it off a 4x3 screen instead of 16x9?
If you are editing 16:9 video, it's nice for watching your video full-screen with minimal letterboxing/pillarboxing (most widescreen computer monitors are not exactly 16:9). Also nice for holding more items in the Dock :cool:
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
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Canada, eh?
I really don't know anything about the transfer rates for the new HD video standard, but for standard DV, the transfer rate is about 3.6 megs/second. That is, to capture it without dropping frames, the hard drive needs to sustain at least that data rate.

I haven't seen a modern hard drive, 4200rpm or otherwise, that COULDN'T sustain that rate, so you're more than fine.
 

drlunanerd

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2004
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UK
I work in IT support, spend a lot of time fixing Windows etc. I frequently get asked by my customers what PC I would recommend they buy for home use. I'm steadily spreading the Mac gospel here, recently converting a couple of people to iBooks. As long as I tell them they can run Microsoft Office they seem happy. It's then when they start using OS X and iLife etc. that they really fall in love with the Mac and I get rave reviews and thanks.

Price is a big factor for these guys, so the Mac mini is a great new option I have for recommending.

A colleague has just left my office. Yesterday he showed me a print-out of some low-spec Acer PC (Celeron 2.4GHz, rubbish integrated graphics etc.) that he was thinking of buying as it was "only" £360 (~$650) without a monitor. Initially I put my PC hat on and looked at the specs for him and sent him on his way. Today I spoke to him again and advised him to seriously look at the Mac mini, as he already has a monitor, keyboard etc. He then tells me he used to have a couple of Macs (System 7 days sounded like) that he learned Photoshop on. After checking it out he's now hyped on getting his first Mac in years again and ditching Windows :)

My work here is done for the day! :cool:
 
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