Mac Mini i5 for music producing/recording

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Hurd111, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Hurd111 macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2008
    Hello, I'll keep it short and sweet ;)

    I'm wondering if the new Mac Mini would be right for what I do. The software I'm planning on using is Logic Pro 9 and Superior Drummer 2.0. I also plan on doing a lot of midi and multi-track recording. My old 2.0ghz 1gb 06 white imac was just barely able to do this. But it worked, it just wasn't quick at all.

    I'm wondering how the new Mini will cope with this, or if I should go for something else.

    Also, I can't go any higher in price than the base model (including superdrive and mini-display-port to vga cable)

    Thanks :D
  2. Tulpa macrumors regular

    May 11, 2011
    The i5 CPU in the new minis will run circles around the C2D in your old iMac and you'll have double the RAM, so you should be OK if the software worked before (as long as SD2 is not PPC-only). Depending on how tight your constraints are, you might want to up the RAM to doesn't cost much if you get third-party RAM and do it yourself.
  3. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
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    The base model isn't going to cut it in the long run. It'll be an improvement over what you have, but is still far behind what you need for this kind of work.

    You need more RAM, going to 4GB is a must, 8 is best though.
    You want a system that will hold up over time, and with the ever increasing number of resource hogging plugins, the base model won't last long.

    I understand that budget is a concern for you, but if you put off the purchase long enough to get a better machine, it will serve you longer and perform much better.

    I'd suggest going with the 2.0GHz Quad Core mini server model. You can ignore the server app if you want, but the speed is more than adequate, and that's what you want.

    It also includes two 500GB (faster) hard drives, and storage is important too. Those drives can fill up quick, so having a second one built in is a good thing.

    You can upgrade the RAM to 8GB yourself for about $75, but it comes with 4 built in, which is at least adequate for a while.

    In my studio, we're currently using a 2009 Mac Pro Quad Core, and the quad mini is right on par with that, if not a little better.

    Also, if you just need a drive to rip audio tracks and burn reference discs, you can save a few bucks by getting a cheaper one than the SuperDrive. Any USB optical drive will work just fine.

    I know it's tempting to go for the cheaper machine, and it will be better than your current setup, but I can tell you from experience, you'll be kicking yourself for not saving up a bit longer and getting the better model.
  4. TheRdungeon macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2011
    Agree with Mak47, the Server not only has the quad, but 2 hard drives mean you can have your program on one HDD and your projects on the other, something people recommend for using Logic, usually using a firewire HDD though. But yeah the i5 will still be a good step up from C2D
  5. Mr. Gates macrumors 68020

    Mr. Gates

    Jun 17, 2009
    --Redmond --------- ----------------Washington---
    I think it depends on how serious you are about recording.

    Is it a hobby ( Be honest with yourself ) ...then yes. Just upgrade the ram and your good.

    Is it your profession ? ..then go with Mak47's suggestion
  6. auth17 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    regarding the graphic card, the radeon HD6630M, is it not better than the intel card ?
  7. TheRdungeon macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2011
  8. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    It is far better. That said whether it is better for you as opposed to the quad core CPU in the Mini server model depends what you plan on using the computer more. Some applications are more CPU intensive whilst others are more GPU intensive.
  9. auth17 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    I use Autocad mac, with a 30" Cinema display. Also LR photoshop, photoshop and illustrator CS5.
    I always hesitate between the server version with the i7 quad and i7 duo version with ATI card. Advice would be very useful !
  10. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2008
    Your girlfriends place
    Unless you're working with massive sample libraries and VERY intensive plugins, the base will work just fine. If you want to really see how it'll do go to GearSlutz and check out the Logic Multicore Benchmarks.

    My old 13" i5 was able to to handle everything I threw at it... it was just too loud.
  11. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
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    Yes, the AMD is a much better GPU, but for audio applications that really isn't an issue. CPU and RAM are far more important in this case.
  12. irvg macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2011
    Compare to Macbook Pro 15"

    Any comparison of the Macbook Pro 15" laptop against the Mini Server - basically the same specs, but is the performance the same? Any other observations of things to consider (other than the obvious price difference)

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