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Old Aug 21, 2012, 04:27 PM   #1
macuser86
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How much better is the AMD Radeon HD 6630M then...

How much better is the AMD Radeon HD 6630M then say the Intel HD Graphics 3000 or 4000? The current mac mini base models is sporting the 3000 and its almost a given the next base mac mini will be sporting a 4000.

Im in a horrible spot where I NEED a computer right now and simply cannot wait for the next mac mini whether it comes out in 1 month or 4. I thought I could but its just not possible. I need a computer right now and between the base model mac mini and the next one up to me at least the biggest difference is the graphics and the big thing I was hoping to gain from the next mac mini was graphics and usb 3.0. Since I cant wait I will have to live without usb 3.0 but Im wondering how does the AMD Radeon HD 6630M stack up against the future Intel HD 4000 and current 3000.

In pertinence to my specific situation I can tell you that I dont game on my computer but I do run CS5 and Adobe LR3. Mostly Im just editing still images in photoshop or lightroom. I guess the only other thing I do pressure my computer with is loading multiple flash video's online and running multiple applications at the same time. When Im using photoshop or lightroom I tend to just run them alone and close all other apps. I like to check out 1080p vid's online where available as well.


Given the above is it worth me jumping up to a AMD Radeon HD 6630M model or will the Intel HD Graphics 3000 suffice? Price difference here is $200 in which basically all I value for the extra 200 is the graphics as I will be putting in my own 16GB of RAM and SSD in either computer.


Thanks for your help in advance! I wish I could wait for the next mac mini but Im currently on a borrowed computer and need my own asap.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 04:46 PM   #2
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You can see the results on this benchmark site. Do a search using Ctrl+F to find the cards.

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php

In simple terms the HD 3000 is the 354th most powerful graphics card you can get.

The 6630M is the 271st most powerful.

and the HD 4000 is 269th most powerful card you can buy. So not much between that and the 6630M really. I don't think you can get his on the current mac mini though.

I think the benchmark is raw processing power of the GPU, not how the cards deal with specific video features. Could be wrong though.

Personally I would get the 6630M. You will probably get more life out of our mini. Unlike a pc, you can't just swap it in the future when things start to struggle a bit.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 05:14 PM   #3
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Personally I would get the 6630M. You will probably get more life out of our mini. Unlike a pc, you can't just swap it in the future when things start to struggle a bit.

This is what I find ridiculous. I hate the fact that the CPU and GPU are soldered to the logicboard. I would rather get the base model, swap out CPU, GPU, RAM, and install at least one SSD. Have a very high powered computer with the Mini's footprint. AMAZING for what I would be using it for, yet completely sleek and hidden if need be.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 05:28 PM   #4
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You can see the results on this benchmark site. Do a search using Ctrl+F to find the cards.

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php

In simple terms the HD 3000 is the 354th most powerful graphics card you can get.

The 6630M is the 271st most powerful.

and the HD 4000 is 269th most powerful card you can buy. So not much between that and the 6630M really. I don't think you can get his on the current mac mini though.

I think the benchmark is raw processing power of the GPU, not how the cards deal with specific video features. Could be wrong though.

Personally I would get the 6630M. You will probably get more life out of our mini. Unlike a pc, you can't just swap it in the future when things start to struggle a bit.
thanks for info. I appreciate it. I guess I am stuck between a tough spot at the moment.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 05:34 PM   #5
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This is what I find ridiculous. I hate the fact that the CPU and GPU are soldered to the logicboard. I would rather get the base model, swap out CPU, GPU, RAM, and install at least one SSD. Have a very high powered computer with the Mini's footprint. AMAZING for what I would be using it for, yet completely sleek and hidden if need be.
Yeah I know what you mean. Definitely max out the RAM. It is also pretty easy to put in an SSD.

I just put an SSD in my PC and I can say it is absolutely amazing - the best upgrade ever for a system. I didn't believe all the talk until I experienced it myself. Super responsive.

With the mac mini, the processors are pretty decent. I have an AMD Athlon II X2, 3.2 GHZ processor. It is absolutely rubbish processor compared to any current Intel processor, however you wouldn't know it with the SSD. So in terms of the mini, the processor should last a long time.

