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Photographer
Helyos Photography
Posts: 13
Hengelo, Overijssel, Netherlands


Hi all,

I would like to buy a replacement for my laptop and I'm considering a MacMINI (Quad core i7 2.6GHz, 16 GB RAM)... any experience with it when used with Photoshop? I saw the graphic card is not really good... anyone who has a direct experience with it? or some nice alternative to suggest?


Note: I need something small I can travel with...

NEW EDIT !!!
I think I will rather go for this one:

http://usa.asus.com/Notebooks/Multimedi … ifications

with i7 quad core @2.4 GHz, 8GB RAM, and an additional 256GB SSD HD... any comment about this idea?
Jan 11 13 09:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GER Photography
Posts: 7,491
Imperial, California, US


I do all of my work on my MacBook Pro, 2008 llama. If you go with the mini, you'll still have to drag around a monitor and keyboard, a powerful laptop is the way to go for traveling around.
Jan 11 13 09:48 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D A N T I E
Posts: 246
San Antonio, Texas, US


i agree, apple laptop is the way to go.

why was you thinking about using a mini?

I have both, I love apple stuff. maybe i can tell you the pros and cons
Jan 11 13 10:10 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Howard B
Posts: 244
Bremerton, Washington, US


I use a MacBook Pro and link to my camera Cannon 5d and it keeps up really well. It is a I7 and works great and very portable and small.
Nice part models can see the photos as they are produced.
Jan 11 13 10:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Howard B
Posts: 244
Bremerton, Washington, US


Forgot to say it works really well with photoshop!!!
Jan 11 13 10:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,191
Atlanta, Georgia, US


I used a mini back in the day (photoshop out grew its max RAM) and never noticed the video card holding it back.  This isn't a computer game that needs 60FPS, it's photoshop.  The slow hard drive and RAM were my limitations back then.
Jan 11 13 10:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Helyos Photography
Posts: 13
Hengelo, Overijssel, Netherlands


B A Y L E Y  wrote:
i agree, apple laptop is the way to go.

why was you thinking about using a mini?

I have both, I love apple stuff. maybe i can tell you the pros and cons

thanks!

the reason is that... the laptop is way too expensive... for a 15 inch and same processor, it goes well above 2000 euros...

so I was thinking about the mac mini... I want something I can also use when I go back home to Italy ... of course a laptop would be better, but a mac mini would also be workable I thought...

it would be great if you can tell me something more! smile

Jan 11 13 11:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Helyos Photography
Posts: 13
Hengelo, Overijssel, Netherlands


Howard B wrote:
Forgot to say it works really well with photoshop!!!

thanks! smile I was especially concerned about the poor video card of the Mac MINI

Jan 11 13 11:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Helyos Photography
Posts: 13
Hengelo, Overijssel, Netherlands


AJScalzitti wrote:
I used a mini back in the day (photoshop out grew its max RAM) and never noticed the video card holding it back.  This isn't a computer game that needs 60FPS, it's photoshop.  The slow hard drive and RAM were my limitations back then.

thanks...  Isee your point... I think now I wouldn't be limited by the processor (I would buy the quad core i7 and 16 GB of ram)...

Jan 11 13 11:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Neil Snape
Posts: 9,439
Paris, Île-de-France, France


I still have a G4 Mac Mini, never a problem, but cannot run modern apps.

Photoshop can use the power of a fast GPU since CS6. Yet it is not an obligation.

Gaming or 3D is where you need the fast cards Photoshop is a 2D image program.


Although when traveling I do use a MacBook Pro, the screens are running at 6 bit per channel, not a good idea for editing on.

A decent NEC screen and the MAcMini would be a good choice if you cannot go for an iMac.

What ever you do calibrate your monitor with a hardware calibrator. Even if you borrow one, that is better than running native.
Jan 11 13 11:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,191
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Helyos Photography wrote:

thanks...  Isee your point... I think now I wouldn't be limited by the processor (I would buy the quad core i7 and 16 GB of ram)...

True, the CPUs we have now are truly impressive.  16GB of RAM is also plenty for today, but is the hard drive any good?  I have not looked at those models but previously they were a little low end.

