Video production: This is what finally killed my iMac. It does one 4K stream reasonably well, but just choked with four camera feeds. Giant PowerPoints: I make big PowerPoint briefings containing lots of graphics, slides, and data. I need PowerPoint, Photoshop, Illustrator, and other apps open, along with a bunch of research resources.
Big analysis documents: When I'm working on a big analysis, I often need a bunch of documents open. I used to have four screens on my iMac and even that wasn't quite enough screen real estate to see everything. I support a number of open source projects, one of which manages donations for more than 10 thousand non-profits. With all the 3D printing and desktop fabrication projects I'm doing and documenting on ZDNet, I need to build some relatively complex 3D models. VM simulations: I used to do network simulations of up to 16 simultaneously-running VMs. I'm not doing quite as much work with this now, so I usually don't need more than four VMs open at once.
Fortunately, running Parallels, I can cut and paste between both environments, which saves a ton of time.
Yes, I bought a 2018 Mac mini (and here's how I spec'd it out)
With a lot of my bigger projects, I've been craving a wider screen. When the ultrawide monitors started appearing a few years ago , I was bummed to discover that my iMac wouldn't support them. Then, when I started doing multicam video either with four talking heads or lots of camera angles shot simultaneously it became clear the iMac had met its match. For me, the best fit was a Mac rather than a Windows machine. The Mac would run Windows, and since I need to run applications on both, I couldn't just run out and buy or build any old Windows machine.
That put me in wait-and-see mode for new Macs. As I discussed a few weeks ago, there were four scenarios for a new machine to meet my workload. A Hackintosh could have done it, but I just didn't want to go that route if I could help it. While I'm not uncomfortable with the technical hacks to set one up, I am uncomfortable with the ongoing fiddling required for maintaining them, especially during upgrades.
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When I have an assignment to work on, it's sometimes very time-sensitive and I need a machine I can rely on. Since I wanted an ultrawide monitor, the screens that come with an iMac or a MacBook Pro would have been more pain than gain. The MacBook Pro screen is too small for desktop use, and the iMac screen is unwieldy and heavy for most standard monitor stands.
I really wanted a headless computer, and since the Mac Pro is missing in action, that meant a Mac mini -- if Apple ever upgraded it. To almost everyone's surprise, they did. And I bought one last week. It'll arrive on Wednesday. That's just silly. To be honest, I would have liked an even higher performing processor, but this will still be a huge boost.
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Early Geekbench scores put the Mac mini at for single core and for multi-core. In terms of single-core performance, that puts the Mac mini at just below the 4. In single-core performance, that's about 25 percent faster than my old iMac. Here's why Apple doesn't really care about the Mac or iPad.
In multicore performance, it still lags a bit behind the old Mac Pro 8-core Xeon processor, but not by much. The new Mac mini also lags behind the 8-core Xeon iMac Pro, but that's five grand, just to start. Beyond the two hugely expensive pro machines, the new Mac mini with the processor I chose appears to be faster in multicore performance than all the other Macs.
Is Apple’s Mac mini worth buying?
In single core performance, only one machine bests it. Next up is memory. I haven't pushed past about 24GB in any of my recent workloads. So, given a choice, I'd rather not spend on 64GB. My preference is usually to buy gear when my workload needs it. Fortunately, the new Mac mini allows for RAM upgrades. While we don't consider the memory directly end-user accessible, service providers can access the internals of the Mac mini to upgrade the memory.
I'm honestly not entirely sure what I'll encounter when the Mac arrives, but I'm sure it'll be interesting. Next is storage. Apple charges way too much on storage, but it's not internally upgradeable. Apple's internal storage is also seriously fast, since it relies on flash memory. Here, I needed to balance performance against price. I use an external direct-attached RAID array for my video production and assets, so I don't need a huge amount of on-system storage. I also have a very large NAS with most of my other resources. I checked my various machines and, as might be expected, the main workhorse iMac used the most.
Even so, it was under GB. That machine was equipped with 1TB and I found that quite workable.
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Finally, there was another big decision. This time, though, it was not about price, but about reliability. The new Mac mini comes with either a 1Gb Ethernet port or, for an extra hundred bucks, a 10Gb Ethernet port. I am not running 10Gb Ethernet here, mostly because none of my computers support it. I spent the extra hundred bucks and configured the Mac mini with 10Gb. My only concern is that since Apple only has such a port on the iMac Pro and now the Mac mini, will it work properly?
Apple just doesn't have that much experience with this new port. I decided to go for it anyway, because it'll help future-proof the machine. Also, worst case, since the machine has four Thunderbolt 3 ports, the worst case scenario is to throw an Ethernet adapter on the Thunderbolt and use it that way.
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Oddly enough, that's exactly what I recommended when I recorded my Mac mini Pro video and article last April. I asked for Thunderbolt and USB-3 and got it. I asked for a 10Gb Ethernet port and I got it. I even suggested Space Gray and got it, although I don't really care about shade of gray. I paid a buck less. It's rare okay, never before that Apple builds a machine that's pretty much exactly what I specified as what I need.
So, yeah, I bought one. Mac Mini Cheat sheet TechRepublic. You might notice I did not discuss an external GPU. To be honest, I don't know if I'll need one.
Newer models have those components soldered to the logic board. The on-board graphics are garbage, but if you just need a rock solid server with OS X and a tiny footprint, pretty good way to go. Best deals I got thanks to RFD: Windows is better in some areas, mac is better in others - to each their own. Let's leave the thread to people actually interested in the deal, because, you know, they maybe prefer mac?
As someone said, each to their own OS. I have been using both daily for the past 8 years and both are just great for my needs. Compared to mini barebone, even haters get to agree it's a nice price! You don't need an adapter if you use the mini dp to connect to your x monitor. ShylocK wrote: Yeah right. Win an Xbox! RFD 3rd Anniversary: RFD 4th Anniversary: