2018 Mac Mini for Graphic Design

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by FrankySavvy, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. FrankySavvy macrumors 65816

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    Long Island, NY
    #1
    I am a Graphic Designer by trade and do some freelance work at home on "occasion" so I need the full Mac experience but 95% of my daily computing is on my iPhone or iPad Pro.

    I want to purchase the new 2018 Mac mini - How important is a 4 core vs 6 core processor? I know the video card is the same in all the units and I plan on upgrading the RAM myself from the standard 8GB in the future.

    What processor would be recommended if I primarily use the following programs:

    • Adobe InDesign
    • Adobe Illustrator
    • Adobe Photoshop
     
  2. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    Oregon, USA
    #2
    Personally I would go with the middle configuration, i5. Then combine it with a monitor that can also be driven by the new iPads. Create a super art workstation!
     
  3. rumz, Nov 1, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018

    rumz macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    One of those questions you usually ask a potential new client as a designer is about their budget :D

    What kind of machine are you working with at the office? While I am a graphic designer and planning to get a Mac Mini to have a Mac workstation at home, my goal is not only to serve my current needs but to future proof a bit. In that regard, 6 cores is a no brainer (to me, at least). As you mentioned, RAM is upgradable, so for me the real question has been about how much internal storage to get (I will certainly be doing *something* for external storage, though I haven't decided what yet).

    My preferences aside-- I don't know that Illustrator and InDesign really benefit a lot from extra cores right now, that I can find. Certainly additional cores will allow you to do other things while one of those apps might be exporting a large document to PDF or whatever, but I don't know that you'll see a speed bump in InDesign or Illustrator from extra cores, and in Photoshop it will depend on what you're doing as to the use of extra cores.

    Once these are out in the wild and we get some benchmarks, it might be useful to see how the 3 core i3 in the base model stacks up-- in single core performance-- against the other chip options. If I'm understanding correctly, it doesn't look like the 4-core chip has "Turbo-boost"-- so technically any of the 6 core options should end up with faster single core performance over shorter bursts, at least. Not sure what it means for more prolonged, sustained processor intensive tasks-- but those types of operations are usually the ones that benefit from additional cores like video and 3d rendering.
     
  4. MistrSynistr macrumors 65816

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    May 15, 2014
    #4
    I did Photography AND Graphic Design with NO ISSUES on a 2012 Dual Core Mac mini. You'll have no issues with even the lowest one Apple offers here.
     
  5. FrankySavvy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Exactly was my thinking! I have a Quad HD Dell Monitor I could plug into the Mac mini and also my new 2018 iPad Pro 12.9" that will be my primary computer!
    --- Post Merged, Nov 1, 2018 ---
    I think I'm going to get the 6 Core i5, the only difference is extra clock speed in the i7 correct?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 1, 2018 ---
    Thats promising - I think InDesign depends on how fast your SSD so CPU/GPU isn't as important. It is s reading all the links. Illustrator must use a bit more of the CPU. I think Photoshop is the real hog on CPU/GPU.
     
  6. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    #6
    The point of i7 is threading. 6 cores look like 8-9 cores and IF your software can see the extra cores, you’ll get more performance.
     
  7. macaron95 macrumors regular

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    May 5, 2014
    #7
    I do a lot of photo editing and use Photoshop very often

    I had a 2014 Mac Mini (2 cores) which was really slow

    i sold it to get a late 2012 Mac Mini with a quad i7

    now I will probably get the new Mac Mini (but only the i7 has both Turbo and HT)

    to save some money, i think i'll upgrade RAM later
     
  8. FrankySavvy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Will the Turbo and HT make a big difference?
     
  9. now i see it macrumors 68040

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    #9
    Adobe software runs great on the lowest spec CPU. But get plenty of RAM for Photoshop. If I was still a photoshop jockey, I'd get 32GB.
     
  10. FrankySavvy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #10
    I think I will go with the middle spec of the 6 Core i5 with 256GB SSD Storage and 8GB ram and update the ram on my own in the future!
     
  11. FrankySavvy thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    So I pulled the trigger on the 6 Core i5 Mac mini - eventually going to upgrade the ram from 8 to 16gb. Like I said I mainly use it for InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop, very rarely do I use Premiere or After Effects.
     
  12. TandemStudios macrumors newbie

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    Dec 4, 2018
    #12
    Now that you've been running this for a month, can you report on what the performance is like? You're in the exact same boat I am...
     
  13. brandair macrumors newbie

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    Sep 6, 2010
    #13
    I would recommend for Photoshop, Illustrator, etc:

    - i7 (provides not only a significant speed boost, but also a further 6 virtual cores, and speeds up the graphics too)
    - 32GB RAM min. (upgrade yourself if possible)
    - 512GB Apple SSD (200+$ markup to the 256GB is worth it IMHO and you get much faster write speeds)

    This will give you a future-proof setup, and you can still add an eGPU later when needed or cheaper.

    Migrating from a Mac Pro 5.1 3.33GHz 6-core, things run smooth and faster, especially IO, and mostly NOISELESS. The UHD Graphics 630 does quite well so far compared to my previous Radeon 5770.
     
