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macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 29, 2018
Mesa, Arizona
I have a mid-2017 Macbook Air. I am planning on getting the new mini to be a workstation for video editing, 3D modeling. Then I can use my Air on the go and at school. Is that a good plan? Also, any suggestions for a cheap 4k monitor? Thanks


macrumors 6502a
Mar 16, 2015
The GPU in the mini will be sufficient for light desktop use but by far not for 3d modeling which requires a competent graphics card. Some 3D apps may even refuse to run/run only with features disabled if you use an Intel iGPU. Common wisdom is to use an nVidia card for 3D - that's what every vendor seems to develop for.
Afaik, the only common 3D program that is not GPU-accelerated and might fly on the Mini's CPU happens to be ZBrush.

Overall if 3D is your aim more than video I'd recommend getting a PC instead with an nVidia 1060 and up - you don't want to be stuck with inferior ports of 3D apps on your shiny new Mac.

Suitability for video editing depends heavily on your choice of editor. Resolve or Smoke will probably not run very well since they do quite a bit on the GPU. Not sure what the situation is like in the Adobe camp.


macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
You might do better with a 2017 iMac, either the midrange i5 model or the i7 model.
(Be aware that there are reports that the i7, though faster, is noisier due to higher fan speeds under load)


macrumors 6502
Mar 6, 2009
I think it is a good plan. You will have to get the i7 and put or buy 32gb of ram for video / 3D.

But, since you don't have a monitor, you might want to think about the iMac. With the mini, you will have to add an eGPU to the mac mini for 3D modeling and larger video editing projects. I like the idea of the eGPU because they are upgradeable (just dont get the black magic version, you cannot upgrade it) so in a few years you can change the card if you want.

BUT, since it sounds like you dont have a monitor, the price of the eGPU and a monitor might be too much?
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