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Topic: OT: Mac Mini + VSL

  1. #1

    OT: Mac Mini + VSL

    Hi, with the release of a the new Mac mini I'm toying with venturing from PC land into Mac land but am a little unsure as to how they comare and wondered if any of you could advise. At $499 I guess I can't really go wrong.

    I currently use VSL on a 1GB Dell Insprion 1.7Mhz Pentirum-M with a Yamaha 01x and 3 Lacie FW HDs and wondered how the Mac mini would compare - other than it only having a max of 1GB RAM.

    I use Cubase and HALion for VSL so can use both on MAC or PC. I would be especially grateful if anyone can point out just how a G4 1.4 processor compares in PC terms.


    Kind Regards


  2. #2

    Re: OT: Mac Mini + VSL

    The G4 in the Mac Mini should be faster than your Pentium. The 1 gig amount of ram is really limiting but if you have succeeded in running VSL in 1 gig before, you should be just fine with the Mac. Compared to the PC the OS X will practically never crash (atleast my Mac has crashed once because of a software failure in over two years of daily use, my M-Audio FW1814 can cause a crash but those are rare too) so you will have more stable environment even if it wouldn't be dramatically faster. And the Mac Mini looks cool too.

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Mac Mini + VSL


    Thanks. The MAC mini does look cool - thats partly why I was thinking about using it. On the VSL forum however, someone has mentioned that on their old dual 867 G4 they could only load 6-10 instruments in HALion 2 at any one time - which is not very good.

    How does the Mac mini compare to a 867-G4 the processor types mean nothing to me

  4. #4

    Re: OT: Mac Mini + VSL

    The Mac Mini should be capable of performing atleast equally well as your current configuration. Don't expect it to outperform the PC. If you really want your VSL to fly, then you'll need 2 gigs of ram on either PC or Mac. Even better if you can afford atleast two such computers. Which VSL library are you using?

  5. #5

    Re: OT: Mac Mini + VSL

    I've got the Pro Edition and was thinking that if the MAC experiment was succesful I could start linking two or more together - MIDI over LAN or similar. Especially as the MAC mini is not much more than I'll end up paying for a couple of 1GB modules for my DELL.

  6. #6

    Re: OT: Mac Mini + VSL

    I'm dubious about the G4 being anywhere near as fast personally:


    Still, should be a nice box to run Logic on

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Mac Mini + VSL

    Quote Originally Posted by griels
    I'm dubious about the G4 being anywhere near as fast personally:


    Still, should be a nice box to run Logic on
    Ableton is still not optimized for Mac. Take this, and all other benchmarks for a grain of salt :-)

  8. #8

    Re: OT: Mac Mini + VSL

    If I understand correctly, Tim's notebook uses a Pentium M (Centrino) processor and roughly is equivalent in power to a P4 2.4 GHz processor. I agree that it's hard to compare PC vs. Mac with benchmarking different software versions, but I'm wondering if the Mac Mini won't be underperforming Tim's current setup.

    Take a look at this Cubase benchmark and you will see that the Pentium M outperforms the two single processor notebook G4 systems that are included.

    Tim, you might want to post your inquiry to the macmusic.org forums, or maybe a Cubase forum.

  9. #9

    Re: OT: Mac Mini + VSL

    I think drive speed is definitely an issue with audio and streaming apps. The internal Mini drive is rather slow so I would highly recommend adding an external Firewire or USB 2.0 drive to that set up. For running Cubase and mixing audio and sequencing you have plenty of power in there. The problems start arising when you're also adding the sample streaming which is very processor and disk intensive.

    I would consider looking into a 2gig DDR Ram chip which the Mac Mini will accept (although they are quite expensive). 1 gig will be fine but you will run out of memory quick with those thick VSL instruments.

    Or you could use the Mac Mini as you sequencing machine and tie it in with your PC for the samples. That way you would at least double your capability and power.

    Mac Mini's are cool....but don't be expecting miracles out of a $499 box!
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  10. #10

    Re: OT: Mac Mini + VSL

    @Midphase: The problem is, that you can't put more than 1 GB of RAM in a Mini. That's the only reason, why I don't buy one. Size and price are really incredible.

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