Mac Mini to replace iMac 5k (late 2014)

szczottie

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 8, 2019
2
0
Hi there,

Since couple of months I am debating with myself about upgrading my current iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014, 3.5 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5, 32 GB RAM, 250 GB SSD, Radeon R9 M290X 2 GB) to Mac Mini (i7, 8 GB RAM - will upgrade myself to 32 GB, 256 SSD). I also have Razer Core X with Vega 64 (I use TB3 to TB2 adapter and purge-wrangler to enable EGPU on TB2).

I use my Mac for video editing in Final Cut Pro X, footage from GH5 and BMPCC4K. I tend to transcode GH5's H264 and Blackmagic's BRAW to ProRes 422. Looking at the benchmarks (Geekbench Multi Core) Mac Mini should be twice as fast as my iMac but will it be when it comes to transcoding videos?
I use EditReady and Davinci Resolve Studio for transcode.

I was also considering iMac (i9, vega 48) but:
1. I already got Razer Core X with Vega 64
2. I would get it but I am hoping for new design in next couple of years and iMac would have to last me about 5 years. Mac Mini about 2 years and after that I will use it as home server.

Need your help good people :)
 

ruslan120

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2009
946
659
If you can I would wait for either the new iMac or new Mac Mini. It seems like you have a decently powerful setup with a lacking processor. I have an iMac 2019 5K with a Vega 48 and Core i9 and sometimes wish I had a Mini because the 27" screen is a tad too small for my needs and external monitors are awkward with the iMac.

New iMac: Time will tell whether it's a bigger, better screen or just slimmer bezels
New Mac Mini: Hoping they will get 8 core CPUS + will pair nicely with an eGPU

hope that helps!
 

iAssimilated

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2018
193
184
PNW
That is assuming there is a new Mac mini announced this year (the general feeling is there will not be one).
 

Toonartist

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2017
288
163
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Hi there,

Since couple of months I am debating with myself about upgrading my current iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014, 3.5 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5, 32 GB RAM, 250 GB SSD, Radeon R9 M290X 2 GB) to Mac Mini (i7, 8 GB RAM - will upgrade myself to 32 GB, 256 SSD). I also have Razer Core X with Vega 64 (I use TB3 to TB2 adapter and purge-wrangler to enable EGPU on TB2).

I use my Mac for video editing in Final Cut Pro X, footage from GH5 and BMPCC4K. I tend to transcode GH5's H264 and Blackmagic's BRAW to ProRes 422. Looking at the benchmarks (Geekbench Multi Core) Mac Mini should be twice as fast as my iMac but will it be when it comes to transcoding videos?
I use EditReady and Davinci Resolve Studio for transcode.

I was also considering iMac (i9, vega 48) but:
1. I already got Razer Core X with Vega 64
2. I would get it but I am hoping for new design in next couple of years and iMac would have to last me about 5 years. Mac Mini about 2 years and after that I will use it as home server.

Need your help good people :)
I use mine for motion graphics (motion 5), footage FCP X and stills Capture one Pro as well as Photoshop etc and have no issues at all. The system is faster than the Mac Pro 2013 6 core with 32gb of Ram, 2x d500 video cards. Details of my new system are below.

When using the mini for intensive work, keeping it as cool as possible to get the best out of it. It works fine as normal but the cooler it is the longer it will stay at max CPU power. When rendering footage / Motion 5 clips, the mini will quit happily stay between 4 - 4.4gHz for extended periods of time when it has good cooling. This thread is a good place to look, some useful options nearer the end.

A motion 5 template I made that took 4.5 mins to complete with the Mac Pro 2013 took just over 2mins on the mini. I don't know if you've ever used Nodes 3 but it is quite an intensive plugin for Motion 5 / FCP X and the mini with the Vega 56 (not your Vega 64) turned out 60fps at 4k. Normal footage is a breeze.


My System
- When bought. Mac mini 2018 i7, 8gb Ram, 256gb SSD.

- Core X with a PowerColor Red Dragon Vega 56.
- Crucial 32gb Ram upgrade. Also applied liquid metal to the Heatsink at the sam time.
- TB3 External PCIe enclosure (Sonnet Echo Express SEL) for a Samsung 970 EVO SSD.
- Ezio Coloredge 27" 2k monitor.
- Wacom 27QHD.
- Several portable M.2 NVMe SSD drives attached via USB C that I plug in to the mini but can grab and takeaway with me when I'm travelling with my MacBook Pro. They will give you 900mbs and more transfer rates.
 
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3SQ Machine

macrumors regular
Dec 8, 2019
110
41
I tried 2 mac minis (base + upgraded) to replace my '13 iMac and was overall disappointed. I returned them both and settled on a '19 iMac. Make sure you have a good return policy available.

The main issues:
  • lack of dGPU can make a bigger difference than you think--depends on workflow
  • Mac Mini doesn't play well with scaling on certain monitors
  • T2 chip for audio issues (I do music production) still seems to present some challenges for low latency