Mac Mini Question at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Final Cut Suite
Discussing the editing of all formats with FCS, FCP, FCE


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 9th, 2005, 07:43 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Santa Monica, California
Posts: 146
Mac Mini Question

Since Apple "unofficially" bumped the specs for the Mini which now exceed the 14" Super Drive iBook, I'm thinking a Mini might be a great way for me to transition from linear to non-linear editing.

The only drawback - if it is one - is my monitor, which is a 20" Sharp Aquos LCD TV. Would this be a problem outputting a Mini to my Sharp? Have any Mini owners used an LCD TV as a monitor without issues?

Appreciate any feedback!
Dorothy
Dorothy Engleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2005, 07:57 PM   #2
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,542
If the monitor has either DVI or VGA input there won't be any problem. What is the resolution? I have a 22" Samsung widescreen LCD screen with DVI input and it works fine on my Mac(s). However, with a resolution of 1280x720 on a 22" screen everything looks a bit like the "large print edition." So I don't use this screen as a computer monitor most of the time and just watch TV on it (which it's great for).

This isn't a technical problem, the monitor works fine. In this case the issue is simply that 1280x720 is a rather low pixel density for a screen that large. My 23" Apple Cinema Display is basically the same physical size but with a resolution of 1920x1200 which is an additional 1.4 million pixels! :-)
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2005, 09:49 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Santa Monica, California
Posts: 146
Boyd,

My Sharp's resolution is 1024x768. No DVI. Inputs are:

VGA/SVGA - 15-pin mini D sub
PC Audio - Mini jack for stereo
AVI
S-Video in

According to messages on Apple's Mini Display Discussion Board, there have been lots of problems with video display, especially on LCD TV monitors.

While I'd love to keep my small seaside studio as uncluttered as possible with a teensy Mini and my Sharp Aquos, I must admit, Boyd, that your recent comments that the G4 is 3 year old technology, together with the new iMac release two weeks ago, have made the purchase of an iMac over a Mini seem much more pallete-able!

Dorothy
Dorothy Engleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2005, 10:02 PM   #4
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,542
Ah, I see. I think 1024x768 will look pretty blocky on a 20" screen but you would have to be the judge of that. A DVI to VGA adaptor should be inexpensive and available at any Apple store of via mail order. I have never used a mini myself so I have no idea what the video issues might be. Seems like a 1024x768 monitor is about as plain vanilla as you can get however so I'd be surprised (and disappointed) if that didn't work.

I haven't ever used a G5 iMac either, but based on the specs and articles I've read it certainly sounds like a better choice. PC magazine just reviewed the new machines here:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1881517,00.asp

MacWorld's review is here:

http://www.macworld.com/2005/11/revi...5rev/index.php
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2005, 10:37 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 234
I have an iMac G5 (2ghz 20" model) and it's my primary DV editing machine. It's just fine and dandy for standard DV work.

I've also used my wife's PowerBook G4 (1ghz) and honestly, it was adequate...just not what I'd call 'snappy' or 'responsive'.

Three weeks ago, I was out-of-town and got to work on a brand-new Mac Mini (entry-level 1.25ghz version) and performance wise, it felt pretty much like the PowerBook G4...which is to say 'adequate', but nowhere near as powerful as the iMac G5.



And naturally, I must add this: if you're talking about doing serious high-end production with lotsa rendering work, or if you want to get serious with HD, then I'd suggest you go to a Dual/Quad processor G5 tower.
Duane Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2005, 10:44 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Santa Monica, California
Posts: 146
Boyd, many thanks for your feedback and iMac reviews.

I'm not sure I want to pay over $1000 for a souped-up Mac Mini only to discover that my WebTV, which is optimized for TV, displays better than the Mini.

By week's end, I'm ordering a Mac. Looks like the iMac is now in strong contention. But who knows? I've already gone through "fantasy purchases" of an iBook, Mac Mini as well as iMac.

Maybe I should write an opera about all my ersatz Mac purchases and call it - what else? - Love For Three Apples! Boyd, you can have exclusive production rights as long as Renée Fleming plays me!!

Dorothy
Dorothy Engleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2005, 10:56 PM   #7
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,542
Hah! Actually I just got back from your part of the world - Costa Mesa - tonight after installing my Tosca set for Opera Pacific. With all due respect, forget Renee Fleming. If you're an opera fan go check out Doina Dimitriu who is playing the title role there. I only saw part of the first tech rehearsal but she is unbelievable!

Back on topic... I also have a 1ghz powerbook. I took it to Argentina this summer where it was my only machine for editing nearly 2 hours of PAL video used for projections in Die Walküre. I was a little anxious about this since the dual G5 has spoiled me, but I was actually very happy with FCP 4.5 on that machine (which is 2 years old). And this in spite of the dreaded lower slot failure which left me with only 1 GB of RAM. One important thing is to adjust the render and RT settings to less taxing numbers so that response is reasonable. But this isn't a bad compromise if you're on the road.

But Duane is right - it's rendering that will really highlight the differences. Things that would render in 2 or 3 minutes on the G5 would take perhaps 10 or 20 minutes on the powerbook. However I was even able to run Motion on the 1ghz Powerbook. My projects with it were pretty simple, but I was surprised that it would run at all based on what I'd read in Apple's forums. As long as you're able to take a break and do something else while a project renders then a G4 is still quite usable.

