Anyone doing 3D work on a Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by fig, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #1
    Hey folks, i've got an old (late '06) iMac I'm looking to replace and as we haven't seen any iMac updates I'm considering some other options. The idea of a Mini is appealing because I could probably manage to fit a Thunderbolt display in the budget then just upgrade the Mini or other attached computer as needed.

    I'm a graphic designer doing a lot of Photoshop, Illustrator, and web work, and I also do some work in Maya but it's pretty simple work (character animation with very little rendered work, mostly playblasting). I'm thinking about the Mini upgraded to the i7 with the 6630M (or the newer version of that setup if we see a spec bump), anyone else played with a similar setup and able to comment on the overall performance? Thanks.
     
  2. mystic man macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #2
    I believe you wont have a problem running 3d applications, probably not as good as running on a top of the line machine, but the quad i7 is pretty beast too. Combine it with a memory upgarde and a higher capacity ssd, and you ll have yourself a mini powerhouse
     
  3. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    #3
    You do understand you're essentially buying laptop parts put together in a small desktop case, right?

    Photoshop, Illustrator and web stuff don't need over-the-top processing power for the most part, but tons of RAM helps. The SSD is irrelevant here, in fact you might want extra cheap disk space.

    For 3D work, the laptop parts in the mini are likely going to start showing their limit - it's going to run fine and won't prevent you to work, but rendering will likely be slow.

    Note that you can't have the quad-core i7 and the discreet video card, it's either the server model (quad-core and 2 drives) or the 'better' model with a dual-core chip and the Radeon 6630M.

    Lastly, don't forget the mini is overdue for an update very soon, so I wouldn't buy one right away; hopefully the update will show up when Mountain Lion ships in July.:)
     
  4. fig thread starter macrumors 6502a

    fig

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    Thanks for the info guys.

    While the SSD isn't affecting processing speed I've been pretty spoiled by the general increase in speed I've seen after installing one on my rather dated iMac. I really don't use a ton of disk space so the more limited size isn't something I'm worried about.

    I don't really do much rendering as most of my work is character animation that's just playblasted so that's not a major concern either. Something like an iMac would be faster but the jump I'm making from the old iMac is going to make anything seem like a massive speed increase.

    I did see that you can't get the quad core with the external GPU, disappointing. I'd also read a review that mentioned the quad core Mini will only run Lion Server? Definitely waiting for the updates before doing anything, good call there.
     

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