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  1. #1
    ariksokol
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    Mac Mini with Final Cut Pro?
    Please help me...I'm contemplating the purchase of a MacMini to edit video with Final Cut Pro. Wondering what problems I might run into and what options I should get...

    Ram? Harddrive? Processor Speed? Where should I purchase? Superdrive?

    I'm on a limited budget, so I don't want to spend a lot...Is there a better option than the Mac Mini?

  2. #2

    deus_ex_machina's Avatar
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    I would recommend something more powerful than a mini for video editing. FCP can be CPU-intensive especially in rendering and something with dual processors would be very beneficial. This can vary depending on whether you're doing heavy or light video editing. If you're set on the Mini getting at least 512 RAM (preferably 1Gb) is recommended. Heavy editing - plenty of space - large hard drive. A few minutes can mean 10-15 gigs. Maybe the 80GB? Superdrive to burn DVDs can be very fruitful.

  3. #3

    Aptmunich's Avatar
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    Isn't it a bit odd to be buying a 500$ computer to use with a $999 application?

    Having said that I've seen FCP running on a 1Ghz iBook G4 without any problems, so you should be fine...

  4. #4

    Avalon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aptmunich
    Isn't it a bit odd to be buying a 500$ computer to use with a $999 application?

    Having said that I've seen FCP running on a 1Ghz iBook G4 without any problems, so you should be fine...
    Well, it might run, but I doubt you can do anything usefull with it...

  5. #5

    Aptmunich's Avatar
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    Well I know the person that uses it does a TON of editing with it and from what I could tell it ran quite nicely.

    All the effects etc aren't processed in real time, so the only real strain on the processor is video and audio playback. For previewing material, you can reduce the quality of video and audio playback so there aren't any real issues there as far as I can tell.

    Sure - when you actually render all your changes, you can go and make a cup of coffee while the iBook renders, but unlike iMovie, FCP lets you choose when to render stuff so it doesn't really matter...

    I'd get FC express, see if you can work with it before dropping all the dough on the full package.

  6. #6

    pscl227's Avatar
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    1.42 mac mini, 1GB ram, 300-500GB external drive depending on how much work your doing and a external dual layer dvd burner would be your best option i think

  7. #7

    James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ariksokol
    Please help me...I'm contemplating the purchase of a MacMini to edit video with Final Cut Pro. Wondering what problems I might run into and what options I should get...

    Ram? Harddrive? Processor Speed? Where should I purchase? Superdrive?

    I'm on a limited budget, so I don't want to spend a lot...Is there a better option than the Mac Mini?
    The mini can probably do a bit, but if your going to be doing serious professional work i would go with something like a Power Mac G5 1.8 unit if finances would not allow a bigger machine like a 2.0 dual or 2.5 dual. The mini is really not meant, nor built for serious professional work. While it is a fine little machine for normal use, it just doesn't have the horsepower for daily serious professional work. Even a iMac G5 would be a better bet than the mini for that type of thing.

    If however, your finances won't allow the PowerMac G5, or the iMac G5 then i would certainly recommend:

    Mac mini 1.4 processor
    1 gig ram
    300 gig external firewire hard drive
    Super drive

    However, realize you will be in the deep end of the pool doing the dog paddle so to speak. If your going to make your living at this, having the top end tools gives you the edge over those who don't so an investment in those top tools is worth the extra price.

  8. #8


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    I presume from reading this a 12" powerbook could handle Final cut no problem, does anyone have experience?
    What if any benefits is there to having an external DVD drive vs a superdrive?

  9. #9

    James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richieg
    I presume from reading this a 12" powerbook could handle Final cut no problem, does anyone have experience?
    What if any benefits is there to having an external DVD drive vs a superdrive?
    According to requirements you need a 350 mhz processor or faster, a G4 or G5 unless you want to run the Rt Extreme then you need a 500 mhz processor with an agp graphics card. and 10.2 or better os x with 384 ram, 512 for RT extreme and 40 megs of drive space. As long as your pb meets these requirements it should run fine.

    As for benefits to having external anything, when your not using them you leave them unplugged and your not sucking system resourses and using electricity. The benefit to having an internal superdrive is it is there and it is ready, you don't have to take a couple of seconds to plug it in.

    Personally i like external stuff...hard drives, scanners, dvd/cd burners, a good usb2 or better yet firewire external gives great service, i would rather wear out a cheap internal cd/dvd reader than an expensive superdrive...

  10. #10

    Avalon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aptmunich
    Well I know the person that uses it does a TON of editing with it and from what I could tell it ran quite nicely.

    All the effects etc aren't processed in real time, so the only real strain on the processor is video and audio playback. For previewing material, you can reduce the quality of video and audio playback so there aren't any real issues there as far as I can tell.

    Sure - when you actually render all your changes, you can go and make a cup of coffee while the iBook renders, but unlike iMovie, FCP lets you choose when to render stuff so it doesn't really matter...

    I'd get FC express, see if you can work with it before dropping all the dough on the full package.
    Really?? Hmm...the ability of low end Macs running high end software still amazes me...
    :mac:

  11. #11


    Member Since
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    I was thinking the same thing except i was gonna get FCE HD instead. If you wanted more power, I saw this thing on overclocking Mac Minis to like 1.6ghz or something like that. I'll post the link later when im more awake.

  12. #12

    Aptmunich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avalon
    Really?? Hmm...the ability of low end Macs running high end software still amazes me...
    :mac:
    I find the "pro" applications are quite good in that respect - they have the power for serious work, but the strain on your mac seems fairly well spread out.

    Logic for example has the option of "freezing" tracks to your harddrive - meaning edits & effects are written to harddrive, which means the processor doesn't have to calculate them in real-time during playback.

    Same in Final Cut. Maybe it's because so many pro users cling to their old hardware (lots of pros still seem to like OS 9 too!) and have less need for spectacular real-time effects.

    The exception here would be Motion.

  13. #13


    Member Since
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    I love motion. I've played with the Minis though and I must say they are quite nice. I wish they could take a little more RAM. Maybe making it a little bigger so it could fit another RAM slot. or a 2GB module or something like that. I would stick to FCE HD though. Havent tried FCP 4 on it yet but FCE HD seems to work well. Hasn't crashed yet! My friend is loving his mini(which im testing on), and it seems like a little powerhouse. Have fun with it! When i get one, Its goin everywhere with me, literally! I can post pics of that later.

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