Mac mini for Photoshop and Illustrator?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by p.helwig, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #1
    Hey,
    I'm into graphics design and I thougt the new mac mini would be the perfect machine. I'm thinking about getting the 2.3GHz quadcore i7 with 4GB (I'll upgrade it later...like everybody) and a 256GB SSD.
    I will be using it mainly for Photoshop, Illustrator and some Sony Vegas (tutorial editing). Do you guys think this will be ok for me? is it an overkill? and will the intel HD4000 be able to handle the heavy Adobe software?

    Also, wich RAM modules will I need to buy?

    Lot's of questions but u guys are the pros :) Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #2
    I asked this same question in this thread

    Considering the fact that the quad-core Mini is basically a 15" MBP without the discreet graphics card, it's a viable option for Illustrator and Photoshop but you'll probably want something with better graphics options down the line. I'll still be picking one up for photoshop work while I'm on the road.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for notifying me :) Though at the time the new mini wasn't released yet.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #4
    Yes, but the thread is regarding the HD 4000 graphics performance in photoshop, which the new Mac Mini has. There are some good answers about it's performance in that thread.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #5
    Yes, I've read it. What did you buy? and how does it perform?

    Thanks for helping, I appreciate it :)
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #6
    Haven't bought anything yet, but I will be picking up a 2.6GHz Mini likely after the Holidays as I'll be doing some work on the road in January.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    #7
    Been using my i7 Mini with Photoshop since I bought it, no problems so far. Previous to this i was using my i7 1.8ghz Macbook Air without problems aswell lol
     
  8. fig
    macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #8
    For general Photoshop work a mini, MBP, or even an Air will be more than adequate unless you're doing super high res print work or tons of batch processing of RAW images.
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #9
    Which is most of what I do :) Retouching RAW images from 40mp cameras or larger. The current mini shouldn't have issues with that, unless you use a lot of the GPU heavy features on such images like Liquify, selective focus, etc...

    But for the OP it sounds like it will work fine.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #10
    Maybe I should have been more specific, I mainly use Photoshop for website layouts and fixed size objects like banners, businesscards and flyers. I use illustrator just for logos, icons and vectorart. I think I'll be fine :)

    So what is a good price for 8 gigs of RAM? my dealer charges me €79,- is this ok? or should I get it somewhere else?

    Thank you very much :)
     
  11. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    #11
    For 79€ you get 16 GB RAM in Germany, check out this link if you speak German:

    http://geizhals.at/de/?cat=ramsoddr3&v=k&xf=254_1600~1454_8192~253_16384&sort=p
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    #12
    I do high res print work and lots a raw processing using Photoshop CS6 on a 2011 mini (2.7 i7, discreet graphics, 16Gb RAM) + Eizo 27" monitor + Promise Pegasus.

    It's workable, but not ideal. Problems include:

    - laggy zooming
    - slow response to slider adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw
    - slow updates when painting with large brushes on adjustment layers

    Have any Photoshop CS6 users switched from a 2011 mini to a 2012 mini and noticed significant speed increases? (I'm less interested in how quickly it can run the through a 'speed test' action, and more interested in the user experience - my current set-up feels sluggish.)
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #13
    Hmm, that's strange. What's the resolution of your monitor? You might be maxing out the GPU on that mini. The Radeon 6630 isn't that great, and it only has 256mb of VRAM so it's likely you could experience issues with higher resolution displays. Not to mention that 2.7 dual-core i7 only benchmarks at about 50%-60% of the new quad-core Mini's. Although, I never experienced those problems on my old MBP 2.4GHz Core2Duo with CS5 and a 1920x1200 Resolution monitor so I might guess it's the GPU.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    #14
    The resolution of my monitor is 2560×1440 (Eizo CG275W). I think you're right that the 2011 mini is struggling to drive it. I'm curious to know whether the 2012 mini will cope any better. (I might have to buy one to test it out.)
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #15
    I'd be curious to see that as well. VRAM typically aids in pixel rate, so with 16GB of RAM in the new Mini the HD 4000 would be using about 1GB for VRAM. Could help a lot.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Max VRAM is 768 MB
     
  17. macrumors regular

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    Aug 8, 2012
    #17
    Still better than 256mb :)
     
  18. fig
    macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #18
    Most of that RAW processing should actually happen on the CPU as well (and not the GPU) so the faster processors in the new mini would probably help out quite a bit.