I think the trade off on the mac mini comes with the graphics card. I have just put a HD 7750 in my PC. Not the best card you can buy, but an excellent, powerful upgrade for me, enough to play most new games comfortably at 1080p and more than enough for graphics and video encoding.

With that in mind, that is why I would get the absolute best card in the mac mini you can buy, but of course it is your choice.

Edit.

Lets hope something like the 7650M gets put in the next min as an option.

Last edited by guitarlord; Aug 21, 2012 at 05:46 PM. Reason: More info
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by macuser86 View Post
How much better is the AMD Radeon HD 6630M then say the Intel HD Graphics 3000 or 4000? The current mac mini base models is sporting the 3000 and its almost a given the next base mac mini will be sporting a 4000.

Im in a horrible spot where I NEED a computer right now and simply cannot wait for the next mac mini whether it comes out in 1 month or 4. I thought I could but its just not possible. I need a computer right now and between the base model mac mini and the next one up to me at least the biggest difference is the graphics and the big thing I was hoping to gain from the next mac mini was graphics and usb 3.0. Since I cant wait I will have to live without usb 3.0 but Im wondering how does the AMD Radeon HD 6630M stack up against the future Intel HD 4000 and current 3000.

In pertinence to my specific situation I can tell you that I dont game on my computer but I do run CS5 and Adobe LR3. Mostly Im just editing still images in photoshop or lightroom. I guess the only other thing I do pressure my computer with is loading multiple flash video's online and running multiple applications at the same time. When Im using photoshop or lightroom I tend to just run them alone and close all other apps. I like to check out 1080p vid's online where available as well.


Given the above is it worth me jumping up to a AMD Radeon HD 6630M model or will the Intel HD Graphics 3000 suffice? Price difference here is $200 in which basically all I value for the extra 200 is the graphics as I will be putting in my own 16GB of RAM and SSD in either computer.


Thanks for your help in advance! I wish I could wait for the next mac mini but Im currently on a borrowed computer and need my own asap.
If you're going to start a thread, you ought to at least use spell check.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 05:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bAdNitro View Post
This is what I find ridiculous. I hate the fact that the CPU and GPU are soldered to the logicboard. I would rather get the base model, swap out CPU, GPU, RAM, and install at least one SSD. Have a very high powered computer with the Mini's footprint. AMAZING for what I would be using it for, yet completely sleek and hidden if need be.
Planned obsolescence. Apple wants you to buy a new computer every 2-3 years because your slightly older computer will no longer be allowed to run the newest OS, even though the features in the new OS are nothing special, and don't require any advanced video graphics capabilities.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 06:05 PM   #8
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Yeah I know what you mean. Definitely max out the RAM. It is also pretty easy to put in an SSD.

I just put an SSD in my PC and I can say it is absolutely amazing - the best upgrade ever for a system. I didn't believe all the talk until I experienced it myself. Super responsive.

With the mac mini, the processors are pretty decent. I have an AMD Athlon II X2, 3.2 GHZ processor. It is absolutely rubbish processor compared to any current Intel processor, however you wouldn't know it with the SSD. So in terms of the mini, the processor should last a long time.

I think the trade off on the mac mini comes with the graphics card. I have just put a HD 7750 in my PC. Not the best card you can buy, but an excellent, powerful upgrade for me, enough to play most new games comfortably at 1080p and more than enough for graphics and video encoding.

With that in mind, that is why I would get the absolute best card in the mac mini you can buy, but of course it is your choice.

Exactly my point though. I was speaking on a cost factor alone. Swapping the base Mini's CPU with something better would be around the same price as jumping to the mid model which is $300 more than the base (with the 2.7ghz i7 upgrade) but you would have the added ability of upgrading later which adds more value than anything.

My dream mini would be a base model, with an Intel Core i7-3770 processor, GeForce 9500 GT GPU, 16GB RAM, and 1 or 2 OCZ Vertex 4 SSDs (with possibly an external 1-2TB HDD).

