Apple announces new Mac mini’s
  • Apple has announced new Mac mini’s. Really happy to see this as I’m running into performance limitations of my current Mac mini.

    Now we just need Ben to soften the jump in licensing costs for going beyond 8 cameras! The jump to 16 is when I only need 2 more is a tough spend after having to pay the apple tax.
  • Then new Mac-Mini sure does look a lot better price/performance than the old "trash-can" Mac Pro. That cost $3000 for my 16 cam configuration. This new machine might be configurable for a 16 cam setup for about half that price.

    Yes, the 8 to 16 cam jump licensing was big enough to delay my moving up for a long time. Even considered jumping to a PC and Blue Iris. A 12 cam license would have made it an easy decision for continuing with SS.
  • This is great news - the new (long overdue) Mac minis look fantastic and will be perfect for SecuritySpy.

    I understand your comments about the licensing model, however it's been working reasonably well for such a long time, and changing it would have unknown consequences for our revenue. So it would be a risky change to make from a business point of view, and therefore not something we are currently exploring.
  • Hey Ben,

    Thanks for responding. I apologize, I just don't understand the logic. Instead of me paying $26 USD or so per camera, I've spent $0 USD. That seems like a more tangible risk. I think you're leaving money on the table.

    You don't owe me any explanation of course, it is your business.
  • I'm excited about the new Mac mini as well. Especially the fact that you can get it with a 10GBe card/adapter. I think I'm going to buy one and a Thunderbolt RAID to replace my struggling Mid 2010 Mac Pro. We are a school and every month someone wants to add more cameras somewhere on campus. I'm at 32 cameras right now recording continuous from 7 am to 4 pm and the Mac Pro is HURTING.
  • What would be an ideal hardware configuration for the new Mac Mini to support SecuritySpy, assuming 4-8 cameras?
  • And do you still have to have a monitor connected to the mac mini or one of those gizmos to make it think there is a monitor attached?
  • @mgisd - yes, for best performance when running headless, we would recommend a dummy HDMI monitor adaptor to make the Mac think it has a monitor attached, as this ensures that the hardware accelerated video is online.

    @rdforbes - we'll add the new mini to our system requirements calculator when benchmarks are available, but for now you can use the calculator to give you a good idea by looking at similar iMac models (roughly equivalent in terms of core count and CPU speed). For 8 cameras I would expect that the basic model of the new Mac mini would be more than powerful enough (though you may want more storage, provided via an external drive).

    @mgisd - I agree, the new Mac mini would give better performance than your 2010 Mac Pro, though I would suggest you go for the 6-core version. You might want to consider a higher-end iMac too, to compare price/performance. Our calculator will help.

    @jms703 - I understand that the licensing structure puts people off upgrading in certain circumstances, and this is the main problem with it. But if we changed over to a flat rate of $26 per camera we would almost certainly lose significant revenue. This is because those users with, say, 12 cameras are currently buying the 16-camera version of SecuritySpy, whereas under the flat-rate system they would only be buying a 12-camera license. So with a flat rate system we would certainly have to charge more than $26 per camera, but the difficult question is how much more? There are too many unknowns and by changing the system we would be taking a big risk. It's certainly tempting to change it, and perhaps we should have started off with a flat-rate system from the beginning, but without knowing the effects of the change we are very reluctant to do it!
  • Seeing the specs on the 1018 Mac Mini, I'm glad that when I got my late 2012 Mac Mini (in 2013) I chose the "custom" option with the 2.6 Ghz, quad core i7 and the 256 gig internal SSD. about half the speed of the current fastest offering, but handles SS and a couple of cameras well.
  • I'm wondering if the absence of a discrete GPU would cause the CPU to work that much harder or are the modern i7 CPUs capable of handling something like 16+ cameras? My old C2D Mac mini had its CPU pegged at 100% all the time with just 4 cameras with no decompressing or recompressing. My iMac and MBP with discrete GPUs do great, on the other hand, and the CPU usage is fairly low.
  • For my setup with two cameras, CPU usage is around 10-13% @ 30 fps. Probably considerably more for 16 depending on frame rate. Since the new Mini's allow for an external GPU, I would think that this would be an option for you, perhaps Ben might have some further input on the topic.

    I did look up an example of an external GPU with the Graphics Card just out of curiosity...
  • We just ordered the 2018 Mac Mini, with i7, 6-core upgrade and 10-GbE port upgrade. With 12 cameras running at 8-fps, plex server, and indigo, our old 2014 mac mini was at 95% or higher cou usage all the time.... especially with handbraking for the plex server. Although without plex and handbreaking usage was never less than 30%.

    So I have high hopes for the new 2018 Mac mini.

    I’ve been running a straightforward 24-port GbE switch....til now. Can anyone recommend a decent 25 to 28-port ethernet switch with 1 to 4, 10-GbE uplinks (for the new mac mini?). I want to spend under $500. So far I’ve seen d-link, trendnet, and netgear models. Looking for reliability but feel that the 10-GbE port will be important to framerate.

