Mac Mini - Running LOGIC Pro / Running Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator etc

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Orangepeal, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Orangepeal macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2010
    #1
    Hi people,

    I am poised to make the change from PC to Mac. However, I have a decision to make.

    I am currently running a 3ghz QUAD core, 8gb RAM with Windows Vista. The system runs well (yes, even though it is Windows) but I wish to move to Mac and ditch the Windows world. I plan to use Logic Pro so need a Mac.

    I have 2 x 24" monitors that set me back 700€. I was thinking to keep those and perhaps buy a Mini Mac. The mini Mac can support 2x displays.

    My big question is this: If I went for the 2.66Ghz Intel Duo Core Mini Mac with 8gb RAM, would this tun Logic Pro without any problems? Would it also run software like Adobe Photoshop / Illustrator / Premiere without hanging or being very slow?

    Who has a mini Mac and currently has these softwares installed? Please advise? Should I simply sell everything and go for an iMac?

    Cheers.
     
  2. vert18 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    #2
    I'd go with a referb Mac Pro and keep your displays.

    I personally can not tell you how those exact programs run on a mini.
     
  3. Orangepeal thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 9, 2010
    #3
    Oki-doki,

    Will have to check refurb prices out. They aren't often much cheaper than buying a new i7 iMac. Thanks anyway for the opinion.

    I am still going to be curious and see if anyone has had any success running Logic Pro or Illustrator or Photoshop etc on a Mac Mini.

    Surely someone has this setup?

    Cheers
     
  4. vert18 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    #4
    Problem is the iMacs have a glossy screen, which is nasty to work on with graphic design(linotronics). I have worked with most adobe stuff and quark, but have not put a mini to that test.

    I'd go ask on the Mac pro section if they might think a mini could handle them programs.

    If you have a good Mac store near you, might ask if you could test one with the programs.
     
  5. Orangepeal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2010
    #5
    Thanks for the opinion.

    I actually went in two Mac shops here in Finland. The first was a disaster. Asked the dude if he spoke English. Said he could but had bugger all to offer. My main question was about the Mac Mini handling Logic Pro / Illustrator etc with a 2.66ghx Intel Core 2 Duo + 8gb RAM. He just ushered me over to the 2300€ iMac i7 and smiled... Get this.

    Of course he wants me to just get that. It's 2300€ worth of sale.

    Went to another Mac shop where I got more help. However, again, the dude pushed me towards the iMac. The same expensive one. No real explanation about the Mac Mini.

    This is why I joined this forum. To find a person who actually uses their Mac Mini for adobe products / Music.

    I understand that the Mac Mini is cheap for a reason. However, if it can handle running those softwares, its great for me as I can keep my existing 2 x 24" monitors. Happy days.

    A 27" iMac would be sweet but its 2300€ and I wouldn't want to run it with a 24" monitor as a second display that is smaller and completely the wrong height, design, shape. If I use two monitors they need to be the same so they can be calibrated the same.

    Cheers again anyhow. I still await to hear from someone out there who has a Mac Mini (2010 model - 2.66ghz) and pushes it to the max.
     
  6. xheathen macrumors 6502

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #6
    I have yet to test mine yet. My wife just got a new mini (2010 model). I run both PS and Illustrator at the same time and handle large graphic files (like 2gb or so at the largest).

    I'll reply what kind of results I get on hers.

    From a spec standpoint, I can't see why it couldn't handle it. I've got a 2.8 triple AMD with 4gb of ram as my main computer (deciding if I'm going full mac or just going to upgrade the PC) and it handles all of my files without missing a beat.

    Part of testing it on my wife's is seeing if it'll work for me professionally. If I did get a mini, considering I didn't wait until the next refresh, I'd be probably going with a 2.66ghz, add 8gb of ram to it, and throw in a SSD for the main boot and use a firewire external for the scratch disk.
     
  7. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    I've got a large number of recent Macs here, include minis and an i7 iMac. I use Adobe CS5 on m iMac and a MacBook that has the same performance as the mini. I use Photoshop regularly and occasionally Illustrator. I also use Aperture which is a real CPU hog. I don't have Premiere or Logic Pro but process 2-4 hours of video a week in iMovie and occasionally edit the sound with GarageBand.

    The MacBook is acceptable, but I surely appreciate the iMac for Video. I think the OP will be disappointed with the mini after using a 3GHz quad core Windows system.

    FYI the minis here are used as entertainment centers and the server mini as a server. I don't use any of them as workstations.
     
  8. Orangepeal thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 9, 2010
    #8
    Thanks for the great response.

    My plan is just that: 2.66ghz with 8gb RAM. I may also add a 128gb SSD too and run an external drive via Firewire.

