Any new Mac Mini users?

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Comments

  • Ah ok, Geekbench scores look pretty good.

    I'm running a 2012 Macbook Pro with an external SSD attached, and Affinity runs pretty fast on that (faster than my Windows desktop), so anything as good as the MBP is going to be doable. I usually use the MBP for music stuff - it does complain a bit CPU-wise but again it's doable.

    Mac mini (Late 2018)
    Intel Core i5-8500B
    5153
    Single-Core Score
    20272
    Multi-Core Score

    MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2012)
    Intel Core i7-3615QM
    3233
    Single-Core Score
    10684
    Multi-Core Score

    So the Mini multi-core scores are almost double what I get with my MBP, and nearly 60% faster on single core. That should be fast enough.

  • @Hmtx said:

    @MonzoPro said:
    My current PC is struggling with Affinity to be honest, so I'm probably used to it! I'm going to check out some benchmarks now...

    Here’s this from https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks both the i7 and the i5 seem to be at the top of the list, so CPU performance should be no problem. It’s just a question of how much GPU you need

    Ah thanks - you beat me to it!

    The GPU with my MBP seems to do the job - hooked up to an old Dell 24" monitor - so if it's as good as that it should be fine.

  • yeah, if your old MBP doesn't have a dedicated GPU, then the MacMini will be way better.

    If your MBP has the GeForce 650M then the MacMini will be almost the same GPU performance (according to the benchmarks)

  • Seen this video?

  • @Hmtx said:
    yeah, if your old MBP doesn't have a dedicated GPU, then the MacMini will be way better.

    If your MBP has the GeForce 650M then the MacMini will be almost the same GPU performance (according to the benchmarks)

    Yeah it has the NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 512MB of GDDR5 memory. I don't have any issues with the GPU (it's running the external monitor fine), so should be ok.

  • @klownshed said:

    @MonzoPro said:

    Might look at an older model if I’m not sure about the new ones - would keep me going until the iMac refresh.

    The old Minis are underpowered, unloved and were left in limbo without being updated for years. The 2014 update made the Mini worse (they even got rid of all the high end CPU options completely). It looked like Apple were abandoning the mini.

    So the new minis came as a surprise as they are properly good. They've got a really good selection of ports, have a good architecture (T2, SSD, 6 core i7, 32GB RAM available etc.) and the only part that isn't top notch is the GPU. You can upgrade the RAM (which shouldn't be a surprise, but is!) and it can drive a 5K display out of the box. It's also nearly silent.

    For audio and 2D graphics work, you won't notice the GPU.

    It's also properly fast. The 6 core i7 outperforms the 10 core Xeon iMac Pro in single-core performance.

    Unless you need a powerful GPU (and if you don't know if you need one, you probably don't) the new Mini is a great machine.

    The old mini isn't.

    I disagree that old minis are categorically bad machines -- there are a lot of variants -- old quad core i7s are pretty good machines in my opinion for audio work.

  • @echoopera said:
    Seen this video?

    I have now!

    Thanks for that - that's the same spec I'd get so sounds like a very capable machine. Realistically I'd be using it for graphic/business work, but sounds like it'll handle the music stuff perfectly as well, as I tend to bounce MIDI tracks down anyway.

    Looks like the i5 is a good al-round option.

  • edited February 18

    @espiegel123 said:

    @klownshed said:

    @MonzoPro said:

    Might look at an older model if I’m not sure about the new ones - would keep me going until the iMac refresh.

    The old Minis are underpowered, unloved and were left in limbo without being updated for years. The 2014 update made the Mini worse (they even got rid of all the high end CPU options completely). It looked like Apple were abandoning the mini.

    So the new minis came as a surprise as they are properly good. They've got a really good selection of ports, have a good architecture (T2, SSD, 6 core i7, 32GB RAM available etc.) and the only part that isn't top notch is the GPU. You can upgrade the RAM (which shouldn't be a surprise, but is!) and it can drive a 5K display out of the box. It's also nearly silent.

    For audio and 2D graphics work, you won't notice the GPU.

