Base line Mini for Photoshop

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by ranny2, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. ranny2 macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2011
    Hi there,

    I am considering buying a 2011 base Mac Mini and then upgrading the RAM myself to at least 4GB, possibly 8GB if I have enough. I would also consider buying an SSD in the coming months as the prices fall. My question is whether this Mini will run Photoshop (and possible other Adobe applications, but not video editing) well. I am not expecting perfect performance, but I mean no lag etc.

  2. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2011
    Haven't used it first hand, but I expect it should run it just fine. The current Mac mini's are fairly powerful machines.

    As somebody who's used photoshop on an iMac G3 and Mac mini G4 I'm offended by the idea that the current Intel Mac mini might not be fast enough to run photoshop adequatly. ;-)
  3. ranny2 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2011
    Great, thanks. That's very reassuring! If you have a moment, would you be able to help with my other slight Mac dilemma! Thanks.
  4. deafgoose macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2011
    I use my Mid 2011 Mac Mini 2.3 for Photoshop CS5 and its VERY smooth.

    I currently have the RAM upgraded to 8GB and I am installing a 128GB SSD this evening.
  5. ranny2 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2011
    Awesome! Thanks for letting me know! Is there anything the 2.3GHz Mini does struggle with? Thanks.
  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Quad core is obviously a bit faster but it depends on the size of your projects really. I wouldn't consider any of them with less than 8GB of ram, and there are cheap options from reputable retailers (Crucial seems to be popular). The SSD only adds a lot of performance because it greatly accelerates page file /scratch disk reads and writes. With Snow Leopard and Lion (and CS5) the amount of performance you can gain from ram in excess of 4GB or so has really grown. I wouldn't buy the upgrade from Apple due to pricing. You can get 8GB from a third party retailer for $50-$60.
  7. torchmedia macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2011
    I'll throw up one small flag for the mini. I have the 2011 server edition with 8gb ram and SSD. (both upgrades performed by me)

    I've been doing work in Photoshop, Illustrator and just today InDesign. What I've found is that the mini has been a little sluggish on two occasions.

    1. Redraw rates in Illustrator with anything that's a more complex design

    2. I exported a single page to print-ready PDF from InDesign. Upon opening the PDF in preview, it was fairly clunky in resizing the PDF when dragging the window corners.

    I think this is more likely due to the low-end GPU but I'm not really sure.

    These could be considered minor issues, but I am switching from a hackintosh over to the mini server. So in these two instances, it feels a bit like a downgrade.
  8. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    Minor issues? I'd consider them NON issues.
  9. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    It's been discussed on the Adobe forums. This is a complete misconception. Thee gpu is near meaningless in InDesign. Even OpenGL functions in photoshop don't require much.

    Have you viewed activity monitor at all during these times? Are you using CS5? CS4 and earlier were 32 bit so they'd be throttled on ram. What OS? What were the specs on your hackintosh like?

    See it's hard to really say much without hearing details. Resizing a document of undetermined size and resolution and experiencing lag means very little without further context.

    Edit: lag can often mean disk paging
  10. keema macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2011
    I kinda agree on your points. I just hope he can answer all of your questions to give others, like me, an idea on how well this mini's handle those applications.

  11. torchmedia macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2011
    Sure thing, here are my system specs and a more detailed explanation.

    See attached image for reference of the file I talk about below.

    2011 Mac mini server
    8GB Kingston Hyperx 1866mhz ram
    OCV Vertex 3 120gb ssd
    CS5 running on 10.7.2

    - Photoshop is flawless. Even when using a very large brush set to 0% hardness and a low opacity, it renders immediately with no lag.

    - InDesign itself wasn't bad at all for the files I was working with.

    - Moving the tree around in Illustrator was choppy. Clicking and dragging wasn't bad, but when selecting it and moving it with keyboard cursors, the redraw rate was slower than I would like. Keep in mind each 'needle' of that tree is it's own path in Illustrator.

    - The exported PDF is about 8mb in size, 5.5x8.5" cmyk ready for print. When opening it in Preview and dragging the window larger, the window basically doesn't drag. It pauses and jumps to where I've moved my mouse. It was even slower when opened with Acrobat Pro.

    Like I mentioned I am coming off of a Hackintosh, here are it's specs.

    3.3ghz Core i5 2500k
    AMD 6870 Video card
    16gb 1600mhz ram
    240gb SSD

    I know the specs are far better than the mini and of course it should perform much better than the mini. I may have been affected by the 'reality distortion field' when I thought that the mini would be just as good as my Hackintosh. The reason for my move was a major crash when I tried to upgrade to 10.7.2 and left me with almost two days of down-time, no good for a freelancer.

    Even after all that being said, I am very happy with the mini's performance, price point, aesthetics, etc. I just wanted to bring a couple of items to the discussion that I thought were relevant.

    Attached Files:

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