Mac Mini i7 2012 Server configuration for Final Cut Pro X

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by loby, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. loby, Oct 28, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014

    loby macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2010
    Need some advise and expertise please for configuration:

    I just purchased a 2012 Mac Mini Server i7 Quad-Core 2.3MHz and want to use it to work with Final Cut Pro X.

    I could not get a i7 2.6MHz - no longer on the internet new for purchase anywhere.

    Like most who do amateur video stuff, I cannot afford a Mac Pro. I have been using my Mac Air 2013 i7 for video editing/rendering with a Belkin thunderbolt express dock, but don't want to burn it out and need something else. $ are now short.

    Like most people, I was waiting for the new mac mini's and was disappointed... :apple::mad: Have a 27" Cinema Display (still like it-not thunderbolt) and is why I don't get an iMac or Macbook (have a Macbook Air).

    Previous setup:
    1. Mac Mini 2009 (upgraded RAM to 8 gigs, upgraded stocked 350 gig HD drive to 128 SSD drive and used external drives) - still fast for general stuff (to my surprise, even with Yosemite) and used it for basic video/audio stuff, but need now more power.
    2. I then used my 2013 i7 Air with external drives for rendering and worked well, but again should not use my Air for heavier FCX or Logic stuff.

    Main Question:
    What would be the best configuration/upgrade or whatever to maximize my configuration for video editing-rendering?

    Now Current Configuration:
    1. Mac Mini i7 Late-2012 Quad-core 2.3 MHz, 4 gigs. RAM, 1 TB drives (2x-500gigs - Apple stock).
    2. 27" Cinema Display (not Thunderbolt) - still like it and will use it (may save and sell to get a 27" Thunderbolt display some day).
    3. Belkin thunderbolt express dock (used it with the 2013 Air - worked well). Like to not use it since I just bought the Mac Mini Late 2012 server
    4. 3x USB-3 3 TB drives (1x Porsche Design, 2x Seagate-s)

    Thoughts for upgrade:
    1. upgrade stock 4 gigs RAM to 16 gigs (no brainer).
    2. Take off server and either use OS X Mavericks or Yosemite (or Mountain Lion?) - not sure.
    3. Not sure - should I eventually upgrade the HD drives to SSDs when able - $
    4. If I use external drives for rendering, are the 1 TB stock HD drives ok or should I upgrade to SSD when able - $?
    5. Do I need to RAID my external drives or stand-alone ok..?

    Since I use a 27" Cinema Display, it will plug into the one thunderbolt port, so I cannot use a thunderbolt drive for speed (save $ to buy a thunderbolt external HD someday) unless I eventually sell my 27" Cinema Display and get a Thunderbolt display which will have another thunderbolt port. This is why I may need to use the Belkin dock station.

    Thanks and appreciate responses.
  2. grandM macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    I have just looked up the minimum specs on

    OS X v10.9.2 or later
    4GB of RAM (8GB recommended for 4K)
    OpenCL-capable graphics card or Intel HD Graphics 3000 or later
    256MB of VRAM (1GB recommended for 4K)
    3.5GB of disk space

    I would stick in 16GB and a ssd of 256GB
  3. grandM macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    here you go,
    Series of 8 episodes on mac mini 2012 with video software
    he used - I7 2,3Ghz Quad Core
    - 1TB Hdd 5400rpm
    - 16GB Ram 1600Mhz
  4. RCAFBrat, Oct 29, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014

    RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2013
    Montreal, QC
    My suggestion:

    (1) One 8 GB stick of RAM (gives you 10 GB installed)

    (2) Replace one HDD with a ~500 GB SSD

    Use the SSD for OS, apps and all projects you are working on (scratch, media, etc assuming projects fit).

    Don't worry about:

    (1) external TB storage; get a decent USB 3.0 enclosue that features UASP (I just picked one up for $20 and my Samsung 840 EVO flies in it, almost double the speed of a USB 3.0 enclosure from same manufacturer that did not feature UASP)

    (2) splitting OS, apps, scratch, etc since SSD does not have same latency as HDD - you wouldn't notice the difference and better to spend limited $ on a single large as possible SSD


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