2018 Mac mini experiences
  • Hi all- I’ve been running my SS setup on a 2012 iMac (retired home office machine replaced with a new iMac) for a couple years. I’ve been adding cameras here and there and am up to 20 now. I’ve been surprised how well it’s actually performed up to this point. It’s only been recently that looking at live video (locally, app or web) has been choppy. Recordings are still smooth and clear. I do use the live video frequently though and decided it was finally time to replace the iMac. I ordered a 2018 Mac mini earlier this week- did the i7 upgrade and ordered 32gb of ram from Crucial. Went with the 256 gb built in storage (I have an existing external SSD for recording storage that I’ll reuse).

    I’m wondering if anyone else has put SS on the 2018 mini, and if so what has your experience been? Seems like it should be quite a little powerhouse especially for the price- I’m excited to see how it performs
  • I would also like to know. Have 2018 Mini i7/32/500 and i am really happy. It transcodes video in Handbrake super fast. The internal SSD benchmarked higher than any single drive i have ever owned. 1800 MB/s write and 2800 MB/s read in Blackmagic.
    Wanted to mention the ram upgrade is a little tricky. Your going to need a Torx T6S screwdriver. Not going to find that at the local hardware store. Also hold on to your old ram sticks. You will need to reinstall them if you have any warranty work done. Technically upgrading your own ram voids your warranty :( Did not stop me from doing it.
    I plan on upgrading my cams to 4K in the future and will migrate SS then. Love to hear how it goes with yor many cams.

    Cheers Tighe
  • Thanks for the info! Glad to hear that positive experience with performance overall.
    I watched a couple videos on the memory upgrade and yeah.. while it is possible they didn't make it particularly easy. I did a fusion drive to SSD swap in the 2012 iMac and that was quite the ordeal.. I'll report some details back after the new setup is running and I can collect some performance data.
  • The procedure doesn't look too bad, though you'll need the right equipment (Torx screwdriver set and plastic spludger). The iFixit guides are always really good: Mac mini Late 2018 Memory (RAM) Replacement.

    Let us know how you get on!
  • The mini was delivered yesterday and I got it up and running, SecuritySpy moved over to it and let it run overnight. I haven't put the additional RAM in it yet so it is still running with the stock 8 GB, but man I'm impressed.. I could tell immediately through the web interface and the iOS client app that performance overall was much better. Live views were not choppy at all. Looking at resource usage the memory usage is hovering at about 6 GB (I'll want to get the upgrade in there since I have a couple other things for home automation I want to run on the mini as well) and CPU is sitting at 80-90% idle with 20 cameras active (most are recording in response to motion, a couple are doing continuous recording. Most of the cameras are 4MP, there are a couple 3MP and 2 5MP)
  • This is impressively low CPU usage! The new Mac minis really are fantastic little machines. You may like to use all that extra processing capacity to increase the frames rates of your cameras or add new cameras to your system :)
  • If a 2018 Mac Mini i7 will be used as a dedicated SS server is there a benefit in performance by upgrading the RAM from the stock 8GB? Is there any situation where more RAM would help (e.g. adding cameras, higher resolution cameras) or is it strictly the CPU that comes into play. All this is assuming the cameras are H.264 native and no recompression occurs in SS. The systems requirements calculator doesn't mention RAM requirements so I figured it's really CPU related.
  • Most modern Macs come with enough memory that the CPU is almost always going to be the limiting factor for a typical system, which is why we don't include RAM in the calculator. Things that use the most RAM are:

    - The pre-capture setting, for motion capture (this keeps a buffer of frames in memory which can get quite large)
    - H.264 video compression (mainly if recompressing cameras, but also for streaming via the web interface)

    If there is a memory shortage, you will see messages to this effect in SecuritySpy's log (open SecuritySpy -> File menu -> Open Log), and this will also be evident in Activity Monitor, in which case you should consider upgrading the memory. However if you aren't getting any messages in the log about this, then you have enough RAM.
  • The new Mac mini is a great little machine.

    2018, 3.2GHz i7, 16GB ram, 250GB SSD and 30TB Raid 5

    Thunderbolt 3 ThunderBay 4 with 4 x 10TB drives

    32 x 4MP
    6 x 2MP
    2 x 6MP
    All set to motion record. With 7 sec pre and 10 sec post.

    The average cpu idle is 92%.

    You can't beat it with a stick. It just preforms like a champ.

    Also have 2 x 2018 Mac mini's, 3GHz i5 and 8GB ram. For watching the cameras in another room.

    And Ben everyone really likes you software.
  • I have had a different experience. I was very excited about the Mac mini. It will drive 3 4k monitors. But in my tests, once I got over 24 cameras 1080p. I began experiencing motion Smear. The network is gigabit all the way, so that is probably not the problem. These cameras are new Dahua cameras, and they only do H.265 and H.264H. No other profiles like just baseline. CPU usage and Ram look great. I think maybe the software is having trouble with this Dahua implementation of H.264H. I wonder what profile jon had his cameras set to.
  • All of the cameras are new model Dahua's using H.264H
  • For perspective, I have a 2012 Quad i7 (last good mini Apple made until the 2018 update), it runs idles at about 93% with 6 cameras, I think 32 would be a burden. If you open the All Cameras window, CPU idle % drops to 82%. Security Spy clients seem to ding it for around 5%. Browsers, not much
  • For perspective, I have a 2012 Quad i7 (last good mini Apple made until the 2018 update), it runs idles at about 93% with 6 cameras, I think 32 would be a burden, the 2018 beats it, but it's still a great machine for it's time. If you open the All Cameras window, CPU idle % drops to 82%. Security Spy clients seem to ding the CPU for around 5%.

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