Building a Windows Editing PC and Bootcamping my Mac Mini

I’ve been thinking about building a new editing PC for a while now. I want something with a good GPU. I have a 2012 Mac Mini I use for editing right now and also a 2017 15″ Macbook Pro I use as my daily driver for everything else. I also have an old 2008 Macbook I don’t really use any more (on occasion for something if needed) and just for fun I have an old graphite G3 iMac currently in the closet.

I have been consistently a Mac user at home for ten years now. Since 2010 when I traded my PC to my girlfriend for her late 2008 aluminum Macbook. Before that, I had a couple white Macbooks for a year or so that I used along side my PC tower. But I never went fully Mac up until then because I always had that PC I leaned on.
That said, up until a couple years ago I still used Windows PCs at work to do all my at-work editing. I am a videographer/editor by profession. I used to work full time for a company doing it while also freelancing at home on the side. I was using a PC at work and macs at home. So it has only been a couple years (since leaving that company) since I have touched a Windows box.

I just found out my 2012 Mac Mini can’t be upgraded to OS11, which kinda sucks since I like the look of that OS. I know I’m probably one of the few that do. Of course I don’t know if I would run it anyway, depends if it’s stable. I’m running Mojave on it right now and even that was a recent and unexpected upgrade. I was running El Capitan for years and happy with that, but then my drive crashed and I needed to reinstall and all I could get was Mojave. Which killed my 32bit support in Premiere Pro and I was upset about that, because now I have to recapture or convert all my old DV tape captures I did a few years ago.

(Unboxing my Mac Mini in 2013)

I thought about maybe just getting another new Mac instead of building a PC. Since everything else I have is Mac right now. Maybe get a Mac Mini with an external GPU, but the price of that is about as much as an iMac and I need a new screen anyway. So I decided to wait for WWDC to see if there was a new iMac announcement. Nothing. But with Macs now in flux do to the architecture switchover, it probably isn’t a good time to buy a Mac anyway. I’m sure Apple will support these recent machines for the next 5-8 years, maybe. But how much support? Will they be treated like the red-headed step-child? Will they get all the features of the new OS upgrades? Who knows?

It feels like I just bought my 2012 Mac Mini (bought it in 2013) and already it’s no longer allowed any new OS upgrades. Do I sound bitter? I kind of am. Even though I know Apple has to cut machines off at some point, I can’t help but think Microsoft would happily allow me to install their new OS even on a decade+ old machine.

It seems like, if I’m going to go the x86 route, I’d be better off on Windows at the moment. With so many Wintel users out there I doubt that even if Microsoft starts to make a move toward ARM again, it will be anywhere near as soon or as quick as Apple. Not to mention I’ll get a lot of bang for my buck building a PC tower for editing versus buying a Mac Mini or even an iMac (despite its nice screen – it’s still at least twice the price).

Which leads me to my 2012 Mac Mini. I’m sure it will run for years and years without a problem on Mojave. But I also use it as a file server and not just my current editing machine. Which means it has all my hard drives hooked up to it. In order to bring it into sync with my new PC build, I’m thinking of bootcamping it into Windows 10 and just using it that way. I’ll try it out anyway. See how that goes.

I still like Apple products for the most part and as I said, OS11 looks cool. I’ll also have my current Macs for years. I’m also an iPhone user and have been for a long time. A couple of stints with Android aside. So I don’t think Apple is going away in my life. But I’m also not as enamored by what the company is doing like I was in the days of Steve Jobs. Although ironically I’ve used a Mac for consistently longer in the post-Jobs era than during it. But that mostly had to do with getting older and acquiring the financing to be able to finally afford the Macs I had always wanted during the Jobs era. There was no shortage of Mac lust during the 2000s on my part. Although unfortunately they got a lot more boring looking and less-inspired overall after losing him. Not to mention increasingly less upgradable with an OS that used to be rock solid and has become ever more rough to say the least.

So I’m not as in love with the Mac as I used to be. I still enjoy it, but I don’t love it anymore. Which means it’s probably a good time to save some money and risk and build that PC.

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