    I am really keen to hear how you get on with the Adobe products on the Mac Mini. For example: Does it hang, get slow, take ages? If you can drop your comments here I would very much appreciate this.

    Cheers! :)
     
  9. Orangepeal thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 9, 2010
    #9
    I have thought about the DuoCore a few times and have to admit that moving from a QUAD back to a DUO does bug me. However, Mac's do seem to handle tasks and run significantly more efficient than a Windows OS. If only the Mac Mini came with an i3 or i5 core... However, I can imagine the heat created from such a processor...
     
  10. B.A.T macrumors 6502

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    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    Idaho
    #10
    I have an iMac with a 2.66 duo core and 4GB of ram. While not exactly the machine you are asking about I run Photoshop CS4 on and use iMovie for editing 1080P video. It works fairly well. However, I intend to upgrade to 8GB of ram in a couple of months. I would think that you'd be fine with the mac mini.
     
  11. MikeinJapan macrumors regular

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    Apr 23, 2010
    Location:
    Tokyo
    #11
    I know a guy that runs logic on a MBP 2.5Ghz 4GB 667ghz and he says it is fine with the odd beach ball and a short wait for compression.

    I think the mini will do it and do it well. It wouldnt be blazing but will work well! I am not sure if 8GB is needed. Is logic 64bit?
     
  12. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816

    calaverasgrande

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    Oct 18, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York.
    #12
    I had no problem running logic on my older Mac Mini (1.6 ghz core duo, 1.5gb ram, 60 gb hard drive). This is quite a testament to how well written Logic is in regards to audio buffering and waveform redraws. Now that I am upgraded to a 500gb 7200rpm drive and a core 2 duo chip it is much faster. Sadly it maxes out at 2gbram (older intel model). It also does just fine on Photoshop and Illustrator. Though coming over from a quad core PC those apps may seem a little less snappy on a 2.66ghz mac mini. Though to be honest I think it wasnt until CS5 that they had quad core support?
    My old PC is for playing GTA San Andreas now.
     
  13. chuxdaddy macrumors member

    chuxdaddy

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    las vegas
    #13
    I currently have a 2009 mac mini with 4GB of ram and a 500Gb harddrive. I am new to music production too. I currently run Logic 8 and Pro Tools 8 le. I also have an external fw800 harddrive for audio projects. I have not done much with actual audio, but mainly software instruments and have not run into nay problems.
    If you get a chance, check out www.macjams.com
    I also can across a gearslutz.com and someone there created a test using logic, and based on this test, i was able to set 16 tracks on my mac mini.
    http://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/371545-logic-pro-multicore-benchmarktest.html

    good luck.
     
  14. krravi macrumors 65816

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    Nov 30, 2010
    #14
    I ran the Apple Logic Studion on a Mac Mini (1.8 Ghz, 2GB RAM) and it runs fine. But the acid test would be to play the demo songs that come with the logic studio.

    In my case, the mini couldnt handle it. It started stuttering and finally quit playing with a "Cant process audio" or something like that. I saw the CPU and it had spiked to the max.

    Thats what bought me to buy a iMac. But i had tint issues and i sent that back. But, i was able to play the demo songs without a hitch.

    So i have ordered a 2010 Mac Mini and 8 Gig Ram. Lets see how that works out. If that doesnt work, then i have to save up some money and get a Mac Pro and the best monitor there is, a NEC.
     
  15. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816

    calaverasgrande

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    Oct 18, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York.
    #15
    to be fair, even in Logic you will have to tweak the audio buffer settings when working on larger projects. I use short (32 samples) when tracking. I use long (256 samples) when mixing. The more samples in the buffer the less work the CPU has to do to shuffle the audio data around.
    You would be surprised how much breathing room this buys you when using softsynths.
     
  16. krravi macrumors 65816

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    Nov 30, 2010
    #16
    Yes i had maxed out the sample buffers and everything and still it couldnt play the demo song.

    In fact the demo song wouldnt even play in the iMac Core i3, but after tweaking the buffer it played.

    I read somewhere that there is a limit to the number of tracks you can have in Logic, when using the mini.

    I think the best thing to do would be to buy a Mac Pro and a separate monitor like the Dell Ultrasharp 27 inch.

    I am surprised why i think that combo is expensive, whereas 7 years ago i bought a 600 Mhz PC for 2 grand with a measly 512 MB Ram.

    Times have changed and so has our wallet !
     
  17. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816

    calaverasgrande

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    Oct 18, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York.
    #17
    oops, my bad. After I do-loaded the test file I went through the steps and foudn out I can only get 14 tracks regardless of what I do with buffers. So Logic does not behave like Sonar, Cubase, Reaper etc. It has a fixed playback buffer you cant fiddle with. (at least in 8.0.2).
    Also noticed that Logic 8 is not 64 bit. Does 9 run as a 64 bit app? That would compel me to upgrade when my next computer rolls on in.
    Oh yeah, and my mac mini is ANCIENT.
     