    It's also properly fast. The 6 core i7 outperforms the 10 core Xeon iMac Pro in single-core performance.

    Unless you need a powerful GPU (and if you don't know if you need one, you probably don't) the new Mini is a great machine.

    The old mini isn't.

    I disagree that old minis are categorically bad machines -- there are a lot of variants -- old quad core i7s are pretty good machines in my opinion for audio work.

    Who said they were categorically bad?

    Pre 2014 machines weren’t too bad at the time. Post 2014 machines were not high performance machines relative to the Mac lineup. In fact they were worse in many cases than the older minis.

    Apple, in their infinite wisdom, stopped selling the quad cores with the 2014 refresh.

    The new Minis are significantly better machines than the older models.

    That doesn’t make the old ones categorically bad, but the new ones are in a different league.

  • @MonzoPro said:

    @Hmtx said:

    @MonzoPro said:
    My current PC is struggling with Affinity to be honest, so I'm probably used to it! I'm going to check out some benchmarks now...

    Here’s this from https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks both the i7 and the i5 seem to be at the top of the list, so CPU performance should be no problem. It’s just a question of how much GPU you need

    Ah thanks - you beat me to it!

    The GPU with my MBP seems to do the job - hooked up to an old Dell 24" monitor - so if it's as good as that it should be fine.

    I have mid 2014 15" MPB, which has the following benchmarks:
    3775
    Single-Core Score
    12887
    Multi-Core Score

    My mac mini has these points from it:
    4683
    Single-Core Score
    13960
    Multi-Core Score

    Yet the CPU on MBP feels quite a bit faster, even tho macmini is new and MBP has been in heavy use since late 2014..

  • @ToMess said:

    @MonzoPro said:

    @Hmtx said:

    @MonzoPro said:
    My current PC is struggling with Affinity to be honest, so I'm probably used to it! I'm going to check out some benchmarks now...

    Here’s this from https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks both the i7 and the i5 seem to be at the top of the list, so CPU performance should be no problem. It’s just a question of how much GPU you need

    Ah thanks - you beat me to it!

    The GPU with my MBP seems to do the job - hooked up to an old Dell 24" monitor - so if it's as good as that it should be fine.

    I have mid 2014 15" MPB, which has the following benchmarks:
    3775
    Single-Core Score
    12887
    Multi-Core Score

    My mac mini has these points from it:
    4683
    Single-Core Score
    13960
    Multi-Core Score

    Yet the CPU on MBP feels quite a bit faster, even tho macmini is new and MBP has been in heavy use since late 2014..

    Ah, interesting. I guess they're quite close score-wise anyway, whereas CPU-wise I'd be almost doubling the score from my MBP.

  • @MonzoPro said:

    @echoopera said:
    Seen this video?

    I have now!

    Thanks for that - that's the same spec I'd get so sounds like a very capable machine. Realistically I'd be using it for graphic/business work, but sounds like it'll handle the music stuff perfectly as well, as I tend to bounce MIDI tracks down anyway.

    Looks like the i5 is a good al-round option.

    The i7 gives deceptively more bang for the buck than an i5. For music, I'd recommend multi-core i7 machines over an i5.

  • @espiegel123 said:

    @MonzoPro said:

    @echoopera said:
    Seen this video?

    I have now!

    Thanks for that - that's the same spec I'd get so sounds like a very capable machine. Realistically I'd be using it for graphic/business work, but sounds like it'll handle the music stuff perfectly as well, as I tend to bounce MIDI tracks down anyway.

    Looks like the i5 is a good al-round option.

    The i7 gives deceptively more bang for the buck than an i5. For music, I'd recommend multi-core i7 machines over an i5.

    Can’t afford it unfortunately, could really do without the expense of the i5 but need it for work.

  • Wish I could offer some insight but I’m in the same boat at the moment. I’m planning on buying my first iMac and looking at the 2017 3.4 i5 for graphic work in the Affinity apps, some animation and a bit of music and video editing. It seems like it’ll meet all my needs but after reading the thread I’m a bit unsure lol. Do I need more than the entry 8gb of ram?

