Replacement suggestions for studio iMac

Hello everyone,

Well, it seems like it is the end of the road for a true warrior, my 2011 iMac… as it refused to boot up this morning. So here I am to kindly ask you, fellow mimoLive users, for your latest recommendations as to what to look for in a new Mac which will primarily be used to run mimoLive.

My current studio setup:
2 HDMI cameras connected via Thunderbolt (using Blackmagic Mini Recorders)
One of the cameras is for a green screen (it uses the Chroma Keying Basic filter)
1 USB camera (Logitech C920)
External monitor (HDMI) connected via Elgato Thunderbolt dock (set up as a teleprompter but used as a confidence monitor)
MXL 770 condenser microphone connected to a Behringer Q502USB mixer

I mostly use mimoLive for Live streaming (720p30). I use the iMac to stream to YouTube and then send an NDI signal to a MacBook which takes care of streaming to other platforms. I also have regular guests connecting via mimoCall (usually one, sometimes two), use windows capture sources for PowerPoint, Safari and SketchBook, have layers for comments, audio effects, lower thirds… you name it.

I have found some posts with similar requests in this forum, but would be specifically interested in standard Mac configurations (that is, something that is readily available from Apple – not customized – and will not require me to buy an eGPU or whatever). By the way, I’m not familiar with the current graphics cards scenario, so any help to identify the “sweet spot” for those would be much appreciated.

Not to say I’m not willing to invest in anything else, I’m thinking about getting an ATEM Mini to simplify my HDMI camera connection and natively use USB-C.

Thanks in advance! All the best,

Hi Gustavo,

Do not get an ATEM Mini. It only gives you one signal at a time, so you can’t do PiP or anything like it.

What’s your budget?

I think the best option is to get an iMac 27".

Hi there, Oliver!
I guess I have the budget for a 27-inch iMac (maybe in 12 monthly installments… splitting in 2 credit cards…) :slightly_smiling_face:hehheheheh
I thought about the ATEM Mini because I don’t really do multiple angles or PIP or anything like that in the local studio, where I work by myself. But maybe you have a point, and I might stick to yet another pair of adapters.
Would you say that the specific graphics card is not a big deal for this fairly basic setup? (Apple defaults to Radeon Pro 5300 in the most recent 27-inch iMacs).
Thanks a lot!

Hello again! Here’s a question for you and @Achim_Boinx : would you consider M1 to be a game changer (overall and, more specifically, to mimoLive)? The new Mac Mini seems to get some serious business done, even without an external GPU…

Hi Gustavo, the new M1 looks more like entry level systems at the moment. Only 2 Thunderbolt/USB4 ports and max 16 GB RAM, which, don’t forget, has to be shared with the GPU! Regards, Daniel.

Those are certainly exciting announcements.

We don’t know yet exactly how mimoLive will perform on these new machines, especially with the graphics system. It currently may be a big disadvantage if you can’t use an eGPU on those new computers. I have a new Mac mini on order though, so we will know.

But note that currently, neither Blackmagic devices nor NDI is working on Big Sur and the new Apple Silicon Macs.

The shared memory could potentially be a bonus, as a lot of time is used in mimoLive to move data from the main memory to the graphics memory. The question is if the shared memory is fast enough and if the M1 GPU cores are good at moving textures around.

Hi there, @Oliver_Boinx, @RedDev and everyone,

Quick update: I ended up being on the conservative side and ordering a mid-tier 27-inch iMac (6-core i5 CPU, Radeon Pro 5300 with 4GB). Considering the previous one lasted for 8+ years, I guess I’ll have a decent machine for at least a couple World Cups. It’ll take another couple of weeks to arrive, but I’ll let you know how it goes.

As usual, thanks for all the help!
All the best,