Mac Mini - Importance of CPU vs Memory vs Local Storage?
  • Is there a discussion somewhere of the importance of each of these? (I have looked at the calculator but it doesn't seem to discuss this.) We'll likely have perhaps 24 cameras on one and 8 on two others.

    I'm guessing that going to a 3.2ghz 6 core is worth $200? How important is memory @ $200 per 8gb? 8 enough? 16? 32 really beneficial?

    With primary storage on a fast 10gb attached NAS is there any need for more local storage? Will it use local storage a lot before off loading to NAS?

  • The calculator currently doesn't recommend an amount of RAM, but we'll see if we can add that soon, as I'm sure that would be useful.

    Due to the difficulty of installing RAM after purchase, it's best to err on the side of more rather than less now (you can upgrade it later, but it's not sanctioned by Apple and will void your warranty). For 24 cameras I would say go for 16 GB RAM. For 8 cameras, 8 GB should be fine (however if you may expand this system in the future then it might be wise to go for 16 GB now).

    The 3.2 GHz 6-core is around 20% faster than the 3.0 GHz 6-core (according to the Geekbench scores). Whether you need the faster 3.2 GHz model or not would depend on how much CPU usage our calculator predicts for the 3.0 GHz model, and whether you will want to expand your system in the future (more cameras and/or swapping out cameras with higher-resolution models).

    As for local storage, SecuritySpy doesn't use much of this in normal operation. However, if your NAS became unavailable for a period of time (e.g. due to a problem that you don't notice immediately), SecuritySpy will automatically switch to the local storage in order to continue to record. So this would be the most demanding use of the local storage that could potentially happen. Even so, I think the basic 512 GB SSD that comes with the 6-core minis would be fine (unless you plan to run other applications on this Mac that require a lot of local storage themselves of course).
  • Thanks Ben. These will be dedicated to SS. I'll get a bunch of notifications if the NAS becomes unavailable so hopefully that won't be a problem.

    Your calc shows 91% for 3ghz i5 and 78% for 3.2ghz i7 but these are also the older 2018 models so not sure how much different the 2020 models will be. I think this $200 upgrade seems a better use of funds than $400 going from 16 to 32 RAM?

  • The current lineup of Mac minis are the 2018 models. In 2020 Apple increased the amount of default storage, but everything else remained unchanged.

    Based on those results, I would definitely recommend the 3.2 GHz option. Yes, the CPU upgrade would be much more important than the 16 -> 32 GB RAM upgrade.
  • Thanks Ben. Got a 3.2ghz/16gb/10gbps ethernet ordered. Worst case if it's too weak is that is does a smaller system and we invest in the 32gb RAM for the main.
  • Sounds good - this is a powerful machine that should work well for your 24-camera system. Please report back once this is set up, it would be good to get your feedback on this.

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