  • A used quad core i7 can probably be found quite inexpensively and at the same "speed" can do more processing than an i5.

  • Hi all, Apparently there is an audio issue with the T2 chip in new macs.

    There is a word around but it is worth knowing.

    http://cdm.link/2019/02/apple-2018-glitch/

  • @Keenan said:
    Wish I could offer some insight but I’m in the same boat at the moment. I’m planning on buying my first iMac and looking at the 2017 3.4 i5 for graphic work in the Affinity apps, some animation and a bit of music and video editing. It seems like it’ll meet all my needs but after reading the thread I’m a bit unsure lol. Do I need more than the entry 8gb of ram?

    Depends what you’re doing, but I’ve never had more than 8 meg and it’s been fine for graphics.

    The general consensus seems to be to wait a bit, as the iMac is overdue a refresh. An iMac is my first choice, but it’s all down to price.

  • @MonzoPro said:

    @Keenan said:
    Wish I could offer some insight but I’m in the same boat at the moment. I’m planning on buying my first iMac and looking at the 2017 3.4 i5 for graphic work in the Affinity apps, some animation and a bit of music and video editing. It seems like it’ll meet all my needs but after reading the thread I’m a bit unsure lol. Do I need more than the entry 8gb of ram?

    Depends what you’re doing, but I’ve never had more than 8 meg and it’s been fine for graphics.

    The general consensus seems to be to wait a bit, as the iMac is overdue a refresh. An iMac is my first choice, but it’s all down to price.

    That’s what I was thinking, 2d graphics don’t seem to need nearly as many resources. I’ve been over the moon with the overall performance of my 1st gen iPad Pro, Affinity apps and procreate work smooth as butter (bar a few crashes every once in a while). I’m just wanting as smooth an experience on an iMac and I’ll be over the moon. My budget is pretty stretched with a new 2017 entry 27” iMac as it is, I’m not sure what the newer release will cost. There are plenty of 2nd hand iMacs on the market but never having owned one I don’t know enough to make a smart purchase, that’s why I’m opting for a new one. Do you have an IPad Pro or equivalent with Affinity Designer? If so, how does performance compare between the iPad experience and on your MBP?

  • Good luck @MonzoPro getting a new machine.
    I needed an upgrade and wanted one but just for music. I bid on an old iMac (2012) and ended up being turned down. So, finally went with a 2012 Mini. Got the highest end from that year I could and has all the ports I need. I7 quad core, 16 gb ram, ssd hard drive. This will be a huge step up from where I am now. However nice the newest minis are I cannot justify the cost. I could’ve the 2014s but the 2012 was better spec’d for my needs. Weird.

    This needs to get me 4-5 years and then maybe I’ll get a 2018. hehe

  • @Keenan said:

    @MonzoPro said:

    @Keenan said:
    Wish I could offer some insight but I’m in the same boat at the moment. I’m planning on buying my first iMac and looking at the 2017 3.4 i5 for graphic work in the Affinity apps, some animation and a bit of music and video editing. It seems like it’ll meet all my needs but after reading the thread I’m a bit unsure lol. Do I need more than the entry 8gb of ram?

    Depends what you’re doing, but I’ve never had more than 8 meg and it’s been fine for graphics.

    The general consensus seems to be to wait a bit, as the iMac is overdue a refresh. An iMac is my first choice, but it’s all down to price.

    That’s what I was thinking, 2d graphics don’t seem to need nearly as many resources. I’ve been over the moon with the overall performance of my 1st gen iPad Pro, Affinity apps and procreate work smooth as butter (bar a few crashes every once in a while). I’m just wanting as smooth an experience on an iMac and I’ll be over the moon. My budget is pretty stretched with a new 2017 entry 27” iMac as it is, I’m not sure what the newer release will cost. There are plenty of 2nd hand iMacs on the market but never having owned one I don’t know enough to make a smart purchase, that’s why I’m opting for a new one. Do you have an IPad Pro or equivalent with Affinity Designer? If so, how does performance compare between the iPad experience and on your MBP?

