24 responses

  1. Kwowitz
    July 26, 2015

    Holy. Cow.

    I want that Mac Mini server farm!!

    About the Mac Mini: you’re absolutely right, that generation was the best! I don’t know why Apple ‘revamped’ the model and made it weaker than the prior generation, which now sells for $1500+ on third party sites! It was a great Mac, hopefully they put some real effort into the Mac Mini hardware again. Would love to get a quad-core Mini again, maybe with the new Intel Skylake CPU? We can hope!

    • Patrick
      July 27, 2015

      I’m so glad I bought my 2012 Mini when I did. It is a beast, 256 GB SSD, 16 GB of RAM, and it drives two Thunderbolt displays like a boss!

      My only regret, I should have gotten the quad-core.

  2. kazuba
    July 26, 2015

    This is the greatest Mac setup post ever.

    • Christian
      July 26, 2015

      Totally agree.

    • burak
      July 27, 2015


  3. Wharf Xanadu
    July 26, 2015

    Wow this is great. How do you tell the Mac mini to work together on a render farm? Is there an app for that? can I put a bunch of Mac minis on my desk and make them crunch SETI or something? Cool. This is great.

    • Patrick
      July 27, 2015

      Per the comments:

      “SquidNet for the renderfarm, allows different pieces of software to render across multiple computers”


  4. Richard Jellicoe
    July 27, 2015

    What mouse are you using in the second picture?

  5. FezVrasta
    July 27, 2015

    @RichardJellicoe it looks like a Logitech MX performance, l use it as well with my 5k imac

  6. James
    July 27, 2015

    Wow! I’m not sure what else to say!

  7. John
    July 27, 2015


  8. RM
    July 27, 2015

    Nice work – that Mustang looked great!

    • brain
      July 27, 2015

      It actually took me a while to realize the car and scenery was CGI, I thought it was film. Great stuff,

  9. Patrick
    July 27, 2015
  10. Lazarov
    July 27, 2015

    Mac for CGI?

    • Rookie
      July 27, 2015

      Your comment studio is very pro, however. Obviously. No rookie comment there.

    • Brian
      July 27, 2015

      Pixar uses Macs…

  11. Tom
    July 29, 2015

    Wow, Nice! Where do I send my CV? ;-)

  12. robert
    July 30, 2015

    I guess the last tip was ironic, given that they’re pros. Windows workstations from reputable vendors are just as stable in production, and they’re the norm in most CG shops. Unfortunately they also have the better software selection, especially when it comes to plugins and little helper programs, but that’s finally about to change.

  13. Ninja
    November 3, 2015

    Good article, thank you for sharing. Just a quick question, please:

    Are your iMacs Nvidia or AMD? What year manufacture?

    At school I use Maya, C4d, & Adobe suite for CG animation & editing 4K and am considering a maxed out iMac 27″ i7 512 SSD, 32 ram (late 2015), but am concerned about running Maya on an AMD gpu vs. an NVIDIA gpu. I would be grateful for any feedback.

    Thank you!!!

  14. seb
    November 4, 2015

    mac mini’s are a bad choice for a render farm. you get twice the power for half the cost with a supermicro setup. only disadvantage would be noise.

  15. Jim
    January 20, 2016

    Awesome setup!
    Curious… are you using OS X server on the server and what are the advantages of your decision to do so or not.

  16. Nick
    June 22, 2016

    Have to ask.. what kind of mouse pad is that?

  17. Johnny
    July 29, 2016

    I would also love to to know what the extra long black mouse pads are?

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