To be honest most of my work tends to b beauty, so it slow going to do it right.  I end up with large files and disk access is the slow point.  It's not like D&B are intensive task for the computer, just the retoucher smile

Jan 11 13 11:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Helyos Photography
Posts: 13
Hengelo, Overijssel, Netherlands


AJScalzitti wrote:

True, the CPUs we have now are truly impressive.  16GB of RAM is also plenty for today, but is the hard drive any good?  I have not looked at those models but previously they were a little low end.

To be honest most of my work tends to b beauty, so it slow going to do it right.  I end up with large files and disk access is the slow point.  It's not like D&B are intensive task for the computer, just the retoucher smile

thanks for the input... I actually didn't look much at the hard drive... what to you mean with slow? if I need to copy or delete files, I wouldn't mind much... I'm more concerned about performance when using e.g. photoshop for editing... would it be a problem? ehm... what do you mean with D&B? big_smile

Jan 11 13 11:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 15,065
Orlando, Florida, US


Helyos Photography wrote:
Hi all,

I would like to buy a replacement for my laptop and I'm considering a MacMINI (Quad core i7 2.6GHz, 16 GB RAM)... any experience with it when used with Photoshop? I saw the graphic card is not really good... anyone who has a direct experience with it? or some nice alternative to suggest?


Note: I need something small I can travel with...

The Mac mini is small. But you have to assume that you'll have a monitor, keyboard, and the  mouse or pad also available to you where you go. Or else you'll be lugging those things around with you also.

The mini as you have it configured is the exact same price as a 13" MacBook Pro.

Sure, the specs are not the same, but you have to weigh how valuable the portability of a laptop would be against the lower specs.

A better question would be how well Photoshop runs on an entry level 13" MacBook Pro.

And then to be completely honest, the new 21.5" iMac isn't all that heavy in reality. Finding a vessel to carry it in might be a challenge. That's only $100 more than your target and with very respectable specs.

I think for a portable computer with the specs and application you're lookin for, the mini is not the best idea.

Jan 11 13 11:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Helyos Photography
Posts: 13
Hengelo, Overijssel, Netherlands


Good Egg Productions wrote:

The Mac mini is small. But you have to assume that you'll have a monitor, keyboard, and the  mouse or pad also available to you where you go. Or else you'll be lugging those things around with you also.

The mini as you have it configured is the exact same price as a 13" MacBook Pro.

Sure, the specs are not the same, but you have to weigh how valuable the portability of a laptop would be against the lower specs.

A better question would be how well Photoshop runs on an entry level 13" MacBook Pro.

And then to be completely honest, the new 21.5" iMac isn't all that heavy in reality. Finding a vessel to carry it in might be a challenge. That's only $100 more than your target and with very respectable specs.

I think for a portable computer with the specs and application you're lookin for, the mini is not the best idea.

thanks for the comment... I would like to be able to bring home when I go on holiday... 21.5 I think would be a trouble to bring with me on the airplaine...
and I think it costs more... plus, I see I can't easily replace the ram if I need... the advantage I see is in the better video card...

Jan 11 13 01:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Agustin_0
Posts: 17
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


I have a mid 2011 mac mini with 8GB of RAM and it works like a charm. I have absolutely no problems with it and although it is easy to carry around, you indeed need a display, so that'd be the only drawback. You get incredible equipment for that price! I would have liked a nice 17" macbook pro but hey, I just have to accept that it's a little overpriced, even being the apple fanboy I am!
Jan 11 13 06:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,191
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Helyos Photography wrote:

thanks for the input... I actually didn't look much at the hard drive... what to you mean with slow? if I need to copy or delete files, I wouldn't mind much... I'm more concerned about performance when using e.g. photoshop for editing... would it be a problem? ehm... what do you mean with D&B? big_smile

Remembe the computer is swapping files and memory to the hard drive all the time, not just when you do file operations.  Look to see if it's at least a 7,200RPM drive.

