Mac Mini for photo editing

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by 147798, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    I'm thinking of stepping out of my MacBook Pro 13" stream, and moving into a Mac Mini. I have a 2009 MBP and it's starting to slow a bit. I could pass this on to my kids, and upgrade.

    I do photo processing, working with Lightroom and RAW. Those are my heaviest tasks. I think any modern i5 mini would be an improvement (I'd add a nice 24"+ SIPS monitor :)

    But I was thinking -- what about the quad servers? I see some used Quad i7s for around $850. I have to imagine those boxes will be solid for several years, though I could save some money by just going with a dual i5.

    Are the minis, like the MBP, no longer user-serviceable? Can't change HDD or add memory? If so, what was the last year of the mini where you could update it yourself?
  2. Daisy81, Jan 21, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016

    Daisy81 Suspended


    Dec 29, 2015
    The 2014 models do not have quad core i7 processors. You will want a 2012 to get a quad core.

    The 2012 can change the RAM and the drives. It uses SATA3 for both hard drive slots. It isn't as fast of read and write but in my opinion it's close enough that at the $1000 price point I wouldn't argue.

    My 2012 2.3GHz Core i7 with 16GB of RAM a 250GB SSD with the 1TB 5400 RPM drive it came with set as a fusion drive can do everything my late 2015 iMac can except the more demanding games. However keep in mind everything is slower. I haven't tried anything above 1080P on the Mac Mini. I'm not sure how it would hold up with UHD but it does ok with Full HD.

    The 2014 Mac Mini can get pricy and it's not possible to upgrade the RAM. you can change out the SATA3 drive. The PCIe drive is going to be more expensive to swap out.

    An external USB3 drive for storage works pretty well. I would put as much SSD in any of the Mac Minis that you can get and have the bulk storage on a external drive.

    The question is though, will Apple be updating the Mac Mini soon and if so with what. Honestly though I think any 2012 quad core or 2014 above the base model will serve you well.
  3. Celerondon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 17, 2013
    Southern Cal
    I think that you are correct in thinking that "any modern i5" would help but the quads do have their charms. ;)
    That 2012 i7 quad core (and the others) is not just a video powerhouse. I created a few thousand RAW images over the holidays. An i5 could have processed the hundreds that I finally selected but this quad core did the job in ½ the time that an i5 would have taken. Modern DSLR images may not tax our hardware as much as video rendering but I was well over 400% CPU utilization when I checked the other day.

    Those i5 minis are great machines. If you get an i5 model you will be pleased with the performance. The i5 and i7 CPUs deliver identical performance during typical light computing tasks. However, when the job is massive and the software supports multiple-core operation the i7 will be twice as fast. :eek:
  4. Daisy81 Suspended


    Dec 29, 2015
    This is true the Quad core is better. It's a real shame the 2014 didn't have a Quad core option. We can only hope that the next Mac Mini gets Quad Cores again.

Share This Page