Will this be up to the job for photo editing?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by northernmonkeyz, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. northernmonkeyz macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2011
    About to buy some new kit for photo editing and I wondered if this will be powerful enough to work with apps like CS6, Lightroom and with converting RAW files etc..............

    2.5GHz Mac mini

    2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
    4GB memory
    500GB hard drive1
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    OS X Mountain Lion

    I would look to upgrade the ram to 8gb.
    Also I would look at this monitor........



  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    The i5 will be okay for your needs, but that 27" monitor is quite big for its resolution, there are 23" and 21.5" displays with that resolution out there, thus providing a sharper experience. The same goes for the 22" display, as that resolution can be found in 20" displays.

    Look into the Dell Ultrasharp series, like the Dell U2412M or similar. They can be had for 200 to 250 € like the display you linked to.
  3. northernmonkeyz thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2011
    Fantastic, thanks for the reply.
    Do you think going to the i7 mini is a better option?
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I would go for the i7, but then again, the i5 is plenty of fast, but if you can afford the i7, take it.

    I myself struggled several months ago between getting a Mac mini or something more powerful, back then my primary needs were photo editing and I would have taken the i7 Mac mini, but since then my priorities have changed and I built myself a Hackintosh to get a bit more umph and expandability.

    Also invest in a good backup system, one fast HDD for storage of the photos, one for backing up those photos and libraries and what not you have to create, and another HDD for backing up the backup.
  5. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    If you can upgrade to a higher ram that would help your photo editing as CS6 consumes memory.
  6. northernmonkeyz thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2011
    Thanks for the replies.
    Will my existing PC external Hard Drives work with the Mini?
  7. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    In a way, yes.


    Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
  8. northernmonkeyz thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2011
    Thanks for the reply!
    Basically I am on a tight budget as just bought my 1st house and I need a set up.
    I am thinking the i5 mini, the Dell U2412M, upgrading the ram to 8gb myself, buying an apple mouse and keyboard separately and using my external hard drives.
    Is there anything else I would need to be up and running?
  9. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    You can save even more by getting a refurbished mini (this can take patience since they only appear infrequently in the store), and foregoing the Apple keyboard and mouse for other brands. Also, the Dell monitors go on and off of sale frequently.
  10. teleromeo macrumors 65816


    Dec 2, 2006
    kidnapped by aliens
    Just FYI : I have 8 Gb of ram in my MacBook pro and it seems to slow down when photoshop CS5 and lightroom are open at the same time. Max ram out when possible
  11. jlehman macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2013

    I think you have a good setup. I have 16GB of RAM in my Mini for $70 bucks. I think it was Cosair mac memory from Newegg. You can save some money going with normal PC stuff though. I just didn't want to take the chances to save $5 bucks.

    Your HDD's are probably NTFS, maybe FAT32. I would copy the data on them if possible to your new mini then format the externals as HFS+. External drives get annoying if you move from PC to Mac alot. As someone posted already Mac can read NTFS but not write unless you download a 3rd party program. I've used NTFS-3G but always found the performance stupid slow. I just booted into Windows with bootcamp when i needed good NTFS speeds.

    I think you'll find the mini is a great little machine for what you want to do with it. I use mine for recording and general use. I use my PC for gaming.
  12. northernmonkeyz thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2011

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