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Old January 11th, 2005, 11:25 PM   #1
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FCP/FCE on the Mac Mini?

just wondering what the general consensus was when it comes to editing using FCP or FCE on the new Mac Mini.

i know myself that I cant afford a G5 or iMac any time soon, so would getting a mac mini for this purpose be a good or bad decision?

does anyone have any idea as to whether a dual screen set up can be ran on one? I also noticed there wasnt a video out connection either..

thanks for your time :)
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Old January 12th, 2005, 07:35 AM   #2
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I don't see why they wouldn't run on the mini. I'm still on FCP3, but my main machine is a 1.25ghz single processor tower with 1.25 GB RAM and it works fine. I have also run it on a G4/733 with 768 MB RAM and Titanium Powerbook G4/667 with 512 MB. Of course performance will be in proportion to the hardware specs.

Looking at the specs, there is only one DVI video port and they give you a VGA adaptor. It says you can use s-video with another adaptor which isn't included. However I assume this is an either/or proposition since there's only one port. C'mon now, you're expecting a lot from a $500 computer! :-) It will drive a 1920x1200 screen which isn't bad though.
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Old January 12th, 2005, 08:48 AM   #3
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There is no reason why you couldn't run FCP or FCExpress on that little setup. You would want to get the bigger hard drive, max out the RAM (it only holds 1 stick) and buy an external Firewire-DV converter to run your video to an external monitor but other than that, there are very few reasons why it wouldn't work like a charm.
Heck the specs of this new Mac Mini are very similar to my Powerbook which cost over 5 times as much! However if you start customizing it on the Apple Store (add a SuperDrive and Max RAM and such) the price jumps over $1000 very quickly! You can get better RAM from Crucial.com for less than half of what Apple charges for it.

If you are looking for an entry level Mac, this is it! Heck the same software will install on your Dual G5 when you upgrade later.
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Old January 12th, 2005, 09:20 AM   #4
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Don't use the internal drive for your media. Get a fast external Firewire drive instead. The hard drive inside the iMac mini is probably very slow. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same 4200 rpm drive used in the iBooks.
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Old January 12th, 2005, 11:13 AM   #5
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Since there is only one Firewire 400 port on the Mini, are there issues with using a Firewire Hub with both a DV or HDV camera/deck attached AND and external HD? Or how about a drive enclosure that allows loopthrough, so you've got your Mini > Hard Drive > Camera? Or Mini > Firewire Hub > Hard Drive & Camera?
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Old January 12th, 2005, 11:33 AM   #6
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Scott, I don't think anyone can really answer that question until the mini's start shipping later this month...
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Old January 12th, 2005, 03:39 PM   #7
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Be aware FCP has a minimum requirement of 384MB of RAM. You really want as much as you can, but the 512MB price point at the Apple Store makes the most sense to get started... no one knows how difficult it is to get into the box to swap in your own RAM but Apple is charging waaaay to much of 1 GB. You should probably upgrade to a DVD burner too for output of your stuff unless you have an external burner already.

The mini looks to be simply an iBook without a screen. So you most likely will be able to do the mini->HD->Camera route. Of course, some cameras don't like to share the FW chain. USB 2.0 is usually fast enough for DV capture, but wait for testing to see what the mini actually can do... an external drive with USB 2.0 and FW is usually a good way to go anyway if you are using the drive to move data around...
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Old January 12th, 2005, 04:12 PM   #8
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Firewire issues

"[I]ssues using a Firewire Hub with a ... camera/deck attached & external HD"

Can anyone point me to a relevant thread, here, about this? The search strings I tried didn't call up too much.

JS
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Old January 13th, 2005, 10:52 AM   #9
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mac->firewire Hd>cam

I have a seagate external hd and I use this exact set up for my dual1.8 G5, but I have also used it with a G4 cube/nuclear furnace, and even an old school imac G3 733mhz. So I can't imagine why this would not work, in fact my external has a second 6pin firewire port so if'n you were using the mini you would still have a free port, even with the cam hooked up.
For reference my cams are are a panna DV53 and a Sony PDX10.

