Mac mini Model Performance Comparison
  • I'm curious what kind of performance is being seen with Mac mini's out there. The Mac mini (Late 2012) is their most powerful and customizable model so I'm sure it is the best performing, but I'm curious about the performance quality at higher quantity of cameras with different models of Mac mini.

    For example, I'd be curious to see what model you're using, how many cameras (at what resolution and frame rate), and how you'd personally rate the performance.

    Say you have a current model mini (Late 2014) with 8 cameras at 3MP and 15-20fps (yes, I picked a high FPS on purpose). Is the web interface still snappy for you or does it lag? Do you see CPU overload errors? Can it keep up?

    I've only ever run SS on iMacs and MacBook Pros so I'm curious how the performance rates to those out there using Mac minis. Thank you!
  • It would certainly be interesting to hear users' experience about this. The Mac mini can be an excellent machine for a SecuritySpy server: small and inexpensive, it's the choice for many users. It is a shame however that it is somewhat under-powered, and has actually gone backwards in terms of performance since 2012. I really do hope that Apple upgrades it soon, and includes some fast quad-core models again! This is sorely missed from the current lineup.

    We ourselves have a quad-core 2012 mini for our own internal CCTV system and for testing SecuritySpy, which runs about a dozen cameras at around 10fps each. The mini handles this comfortably with around 75% of the CPU remaining idle at most times. Excellent performance with no lag and responsive web server.

    If anyone one there is looking for a Mac mini to run their SecuritySpy system, I would recommend trying to find a quad-core 2012 model second hand (e.g. on eBay), as these are significantly faster than the current dual-core models.
  • 2012 Mac mini quad i7 2.3 Ghz, 16 GB ram, 512 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD as fusion (plus 4 bay USB 3 external case with 2x2 TB HDDs mirrored dedicated for capture footage).
    6 cameras usually 2x Foscam FI9803 (one P, one EP, both 720p 10fps), 2x Foscam C1 (720p, 10fps), 2x Foscam 8910E (640x480, 10fps) - the 2 FI9803's doing continuous capture plus motion.
    everything responsive - will be upgrading cameras to higher resolution over the next year or so, and likely increasing count to 8 as well.
    Security Spy itself uses 8.5-20% CPU, VTDecoderXPCService using 9-25% CPU
    (at night it's closer to the 8-10% range, daytime with lots of activity/storm increases load of both processes)

    I had originally settled on 10fps a while ago to reduce file sizes - but with newer Security Spy plus mostly H.264 cameras, I can likely increase fps - will do some testing this weekend maybe and post with any changes seen.
    With current 10fps the 720p cameras have 1 hour continuous capture files that vary from 275 MB up to ~760MB - a full day's capture+motion (video+pictures) looks to average 12-13 GB
    I have things set to keep everything for a month and it's only about 500 GB across all 6 cameras.
    My mini also runs Plex media server, MacOS Server, iTunes, BTSync (backup for family computers to mine), iTunes (wifi backups, and playback to airplay speakers) and still is on average 70-80% idle CPU. Chrome across the various tabs & windows I have open uses more CPU time than Security Spy & VTDecoder
  • My Box is 2014 Mac Mini dual-core 2.6GHz, 8GB, 1TB Drive, 4GB USB3 Buffalo Drive Station, 8 Port Gigabit POE Switch TL-SG1008PE and Asus RT-AC68U Merlin router. Cameras are 4-3MP H264 and 2-4MP H264 cameras all running at full resolution, 10 frames a second and set to armed full time with motion activation. Running Remote Patrol for remote access and notifications on a Iphone and Pad.
    Im really happy with this system. Has been stable and I maybe reboot this Mac once a month. The box is dedicated to Security Spy 4 and running in a remote fashion housed with 2 battery backups, Really long HDMI cable and Logitech K400 wireless keyboard. The system is set up for a parking lot with foot traffic and slow moving cars. I set up a friend with a very similar system. He has 7-3MP cameras at full Res and 10 FPS with motion. He is also having the same good experience. It only take moderate intelligence to set up and there is lots of support from Ben and this forum board.
  • I have a 2012 Quad core i7 mini with 16 GB ram 240 SSD. Running version 4.1.1 capturing to an external USB3 drive. I have 12 cameras running 1080p 10 fps 4000 kbs VBR h.264.
    Using less than 30% of the computer's cpu power and ram. I am sure it would go to 16 without a problem, and probably would record as many as 32. The problem would be the older GPU displaying such a high number of cameras. I am holding my breath for a new Mini from Apple this month!
  • I have a Late 2014 Model Dual-core 3.0GHz, 16GB RAM, 960GB SSD. This runs SS and Apple Server. Just running those alone, the machine hardly sweats. (I even make the Mac run FAHControl on full steam, so curing cancer and recording, all at the same time) I have 4, 3M Dahua Cameras on record, and a bunch on View mode only... Hoping Ben changes the License workings, as I need a total of 9... So for now I only record 4 on the mac. I have a Synology NAS (12TB of storage) recording 2 others, and the other cameras ftp images to the NAS. SS records to the NAS, so my whole network is gigbit connections. I have a 24 port netgear switch with 8 POE on a UPS so when power goes out, all the cameras, mac, NAS all keep running.

    This setup is probably more then the typical user would spend... But this is want I knew I wanted, so I slowly worked up to this. Works flawlessly 24/7. Thank you Ben for creating such reliable software! :-)
  • I gotta say, I'm impressed. I just picked up a 2014 Mac mini (2.6GHz, 8GB, 1TB) from a thrift store and I thought something was wrong with how it was reporting CPU usage at's so low! Even though the 2012 mini has the power powerful processor, the 2014 runs my 3x3MP cameras at 20fps and 1x1080 camera at 30fps all without exceeding 16% CPU. As unfortunate as the current Mac mini is from a hardware/upgradability standpoint it seems to do great with SS4. Now, with all of the replies here as well as getting to see it in person I feel much more comfortable recommending the 2014 mini.
  • This is a very interesting thread.
    I run a Mac mini quad core i7 2012 model, 16gb Ram, recording to 4TB USB drive.
    I have on record 4 x 1080p 2MB cameras, and 2 extra 1080P 2MB cameras on view, all running 10fps (reduced from 20fps due to excessive VT usage)

    The Mac runs ok, cpu usage is always around 10%, but VTDecoderXPCservice runs at 40% then slowly increases over 24hrs to 500%+ killing me machine.
    I then have to stop the SS app and start again, and this brings the cpu usage back down.

    I run a home security business, fitting alarms and IP network cameras, so to test and use SS has proven to be a great way to help out customers that want a better motion detection solution. I would like to understand why the VT usage increases over time, but thats a separate issue.
    Like others I would like to add the extra cameras on record, but do not need a licence for 8 cameras, so would like to see some changes in the licensing structure but apart from that I highly recommend a Mac mini with SS4.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!