  18. krravi macrumors 65816

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    Nov 30, 2010
    #18
    I just bought Logic 9.0 and no its not a 64 bit app.
     
  19. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816

    calaverasgrande

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    Oct 18, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York.
    #19
    thats kinda lame. It isnt just large sample sets that need extended ram. Also composing to picture it is nice to have the rough cut in ram, not spooling off the disk. I could probably come up with more reasons why 64 bit is better. More so, the chips have been out for years. 8gb ram is not uncommon. There are effects and softsynths that can instantiate as 64. Come on apple!
     
  20. krravi macrumors 65816

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    Nov 30, 2010
    #20
    I was perfectly fine with my 1.8 Ghz mini till i loaded logic and thats what made me buy the latest mac mini.
     
  21. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816

    calaverasgrande

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    Oct 18, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York.
    #21
    I suppose it depends what you do with it. I have a c2d 2ghz mac mini, its an upgraded 1.66 cd from the first gen of intel machines.
    It runs logic fine. But I mostly am just remixing stems of other peoples projects with some sparing eq/dynamics. Of those I use the Stillman stuff a lot and for softsynths the Waldorf vst/au tri-pack. So I am not pummeling it with several FX on each track. I also rarely have more than 3 softsynths. It does record 10 tracks at once just fine, which is all that my MOTU 828MKII is capable of without adat or spdif hooked up.
    I am interested to see how my i5 macbook pro compares when it gets here later this week. I have a bad feeling it will flatten my mac mini so much that I wont use it anymore. Maybe it will end up in the living room?
     
  22. krravi, Dec 7, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010

    krravi macrumors 65816

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    Nov 30, 2010
    #22
    Just got my mini ! Loaded it up with 8 gig Ram as soon as i got it. Things are way smoother than my older mini and i think i am loving it.

    Havent installed Logic yet. I just want to lay down some instrumental tracks and wont be doing any audio on it. Mostly to play with the synths.

    Update : Installing logic and the friggin hard drive is soooooooooo slow. Slower than my old mini. Of course i had installed a 320 GB 7200 RPM on that one.

    Time to upgrade the hard drive ASAP.
     
  23. xheathen macrumors 6502

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #23
    I just wanted to update this also with what I've tested.

    My desktop that I've been looking at upgrading is currently an AMD Phenom II x3 2.6ghz with 4gb of DDR3 ram. I work heavily in Photoshop, Illustrator and do print and web work.

    My wife's 2.4ghz mac mini had an extra 2gb of ram added to it for a total of 4. I went ahead and loaded CS5 on it and for the most part I've come to the conclusion that the mac mini just isn't fast enough in it's stock form.

    Working with basic files was fine until you got into anything that was like 18" or above. At that point I found that it was just a little too choppy. The biggest issue I had was with the filters and how slowly they loaded. Quite honestly I was more surprised at the performance of my AMD machine than anything else.

    I think what you'd really need to do is go with the SSD or at the very least do a 2.66 server edition for the 7200 rpm drives and then do an external optical drive and slap in 8gb of ram.

    For me, I just can't justify slapping down the amount of money required to either fully deck out a mac mini or go with an iMac. I'd probably at the very least need to do a core i5, and at that point the best bang for your buck is the 27". So I think where I'm at right now is to continue to wait out my mac purchase for either

    A) a generation of mac mini that really brings the performance to the table. This will eventually happen with how technology is progressing.

    B) My computer / monitor dies and I need to go ahead and pretty much do a full system replacement. My next monitor I think I'll be looking at a 24" or above IPS monitor anyway, so the 27" iMac makes a lot more sense from that standpoint.

    So it's a $400 PC upgrade for me unfortunately.
     
  24. krravi macrumors 65816

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    Nov 30, 2010
    #24
    I just loaded Logic finally after one whole day !

    The demo song by Lilly Allen (nice song btw) once again got stuck in the middle. Looked at the CPU and it was loaded to 100%. The extra RAM in the new mini helped a lot as the song loaded, all the samples were loaded into the memory and disk activity was zero. Thats good.

    So a core i series is whats going to work smoothly. I dont think i will ever create a song that complex, so i am going to have fun with the mini for a few years and then lets see how it goes.

    Mac Pro 8 core would be the machine to get !
     
  25. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816

    calaverasgrande

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    Oct 18, 2010
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York.
    #25
    Yeah, running the Logic benchmark from gearsluts on my i5 macbook pro I get at least 20 more channels than in my Mac mini.
     

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