Full disclosure: I work for Seagate, but I think most any firewire drive would probably do this for you...
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Old January 13th, 2005, 04:39 PM   #10
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How big of an issue is the crippled and anemic integrated video chipset? I've been searching for a cheap way to get a FCP editing setup for my personal use (not for any heavy effects, just for editing short to mid length films, I have an older post a little ways down in this forum) and my price point was around $500. Have they been spying on me? Anyways, I can't wait to hear board member experiences when they run FCP on the mini setup. Mac, you have peaked my interest, I might actually be buying one of your products!
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Old January 13th, 2005, 05:01 PM   #11
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QUOTE from Apple- "DVI video output for digital resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 pixels; supports 20-inch Apple Cinema display and 23-inch Apple Cinema HD display; supports coherent digital displays up to 154MHz; supports non-coherent digital displays up to 135MHz"

That sounds pretty good for a "crippled and anemic integrated video chipset"

Like I said before, there isn't a whole lot about this setup (Mac mini) that is very different from the notebook computers they currently sell and tons of people very successfully edit on those every day. The only drawback is being limited to 1 gig of RAM (if that can really be considered a drawback).
I can't see any problem using this little machine to run FCP and have a good little rig. You're not going to set any speed records but then again it's not designed for that. I would have rather it been a little taller and support 3.5" drives but oh well I guess that's what the Cube was for. (I wish I had bought one of those)
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Old January 13th, 2005, 06:06 PM   #12
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I would have rather it been a little taller and support 3.5" drives but oh well I guess that's what the Cube was for. (I wish I had bought one of those) -->>>

You didn't miss much. When it was functional I alternately referred to my cube as "the furnace" or "Apple's challenge to my fanatical brand loyalty." Now, it's inert, and according to my tech friends here in the lab at Seagate, unfixable. I did manage to rescue my data from the hard drive, though. These days we call our cube the world's smallest end table.

Personally, I avoid small form factor as much as possible, if you can't get inside the machine I don't want it.
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Old January 14th, 2005, 08:23 AM   #13
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Rhett - but is display support size a primary factor in processing strength? (It could be, it's an honest question).

I haven't heard of this cube before. Is this something MAC came out with previously that was comparable to this new minimac that I assume overheated easily and then crashed etc.? Yes, I'm nitpicking but I bet a lot of PC loyalists will be to see if this very well could be the first MAC they look at purchasing....
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Old January 14th, 2005, 09:46 AM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bryan Roberts : Rhett - but is display support size a primary factor in processing strength? (It could be, it's an honest question).

I haven't heard of this cube before. Is this something MAC came out with previously that was comparable to this new minimac that I assume overheated easily and then crashed etc.? Yes, I'm nitpicking but I bet a lot of PC loyalists will be to see if this very well could be the first MAC they look at purchasing.... -->>>

Actually the cube came and went years ago('99-2001?). The g4 "sunflower" imac actually had an even smaller cpu and, as far as I know, none of the heat issues. And, as far as the heat issues go, I know several people who didn't have them at all. I think apple learned a powerful lesson with the cube, and I'd doubt they would offer the mini if they didn't think it has what it takes. Furthermore, the mini has a 2.5" drive, not a 3.5"; in regards to heat, this is a huge difference...
So, no, I don't think it's a good unit for comparison to the mini...
And, for what's it's worth, my cube only crashed once, and it had a pretty hard life before that happened...
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Old January 14th, 2005, 11:00 AM   #15
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The mini is a nice "fun" computer that you _can_ do FCP on, but if that is going to be your main focus, get an older G4 tower. The drive space and expandability will be a better mix than the mini in terms of editing... $500 would be a tough price point to hit, but once you up the RAM for the mini to the bare minimum of 512MB then you are more in the $600 range anyway and without a DVD burner.

It makes a great _extra_ mac or beginner computer or light-weight server or fun Unix box... but not ideal for editing.
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