Mac Mini for Logic x-have some questions!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by user_xyz, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. user_xyz macrumors regular


    Nov 30, 2018
    Long time windows user and sick of windows DAW's.

    I'd like to buy a Mac for Logic X and home studio. Mostly just for me and guitar/bass/keyboards/Drums in Logic.

    I'll be using a Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 (2nd Gen) USB Audio

    I'm ready to order 2018 Mac Mini with:

    • 3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz)
    • 16GB 2666MHz DDR4
    • Intel UHD Graphics 630
    • 512GB SSD storage

    • Questions are:

    • * Do I really need the i7?

    • * Should I have apple pre load Logic X? -If I return system w/I 14 days will I get a refund on app purchases as well?

    • * Will a regular Logitech keyboard and mouse work ok?

    • *Do I need a special Monitor?

    • * Anything else I need to start with?

    • Thanks
  2. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
    1) i7 has hyper-threading and i5 doesn't. (12 threads vs 6 threads)

    i7 is a significantly better processor in that regard, and scores roughly 25% more on geekbench, and the resale value will be much higher.
    Imo its a nobrainer.

    2) Why would you preload it? there's no benefit to it.

    3) Yes, they should work fine

    4) no, it has an HDMI out.

    5) no
  3. Boyd01 Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    You will have to purchase Logic by yourself, and Apple doesn't permit returns except for special situations - such as a fraudulent use of your account, incompatibility, etc.

    FWIW, Apple has a free 30 day trial version of their video software (Final Cut Pro) but there is no free trial for Logic.
  4. F-Train, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 65816

    Apr 22, 2015
    NYC & Newfoundland
    I had an i5 for two weeks before I exchanged it for an i7 for reasons that don't apply to you (4K video editing). I ran a number of tests on the i5, including tests on Logic, and I have no doubt that an i5 will meet the need you describe. The i5 would save you US$200, which happens to be the price of Logic :)

    It's an interesting question whether Apple's 14 day return policy applies to both the computer and any pre-installed software. It isn't clear to me that the link referred to in the previous post applies. I'd suggest that you ask Apple. The advantage of pre-installation is that it will save you some time downloading the Logic samples and loops, which can take awhile even on a fairly good internet connection, especially if you are doing it over WiFi. That said, installing Logic yourself is quite straightforward.

    Your keyboard and mouse should work fine. Just about any monitor will work, but note that the mini has a dedicated HDMI port; you might as well make use of it.
  5. Boyd01, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018

    Boyd01 Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    It sounds like your needs are basic. If so, the base model i3 would probably even be fine. I use Logic with live music, typically no more than 8 tracks with some plug-ins like EQ, reverb, etc. It runs great on my 2012 2.6ghz quad core Mini Server with 16gb RAM. The new base i3 mini has the same geekbench rating as my mini. And it should also be noted that my 2012 mini is 50% faster than the top of the line 2014 mini (because Apple didn't offer a quad core version in 2014).

    Of course, there could be a good argument for getting a better mini too. But I don't know that you would see much advantage unless you are doing something more complex than me in Logic.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 1, 2018 ---
    OK, was just looking and it appears you can get Logic pre-installed if you buy direct from Apple. So it's probably a good idea to ask as F-train suggested. However, I suspect that it makes no difference. You will surely have to create an Apple ID and sign in to activate Logic. And at that point, it will be exactly the same as if you had downloaded it yourself. Apple specifically says "You can return software, provided that it has not been installed on any computer".
  6. F-Train, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 65816

    Apr 22, 2015
    NYC & Newfoundland
    Look, Apple sells computers with pre-installed software. This is not news, and it is not at all clear that the paragraphs that you linked apply. For example, your quote above is from an asterisk that refers back to software that presumably comes on a physical medium, such as a DVD. It is not a blanket statement. Furthermore, it takes a fair bit of violence to the language to call software that Apple pre-installs an "Electronic software download".