Imagine what you can do with a computer with those specs and a footprint less than a square foot. Possibilities are endless. Create TONS of space in the workplace or in the home office while still being able to compete with any other BTO windows OR Mac computers/laptops

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Planned obsolescence. Apple wants you to buy a new computer every 2-3 years because your slightly older computer will no longer be allowed to run the newest OS, even though the features in the new OS are nothing special, and don't require any advanced video graphics capabilities.
Couldn't have said it better myself. This is why Apple thrives as a company though. Because their equipment works 100% of the time, usually without any hitches, they can get away with making "old" computers obsolete because they know without a doubt, Mac users will continue to buy new products, knowing they'll get a 100% compatibility rate with other iOS/OSX devices.

That's also why they charge double for their systems, compared to a windows machine with the same processors and specs.

But again, that's why apple thrives. Great business practice, shotty customer service practice.
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Old Aug 21, 2012, 06:35 PM   #9
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If you're going to start a thread, you ought to at least use spell check.
So maybe I spelled a few words wrong in my post is it really that big of a deal? Last time I checked this wasn't an English paper I submitted in university but a forum.

If you don't have anything valuable to contribute to the thread then maybe don't post Mr. Grammar & Spell Check police. Just because I asked for help doesn't mean you have to be an a$$ to me.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 12:28 AM   #10
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So maybe I spelled a few words wrong in my post is it really that big of a deal? Last time I checked this wasn't an English paper I submitted in university but a forum.

If you don't have anything valuable to contribute to the thread then maybe don't post Mr. Grammar & Spell Check police. Just because I asked for help doesn't mean you have to be an a$$ to me.
he probably has OCD and Assburgers. They obsess over every stupid detail.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 09:10 AM   #11
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thanks for info. I appreciate it. I guess I am stuck between a tough spot at the moment.
The test is rather outdated. Look at the description. Testing with 7 planes, 200 trees on a 600x800 pixel window on Direct X 9 is not really up to today's standards.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Rad...M.43963.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-H...0.69168.0.html
Here you can compare many real time scores. The result is quite the same though. They score roughly the same. Sometimes the 6630 wins, sometimes the HD4000.

So HD4000 will give very capable results, and it is 22nm so it runs way cooler than the current 40nm HD6630.
Apple will settle with the HD4000 probably and get the energy use further down rather than increase the performance over the current model.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 11:19 AM   #12
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If you're going to start a thread, you ought to at least use spell check.
Why waste your own time posting if it is useless to the topic? Spelling was fine, a small child should read this without an issue.

I can speak on the HD3000 and 6630m, but haven't owned a mac with HD4000 graphics yet. IMO the HD3000 gets spanked in real performance by the 6630m. Although the hd4000 is supposedly quite an improvement over the previous model, I don't see it competing closely with the dedicated graphics of the 6630m yet. That is just my opinion though. I was surprised to be able to run Starcraft, WoW, and League of Legends on fairly high settings in 1080p, the 6630 is no slouch even with only 256mb Vram!
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 12:06 PM   #13
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The test is rather outdated. Look at the description. Testing with 7 planes, 200 trees on a 600x800 pixel window on Direct X 9 is not really up to today's standards.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Rad...M.43963.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-H...0.69168.0.html
Here you can compare many real time scores. The result is quite the same though. They score roughly the same. Sometimes the 6630 wins, sometimes the HD4000.

So HD4000 will give very capable results, and it is 22nm so it runs way cooler than the current 40nm HD6630.
Apple will settle with the HD4000 probably and get the energy use further down rather than increase the performance over the current model.
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Originally Posted by lilsoccakid74 View Post
Why waste your own time posting if it is useless to the topic? Spelling was fine, a small child should read this without an issue.

I can speak on the HD3000 and 6630m, but haven't owned a mac with HD4000 graphics yet. IMO the HD3000 gets spanked in real performance by the 6630m. Although the hd4000 is supposedly quite an improvement over the previous model, I don't see it competing closely with the dedicated graphics of the 6630m yet. That is just my opinion though. I was surprised to be able to run Starcraft, WoW, and League of Legends on fairly high settings in 1080p, the 6630 is no slouch even with only 256mb Vram!

