Mac Mini DAW?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by vaporpark, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. vaporpark macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2012

    I have been looking at purchasing the Mac Mini and using it as my DAW in conjunction with Logic. I was considering the i7/2.6 or i7/2.3, but I am a bit unsure if the difference is enough to bother with. My needs are similar to many - virtual instruments, guitar, vocals etc. I know I will need to beef up the ram and pickup some external HDDs. So this brings me to ask a few basic questions.

    1) For those who are using a Mac Mini as a DAW, are you happy?

    2) Is it worth jumping from the 2.3 to the 2.6?

    3) Should I change out the 5400 HD for a 7200/SSD/fusion/etc?

    4) What is the best number of drives for recording purposes (OS/DAW, Sound library, recorded tracks, backup, etc.)?

    5) Any other woes that I need to be aware of regarding the Mini?

    Any input very much appreciated.

  2. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2012
    I use a laptop, which is kind of similar to a mini in some ways.

    When i'm using it standalone to run logic+plugins/instruments, it actually handles it better than I ever expected.

    I have the 2.3 i7quad (is the mac mini quad or dual? I can't remember) and did not come across any of the oldschool stutter-stops due to running out of CPU. However, I have no idea how you work or how many plugins you plan to utilize.

    I've upgraded it with 16gb and an ssd. I found it unacceptable w/ the 5400rpm drive.

    YMMV - best luck!
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I don't think you will have any problems with Logic on a mini. It runs great on my 2011 13" MBA 1.7ghz/i5 4GB RAM. I would have gotten more RAM, but that was not an option on the MBA in 2011. Nevertheless, I've had no problems with 4GB, also running other programs like Photoshop, Safari, Mail, iTunes, etc.

    Would definitely get a faster hard drive though. One reason it runs so nice on my MBA is the SSD. :)
  4. vesne macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2013
    im running logic pro and garageband on my late 2012 mac mini with 16gigs , crucial m4 256gb ssd and i7 2.3 quad.
    thats it!
    cant ask for more!
  5. vaporpark thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2012
    Thanks for the responses. I am on the fence but need to get on with it. I don't have the cash for an imac with the needed specs and a Mac Pro is out of the question. The mini looks like a good alternative for now.

    Vesne, did you do the ssd swap yourself? Is this a hard process?

  6. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2012
    someone correct me if i'm wrong - but - does changing the drive in a current mini void the warrantee? if that matters to you, you should know about it.
  7. vaporpark thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2012
    Good point, I need to check into this.

  8. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I imagine it might technically, but if you just swap back the HDD when you need to take it in to be seen by a Genius, who's going to be any the wiser? That is unless of course you wreak utter devastation with all the Logic Board cords when swapping it out in the first place.
  9. fastlanephil, Feb 9, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013

    fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    Apple's warranty states that they will not cover damage caused by unauthorized modification. They don't say a unauthorized modification will void the warranty.

    I have gone back and forth with someone at Apple's support site about this. They assume that an Apple "genius" can refuse warranty for any unauthorized modification. Legally, Apple has to show the unauthorized modification caused the damage. The customer does not have to prove that it didn't cause the damage.

    If Apple's warranty is not a legal document and subject to the whim of an Apple employee then Apple's warranty is a fraud.

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