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2018 Mac Mini?

Hi Telestream,

I'm considering a new machine to replace my 2014 MBP. I'll be using it for 3-camera 1080/30p live streams with Wirecast. As is often the case with Mac hardware, I'm having trouble finding the perfect configuration.

I'm considering springing for the current top-of-the-line 15" MBP with a 2.9 GHz hex-core i9 and Vega 20 graphics. But this machine is pricey and I worry about throttling during longer streams. I don't need it to be portable, so a laptop seems like a poor choice here given the performance tradeoffs.

But now there's the new 2018 Mac Mini with a 3.2 GHz hex-core i7 to consider as well. It's cheaper than the MBP, and my assumption is that throttling won't be quite such an issue because it's a desktop (albeit a tiny one). But this machine is only available with Intel integrated graphics – no discrete GPU, unless you add one externally and significant cost.

Anyone have any advice to offer here? Has anyone tried the new 2018 Mac Mini with Wirecast yet? I've searched extensively online for info about this and have come up with zilch. 

Thanks, folks.

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  • We haven't tested and there's any number of configuration (sources and encoder settings) that can vary the performance. It certainly seems to have significant resources outside of the GPU. Perhaps some users who go this route can post the results.

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  • Thanks CraigS. I know there are variables that make questions like this difficult to answer, so I appreciate your effort. I'm trying to get my head around what role the GPU plays in Wirecast on a Mac (where Nvidia cards aren't an option).

    Is it generally the case that the bulk of encoding happens on the CPU, while titles, graphics, color adjustments, etc are GPU tasks? My broadcasts are very basic – I only need to stream the video feeds as seen by 3 cameras, and I don't apply any graphics or effects at all. Would it be safe to assume that in this use case, the Intel integrated graphics wouldn't cause trouble?

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  • David Jamieson said:
    I'm trying to get my head around what role the GPU plays in Wirecast on a Mac (where Nvidia cards aren't an option).

    Some Multi-Viewer options may stress the system. Running two very large monitors may have impact.

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  • CraigS Understood. Thanks!

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  • David Jamieson You're welcome of course. GPU is most important for multi monitor and Multi-Viewer Output.

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  • Have you considered an iMac? We are loving iMacs with i7 processors and GPU. We are not using the new iMac Pro. Just well-configured 4K & 5K iMacs.

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  • I'm currently having the same considerations as you, David.

     

    The Mac Minis are great for our rack mounted kit because of the form factor, but as you, we're also trying to figure out if the GPU is a problem in this case.

     

    Dee Dee: the iMac 5K is nice, for sure - I'm typing this on such a machine right now - and it can easily handle our Wirecast needs BUT for taking it on the road, the Mac Mini wins hands down in two areas:

     

    1. It can be mounted in rack, so no separat cases etc.

    2. As it can be mounted, all wiring can also be fixed, so we save a lot of time by not having to assemble it all before using at a venue (as disassembling afterwards as well)

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  • Kenneth Lund Keep in mind an eGPU would be another cable and the form factor may not lend itself to rack mounting. It may depend on how important multi-monitor setup and Wirecast Multi-Viewer is. We haven't tested eGPU use as of yet. 

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  • Has anyone tested at this point? I'm very curious to hear any results 

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  • Brian Glazen Still not hearing many reports on our end.

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  • I have a one of the new iMac's in house with an i7 and I will be hooking it up to Sonnet chassis with Blackmagic cards this week. Please let me know what kind of performance measures you want to know about.

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  • Tony Fernandes thank you so much ! My hope is to stream with it as well as projector output . It would be great to mount two of these in a kit if one could hold up to managing those two jobs 

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  • Yes, my plan is to stream and record simultaneously with HD video feeds through the Firewire 3 connection. It should say a lot of how viable this arrangement is. I'm trying to replace an old 8 core Mac Pro tower which can't handle recent versions of Wirecast any more. If I don't get what I'm looking for, I may try the Blackmagic eGPU with this arrangement before I give up. I see a lot of variables at play so we'll see if this goes easy or turns into a hairball.

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  • Tony Fernandes CPU use would probably the most important. It will be impacted by sources as well as the number and type of encodes you do. Since Multi-Viewer would be dependent on the integrated GPU you may want to test that going out to a 4K monitor displaying all sources as well as Preview and Live Area out. In this case, you may want to see if it impacts the frame rate.

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  • The news is really good. I have the i7 iMac recording and streaming in 720p with a Virtual Camera in 720p with no noticeable degradation in the performance. The CPU load is 25%. It is taking in the video via a BlackMagic Decklink Duo 2 (SDI) in a Thunderbolt 3 chassis. The video is from a Sony PTZ putting out 1080p. I'm going to ramp everything up to 1080p to see what I get.

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  • Tony Fernandes Thanks for reporting that. It's good to hear that the Mac Mini covers the basics.

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  • I just posted here regarding eGPU use. I have a new MacMini as well and works well under bootcamp. I have not used the eGPU on the Mac side due to no Nvidia drivers available as of yet to Mojave.

    if you are going with an eGPU setup, I highly recommend Nvidia cards for NVENC encode.

    https://telestreamforum.forumbee.com/r/637lgl

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  • I'm checking in on this thread regarding Mac mini. Was thinking of one and we have a single cam setup, at the moment with a c922x webcam and minimal effects. Wondering if the GPU is enough because I do not want to use an external one. At that point I would get a MBP i9.

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  • Christian Day The integrated GPU on the i9 chip may well be enough for what you're doing. The more advanced Multi-Viewer features might be limited but that may not be an issue with a single cam.

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  • Hi Craig, what about when we bring in multiple guests through Rendezvous? Is that GPU intensive or just CPU intensive?

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  • Christian Day GPU shouldn't be significant in Rendezvous.

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  • Thank you, CraigS . I noticed the cpu got a little slow when I put moving video behind our our screen and the Rendezvous call-in screen but we are currently on a 2012 MacBook Pro 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7 and restream told me that the source video may have been too hi res for your software and to encode it with Adobe encoder.

    Do you know if Mac mini 2018 supports that Quicksync that's supposed to help apple  264? Mini just seems more cost effective and there will only be an Eviciv 15.6 inch Monitor Portable Mini Hd Monitor Type-c PD Port Resolution 1920×1080. I could, conceivable, add an even smaller monitor for that just for the restream chat but it's doubtful. 

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  • Christian Day MacMini supports QuickSync (called Apple H.264). That monitor should be fine and won't stress the integrated GPU.

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  • Thank you Craig. You have been very helpful. 

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  • Christian Day You're welcome of course.

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