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Mac Mini: capable for first time Mac user interested in small video work?

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I've always used Windows machines (work/home) but I'd like to be more well rounded. I've also become interested in editing video (ATSC mpeg2/CANON Vixia R100 AVCHD/60D h.264 mov files).

I want to spend under $1000 for just the desktop excluding peripherals/display. How suitable is a Mac mini for encoding/editing 1080p video? Would I notice a difference in a quad core sandy bridge (refurb) versus new dual core ivy bridge?

As far as final product, I want to make videos with basic transitions, edit audio, and overlay text (with animations if possible). Basically, I really enjoy the videos produced by The Verge. I'll save more advanced editing like color correction for a later time when I'm more serious