Which Mac mini & pro tools 10?
m_gant
Thread Starter
#1
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #1
Lives for gear
 
m_gant's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 690

Thread Starter
Which Mac mini & pro tools 10?

Title says it. Should I get server with two discs & use one as audio drive? I've read they come configured as one raid drive?!?

Or forget server & use external storage?

I am running fw zed r16 as interface.

Do I need to worry about the 5200rpm drives??
#2
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Zoolook's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 714

If you're going to record multi-track audio (assuming so with Pro Tools) a 5400rpm drive will be a problem. But then again, a small SSD will also be a (different kind of) problem. External storage is definitely your friend, especially with USB 3 being so fast, not to mention Thunderbolt.

If money is no issue - get a 16GB Mac Mini with dual SSDs... although for that price, you could virtually get a Mac Pro.
m_gant
Thread Starter
#3
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
m_gant's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 690

Thread Starter
I have a OWC esata drive I can use for audio. Are you saying 5200 system drive won't cut it for pt?
m_gant
Thread Starter
#4
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
m_gant's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 690

Thread Starter
Bump anyone Mac mini pro tools experience??
#5
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
  #5
Gear maniac
 
nuemes's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: Seattle
Posts: 240

Quote:
Originally Posted by m_gant View Post
Bump anyone Mac mini pro tools experience??
Yes, I went with the fastest non-server Mac Mini, added 16GB 3rd party RAM and using it just fine with PT 10. Get an external Oxford 7200 drive for your audio. Use the Mini drive for your OS only.
m_gant
Thread Starter
#6
29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
m_gant's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 690

Thread Starter
Using included 5400 drive? I track 16 inputs, not a lot of vsti.
#7
29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Pittston, Maine

Pro tools requires a 7200 speed drive that is dedicated to audio. Anything slower like 5400 is a big no no for pro tools. 5400 is o.k. for your system drive, but you will need a second drive for audio. You should not use your system drive for audio in pro tools.

For Pro Tools storage with the mac mini you can either buy a external firewire 800 oxford approved drive or add a second internal drive with a diy kit.

I am also going to be getting a mini and after lots of reading it seems the i7 quad with the 2.6ghz is the best on to get. The 2.3 quad model is also good. The old 2011 server model had dual drives at 7200 which would be good for audio, but new 2012 server models only have dual 5400 speed drives. Kinda a shame, classic apple backwards move.
m_gant
Thread Starter
#8
29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
m_gant's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 690

Thread Starter
Great info! How about external Esata drive for audio to free up FW bus for audio? Is there any way to hook up Esata?
#9
29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Pittston, Maine

I dont think there is any cheap or reliable ways to go esata from the mac mini. Plus according to Glyph there is no big benefit for estata vs. firewire 800 according to there data. I use a firewire 800 drive and keep my sessions under 60 tracks and never have a problem. If you get the mini also get the thunderbolt to firewire cable. This will give you two separate buses, one for your interface(thunderbolt FW adapter) and one for your hard drive storage(firewire 800). This is really important for pro tools also.

I recommend getting a glyph gtp50 drive, It work with pro tools. There are a few others that also work but this is a sure bet.

Below are the some test from glyph for estata and firewire 800 to compare.

m_gant
Thread Starter
#10
29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
 
m_gant's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 690

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribedescribe View Post
I dont think there is any cheap or reliable ways to go esata from the mac mini. Plus according to Glyph there is no big benefit for estata vs. firewire 800 according to there data. I use a firewire 800 drive and keep my sessions under 60 tracks and never have a problem. If you get the mini also get the thunderbolt to firewire cable. This will give you two separate buses, one for your interface(thunderbolt FW adapter) and one for your hard drive storage(firewire 800). This is really important for pro tools also.

I recommend getting a glyph gtp50 drive, It work with pro tools. There are a few others that also work but this is a sure bet.

Below are the some test from glyph for estata and firewire 800 to compare.
Thank you! That is great advice. But if I use up my thunderbolt on FW for a drive, does that limit my display options to one screen via HDMI?
#11
29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
  #11
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 237

Running 2012 middle tier Mac Mini with 16 gb of ram it. I've hit Pro Tools 10 track limit twice @44/24 & tracking/mixing drive was the 5400 rpm drive I pulled out of it & put into a USB3 enclosure.

I've also has 70+ track projects in Studio One in same machine run without a hitch.
m_gant
Thread Starter
#12
29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
m_gant's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 690

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by serstickman View Post
Running 2012 middle tier Mac Mini with 16 gb of ram it. I've hit Pro Tools 10 track limit twice @44/24 & tracking/mixing drive was the 5400 rpm drive I pulled out of it & put into a USB3 enclosure.

