View Single Post
Old 30th April 2009
Lives for gear
James Lehmann's Avatar

Mac Mini (v.2009) for Logic-based project studio

Well, despite my feeling that the Mini is a bit under-powered and over-priced, and despite a few unanswered questions (see below)... I've ordered one!

So this thread is less of a question per se and more of a place where I'll post my experiences - so watch this space to see how I get on, and feel free to add your Mac Mini (v.2009) experiences with Logic in your studio too!

I went for the fully-specced out model, 2.26MHz, 4GB RAM, 320GB HD - it should arrive next week!

After reading lots about the new Apple Cinema display I remain unconvinced that this is a significant upgrade from the Aluminium Cinema I have here, for serious applications other than watching TV, so I'm keeping my 20" Cinema for the time-being and seeing what happens. This is also one reason I'm steering clear of the ostencibly much better value and faster iMac, along with my inherent resistance to tying all my resources up in one box; I like the idea of separates, indeed I couldn't be considering this box-upgrade now if I'd gone for an all-in-one 4 years ago.

My main concerns about the Mini are:

1. Is the Mini going to be dead quiet on my desk?
2. Can I pass FW400 through my Cinema Display using the display's bespoke cable, which thus far is very useful as a hub?
3. I would have preferred a 7200rpm drive option, but this isn't available on the Mini (on the flip side I've heard it increases fan activity)
4. There's a bewildering array of display adapters and options now chez Apple - Mini seems especially blighted by this, although it will never be a problem if I continue using Apple Displays as I have always done
5. Graphics card isn't as cool as the one on the iMac - dunno if this will affect performance
6. Slightly worried by reports that Migration Assistant is dodgy when going PPC >> Intel (couldn't I do this using Time machine?)
7. Also concerned that FW800 >> FW400 limits chaining to 2 devices - right now I'm chaining 4 devices (2x MH and 2x HD's) with no problems at all

I have to say that cash played a big part in my decision what with the credit crunch and all. Once I decided to keep my (not so) old Cinema Display and peripherals, the Mini comes in at 1/3rd of the price of anything else I'd want so I'm just going for it for now. I also still like the idea of keeping screen and CPU separate, even though the all-in-one models are much better value and very appealing.

I've also decided to keep my perfectly serviceable 12" PB for on-the-road recording as it still works perfectly reliably and does the job I need it to, ie location recording and basic on the move internet etc. Logic 8 is a bit heavy on it so I will probably just use the bullet-proof Metric Halo record panel which removes the need for 3rd party DAW simply for recording. Alternatively I might actually re-install Logic 7 on it which was perfect.

I only buy a new Mac every 4-5 years - I hope I've made a good decision! In any case I am upgrading from the 5-year old laptop system below so it's a pretty serious jump for me - I think I will be in Logic heaven quite soon, free from the curse of eternal freeze!