    Also, I’m confused on what cable will be required for 10-GbE. Ethernet cat 6s? SFP+?
  • Hi @ElectroHawk I also have high hopes for the new Mac mini! Please report back when this is all set up to let us know what kind of performance you are getting.

    With 12 cameras at 8fps, Gigabit Ethernet (1 GbE) should be more than fast enough. However if you do want to go for 10 GbE, then I would recommend Netgear switches, as I use them personally and have always found them to be reliable. I have also heard good things from customers about TRENDnet switches, so they would also be a good choice I think.

    For 10 GbE, it seems you need at least Cat 6a cable, which is good for up to 100m lengths. Cat 6a should always be STP (Shielded Twisted Pair), but it might be wise to double-check that any cable you buy is indeed shielded, as this is very important for 10 GbE.
  • Mikrotik CRS switches such as the CRS326 are worth a look, they have 24x1G and 2x10G interfaces and are about as low price as it gets. I gave their CRS226 (the predecessor to 326) a try for my home network a couple of years ago and it's been surprisingly just fine. It'll do line rate 10G no problems. It can also do some management and L3 functions if you want, but those are cpu-bound, and the UI is atrocious, imho.
  • actually scratch what I said, Mikrotik stuff has SFP+ and you'd need copper for the Mini
  • I just ordered the i7, 8GB DDR4, 512 SSD mini. Looking forward to putting it through its paces. I'm planning to upgrade the Ram myself. Looks medium easy to change. Also sprung for USB-c monitor and a OWC ThunderBay 4 Raid. I'll be on the lookout for some drives on Black Friday. Xmas came early. So will the credit card bill.
  • I am running a 2012 i5 2.5ghz macmini - 16gb ram, 860 Pro ssd, 2tb usb3,
    with 10 cameras, utilizing only 16% of the cpu with the “All cameras” window open. It only utilizes 7% with the window closed.

    I am curious as to how some of your cpu loads are so high?
    I am ingesting with all the cameras at h.254 rstp, maybe that it the result?
    1080p @ 20fps trendnet cameras. Motion detection enabled with triggers.
    As much as I would love a new Mac mini, I don’t see the need for it right now.
  • I'm running 6 cameras full resolution 3 and 4mp cams at 10 fps all MA. At about 18 percent plus at idle and up to 40 percent plus if action is going. 2014 mini i5,8,1tb running headless on High Sierra.
    Dont think ill be putting SS on it anytime soon. No dropped frames or bugs.The older mini is running so good don't see a reason until i upgrade to 4K cams.
    Got a new MM i7,32,500 like it some much i retired my daily use imac and got a 34 inch ultra wide, egpu. and a crazy fast External SSD. The only downside is the internal GPU is really underpowered. The egpu has fixed that.
    Just before the mini got announced I finished a Hackintosh with a i7,32,1tb and RX580/8 running High Sierra. It's running good. It may take the place of my 2014 MM to run SS. Will see how it does for a few more months before it get banished to the place where headless macs live.
  • In the event anyone checks this older thread by searching, I bought the latest 2018 Mac Mini and the performance is phenomenal. I am running 16 cameras at 1080p/15fps and my CPU is at 6%... all due to the hardware HEVC decoding (h.264/h.265) on the CPU. I could go up in resolution and fps, but I don't want/need the storage/bandwidth overhead.

    I got the 8GB i5 for $920 refurbished. The lack of discrete graphics has no effect, since the decoding is done entirely on the CPU.
  • Hi @bigpal thanks for reporting back, this all sounds great. Yes, these machines are very powerful, and ideal for SecuritySpy due to the hardware-based video decompression!
  • I am getting very high CPU usage with my setup and am wondering if anyone can shed some light. I currently have a Mac Pro Late 2013, 3.7 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5, 12GB RAM on Mac OS 10.14.5. Using 16 Axis P1367 cameras using H.264. Text overlays are done on the cameras and not on Security Spy. Using motion capture on all cameras (1 movie per day) with no masked areas. FPS is set to 10 on the camera directly. No recompression in Security Spy. I was planning on adding another 10 Axis P1367's but I doubt it could handle it given the current load. The Mac Pro is a dedicated Security Spy server. Here are some screenshots that may help. Shot 2019-05-24 at 3.55.29 PM.png?dl=0 Shot 2019-05-24 at 3.57.38 PM.png?dl=0

    I'd appreciate any help.
  • Hi @Quick32, it looks like it's the decompression of the incoming video streams that is causing your high CPU usage. Mac minis and iMacs have hardware-accelerated decoding of H.264 video built into their CPUs, but unfortunately Mac Pros don't have this feature.

    The best way to reduce your CPU usage is going to be to reduce the frame rate of your cameras. I would suggest you reduce the frame rates until you have at least 10% Idle showing in Activity Monitor.

    If you need to add 10 more cameras, then you'll have to reduce the frame rates dramatically but really the best way forward for this would be to get a new Mac mini or iMac. Our System Requirements Calculator will help you choose a suitable Mac.
  • Thanks Ben. That explains it then. I will replace the Mac Pro 2013 with a new Mac Mini!

Howdy, Stranger!

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