Photoshop, Lightroom, and CS6 on a 2012 mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by klukkluk, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. klukkluk, Jan 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013

    klukkluk macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2013

    I am seeking advise to replace my current Mac Pro early 2008:
    - 2.8 Quad-Core
    - 10GB memory
    - ATI 5770 1024MB graphic card.
    - 1 TB boot disk (600MB available)

    Attached to this is:
    - 1 internal HDD 1TB for secondary storage use.
    - 4 bay Drobo (firewire 800) for archiving.
    - OWC 1TB Mercury Elite (firewire 400 and USB) for Time Machine

    Software use:
    - Photoshop with sometimes (once a month average) files >1GB
    - Lightroom
    - CS6 Suite
    - Email open, Safari open, iMessage open, Skype open, RSS reader open, and 3 more smaller apps open.

    I don't want an iMac because I do have a good monitor and don't want to downgrade to a glossy screen.
    On the benchmark scores the 2012 Mac Mini is significantly faster. But I am a noob in these things and not sure how to 'read' those numbers.

    The 2012 Mac Mini appeals to me because of the form factor, the supposed computing power and the price!
    I am willing to stuff the mini with 16GB memory and to use Fusion drive (or something else?).

    It is important that the new set up is somewhat speedier (the more the better of course). Like >15% at least.

    Would a 2012 Mac Mini do this for me? Or would it be better to stick with a refurbished Mac Pro?

    Thanks for the input!
  2. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    As long as you can live with integrated graphics, the mini will have a good upgrade of processing horsepower, if you go with the quad core model. TheGeekbenches (a processor benchmark) are:

    Mac Pro 2008 2.8 Quad Core: ~6000
    Mac Mini 2012 2.3 Quad Core: ~11000
    Mac Mini 2012 2.6 Quad Core: ~12000

    So you could get around twice the processing power with the upgrade. One good thing is that the new mini is one of the few new macs remaining with a firewire port. You could find a more recent refurbished Mac Pro that would be even faster, it depends on how much newer/how many processors you were looking at.
  3. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    I'll let others correct me if I'm wrong, but based on the research I've been doing on which Mac to get for myself (for semi-pro Logic, Aperture, and Photoshop Elements work), a quad-core i7 Mac Mini should work just fine for you. There are a handful of Photoshop filters that the HD 4000 integrated graphics adapter will be slower for, but most Photoshop functions rely on the CPU rather than the GPU. If you are a serious gamer or do heavy 3D modeling work (which you don't mention), then the integrated GPU might be too slow for you, put people's opinions are divided on that.

    The general consensus is that the Mac Pro is overpriced for how old it is, but a few people disagree. If you can hold out longer and would prefer a desktop Mac, and you're willing to gamble, Tim Cook has said that the Mac Pro will receive an "exciting" update later in 2013. We'll see
  4. ybz90 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2009
    Here's another thought. Quiet though the Mac Pro is, the Mini is whisper quiet, produces very little heat, has a tiny footprint, and draws negligibly low power compared to the gas guzzler that is the Pro.
  5. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    If the mini's integrated graphics can handle your software, it's definitely the better choice, as others have said. And the savings on your electric bill shouldn't be ignored. The mini uses 100 watts or so, maximum power, compared to whatever the beast of a PSU is in your Mac Pro (800 watts?).

    I have a 2012 mini but rarely use Photoshop and don't use any of the other apps you name. It handles Photoshop fine, but that might also depend on how large of a file you are working on. My use is extremely casual. Any modern Mac can do the other apps like email, Safari, Skype, multiple other apps open at the same time. The mini is fine for all of that.

    You might want to either change the title of this thread or start a new thread titled something like, Photoshop, Lightroom, and CS6 on a 2012 mini? You'll likely get more replies from people using those specific apps.

    So far, (only 1 week with the new mini), it's far quieter than the 2011 mini was, and a fantastic machine (not that the 2011 wasn't). My only complaint with the 2012 is the color profiles for monitors/HDTV's seem to be washed out. It takes some correcting with a free app called Gamma Control and your monitor settings to get things the way they should. (That was the problem on HDMI for me, switching to a different monitor and using MDP to DP doesn't have problems, but it shows the correct color profile in the System Preferences where my HDTV via HDMI did not).
  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    My opinion would be go with one of the quad minis. Either of those + maxed ram would serve you well. I mention maxed ram so that you aren't too dependent on scratch disks. If it eats through 16GB, go with an ssd as well. With the 2008 mac pro, going that high on memory wouldn't have been really feasible due to cost. The HD 4000 is a gpu downgrade, but I don't think it's a big deal. They're decent machines. A headless imac would be even better, but I don't think we'll ever see that.
  7. map1978 macrumors 68020


    Feb 9, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    I do all of my editing in Lightroom and it's on my base mini w/ 16RAM...handles the job just fine. That's with iTunes, Safari tabs, and say Pages going as well. I'm sure once I add a SSD to the existing stock HDD, it will glorious ;)

    PS should handle as well. We know PS and Lightroom are both RAM hungry apps
  8. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    If you have any doubt about the mini, just buy it direct from Apple, then if you change your mind you can return or exchange it. If you buy through other sellers they'll normally charge a percentage restocking fee, if they even allow returns.
  9. slickadam macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2012
    Germany & Hungary
    100 watt??? :D
    MAXIMUM 50 watt :p
  10. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
  11. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    Slickadam's link shows MR users tested it and found it rarely even hits 40 watts on full load when an SSD is installed. That's insane.

    The savings in electricity alone per month over an older, power hungry PSU is significant and should also be considered when making a purchase.
  12. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    I absolutely agree. I had been using an 8x2.4 2010 Mac Pro, and one of the driving factors to switch to a 2012 Mini was its efficiency. For my purposes, which does include some Photoshop/Aperture/Lightroom work with 21MP files, the performance difference is largely imperceptible. I did outfit my Mini with a second 7200rpm 1TB disk so the power draw will be a bit higher than it would with SSD.
  13. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
  14. Exodist macrumors member


    Dec 5, 2012
    Buenavista, Agusan Del Norte, Philippines
    I use Lr 4, Ps CS6 Ext, and Photomatix Pro 4 without any issues and matter of fact it runs them very fast. I render multiple RAW images from my G12 and Rebel T3i (12 and 17 MP) files up to 100MB each and it processes everything almost instantly. With the exception of coping files from the cam that can take a moment depending on how many I have. Lr renders everything instantly, there is no wait on anything even with 100MB TIFF files at max resolutions. Even Photomatix can load up and render your default HDR image within 2 or 3 seconds max. Thats anywhere from 3 to 7 images into one HDR at 40 to 100 MB each..

    I normally do all this with everything under the sun running, Safari, iTunes, you name it.

    I have the 2.6Ghz i7 model with 8GB of RAM and the 1TB 5400 HDD.

    Heck you can even encode a 2 hour movie in like 10 to 15mins on this thing. Its a multimedia work horse. Dont let its small appearance fool ya.
  15. klukkluk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2013
    Thanks everybody for your replies.

    I ordered a samsung 840 pro 256MB ssd. First I'm going to install that drive into my Early 2008 Mac Pro.
    The drive can be used later in my upgrade path as well.

    I'm going to wait if there indeed will be a new 'exiting' Mac Pro (more affordable hopefully) in 2013. If not I'm going to buy the Mac Mini at the end of the year.
    Maybe there will be an external GPU via Thunderbolt solution by then?

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