Looks like the 6630 is the winner then. I guess if Im going to get a mac mini before the next gen then I should seriously consider getting the 6630 model as it will at least be somewhat future proof. I suppose for the extra $200 I do also get a little bit better intel i5 2.5Ghz over the 2.3Ghz i5 as well.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 12:34 PM   #14
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If you're going to start a thread, you ought to at least use spell check.
Technically it's grammar
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 12:38 PM   #15
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Looks like the 6630 is the winner then. I guess if Im going to get a mac mini before the next gen then I should seriously consider getting the 6630 model as it will at least be somewhat future proof. I suppose for the extra $200 I do also get a little bit better intel i5 2.5Ghz over the 2.3Ghz i5 as well.
Nothing is future proof . If the macbook pro line was any indication, the gpu gains this round should be reasonably significant. I think the one they used in the mini was somewhat dictated by power consumption. It was more powerful than the 6490m used in the cheapest early 2011 15". It was less powerful than the 6750/6770m seen in the other macbook pros and lower tier imacs.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 12:42 PM   #16
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Nothing is future proof . If the macbook pro line was any indication, the gpu gains this round should be reasonably significant. I think the one they used in the mini was somewhat dictated by power consumption. It was more powerful than the 6490m used in the cheapest early 2011 15". It was less powerful than the 6750/6770m seen in the other macbook pros and lower tier imacs.
that's true. but you know what im saying... as future proof as possible. I know that doesn't mean much with any tech these days really.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 01:20 PM   #17
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that's true. but you know what im saying... as future proof as possible. I know that doesn't mean much with any tech these days really.
Yeah I was just saying the gains should be reasonably good on the criteria you're considering. I misread a bit. Apparently you don't game. Photoshop and LR do next to nothing in terms of gpu. Look at their system requirements. Things that matter are OpenGL version that is supported by the machine, vram, and to OpenCL compliance. The AMD version is starved on vram. During beta they were going to set the minimum at 512 with the suggested at 1GB. The next version of PS probably won't support these features with less than 512 ruling out that AMD version. Oddly it wouldn't rule out the integrated graphics assuming you install at least 8GB of ram. You have to look at these things in perspective. You're not using it for gaming, so the requirements are different. The HD4000 is supposed to support OpenCL as well.

I'm not sure if Adobe has added the HD4000 to the supported list for Mercury Engine/OpenCL acceleration. If they have, you would see an improvement with some filter functions such as liquify, iris blur, etc. I haven't tested the whole list, but liquify, puppet warp, and shear are the only ones I might touch regularly, and even then I don't do much to the mesh. Some of those damn things are really grossly overused.

Anyway my point would be not to invest in the wrong things. For a photographer my prior suggestion would have been the mini server with 16GB of ram. It gives a nice snappy machine and 16GB means you can allocate quite a lot to PS. This gives you nice instant brush strokes with no slight lag and quick updates when tuning adjustment layers. As for right now, my suggestion would probably be base ivy mini. Given the inclusion of OpenCL functions in CS6, maybe an updated discrete mini assuming the HD4000 isn't placed on the supported list. Overall I don't think that extra $200 or whatever would pay you back in extended machine longevity. I'm still suggesting 16GB of ram as it's below $100 and with LR + PS open, holding everything in ram means a lot of it. Back when these were 32 bit applications, they relied on the disks quite a lot. Given that modern machines can take an enormous amount of ram, I'd rather not rely on virtual memory or force the computer into pageouts.

I hope this helps. Last thing would be check the refurbished section. Given when you're buying, I'd probably say minimize your expenses and just go low end refurbished if the savings is significant, or check Amazon, B+H, etc. for better deals. Just be aware that their return policies differ from Apple's. With Apple if it comes out within so many days, you could always do an exchange.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 01:50 PM   #18
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Yeah I was just saying the gains should be reasonably good on the criteria you're considering. I misread a bit. Apparently you don't game. Photoshop and LR do next to nothing in terms of gpu. Look at their system requirements. Things that matter are OpenGL version that is supported by the machine, vram, and to OpenCL compliance. The AMD version is starved on vram. During beta they were going to set the minimum at 512 with the suggested at 1GB. The next version of PS probably won't support these features with less than 512 ruling out that AMD version. Oddly it wouldn't rule out the integrated graphics assuming you install at least 8GB of ram. You have to look at these things in perspective. You're not using it for gaming, so the requirements are different. The HD4000 is supposed to support OpenCL as well.

