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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:56 PM   #1
crashwins
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2012 quad-core Mini for FCP, Photoshop, etc?

I noticed the new Mini only used an integrated graphics chip and has no VRAM. Will this cut it for intense work on FCP and Photoshop compared to, say, the MacBook Pro quad-core with the dedicated GPU? Thanks
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 01:33 PM   #2
Nate392
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The mini actually does have VRAM, it's just integrated with the System RAM. For example, if you were to upgrade the RAM on the mini to 16GB, you get 768 GB of VRAM. The mini has a really nice CPU, and I have no troubles using Photoshop, but I don't use it as a Professional so, YMMV...

From what I've seen from other forums, other people have no issues at all with the mini and using Photoshop, so it's not like the mini "can't be used."

But as far as rendering and such, the GPU in the MBP is going to make a difference. It mostly depends on whether you want to save money, or do a lot of rendering.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 06:17 PM   #3
Mojo1
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It really depends on what you will be doing with Photoshop. Some functions benefit significantly from using a discrete GPU. Barefeats.com has tests comparing the Mini's Intel HD 4000 to the GPUs used in the iMacs. And Adobe has a comprehensive list of the Photoshop features that benefit from discrete GPUs.

I'm a pro photographer but the kind of editing that I do does not require using those Photoshop features. If I did a lot of image editing that takes advantage of a discrete GPU the Mini would not be suitable for me.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 09:07 PM   #4
Nate392
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Originally Posted by Mojo1 View Post
It really depends on what you will be doing with Photoshop. Some functions benefit significantly from using a discrete GPU.
While this is true, I'd like to add, though it's not quite as significant of an improvement, Intel GPUs (such as the HD 4000) are supported by these functions, too.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 10:19 PM   #5
Exodist
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The L2012 Mac Minis are perfectly fine for Photoshop work. I use Lightroom and Photoshop almost daily as a hobby I am trying to go pro with. Even with the basic 1TB 5400RPM HDD in my system, a jpeg photo with resolution of 4608x2592 and starting PS up for the first time that day. PS can be up in about 3 secs with the photo following alone in about 6 to 8 secs. Rendering is basically instant on any changes done. I have the 2.6Ghz CPU, but IMHO the key here is just little extra RAM. I have 8 GB giving me room to load photos up into memory faster without having to cache applications to the HDD. IMHO the dual core i5 model should be fine as well, but you may have to be slightly more patient of course. But I would still recommend 8GB of RAM even with the i5.
As far as the Integrated GPU in concerned -vs- say a NV GTX 560ti I have in my windows gaming machine. Mehh,, no real life changing differences. Matter of fact, other then it saying it is "enhanced" or what ever it was using the NV card. I havent noticed anything. I am sure there is some rendering speed benefits mind you. But over all the Ivy Core CPUs in the Minis are very fast anyway. SO unless your on a slow celeron system, thats prob the only real place your gonna notice a an internal video card really helping over in integrated one in this case. At least this is my experience. Like posted above. Your milage may very..
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 10:30 PM   #6
Mojo1
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Originally Posted by Nate392 View Post
While this is true, I'd like to add, though it's not quite as significant of an improvement, Intel GPUs (such as the HD 4000) are supported by these functions, too.
Yes, they are supported... But the speed differences between the HD4000 and the tested discrete GPUs at Barefeats.com are significant. It's well worth a look if you are considering buying a Mini and you do a lot of work with Photoshop. I can't say how Final Cut Pro performance improves when using a discrete card.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 10:50 PM   #7
Nate392
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Originally Posted by Mojo1 View Post
Yes, they are supported... But the speed differences between the HD4000 and the tested discrete GPUs at Barefeats.com are significant. It's well worth a look if you are considering buying a Mini and you do a lot of work with Photoshop. I can't say how Final Cut Pro performance improves when using a discrete card.
Yeah, that's what I was basically saying... I guess I was a bit unclear, sorry... xP
But I have no issues at all with my mini and PS, and it seems that other users (incl. above user) don't have any trouble either. As long as heavy rendering isn't a factor, the mini in can be a better choice than an iMac.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 11:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mojo1 View Post
Yes, they are supported... But the speed differences between the HD4000 and the tested discrete GPUs at Barefeats.com are significant. It's well worth a look if you are considering buying a Mini and you do a lot of work with Photoshop. I can't say how Final Cut Pro performance improves when using a discrete card.
The amount of time you'd really see consumed in a typical workflow wouldn't be much. I mean look at something accelerated like liquify. How much time are you really going to spend rendering and re-rendering it? The only thing that really looks painful without OpenCL is iris blur, which didn't exist previously. The older ones were tuned to be fine on the cpu. The barefeats testing merely tries to quantify how much it can be accelerated via various gpus. I wouldn't worry too much about this in terms of how it would reflect actual use. A couple people on here complained about the HD 3000/4000 in conjunction with 27" displays and exceptionally large files. Most users would be fine with this. I'm not sure with FCP.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 12:51 AM   #9
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.............. I'm not sure with FCP.
Yea the FPU performance of having a discrete video over a iGPU one could offer much quicker rendering results in Final Cut or any other movie making software for that matter that can use a GPU to help speed things along. But lets think about this, is the cost of a iMac of a Mac Mini worth the increased speed of movie rendering. Possibly if it saves 30 mins on a 2 hour movie. But if time is that important, wouldnt they rather buy a Mac Pro and cut that time down even more? It boils down to "I would like" -vs- "I would need". Mind you my number are completely arbitrary and are not real benchmark results. The rendering gap could be much slower or much faster.. Point is if time is important, get a Mac Pro with a real discrete video card and not one half cracked mobile one like in the iMacs.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 01:28 AM   #10
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Point is if time is important, get a Mac Pro with a real discrete video card and not one half cracked mobile one like in the iMacs.
Unfortunately the mac pro cards are from two generations ago. The 680mx might be a better choice, although I'm not sure. Kepler isn't that great for floating point performance relative to fermi, but it does open up CUDA options in things like After Effects or Premiere. On the mac pro end you'd have to spend extra on a Quadro 4000 or use one of the card options without official support to get that. There are certain things where I'd definitely want it. After Effects has a ray tracer now. It looks painfully slow when run solely on the cpu. I wouldn't want to use that without CUDA if possible. In that kind of case, it affects the way you use a program. That is a huge thing. If we're talking about a 10% difference in machine time for twice the cost, I probably wouldn't bother. I would stand by it no longer being worth going beyond the mini for just photoshop in the current generation aside from edge cases where people are just dealing with huge files. I don't think that is the case with the OP. People like that generally know who they are.
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 01:54 AM   #11
Jiskefet
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I do have de 2012 MM , 2.6 with FD , and Photoshop,FCP X and Aperture 3 are working very well on this machine .I did also ad 16Gb RAM in to the MM .
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 10:42 AM   #12
Mojo1
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Originally Posted by thekev View Post
The amount of time you'd really see consumed in a typical workflow wouldn't be much. I mean look at something accelerated like liquify. How much time are you really going to spend rendering and re-rendering it? The only thing that really looks painful without OpenCL is iris blur, which didn't exist previously. The older ones were tuned to be fine on the cpu. The barefeats testing merely tries to quantify how much it can be accelerated via various gpus. I wouldn't worry too much about this in terms of how it would reflect actual use. A couple people on here complained about the HD 3000/4000 in conjunction with 27" displays and exceptionally large files. Most users would be fine with this. I'm not sure with FCP.
I keep saying it but it doesn't seem to sink-in: it all depends on how you plan to use your Mac. I do pro photography but I don't do the kind of Photoshop editing that requires a beefy GPU. I also do not regularly process a large number of images. On the other hand, people in a production environment who process a lot of images for a living will benefit from a discrete GPU because it will save them a considerable amount of time. And if you do image editing or other GPU-accelerated computer processing as part of your work, time=money.

