Mac Mini experience

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by badhorsie777, Feb 14, 2005.

  1. badhorsie777 macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2003
    Hello, all...

    Just finally got up to the Lennox Mall (Atlanta, GA) Apple store yesterday, and was talking with their pro audio-savvy guy. He highly recommended against getting the mini, but I know for many of us the price, for beginners with modest needs, is hard to resist. I tested one out for about an hour with logic 7 express (installed on all the machines there).

    I had the sys performance meter up and I kept adding tracks of pure audio until 24 were running. The meter for cpu was about half and the disk was roughly 45% or so. Throw on basic eq's, verb, compression (obviously knowing my limits and freezing a bit) and I left the store wondering why this wouldn't be a stellar 16-track machine with access to high quality AU's, editing, and midi functions of logic express. I think for my (and many others') needs, this machine will fit the bill nicely. My upgrades down the road will be a fast external HD, and more ram (gonna get 512 initially.)

    Hope this helps some who haven't gotten their hands on one yet - it felt remarkable with the 1.42 ghz/512mb ram model.

    QUESTION: Being that there is only one firewire port, and I'm going to get a firebox/firepod (haven't decided), could I use a usb 2.0 external hard drive for recording, or is usb the fussy mess I heard it was?

    Questions/ comments? I'd love to hear - I'm not recording ignorant, just new to the mac side.

  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    Sounds like he was trying to push you up the model line. This will be a regular tactic for sale reps. Mini can do almost anything but hardcore gaming.light and medium gaming no problem. Thats the facts jack! Did they have the Mini's in stock i wonder? I wonder what a new 1.42 with 512mb would sell for on Ebay?
  3. rickvanr macrumors 68040


    Apr 10, 2002
    You could buy a firewire hub, but most external HD's, even home made one's will have 2 firewire ports and one USB 2.0 port. So you plug in you'r HD to the mini, and then the firebox/firepod into the HD, simple as that.
  4. Zoki macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2005
    Time to sell the eMac?

    Hey -
    That was great news - I'm somewhat a novice to the digital recording scene and have been wondering whether I should consider buying the 1.42 mini and loosing this emac 800. I'm new to OSX and seems to me that it taxes the cpu quite a bit more than the previous platform, so sometimes I feel like going from my old g3 400 upgraded 6400 to this 800 wasn't much of an improvment. Additionally, it would appear that this model it clock challenged from what I can tell from the emac threads.
    One of the things I was curious about on the mini was whether you can boot the mini from the firewire port and if it could run os 9 from an external drive when booting - as opposed to the classic mode, which is useless to my old adio apps...., Also, how does the OS respond with the faster processor?
    Thanks again for the audio post!
  5. badhorsie777 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2003
    Honestly - concerning the OS responsiveness... I didn't notice a bit of a difference between the mini (albeit with 512 ram) and the imac 20" with 768 ram. OBVIOUSLY the ram limitation means it won't be a sampler monster or an ideal machine for huge track counts, but I honestly think I'm like many of you - singer/songwriters looking to demo their stuff with 4-8 tracks of audio, maybe a little drumkit-from-hell stuff, and basic effects. The point is, I felt in awe of a "budget" machine being able to crank out 24 tracks (with eq) and be only halfway up the cpu meter. It appears, for MY needs, it's ideal.

    Good to know about the firewire chaining. How about power - will a powered interface plugged into a powered hard drive receive enough power to run both? Or would I need a hard drive that has a wall-wart, to provide enough power to the interface? Anyone know the answer to that? I'm still thinking firepod (8 channels) or firebox (2).


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