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New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:31 pm
by gunark
Hi all,

I upgraded my 2012 rMBP i7 to a nice new 2018 six core i7 Mac mini, in the hope that those sessions that would put it to the limit will gain some headroom, and the I can run heavier plugins, such as the Acustica ones.

So my setup is: Mac mini 2018 8th gen i7 (3.2>4.6ghz), 512gb inbuilt SSD, 8GB RAM, external USB3 library drive, Focusrite Clarett 2pre connected via Thunderbolt. OS is Mojave, no choice in that, and is freshly installed (i.e. no migration).

Live 10, frankly, runs poorly. I have to set my interface at 512 samples (12.4ms, 23.9 round trip), sometimes 1024 / 2048 samples to stop the pops. Even then it still has pops and crackles on occasion. That's pretty lame for a new machine with a fast interface. I don't know what part is at fault here, the hardware or the software.

In terms of running plugins, I had Massive playing chords followed by Molekular and a big wash reverb effect, and that needed to go from 512 to 1024 to stop glitches. The only other thing loaded was Xenoverb on a send. This seems unusually poor performance. Weirdly though my system's CPU meter (iStat) shows most cores at under 50% CPU at any given time.

I know Live isn't Mojave qualified yet, and I know some people are having issues with T2 based Macs and audio. However I can run plenty in Reaper - even Acustica stuff - and it doesn't crap out nearly as quick.

Anyone else using either the new Mac mini or the 2018 MBPs doing better than me?

Re: New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:06 pm
by scheffkoch
…that doesn‘t sound normal…when have you set it up?…maybe the ssd is still indexing?…

Re: New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:45 am
by McAnix
Hi gunark,

Any update on your issue?

Re: New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:46 am
by donpepperoni
I'm having issues on the same machine (well, I have 32GB ram and 1tb ssd)....
I drop in one instance of Soundtoys decapitator for example and suddenly my cpu is at 3%. (Decapitator is supposed to be fully supported on Mojave)
Very disappointing as I'd really like to get to work but now it seems there's a whole heap of troubleshooting to do. I'm almost wishing I went for the iMac...
I'm gonna try the Beta version of Ableton and see what happens....

Re: New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:23 am
by scheffkoch
...if you have these kind of problems while using an usb audio interface: there's a problem with apple's t2 chip (on all computers that have it) that makes usb audio drop out or crackle...(there's a long thread about it on the rme website)...solution is to connect your usb interface via a thunderbolt3 hub...

Re: New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 5:05 pm
by gunark
Hi - sorry for the slow update, grabbed a Clarett2pre as I wanted to avoid USB and I know TB should have a ton of bandwidth.

Short answer - no, it's not really better. Even previously fine synths such as Omnisphere are killing it with a the kind of patch I could work with before. I'm running at a buffer of 1024 around 28ms and I'm having to freeze after 2-3 tracks. I don't know if it's Live or the Mac, though Reaper seems better, as does Maschine standalone.

My current track has:
Maschine 2 running a sampled kit
Moog Minitaur (external) - frozen
Omnisphere (frozen)
Ominsphere (not frozen, couple of granular oscillators)
Eventide SP2016 short reverb (return)
Eventide Blackhole long reverb (return)
Ableton Echo (return)
Valhalla Vintage Verb (master bus)
Sonarworks Reference (lightest setting)
I've a Neutron 2 on each main channel but they are switched off.

This lot sits at 35% or so, Omni puts it to 70% and then the glitches come. My activity monitor is as shown:

Image

I'm baffled and worried frankly, I've spent loads on this machine and this software - somewhere, something isn't right.

Re: New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:38 am
by nasedo
Hi, did you try to turn off auto setup for date and hour ?

Re: New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:49 am
by gunark
nasedo wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:38 am
Hi, did you try to turn off auto setup for date and hour ?
Ah is this to effect the possible glitch issue with the timing in Mac OS that when it updates it may cause the T2 to glitch the audio? I must try it actually, see if it helps. Thanks.

Re: New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:08 am
by McAnix
gunark wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:49 am
nasedo wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:38 am
Hi, did you try to turn off auto setup for date and hour ?
Ah is this to effect the possible glitch issue with the timing in Mac OS that when it updates it may cause the T2 to glitch the audio? I must try it actually, see if it helps. Thanks.
Let us know how it goes.

Re: New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:03 pm
by hpunyon
Moved my reply to its own post in this Forum.

Re: New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:08 pm
by chilleddreams
I also have this problem. Mac mini 2018 i5 (6 core 3GHz). I loaded a project which I created on my previous computer (iMac 27" i7, late 2012). I was very surprised that the new Mac mini is performing very very bad with Ableton Live. My old computer was able to handle the project. But on the Mac mini I have cracks, dropouts and high CPU usage in Live. It's not usable, even when setting buffer size to 1024.

Using latest Live beta does not help. Disabling T2 related security stuff in the Mac's recovery mode does also not help. I have a Saffire Pro 26 audio interface (Firewire) connected via 2 Thunderbolt adapters. Setting audio output to internal speakers (for test) also not helps.

Has anyone had the same problem and found a solution?

Re: New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:34 am
by gunark
chilleddreams wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:08 pm
I also have this problem. Mac mini 2018 i5 (6 core 3GHz). I loaded a project which I created on my previous computer (iMac 27" i7, late 2012). I was very surprised that the new Mac mini is performing very very bad with Ableton Live. My old computer was able to handle the project. But on the Mac mini I have cracks, dropouts and high CPU usage in Live. It's not usable, even when setting buffer size to 1024.

Using latest Live beta does not help. Disabling T2 related security stuff in the Mac's recovery mode does also not help. I have a Saffire Pro 26 audio interface (Firewire) connected via 2 Thunderbolt adapters. Setting audio output to internal speakers (for test) also not helps.

Has anyone had the same problem and found a solution?
Ah so it’s not just me then! I’ve just grabbed an old i7 MBP 2011 to just see what it can take compared (and to work on elsewhere) but that’s running fine on much lower buffers on Live 10. Like you I had a 27 iMac though 2015 5k but am tempted to go back to that and sell the mini.

Re: New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:59 pm
by chilleddreams
But I'm a bit unsure, because I read various positive reviews about the `18 mini w/ Ableton.

Meanwhile I found that the combination of FabFilter plugins and Ableton causes the most CPU troubles on my system. Every instance of FF-R (or some other FF) causes about 10% to 20% CPU usage.

This is not the case on my old Mac.
This is also not the case on another Host (tried Garage Band and MixBus)
VST vs AU makes no difference.

Re: New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:02 pm
by gunark
Yep I can’t run Acustica on Live but can run a few instances in Reaper. I’m baffled. I’ve not tried the 10.1 betas yet as frankly I’d rather wait for the official release. Fingers crossed.

Re: New Apple machine with 8th Gen i7 (Mac mini) running badly

Posted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:02 pm
by gunark
gunark wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:02 pm
Yep I can’t run Acustica plugins on Live but can run a few instances in Reaper. I’m baffled. I’ve not tried the 10.1 betas yet as frankly I’d rather wait for the official release. Fingers crossed.