Mac Mini 2012 - Photographer's Initial Impressions Lightroom/PS

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Obsidiank, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Obsidiank macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2011
    Hi Folks,

    Fully time photographer here who just upgraded from a Macbook Air 2011 with 4GB Ram to Mac Mini 2012 I7 2.6 with 16GB Ram and 256 SSD.

    My Macbook Air was the fastest computer I'd ever owned when I got it and it has served me well the past two years. Unfortunately, the new 20+ meg files my new camera is spitting out is making my edit times extra long, so I had to upgrade.

    Test 1 : Render 1:1 Previews for 100 22.2MB Files

    Macbook Air - 14 minutes/ ~8 seconds per file
    Mac Mini 2012 - 6 minutes/ ~3 seconds per file

    Test 2 : Export 100 Raw to JPEGS 100% Quality

    Macbook Air - 15 minutes/ ~10 seconds per file
    Mac Mini 2012 - 6 minutes 12s/ ~ 4 seconds per file

    Basically, I've reduced my edit times by more than half so I'm really happy.


    Geekbench 32bit score is 11987. Not too shabby.
  2. here2rock macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2012
    Thank you for sharing those results. They are very impressive.
  3. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    I have a 2008 iMac with 6GB RAM and 240GB SSD. I use it primarily for web browsing, iMovie and Aperture. I've been milking it along, waiting to see what Apple has done with the iMac line as I had assumed I'd replace it in-kind. However, these new Minis have a lot of power, assuming you don't need high end discrete graphics. There is no doubt in my mind that when I ultimately upgrade, it will be to a Mini.

    My 2012 MBA is already faster than my 2008 iMac. Based on what you and others have reported, the 2012 Mini screams for photo editing.
  4. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    All the bitching and moaning on this forum about the Mac Mini GPU makes me wonder if the whiners have actually used the computer... :rolleyes:

    I also use the Mini in my pro photo biz and it is plenty fast and powerful. The lack of a discrete GPU is a potential problem only if a person wants to do advanced gaming or extensive video and image editing that would benefit from a more powerful GPU that takes advantage of GPU acceleration.

    Even if Apple introduced the fabled "headless" iMac I would probably stick with the Mac Mini. Aside from being a great computer, it is relatively inexpensive and its high resale value means I will probably upgrade more often than I have in the past. It makes no sense to me to be required to upgrade a display along with the computer. And I can actually access the Mini's innards and do most upgrades and repairs myself.
  5. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Preach it, Brother.
    New Mini here, doing reasonable amounts of work in CS6 -- InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Photoshop. Plus Logic, Finale, FileMaker, and whole host more.
    And running two monitors.

    No evidence that the GPU is made of cheese, brown paper and string.

    Plus you still get FireWire, IR (for my old iMac's remote), and audio in, none of which you now get on an iMac.
  6. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
  7. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    Those are interesting numbers, and impressive.

    I'm sitting here with a 5,1 hex Mac Pro (24 gb RAM) with spinning disks (7200).

    It's a slow afternoon, so I spooled up a folder with 107 D800 images and used LR4 to do the same thing (1:1 preview, 100% jpg output).

    Total file size for the input folder: 4.53 GB (43.3 mb/image)

    Total file size for the output folder: 2.14 GB (20.5 mb/image)


    9:13, which is about 5.2 seconds per image or roughly 8 mb rendered/second


    9:46, which is about 5.5 seconds per image or roughly 3.7 mb exported/second

    Next task should be to factor in price . . . nah. I don't want to know.

    I'd like to go SSD, but the time savings wouldn't really matter to me. It would be cool, though.
  8. dr.devious macrumors regular


    Nov 30, 2008
    Truckee Meadows, NV
    How different would those results be between a 2012 Mac Mini with the i5 versus the i7?
  9. here2rock macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2012
    Mac Mini 2012 - Photographer's Initial Impressions Lightroom/PS

    Haswell CPU will make Mac Mini even a better product.
  10. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Sooo what you are saying is that the next generation of processors will be better than this generation of processors? You mean Intel won't take a step back in processing power?

