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ANIMAIONIC – turn your Mac Mini into a Workstation

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Animaionic is an interesting solution that turns your Mac Mini into a full fledged work station.

The Amimaionic is being touted as a docking station for extra graphic cards and SSD drives, making it a long awaited compact alternative to a Mac Pro giant.

Concept

ANIMAIONIC is an innovative approach to an integrated workstation, dedicated to a Mac Mini computer. It has been designed for demanding graphic artists and all creatives expecting greater possibilities and customisation in a minimalistic structure and form.

What is it?

ANIMAIONIC is a docking station for two graphic cards and four SSD drives with a built-in SD card reader – all enclosed in a small and high quality, aluminium box visually matching a Mac Mini design. It has been created exclusively for the purpose of expanding the Mac Mini, taking this great little machine to a much higher level, transforming it into a compact yet powerful macOS workstation.

The Mac Mini is an excellent desktop computer which runs macOS system. Using 6-core processor it can be sufficient even for serious work. It gives the customisation possibilities by allowing to expand RAM memory and to choose a monitor of  preference. The thing is, that Mac Mini features Intel integrated  graphic chip and limited storage which cannot be upgraded. It is fine for office work, internet browsing and basic graphic work but it is not good enough for more demanding tasks, that is why the ANIMAIONIC was created.

What is it capable of?

According to ANIMAIONIC, the workstation gives graphic artists the freedom of choice, comfort and above all speed, as it accelerates the work of all graphic applications. The charts below show the efficiency comparsion of the ANIMAIONIC to the Mac Mini alone, as well as to the iMac Pro and the Mac Pro. These tests are from ANIMAIONIC and we have no way of indipendentally verifying any of the claims.

Graphics Cards

ANIMAIONIC adds to a Mac Mini two PCIe extension slots for all compatible graphic cards supported by the newest Catalina macOS system. Additional graphic cards allow you to speed-up modern professional applications.

Not only Apple, but also other companies leading in creative industry (such as Adobe, Maxon, Redshift, Otoy, Blackmagic, MD, Affinity, Pixelmator, Red Digital Cinema, Foundry, Unity, SideFX, Epic Games) continuously work on optimising their applications to engage the graphic cards.   

SSD drives

ANIMAIONIC provides the Mac Mini with extra four M.2 disk drive slots to increase the Mac Mini mass storage space. 

Using all four NVME SSD drives can amount up to 8TB additional data space.

SD Card reader & Additional ports

ANIMAIONIC has a built-in SD card reader on the front – always handy for uploading photos and videos. 

ANIMAIONIC uses a small, efficient and quiet power supply, suitable for powerful graphic cards and SSD drives. A set of standard ports is accessible at the back (Ethernet, USB-C, HDMI, 2x USB, jack audio). 

Kickstarter Campaign

ANIMAIONIC has just launched a Kickstarter campaign where they are looking to raise $657,498 USD by Sun, January 19 2020.

At the moment you can back the project is the following ways:

  1. Pledge without a reward  US$14. Back it because you believe in it. This holiday season, support a project for no reward, just because it speaks to you.
  2.  Select this reward: Pledge $919 USD (Early Bird). Be the first to get the ANIMAIONIC for the Kickstarter special price (35% OFF retail price).INCLUDES:
    • ANIMAIONIC docking station for Apple Mac Mini. ESTIMATED DELIVERY May 2020. Ships to anywhere in the world.
  3.  Select this reward pledge: $998 USD (Early Bird). Get the Animaionic for the Kickstarter special price (25% OFF retail price) INCLUDES:
    • ANIMAIONIC docking station for Apple Mac Mini.
  4.  Select this reward Pledge: $3,417 USD. Get the ANIMAIONIC XE with TWO Radeon RX5700XT graphic cards and FOUR 2TB SSD drives (8TB total storage space).INCLUDES:
    • ANIMAIONIC docking station for Apple Mac Mini computer
    • TWO Radeon RX5700XT graphic cards
    • FOUR 2TB SSD drives for total 8TB storage.
    • DELIVERY: May 2020. Ships to anywhere in the world.

Thoughts

This is an interesting concept, but it is going to be quite costly to buy, and like any crown funding campaign, there are no guarantees that you will ever receive the product you are backing.

What do you think about this workstation dock? Would you buy one? Let us know in the comments section below.

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