Mac Mini 1 (2020)Posted by Robert Gilbert on April 6, 2023 at 7:48 pm
Hello! I tried to check the Mac Mini 1 specs against the Premiere Pro minimum system requirements but I don’t know enough about hardware to understand it all, could anyone please tell me if they think the Mac Mini 1 is sufficient for editing a 4K feature, using medium res QT proxies (or low res, if need be)? Thank you very much!
April 6, 2023 at 8:55 pm
Sorry, but you have given us none of your specs except for the model name.
Neither have you offered anything in form of work-flow, such as how you’ll want to do the conform, grade and sound-mix.
And, the amount of rushes that you are dealing with would have an impact on storage, regardless of original or proxy.
In theory the idea with proxies are that you can work with them on any “old” machine that can run a recent version of PPro.
April 7, 2023 at 1:25 pm
I am assuming that you are looking at the “base model.”
I am of an age where I remember the “gas crisis” in the United States in the 1970s. In order to get a certain EPA mileage score and also in order to compete in price with the Japanese car makers, GM introduced the Chevy Vega with a novel concept: The optional back seat.
You see, the back seat adds weight, reducing gas mileage and it also increased the price of the car. So, to match price points for the Toyota Corolla and the Datsun B2-10, the Vega was tested for mileage by the EPA with no back seat and it was sold at a low, low price.
Then, GM advertised the car and every single print and television ad for the car had a person sitting in the back seat, which was optional, reduced mileage and increased the price.
The $599 Mac Mini (base model) features the 8-core M2 CPU, a 10-core GPU, 8GB of Unified Memory and 256 GB of SSD storage. It is not upgradable.
The base model has one NAND chip for its SSD. As tested, the single chip SSD provides for a slower performance, compared to the 512GB version. This means read and write speeds will be a little more than half that of the base M1 (which uses two NAND chips for all sizes of SSDs). While this is still three times as fast as any USB-C external drive you may use, I, personally, see this as the “optional back seat” on the Vega.
And, frankly, I would not buy a non-upgradable computer with less than 1GB of storage on its boot drive and I definitely would not expect to put any kind of a large 4K project on anything less than a 2GB SSD. Apple wants $600 for the 2GB system and, for a decent amount of RAM, either $200 or $400. Remember, this computer is not upgradable.
So, add about $1,000 or $1200 for a computer that will last more than a year or two.
That said, I should tell you what I am typing this on:
A 2009 Mac Pro with two 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon CPUs and 32GB RAM. It has an AMD Radeon RX 570 (overclocked to 580 speed) 8GB graphics card. I will replace it this year as it’s pretty much out of gas. I am running Mojave, which will support 64-bit applications.
So, a fourteen-year-old computer is still viable and still able to do work today. If I am editing, I must use proxies for 4K. It does not support Thunderbolt 4. But, I did not need to replace it with new technology in two to three years, which is what you will have to do if you buy the low-end model.
You need to assume that you will want to run more than one application at a time, so you will need more Unified memory than the base model. You need to assume that tomorrow’s applications will need more RAM and that tomorrow’s operating system will also need more RAM. And you need to have a boot drive that will suit your needs for more than one or two years.
That is, unless all you are doing is buying the Mac Mini for one project and, at the end of that project you will not need the Mac Mini.
April 10, 2023 at 3:04 pm
Thank you, Mads. I’m sorry for the lack of data. I’m not an editor by profession and I’m planning on reaching out to specialized professionals for the more elaborate work. So I really can’t predict how much horsepower I’ll need on my side. I’d like to start with the Mac Mini because I have one already, and then maybe I can move the project to a better computer later. Does that sound feasable? Thanks.
April 10, 2023 at 3:21 pm
Thank you for your answer, Mark. I’m not an editor by profession so I’m just looking at a “one project solution” for now. If you think the Mac Mini looks sufficient and if I could easily transfer the project to a better computer if I can afford one in the future, I would go ahead and start on the Mini. Please let me know if you have any other thoughts on this. Thanks again!
April 10, 2023 at 5:07 pm
I understand that using available resources are much better than making a big investment.
Just be careful that you don’t slow yourself down waiting for the hardware to respond, that in the end it takes the joy out of the editing process.
Do take note of Mark suggestions.
Adding to those, I would add:
Have CreativeCloud folder on the Mac Drive, with all project data mirrored on to the Adobe cloud.
Have all “Preview” folders and other back-up files on main drive too.
Get an external SSD drive for all media files – a Blue 2TB Samsung T7 SSD is currently retailing at $ 130.00 on Amazon US site.
WARNING: I know of one feature film edit where the drive was running hot, but that might have been fullres 4K files – don’t know, but do watch out for it.
If you want to run multiple drives, there are external Thunderbolt options for expanding the amount of ports that you can use.
Also, consider to break your edit down into smaller projects (film reels), so you don’t constantly have the whole movie in one time-line (Sequence). When needed, You can easily create a master time-line with all edits in for viewing sessions.
And, don’t be afraid of clearing your cache from time to time, and/or save new versions of the project.
If none of that works, then you may need to get a bigger machine to do the job on.
All the Best
April 10, 2023 at 7:54 pm
Thank you very much, Mads!
April 14, 2023 at 11:33 am
Getting back to your original question on the M1 Mini – I bought one about 18 months ago – 1 TB internal SSD, 16 GB Ram, and I think it cost me about $1200.
I was able to handle 4K edits – using 4K clips in projects that ultimately were delivered in 1080p.
The mini was able to handle Premiere, but render and export times were very slow, and we had several crashes as we progressed. I should add that I use external drives – Samsung T7 SSD for both my source and output during the edit, and edited the original files, not proxies.
I’m a recent convert to DaVinci Resolve, just edited a wedding with 3 4K tracks in my timelines on the Mac Mini. It was flawless – no crashes, reasonable render times – so the hardware is quite capable – if not with Premiere then with Resolve. Also tried FCPX – just did not like it, but it handled the material.
I hope this helps.
April 14, 2023 at 1:30 pm
Thank you very much, Bill!