I've also has 70+ track projects in Studio One in same machine run without a hitch.
What's 10 track limit? Machine chokes? Was this recording to internal system drive?
#13
30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
  #13
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 237

Quote:
Originally Posted by m_gant View Post
What's 10 track limit? Machine chokes? Was this recording to internal system drive?
My bad...should have typed Pro Tools 10...96 track limit.
#14
30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Pittston, Maine

I think he means he pulled it out of the internal mini and stuck it in a usb3 enclosure.


This is pro tools requirements for hard drives from the source Avid itself. Usb3 is not approved and it clearly states 7200 speed or higher for your drive. Anything else is likely to cause errors in the long run, even though it might work for a test.



#15
30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
  #15
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 237

Quote:
Originally Posted by tribedescribe View Post
I think he means he pulled it out of the internal mini and stuck it in a usb3 enclosure.
I did exactly that. Not had any trouble. YMMV of course.
#16
30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
  #16
Gear maniac
 
Joined: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 277

Hello
We use the 2012 Mini, fastest quad core with 16GB ram in a sonnet xRack chassis. For smaller projects where PT is desired, up to 64I/O, we use PT with the HD Native card and for larger projects we use Nuendo with a MadiFX card.
After a few Mini airflow mods and replacing the ridiculously loud sonnet fans the system runs exceptionally well. Faster than our 2010 MacPros and fits in 1 RU.
Recording 192 tracks from the 3 madi ports to 2 FireWire drives or 2 eSata drives is very smooth. Specific to PT running 64 I/O is also very smooth.
We really like these systems and will be building more.
Hugh
#17
30th December 2012
Old 30th December 2012
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Pittston, Maine

Hugh could you explain your airflow mods and which replacement fans you bought?

After reading about the high temp. thing I was planning on doing some mods also.

Thanks,

Scott
m_gant
Thread Starter
#18
31st December 2012
Old 31st December 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
m_gant's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 690

Thread Starter
Looks like I've decided on quad I7 for $799. Ill keep the stock dive for programs & OS. Ill be upgrading memory myself to 16gb & adding second internal 7200 hard drive by buying the kit & drive from OWC Mac sales.
#19
2nd January 2013
Old 2nd January 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Zoolook's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 714

There are some odd comments on this thread? Who exactly are recording 192 channels simultaneously on a Mac Mini?

Regardless, having 16GB of RAM will definitely hide a slow HDD for a while, so you could get away with only having the internal 5400 HDD for a long time. But recording audio to the OS HDD is never a great idea and eventually those sequential writes on your nice clean HDD will get slower and slower as it fills up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m_gant View Post
Looks like I've decided on quad I7 for $799. Ill keep the stock dive for programs & OS. Ill be upgrading memory myself to 16gb & adding second internal 7200 hard drive by buying the kit & drive from OWC Mac sales.
Good choice, let us know how you get on.
#20
2nd January 2013
Old 2nd January 2013
  #20
Gear nut
 
DITN's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: London
Posts: 136

I've just recently received my Mini, 2.6 GHz, Fusion Drive. Only got 4 gigs of RAM in it at the moment but I'll be upgrading it shortly. Even so, it's blazing fast and opening sessions which killed my old machine and running at 30-40% whilst doing so.

Very pleased so far. Looking forward to pushing it to it's limits. Fusion Drive or SSD is highly recommended from me.
#21
2nd January 2013
Old 2nd January 2013
  #21
Gear nut
 
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 134

For those concerned about the 5400rpm drives shipping with the Mac Mini, please note that spindle speed alone is not a deal breaker due to the large size...

They are 1TB drives, and a 5400rpm 1TB drive is probably going to perform around the same as a 500GB 7200rpm drive, for example.

The reason is that the areal density is increased on the 1TB drive and so the head on the slower drive is actually reading more info, despite the spindle speed being lower.

(Of course, a 1TB 7200rpm drive will be better than a 1TB 5400rpm drive).
#22
2nd January 2013
Old 2nd January 2013
  #22
Gear maniac
 
stevedemena's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 162

Quote:
Originally Posted by auxReturn View Post
For those concerned about the 5400rpm drives shipping with the Mac Mini, please note that spindle speed alone is not a deal breaker due to the large size...

They are 1TB drives, and a 5400rpm 1TB drive is probably going to perform around the same as a 500GB 7200rpm drive, for example.

The reason is that the areal density is increased on the 1TB drive and so the head on the slower drive is actually reading more info, despite the spindle speed being lower.

(Of course, a 1TB 7200rpm drive will be better than a 1TB 5400rpm drive).
Who buys 500gb drives any more?
#23
2nd January 2013
Old 2nd January 2013
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Zoolook's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 714

Quote:
Originally Posted by auxReturn View Post
For those concerned about the 5400rpm drives shipping with the Mac Mini, please note that spindle speed alone is not a deal breaker due to the large size...

They are 1TB drives, and a 5400rpm 1TB drive is probably going to perform around the same as a 500GB 7200rpm drive, for example.

The reason is that the areal density is increased on the 1TB drive and so the head on the slower drive is actually reading more info, despite the spindle speed being lower.