  14. Maccotto macrumors 6502

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    Oct 6, 2012
    #14
    Why 32gb ram?
    I ask you because i work with 16gb and now i order an i7+512+16gb and a Sonnet egpu box where i will insert my 1060 6gb
     
  15. brandair macrumors newbie

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    Sep 6, 2010
    #15
    Because of applications like Photoshop, Capture One Pro, Lightroom, etc. More RAM means faster performance. In addition, the Mac Mini with its crippled graphics processor will perform better (less stutter/lags) because the 630 GPU can use more RAM.

    With 8GB I experienced significant stuttering (with a NEC 27" PA272W) even when the machine was not overly taxed. 32GB solved that. 16GB might be fine depending on your usage profile, but 32GB is certainly more future-proof. When 32GB sticks become affordable, I'll likely will upgrade to 64GB.
     
  16. dimaspivak macrumors newbie

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    Dec 2, 2018
    #16
    Adobe Photoshop CC user here with a new Mac Mini (i7 + 1TB + 64GB). Unfortunately, it's just not a good machine for doing any kind of serious photo editing. I see serious lag moving around the canvas of a JPEG export of a 30 MP photo taken on a Canon 5D Mark IV and operations like context-aware fill or using filters is noticeably slower than on an iMac Pro. Great machine for other day-to-day use, but not for crunching serious numbers.
     
  17. brandair macrumors newbie

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    #17
    I just opened 6 Sony A7R III RAW files in PS CC, converted them to 16bit, did a few context-aware replacements, zoomed in, moved around, applied a heavy action, exported a file as JPG. Each file has a size of +240MB, so +1.4GB total. No lag, no abnormal delay, no nothing. And there are at least 10 other apps open, including the memory pig SeaMonkey currently at 2.84GB memory consumption. I never owned an iMac Pro but come from a quite maxed-out Mac Pro 5.1 3.33GHz with 512Gb PCIe SSD and 48GB RAM.

    Do you have some background app running that uses the GPU, such as Capture One Pro?
     
  18. F-Train, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 65816

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    #18
    You are going to have a very nice computer with that setup. I gather that you'll run Bootcamp for the eGPU. Gaming? Graphics applications?
    --- Post Merged, Dec 4, 2018 ---
    I guess it depends on what you mean by serious photo editing. I found that an i5/8GB worked fine for working on scans of 4x5 negatives and RAW full-frame digital files. If I've now got an i7, it isn't because I found the i5 lacking in Lightroom or Photoshop, although I would add that I don't do batch processing or multi-layer Photoshop manipulation. And I do think that it's a good idea to get 16GB of RAM. Again, if I've gone with 32GB and an external GPU, it's for unrelated reasons.

    I know that there are commercial photographers on this forum who have gone with the i5 or i7 and 16GB RAM who say that they are pleased with their computer's performance.

    Your experience is fairly offside my own experience and what I've been reading here and elsewhere.
     
  19. for this macrumors 6502

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    Nov 18, 2014
    #19
    This should not happen, even with any of 2012's model, let alone 2018. There must be something wrong.
     
  20. Maccotto, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

    Maccotto macrumors 6502

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    #20

    My main work is lightroom with ton of raws.

    Secondary:
    I will run some games and i think will try bootcamp for some windows games and only-windows apps (ad example publisher).

    I wish all work great or i will return back all and i will buy new
     
  21. dimaspivak macrumors newbie

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    Dec 2, 2018
    #21
    I run three 4K displays. Other than that, nothing resource intensive runs when I experience this kind of lag.
     
  22. brandair macrumors newbie

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    Sep 6, 2010
    #22
    Well, that explains the cause, doesn't it?

    Managing three 4K displays is just taxing the small internal GPU to the max. You asked for trouble, you got it ;) That's challenging even for real graphics card like an older Radeon 5770. You should invest in an external eGPU to offload that 4K business.

     
  23. dimaspivak macrumors newbie

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    Dec 2, 2018
    #23
    Sure, but at every company I've worked at, graphic designers have always had at least 2 displays. The idea that Photoshop becomes unusable for a $3k computer in such a scenario without external hardware is worth noting for someone who would otherwise assume it to be up for the task.
     
  24. for this macrumors 6502

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    Nov 18, 2014
    #24
    Ahhh another nicher who claims to be universal. I'm out.
     
  25. brandair macrumors newbie

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    Sep 6, 2010
    #25
    To be fair, it's a 1.8 k computer with the most cost-efficient long-term setup: i7/32GB self-installed/512GB SSD. The iMac Pro starts from 4+ k and only the high-end config beats the MM 2018 (Graphics performance aside). You chose to buy Apple's grossly overpriced 1TB SSD and 64GB RAM.

    Further, never believe the Apple hype machine but check the facts. They claim the GPU supports 3x 4K monitors but "forget" to mention that performance will go down the drain. I think it was clear from the beginning that the MM 2018 Graphics chip is the weak point. Hence you should have invested in a eGPU instead of throwing money at Apple Greed Inc.


     

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26 November 1, 2018