Move from PC to Mac Mini Good idea ?

FoskeyMedia wrote on 5/20/2016, 11:18 AM
I may have an opportunity to move to a Mac Mini (please no suggestions of other/better machines. This is my option at the moment). Vegas is the only software that has me stuck in Windows. I understand there is a program I can get to let me run windows environment in Mac. I'm wondering is it worth it ? The Salesman (who was very knowledgeable and slick) says it performed on the level of an I7 with 12 GB memory. The specs look like my current machine is still better. My only concern is performance.

My current PC is:
Operating System
Platform: Windows 7 (64-bit)
Version: 6.01.7601 (Service Pack 1)
Language: English
System locale: English
User locale: English

Processor
Class: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 870 @ 2.93GHz
Identifier: GenuineIntel
Number of processors: 8
MMX available: Yes
SSE available: Yes
SSE2 available: Yes
SSE3 available: Yes
SSSE3 available: Yes
SSE4.1 available: Yes
SSE4.2 available: Yes

Display
Primary: 1680x1050x32

Memory
Physical memory: 16,343.1 MB
Paging memory available: 32,684.5 MB


The Mac Mini would be:
Operating System - Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
CASE & MOTHERBOARD
Case Orientation
Vertical
Horizontal
PROCESSOR -
CPU Summary - Core i5 2.6GHz
CPU Core -Dual-Core
CPU Type -Core i5
CPU Speed - 2.6GHz
Turbo Boost Speed - Up to 3.1GHz
Level 3 Cache - 3MB
CPU Brand - Intel
MEMORY
Total Memory -8GB
Memory Speed - DDR3L-1600
HARD DRIVE
HD Interface
SATA
HD Capacity
1TB
HD RPM
5,400 RPM
HD Configuration
1 x 1TB
MULTIMEDIA DRIVES
Optical Drive
None
DISPLAY
Display Type
Display Not Included
VIDEO
GPU Type
Intel Iris
Video Connectors
1 x HDMI
2 x Thunderbolt 2
AUDIO
Audio System
Integrated Audio
COMMUNICATIONS
LAN
Gigabit LAN
LAN Data Rate Speed
10/100/1000Mbps
WLAN
Wireless LAN
Bluetooth
Bluetooth 4.0
Wireless Technology
802.11a
802.11b
802.11g
802.11n
802.11ac
CARD READER
Memory Card Reader
SDXC Card Slot
Supported Flash Media
Secure Digital
SDHC
SDXC
BACK PANEL PORTS
Thunderbolt 2
2
HDMI
1
USB 3.0
4
LAN RJ-45
1
Audio
2
POWER
Power Supply
85 Watt

Comments

Streamworks Audio wrote on 5/20/2016, 12:38 PM
I was in the same boat. Had a fairly powerful PC, and the only reason I needed it was for Vegas. I mostly have Apple devices.

With all the talk about Vegas being on its last legs, I decided to take out my Mac mini 2011 from it's hiding spot and upgrade the RAM from its default config of 2GB to 8GB and then installed Final Cut Pro X on it. To be honest, I found the performance to be a HUGE surprise.

Now I am not running Windows via boot camp, I am running OS X 10.11.5 so if you are going to be running Vegas via boot camp, I cannot say how well it will run.

I got the idea when I realized that the CPU in the Mac mini (2011) wasn't that much slower in specs than my MacBook Pro (2013 13" retina) and I use that with Final Cut Pro X and I am happy with that performance, and I find the Mac mini 2011 (with the upgraded ram and SSD drive) to be equal in terms of general performance.

Just my 2 cents ;-)
JohnnyRoy wrote on 5/20/2016, 8:24 PM
> "The specs look like my current machine is still better. My only concern is performance."

What are you using to determine that? Because you can't use CPU speed because your Core i7-870 CPU is 8 year old "Lynnfield" technology from 2009 and the Core i5 in the Mac Mini is a 2014 "Haskell" CPU. The newer CPU's are actually faster at the same clock speed.

If you are going to use Final Cut Pro X on the Mac mini it will run great. If you plan to run bloated Windows on it, you might not be as happy.

This is what I have observed first hand:

My 2012 MacBook Pro 2.3Ghz Intel Core i7, 16GB memory, 1TB SSD when running Windows and Vegas Pro can only playback 4K at about 5 fps. The same exact hardware running OS X and Final Cut Pro X plays the same 4K file at full 29.97 frame rate. That's a big difference!

If you are willing to switch to FCP X, get the Mac Mini.

