mac mini Server for video editing / compositing / hd graphics etc..

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by steveOooo, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. steveOooo macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2008
    I currently use a 2009 Unibody MBP 17" (top of range 2 years ago or so)

    I want a mac pro but understand its likely to come out q1 2012.

    Dont really want to buy a MP now when a refresh is imminent, i going to be doing alot of filming from early November, so could do with faster renders, and quicker compositing.

    Ill be using FCP 7, Motion 4 and After FX CS5 - Id like to do complex 3d graphics / tv title sequences in motion 4 / After FX and have much quicker render times etc than the laptop.

    I edit in Apple Pro Ress 422 LT.

    I have just bought a 4tb G Tech Firewire Raid (2x 2TB drives) so can use that for video files.

    With the mac mini server, does the dual 500GB work as a Raid? Would this generate more heat? Or does it just show up as 1TB or can you have 1 x 500gb and 1x 500gb thats a back up?

    I see this as a stop gap until the MP has been out for 3 months or so (iron out any issues with the likely new design) - see how things pan out as may need to move to london anyway.

    Also, how easy is it to upgrade the mac mini yourself / what cant be upgraded easily?

    Heat issues as ill be doing alot of rendering / graphic intensive stuff?
  2. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    It depends on your level of expertise. As a Mac n00b, I can only say that I would be comfortable upgrading the memory.

    Personally, I would wait for the new Mac Pro.
  3. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Hahaha this guy is a riot.

    Buy a Mac Pro.
  4. dlimes13 macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2011
    Perrysburg, OH
    The new Mac Pro should be a significant improvement, especially with Thunderbolt. I would wait unless you're profession needs that type of power now before money is lost.
  5. steveOooo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2008
    well the power consumption of the mac pro is quite high so will have a higher electric bill.

    the server has crappy intergrated graphics card with the memory - but perhaps if bumping the RAM to 16gb THis will be ok?

    Also, i hear dedicated thunderbolt graphics cards are coming out - so could actually make the mini a pretty mean-lean rendering machine (at £1k or so cheaper than the mac pro)
  6. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2011
    For video editing neither Mac Mini will gain a boost from the graphics. Most video editing software is heavily CPU dependent. The Mac Mini Server would be the best bet if you have to go this route. The Mac Mini Server comes configured with two drives set up as individual disks. You can reinstall Lion from recovery onto the Mac Mini Server drives in software RAID 0. You lose the recovery partition, but gain performance. With 8GB RAM its a nice little inexpensive machine.

    The heat will not be an issue as the fan will adjust based on load. The Mac Mini Server will get loud under constant load. I'm currently using 1866MHz RAM with the Server model for pure speed and heat is still not an issue with the Kingston Hyper X. I did use 2x8GB at 1333MHz from for $420.00 USD without issues. Memory capacity was not as much a concern as much as bandwidth for my purposes. I still use a 2010 27" iMac for RAW editing where the 32GB RAM significantly help (likely on needed some where between 16GB - 24GB).

    With Thunderbolt, the Mac Mini Server is good, because high speed storage capacity is no longer an issue. It really a modular computing concept where you have a processing component, storage, and display.
  7. steveOooo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2008
    my current MBP is

    2.66GHz Core Duo
    L2 Cache - 6MB
    RAM - 8 GB

    and graphics off

    Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
    Type: GPU
    Bus: PCI
    VRAM (Total): 256 MB

    would the quad core server, integrated graphics and 8GB RAM improve things such as render times, motion / after fx work? im looking at the specs and cant in-visage much of a speed boost?
  8. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Bleh I don't think you understand what a gpu will and will not do for you. It's probably not an area where you want to spend a lot. 16GB of ram costs exponentially more using 8GB sticks. This sounds like a really awkward stop gap. Come to think of it, how have you gotten along with just the laptop to this point? Don't expect a new design to the mac pro. Note the lack of rumors around it. Thunderbolt might require some minor adjustments but nothing too special. I don't expect to see any radical case design changes. Overall the mac pro has probably had the fewest design quirks out of the line. The real problems were back in the G5 generation.

    This is assuming you can work it around a display. I haven't yet seen a lot of solutions for the supposed daisy chaining feature outside of Apple's thunderbolt display, which isn't really much of a budget item, or that amazing in general. That newegg price is cheap but 8GB sticks still render the mini somewhat pointless by their cost factor. At that point I'd probably jump to looking for a refurb on a 27" imac.
  9. dolphin842 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2004
    Even the dual-core Mini will get you roughly a 2x jump in CPU performance, plus discrete graphics. That would probably be the best bet budget-wise.

    If you're willing to spend gobs of money on 16GB of RAM, you should buy an iMac instead (where you can get 16GB for <$100 because it has 4 slots). You'd get more CPU/GPU power and something with more value to trade in when the time comes to get a Mac Pro.
  10. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    no mac mini buy yourself this machine

    then buy this ram

    8gb stick

    4gb stick

    this is faster then the mac mini quad total cost is about 1700

    this will beat out a base 2010 quad core mac pro.

    oh you may want a better hdd in the machine digital scorpio black 750gb

    is pretty fast hdd.

    if you are using this for work it will run far far far better then the 2010 macbook pro and it is faster then the 2011 quad core server mac mini.. and this machine can run snow leopard or lion at full speed!
  11. steveOooo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2008
    Hmmm have decided to go for a 2009 mac pro 2.66 quad core with 6tb raid and 2tb int drives, 5870 graphics
    But I'd like to upgrade the processor if possible ??

Share This Page