Which model for photography

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jjaston, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. jjaston macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2012
    i am currently in the market for my first intel based mac, currently using a G5

    I am looking at the Mini, but i have a bit of a dilema in which to choose from.

    I am able to get a 12.5 staff discount on the base model however i do quite fancy the middle model with the uprated processer and larger internal drive however i am not sure if the higher end model will be needed in what i have planed for the machine. also i cannot get the 12.5% discount on the higher spec model but our store does not stock it.

    The main use of the machine will be running lightroom, and photoshop and then the usual web browsing, itunes, mail nothing too demanding. however i am thinking of getting a disk drive and ripping my dvd collection.

    So what i am asking is would i be better getting the base model and maxing out the ram and thowing in a ssd which would be cheaper than the middle model or would i be better to go for the faster processer and larger internal disk at the much highe price?

    thanks for your help.

  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I think the base + your upgrades would really do the trick. Its not as though the GPU will be better in the updated model.
  3. mjoshi123 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2010
    I've similar use as yours and I got i7 with 2.3GHz, only difference is I also do some iMovie for slideshows. I hooked up my mini to Dell U23 IPS panel and going to upgrade RAM to 16GB.
  4. Jeff Charles macrumors member

    May 21, 2009
    This review, Will an SSD Improve Adobe Lightroom Performance?, concludes that the CPU and RAM make the biggest difference in Lightroom.

    This review, MacMini: 16GB vs 8GB, Hard Drive vs SSD, looks at Photoshop performance.

    I use Lightroom and some PSE, and I'll probably choose an i7 2.3 and install 16 GB of RAM. The 2.6 would shave off a little time on processor intense tasks, but maybe not $100 worth.

  5. k.alexander macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2010
    I bought the 2.3 i7, and installed 16GB Ram. Primary use is Aperture and PS, will probably do some very simple iMovie stuff in the future. Havent spent much time in PS, but Aperture is very fast with the above setup.
  6. mystikjoe macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2010
    I would go with a new imac all in one and more power and gorgeous!
  7. teohyc macrumors regular


    May 24, 2007
    The hard drive has been the slowest for computing system, so if you upgrade to SSD it will be significant.

    If you don't export huge number of photos, the dual core is enough. If you do export a lot, then quad core. Lightroom does use all cores to the max, same with Photoshop.
  8. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    If we're talking about a large library of files, it's unlikely that they would reside on the ssd either way. You'd primarily gain scratch disk speed.

    I'd say the same thing. I'd prefer a quad cpu to a dual. He could try the dual, but there's a big enough difference that he may or may not be satisfied. If the 2.3 is laggy, the 2.6 wouldn't change that. 8GB is the bare minimum I'd suggest for anything of this sort today. Especially with an HDD, 16 is better. 4 is actually minimum spec for Lightroom CS6, and Adobe's minimum specs are sometimes barely usable.
  9. jjaston thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2012
    Thanks guys

    Think I'm going to save a little longer and the quad core 2.3 don't think I can justify the CPU upgrade. Money would be better spent on ram and a usb3 external hdd enclosure.

    Thanks for your help.

  10. mjoshi123 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2010
    Here is what I've found works for my wedding workflow with LR + CS6. At any given time I work on just 2 weddings. From a normal day long shoot I get anywhere 1500-2000 files to go thru. Which on 5Dmk ii roughly nets me 40-50GB of data per wedding. I keep all files I'm working on onto local HDD/SSD. Once I'm done with editing and final results is delivered to client then I keep their files for one more week on internal drive before moving their folder to external drive. This way I dont have to worry about any I/O bottlenecks.
    I'm planning to add extra 512GB of SSD to my Mini along with 1TB HDD that came with it. This way I've 1.5TB on internal storage and than rest goes to external.

    Just make sure you move files from within Lightroom and not from outside of lightroom. This way LR catalog will keep in sync with everything that you are doing.
  11. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I get you. You're keeping them on the ssd initially and later migrating them to long term storage. I still wouldn't want to drop below 8GB for editing. Things are much smoother and Adobe applications lag without enough video ram, which is derived from main memory on the mini. On a side note, lightroom is great.
  12. mjoshi123 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2010
    yep 16GB memory is very first thing I purchased after getting Macmini. More RAM is must to run Adobe apps :)
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    It's too bad you don't use Aperture. It is much faster than Lightroom with the HD4000 gpu. With LR, the faster the cpu and more RAM you have, the better it'll perform.
  14. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    In terms of data output, they haven't gotten that much worse over the years. It's just that things which used to be handled by scratch disks can simply be held directly in memory. It was possible to deal with files of several hundred megabytes on a G3, but damn was it slow.

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