~jr
FoskeyMedia wrote on 5/20/2016, 9:26 PM
Wow.. that is a big diference. I hate to leave Vegas. I've been with it since Vegas Video 2.0, anjd I HATE to pay a subscription for Adobe (Annual almost the cost of Vegas), but I'm not married to Vegas and it would be GOOD to learn something that's used more in the industry (every person who asked me about working for them want's FCP).
deusx wrote on 5/21/2016, 5:10 AM
Keep in mind that saying: "You get what you pay for"

and then consider my saying: "With Apple you get 1/2 of what you pay for"
FoskeyMedia wrote on 5/21/2016, 2:18 PM
I don't really get your point. Are you saying it's over priced ?
john_dennis wrote on 5/21/2016, 3:51 PM
I'm really struggling to understand how you're going to maintain performance leaving a quad core (with hperthreading) PC going to a dual core Mac Mini. The burst clock at 3.1 GHz is not going to make up for two missing cores. You should at least match the number of cores at similar core clocks.

Same platform CPU comparison.

My main system:
Motherboard: Asus X99-AII
CPU: Intel i7-6850K
GPU: Sapphire Radeon RX480-8GB
RAM: Corsair Dominator (4 x 4 GB) DDR4 2400
Disk O/S & Programs: Intel SSD 750 (400 GB)
Disk Active Projects: 1TB & 2TB WD BLACK SN750 NVMe Internal PCI Express 3.0 x4 Solid State Drives
Disk Other: WD Ultrastar/Hitachi Hard Drives: WDBBUR0080BNC-WRSN, HGST HUH728080ALE600, 724040ALE640, HDS3020BLA642
Case: LIAN LI PC-90 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Case
CPU cooling: Corsair Hydro series H115i
Power supply: SeaSonic SS-750KM3 750W 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Drive Bay: Kingwin KF-256-BK 2.5" and 3.5" Trayless Hot Swap Rack with USB 3
Sound card: Crystal Sound 3 on motherboard. Recording done on another system.
Primary Monitor: Asus ProArt PA248q (24" 1920 x 1200)
O/S: Windows 10 Pro 22H2, Build 19045.2130

Camera: Sony RX10 Model IV

https://www.youtube.com/user/thedennischannel

deusx wrote on 5/21/2016, 11:05 PM
Well, that thing doesn't even have a graphics card and its hard disk is a 5400 rpm one. Not exactly great for video or audio.

It should cost about $250
FoskeyMedia wrote on 5/21/2016, 11:28 PM
Gotcha~
JohnnyRoy wrote on 5/22/2016, 10:38 AM
> "I'm really struggling to understand how you're going to maintain performance leaving a quad core (with hperthreading) PC going to a dual core Mac Mini. The burst clock at 3.1 GHz is not going to make up for two missing cores. You should at least match the number of cores at similar core clocks."

The Dual Core Mac mini has hyper threading as well but you have to look at the whole picture. You can't just look at the cores or frequency without understand that he is going from really old architecture to the latest Intel architecture. The newer chips can execute more instructions per cpu clock so you can't just compare clock speed and cores because the architectures aren't the same.

Here is what I found:

Passmark rating for Intel Core i7-870 @ 2.93GHz: Single Thread Rating: 1298, Average CPU Mark: 5471

Passmark rating for Intel Core i5-4278U @ 2.60GHz: Single Thread Rating: 1726, Average CPU Mark: 4313

So the Haswell Core i5 in the Mac mini is rated faster at single core processing than the Lynnfield Core i7-870 CPU that he has now (1726 vs 1298). Many of the editing tasks are single core tasks. It's only until you get to rendering that multi-cores really makes a difference and the multicore performance is only about 23% less for the Core i5.

Here is a side-by-side comparison from CPU Boss:

Intel Core i7 870 vs i5 4278U

Overall the old Core i7 870 gets a 5.2 compared to the new Core i5 4278U which got 8.7 out of 10. Clearly the modern Core i5 is better CPU.

The second thing is consider Windows/Vegas Pro vs OS X/FCP X.

Take a look at:

Final Cut Pro X v Adobe Premiere Pro render and export speed tests

While this is not a comparison with Vegas Pro, it shows how much faster FCP X is than it's closest competitor Premiere. I mean, it's significantly faster which shows how well Apple has tuned FCP X for it's OS and hardware. Like I said, I can edit 4K smoothly on my 2012 MacBook Pro with FCP X but I can't say the same for Vegas Pro on the same hardware.

So we're not just talking about a hardware comparison but both a hardware and software comparison and FCP X doesn't require as much power to handle the same workload.

If you asked me if I would rather work on an 8 year old Core i7 with Windows and Vegas Pro or a brand new Mac mini Core i5 with FCP X... I would pick the Mac mini and FCP X because it will be a smoother editing experience with newer video formats. If we were talking about a brand new Haswell Core i7 vs a Core i5 I'd take the Core i7 of course. It's the fact his Core i7 is so old, that the newer Core i5's are actually better now.

