Which Mac mini for Logic Pro plus UA, Waves, iZotope plugins

Hi all,

Sorry if I post this in the wrong place, but thought what I was looking for was ‘buying advice’.

I have a 2019 16 “MacBook Pro with a 2.6GHz 6-core Intel i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 500GB SSD. Overall this is great. No real issues with daily use.

I spend more and more time using Logic, just as a hobby. But I have a cute little chamber setup going on – Universal Audio Apollo Solo with a UA Thunderbolt Octo-Core Accelerator, tons of UA plugins, Waves, Arturia, and iZotope. I usually don’t run more than 12 tracks at a time on a project, but I use these plugins a lot (especially the UA ones) – sometimes they appear on every track simultaneously, and there are always at least a few. – one on the mix track. I have to say I never use the sampler on Logic – there may be a few MIDI tracks, but I mostly record live instruments with the interface.

Unfortunately, that seems to be too much for my MacBook Pro. I can close all other applications and still get a system overload notice on a Logic project. Freezing the tracks helps, but it doesn’t save the day every time. The CPU watchdog feature in Logic usually shows a core hovering around 95% and then spikes here and there which I guess causes the system to overload. I really don’t know anything about computers, so I’m probably wrong about this. Logic apparently uses about 8.5 or 9 GB of RAM on average when opened.

Anyway, since I still spend quite a bit of time doing this stuff, I would like to have a dedicated computer just for music work. The Mac mini looks great in size and price. My question is, should I go for a new Mac M1 with 16 GB of RAM, or should I go for the 3.2 GHz Mac mini Intel i7 6-Core i7 with something like 32 GB of RAM?

Storage isn’t that big of a deal for me, I haven’t even filled 250GB on my MBP. The M1 compatibility issue is not a problem – I can be patient while UA and others prepare their updates for M1. Graphics and stuff like that don’t matter. I’m more concerned with the performance for this specific case – Logic with many third party plugins, plus the ability to feed my interface and maybe a MIDI controller. I just want something to work properly without the frequent system overload messages. I constantly read that more RAM = better performance for music production, but the M1 seems to be ‘the way of the future’ despite having a maximum capacity of 16GB of RAM. Tons of guys are singing the praises of M1 with Logic, despite the low RAM capacity. So I don’t really know!

Sorry for the book I wrote here … any insight and advice would be much appreciated.


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