I'm not sure if Adobe has added the HD4000 to the supported list for Mercury Engine/OpenCL acceleration. If they have, you would see an improvement with some filter functions such as liquify, iris blur, etc. I haven't tested the whole list, but liquify, puppet warp, and shear are the only ones I might touch regularly, and even then I don't do much to the mesh. Some of those damn things are really grossly overused.

Anyway my point would be not to invest in the wrong things. For a photographer my prior suggestion would have been the mini server with 16GB of ram. It gives a nice snappy machine and 16GB means you can allocate quite a lot to PS. This gives you nice instant brush strokes with no slight lag and quick updates when tuning adjustment layers. As for right now, my suggestion would probably be base ivy mini. Given the inclusion of OpenCL functions in CS6, maybe an updated discrete mini assuming the HD4000 isn't placed on the supported list. Overall I don't think that extra $200 or whatever would pay you back in extended machine longevity. I'm still suggesting 16GB of ram as it's below $100 and with LR + PS open, holding everything in ram means a lot of it. Back when these were 32 bit applications, they relied on the disks quite a lot. Given that modern machines can take an enormous amount of ram, I'd rather not rely on virtual memory or force the computer into pageouts.

I hope this helps. Last thing would be check the refurbished section. Given when you're buying, I'd probably say minimize your expenses and just go low end refurbished if the savings is significant, or check Amazon, B+H, etc. for better deals. Just be aware that their return policies differ from Apple's. With Apple if it comes out within so many days, you could always do an exchange.
You know what this makes complete sense to me. The most relevant info I have seen to my specific situation. I think Im just going to get the base mac mini that's out right now and when the next mac mini comes out if it has significant upgrades useful for my purposes I will just take a loss sell it and get the new one at that time. Like I said I dont do any gaming on my computers. I have a feeling since no mac mini's have shown up in benchmark testing it wont be coming till next year anyways now.

Im pretty heavy on the burn and dodge tools along with liquify in photoshop as well and create a lot of layers.

Im going to add 16GB of RAM and a 120GB SSD to the mac mini. Hopefully the RAM and SSD can just be taken out of this mac mini and put into the next gen version without issue.

Thanks for your help!
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 02:16 PM   #19
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You know what this makes complete sense to me. The most relevant info I have seen to my specific situation. I think Im just going to get the base mac mini that's out right now and when the next mac mini comes out if it has significant upgrades useful for my purposes I will just take a loss sell it and get the new one at that time. Like I said I dont do any gaming on my computers. I have a feeling since no mac mini's have shown up in benchmark testing it wont be coming till next year anyways now.

Im pretty heavy on the burn and dodge tools along with liquify in photoshop as well and create a lot of layers.

Im going to add 16GB of RAM and a 120GB SSD to the mac mini. Hopefully the RAM and SSD can just be taken out of this mac mini and put into the next gen version without issue.

Thanks for your help!
No problem man. I think that's the right choice. In terms of capable integrated gpus, Haswell should be another nice step up there. If for some reason you do decide to jump on Ivy, both can use the same ram. Crucial tested some 1600 MHZ ram with the mini and Ivy supports the 1333 type, so you could always pass that on. Just click show all compatible computer memory. For your uses 1333 vs 1600 shouldn't make a big difference either way. If you switch minis, just put the same ram in the ivy machine.

