Mac mini performance

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Gabo.1992, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Gabo.1992 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 2, 2012
    #1
    I'm wondering buy a mac mini with dual display setup buy I have my doubts. Does a mac mini the i7 dual core can be use for hardcore photography and graphic design software use? because I'm currently using a 21.5 iMac quad core i5 and runs good but I want to upgrade to dual 27' thunderbolt displays.

    Also I read that the server one quad core doesn't support dual display, it is right?
     
  2. Omnius, Sep 2, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012

    Omnius macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I've found the dual core i5 more than adequate medium intensity gaming (i.e.: starcraft 2) and it handles watching hd movies while in dual screen. I'm not sure how much this answer helps but 2.5ghz and 8gb of ram seems to be quite sufficient for those benchmarks.

    I see no reason why the server wouldnt support dual displays. Just a quick google search shows that it ought to be fine. However The mac mini doesn't have 2 thunderbolt ports. It comes with 1 HDMI and 1 Thunderbolt. I'm not sure you can daisy chain Thunderbolt displays. That's a question for someone else.
     
  3. Gabo.1992 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    I read that the server doesn't support dual display because the graphic card. I'm asking because my imac 21.5 has a quadcore i5 and 16gb RAM and I almost pull it to the max level of performance and I practically don't know if a dual core can work. For that i'm asking if someone here used a mini with the same purpose I will use it. Thanks Omnius!
     
  4. theRAMman macrumors regular

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    #4
    im pretty sure you can daisy chain multiple moniters with thunderbolt, and the high range (not server) would be best for you.
     
  5. omvs macrumors 6502

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    #5
    You should be able to use two monitors, but one of them has to be connected through the HDMI port. So you won't be able to hook up two thunderbolt displays.

    To my knowledge, I don't think you can daisy-chain two monitors on any current mac through the same thunderbolt port (the bandwidth seems kinda tight). I saw one report that you could daisy chain a minidisplayport off a 27" thunderbolt, but you apparently can't do it right off the monitor - need another device in between.

    The video on the server (HD3000) appears to be able to handle multiple monitors, so that shouldn't be a problem. I think you might want to wait for a mini with dual thunderbolt though...
     
  6. Gabo.1992 thread starter macrumors newbie

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  7. blanka macrumors 68000

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #7
    The limit in Hard Core photography is not in the Mini, it is more in the TB display. With all due respect, but if you are really serious about photography, you don't do it on Apple displays. Guess you are working in AdobeRGB too?
    Oh, and BTW, the other mini's don't do 2 TBD's as well. Over HDMI you can only do 1920x1200.
    Get just one Nec PA301W for the Mini, and you are set for serious work.
     
  8. Gabo.1992 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Yes but I'm looking a quad core one because using Lightroom, photoshop and designing in illustrator took a lot of power and having 4 cores the Mac run smoothly. For the monitor you are right.
     
  9. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #9
    You won't be able to use the server mini with dual ATDs. You can use it with one + a 1080p monitor connected via hdmi. The mid mini with the and 6630m is the only one that can do dual ATDs. Or just wait for the refresh and see what it can do... The hd4000 should be able to push 2 ATDs
     
  10. Gabo.1992 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Yes this is my actual solution. Thanks for all.
     
  11. darkcoupon macrumors regular

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    Aug 8, 2012
    #11
    Sorry, but I'm just wondering where you're getting this information. I work in the photography industry as a professional photoshop retoucher and photographer's assistant. I don't know if that makes me "hard core" enough, but Apple's displays are by far some of the best you can buy for color accuracy and overall quality. All you need in photography, or design for that matter, is a monitor that can display your output color as accurately as possible without having problems with dead pixels or light leaks and Apple's monitors are more than adequate in all categories. The only reason anyone should worry about shelling out cash for a better monitor is if they're running a print shop or make their living designing graphics for spot process output.
     
  12. thekev, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012

    thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #12
    I wouldn't suggest the gamut is a problem. People were able to get close enough on a quality sRGB display. Some things were out of gamut, yet close enough visually. Apple's thunderbolt display has a few issues. The color temperature is quite high. It's difficult to control in brightness. The gamma is a bit high. The thing has limited controls to preserve long term stability. You can use it as many people do, but on a budget I'd go for NEC (within $100 of Apple). Otherwise I'd go for Eizo. They're very easy on the eyes, and it's easy to spot minor variations. They don't have a lot of weird saturation issues either. Almost any brand can experience backlight bleed on some units. If you get a bad one, reject it. I just don't agree that Apple has some of the best quality unless we're comparing to the overwhelming majority of mediocre crap out there. It's more an issue of whether it's good enough. In terms of spot color output, you aren't likely to see that look correct on any display. I'm really serious about this. There are a lot of cyan or maroon colors that just do not display correctly. With some of the costly displays, it's claimed they are capable of displaying a set of colors close enough to their actual LAB values.

