Best 2014 Mac Mini for LR and PS

SpecFoto

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 23, 2013
65
7
So Cal
Want to get a 2014 Mac Mini for use wth LR and my twin Apple 27" LCD monitors. I am caught between what would be the best option for it, my indecision is on the drive setups, I will be getting 16GB of ram and the 3.0 GHz i7. Should I:

1. Get the 1TB fusion drive, and replace the 1TB HDD with a (spare) 1TB SSD, but as a separate drive. Will the internal 128GB SSD be enough for running the system, LR (Classic CC) and occasionally PS with the system files comfortable? I will put the LR preview cache files (somewhere around 250GB) on the 1TB SSD, the actual photo files, 1.5TB, will be on an external USB3 drive. LR is much faster with the preview cache files on the SSD. Currently the cache files are on the same 1TB SSD as the system files and I am very happy with its performance.

2. Get the 256GB SSD option. I would set the system, preview cache and photo files the same as option #1. I am not quite sure if the most current Mac Mini SSD blade only model comes with a cable to allow me to add the 1TB SSD as a 2nd internal drive. This option gives me a bit more room for the system files, but may I have to get a cable. Both option 1 & 2 are the same price.

3. Get the 512GB SSD. Same situation as #2, just a bit more system breathing room and I should easily be able to put the system and LR cache files on the 512GB blade. I would most likely put a 2TB HHD internal drive in the 2nd drive slot and not have to deal with the external USB drive (except for backup) for my photo files, which I like. The difference is $150.

Don't really want to spend for option #3 unless the 256GB option 1 & 2 will detract in LR performance. Same for the 1TB blade option, $300 more. I have a really great 2012 MacPro hex core that I use for heavy lifting in PS and LR, it's just that it is a heat generator in the summer months and since I live in the desert, I am constantly running the AC in the house to cool down the room I am in.

What pros and cons can you LR users suggest?
 
Last edited:

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
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All of the 2014 Minis are a terrible value. Do you need a Mac rather than a Windows computer for this usage? If you must get a Mini, be sure to check for a refurbished one rather than a brand new one.
 
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Boyd01

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Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
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You will void your warranty if you open it up to install a SSD. Considering the price of the models you're considering, I wouldn't be comfortable with that. If it's a question of heat, perhaps you could get a window air conditioner for that room and keep using the Mac Pro? My quad Mini also gets hot and the fans roar when I render video.

I agree with chrfr, the current high end Mini is not a very attractive deal....
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
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Agreed with others above.

DON'T buy a 2014 Mini -- #1 reason: it's a 2014 design!

Get a 2017 27" 5k iMac instead.
Even if you use it with only one display, it's still a superior buy for your money.

BTW, I write this an a fan of the 2012 Mini -- best Mac I've owned.
BUT -- that design is now 6 years old.
I've come to the conclusion that the Mini is going to meet the same fate as Apple's Airport line of products -- soon to meet a press release saying that they're discontinued once present stock is sold out.
 
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loby

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2010
1,001
687
Apple said the mini is an important part of their line up. It is not going away.

Remember that the mini’s function is really a cross over product, not a production product.

I am a big fan of the mini. My wife used my old Mac mini 2009 with SSD and 8 GB of RAM until recently and gave her my Mac mini 2012...the best mini ever. She was fine with her 2009...

So saying that, the mini will still be around as per Apple saying so. They don’t see it as priority and do not want to have it cut into iMac sales. Yes, I want an updated mini, but the current one STILL does its purpose as far as Apple is concern: surf the internet, Word Processor, and watch movies or iTunes stuff. That is all they see for it unfortunately.
 

shaunp

Cancelled
Nov 5, 2010
1,811
1,395
Want to get a 2014 Mac Mini for use wth LR and my twin Apple 27" LCD monitors. I am caught between what would be the best option for it, my indecision is on the drive setups, I will be getting 16GB of ram and the 3.0 GHz i7. Should I:

1. Get the 1TB fusion drive, and replace the 1TB HDD with a (spare) 1TB SSD, but as a separate drive. Will the internal 128GB SSD be enough for running the system, LR (Classic CC) and occasionally PS with the system files comfortable? I will put the LR preview cache files (somewhere around 250GB) on the 1TB SSD, the actual photo files, 1.5TB, will be on an external USB3 drive. LR is much faster with the preview cache files on the SSD. Currently the cache files are on the same 1TB SSD as the system files and I am very happy with its performance.