(Of course, a 1TB 7200rpm drive will be better than a 1TB 5400rpm drive).
I've always wondered if this is a myth, but there are a lot of factors in play here. In theory, a 2.5 inch HDD would be faster than a 3.5 inch HDD (assuming same capacity) because the density is higher and the heads don't have to move as far. But in reality, the voice coil in the smaller drive needs to be more accurate, and is actually slower. Ergo, you'd think the same thing about capacity... higher density drives need to be more accurate and are therefore slower.

But the number of platters, quality of the drive, and sequential Vs random reads/writes all come into play. And all of this, while fascinating, is moot to the original question. Recording audio on the primary OS HDD, isn't great practice.
m_gant
Thread Starter
#24
13th January 2013
Old 13th January 2013
  #24
Lives for gear
 
m_gant's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 690

Thread Starter
Just wanted to report back that I got mini quad single disc @ 5400 & 4 gigs ram from apple store. I ordered 16 gigs ram & 7200 rpm disc (with mini install kit) from OWC. I ripped all the guts out of mini & installed second hard drive (audio only) & ram myself. Took 45 minutes. Total cost about $1000 for mini & upgrades. Pro tools is installed & everything runs great so far with my a&h zed r16 board.

So pro tools & mini for about $1700. I need to WUP waves from version 6 I think. Ren max flickering GUI but CLA looks ok.

System is sweet! Now onto humbling learning curve coming from a decade of cubase :(
rlg
#25
13th January 2013
Old 13th January 2013
  #25
rlg
Gear maniac
 
rlg's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 228

Quote:
Originally Posted by tribedescribe View Post
Hugh could you explain your airflow mods and which replacement fans you bought?

After reading about the high temp. thing I was planning on doing some mods also.

Thanks,

Scott
I'd be interested to know about this as well. Thinking about incorporating a MacMini into the studio.
#26
14th January 2013
Old 14th January 2013
  #26
Lives for gear
 
skira's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,494

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuemes View Post
Yes, I went with the fastest non-server Mac Mini, added 16GB 3rd party RAM and using it just fine with PT 10. Get an external Oxford 7200 drive for your audio. Use the Mini drive for your OS only.
B&H has the HGST external 4TB Touro Deskpro Hard Drive (7200 RPM) for $230, and the 5400 RPM version for $190.
#27
16th January 2013
Old 16th January 2013
  #27
Gear interested
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 24

Quote:
Originally Posted by m_gant View Post
Just wanted to report back that I got mini quad single disc @ 5400 & 4 gigs ram from apple store. I ordered 16 gigs ram & 7200 rpm disc (with mini install kit) from OWC. I ripped all the guts out of mini & installed second hard drive (audio only) & ram myself. Took 45 minutes. Total cost about $1000 for mini & upgrades. Pro tools is installed & everything runs great so far with my a&h zed r16 board.

So pro tools & mini for about $1700. I need to WUP waves from version 6 I think. Ren max flickering GUI but CLA looks ok.

System is sweet! Now onto humbling learning curve coming from a decade of cubase :(
I'm thinking about doing this as well. Am I reading correctly that the stock Mini (Non Server) comes with space to instal the OWC drive??? I know the servers have 2 drives, but does the regular have an open spot or did you have to take something out?

Cheers
m_gant
Thread Starter
#28
16th January 2013
Old 16th January 2013
  #28
Lives for gear
 
m_gant's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 690

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBrunoMusic View Post
I'm thinking about doing this as well. Am I reading correctly that the stock Mini (Non Server) comes with space to instal the OWC drive??? I know the servers have 2 drives, but does the regular have an open spot or did you have to take something out?

Cheers
Yes it has a drive caddy inside with an open slot. Same box they use for servers. Watch video @ OWC. It's way cheaper than going server route. Same goes for memory. $300 for 16 gigs??? I paid $100.
#29
16th January 2013
Old 16th January 2013
  #29
Gear interested
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 24

Thanks! Do you think it's a better option than going with a Refurb Server on Apple.com - $750 2.0GHz vs New 2.3GHZ $800 + $80 for 500GB 7200 rpm (RAM would be identical to upgrade from OWC) or even the extra $100 for 2.6 GHz New.

Cheers
m_gant
Thread Starter
#30
16th January 2013
Old 16th January 2013
  #30
Lives for gear
 
m_gant's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 690

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBrunoMusic View Post
Thanks! Do you think it's a better option than going with a Refurb Server on Apple.com - $750 2.0GHz vs New 2.3GHZ $800 + $80 for 500GB 7200 rpm (RAM would be identical to upgrade from OWC) or even the extra $100 for 2.6 GHz New.

Cheers
I thought about that but refurb anything freaks me out. I figured if I was dropping the money, might as well get latest greatest new.
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
grkmetlhed / So much gear, so little time!
1
kieran kelly / Music Computers
4
Gear Tramp / Music Computers
9
Damian Taylor / Music Computers
4

Forum Jump
 
Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.