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Old January 23rd, 2008, 04:02 AM   #1
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anyone using a mac mini?

does anybody have any experience of using a mac mini? i assume it can handle imovie, but what about final cut express/pro?

thanks
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 12:05 PM   #2
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I'd like to know this as well. I have thinking of switching over to Apple from a PC simply because it seems in the professional world I am looking at, more employers are looking for Final Cut Pro experience rather than Sony Vegas (where I am coming from).

I don't have a huge budget, and 1k is already a huge stretch. MacMini seems to fit the budget bill, but can is it powerful enough?

I am looking to get the latest version of Final Cut Pro HD or whatever it might be called to edit HDV (1440x1080) content.

Just for my reference, could someone explain the difference to me between: MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacMini, iMac, and Mac Pro, iBook, G4, G5?

Thanks!
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 02:16 PM   #3
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Just for my reference, could someone explain the difference to me between: MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacMini, iMac, and Mac Pro, iBook, G4, G5?

Thanks!

I hate to state the obvious, (but I will anyway)

:-)

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...cts/AppleStore

G5, G4 are older pre-Intel processors (all Macs have been Intel for about a year now and can run Windows if you get nostalgic for viruses). G5s were used in desktops but not laptops 'cos they ran too hot.

iBook and Powerbook were the predecessors or the MacBook and MacBook Pro respectively.

I would doubt that a Mini would have enough oomph for video. They are tricky to open up to upgrade the RAM or hard drive, and Apple's extra RAM price is ridiculous. FCP will not thank you for running on 1GB.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 02:33 PM   #4
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Yea, of course I visited the site, but I mean, what is say, the difference between a MacBook and MacBook Pro?
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 02:59 PM   #5
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Fastest Windows laptop

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Originally Posted by Alex Thames View Post
Yea, of course I visited the site, but I mean, what is say, the difference between a MacBook and MacBook Pro?
The MacBook Pro is a designed for professional use - audio, video or just run-of-the mill presentations, speadsheets and the like. It is more robust, has a bigger screen (15" or 17") with more and better resolutions, better graphics card, better connectivity (Two USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 400 port, one FireWire 800 port, one ExpressCard/34 slot, DVI video out with support for DVI (up to 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display), VGA, S-video, and composite video with adapters; DVI to VGA Adapter included, others sold separately).

But you can easily compare specs on the link I gave you by clicking on a MacBook or MacBook Pro and then on the "compare specs" further down the page.

The MacBook Pro was also the fastest Windows laptop on Vista when this was written (October 2007)!
http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,13...s/article.html

Last edited by Colin McDonald; January 24th, 2008 at 02:11 AM. Reason: Correction/update
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 03:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ray Coy View Post
does anybody have any experience of using a mac mini? i assume it can handle imovie, but what about final cut express/pro?

thanks
I do have a mini - it's a core2duo, 1.83Ghz. I use it as a hometheater computer mainly. Sometimes I use it for rendering using Apple Qmaster - like for transcoding in compressor to distribute the workload.
My main machine is a 2.3Ghz Dual G5 which I use for final cut pro. The mini - for pure rendering - is about as fast as the G5. You can install FCS2 on the current intel minis and final cut pro 6 itself runs. However, you should realize the mini doesn't have a dedicated graphics card - it uses shared RAM for video output. So, definitely no Motion or Color. That's why it's not supported by Apple for use with FCS2.

Ray, you're saying "final cut express / pro" ? The slash might just make the difference: the mini might be good enough for playing around - particularly if you're only using FCE it should be plenty good if you hook up an external big firewire drive. For FCS, if you wanna use Motion, it's not a viable option.

In terms of upgradability: it's really easy to open. There's plenty of sites on the web that describe how to do it. The RAM is the same as in the current generation MacBooks and MacBook Pros. It's dirt cheap - about $45 for 2 GB.

I'd like to take this opportunity and repeat what I've said before on this board: if you're doing a lot of work in compressor (like transcoding), then using one or more minis as a render farm is unbelievably powerful - mine consistently finishes parts of transcoding jobs faster than the G5.

