It has been a long time since the Mac mini got any love from Apple. Today at their special event, they announced a new Mac mini and a redesigned MacBook Air. Plus there was another announcement that catapults mobile editing to a new level.

To be honest, they announced more than that including new iPad products and a promotion of the Today at Apple workshops.

It also surprised us that the new Macs were the first products up to be featured and we will embed the video below when Apple makes it available on YouTube.

For Final Cut Pro X users, we are all thinking about the new Mac mini. Are the specs good enough for a reasonable editing experience?

The models start with an 8th generation 3.6GHz i3 quad core with 8GB of memory and go up to a 6 core 3.2GHz i7 version with 64GB of memory and 2TB of memory. 

Not too shabby, but the Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU will probably determine how quick things will go. It is standard on all models.

Connectivity is excellent with 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI and two USB-A ports. 

The option of having a 10GigE port propels the new machines to a new user and level as they will connect to fast servers. It is a $100 option. (Actually the standard specs include it)

Apple are quoting that the new machine will export Redcode Raw 3.6 times faster to ProRes 422 than the previous Dual-Core Mac mini.

A six core Mac mini will also export an 8-bit HEVC file 30 times faster.

Having said that, they have had a fair few months to catch up!

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What was interesting in the new Mac mini announcement was the machines racked up in a three and sixteen combination. It might look like a 2018 XServe RAID, but could this slide give us a hint of what is coming in the future?

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Are we on the verge of seeing distributed rendering back with multiple eGPUs? If so, let us hope that it makes an easier job of it than Qmaster. Apple specifically mention render farms on the Mac mini website. It might make the Creative Summit interesting :)

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The Mac Mini starts at $799, it can be ordered today and will be available to buy next week. Worth keeping an eye on.

We have gone slightly out of order as Tim Cook proudly unveiled the new MacBook Air first.

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Made out of 100% recycled aluminium, the new MacBook Air has a new 2560 by 1600 13.3 inch retina display, quadrupling the amount of pixels from the previous version. 

It is available with an eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, up to 16GB of memory and 1.5TB of SSD storage.

Connectivity is just two Thunderbolt 3 ports, but as both ports can run at up to 40GB/s, you can cascade peripherals. 

For external displays, you can use one external display with 5120-by-2880 resolution at up to 60Hz or two external displays with 4096-by-2304 resolution at up to 60Hz.

Of course you can also connect FCPX to an external GPU with Mojave, so would this Mac make a great machine as a portable edit that gets more power when it returns to the office?  

The new MacBook Air starts at  $1,199 and again is available to order this week and will be available to buy next week.


No mention of the new modular Mac Pro, but there was another announcement that made us think.

The new iPad Pro has a USB-C connection. That means two things.

1) The possibility of connecting an external display & peripherals . You can see iMovie running below.

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2) The possibility of connecting external storage. The lack of storage space has always been the downside of any creative app on the iPad. As pointed out in the comments, this isn't working today.

Finally, we might have missed it, but as mentioned in the comments, Apple has indicated that the MacBook Pros will be available with new GPUs in November. Maybe right after the FCPX Creative Summit???

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Written by
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I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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