D&B i.e. dodge and burn of the pixels smile

Jan 11 13 06:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kev Lawson
Posts: 6,668
Fort Myers, Florida, US


I have a Mac mini here at the office, along with the other macs and pc's. The Mac mini has CS4 Design Premium on it, and PS works fine, even with 50-100mb files (it takes time converting some files - ie: a 10ft x 10ft banner sent as a PDF that needs to be converted to a tif), but it gets the job done.

Just looked at the About This Mac on it:
  Model Name:    Mac mini
  Model Identifier:    Macmini3,1
  Processor Name:    Intel Core 2 Duo
  Processor Speed:    2.53 GHz
  Number Of Processors:    1
  Total Number Of Cores:    2
  L2 Cache:    3 MB
  Memory:    4 GB
  Bus Speed:    1.07 GHz
  Boot ROM Version:    MM31.00AD.B00
  SMC Version (system):    1.35f1

Here is some of the hardware info:
NVidia MCP79 AHCI:

  Vendor:    NVidia
  Product:    MCP79 AHCI
  Link Speed:    3 Gigabit
  Negotiated Link Speed:    1.5 Gigabit
  Description:    AHCI Version 1.20 Supported

Hitachi HTS543232L9SA02:

  Capacity:    320.07 GB (320,072,933,376 bytes)
  Model:    Hitachi HTS543232L9SA02                 
  Revision:    FB4AC52F
  Native Command Queuing:    Yes
  Queue Depth:    32
  Removable Media:    No
  Detachable Drive:    No
  BSD Name:    disk0
  Rotational Rate:    5400
  Medium Type:    Rotational
  Bay Name:    Lower
  Partition Map Type:    GPT (GUID Partition Table)
  S.M.A.R.T. status:    Verified
  Volumes:
  Capacity:    209.7 MB (209,715,200 bytes)
  Writable:    Yes
  BSD Name:    disk0s1
Macintosh HD:
  Capacity:    319.73 GB (319,728,959,488 bytes)
  Available:    247.63 GB (247,630,811,136 bytes)
  Writable:    Yes
  File System:    Journaled HFS+
  BSD Name:    disk0s2
  Mount Point:    /


That will give you some info on the specs. This one was a basic one I used to pack with me on my cross country road trips, and it has held up well.

Hope this helps a little.
Jan 11 13 06:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Let There Be Light
Posts: 7,657
Los Angeles, California, US


Helyos Photography wrote:
Hi all,

I would like to buy a replacement for my laptop and I'm considering a MacMINI (Quad core i7 2.6GHz, 16 GB RAM)... any experience with it when used with Photoshop? I saw the graphic card is not really good... anyone who has a direct experience with it? or some nice alternative to suggest?


Note: I need something small I can travel with...

EDIT: one more question... the RAM... can be added also not by Apple? 300 euros more for 16 GB or RAM seem to me so much!

The Intel HD4000 integrated GPU has been tested and approved by Adobe for Photoshop CS6.  16GB of RAM on the Mini should get you 768MB of VRAM.
http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/pho … u-faq.html


You definitely don't need to get the extra RAM from Apple.  Lots of good 3rd party sources.  Try crucial.com

Jan 11 13 06:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kincaid Blackwood
Posts: 23,293
Atlanta, Georgia, US


I have the latest mini; got the upper end of the two versions.  I love it.

Of course, there are the 4 options:  Macbook, MiniMac, iMac and Mac Pro Tower.

If I had the money, I would go for the tower.  I know that a lot of people like doing their editing on their laptops but for me, there's too much in the way of variables for me to make that a viable option.  Angle of the screen, for one.  Lighting conditions for two.  You're constantly using a portable device in variable conditions as opposed to a workstation where the conditions are constant.  That helps with image consistency.  Plus, I still have my older G5 tower, so I already had all of the hardware (I have multiple monitors/screens, keyboards, Wacom tablets, etc)

I have no issues with my Mini.  It's small, sleek and does everything I need.  In a couple of years, I hope to be in a position to purchase new tower (I'm hedging on Apple releasing the next generation soon) and my Mini will move into another room of the house as a nice media center computing device which will still be able to do all these other things I need.  And I love the size.  I can easily tuck it out of the way.
Jan 11 13 07:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Clancey
Posts: 68
Colorado Springs, Colorado, US


That's really quite a bit of horse power when ya look at it. A quad core i7 will have two processing cores per CPU. So you will in effect have an 8 way SMP machine with gobs of memory. I run windows 7 with a core i7 (16gb of RAM) as well.