If you buy your mini from Apple and one comes out within your return period, I'd just exchange. I definitely think 16GB is worth it especially if you're big on the dodge/burn tools. I can draw just as well on paper, and I can do super smooth strokes in PS, so any tiny bit of lag is just pretty maddening to me. I usually suggest Crucial for ram. It's around $95 from them or a little cheaper via newegg. If you purchase directly from Crucial through their memory finder, they guarantee compatibility with Macs, but the stuff from newegg is fine too. You should still run memtest in single user mode after installing new ram to make sure everything is fine. It's possible to get bad sticks, and you want to know sooner rather than later. Other than that, enjoy your new machine. If you're buying from Apple a refurbished 2011 mini is $519. That would be one way to minimize potential losses.

Okay I seriously type too much.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 02:28 PM   #20
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No problem man. I think that's the right choice. In terms of capable integrated gpus, Haswell should be another nice step up there. If for some reason you do decide to jump on Ivy, both can use the same ram. Crucial tested some 1600 MHZ ram with the mini and Ivy supports the 1333 type, so you could always pass that on. Just click show all compatible computer memory. For your uses 1333 vs 1600 shouldn't make a big difference either way. If you switch minis, just put the same ram in the ivy machine.

If you buy your mini from Apple and one comes out within your return period, I'd just exchange. I definitely think 16GB is worth it especially if you're big on the dodge/burn tools. I can draw just as well on paper, and I can do super smooth strokes in PS, so any tiny bit of lag is just pretty maddening to me. I usually suggest Crucial for ram. It's around $95 from them or a little cheaper via newegg. If you purchase directly from Crucial through their memory finder, they guarantee compatibility with Macs, but the stuff from newegg is fine too. You should still run memtest in single user mode after installing new ram to make sure everything is fine. It's possible to get bad sticks, and you want to know sooner rather than later. Other than that, enjoy your new machine. If you're buying from Apple a refurbished 2011 mini is $519. That would be one way to minimize potential losses.

Okay I seriously type too much.
yup sounds great. This is all great info for myself so type away. I am going to get the refurb directly from Apple tonight at 519. Ill be sure to run the memtest.

Crucial sounds good for ram. Im going to just get the 1333. Its sufficient.

Any suggestions for a ssd? I was thinking OCZ Vertex 4 or Samsung 830... any input there? Mini 2011 is Sata III, correct? So I should be all set to swap this ssd into the next mac mini as well I think.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 03:15 PM   #21
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yup sounds great. This is all great info for myself so type away. I am going to get the refurb directly from Apple tonight at 519. Ill be sure to run the memtest.

Crucial sounds good for ram. Im going to just get the 1333. Its sufficient.

Any suggestions for a ssd? I was thinking OCZ Vertex 4 or Samsung 830... any input there? Mini 2011 is Sata III, correct? So I should be all set to swap this ssd into the next mac mini as well I think.
Samsung is supposed to be quite reliable. If I was buying one right now, I'd probably go that route. I don't keep up with the latest ssds as much as others though. I paid very little attention to them until they were just low enough to stick a 512 or whatever it was into my notebook. My mac pro is still running HDDs, but it's old so it's actually slower than the notebook. I can't remember what I have in this one. 16GB is a great deal though. It used to be quite costly if you're doing it with a notebook. Now it's around the same as you'd pay on an imac spacing it out over 4 sticks. In terms of photoshop, everyone has different habits. I use it frequently. I keep all layers labeled. When it was still a 32 bit program, it wasn't like it was as fast. To get it tolerable with large files meant low history states + thumbnails turned off or very fast scratch disks. Now you can afford to ignore much of that, which is great. You can figure a certain amount of ram for other applications and the OS with photoshop taking a large chunk and just holding everything in ram. I really like this for illustration or retouch work (something I'm trying to do less of as it doesn't pay as well as it once did). I think with the cheap price of ram, you might as well hold everything in ram. A few years ago that just wasn't an option.

Where I think Adobe is kind of behind right now is really in the 3d realm. It keeps becoming more prominent in advertising and things as it's a great tool. Raytracers improve with further research. Some of the shading solutions out of the box have gotten ridiculously good and flexible via custom node/input/output setups. Programs like photoshop are unlikely to catch up in terms of modeling tools and shader libraries in the near future, but I'd like to see some of this stuff get to a level where you can output raw data passes to photoshop and implement major adjustments there. It could essentially bake the passes with the inclusion of secondary lighting and give you access to un-rasterized data with photoshop rendering at least a preview in semi real time. My thoughts on the subject get more detailed than this, but I just see all of these things as tools for making images.

