Getting Mac Mini M2 for Shotcut?

Hello everyone.
I was wondering, is it reasonable to get Mac Mini M2 for work with Shotcut? Is there a performance gains like in some apps like Davinci or Premiere, or Shotcut is not optimized for Apple silicon? I already have Ryzen 9 7950x, but I was thinking that M2 is better suited for video editing and encoding. More energy efficient for sure, but will it be really faster?


I did never have a power efficient MAC or want one.
These MAC Minis do only have between 8 to 32GB RAM which are more needed than anything else in video editing. At least 16 GB are needed for usable editing, 32GB is a good size.
If you need good and fast encoders than checkout the ARC 310 card. It is the cheapest GPU supporting h264,h265,vp9 and AV1 encoding.

I build the Shotcut downloadable app on a M1 Mac Mini where I also use it sometimes for development and testing. It works good in general, and it supports hardware encoding H.264 and HEVC. Certain models of M2 and definitely M3 support hardware encoding of ProRes, but I have not tested that. There are optimizations for the Neon SIMD instructions in these ARM CPUs in the software codecs, but not as much as the Intel x86-64’s instruction sets. Definitely, there are some filters have x86-64 optimizations but not ARM. I would not expect it to be faster than a Ryzen 9.

I’ve been interested in this card, but qualified reviews have been hard to find. I’ve only found three models:

  • Sparkle A310 ECO: reportedly has a fan that constantly ramps loudly up and down with no Linux fan control drivers
  • Sparkle A310 ELF: still no fan drivers, but I haven’t heard anyone complain about it’s fan noise yet
  • ASRock A310 Low Profile: haven’t seen any complaints from anyone, but reviews were short and scarce

For a few dollars more, the Sparkle A380 Genie seems to have excellent reviews. Most importantly to me, none of these cards require power connectors from the power supply.

Do you have recommendations or experience with the A310 or A380 cards? My goal is to put them in older desktop computers without upgrading power supplies, so they can stream video with modern codecs. I also need silent fans. And obviously, Shotcut export support under Linux. Any advice is appreciated!

No, I do have no experience with these cards.
Currently I do have a desktop PC i5-9400 32GB RAM and a GTX1660 TI with Manjaro Linux and a laptop i5-8250 with 20GB RAM also with Manjaro Linux.
The desktop PC is significantly faster than my laptop even without GPU acceleration mainly caused by better CPU cooling.
For video editing the codec support and fast CPU RAM to GPU RAM transfers are the key bottlenecks and Intel has done a lot to improve the drivers.

For what it’s worth, I compared exporting the same moderate complexity project (multiple tracks with effects, 1080p30, 2.5 minutes duration) using the H.264 hardware encoder and parallel processing on each:

  • Ryzen 5 5600G with NVENC RTX 4070 on Windows 11 = 00:01:53
  • M1 Mac mini on macOS 12 = 00:01:23

Without hardware encoder (x264):

  • Ryzen 5 = 00:02:11
  • M1 = 00:01:54

Impressive for Apple Silicon without a lot of special optimization, no?


So, for bigger projects, time benefits will be even bigger :thinking: