Thoughts on 2011 Mac Minis?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Phil Sanders
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:07 pm

Thoughts on 2011 Mac Minis?

Post by Phil Sanders » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:34 pm

I've been using my existing 2.0GHZ Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM Mac Mini for a couple of years now as a dedicated Live/Guitar Pro machine (no space for something larger or I'd consider a Mac Pro). I'm not a professional, merely a hobbyist.

I recently bought EWQL's Complete Composers Collection whilst it was going cheap and it's tipped my machine over into "needs an upgrade ASAP" due to it crashing or hanging Live due to what I believe are mainly memory constraints (the larger the sample bank loaded the more likely I am to see an low memory warning from the plugin or a crash). I'm mainly using Symphonic Orchestra Gold rather than Choirs or Pianos, which seem to be the most resource hungry modules. Freezing tracks definately helps.

Was wondering what peoples thoughts were on the i7 dual core 2.7ghz, 8GB DDR3, AMD Radeon HD 6630M (256MB dedicated), 7200RPM HDD (build to order upgrade of the 2.5ghz Mac Mini) running Lion vs the i7 quad core 2.0ghz, 8GB DDR3, Intel HD 3000 (384MB shared), dual 7200RPM HDD's running Lion Server.

I'm guessing the graphics card doesn't matter much to Live, but the loss of 386MB of RAM won't help, when I suspect the primary bottleneck for me is plugin RAM.

I'm using:
Ableton Live 8 Suite (v 8.2.5).
Line 6 Pod Farm 2.5
Toontrack EZDrummer + Several Expansions + Toontrack Superior Drummer 2.0 upgrade
Native Instruments Absynth 5 + Komplete Elements
Newly added EWQL Complete Composers Collection (using Play 3.x, content loaded from a WD 7200RPM HDD via Firewire)

Any thoughts appreciated.

rosti
Posts: 280
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:23 pm
Location: HELLsinki

Re: Thoughts on 2011 Mac Minis?

Post by rosti » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:48 pm

i7 Mac Minis with dedicated GPUs...

In my dreams :D

Phil Sanders
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:07 pm

Re: Thoughts on 2011 Mac Minis?

Post by Phil Sanders » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:54 pm

rosti wrote:i7 Mac Minis with dedicated GPUs...

In my dreams :D
"AMD Radeon HD 6630M graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR5 memory" - I assume this means it's dedicated RAM as opposed to shared with system ram (as system RAM is DDR3). Obviously it's not a dedicated card on a Mac mini :)
Ableton Live Suite 8.1.1, POD Farm 2.00 (POD Studio UX1), ezDrummer

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