2. Get the 256GB SSD option. I would set the system, preview cache and photo files the same as option #1. I am not quite sure if the most current Mac Mini SSD blade only model comes with a cable to allow me to add the 1TB SSD as a 2nd internal drive. This option gives me a bit more room for the system files, but may I have to get a cable. Both option 1 & 2 are the same price.

3. Get the 512GB SSD. Same situation as #2, just a bit more system breathing room and I should easily be able to put the system and LR cache files on the 512GB blade. I would most likely put a 2TB HHD internal drive in the 2nd drive slot and not have to deal with the external USB drive (except for backup) for my photo files, which I like. The difference is $150.

Don't really want to spend for option #3 unless the 256GB option 1 & 2 will detract in LR performance. Same for the 1TB blade option, $300 more. I have a really great 2012 MacPro hex core that I use for heavy lifting in PS and LR, it's just that it is a heat generator in the summer months and since I live in the desert, I am constantly running the AC in the house to cool down the room I am in.

What pros and cons can you LR users suggest?
I had effectively option2 and some external storage. You will void your warranty with Option1 and Option3 isn't worth the Apple tax for the SSD space - 256GB is ample for the OS and apps. There's plenty of external choices out there for your data. Promise are always a good bet, if a little expensive for home use.
 

SpecFoto

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 23, 2013
65
7
So Cal
Shaunp, thank you for actually answering my question, rather than giving me opinions I don't care about. I am leaning towards the 256 model.

This Mac Mini will be in my home for summer use 4 months a year, likely 2-3 months a year in a RV, driving 1 monitor and 3 months a year in Thailand driving 2 monitors I will buy and leave there. The fact that I can easily take the Mac Mini with me, and just have full size keyboard and mouse sets in 3 locations is what I an after. Could use my 15" 2012 MBP, but the Mini serves me better. And the new MPB's do not work with the Apple 27" monitors, as strange as that seems.

Don't care that the Mac Mini is a 2014 design, it doesn't matter if the Mac Mini is discontinued or upgraded, as long has it suits MY purposes and drives 2 monitors today. If I open the new Mini I will NOT void the warranty, unless I do something stupid and damage something. (I have opened 25 plus Macs in my time including many that were not made to be opened; iMacs, Mac Mini, Mac Books and Mac Book Pros. This includes my 2012 i7 server Mac Mini that I upgraded both drives. But it does not work with 2 monitors and this new 2014 Mini will replace it.) I don't want a iMac, it doesn't fit my purpose. Don't have room for a window AC, as my room is triple plate glass slider.

I asked for opinions on the effectiveness of LR operating with the Mac Mini and the storage options Apple offers, if you answer, please stick to this. Thank You.
 
Last edited:

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
9,878
3,692
This includes my 2012 i7 server Mac Mini that I upgraded both drives. But it does not work with 2 monitors and this new 2014 Mini will replace it.)
The 2012 Mini can run 2 displays without a problem; it'd probably be quite a bit faster at Photoshop and Lightroom than any of the 2014 models.
 

George Dawes

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2014
952
768
=VH=
If the Mac mini is an important part of the Apple lineup , I’d hate to see what they consider unimportant...
 

sublunar

macrumors 65816
Jun 23, 2007
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I'd argue that the speed increase from the i7 upgrade isn't worth getting for the money to be forked out. I'd instead argue that and internal storage increase would be more practical. The SSD only option would be my choice for that.
 
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