Why stick with Mac for content creation?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by torquer, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. torquer macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2014
    So in reading all of these quadcoregate threads there seems to be a common er, thread, that the main justification for having a quad core is the necessity for VMs, server needs, and content creation/transcoding?

    Non-sarcastically, why don't you guys move to a PC for that work? If price/performance on hardware is your biggest concern and now knowing that the Mac Mini can no longer suit your needs, wouldn't it be simpler just to build a desktop Core i5/i7 system and call it good? For the $800ish cost of a 2012 Quad, you could build a core-dense memory-dense machine that'd run circles around a mobile quad core system.

    I'm not in the industry but I feel like the only "Mac only" software would be Final Cut, so I feel like everything else could be done on a cheaper/faster PC pretty easily. I also feel like most of you aren't in it for the low power and high build quality (2 of the areas where Apple justifies its higher prices).
  2. wgnoyes macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2011
  3. torquer thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2014
    Its a valid point. I guess then that for those who don't already have a 2012 Quad, need/wants one, and haven't bought one, you're kind of SOL.


    For what its worth, I put together a cart on newegg consisting of a Core i5-4430 (3GHz) which would run circles around the 2.3 Quad from 2012, 16GB of RAM, mobo, case, power supply, and a 1TB hybrid drive for $520.

    Suppose if you could manage to get hackintosh working on it, that's a price/performance ratio Apple will never beat.
  4. realuseless macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2014
    this... i'd rather eat nails than deal with Windows...

    lots of things to consider, apart from just the UI, which feels less in your way on OS X (to me aesthetics are also improtant for creative work and OS X is way more aesthetically pelasing to my eye, but that is subjective), to the efficiency of the OS; I can speak from an Audio perspective, and I can tell you that getting consistent low latency from an audio interface is dead easy (and consistent) on OS X. On windows not so much.

    A lot of the software we use tends to be more stable on OS X and its sandboxing features mean that even if somethign like a plugin crashes, its not going to take down your DAW and trash your project.

    then there's the underlying UNIX security and the lack of viruses etc (so no need for resource-hoggin anti-virus software)...

    oh and class-compliance. Apple really tries to encourage manufacturers to be class compliant. I personally have at least 2 pieces of gear that work plug-n-play on OS X but require drivers for Windows.

    Video guys can comment as well but my guess is they would have mostly the same reasons...
  5. torquer thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2014
    So in a world where the mini is no longer an option and you can't afford a Mac Pro or iMac, is hackintosh the only remaining option for those who need OSX?

    I get the disappointment about the mini but at some point you have to stop complaining and actually get some work done, so I'm curious what the alternatives are.
  6. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    I do content creation at work on a Mac and at home on Linux. Some stuff I use via Wine and some Linux native. You can do all the content creation you want it just takes a bit of extra work. I don't think anyone here is willing to trade OSX for Windows but with Adobe making the CC accessible to Chrome Books perhaps that Mac/Windows exclusive might just end. We're a long way from good audio in the Linux world, there are some that do but it takes a good deal of work. In the future though I think most creative apps will end up being web based and OS agnostic which MIGHT give us the heyday of choices we had in the '90's.
  7. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    Disappointing the new Mini may be to some, it doesn't outweigh the disappointment which is Windows (To me, at least)

    I have a 2012 quad core Mini, so im good for a while yet ;)
    But, one day it will either break beyond repair or just become outdated to the point that it will need replacing. So i'll either look at what Apple has to offer at that time, or go Hackintosh.
    So either way, i'd be sticking with OS X.

    And I realise Windows isn't all bad these days (subjective, I know..) Except for the not insignificant issue of it being the mother of all virus magnets (plenty of first hand experience with that). And I really can't be doing with that BS at all.
  8. rainydays macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2006
    The Mini is still an option in my opinion, the 2014 line up is just not as good of an option as the 2012 lineup. I could also get a used iMac at a very good price. Plenty of power in those.

    No doubt you can build your own computer for less. But then you'd have a noisy old box with no decent software to run on it.
  9. torquer thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2014
    Your second statement is exactly why I have had 2 Mac Minis :)

    I actually have 2 very powerful full Windows desktops as well. One of which is for the girlfriend and is actually pretty quiet and powerful (Core i7-4790S with a GeForce GTX 750ti). The other is my hot and loud 4790K gaming PC with a GTX 980.