    ----------

    Yeah, you won't have any issues.

    I buy all my RAM from Otherworld Computing, don't know what their sales/exchange rate is like for euro buyers though.

    ----------

    Agreed, if I were doing a ton of RAW work I'd probably get something with a separate graphics board but for most graphics/photo use the mini would be fine.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    TheGenerous

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2010
    Location:
    I'm an Austronaut
    #19
    I'm using the latest photoshop and illustrator on a white MacBook from 2006 with 2.5 RAM and works well. Under snow leopard.

    You bet it's gonna be usable on a new Mac Mini
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #20
    Check out otherworldcomputing.com. They sell RAM, I've bought from them several times.
     
  21. macrumors 603

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #21
    I recall your problems, and I'm still puzzled by them. I can say it worked fine on a 2011 17" mbp, even when I hijacked the larger display from the older MP sitting by me. There are some settings you can tune in preferences if the gpu drivers are that buggy. I've painted with brushes up to several hundred pixels. Most of what I use doesn't get that large. If I have to mask out a large area, it's either pen tool or I first block in a smooth border line. Because of that, I may not have regularly tested a lot of 500px+ brushes, even to block things in.

    I also recall you mentioned slight animation stutter with OS icons and that you were quite sensitive to such things. Did Apple ever say anything?
     
  22. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    #22
    There are lots of complaints about CS6 being slow on the Adobe forums - but there-again there are also lots of people saying it runs just fine on their machines!

    My CS6 perfomance preferences are:

    Memory Usage: 75%
    History States: 20
    Cache Levels: 4
    Cache Tile Size: 1024K
    Use Graphics Processor: Checked, Advanced Settings: 'Basic'.

    I don't use any of the OSX animation features (Expose etc), but looking now it seems relatively smooth (I think I had more problems with 2011 Mini Server which I had before this machine).

    I've just double-checked all my CS6 issues and they are definitely there. However some are not immediately apparent. For example, the temperature slider in ACR is instantaneous when a raw file is first opened. But once other adjustments are made (highlights, shadows, clarity, lens corrections etc), the temperature slider lags by about 4 seconds. Similarly zooming in Photoshop - fine on a flat file, but once masked adjustment layers are added, it gets very laggy. And brushing with small brushes (less then 500px) is instantaneous, but bigger brushes get increasingly slow.
     
  23. thekev, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012

    macrumors 603

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #23
    Edit: on integrated only, I meant for testing purposes to see the difference

    My notebook is the only machine I have with integrated graphics, yet I don't know of a way to force it to use integrated only. I also don't have a display with that resolution to test it, so I couldn't fully replicate your situation:(. I'll have a look at it later. There are a couple gpu settings that can be disabled if it's lagging without totally disabling OpenGL drawing. Last year the 2011 discrete mini wasn't really on my suggested list as I didn't think the gpu would be well supported in CS6 due to on board memory. When it was in beta, they suggested a requirement of 512MB of vram for OpenGL drawing. In the final release, they made the minimum requirement 256 with some functions unavailable. Those ones wouldn't work on the HD 3000 anyway. This is still a weird issue to me. It really shouldn't be laggy. It may be a driver thing or something. It really is too bad as that's the primary downside. A 640M + quad cpu at the $800-900 mark (which isn't unreasonable, especially as they don't even include the damn keyboard) would have made it a solid machine.

    Bleh also just noted you had it set to basic. I need to research this further, so I can include proper reference if anyone else inquires about the mini. I really think it needs to be a solid machine though. It's a light desktop with basically nothing included. Considering the total cost configured, it should be a really good entry level solution. The facebook and email crowd are better served by an Air. Most of those guys don't really keep a dedicated space for a machine.
     
  24. p.helwig, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012

    thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #24
    OWC is a great website, they provide some very good tutorials aswell. But I live in the Netherlands, will I have to pay lots of taxes and such? Apart from shiping. Maybe it would be cheaper to buy the modules a little closer to home, what kind of modules do I have to get? Thank you :)
     
  25. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    Europe
    #25

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