I see the concept of a completely 2d based paint program to be a little bit archaic even though it works really well for some stuff. Right now their 2d/3d mode is a little awkward. You could have a program where the current style of canvas design functions more like an orthographic view where elements from different photos and things could be projected relative to this view on flat planes or detailed meshes. This would trivialize composite work somewhat, but I think much of the work in these areas comes down to creative judgement rather than raw technical knowledge.

I am rambling again. I just don't like the way they implemented 3d. It kind of sits there and has since CS3. They could have done a much better job if they really wanted to get behind it.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 03:33 PM   #22
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Samsung is supposed to be quite reliable. If I was buying one right now, I'd probably go that route. I don't keep up with the latest ssds as much as others though. I paid very little attention to them until they were just low enough to stick a 512 or whatever it was into my notebook. My mac pro is still running HDDs, but it's old so it's actually slower than the notebook. I can't remember what I have in this one. 16GB is a great deal though. It used to be quite costly if you're doing it with a notebook. Now it's around the same as you'd pay on an imac spacing it out over 4 sticks. In terms of photoshop, everyone has different habits. I use it frequently. I keep all layers labeled. When it was still a 32 bit program, it wasn't like it was as fast. To get it tolerable with large files meant low history states + thumbnails turned off or very fast scratch disks. Now you can afford to ignore much of that, which is great. You can figure a certain amount of ram for other applications and the OS with photoshop taking a large chunk and just holding everything in ram. I really like this for illustration or retouch work (something I'm trying to do less of as it doesn't pay as well as it once did). I think with the cheap price of ram, you might as well hold everything in ram. A few years ago that just wasn't an option.

Where I think Adobe is kind of behind right now is really in the 3d realm. It keeps becoming more prominent in advertising and things as it's a great tool. Raytracers improve with further research. Some of the shading solutions out of the box have gotten ridiculously good and flexible via custom node/input/output setups. Programs like photoshop are unlikely to catch up in terms of modeling tools and shader libraries in the near future, but I'd like to see some of this stuff get to a level where you can output raw data passes to photoshop and implement major adjustments there. It could essentially bake the passes with the inclusion of secondary lighting and give you access to un-rasterized data with photoshop rendering at least a preview in semi real time. My thoughts on the subject get more detailed than this, but I just see all of these things as tools for making images.

I see the concept of a completely 2d based paint program to be a little bit archaic even though it works really well for some stuff. Right now their 2d/3d mode is a little awkward. You could have a program where the current style of canvas design functions more like an orthographic view where elements from different photos and things could be projected relative to this view on flat planes or detailed meshes. This would trivialize composite work somewhat, but I think much of the work in these areas comes down to creative judgement rather than raw technical knowledge.

I am rambling again. I just don't like the way they implemented 3d. It kind of sits there and has since CS3. They could have done a much better job if they really wanted to get behind it.

I hear you on the 3D stuff. A lot of people in the creative arts industry are complaining about the same stuff at the moment. Im not really all that involved with 3d work so I haven't paid much attention to it. Just the odd tid-bit here and there. Personally I was just really happy that I finally found a machine when I got my mbp (now sold) back in 08' that could handle the huge files coming out of the 5D Mark II at the time as all Windows machines I had used to date would just struggle immensely with them. Obviously this is a non-issue now.

Photoshop (CS5/CS6 and its programs in general) is a real memory hog. I try do as much of my editing work in Lightroom as much as possible then I bring it into photoshop. That's my basic workflow for editing. Your damn right about just being able to buy cheap ram now and going that route. Before I had dedicated partition on my HDD for photoshop for scratch (which helped a lot actually).

I think I will look into the SSD's a bit more before buying but it seems no one has any complaints about the Samsung 830. Ive read the drivers for the OCZ SSD's can be a little finicky.

