Best 2014 Mac mini for LR/PS and Photography

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by SpecFoto, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. SpecFoto, Apr 3, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017

    SpecFoto macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2013
    So Cal
    Looking to get a 2014 Macmini for use with my photography and LR/PSCC and seeking advice on the best option. Currently I have a 2012 Macmini i7 quad core 2.3GHz with 16GB memory and love that Mac except for the lack of support for my dual 27” LED Cinema displays. I do not want to give up one of these displays to run via the HDMI on another type monitor, so this is why I am looking to get a new 2014 Macmini which will run both my LED at 2560 x 1440 natively.

    Whatever version of the 2014 I buy, I intend to put a SanDisk 960GB SSD (same as the 2012 Macmini) in the 1 available SSD slot and run the system and file cache off of it, while my actual photo storage will be on twin 5TB 2.5” drives attached via USB3 (active and backup#1). Locating the cache files on the main system disk means LR/PS runs very fast and it has worked out just great.

    Since I plan to upgrade to a SanDisk SSD anyway, I am kinda thinking of getting the mid tier 2.6GHz Macmini, upgrading it to the 3GHz i7, the ram to 16GB and just getting the standard 1TB HDD spinner drive, as it will be replaced by my SanDisk SSD. This combo prices out at $1199 and is $200 less than the 1TB Fusion Drive option.

    If I went with one of the PCIe blade options, while it might be nice to make a fusion drive with my Sandisk SSD, is this even possible?

    I understand that the 2TB fusion drive (but not the 1TB?) Macminis come with a 128GB PCIe blade and 2TB HDD. Where I am confused is Apple says the 250GB and above storage options are PCIe flash based storage, does this mean they are actually blades? In reading info here and elsewhere I get the impression that the 256GB and above options are actually SSD drives and are in the drive carrier slot and not sitting on top of the carrier like the 128GB blade? Or is it that the 256GB PCIe and above option does not come with a drive carrier because that are larger in size? In either case would the 256GB PCIe option work with my 960GB Sandisk SSD internally?
  2. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    Apple doesn't put SATA SSD's in the Mini so whatever you get, you'll be able to put your own SATA SSD in it. You should be able to do a fusion drive with your SATA SSD and the PCIE drive that comes with the fusion models. The Mini's use the same bracket assembly whether it's the non-SSD or SSD (fusion or not) model. However, if you get the non-fusion Apple SSD, you'll need to buy a cable kit to connect up a SATA drive.

    The $300 for the upgrade to the 3.0Ghz i7 is not a good deal. You get maybe 5-10% better performance.
  3. Celerondon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 17, 2013
    Southern Cal
    So if you skip the 3.0Ghz upgrade and go for a fat Fusion drive model with 16GB of RAM you will be well on you way to the machine that you want. :apple:
  4. Bodhi1968 macrumors newbie


    Dec 20, 2016

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3 April 3, 2017