mini or imac for graphic designer

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by appleman108, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. appleman108 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    #1
    hi

    I’m a graphic designer and have been using a mini for about five years.
    (1.66 GHz Core Duo. 2gigs memory).

    It gets the job done, but it’s high time to upgrade

    Should get the new mini or an imac?

    I already have a 23” cinema display that would seem a waste to get rid of

    I’d hate to go down to a 21” monitor imac and the 27” seems huge, and expensive,
    especially considering they’ve been having problems with them.

    The new mini would probably suffice (and be way cheaper) but I wonder how it’ll handle C34/5

    i'm really in a quandary on this
    and would appreciate your thoughts

    thanks guys
     
  2. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #2
    I assume you mean CS4/5 :) ...if so, I have a recent Mini (2.53GHz/4GB) that handles CS5 very well - specifically, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign all run smoothly. With Photoshop I'm working with 130MB scanned TIFFs with no problems at all, and much faster and smoother than CS2 on my old G5. I am, however, using an external FW800 drive to hold the images and another for a scratch disk, which alleviate any bottlenecks with the 5400rpm internal HDD.

    I also have the 23in ACD which I wouldn't want to part with.
     
  3. a2applegirl macrumors regular

    a2applegirl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    #3
    I have both an i7 macbook pro and the new mac mini server. I have cs 4 on both of them. My mac mini is mostly for video (it is hooked to my plasma tv) but I put cs4 on it recently to fiddle with some of my photos on the big screen. I get the beach ball more on the mini, but than I do on the macbook pro, but only when I have a lot of windows open for edit. Basically cs4 works fine on the mini (although it is faster on the i7 macbook pro obviously).
     
  4. appleman108 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    #4
    thanks for you thoughts.
    the external FW800 drive and scratch disc make sense.
    how does the scratch disc work?
     
  5. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #5
    Photoshop uses one or more "scratch" disks to read/write from/to its temporary working files. You should ideally use a drive that is:
    1. the fastest on your system
    2. is not your operating system drive (boot drive)
    3. does not contain any data or image files
    - so, on a Mac Mini based system, a (7200rpm+) FW800 drive reserved just for that purpose.
     
  6. appleman108 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    #6
    thanks 4candles,

    so, would you have one external HD (a 1 or 2 TB) for backup and storage and a separate one as a scratch disk - smaller HD?
     
  7. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    England
    #7
    Yes - one external HD for scratch disk, one for storage. And another for backup anyway (you don't need to backup the scratch disk).

    The scratch disk can be small - probably the smallest FW800 you can find; 80GB is plenty. I think the actual calculation is 1.5x the amount of RAM you have, but you're not likely to find a FW800 disk that small. Speed is the key factor, not capacity.
     
  8. mlyon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #8
    I've got the server mac mini and it runs both CS4 and CS5 perfectly. If you already have the monitor I would get the mini. The iMac makes more sense if you have to get a monitor as well. However, if you hate Apples glossy monitors like me, the mini is the only way to go without the complete overkill of a Mac Pro. Make sure to upgrade the RAM to at least 4GB, 8 would be ideal and bump up the disk to a 7,200 RPM or SSD. Getting an SSD as your boot disk would also solve your scratch disk problem.
     
  9. appleman108 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    #9
    thanks mlyon,

    would these be external drives hooked up to the mini
    or would i replace the mini drive... can i order a mini with an SSD disk?

    sorry, i'm new to this kinda stuff
    but i'm all for configuring things for optimum performance
     
  10. mlyon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #10
    The best way is to replace the internal drive with a 7,200 rpm drive or SSD, Apple won't sell the mini with anything faster than a 5,400 drive, unless you get the server version. It's not as easy as swapping the RAM, but it can be done. You need to have a little technical savvy. OWC (http://eshop.macsales.com/) will probably have videos showing you how to do it after a while. I already had an external superdrive from my MacBook Air so I got the server version which does not have a superdrive, but 2 7,200 RPM 500GB drives internal. I swapped out one for an OWC SSD and use the other for my files.
     
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    #11
    If you have 8 GB of RAM, Photoshop will cache to high RAM (4-8 GB address) before dumping to the scratch disk. It's expensive, but will improve your performance better than anything else. Combine that with a decent SSD (e.g., Sandforce controller) for scratch and you'd be at maximum performance for a Mini. Your scratch partition should be at least 20 GB and no more than 40 GB.
     
  12. kazmac macrumors 603

    kazmac

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    On the silver scream
    #12
    Thanks for the responses

    I will continue use Pixelmator and Rapid Weaver for any subsequent designing I do although it's very good to know Adobe runs nicely on the Mini.
     

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