But unless I really needed the portability of a laptop I'd get some kind of a G5.
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2005, 11:24 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Santa Monica, California
Posts: 146
Duane,

Thanks so much for sharing all your helpful information in my hour of Apple angst.

It was great to hear that your G5 iMac is your
"primary DV editing machine" and "It's just fine and dandy for standard DV work" and that the Mac Mini's performance "felt pretty much like the PowerBook G4...which is to say 'adequate', but nowhere near as powerful as the iMac G5."

"And naturally, I must add this: if you're talking about doing serious high-end production with lotsa rendering work, or if you want to get serious with HD, then I'd suggest you go to a Dual/Quad processor G5 tower"

Eeeeek, the mere thought of the infamous "R" word drives me nuts!! Say, maybe I can deduct an iMac as a medical expense!

Dorothy
Dorothy Engleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2005, 12:13 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Santa Monica, California
Posts: 146
"But Duane is right - it's rendering that will really highlight the differences. Things that would render in 2 or 3 minutes on the G5 would take perhaps 10 or 20 minutes on the powerbook."

Thanks, Boyd! These benchmarks are amazing! I'm interested in doing experimental videos and am thrilled that an iMac will allow me to render AND retain my mental health!

"...I just got back from your part of the world - Costa Mesa - tonight after installing my Tosca set for Opera Pacific. With all due respect, forget Renee Fleming. If you're an opera fan go check out Doina Dimitriu who is playing the title role there. I only saw part of the first tech rehearsal but she is unbelievable!"

Will call Opera Pacific and see if there are tickets for Dimitriu's performance. It would be so exciting to hear a new diva and see Boyd's production!

Forget Renée Fleming? Never! Especially her legendary, annual appearance on Prairie Home Companion!

Dorothy
Dorothy Engleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2005, 01:02 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 234
You're very welcome, Dorothy. :-)

But just remember: while the iMac is shockingly powerful, NLE work is very resource-intensive! Final Cut will (at times) push the little computer to it's limits. I would also *HIGHLY* recommend you budget for an additional 1GB stick of RAM, typically around $100, because the stock 512MB simply isn't adequate if you expect the computer to be able to 'walk-and-chew-gum' at the same time. ;)
Duane Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2005, 10:45 AM   #11
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorothy Engleman
"But Duane is right - it's rendering that will really highlight the differences. Things that would render in 2 or 3 minutes on the G5 would take perhaps 10 or 20 minutes on the powerbook."
Just to put things back in context... the G5 I was talking about in that quote was my dual 2.5ghz with 2.5GB of RAM. And I was also talking about a 1ghz G4 powerbook. The time differences will be less dramatic between a single 2ghz G5 and a 1.4ghz G4, however I'm sure they will still be significant.

BTW Dorothy, if you come to the final Tosca performance on Nov 20 then see if you can find your way backstage and ask for me after the show. I'll be there that evening to take the set apart and put it into the trucks.
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 10th, 2005, 11:44 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Santa Monica, California
Posts: 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane Smith
But just remember: while the iMac is shockingly powerful, NLE work is very resource-intensive! Final Cut will (at times) push the little computer to it's limits. I would also *HIGHLY* recommend you budget for an additional 1GB stick of RAM, typically around $100, because the stock 512MB simply isn't adequate if you expect the computer to be able to 'walk-and-chew-gum' at the same time. ;)
Hey Duane, this is my first computer so I plan to learn digital editing with iMovie before I graduate to FCE or FCP. But I hear iMovie's all you need to make it to the Sundance Festival!

And yes, thanks for your suggestion, I will get an additional 1GB RAM!

Dorothy
Dorothy Engleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2005, 12:25 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Santa Monica, California
Posts: 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Just to put things back in context... the G5 I was talking about in that quote was my dual 2.5ghz with 2.5GB of RAM. And I was also talking about a 1ghz G4 powerbook. The time differences will be less dramatic between a single 2ghz G5 and a 1.4ghz G4, however I'm sure they will still be significant.
Boyd, thanks for the clarification. I called Sharp today to confirm whether a Mac Mini could display properly on my LCD TV. The tech said my Aquos has neither a VGA nor DVI, only composite and RGB inputs. But Apple claims I can get seamless video output through the Mini Mac with their VGA to S-video adaptor.

Quote:
BTW Dorothy, if you come to the final Tosca performance on Nov 20 then see if you can find your way backstage and ask for me after the show. I'll be there that evening to take the set apart and put it into the trucks.
Alas, I don't drive - still think I'm in New York! - and Pacific Opera's 3 hours round-trip. I hope one of your productions tours Los Angeles someday soon!

Dorothy
Dorothy Engleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2005, 12:24 PM   #14
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,542
Ah... without VGA or DVI you won't want to use that screen with any computer. You're going to get a rather soft image through an s-video hookup. That would be fine to view footage while editing, but not good for text and general use.
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2005, 09:29 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Santa Monica, California
Posts: 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Ah... without VGA or DVI you won't want to use that screen with any computer. You're going to get a rather soft image through an s-video hookup. That would be fine to view footage while editing, but not good for text and general use.

Thanks, Boyd! If an S-Video connection is my only option for screen compatibility with my Sharp Aquos, then this definitely delivers the coup de grace to my brief ambitions for a Mac Mini.

I guess in the best of all possible worlds, the acquisition of an iMac, with its guaranteed screen resolution, is my best of all possible choices!

Dorothy
Dorothy Engleman is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Apple / Mac Post Production Solutions > Final Cut Suite

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:55 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network