~jr
JohnnyRoy wrote on 5/22/2016, 11:55 AM
> "Well, that thing doesn't even have a graphics card and its hard disk is a 5400 rpm one. Not exactly great for video or audio."

I would have to agree that the Mac mini is not designed for heavy video editing but compared to an 8 year old PC it is better and that is the question being asked. (i.e., stay with an 8 year old PC or get a new Mac mini)

> "It should cost about $250"

The closest PC I could find with similar specs, size, and components is the:

Intel NUC NUC5i5RYK, Core i5, USB 3.0, Intel HD Graphics, Mini HDMI, Mini DisplayPort which lists for $423.99

But that price doesn't include memory or a hard drive so add another $75 for those and call it an even $500.

I'm not seeng anything close to $250 with the same capability as a 2014 Mac mini Core i5.

~jr
riredale wrote on 5/24/2016, 11:38 AM
When moving from one machine to another I sometimes wonder if the "huge" increase in performance is due to little more than just the opportunity to do work on a brand-new clean machine.

In other words, though I'm happy with my current setup, I have little doubt that if I were to take it to bare metal and re-install Windows and Vegas I'm sure I would see a significant performance boost.

I have a collection of several older laptops adopted from friends who just got fed up with sluggishness. But reinstall the OS, and wow!--sparkling performance, just like in the showroom. I have no practical use for them, but speed ain't the issue.
FoskeyMedia wrote on 5/24/2016, 12:34 PM
This MacMini would be a gift (or greatly reduced price) from a client. So my concern is it it really going to be better than what I have now (and worth either switching to FCP or Premier ($$$) or running Windows in a Mac environment). I'm also concerned that it has no dedicated video card.
Laurence wrote on 5/24/2016, 11:57 PM
The trouble with the Mac Mini is the underpowered graphics card. Liveable with the current generation of Vegas but unusable in pretty much every other NLE including Resolve and likely the next generation on of Magix Vegas.
FoskeyMedia wrote on 5/25/2016, 12:52 PM
well now I'm thinking about trying to go with this:

http://www.microcenter.com/product/458778/XPS_8900_Desktop_Computer

(this whole deal is due to bartering with a client).
Looks like a better machine with more power....and I won't have to switch over to MAC. I'm going to research the NVIDIA GeForce GT 730 graphics card...but should I be concerned that it's only a
460 Watt power supply ? I was told I should have at least 600 watts.
john_dennis wrote on 5/25/2016, 1:08 PM
The NVIDIA GeForce GT 730 graphics card won't help much over the on-die intel video adapter.

Check to see if the 8GB of memory comes as one DIMM or two. If one, the motherboard won't run the MCH in dual channel mode and memory bandwidth will be less. Some manufacturers go cheap.

You are correct about the power supply If and when you decide to get a more potent video card. Check to see if this Dell has proprietary power connectors. That was true in the past. I'm not certain it still is the case.

An aside:
On Sunday, my wife heard me utter a phrase that I've never uttered in our lives. "Honey, I'm going to the Apple Store." I spent time working with Daniel (a salesperson) and Samantha (a FCP "Genius"). I worked with FCP on the Mac Pro to the extent that was possible considering I couldn't insert my USB flash drive in their demo system and asked silly questions. Later, I went to Fry's and was able to watch my video samples on a 27" iMac. I didn't spend any time with the Mini.

I'm doing a forklift system upgrade by October. At this point in the product selection process, everything is on the table. That includes hardware, O/S and application software. I'm in the blue-sky phase.

My main system:
Motherboard: Asus X99-AII
CPU: Intel i7-6850K
GPU: Sapphire Radeon RX480-8GB
RAM: Corsair Dominator (4 x 4 GB) DDR4 2400
Disk O/S & Programs: Intel SSD 750 (400 GB)
Disk Active Projects: 1TB & 2TB WD BLACK SN750 NVMe Internal PCI Express 3.0 x4 Solid State Drives
Disk Other: WD Ultrastar/Hitachi Hard Drives: WDBBUR0080BNC-WRSN, HGST HUH728080ALE600, 724040ALE640, HDS3020BLA642
Case: LIAN LI PC-90 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Case
CPU cooling: Corsair Hydro series H115i
Power supply: SeaSonic SS-750KM3 750W 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Drive Bay: Kingwin KF-256-BK 2.5" and 3.5" Trayless Hot Swap Rack with USB 3
Sound card: Crystal Sound 3 on motherboard. Recording done on another system.
Primary Monitor: Asus ProArt PA248q (24" 1920 x 1200)
O/S: Windows 10 Pro 22H2, Build 19045.2130

Camera: Sony RX10 Model IV

https://www.youtube.com/user/thedennischannel

Laurence wrote on 5/25/2016, 7:02 PM
Here is a discussion from the Davinci Resolve forum that is relevant:

https://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=47271