Any Experience with mini and Photoshop CC?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by kissmo, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. kissmo macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2011
    Budapest, Hungary
    Hi guys,

    Since my mini will be arriving soon I was wondering if I will be able to use it to do Photoshop work on large RAW files like Nikon D800?

    Have any of you had some experience with it?

    It will be a mac mini i7 2.3.

    I will add 2x4GB of DDR 3 - 13333, and also I will replace the HDD with a 64GB Vertex 2 an move the HDD to the lower bay. (I purchased the iFixit kit).
    Both the HDD and RAm came from my MBP 2011 17 inch which I upgrade with a Vertex 4 128GB and 16 GB Corsair 1600.

  2. nollimac macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2013
    I don't have any experience with your planned setup; however, I believe you should be alright with the quad. I would max out the Ram with 16GB DDR3 1600.

    I have the 2012 base model with the Samsung 840 Pro SSD, and 16GB Crucial Ram...I installed Parallels 9 with Windows 7 Ultimate...that puppy flies.
  3. kissmo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2011
    Budapest, Hungary
    Thanks for the info.
  4. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    Running PS, Ill & Lightroom CC here on a 2.5 mini.
    All good. Not quite as fast as a top iMac or MBP, but very responsive with the system on SSD and 16GB of memory. The i7 should be even better with Photoshop.

    Good Luck
  5. Donka macrumors 68020


    May 3, 2011
    I've tried the Late 2012 i5 2.5 with 12MP NEF files in Photoshop CC and it flies. I've since upgraded to the i7 2.3 but not tried PS CC since I typically just use Aperture or Pixelmator and its a great experience. Not sure how it will handle the D800 NEF files but I don't envisage any issues.
  6. kissmo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2011
    Budapest, Hungary
    Well My MBP(2011 17 inch 2.2 Ghz i7) with 8GB RAM struggled a little with 36MP RAW files.

    I am mainly interested in the responsiveness of the interface.

    I love Apple products.
    But salaries where I live... would require at lest 2 years of constant savings to buy an iMac which I want to buy one day...

    Till then - the mini hopefully will do fine. Thanks for the help.
  7. Donka macrumors 68020


    May 3, 2011
    Do you have a NEF file you can share for us to test with?
  8. Chancha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2014
    I have a Early 2011 Macbook Pro 13" with 8GB ram / 128GB SSD, a fully pimped out lastest i7 Mini with 256GB SSD, and also dealing with D800 14bit RAW. Even though I work primarily in Lightroom 5, but having worked in PS for other design purposes I can tell you while the MBP setup is good enough, it cannot touch the Mini, due to the extra room that you get with 16GB ram and space left on drive for generally faster SSD utilization.

    PS rely on RAM and scratch disk, when it loads a large file such as a 36MP NEF, it dumps the data onto RAM, on top of the other operation and OS demands of using memory, after opening 2 or 3 RAWs PS will need to page in/out between the RAM and the drive to swap spaces. My experience is that you can never have enough RAM for large image processing, get as much GB as you can, and they are cheap anyway. The SSD is also a limiting factor as the read write speed can dramatically decrease when you are reaching its max capacity. For the 64GB setup I have doubts whether you have enough space for OS X + PS + enough scratch disk. Granted, you can use an external HDD for scratch, but you are down to dog speed just like old times.

    I wonder why you don't put the better RAM and SSD on the desktop Mini instead of the MBP? Other than if you have tasks of higher priority with higher demand.
  9. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    I'm not a CC user but I have PS CS6 and Aperture 3 on a 2012 i7 2.3 mini with 16GB RAM and a 960GB Crucial M500 SSD.

    Photoshop is very usable on the mini. On both Geekbench 2 & 3 the mini outscores my 2010 Mac Pro 3.2 quad with 24GB RAM and a Crucial SSD. In the real world the MP runs PS better and faster due to GPU support from the HD 5870 and faster minimum multi-core speeds despite its SATA2 interface and much slower RAM.

    If I did not have the Mac Pro I would be very satisfied with the mini though I would probably have gotten a 2.6 just for the extra bump (until it gets hot and throttles down!).
  10. kissmo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2011
    Budapest, Hungary
    I think I will just do that.
    I tend to use the MBP more but now I am having issues with the GPU - classic soldering problem.

    Probably I will move my corsair 16 GB and the vertex 4 to the mac mini when it arrives in my hands.


    To me the 2.6 and 2.3 doesn't feel like it would make a noticeable difference.
    The GPU is the issue. I have no clue how strong is the HD4000 with PS - that is my only concern.

    Regarding opening multiple RAW files - I rarely do that.
    Usually I use a lot of Nik Software which I know sucks up all the RAM.

    I read also an article that for PS in real life scenarios you should have around 20+ GB of RAM if not more (I don't remember exactly).
    Since the GPU (of the CPU) consumes you actual RAM available - I really wanted to know if mini can take the load.

    As I said before - my MBP is close to its death, and the coming mini might end up my only usable machine.
    I am getting worried - especially that PS is a big part of my business.

    I would not switch to Windows. I simply can't use it anymore.


    I will try to revive my MBP and send one later today when I get home.

    Now I am on a windows machine.... well ... at least it works. :)
  11. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    You don't need a beefy GPU for Photoshop, the Intel HD 4000 thing is a-plenty.

    Load up on RAM, SSD for applications and a large HDD for storing all those temp files and versions as you'd need them.

    Something could be said about pushing a Mini to a point where it no longer makes sense - it's a low-end machine, beefing it up to the max won't change anything to its mobile CPU and integrated GPU. An iMac is the next logical step once your upgrades are pushing your mini up in that same price realm.
  12. kissmo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2011
    Budapest, Hungary
    I agree.
    But bringing an mac mini from us is like 800 USD. plus ram and SSD which I already have.
    Buying a reasonable monitor for me is like 300 USD.
    So the total is approx. 1100 USD.

    To buy a similar spec iMac where I live costs like 3000+ USD....

    This is the reason to push the mini to the max point within reason of course.
    I am aware that an iMac would simply.... poop on a mini.

    But if PS is doing fine with HD4000 then I'm fine.

  13. plusnq macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2013
    I have a similar setup as nollimac. It works fine with ps CC.
  14. d3vilsadvocate macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2012
    I just bought an i5 Mac mini and I'm kinda disappointed with the performance. I thought it had a desktop i5 and not a mobile one...

    As opposed to the MBAs the fan is actually audible from a distance of 30-40cm. It's silent but definitely audible. If you stress the CPU a little using PS it will definitely ramp up.

    Me I'll go back to my silent gaming rig. It's not as fancy as a mac, but has lots of advantages...
  15. robE89 macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2011
    gaming and mac definitely need to research more when you buy something :)
  16. d3vilsadvocate macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2012
    I had no intentions to play games on it ;)
  17. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I have the 2.6 version of the above and have to agree that it is basically decent with Photoshop (CS6 in my case). It is not super fast but certainly fast enough and the combo of the SSD and 16 gigs RAM absolutely makes a huge difference with respect to bottlenecks slowing down Photoshop.
  18. monkeysoncrunk macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2014
    d800 user huh? i love this camera.

    Your mac mini will work fine. it will be a tad slower then ur imac because of the 16gb ram. If you have some extra cash, pick up a thunderbolt hard drive and use it as a scratch disk - or use precious ssd space.

    my mac mini 2011, with ssd and 16gb ram handles my nefs beautifully.

Share This Page