Recommendations

Requirements

Millumin requires a Mac computer running macOS. Recent versions of macOS such as Monterey and Ventura are supported.
 More specifically :

  • Millumin V4 requires macOS 10.14 Mojave (or higher).
  • Millumin V3 requires macOS 10.11 El Capitan (or higher).
  • Millumin V2 requires macOS 10.9 Mavericks (or higher).
  • Millumin V1 works from OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard to macOS 10.14 Mojave (included).
     However for technical reasons, Millumin V1 does not work on macOS Catalina (or higher).

Of course, in a production environment, we do not recommend to update on a new macOS version right after its release. You should wait a few months, since Apple engineers usually publish several bug-fixes for the Finder, Wifi, display management, ...
 Also, be sure to check for updates, so you always use the latest version of Millumin.


Apple Silicon

Apple is now using its own processors, the first ones being called Apple M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max and M2. Since V4, Millumin is optimized for both Intel and M1/M2 machines.
 Millumin V2 and V3 are is not optimized for such machines, but Apple translator Rosetta brings decent performances.

Computer


Graphic Card

Millumin mainly uses the graphic card, so the better your GPU is, the better the performances are. When possible, choose a model of computer with a dedicated AMD or Apple Silicon GPU, not with an Intel GPU alone. You can compare graphic cards scores on this website.

On the other hand, an eGPU can be an efficient solution to use high-end GPUs. However, it is not supported by Apple Silicon machines. More info about eGPu in this dedicated article : Can Millumin use an eGPU ?

Here is a test with a MacMini 2018 with an eGPU running 3 x 4K displays (equivalent to 12 x 1080p60 displays) : How to synchronize multiple Datapath Fx4 ?

If you uses multiple graphic cards, keep in mind that real-time rendering can only be processed by a single graphic card at one time, then the result must be transfered to other graphic cards, which is time consuming. Other real-time softwares have this hardware limitation as well.
 Nowadays, this limitation tends to fade away, but in general, a machine with one powerful GPU is better than a machine with several low ones.


Apple Silicon

If you want to buy an Apple Silicon machine, keep in mind that depending on
 the processor family, the number of external displays will be limited :

- 1 external display for Apple M1/M2 machines with an embed screen (MacBook and iMac)

- 2 external displays for Apple M1 machines without any screen (MacMini)

- 2 external displays for Apple M1 Pro machines

- 4 external displays for Apple M1 Max/Ultra machines

However, each external display can run at 4K or higher. If you own a device such as a Datapath FX4 or an AJA HA5-4K, you can get 4 displays out of one Thunderbolt port of these computers.

There are also DisplayLink docks, such as the Plugable one, but from experience frame drops can arise (this may be fixed in later DisplayLink update).


CPU, RAM and Drive

The CPU speed or the RAM size are not that important nowadays, as hardware-acceleration is widely used.

If you got many big files, be sure to use a fast drive (internal SSD or an external RAID drive recommended). Recent computers usually have a very good drive already.

Codecs

The recommendations below are for video codecs. There is no special recommended codec for audio : PCM, ACC, AC3, .. are all good.
 There are 3 codec families that we recommend : ProRes, HAP and H.264/H.265.
 To encode your files easily, please use this nice application : AVF Batch Converter.


ProRes

This is the family we recommend by default. It offers good performance and quality, but file size can be big. Use ProRes-422, but choose ProRes-4444 if your content requires an alpha-channel.
 On Apple M1 Pro/Max/Ultra and M2 machines, decoding is hardware accelerated so it is very efficient (simple Apple M1 machines does not have this feature).


HAP

This codec family offers very good performances because it is mainly decoded by the graphic card directly. File size is quite similar to ProRes. If you have very high resolution (4K or more), it is often the best choice.
 Use HAP or HAP Q (higher quality) if the content does not require an alpha-channel. Otherwise, use HAP Alpha or HAP Alpha Q.
 HAP was commissioned by Vidvox and created by Tom Butterworth. Huge thanks to them.

Recently, a new flavor appears : HAP R. It brings even better quality at the same bitrate of the HAP Q, and Millumin is suportting it. You can use Jokyo Encoder to produce such HAP R files.
 Alternatively, the NotchLC codec is also supported. It is capable to encode in high-quality and in 10-bit (for better rendering especially with gradients). As for the HAP, the decoding is mainly processed by the GPU (which is quite efficient).


H.264/265

This codec is designed for the web, so file size is very small. On the other side, it requires more resources to be decoded, but thank to hardware acceleration, it is not that important nowadays. It is compatible with all other video softwares, despite not very convenient for video editing.
 If you have several layers with big files (2K or 4K), H.264/265 is not a good choice. Also note that it does not support an alpha-channel.


Summary
  • Performances (Intel machines) : HAP > ProRes > H.264/265
  • Performances (Apple M1 machines) : HAP > ProRes > H.264/265
  • Performances (Apple Silicon machines) : ProRes ~ HAP > H.264/265
  • Size : HAP > ProRes > H.264/265
  • Quality : ProRes > HAP > H.264/265

Of course, Millumin supports other codecs such as Photo-JPEG, DV or MPEG-2. The Optimize button may recommend you to convert them to ProRes or HAP.
 If the codec is not supported by Millumin directly, it will try to convert the movie to ProRes. However on macOS Catalina and higher, this conversion is not possible any more, so please use one of this 3 recommended codecs as a best practice.

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