The mini also is great for playing back HD video over an HDTV - it easily plays raw HDV 1080p24 and anything else (except blu-ray and hd-dvd of course).
Hope this helps.
Dino
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 03:12 PM   #7
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In terms of upgradability: it's really easy to open. There's plenty of sites on the web that describe how to do it. The RAM is the same as in the current generation MacBooks and MacBook Pros. It's dirt cheap - about $45 for 2 GB.
OK, sorry, I'm out of date - the pre-Intel mini was more difficult to open. This one is easy as Dino says:

http://www.macworld.com/article/4965...3/minicsi.html

But buy the RAM yourself as I said.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 03:52 PM   #8
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So is the main disadvantage that it doesn't have a dedicated gfx card? Seems like the RAM problem isn't really one as it can be upgraded yourself for cheap.

What about the actual CPU itself? Is 1.83ghz Core 2 enough? Is even 2.0ghz Core 2 enough?
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 04:57 PM   #9
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So is the main disadvantage that it doesn't have a dedicated gfx card? Seems like the RAM problem isn't really one as it can be upgraded yourself for cheap.

What about the actual CPU itself? Is 1.83ghz Core 2 enough? Is even 2.0ghz Core 2 enough?
Yes, like I said, it only has a intel gma950 graphics processor with 64mb shared ram. This limits its use. It's basically a last-generation macbook in a different form factor.

The cpu is either a 1.83Ghz or 2.0 GHz core2duo, depending which model you get. The cpu is definitely fast enough for "normal users" - meaning if video editing is not your profession, but rather a hobby, it could be OK.
But again, keep in mind that the graphics card cripples this system.

Dino
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 06:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Alex Thames View Post
I'd like to know this as well. I have thinking of switching over to Apple from a PC simply because it seems in the professional world I am looking at, more employers are looking for Final Cut Pro experience rather than Sony Vegas (where I am coming from).

I don't have a huge budget, and 1k is already a huge stretch. MacMini seems to fit the budget bill, but can is it powerful enough?

I am looking to get the latest version of Final Cut Pro HD or whatever it might be called to edit HDV (1440x1080) content.

Just for my reference, could someone explain the difference to me between: MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacMini, iMac, and Mac Pro, iBook, G4, G5?

Thanks!
To be honest, if you can stretch it to 1k, stretch it a bit more and go for the lowest iMac... The speed difference and possibility differences between a Mac Mini and an iMac are huge. To give you an example, I tested both in an Apple store, just to have fun, and without doing anything video-related, I already noticed a big speed jump.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 02:12 AM   #11
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To be honest, if you can stretch it to 1k, stretch it a bit more and go for the lowest iMac... The speed difference and possibility differences between a Mac Mini and an iMac are huge.
You don't know any College or Uni students do you?....
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Old January 24th, 2008, 03:58 AM   #12
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You don't know any College or Uni students do you?....
How do you mean?
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Old January 24th, 2008, 02:14 PM   #13
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How do you mean?
Education discount ... as a school HOD I just saved 8.47% on a new 15" MacBook Pro and AppleCare.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 02:39 PM   #14
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Indeed, but I'm not the one looking for a new Mac (well, actually I am, but it's a different story), or am I just misunderstanding that you didn't meant your comment towards me? I was just also giving advice to the other ones here.

But indeed, if you're a student, you can have a mac a bit cheaper, or go refurbished!!!
I've heard from lots of people that they went for refurbished mac's, and it all performed flawlessly.
It comes with the same warrant as new material, and is troughly checked by Apple.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 03:28 PM   #15
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Indeed, but I'm not the one looking for a new Mac (well, actually I am, but it's a different story), or am I just misunderstanding that you didn't meant your comment towards me? I was just also giving advice to the other ones here.
Sorry for confusion Mathieu - my comment was meant to encourage Alex to try to go for an iMac, as you suggested, by pointing out a possible route for savings. I should have made this clearer. I would also second checking out the refurb availability.
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