    Anyway I'm going on with this too much, but I think if you tried some others, you might change your mind. I also think the people who make their quality claims based on gamut in volumetric terms don't fully grasp the issue, so I agree with you there.

    Blah.. forgot to mention on the mini, wait for the revision. Creative Suite tends to specify vram requirements in their system requirements. Initially the minimum was going to be 512 for CS6. Prior to launch they changed it to 256. A couple things that will be inconsequential for most people don't work there, but that is the minimum for running it with OpenGL drawing. Assuming you want to stick to a recent version with Adobe's licensing policy changes that force you to upgrade each version (although they may still float you if you buy at the end of a release cycle), I would personally avoid something that is that close to minimum requirements. With the revision it will be at least 512, and we are really due for a mini revision. I think the only thing holding it back is that they never release a mini prior to an imac. Haswell is still a year away, so they aren't going to skip it entirely.
     
  13. darkcoupon macrumors regular

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    Aug 8, 2012
    #13
    Good info, but the point of my post is that 90% of professional photographers and designers only concern is that their monitor be calibrated to display color accurately enough to match the output with minimal noticeable difference, and apple's displays over the past 5-6 years have been more than adequate. No monitor will ever fully match every output, and even the most "hard core" people in the field don't care about absolute 100% accuracy.
     
  14. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #14
    I used to have trouble with highlight and shadow details on the older aluminum ones. They were much more hit and miss on uniformity too. Having seen them side by side with CG211 displays at the time, I can tell you the difference was quite significant. The thunderbolt display did not profile well initially with existing devices. You'd need a recent model colorimeter to get a good match from it. Since colorimeters are really finicky, only the really recent ones have been designed with LED backlighting in mind. The range of what is good enough is definitely wider than it was a few years ago. I still prefer NEC to Apple, in spite of their being a little hit and miss. Their warranty is also much longer. Out of curiosity, what kind of retouch work do you do?
     
  15. darkcoupon macrumors regular

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    #15
    Yeah, a few years ago it was a very narrow margin on what was acceptable, but these days almost any half-decent monitor will produce acceptable results with the right calibration. If you're doing your own printing, you're definitely going to be having trial and error periods, no matter what monitor/printer combo you have. I'm sure the NEC monitors have much less, but that's not much of a concern to me after doing it for almost 8 years. Most print shops have their profiles dialed in pretty tight, so if you have a decent monitor with a decent calibration, you should get acceptable results every time. I've used Apple monitors for years, I still use the old 30" Cinema HD display for retouching at home and just got a TB display to take with me when I'm on the road. As long as I keep them calibrated and color correct my files for my printer's profiles, like any good photographer, I've never had any issues. The vast majority of my retouch work is with product photography for catalogs, but I have several clients that shoot anything from portraiture to automobiles. I honestly hardly ever prep files for print anymore, which is why I'm probably so casual with my monitor choices. Most clients just want clean TIFFs in ProPhoto RGB, this allows them to prep the file for whatever output they choose. Typically I find if it looks good when I send out the file, it will look fine on the finished product.
     
  16. Mojo1, Sep 5, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012

    Mojo1 macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Two cents From A 30+Year Pro Photographer...

    Apple's TB display is over-priced for what you get... and don't get.

    I'm going to second the NEC display recommendation because they are a very good value for the money. You can spend more but it is arguable whether or not most photographers will benefit from using an Eizo display.

    NEC displays offer LED or CCFL backlighting; some people are sensitive to LEDs and suffer side-effects such as headaches and eyestrain. You can get NEC displays in standard and wide-gamut flavors. IMO most photographers do not need wide-gamut and you can save a couple of hundred dollars going with a standard-gamut display.

    NEC displays have anti-glare matte surfaces vs. the "glassy" Apple display.

    Apple's display has a one-year warranty that can be extended to three years if you purchase extended AppleCare. NEC displays come with a four year warranty at no extra cost.

    NEC displays can often be found at a discount from B&H Photo, Amazon and other online retailers.