I think that the Mac Mini is a great bargain if it meets your needs. I am not a fan of the iMac so for me it is either a Mini, MacBook Pro or MacPro. Fortunately, the Mini is all that I really need. Heck, for that matter I could do my work on the base model i5... I do agree with the people that think that it is a bummer that there isn't a Mini or "headless iMac" option with a decent discrete GPU. As it currently stands I would need to spend 3-4 times the cost of a Mac Mini in order to have a discrete GPU. That's a cryin' shame...
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Old Jan 2, 2013, 12:16 PM   #13
Exodist
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Unfortunately the mac pro cards are from two generations ago. The 680mx might be a better choice, .......
Ehh I keep forgetting they are due for an update. Hard choice unless one picks up a 660 fairly cheap and throws it in. But who knows, I know nothing of installing video drivers on a mac. Im a noob in the mac house.. hehe



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo1 View Post
I keep saying it but it doesn't seem to sink-in: it all depends on how you plan to use your Mac. I do pro photography but I don't do the kind of Photoshop editing that requires a beefy GPU. ...........
Makes me wonder what "is" considered heavy for Photoshop. I also use a tablet and do graphics design and renderings from scratch at sometimes insane resolutions 8k x 5k-ish at times without issues. I have 3 Canon cameras. A Rebel EOS T3i (16.1MP), PowerShot G12 (10MP), and a PowerShot ELPH 110HS (16.1MP). At max settings on all, PS laughs at them. Not sure what you got to throw at PS to bog it down, but I know it aint nothing I got.
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