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Mac Mini 2018 6-core i5 vs i7 Digital Converters
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
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Gaston69's Avatar
Mac Mini 2018 6-core i5 vs i7

I would like to know if for my type of work which is mainly recording classical music by the use of Pro Tools including a Merging Horus (16ch at 32Bit/96kHz) if there is a need to spend more money on a 6-core i7 or is an i5 sufficient.
Also what about the optional 10 Gig ethernet adaptor of will the stock Gig ethernet just be fine as well.
I presume the i7 is getting hotter then the i5 which might result in fan(s) kicking in therefore producing unwanted noise!?

Note: might use occasionally also Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Addict
 

It guess it depends on what you will be doing with it. I would want the i7 myself. I'm sure that the i5s have come up to the level that the i7s were several years ago. But, I always like to get as much CU power as possible. 16 channels at 96k won't put that much strain on a modern system. You'll probably see much more improvement by using an NVME SSD and 32GB of RAM than anything else. Not sure if the current Mac Mini specs go that far though.

I think the 1Gb etehrnet adapter will be fine. Dante will carry 512 channels in each direction on a single 1Gb eternet connection at 48k. So, unless you are moving alot of video back and forth, I think it will be fine.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

the most important thing would be getting an interface with DSP monitoring for latency purposes. if you are monitoring through the DAW then fastest possible CPU always.

I would get the i7 just to be future proof and not worry about plugin loads.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Head
 

I would check to see exactly which i5 and i7 chips are used and do a little research on their respective performances. It may be possible that the i7 heats up quicker and then throttles to remain within the box's thermal envelope. On the other hand, it's possible that the difference between the two is quite significant.

In short, my limited research convinces me that Intel's marketing is all over the place, and that the differences are really born out in the specific chips rather than their branding.

My main concern, however, would be that Merging's support for MacOS is stuck on 10.13.4. Actually, I've only been able to get 10.13.3 to work when upgrading to 10.13.4 found that I could get my Hapi's DAC to work, but only for a second before it glitches and screeches, and distorts. You'll find a report or two of such behavior on their forum.

Given that the new mini has just been released, you'll be stuck on Mojave, which in my experience, and confirmed on Merging's own website, is not at all supported. They claim to be looking into it. I reported the issued with 10.13.4 when it was released in April and heard nothing from Merging. Checking back on their site sometime in the summer, I did notice that they put a flag up next to the download.

Mind you, 10.13.3 has been perfectly fine for me and I have no need to upgrade.

I switched to Logic and once I entered the advance menu and got rid of the fake wood panelling and the like, have found it to be a simple, resource efficient DAW.

Last edited by weltarm; 2 weeks ago at 04:57 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Nut
 
Uncle Russ's Avatar
On the other hand you could run Windows 10 on the Mac Mini. I've been using a top of the line 2014 Mac Mini with Samplitude and it has been flawless.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Russ View Post
On the other hand you could run Windows 10 on the Mac Mini. I've been using a top of the line 2014 Mac Mini with Samplitude and it has been flawless.
You could do, but then you'd have to ask why you spent that money on a Mac Mini when you could get equal or better performance from something cheaper like an Intel NUC with similar specs?

The Mini does give you the dual-boot native option -- booting either into Mac OS when you need it or natively into Windows (not emulation) when you need it, so it's more flexible in that regard. I guess it depends on which environment you spend most time in and whether you need Mac OS or could get by with Windows only.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkung View Post
the most important thing would be getting an interface with DSP monitoring for latency purposes. if you are monitoring through the DAW then fastest possible CPU always.

I would get the i7 just to be future proof and not worry about plugin loads.
Low latency monitoring isn't really an issue when you are recording live performances. You can run a 1024 sample rate in Protools and be fine. You're not overdubbing and don't have to sync playback to a live player. I usually run all of my symphony recordings at 1024, even when I was recording on an HDX rig just so that I would have more CPU power dedicated to the recording job rather than playback and monitoring.

When I am sitting at the back of a hall that is 100 or 120 feet away from the stage, that 1024 buffer setting only produces about 58ms of latency...I'm still hearing the Protools playback before the live acoustic sound gets to the back of he hall where the sound console and recording rig are set up.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBigler View Post
Low latency monitoring isn't really an issue when you are recording live performances. You can run a 1024 sample rate in Protools and be fine. You're not overdubbing and don't have to sync playback to a live player. I usually run all of my symphony recordings at 1024, even when I was recording on an HDX rig just so that I would have more CPU power dedicated to the recording job rather than playback and monitoring.

When I am sitting at the back of a hall that is 100 or 120 feet away from the stage, that 1024 buffer setting only produces about 58ms of latency...I'm still hearing the Protools playback before the live acoustic sound gets to the back of he hall where the sound console and recording rig are set up.
makes sense. that is a nice perk for live sound. no need for monitoring is huge
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