ANIMAIONIC Supercharges Your Mac Mini With Two GPU’s and Four SSD’s

December 23rd, 2019 icon / message-square 14
ANIMAIONIC Supercharges Your Mac Mini With Two GPU's and Four SSD's

ANIMAIONIC is a docking station for the Mac Mini that adds support for two GPU’s, four SSD’s and a SD card reader.

The Mac Mini packs a lot of performance into a tiny chassis. However, by virtue of its size and integration, it doesn’t have the graphics power or storage flexibility of a larger workstation. ANIMAIONIC is an innovative docking station for the Mac Mini, effectively turning it into a viable alternative to the Mac Pro, for some users at least.

ANIMAIONIC is currently on Kickstarter and looks like a promising solution for post professionals on a budget. There are existing external eGPU solutions such as the Blackmagic Design eGPU and the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box, and Breakaway Puck. It’s also possible to add SSD storage, and all of these attach via Thunderbolt 3. However, ANIMAIONIC offers this expandability in a compact form factor without the extra boxes and cable mess.

ANIMAIONIC Workstation Class Performance

The Mac Mini can be configured with a 6-Core i7 CPU and up to 64GB RAM. This combination is sufficient as a core for many professional post production tasks and resource intensive software. Where the Mac Mini falls short is GPU power, and that’s exactly where ANIMAIONIC steps in.

A dual Radeon RX Vega 56 GPU equipped 6-Core Mac Mini with 32GB RAM beats out the iMac Pro and previous generation 2010 and 2013 Mac Pro’s in the Luxmark score, and is almost neck and neck with the Vega 64 equipped iMac Pro in the GFXBench score.

ANIMAIONIC adds two PCIe slots that can be used to add any GPU’s compatible with MacOS Catalina. Four M.2 SSD slots can add up to 8TB of super fast NVME SSD storage.

Lastly the docking station features an integrated SSD card reader, as well as Thunderbolt 3 port, Ethernet, 2x USB and audio.

The ANIMAIONIC Kickstarter has a goal to raise $654,947 by pre-selling the ANIMAIONIC at discounted super early bird, and early bird pricing as well as a package including two RX5700XT GPU cards and four 2TB SSD drives. Please note, we are saying this at the end of every crowdfunding-related article: please be aware of the risks when baking a project on a crowdfunding platform. Please read the terms of use. Keep in mind that there can be significant delays when delivering the product. Some products even don’t get delivered at all.

What do you think of the ANIMAIONIC? Will you be backing the Kickstarter to get first in line? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

14
Leave a Reply

guest
Filter:
all
Sort by:
latest
Walter Polovchek
Walter Polovchek
Guest
December 27th, 2019

WHAT ARE THE PRICES?

How do you post this whole article without answering the first question anyone would ask?

Member
December 26th, 2019

This is nice if you’re not using Premiere, which doesn’t benefit greatly from GPU power; CPU power is necessary for good performance in Premiere. (AfterEffects, curiously, works great with a faster GPU.)

If you recall, when the mini was upgraded a year or so ago, Apple teased that you would be able to daisy-chain multiple minis together to augment CPU performance. (Our Apple business rep repeated this claim more than once.) But the drive to maximize profits overcame the desire to serve the community, and this feature was never implemented. If they wanted to help out the majority of video editors who use Premiere they would have done this, but they want to push FCPX despite its small percentage of market share.

Also, if they offered a multiple-mini solution, then they would cannibalize future Mac Pro sales, although it has only now become available to pre-order.

I liked Apple a lot more when they were more oriented toward the creative community and not the Wall Street community.

Walter Polovchek
Walter Polovchek
Guest
December 27th, 2019
Reply to  Bruce Hyer

Interesting. I don’t remember Apple talking about this daisy-chaining idea. I guess there’s no reason a third party can’t do distributed processing over Thunderbolt, but making it seamless to applications might require Apple’s involvement.

Ricardo Gomez
Guest
December 24th, 2019

I think it’s a cool product. But when you add the price of a nicely configured Mac mini, you’re in Mac Pro territory.

 John Frank
John Frank
Member
December 24th, 2019

When you have to gimp a mac mini like this…..then a mac mini probably wasn’t the right tool for the job…….the aftermarket third party Apple industry is great though, so many shortcomings to be overcome by third party vendors making up for half arsed and compromised original products.

Walter Polovchek
Walter Polovchek
Guest
December 27th, 2019
Reply to  John Frank

This is an attempt to UNgimp the Mini.

Wayne S
Wayne S
Guest
December 24th, 2019

The Gap below the mini reminds me of an optical disc slot. There should be an optical disc mount or two there. Useful to give clients optical disc BR/DVD copies of weddings etc rather than little loosable USB stick, or other. Front side multicard reader and ports for work. Are any of the drive hot swappable from external access? An display panel on the front with media functionality would make it look nice. Maybe monitor sound levels. Audio interface is another thing. Less external boxes.

Going sideways, what about using it with the laptops/iMac? Bigger market. A custom quick docking cable from laptop to unit, as an future option. Really makes you wonder if it should be flatter and wider or longer? Anyway, they will have enough on their hands.

Wayne S
Wayne S
Guest
December 24th, 2019

You mean, those things in secondhand shops aren’t Apple beer coasters?

 Brian DeViteri
Brian DeViteri
Member
December 23rd, 2019

Products like this illustrate the “need” for an Apple product like a MacMiniPro or something between the current MacMini and the iMac/iMacPro. Most people would be fine with a small desktop and modern Core i9 processor with 128GB+ RAM and add everything else via TB3 boxes, or offer 1-2 PCIe slots built in.

THIS product is kickstarter and not even targeting delivery until May 2020. Fairly good chance the MacMini will see a refresh before then…

Charles-Elie
Guest
December 23rd, 2019

I’m a huge MacMini fan and love this idea! But what about when they update the MacMini and the ports change? Docking becomes useless for the new generation :(

Wayne S
Wayne S
Guest
December 24th, 2019
Reply to  Charles-Elie

This is a heavy hitter, but back in the day of the original coaster, I suggested a much more discrete modular system, where square blade modules would stack up underneath the mini. You could add cards that way. Given todays GPU functions, that could still thermally fit a credible card (in square format, or a laptop version). Pity the mini is not such a big thing.

Wayne S
Wayne S
Guest
December 24th, 2019
Reply to  Charles-Elie

They could make different docking plates, or universally reconfigurable. But Apple could do all sorts of things. A cube again, or a rectangular mini, or just leave it in limbo or replace it. Apple are so iOS, portable and style orientated these days they haven’t been able to see the forest properly.

Walter Polovchek
Walter Polovchek
Guest
December 27th, 2019
Reply to  Wayne S

Oriented, not “orientated.”

Walter Polovchek
Walter Polovchek
Guest
December 27th, 2019
Reply to  Charles-Elie

Shouldn’t matter. This thing connects via Thunderbolt. If the spacing changes, you’ll have to use a regular TB cable and it won’t be as tidy. But it should still work.

Filter:
all
Sort by:
latest

Take part in the CineD community experience