For Lightroom: Dual-Core + SSD or Quad with HDD?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by burningbright, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2008
    Hi, I'm planning on getting a Mac Mini, mostly for Lightroom, and wondered if Lightroom would perform better on the base dual-core upgraded with an SSD or on the 2.3 quad-core with the stock HDD?
    Thanks for any info!
  2. macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2010
    I use my mini primarily with Lr + CS6, definetly go with Quade core with HDD, I've dual core with SSD on my MBP and it is nowhere as fast as i7 2.3 + HDD on my Mac mini. Make sure you upgrade ram to 16GB.
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2008
    Perfect! Thanks Mjoshi, that was, of course, just the kind of information I was looking for. One quad-core Mini with monstrous quantities of RAM coming up!:)
  4. macrumors 68020


    Apr 20, 2008
    For LR work, CPU and RAM are more important than SSD, all SSD will do really is load the application a little faster.

    LR4 opens in about 2-3 seconds on my 2.6 i7 Quad with 16Gb RAM.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2012
    Hamburg, NY
    Quad Core

    I recently upgraded from a 2007 iMac to the latest Mini... wanted to bring my own monitor and didn't want to wait for the iMac's any longer.

    I do a lot of work in LR 4 and the system I put together works fantastic...

    2012 MacMini with Quad Core i7
    16Gb RAM (self upgraded from OWC)
    256Gb SSD (factory)
    4.0Tb External USB 3.0 "MiniStack" from OWC
    ViewSonic VP2770-LED 27" monitor

    With the OS, LR 4, and the Nik plugins on the SSD and my pictures on the External USB, the system flies... I find the performance of the USB 3 external drive equally as good the internal I had on my iMac, which was sufficient. I know one of the knocks on USB is the CPU load it introduces, but I experience no lag because of that... the CPU has plenty to give!

    Hope this helps in your decision making process...

  6. macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2010
    Corsair vengence 16GB RAM is on sale on Newegg and Amazone so make sure you get those, it works just fine in my 2012 mac mini with i7

    here is link from Amazon

    and if you are itching for SSD upgrade please dont get it from Apple, it is not at all hard thing to do it on your own. There is video on youtube showing exactly it needs to be done. Just see same video 2-3 times and you will be pretty confident to do it on your own.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Carl Spackler

    Apr 12, 2005
    Outer Space
    I used the latest LR with the upgraded quad, 16GB RAM (Corsair Vengence) and Apple's SSD. It's a super-duper quick machine. SSD is superfast and I had no qualms about paying Apple's inflated SSD price for not having to meddle too much in the machine.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2005
    buy the quad core as it gives you an upgrade path to add the SSD. Just put a second drive in it when you are ready.
  9. macrumors 65816

    Aug 21, 2008
    Portsmouth, UK
    Can you not upgrade the HDD in the base model?
  10. macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    Apple doesn't offer upgrades but you can certainly do it yourself.
  11. macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2008
    What improvements would you prefer 1 - program responsiveness or 2 - export render speeds?

    I have several macs running LR and Photoshop. The ssd is a great upgrade for speeding up the program , althought it doesn't speed up the file handling unless the files are on an ssd. CPU upgrades will make a huge difference on render times. My MacBook Air with 4gb of ram i5 1.8 handles files just as fast as my 2011 imac with 16gb of ram - although the imac exports files a little bit faster...

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