Maxed out 2104 Mini to run end-of-life Adobe CS6 Design Standard?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by CSeye, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. CSeye macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2014

    I'm considering this configuration - i7, 16GB RAM, and 512 SSD, and macOS Sierra - for the sole purpose of running Adobe CS6 (PS, AI, InD, and Acrobat Pro X).

    CS6 is currently running well on my aging but still-kicking 2010 i5 MBP. I have perpetual licenses for several versions of the CS but will not become a subscriber. Affinity Photo and Designer are fabulous but are still works in progress.

    Macs have alway been general purpose machines for me: heavy use - audio, moderate use - graphics, and light use- video. This is the first time I considered a Mac for more or less one specific application.

  2. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    I have no doubts that it could run the program better, but since you mention it still runs well in your current machine, I would seriously consider waiting a bit longer for a new Mac mini. It wouldn't be wise to make such an investment for a Late 2014 machine in Early 2017.
  3. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013

    Couldn't help myself.

    But seconded that it's hardly a good buy at this point. If you're going to buy 2014 tech, might as well pay 2014 prices.
  4. CSeye thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2014
    The recommendations made are solid, and I can wait.

    Some factors in my thought process:
    - CS6 came out in 2012 around Mac OS X 10.7.
    - I think Mavericks was compatible with CS6, with El Capitan and now Sierra really pushing the OS/application compatibility boundaries.

    One concern is what version of macOS will be installed on the the new Mini when or if it ever materializes. If Sierra, then the wait will be worth it. If something new, then CS6 may not work.

    When considering the 2014 Mini, the intent would be to simply not update the macOS beyond what is compatible with CS6. Both macOS and application would be frozen in time so to speak.

    Desparate measures...

  5. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    That's exactly what will happen. Adobe has no plans on supporting CS6 forever. It's incompatibility with new hardware and OSes is near.

    Get the used mini if you want to avoid CC hell.
  6. rybitronn macrumors newbie


    Jan 18, 2017
    Celina, TX
  7. CSeye thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2014
    I am looking at new and refurbished.
    It seems weird to continue using it as a dead-end application but there's still a boat-load of functionality in CS6.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 18, 2017 ---
    Thanks for pointing that out!
    I have archived OS X installers from SL onward. Yosemite might be the best OSX for CS6.
  8. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    The thing about photoshop is that it never needed be upgraded (really) beyond CS3 or so. Even the old photoshop 6 (not CS6) that ran on Mac OS9 does basically everything you really need.

    Photoshop is done. It doesn't need anymore features. CS6 will be more than good enough forever.
  9. CSeye thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2014
    That's my impression as well.
    Layers, blending modes, layer masks, and adjustment layers. That's all I need.
  10. craig1024 macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2016
    CS6 runs fine on Sierra on my late 2012 i5 mac mini with 8gb of ram
  11. Chancha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2014
    I run CS6+CC on 2012 Mini and on a 2015 maxed out 15" MBP, I can tell you the performance difference of 2D graphics apps off the suite are close to none between these machines. Unless you tread into video editing / 3D effects / audio effects related tasks, Adobe seems to write their apps with assumption the user is still using barebones machine from years ago.

    2014 Mini is perfectly fine for CS purpose, except perhaps the CPU being only dual core, which takes literally twice as long for multi-thread aware tasks such as Lightroom RAW loading and export, and Photoshop CPU intensive filters. But other than that for a general InDesign centric desktop publishing workflow even a 2012 Mini will suffice.

    For CS6 compatibility, Sierra currently has issues but nothing deal breaking, but you can go as far back as 10.10 on 2014 Mini, or some people prefer 10.11 saying it is the most stable. In fact I would suggest running 10.8.5 on a 2012 Mini, get a cheap used one that has 2.6GHz i7 quad core and then swap in 16GB RAM and a fast large SSD by yourself. The only thing you miss is Thunderbolt 2.
  12. LaMonte macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2016
    I have a Mac Mini 2014 with 512 ssd and 8 GB Ram. I am running CS6 Standard no problems. I upgraded to a samsung 512 ssd, I bought the mid range Mac Mini.

    Attached Files:

  13. rybitronn macrumors newbie


    Jan 18, 2017
    Celina, TX
    The biggest thing that you have going for you in the SSD. Although processor and RAM have an influence on Adobe, the SSD really helps!!!
  14. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    I've been wondering about that myself lately. I still have a copy of CS3 (and version 7.0) but am paying subscription for CC.

    I think I'll ditch the subscription and go back to CS3 and Lightroom 4, especially since I'm a casual user who doesn't actually use it all that much.

    It's hard not to simply get the latest because in your mind, you want to be using the absolute best tools available.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 20, 2017 ---
    I think it says a lot that a 5-year old computer/OS is being recommended, and I second that recommendation (though to be honest I think I'd just consider Windows at this moment in time).
  15. Boyd01, Jan 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017

    Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    It is funny to see people saying this… I thought it was just me :) . Still running CS3 and it really does everything I need. On my Windows 7 machine I still have CS2 and it is pretty much the same.

    But I still have MacOSX 10.8.5 on my quad 2012 mini and i7 2013 MacBook Air. IIRC, CS3 won't run on the newest versions MacOS. I picked up a copy of Photoshop Elements when it was on sale for $40 recently and figured I could use it as an alternative when I eventually update MacOS. I used it in the past and it had almost all the features of the full CS version.

    My needs are really pretty modest and I don't see where the newer versions would offer anything.
  16. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    My needs are quite modest, as well -- I sure don't make any money from mucking about in Photoshop. ;)

    I've never quite figured out if Elements has what I need, but I figure CS3 probably does.

    The fact that CS3 doesn't run on macOS anymore is an example of why I don't purchase expensive software for Mac anymore. The shelf-life and support tend to be rather short compared with Windows. I can still run PS 7.0 (from 2002) in Windows 10, and will be able to until end of W10 support in 2025. I still use tons of applications (especially at work and school) that are from the early 00's without any difficulties. Plus I have all the options in the world of hardware options, configurations, upgrades, etc.

    I really like Mac for mobile (MacBook Pro). The hardware is second to none and the software tends to work well for mobile. But for a desktop, I really can't justify anything in the Apple lineup anymore -- endless compromise and risk, especially as I watch Apple lose interest in the segment entirely.
  17. CSeye thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2014
    CS3 is very powerful. I only upgraded to CS5, then 6 because I wanted the latest and greatest. Funny thing is that the new features were not what I used on a routine basis.

    I deactivated C3 and 5 so that I have two activations per version should I need them.

    Interesting that Windows will run PS 7, a version which I put to rest on the Mac around 2006.
  18. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    That's what happened to me, too... wanting the latest and greatest.

    The subscription adds up over time though. I had the photography package that's about CAD $20/month for around two years (about $500). Yet I don't think I used any features beyond what I already had in LR4 and CS3.

    It'd be different if I used it for work. For the odd casual photo touch-up / develop, definitely not needed.
  19. CSeye thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2014
    The action taken was to install Yosemite and CS6 on a Samsung Evo 500 GB SSD in an OWC Mercury Mini enclosure. I currently have two Macs that can run this.

    Consideration of a 2014 Mini was a valid option but I'm eager to what Apple has to offer in 2017.

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18 January 16, 2017