Spec priority

Hi! I’m looking for information on how best to spec out a computer for use with Mimo. Not much new in the help/forums (but lots of great general suggestions), and no technical info on hardware system requirements for a few versions.

Basically, we’ve got an old iMac that we’re swapping out. I’m wondering what the priority list should be when looking at hardware as far as keeping Mimo happy. We tend to have 2-3 cameras coming in from a Magewell Quad HDMI card, simple graphics, and record/stream the mix.

Right now, we’ve got:

  1. 2015 MacBook Pro Retina - 16GB i5, but Graphics is Intel Iris with 1536MB
  2. Late 2012 iMac - 16GB i7, but Graphics is NVIDIA 650 with only 512MB.

I suppose my question is: is it better to look at a beefier processor, more graphics memory, or the NVIDIA? What should my priority list be (other than buying a new iMac Pro!).

Thanks for any guidance you can offer,


@Sheldon Thanks for using mimoLive!

The reason for this critical information missing is that it depends heavily on a number of factors.

Right now, we’ve got:

  1. 2015 MacBook Pro Retina - 16GB i5, but Graphics is Intel Iris with 1536MB
  2. Late 2012 iMac - 16GB i7, but Graphics is NVIDIA 650 with only 512MB.

Do I understand correctly that you have those 2 machines and want to replace the Late 2012 iMac?

In general, you want to balance processor speed, harddrive speed (get an SSD if at all possible), program memory, graphics memory and the GPU to fit your budget. A newer processor often provides more computing power at lower processor speeds. Smaller memory works better if it is faster. A new i5 beats an older i7.

We did not have a chance to test the new Mac mini, but I guess it would be currently the best value for money. There would only be one issue that would cause us to not recommend it: If the new Mac mini has no hardware H.264 encoders, it would be not a good choice for live streaming. This we will have to verify soon. If you get one, make sure it is the i7 model.

If you want portability, go for a current MacBook Pro 15" Retina, for which we would also recommend the i7.

Since you mentioned the iMac Pro, that would be the top of the list right now.

Hi Oliver! Thank you so much for the response.

Our situation is a bit more interesting - we have a 3-day event starting tomorrow night, and our old (27" 2011 iMac) computer that we’ve been using successfully just failed. We have to replace it, but can’t get anything new for a few weeks. Basically, the 2 computers above are what we have to work with for this event.

Knowing there is no perfect answer, if you had to choose from the above 2 machines, which one might guarantee us the best chance of success?

I’ll certainly watch for your news on the new Mini. That does seem to fit our needs perfectly (except for the timing for tomorrow!).

Have a great day,

@Sheldon My gut feeling would be the iMac, but I would recommend to do some testing. Watch for CPU load in Activity Monitor. Also the Render Performance Monitor in mimoLive is a good indicator.

Thanks for the advice, Oliver! We’re on day 3 of our tournament and things are running fine (once we stopped streaming from Mimo and went to an external encoder). 3 cameras, multiple graphic layers, 2 announcers - running fine for over 20 hours now!

One reason we stick with Mimo is just how easy it is for students to operate. All of our streams are run by kids (from 10 to 17 years old) and they can set it up and operate it independently! Your layered approach to the interface makes it very easy for them!

Thanks for your help,

@sheldon That’s great to hear! Let me know if we can do anything else for you.

BTW, are your broadcasts available publicly? Would you be willing to share one with us so we can post it to the mimoLive showcase page?

@“Oliver (Boinx)” Just wondering whether you have an answer to a question you posed earlier in this thread: Does the new Mac mini have hardware H.264 encoders making it suitable for streaming? cheers.

@Dsal22 I’ve ordered a Mac mini to find out for sure. The specs indicate that it should have H.264 hardware encoders. I think I will get it in the first week of 2019 and I will be sure to post my test results.

@“Oliver (Boinx)” I need to upgrade MBP mid 2012 2.7 GHz i7, 16 GB 1600MHz NVIDIA GT 650M 1024 MB, Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB and though the Mac Mini might be an option after seeing your comment. Apple Australia have a no interest loan offer until Christmas Eve that I would like to take advantage of. If I were to go into the local apple store where they have a Mac mini on display, is it possible to determine in store whether it has hardware encoding? BTW the current Mac performs well but fans are on constantly.

@Dsal22 Of course it is possible to check this in the store. Just download mimoLive and set up some Streaming destinations for testing. Once you are streaming, the streaming panel shows you if you are using hardware or software encoding. I am pretty certain that you can also return the Mac if it’s not working as required.

@“Oliver (Boinx)” I went in to the Apple Store but alas they didn’t allow download to the demo Macs. Since then I bought a Mack Mini 3.2 GHz i7, 16 GB DDR. I can confirm it has hardware encoding. From tests so far it performs well.

@Dsal22 Thanks for the follow-up. That they don’t let you test your apps on the Macs is either new or depends on the store. It used to be an argument for going into the Apple Store…

Thanks for letting me know about the performance of the Mac mini. I’m looking forward to more intensive testing once I get mine mid January.

Oh I’m sure the h.264 encoders are there, those are supported in Intel’s baked on GPU (Quick Sync Video), which dates back to 2011/Sandy Bridge. The real question is how well it supports h.265/HEVC & 4K, supported in Sky/Kaby/Coffee/Whiskey Lake processors.

@“Oliver (Boinx)” which encode/decode engines does MimoLive support?

@kmac1036 I’m pretty sure the support for HEVC is there as Apple is advertising it heavily. Do you know any streaming services that already support HEVC?

mimoLive uses macOS system codecs for encoding live streams and video recordings and for decoding video files. We also use the respective decoders supplied in vendor specific libraries such as Blackmagic and NDI for decoding video sources.

Is there any specific codec you need supported?

teradek & boxcaster devices support it & youtube accepts hevc recorded files, but it looks like as a live stream output I’m not seeing anyone accepting it yet. it’s also not supported in RTMP either, so it’s anyone’s guess if or when, so maybe it’s not as big a concern yet as i thought :-/