ProTools002 and a Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by flexistentialize, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. hi all...

    I've been waiting for Macworld and the price to drop on the g5's... but now I'm considering to buy a mac mini, and I like to know people's opinion.

    I primarily am setting up to do some Post Sound/Sound Design. I know a g4 is powerful enough to do most of the work I need; however, like all of us, I like to have to latest and greatest in order to keep up with everything. Plus in the event I need to do some minimal picture editting, I'd like to have the extra processing power that a g5 can provide.

    Given the fact that a Mini Mac G4 is a fraction of the cost of any new G5, I think it might be worth it.

    Here are the Con's I've come up with:

    Limited upgradeability.
    No PCI slots.
    Only 1 - Firewire Port.

    Any suggestions/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


    - Matt
  2. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    One big draw back of the mini is that to upgrade to the maximum ram, which is 1GB, cost you like $400, which brings up the price up already to 1K (model 1.42) Since 1GB of ram is like the minimum you need to run a daw it doesn't seem like a good deal (for a daw, anyway). When you add to that a keyboard, mouse and of course a firewire drive to put your tracks it becomes even less atractive.
  3. Johnjm22

    Johnjm22 Guest

    If I were you I'd just build a PC. You could build one kick a$$ machine for $1K.

    Why do you want a mac?
  4. Thomaster

    Thomaster Guest

    cuz its better

    flame flame flame flame.... :roll:
  5. Johnjm22 wrote:

    I want a mac as it's the standard in my business. I'd love to build a PC, and expect I will someday... In the meantime, I'll continue working on my Mac so my skills will be transferable to every studio I work in. That and I love my Mac.

    Thanks for the posts.... I found a line on a G5 for $1100! Stoked!
  6. artgug

    artgug Guest

    I love when people justify it by saying "its just better". My Dual 2.0 ghz G5 Mac sits right next to my 3.0HT pc, and speedwise, it doesnt nearly keep up, and the PC i put together for about half the price.

    I LOVE OSX, and use it for all my video / audio stuff, but its still slower. Sure its slicker, crashes less, but it is not necessarily "Better", espesically if you buy into Apple at a lower price point. If you get anything slower than a dual 2.0 G5, they are generally dogs as far as speed.

    if money is anything of a factor, you have to go with PC's. Stay away from the mac mini's also, at least for production work.
  7. composer11

    composer11 Guest

    First, performance, what does the 1.42 compare to in terms of a Intel PC? or better another MAC? The FSB is 166 I think for the mini vs 533/600 for the eMac, does this make a difference.

    I have a XP AMD and AMD64 at 2.8 ghz, it fly's beating many of the P4's. I've never been an intel guy and have used macs from time to time (ie Avid/Pro-Tools), AMD changed all that, especially since I became involved with some PC only software vendors as a developer...(Giga/Sony Acid, pre-Garage Band).

    Anyway, The reason I ask about the mini is AMD clock speeds are like macs in that you get more from the CPU than the speed implies.

    I have read how to upgrade the Hard Drive and Memory too and have read that the mini mac performance is = to a powerbook, how true is that? (still waiting for G5 power book).

    My concern/questions, are a friend has a G4 800 with a 7200 HD and he uses Digital Performer and Finale quite easy, so am I safe to say I could at least do the latter? Finale (music notation) or even Logic Express if I don't get to heavy into FPU/CPU? Then again, wouldn't a firewire device take care of this cpu overheard, such as a yamaha 01X? I use PC for Gigastudio, and Sibelius as well as for EWQLSO (Orchestral) on a AMD64 2.8 (which beats the present FX55 chip out there right now) and get a treamedous amount of power.

    However, I am a little confused....with the MINI MAC I see the FSB is 167, the imac, or emac? FSB is 533 to 600. Surely this makes a difference in performance too?? What is the powerbook FSB?

    I'm thinking about the mini just so I can open his files easier than converting, so on, to the pc.

    I have also looked at the powerbook (15") and beyond, and it seems that in addition to portable (of course), I would get the FW800 ports but at a cost 2x-3x more. Just a few thoughts.

    I'm trying to figure out how much horsepower a stock 1.42 or 1.25 has (have read the reviews, but remember, I see my friends G4 800 run fine and anothers Dual 1.8 bog down, so I'm a little unclear what I could expect with the mini mac?
    In addition, what type of power would 1 GB and a 7200 HD upgrade give me, OR, does anyone here use the 400 FW and how does that work for storage as well as booting up? I've read you can boot from a FW by holding down the "C" on boot up.

    I'm not looking for a monster machine, if that was the case, I would get a Dual G5, I have Photoshop CS, Dreamweaver, Premeire, Nuendo, SX, etc on a 64 AMD and the new OS is shipping in April which is reported to give a 30% increase (the MAC optimized 64 bit plug-ins certainly did well vs 32 bit mode) but would like to know if the MINI MAC could be made strong enough to at least do some small audio work, and perhaps that "Titles" program, that comes with Final Cut. I am also interested in either DP or Logic 7 (at least express) and wouldn't mind getting my feet wet in a new MAC especially if I could get a FW device that could ROUTE out AUDIO and re-ROUTE back to the PC and use both together.

    Not sure if this makes sense. Semi-noob around here.


    and thanks for the help, feedback, etc
  8. artgug

    artgug Guest

    Everyone has a budget, but there is no way anyone can justify the MacMini for any production work. For the same money, you can build an AMD based PC that will blow smoke up the MAC A@$%@.

    The FSB speed is HUGE, and with 166, The computer will have enough bandwith to just about launch some of these programs, much less let you use any kind of plugin. Even logic express, (which really can be your only option, considering Logic pro costs twice as much as the MacMini itself), you have a track or 2 recorded, then try to open one of express's virtual instruments, your computer will be begging for mercy.

    No clock speed alone does not tell the whole story, but this doesnt apply to the MacMini. 1.42 + 256 ram + 166 FSB = trouble.

    You say your waiting for a G5 powerbook. If your now considering a MacMini, do you realize that if Apple ever makes a G5 powerbook, it will start at around $2500 for the lowest end model. Powerbooks are not for anyone with a modest budget, that is for sure. (some wonder if they will ever even make one. Heat is a big issue.)

    your also talkin about 1 gig upgrade, a firewire drive, upgrade to 7200 rpm, etc, you are now more expensive than an iMac. If you have to go Mac, at least get the iMac.

    By your post, it looks like you might be partial to the Mac software. So if a PC (AMD or Intel) is not an option, consider the iMac as a bottom line. You say what kind of performance can you get from a MacMini? Well running Logic, expect a couple tracks, (Maybe 4 or 5), and MAYBE a plug-in or 2. After that, the machine will become virtually unusable. (just one instance of guitar rig is enough to bring most macs to their knees, and there are plenty of plugins like that, even the Virtual instruments that ship with logic.)

    This is not a pc vs. mac thing. (I use both, and the mac is my primary prioduction machine.) It is just not nearly as fast as the PC, and costs twice as much. MAC + APPLE SOFTWARE = NICE (But Expensive)

    PC = Many more software options (minus Logic), at a much cheaper price point. No, the OS isnt as slick, but hey, what can you do. PC's are cheaper and faster than MAC's, and that point is really unarguable.

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