    For me the Mac Mini is great because its small, silent, and uses so little power leaving it on 24/7 is no issue.
  10. mapleleafer macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2009
    Amen. How many times can the same people whine about the same thing?
  11. kwijbo macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2012
    Geekbench 32 bit multicore:

    i5-4430 - 8,925
    i7-3615QM - 10,097

    64 bit and the upgraded 2.6 quad only increase the gap.
  12. torquer thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2014
    For stuff that benefits from Hyperthreading you may very well be right. That said, for the $800ish cost of a 2012 Quad, you could spend an extra hundred bucks and get a 4790k. At 4GHz and 8 threads, that would most certainly blow the doors off the i7.

    My overall point was simply that you can build a cheaper box that will outperform it, but you can't do OSX on it without going the Hackintosh route. Trying to offer an alternative to those who have OS flexibility.
  13. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

    Nov 16, 2012
    Double triple quadruple amen.
  14. crazzapple Guest

    Oct 19, 2014
    I think the answer to this is that many pros are not. There are some long threads on various forums, especially audio, ranting about the new mini. Apple is killing aperture and who knows what other pro apps.

    Another thing is that many people want a rock solid consistent machine. Apple's new model for osx updates is yearly. This is crazy for people that don't want to go several years without messing with this stuff. This is in contrast to MS that is supporting W7 until...what... 2020+?

    I far prefer osx, but apple is not making it easy to stick with them.
  15. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    I'm with you on this. I know quite a few people in "content creation" and it's pretty mixed between OS X and Windows. I don't think that Apple has the advantages here that it may once have had in the past.

    While I prefer OS X, I'm not going to pretend that Windows 7 is all bad (unlike 8.1!).


    The performance/$ is why I'm going to upgrade my Windows machine instead. $500 gets me the i7 4790K, 16 GB of RAM (which I can add to), and a new Z97 motherboard.

    It might not be quite as power efficient, but it isn't always on and I can buy a lot of electricity for the money I save versus an equivalent Mac. It should also be good for many years.

    Windows 10 is looking like it will solve my distaste for 8.1, so there may be a future there after all.
  16. torquer thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2014
    It will be very interesting to see if others follow suit. Apple seems more focused on IOS than OS X. I could be wrong, but if Apple loses focus (intentionally or unintentionally) on some of the content creators that have been devoted Apple fans since the first Mac, they can only be embraced by the open arms of Satya Nadella.
  17. realuseless macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2014
    Well, I went from a 2008 Macbook Pro to a home built hackintosh (i5 2500k, 8gig ram, GTX560ti) for over a year, and while it worked well overall there were niggly little issues with it that just drove me up the wall eventually. So I replaced it with a 2012 mini a couple of months ago. On paper the mini's 2.3 i7 and the i5 2500k are almost identical, but all the instability is gone and the mini is quiet as **** (kinda important in a studio) and my power usage has dropped by about 80% (as mesured on my UPS <-- this includes the monitor hooked up to the UPS as well, btw).

    In all seriousness, I would not recommend a hackintosh unless you really like to fiddle a lot (I do, i've built many PCs in my time, and am the family tech support guy, yet I still had enough when I got an SSD and for some reason could not get a stable install going for more than a few days)...

    If the new mini is not for you, either find a 2012 or even a used Mac of any kind (old MacPro, MacBook Pro, whatever...) will still be better than a PC with Windoze on it or going hackintosh.

    That's if you just want to get work done and you want it done on OS X on a budget. If you must have the latest and greatest specs then, I guess cough up the dough or deal with Windows... :/ but if you can put that aside, an older Mac can still be a very capable machine. Its not the late 90s early 00s anymore... each new generation of processors is not like litterally nX times faster than before. Updates are now incremental enough that you can still compare a chip from 2 generations ago and it will run more or less on par with the newer chips.

    With SSD and 16gigs of ram, I expect to ge at least 3 years of life out of the 2012 mini (from here on out)... which for about $1000 in total (minus about $400 recouped investment from the sale of the hackintosh), is I think really great value for money.

    or just wait till next year when the real mini update happens :)
  18. kwijbo macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2012
    Sure, but that's always been the case with Apple products. The 2012 quad was fairly powerful relative to the rest of the lineup and had a palatable $/performance ratio. The removal of options is probably the most aggravating part, one must now spend double on an iMac to get the same performance while having much less flexibility in the total setup.

    Especially at a time when Apple is championing the value of their ecosystem and integration between devices, for some its harder than ever to switch/be flexible. It was clearly a calculated move and this hard line they're pushing towards being all-in could come to haunt them. I have a rMBP but considered the Mini, 15" rMBP, iMac and Pro as potential machines before the refresh. That list is now one shorter and the alternatives are of course Windows machines.

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