    I’ve got Affinity on my Air 2, but haven’t really used it. I’ve got it on my 2012 MBP, and using an external SSD it works really well.

    For most work though I use it daily on my (rapidly deteriorating) Windows desktop. It doesn’t actually run that well on it - Photoshop performed better. So weirdly my lower specced MBP runs it better - probably the SSD though.

    I think the Minis will run it fine, and it should fly on a Pro.

  • @kinkujin said:
    Good luck @MonzoPro getting a new machine.
    I needed an upgrade and wanted one but just for music. I bid on an old iMac (2012) and ended up being turned down. So, finally went with a 2012 Mini. Got the highest end from that year I could and has all the ports I need. I7 quad core, 16 gb ram, ssd hard drive. This will be a huge step up from where I am now. However nice the newest minis are I cannot justify the cost. I could’ve the 2014s but the 2012 was better spec’d for my needs. Weird.

    This needs to get me 4-5 years and then maybe I’ll get a 2018. hehe

    They are pricey, but I run my kit until it collapses - 9 year old PC, 7 year old MBP....so it works out ok in the end.

    If the iMacs have a refresh next month I’ll be tempted, otherwise I’ll plump for the Mini. Need to get an order in before the Brexit crap, as we have no idea how it’ll affect the exchange rate - or even availability of imported goods.

  • @kewtips said:
    Hi all, Apparently there is an audio issue with the T2 chip in new macs.

    There is a word around but it is worth knowing.

    http://cdm.link/2019/02/apple-2018-glitch/

    Hmm, not good. At least there’s a workaround though, and seems to be software related.

  • edited February 19

    Geekbench specs dont show thermal throttling issues that the Mac Minis have.

  • You can't upgrade the internal hard drives in the 2018 minis, it is soldered in. The tempting, cheapest, 128gb ones would be a problem- I feel like you could get there with your OS and programs, if you used big sampler libraries. 256gb isn't ideal, but is servicable for audio people, you'd have enough space to record on the internal drive, if not enough to archive old projects.

  • edited February 19

    Yep 8 should be enough for most tasks. Macs do use ram in way smarter ways than windows, which means that compared to windows machines, you get almost the same results with a lot less ram(depends on task ofc).

  • I’m using an external 500gb SSD as a boot drive on my old MBP, and then a separate 500gb SSD (bought ridiculously cheap a few months back) for storage. Seems to work well, though you end up with cables all over the place.

    With the Mini I’d use the 256 internal for OS, ‘work’ apps, email etc. and external 500gb for storage (or I might buy a smaller, 256gb for work files). Then when I want to make music, I’d boot from the other SSD as I do now.

    All a bit of a faff - but it’d save me about 500 quid against the Apple upgrade!

    what would be really useful, is being able to install apps on a separate drive, that isn’t the boot up disk.

  • @MonzoPro you might want to read this first before jumping ship!


    http://cdm.link/2019/02/apple-2018-glitch/

  • Thanks! Yeah @kewtips posted that, seems to be software related - but worrying.

    I wish they'd update the iMacs. They're an attractive option as their screens are much better than my old monitors here, you get a 1tb drive, dedicated GPU - all for not much more money than the Mini spec. Though knowing Apple the new range will have a massive price hike..

  • I bet they will update them soon. Im sure that they just want to sell some macminis first with the fact that for the price they are really powerful compared to current imacs. Then they will put out new imacs, which are way better than the macmini.

  • Yeah for me it's just the lovely iMac screen, and not havng to use an external drive.

    I may try and make this PC last a couple more months to see if there's an iMac refresh - even if there is the Mini still may be the best bet if there's an iMac price hike. The current iMac I'd get is slower than the equivalent Mini at the moment.

    Apple are doing next day delivery on the Mini, so if the PC does conk out I can get a Mini replacement here pretty quick.

  • Actually read up a bit more on this on the Macrumors forum, who seem to suggest its hardware related, and affects USB interfaces - which could be a deal breaker. I’d be buying it for work stuff, but would still want to be able to make music on it in my spare time.

    Looks like it’d cope ok with Affinity apps though.

    More research to do...

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