    Finally, NEC displays have swivel, tilt and height adjustments. The Apple TB display only has minimal tilt as an adjustment option. For many people it is simply impossible to properly adjust an Apple display to current ergonomic standards.

    I am an average 5'10" and I cannot properly adjust the Apple display height and no combination of chair and computer desk will compensate for this glaring design deficiency. The only option is to invest $200 or more in a VESA mount, which requires a suitable desk or wall that can support the display.

    Lots of people are beguiled by Apple's Thunderbolt display primarily for two reasons: it matches Apple's current design esthetic and it can be utilized as a hub for multiple devices. But when I compare it to the alternatives, Apple's offering falls short in several critical areas, so it doesn't make the cut when I am shopping for a high-quality display suitable for critical image editing.
     
  17. darkcoupon macrumors regular

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    #17
    Everyone has personal reasons for making any hardware purchase. I, personally, have used my thunderbolt display in a number of different settings and haven't found the viewing angles to be problematic whatsoever. I don't experience eye strain with LED monitors, and I've never had an Apple product fail in less than five years, so I don't see the point of springing for Applecare on anything, especially since I fix most of my own hardware problems anyway. I just took offense to blanka's post about "hard core" photographers not using Apple monitors. I, and most other people I know who make a living in photography, use them without pause. I don't know if you can get anymore hard core than being financially dependent upon the quality of your hardware.
     
  18. Mojo1, Sep 5, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012

    Mojo1 macrumors 65816

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    #18
    As you pointed out, a computer hardware purchase is based on purely subjective needs. My post is an attempt to point out that potential Thunderbolt display buyers should consider a number of variables that are not mentioned very often when people discuss the Thunderbolt display on this forum.

    As far as your experience with Apple hardware, you are indeed a very lucky Apple customer. I have had myriad hardware failures, including a defective 24" iMac display that would have cost me around $1100 to replace if it had not been covered under extended AppleCare. (And I take very good care of my Apple products...)

    Now I may not know as many photographers as you do, but it is misleading to generalize about the adoption of Apple displays by pro photographers based on your limited sampling. I spend a fair amount of time on various pro photography forums and from what I have read third-party displays are favored by a large number of photographers who use Macs. The primary reason for doing so is the lack of an anti-glare option for iMacs and Apple displays. A second reason that is often cited is that wide-gamut displays are only available from third-party manufacturers. I cannot say for certain that a majority of pro photographers favor non-Apple displays, but third-party displays are mentioned a lot more often than Apple displays when discussing display options suitable for serious image editing.

    In my case the lack of a matte display option and basic ergonomic adjustments are deal-killers.

    If an Apple display or iMac meets your needs, more power to you. All I am saying is that one should carefully compare the Apple Thunderbolt display to comparable third-party displays before making a decision.
     
  19. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #19
    Correct. I i do not see were the Apple displays win. However, Apple displays are fine for office work or programming.
     
  20. darkcoupon, Sep 5, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012

    darkcoupon macrumors regular

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    #20
    Well I hate to say it this way, but photography forums are full of hardware geeks who spend more time arguing over stats and numbers than actually shooting and retouching. Whether it's with camera bodies, computers, or peripherals, they will argue that the best numbers produce the best results. In the real world, nobody will ever, EVER, pay attention to the hardware you use if you're producing great results. Heck, I still shoot with an old D200 for most studio jobs if they don't require large files. Not once has a client looked at a file and said "This was clearly produced with an outdated camera."

    Like I said a few posts ago, any half-decent monitor, wide-gamut or not, with a good calibration will produce professionally acceptable color for almost any output. I've worked with photographers who use Apple displays, LG displays, NEC, Samsung, Dell, etc.. and they all produce great work. If you're printing, which I assume is the output most hobbyist photographers shoot for, you're essentially taking a file that contains billions of colors and reducing it down to four. Therefore, making sure your printer profiles are dialed in for accuracy is far more important than having the best display on the market. If your main output is web use, you have even less of a reason to worry about the specifications of your monitor. Even cheap displays are so good these days that someone with enough experience will produce excellent work with them. It's all about personal preference, experience, and output. Even at the professional level. So I don't appreciate it when people categorize those who don't use NEC or Eizo displays as being less "hard core" as those who do.

    EDIT: What I will say is this: Many amateurs and hobbyists that I come across tend to salivate over the biggest and the best when it comes to hardware, either for fear of not being taken seriously or for fear of not producing good enough results. After you've been working in the industry for 8 years, you start to realize that the results depend much more on the person who is producing them rather than the tools that they are using.
     