    The easy way to get an answer on this is to ask Apple on the phone, or for that matter at a store. It ain't complicated.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Your Logitech keyboard and mouse should work fine.
    I recommend "SteerMouse" which allows you to assign custom functions to all the buttons on the mouse.

    "Special monitor"???
    What display do you have RIGHT NOW?
    You'll need the proper cable with which to connect it (which cable you need depends on the inputs on the back of the display).

    I'll reckon that the i5 will do just fine with Logic (I've always preferred Cubase).

    Do the Scarlett interfaces need drivers?
    Does Focusrite have drivers for Mojave yet?
    If not, will the Scarlett still work with existing drivers?

    If you can't find the answers in this forum, check ...
  8. F-Train macrumors 65816

    Apr 22, 2015
    NYC & Newfoundland
    First hit on a Google search:

    "The Scarlett range and Saffire 6 2.0 does not require a driver on Mac."​
  9. dmsea1, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018

    dmsea1 macrumors member


    Nov 9, 2018
    Hey There, I was it the same boat as you - sick of windows DAW and latency that I was getting. Upgraded to iMac 8 years ago and never looked back. Using GarageBand now, likely will upgrade to Logic soon.

    I just setup my new Mac Mini, if you can afford it, go with i7 - music programs require more CPU power, and it will grow with your needs. And 16GB should work just fine for now.

    I have the same Scarlett 6i6 - worked right out of the gates with Mojave, no special drivers needed. There was one hiccup at first when my computer asked to access the microphone, make sure to say yes.

    Most keyboards and Mouse setups are fine in Mac OS. I just bought the Magic Trackpad 2, which is great to use in connection with a good precision mouse, like the Logitech MX Master, which is amazing so far - got it for $49 on Black Friday sale with Best Buy.

    I also got a wide screen curved LG 34" monitor - a game changer when editing music. No special monitor needed, don't even need USB C monitor - I got a 4k cable from Amazon, USB-C to HDMI - works great.

    I am amped about this setup, miles ahead of my last iMac, and I will use this setup for likely the next 5-8 years with no problem. The new Mac Mini is a perfect solution for Home Studio and musicians in my opinion. I was holding out for the new iMac, then this little beast showed up and to me is a much better option than the iMac. More modular, and I won't have to lug the whole thing in if I need a repair or upgrade - so much better.

    Last thing, start off with Garageband, very usable and you can very easily upgrade to Logic later. Don't need to pre install Logic out of the gates unless jumping into Pro territory.
  10. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    I just got the 2018 mini i5/16GB/512SSD. I've been using that same Scarlett with Garage Band (though I'm ready to move to Logic X or similar) on a 2015 MacBook (2 core fanless) for the last year or so for simple home studio recordings with several tracks. No issues, everything snappy.

    As others have pointed out, even the i3 is as fast as the higher-end CPUs from just a few years ago. The i5 is faster than the fastest iMac in multi-core (not iMac Pro of course). Surf the forums long enough, and it's easy to loose perspective. That being said, if you won't miss the $200, definitely get the i7. But it is not required by a long-shot.

    Recording doesn't take that much CPU. If you're the type that wants 50 tracks and dozens of plugins, that's a different story, but then you're always going to be chasing faster hardware.

    Yes, but while not required, a Mac specific lay-out keyboard (with the proper command key, etc.) is a good way to go. YMMV, but I found it a pain to deal with windows keyboards in Mac land. You don't need to buy on day one, but you'll probably want to get one eventually, rather than deal with remapping keys or memorizing which key is the command key, etc.

    No, but as others have pointed out, you need the right cable.

    Good luck with your new setup!
  11. Boyd01 Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I have an Apple keyboard for my Mini, and of course my MacBook Air has an Apple Keyboard. But I'm using a cheapo Windows keyboard with my iTunes server Mini. I don't see any issues with it, the Windows key is automatically recognized as the Command key, the Alt key is recognized as the Option key and their location is similar to an Apple keyboard.

    Curious why you thought a Windows keyboard was a pain with a Mac?

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10 November 30, 2018