The one recommendation I would make is to look at an SSD rather than traditional disk.
Jan 11 13 08:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Let There Be Light
Posts: 7,657
Los Angeles, California, US


Kincaid Blackwood wrote:
Of course, there are the 4 options:  Macbook, MiniMac, iMac and G5 Tower.

Apple hasn't made a G5 tower in more than six years.  If you want a tower Mac then you'll get a Mac Pro with in quad-core or 12-core Xeon configuration.

Jan 11 13 11:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R Michael Walker
Posts: 11,957
Costa Mesa, California, US


Helyos Photography wrote:

thanks...  I see your point... I think now I wouldn't be limited by the processor (I would buy the quad core i7 and 16 GB of ram)...

That may have been true "back then" but the last couple versions of Photoshop make heavy use of a good graphic card, it's processor and RAM. So yes, a crappy video card WILL hold you back. But what you've never had you can't miss. And you're not getting a great video "card" in the laptop either. You need the tower to take advantage of that. But again, the mini or mack book pro will run CS6 just fine. It's when you see it on the tower (or a desktop PC) you will see what you are not getting power wise. Have you considered the iMac? More portable than the mini and a monitor I think. Most of my Mac friends have these now days..and the Mac book pro.

Jan 11 13 11:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
shuttersqueeze
Posts: 8
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand


One of the best things you can do for speed, over and above lots of RAM is put an SSD drive (solid state drive) in your machine. Makes a huge difference in performance and doesn't cost loads if you're realistic about what you actually need to take with you (ie, you may not actually need your entire iTunes library on your working computer).

The factory option for SSD is 256Gb and costs around 300 Euros by the look of things (I looked on the French Apple Store). You could do it cheaper with a 3rd party option, but (in my opinion) its not worth the hassle and you may as well get it factory fit.

If you, go to a shop that has a machine with an SSD side by side with one with an HDD and you'll see they are like night and day.

Alex.
Jan 12 13 12:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Thomas Sellberg
Posts: 140
Bloomington, Illinois, US


I have also been weighing this option. It seems if you add the ssd, an external optical drive, carry a mouse and keyboard with hdtv cables you will be fine. Most hotels have hdtv's in the rooms and the new mini has hdtv output. The downside is the tv is not going to give you a true color unless you get a calibrater and calibrate ever tv you use. If you are using it for minor adjustment you should be ok without though. I plan on leaving mine hooked up at home as a main computer and carrying my current laptop(pc) until I can afford the $3000 for getting a laptop and another copy of adobe software for os.
Jan 12 13 12:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
HarryL
Posts: 1,557
Chicago, Illinois, US


I got the mini I pad, Now I use my Desktop for the final product the rest I do with the mini.
I got equivalent apps of MS Office, also a transceiver for food photography
Projects .So far everyone has been happy because while I shot
any dislikes can be instantly corrected. For me to travel every where the Mini
Appear to be the most useful device I ever had. I'm very minimalistic but most
Practical. Of course I got large collection of food props because in many
cases I 'm the stylist but that easy out the game:)
Jan 12 13 01:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
hbutz New York
Posts: 3,143
New York, New York, US


My mini has a DVI port, to which I've attached a very nice MultiSync monitor with color calibration.  The mini gives you the ability to add any monitor which strikes your fancy, as large as you like, without paying top $$ dollar.  It's also cheap enough so you can buy a laptop in addition to the mini.
Jan 12 13 06:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kev Lawson
Posts: 6,668
Fort Myers, Florida, US


HarryL wrote:
I got the mini I pad, Now I use my Desktop for the final product the rest I do with the mini.
I got equivalent apps of MS Office, also a transceiver for food photography
Projects .So far everyone has been happy because while I shot
any dislikes can be instantly corrected. For me to travel every where the Mini
Appear to be the most useful device I ever had. I'm very minimalistic but most
Practical. Of course I got large collection of food props because in many
cases I 'm the stylist but that easy out the game:)

The OP is referring to a Mac Mini, not an iPad mini. wink

Jan 12 13 06:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Helyos Photography
Posts: 13
Hengelo, Overijssel, Netherlands


AJScalzitti wrote:

Remembe the computer is swapping files and memory to the hard drive all the time, not just when you do file operations.  Look to see if it's at least a 7,200RPM drive.