Oh and by the way already purchased the Mac Mini base model for $519 from Apple. It will be on its way to me soon. Thanks A LOT for your help in deciding. I think I made the right choice. The extra $200 saved can essentially get me 16gb of ram and a 120gb ssd give or take a few dollars.
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Old Aug 22, 2012, 04:08 PM   #23
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I hear you on the 3D stuff. A lot of people in the creative arts industry are complaining about the same stuff at the moment. Im not really all that involved with 3d work so I haven't paid much attention to it. Just the odd tid-bit here and there. Personally I was just really happy that I finally found a machine when I got my mbp (now sold) back in 08' that could handle the huge files coming out of the 5D Mark II at the time as all Windows machines I had used to date would just struggle immensely with them. Obviously this is a non-issue now.

Photoshop (CS5/CS6 and its programs in general) is a real memory hog. I try do as much of my editing work in Lightroom as much as possible then I bring it into photoshop. That's my basic workflow for editing. Your damn right about just being able to buy cheap ram now and going that route. Before I had dedicated partition on my HDD for photoshop for scratch (which helped a lot actually).

I think I will look into the SSD's a bit more before buying but it seems no one has any complaints about the Samsung 830. Ive read the drivers for the OCZ SSD's can be a little finicky.

Oh and by the way already purchased the Mac Mini base model for $519 from Apple. It will be on its way to me soon. Thanks A LOT for your help in deciding. I think I made the right choice. The extra $200 saved can essentially get me 16gb of ram and a 120gb ssd give or take a few dollars.
Dedicated partitions aren't always a very good idea. If for some reason it has to do any kind of pageouts or access the drive regularly for system data, that can be a lot of skipping, especially during saves. In general I tend to suggest turning off spotlight to anything which is being used for scratch disks. If you're using it on the boot drive, this can be done via system folders. I always run Disk Warrior, but it's around $100 and there isn't an updated boot method. They're still using the boot disk, so it's hard for me to recommend it at the moment. The 120GB ssd isn't bad. Obviously that won't hold too much. If it's being thrashed with constant photoshop stuff, you're more likely to run into the limits of how many times NAND can be rewritten. That's kind of why I think ram is a better idea than smaller SSDs where the same space will be written over and over repeatedly.

When it comes to shopping for a machine, I view things differently than some others on this site. I look at the entire matrix of required electronics that are required and regard them as sunken costs. If it comes to one thing delivering smoother performance than another, I see that as justifiable. It's just that these low end kinds of upgrades deliver little value to the final product. By the time this one feels slow, every mini from 2011 will be outpaced by the lowest newer option. I wouldn't be surprised if you see quad minis standard in 2014. Intel is further boosting integrated graphics in their mainstream options in 2013. 2014 is the next process shrink. That would be the logical time as they might be able to allocate more cores without significantly hampering clock speed. Ivy already has one 35W QM chip, yet it's kind of expensive.

By the way, I don't see photoshop as that big of a ram hog. It's just that it's storing many versions of the same thing in an addressable space. Painter and some of the others are ram hungry too. One thing that pleases me is that CS6 at least brought brushes up to par. The prior brushes aggravated me immensely as they refused to do certain motions smoothly. I had to set tilt sensitivity to maximum and adjust a few settings to get it to be usable. Now it's much better. I tested against other paint applications and drawing on paper to make sure it wasn't me. The new ones are just much easier to control and the size jitter to pressure response is much nicer.
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Old Aug 23, 2012, 12:52 PM   #24
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I'm not sure if Adobe has added the HD4000 to the supported list for Mercury Engine/OpenCL acceleration.
According to Adobe the Intel HD GPUs are supported:

http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/...6-gpu-faq.html
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Old Aug 23, 2012, 12:54 PM   #25
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Looks like the 6630 is the winner then. I guess if Im going to get a mac mini before the next gen then I should seriously consider getting the 6630 model as it will at least be somewhat future proof. I suppose for the extra $200 I do also get a little bit better intel i5 2.5Ghz over the 2.3Ghz i5 as well.
Try it out, and just bring it back if it doesn't handle your workload! I believe the extra $200 spent will be cheaper in the long-run, as the dedicated graphics should hold up much longer than the hd3000's.

Enjoy your new mac!
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