  21. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #21
    Good for us. Saves a lot of time.

    Not? ;-)
     
  22. TheRdungeon macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Absolute nail on the head, infact you're better off deviating from the rest, arts based pursuits like music,photography, painting whatever all benefit from the quirks you get by not following people insisting that the best hardware is the only way to do things
     
  23. BeamWalker macrumors 6502

    BeamWalker

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    #23
    Why would you want to go with a mini+2xThunderbolt Display Setup when you can get an 27"iMac+Thunderbolt Display, which is much more suited for your use btw, for the same price ?
     
  24. Mojo1, Sep 6, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012

    Mojo1 macrumors 65816

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    #24
    You Are Preaching To The Choir...

    I was specifically referring to pro forums with a higher barrier of entry (DP Review doesn't fall into that category...) You are inferring some things from what I wrote that are the opposite of what I meant.

    In my years in the photo biz I have rubbed shoulders with a fair number of well-known shooters and as photographers tend to do we would talk gear over a few beers. Those amateurs that you referred to would probably be surprised at all the non-pro cameras that are used by people at the top of the game. Usually the reason is because such cameras are smaller and lighter; other times it's because a particular model has a feature that isn't available on a pro model.

    For example, when Nikon released the FM2 with its revolutionary 1/200 flash sync speed the L.A. Times immediately purchased forty bodies. The paper's staff photographers eschewed the pro F2 for a lighter-duty body that eliminated ghosting when using fill-flash in bright sunlight. That fast flash sync was a Very Big Deal circa 1980.

    Galen Rowell often used variants of the FM and FE Nikons because they were small, light and reliable. When you make your living climbing mountains and run uphill for miles to "unset the sunset" as Galen like to say, small and light tends to trump big and heavy. (Galen turned me onto the Nikkor Series E 75-150 zoom, which originally sold for around $100. It was an ancestor of the ubiquitous "kit lens," part of a troika of cheap lenses designed to be used with Nikon's amateur-oriented EM camera. The 75-150 was small, light, sharp and only 2/3 of a stop slower than the huge 80-200 f2.8 zoom. It became the darling of New York fashion photographers and Rowell. I still use a 75-150 that I bought in the used section of a tiny camera shop in Klamath Falls, Oregon many years ago.)

    A more recent example is travel photographer Bob Krist, who favors the Nikon D90 over the arguably more rugged and capable DXXX and full-frame brethren. Bob travels a LOT and the pounds add-up when flying and shooting up to 12 hours a day to make a living.

    I've always tended toward the lighter Nikons. Fortunately, my work doesn't require the features found in the top-end cameras. In the beginning it was a money thing; then after using cameras like the F3 (with a motor drive that doubled the size and weight of the camera...) I settled on non-pro Nikons and never looked back. I really enjoyed the F3's silky-smooth film-advance lever and quiet shutter but its 1/80 flash sync meant it stayed in my office more and more after I bought an FM2. The D800 is as big as I'll go and that's pushing my limit...

    BTW, I also have a D200. It's probably my fave Nikon (with the Nikkormat FT2 being a close second). It's a keeper even though it cannot keep up with more modern DSLRs in the high ISO department. I use it when I know that I can keep it in its sweet-spot of ISO 100-400.

    One area that pros don't skimp on are lenses. Except for low-cost gems such as the 75-150, we usually don't cut corners in that area. I still use Nikkors that I purchased in 1981. They don't have auto-focus of course, but they meter just fine with the current "prosumer" and pro Nikons.

    These days I can afford any computer and camera gear that suits my fancy. But I still get what matches my needs and that rarely requires the Latest and Greatest. Both my wallet and back appreciate it!
     
  25. darkcoupon macrumors regular

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    #25
    Yes, as much as I'd like to spend the next hour discussing my favorite camera gear with you, I'm just going to say that your entire post vehemently proves my point. What applies to camera gear applies to computer hardware. When blanka said "With all due respect, but if you are really serious about photography, you don't do it on Apple displays" it was the equivalent of saying "With all due respect, but if you are really serious about photography, you don't shoot with a D90."

    I'm tired of photographers, designers, musicians, and all other artists being judged by "those who can't" based solely the gear that they use rather than the work they produce. If you prefer NEC displays, by all means enjoy your NEC display. Just don't try to take a crap all over the people who prefer not to use the gear that you do.
     

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