D&B i.e. dodge and burn of the pixels smile

thanks! I had some more thinking, and I think the best suited option for me is this:

I think I will rather go for this one:

http://usa.asus.com/Notebooks/Multimedi … ifications

with i7 quad core @2.4 GHz, 8GB RAM, and an additional 256GB SSD HD...
compared to the Mac, the only limitation is in the 8GB RAM maximum

Jan 12 13 11:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,191
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Helyos Photography wrote:
thanks! I had some more thinking, and I think the best suited option for me is this:

I think I will rather go for this one:

http://usa.asus.com/Notebooks/Multimedi … ifications

with i7 quad core @2.4 GHz, 8GB RAM, and an additional 256GB SSD HD...
compared to the Mac, the only limitation is in the 8GB RAM maximum

I have the older version of that, and yes sometimes with LR and PS open the RAM is full-ish but not a big deal.  I am very pleased with it; oh and my version holds more RAM, one open slot actually, but I have not upgraded it yet.

I stopped with Apple laptops once they became disposable with everything sealed and soldered.  No thanks, I still have older PPC mac laptops and G4 towers and I won't pay thousands for laptop that I can't even replace the battery on.

Jan 12 13 11:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Let There Be Light
Posts: 7,657
Los Angeles, California, US


AJScalzitti wrote:
I stopped with Apple laptops once they became disposable with everything sealed and soldered.  No thanks, I still have older PPC mac laptops and G4 towers and I won't pay thousands for laptop that I can't even replace the battery on.

RAM and hard drives are easily user upgradable on the current versions of the MacBook Pro.  It's only the Retina Display models and MacBook Air that have the RAM soldered to the motherboard and use proprietary fixed Flash storage.

Jan 12 13 12:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Helyos Photography
Posts: 13
Hengelo, Overijssel, Netherlands


AJScalzitti wrote:

I have the older version of that, and yes sometimes with LR and PS open the RAM is full-ish but not a big deal.  I am very pleased with it; oh and my version holds more RAM, one open slot actually, but I have not upgraded it yet.

I stopped with Apple laptops once they became disposable with everything sealed and soldered.  No thanks, I still have older PPC mac laptops and G4 towers and I won't pay thousands for laptop that I can't even replace the battery on.

thanks! the guy at the shop told me that 8GB is the maximum there ... do you think there's any chance to upgrade to 16?

Jan 12 13 12:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kincaid Blackwood
Posts: 23,293
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Let There Be Light wrote:
Apple hasn't made a G5 tower in more than six years.  If you want a tower Mac then you'll get a Mac Pro with in quad-core or 12-core Xeon configuration.

I misspoke.  I've always called them G5s because its more or less the same outward appearance.

Jan 12 13 05:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJScalzitti
Posts: 12,191
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Helyos Photography wrote:

thanks! the guy at the shop told me that 8GB is the maximum there ... do you think there's any chance to upgrade to 16?

I don't know, I read about it online when looking at reviews on mine (a year or so ago) and it appears that this was an minor internal difference based on retailer.  Mine was listed at 6GB at the time but can actually handle 12GB.

Do a google search on the model number and maybe retailer to see if others have open it up.

Jan 12 13 05:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Let There Be Light
Posts: 7,657
Los Angeles, California, US


Let There Be Light wrote:

RAM and hard drives are easily user upgradable on the current versions of the MacBook Pro.  It's only the Retina Display models and MacBook Air that have the RAM soldered to the motherboard and use proprietary fixed Flash storage.

My earlier post was incorrect. It's only the RAM on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Retina Display models that can't be upgraded.  The Flash memory can be upgraded with a simple plug-in memory card, just like replacing RAM on other systems.

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/

Jan 13 13 06:45 pm  Link  Quote 
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