    Awesome. Glad you cleared that up!

    All sarcasm aside. Yes Haswell will be slightly faster (probably 10-20% again), but the big win is again a much faster GPU. However, I haven't heard whether GPU acceleration within PS or Lightroom will be supported with Haswell, so it may not make much of a difference to a photographer anyway.
  11. here2rock macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2012
    Do you have you a reason to believe that it will not be supported?
  12. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    Paul woke up on the dark side today. I will play the light side. there is no reason shown that there will be no support. In fact The 2013 haswell mini will be a truly great machine.
  13. Dafke macrumors 6502


    Mar 24, 2005
    I'm wondering if Firewire will be continued in the Mac Mini 2013. What do you people think?
  14. here2rock macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2012
    You made me laugh.
  15. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    They will skip Haswell as it does not fit.
  16. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    I know the site is called MacRumors, but discussions about what "in fact" will be in future Apple hardware really bore me. OK, the available options to Apple might be apparent. But no one really knows (and everyone is always surprised by something).

    If there's one thing the internet doesn't need more of, it's unsubstantiated opinions.:D
  17. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Well, the HD3000 and the HD4000 aren't supported (last I knew), so that's why I am guessing that the HD4600 won't be supported either at least as far as GPU accelerated tasks. Everyone keeps touting how "slow" the HD4000 is compared to discrete graphics chips (since they are GPU accelerated). So unless someone has some proof that the HD4600 will be supported in PS then I'm going to err on the side of caution and say it won't. Please prove me wrong as it would be huge for the photographic community (I couldn't care less to be honest, as I only do very basic photo editing).


    Actually no I didn't. Haswell will be a great machine sure. But to say that it will be so much better than an Ivy Bridge machine for photographers is just ridiculous unless suddenly PS and/or Lightroom adds support for the Intel GPU's. Without that, when it comes to processing photos, it will be marginally faster and that's really it. Photographers aren't all that GPU bound (especially when it isn't GPU accelerated).
  18. jburrows500 macrumors regular


    Jan 26, 2007
    Hells Kitchen NYC
    Thank you for your post.. Your configuration is exactly what I was looking to get myself.. 2.6 i7 with SSD 256 and I will buy the 16GB of ram aftermarket as its much cheaper. I am currently a windows user with lightroom 4. I have about 29,000 images in my library (266GB) and find my quad Q6600 has seen better days.. I am assuming you have your library on an external drive. Did you go a thunderbolt drive? If so, what kind?. Thanks!
  19. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    It's cheaper to get the Fusion drive than the 256Gb SSD. That will give you the space you need with the speed advantage of SSD.

    If you have your photos on an external drive, you will need another separate external drive for backing them up.
  20. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
  21. mckey macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2009
    Thanks for posting those results..... I've just installed Lightroom 3 on my mac mini but haven't had the chance to try it out yet.:)
  22. August West macrumors regular

    August West

    Aug 23, 2009
    Land of Enchantment
    Although I'm just an amateur I shoot everything RAW and use LR4 to convert and catalog all my photos. I have this exact same setup and have been quite satisfied with the performance I am getting from it. There are a lot of complaints about the HD4000 in these machines but I find it perfectly adequate for my needs as a still photographer and since there are no children playing games on the mini a higher performance gaming card would just be a waste.
  23. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    Just waiting for a retina screen, then a mini to run it. All the higher level Macs have enough power for my use and so a super screen is the upgrade I want for Aperture use.
  24. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2011
    If and when Apple introduces an external Retina display it will likely suffer from typical Apple form-over-function design choices: there will be no ergonomic adjustments but there will be a shiny piece of glass over the display. And it will also be ridiculously over-priced for what you get... I'll stick with NEC displays, Thank Yew Very Much!

    Retina displays are much ado about relatively little... but it is a great way to pump-up Apple's balance sheet now that touting faster CPU speeds is a marketing dead-end.
  25. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    Let's just hope it's the 2013 Haswell mini, and not the 2014 Haswell mini.

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