Should I get a 2014 Mini for graphic design work?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by llglayll, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. llglayll, Dec 21, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014

    llglayll macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2014
    Hi all,

    would like to hear your opinion on this. Let me give a bit of background.

    I have a good gaming PC, but doing design work on Windows just isn't as comfortable as on OSX, so I'm considering to get an iMac or Mac Mini. This would be for a bit of freelance design work at home, mostly on Photoshop and Illustrator, occasionally InDesign.

    With the limitations of the iMac's thunderbolt display, I wouldn't be able to hook up my current PC with it so my alternative is a Mini. Unfortunately Apple messed up and isn't offering quad core mini which as far as I know would be better for my needs. What I'm unclear of is exactly how much of a performance drop the dual core 2014 Mini (let's say top tier, 256 ssd) would have comparatively. I mean, is it really a no deal i.e horribly slow photoshop performance? (Using quad core xeon at work)
    Also concerned if the Iris graphics would be a big drop in performance compared to having a proper graphics card (I probably wouldn't be doing video editing or 3D modeling in the near future).

    I'm looking at getting about 2-3 years use from this; do you guys think I should wait for a possible quad core upgrade, get an iMac or if the top tier Mini is good enough for me? Not too keen on dumping my PC as the specs are on par or better than the current 27" iMac. Also tried getting a 2012 quad mini but those are pretty rare now.
  2. Tsavo macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2014
    How are those Adobe products any different on a MAC than on Windows?
  3. MistrSynistr macrumors 65816

    May 15, 2014
    I own a home graphic design/photography business, and aside from the occasional beach balls once in awhile my 2012 dual core mini with 16gig Ram seems quite suitable especially for freelance design depending on how often you're doing it. I also work in RAW files and can have a few open at the same time in CS6.

    With that being said, my needs are a little higher now and I am going to get a higher end iMac in a few weeks.
  4. fuchsdh macrumors 65816


    Jun 19, 2014
    You'll get quite good performance overall with Photoshop (it's never been great at fully leveraging multiple processors.) Even on my old Mac Pros it's quite usable, and the new Mac minis can stomp the computers I work on.

    Obviously integrated graphics aren't as good as dedicated, but for Photoshop I've generally found graphics acceleration iffy in general and leave it off except for certain tasks.

    So yes, it will work quite adequately. Whether or not it's worth the money though... that's an intangible only you could answer.

    Do the Macs at Apple Stores still have Adobe apps installed? You could get something of a feel by going in, although they probably wouldn't have the exact SKU you'd want to test.
  5. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    Same Mini here. Adobe CC stuff I use (Ill,PS,LR) run fine, but I know what it's like on an i7 iMac. Still, very useable though. An SSD really helps the low powered machine ;)
  6. llglayll thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2014
    Mainly it's because I'm used to the shortcuts on a mac. Part of the difference is the way OSX does things that makes my workflow more efficient, that I'm not used to doing on Windows. For example the way my wacom tablet works slightly differently on Windows, the inability to drag files onto a program icon on the taskbar to open it quickly (on Windows, I end up pinning items which is really quite useless), etc. I'm primarily a Windows user but doing design work on a Mac has turned into more of a muscle memory affair.


    That's reassuring! I only see myself doing minimal freelance work as my job takes up all my time already, at least for the next couple years. Was contemplating on 8 or 16gb ram, but I think I'll go with 16gb because of the inability to upgrade. Seems quite essential when working with larger files.


    I guess in that case going for the mid tier one is better (maybe with ssd and ram upgrade)? The stores here seldom hook up minis, but I'm thinking maybe I could return it if it really isn't suitable for my needs. Not quite sure how well returns work.
  7. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Where is here - the U.S.? Read it rather than take my word for it, but Apple's return policies are excellent, basically no questions asked.
  8. llglayll thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2014
    Singapore, but I do trust in Apple's customer service too. The T&Cs seem to mention just a 14 day window and a simple reason. Hopefully that's the case so I could try it out with no worries.
  9. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    Don't shoot the messenger, but to be honest - it looks like you are looking for a reason to buy a new Mac ;)

    Your current gaming rig will probably have a lot more horsepower processor and graphics-wise to be a good media editing machine too. A dual core Mac mini is designed for and really marketed as an entry level machine into the Mac ecosystem. It will do well if you are a casual Photoshop user - tweaking some colors on your vacation pictures and removing red eyes. But if you are serious enough to consider being hindered by a "work flow" then I would use the more powerful Windows machine that you have and spend a weekend learning the shortcuts.
  10. llglayll thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2014
    Hehe, maybe I am. I'll give it somemore thought. You're probably right, plus the 2014 mini is such a bad update to the series that it seems silly to buy one now. Might try to get use to working on windows or find a workaround.

Share This Page