New Mac mini OK for FCP6?

Posted by RJ 
New Mac mini OK for FCP6?
March 06, 2009 02:20PM
Hi guys/gals,

I have a friend who's an experienced producer (mostly PBS) who needs a simple, low cost system for FCP6, Compressor, and DVDsp. No need for heavy lifting with Motion or AE.

I know the previous generation of Mac minis wouldn't work due to the integrated Intel graphics chips set. Does anyone know if the new minis will work since they switched to the Nvidia graphics set, the same used in the new base iMacs?


Re: New Mac mini OK for FCP6?
March 06, 2009 04:29PM
Actually the previous gen of the mac mini works with just isn't supported by apple. If you are doing DV, the mac mini will be fine

"Never underestimate a kick to the nuts"
Bas Rutten
Re: New Mac mini OK for FCP6?
March 07, 2009 01:09PM
I wonder if the new integrated Nvidia graphics chip will allow Motion to install and be used (even if marginal). Apparently it's either 128MB or 256MB depending on whether one has 1GB or 2GB in the Mac Mini.

Given that I see Compressor benchmarks here, obviously FCS can be installed though.
Re: New Mac mini OK for FCP6?
March 07, 2009 01:23PM
Maybe you could set up a bunch of Mac minis as a render farm for Compressor.
Re: New Mac mini OK for FCP6?
March 07, 2009 02:40PM
Xserves are more cost-effective, believe it or not. I did the math recently.

If you assume the Core 2 in the mini and the Xeon in the Xserve are capable of doing the same amount of work per clock cycle, the mini comes out to about $150 per gigahertz, while the Xserve is $156 per gigahertz for the 2.8 GHz model, so the Xserve is slightly more expensive. But the Core 2 and the Xeon are not equivalent, clock-cycle-for-clock-cycle. Running Compressor, the Xeon outperforms the Core 2 handily. So in the real world, the Xserve is actually more cost effective for building Compressor clusters.

The advantage of the mini, obviously, is that you can buy nodes for $600 a pair, rather than having to shell out $3,500 for eight all at once. But you end up spending more money for the same performance in the long run.

Not to mention the obvious fact that buying Xserves gives you the option of stepping up to Xsan later, which really sends cluster performance through the roof if your transcodes are largely I/O bound.

(I didn't just figure this for fun. I did a cost-benefit analysis recently of building a mini-based Qmaster cluster for our Final Cut Server system. I was as surprised by the result as anybody.)

Re: New Mac mini OK for FCP6?
March 08, 2009 10:07PM
Thanks for the info guys. After reading the review on MacWorld I might pick one up for myself to replace my old G4 I'm using as an office/internet machine.
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