Mac mini good enough for Photo/Graphic work

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Tan from London, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. Tan from London macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2005
    Hello, I have a budget approved for the following:

    Apple Mac mini server with 8GB RAM QUAD CORE i7
    2 x 750 Gb drives
    External DVD

    At the moment I use a 2007 Mac pro 2.0GHHZ dual core which is running kinda slow.

    work I do is Aperture, Photoshop, Quark and Indesign. Not massive files but take lots of photos and do lots of editing of photos to size up to approx A4 size or less for publication.

    Will the above Mac Mini do the job much better than present set-up in terms of speed and graphics? I run a Dell 30 inch DV screen.

    I need 2 750 gb drives because of the photos and although they are also backed up, I need to take the MAcmini often to another location and need files on hand all the time.

    On the Macpro I have a NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT card with 256 VRAM which runs the monitor at resolution of 2560 x 1600.

    I can wait another 2 weeks if another if a 2012 mini come sout but if not will the high end of present range work faster and better than present.

    Thank you for the help in advance
  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Yeah the 2011 Mini Server flies. You can put the 2 hard drives into a RAID 0 configuration to boost your speed even more. Almost to SSD levels. It would be a great work tool for a few years.
  3. davidb367 macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Me too...

    I have a 2006 MacPro 1,1 and I was waiting for the new Mini. I do 3D rendering, photoshop, and app development on mine. I got tired of waiting. For 250.00, I updated the processors from 4 core to 8 core and RAM from 6 to 12 GB. I also added an SSD for an extra 100.00 bucks.

    The big issue for me is the Mini bumps are random. You could be waiting a long time for the next bump or a few weeks. I needed to do something about the 3D render times. The new version of Poser Pro was doubling or tripling my render times.
  4. blanka, Jul 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012

    blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    The mini is roughly 50% faster on raw data munching, but the impression will be better. I would go for the i7/Radeon in your case, or the i5 which is almost the same speed. 4-core is not that important for Photo/Graphic work, yet having a decent GPU is nice with the latest Adobe suites that rely heavily on GPU power.
    For storage, you better look for a good Firewire/TB external case. Even with raid, the internal solution of the server is very limited. 1TB is not too much for professional work, and access-speed is more of an issue than raw throughput so even a single good Firewire 800 cased 3,5 inch high speed drive will deliver better results than internal notebook drives, not to mention the possibilities with Thunderbolt 3,5 inch raid enclosures.

    Updating sounds like a great option too. You're Pro has 65nm dual cores, and 45nm quadcores roughly deliver double the speed at the same thermal output. And if the thermal design of the base model is the same as the high end model of that time, you might even throw in faster ones. If you can pop in quad 2.8 Ghz ones or so, your machine will fly again. The memory buss stays rather limited. It is 667mhz where the Mini has 1333Mhz, and the older Pro RAM is way more expensive. 16Gb for the mini is 100 bucks.
  5. davidb367, Jul 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012

    davidb367 macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2007
    The upgrade option is good if you want to get an faster mac cheap. A new mini will run about $1000 (mini + RAM). The RAM is coming down. I've seen 8GB (2 X 4GB) sets on the internet for ~$105.00.

    The biggest issue with upgrading a 1,1 or 2,1 MacPro is that at some point, your photo software is going to get out of date and may not work on Lion. This happened to me with Poser. The next version of Poser will probably not work on Lion and I will need a new machine.

    The 7300GT is a DOG. If you want to upgrade instead of buying a Mini, this is what I would do:

    - AMD 5770 upgrade card from Apple
    - More RAM
    - 128 GB SSD from OWC

    The 5770 would pump up your graphics processing for photoshop.
    More RAM would decrease page outs on large photos.
    The SSD would speed up your boot and load times and you could use it as your scratch area for Photoshop. The SSD has made my MacPro a lot more responsive.
  6. Tan from London thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2005
    Hi David, I think your use is more processor intensive than mine with £d rendering etc. I do not have budget for laptop but Macmini serves well as it is sort of portable to take to another office. I need to do this at least twice a month. i already have monitors in place at various places.

    I still intend to use the MAcpro but for other work



    Hi David and Blanka

    I do not really want to upgrade the MAcpro.. have no idea how to do it and if I have been given budget for Macmini I can only use it for that though I am allowed to increase RAM to 16GB.

    The extra 750gb drives are each at 7200 RPM so speed should be ok - my main concern is the graphics card - will it work with my 30 inch monitor at full res. I work with big files but not huge files. For instance I produced a 120 page brochure with about 200 photos and present system was ok by a bit slow - this was exception job rather than the rule.

    I have another 2 weeks maybe to use the budget - A Macmini server quadcore with two 750 GB drives at 7200 rpm with 16gb ram sounds as though it can do the job for at least 2-3 years - shouldn't it?


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