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Tuesday, 30 October 2018


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The minute I read they were going to announce a new Mini a few days ago I thought, "Mike will finally get a new computer!"

That is good news indeed. A good low end Mac has been needed for a long while.

Of course these days “low end” is far from a major compromise. Something like the iMac Pro is only for serious high-end pros.

Looks like the graphics card supports 4K but not 5K monitors. I see no real reason to upgrade my 2011 Mac Mini and Thunderbolt display. 2560x1440 resolution is sufficient for me. And it still runs LR/PS CC just fine for now.

I also have an NEC Multisync monitor that displays Adobe 98 color gamut, as well as a slew of other devices that I have connected to my 2011 Mac Mini. It's about time that Apple once again provided a desktop flexible solution for photographers and other creative types who have long been the core of their Mac business that doesn't cost as much as a car. I prefer Mac OS as well as doing photo work on a desktop computer with an excellent calibrated monitor. Now I can choose all the components and once again be set for awhile.

Mike, If you're happy, we're happy!

I thought of you when they announced the critter - and it has user-upgradable ram, so should last for quite a bit. I'm glad of it being updated, it presents users with so many choice for photoediting now - from a small form factor PC or Mac Mini, to a monster iMac Pro or custom built rig, over to an iPad or iPad pro, with the Microsoft Surface and Studio family out there as well - a lot of ways and a lot of price points to get the job done.

Allelujah indeed. You may have noticed that Apple today has launched what could be the perfect pairing system: The Air (much improved) for on the go practicality, and the Mini, to have a home system that does not break the bank and still performs nicely for most purposes...

(I've always sided for the 15" MacBookPro solution, no desktop system, but this combo makes me rethink the strategy... Well, that would be in 2023 as per my replacement cycle. The wrold will have changed again by then....)

I think it's exciting me! I've been unsure of my upgrade path from my current workhorse (mid-2010 Mac Pro). I too like to bring my own monitor to the party but would wager the new Mac Pro (whenever it comes) is going to be very expensive.

For my needs, this Mac Mini looks powerful enough and reasonable on the budget.

My mac-mini has started to really slow down in the last two months. I just had my iPhone 6 battery replaced and now it is speedy. amazing how my Mac mini gets slow just before the announcement. But the new one looks great. Despite all the pictures of an open body, I suspect that one should order it with the exact configuration one needs, especially memory and drive size.

Note the "well threaded"

Just for fun last year I picked up a used server computer with four quad core Xenon processors and 64 gig of ram with a five disk array. I wanted to see what photoshop and lightroom could do with a lot of cores and memory and machines like this* cost about $150 locally.

Anyway, photoshop only ever used 4 cores at the most and even with a ludicrously large image, 20,000 x 40,000 16 bit 200 layers for example, I think it only used about 16GB of ram.

I hear that recent versions of photoshop can use more resources so I'll have to try again when the weather gets cold.

*It also generates heat and noise not unlike having a small jet airplane in the room, plugs into 4 seperate outlets, and weighs about 50 pounds. Locally = San Jose CA

Politics AND a computer preference post in close proximity? You are living dangerously. : )

I looked at these today, and the new iAir which I'm happy to see. I'm still leaning towards what seems like the best deal though, the base level 27 inch iMac, ordered with 32gb of third party ram that I can put in before I even start it up, for 40 gb total at non Apple prices.

Oh, and I finally find a mouse I like, a $15 corded Jelly Comb, with the perfect shape and a perfectly soft click that doesn't upset my finger.


Oh, you gulible Apple devotees.
I'm surprised that you closed comments on one form of patriotism and not the other.
Just saying, eh? :)

This is good news! I currently have late 2014 Mac Mini and it is perfect. I was worried that the Mini would not be updated, so good news indeed.

I could buy a 2018 Mac Mini and Eizo monitor https://amzn.to/2DdKxZe and be very satisfied. But I think that I'll go with an 11" iPad Pro—a better fit with the way I'd like to work in the future.

Speed bump is equivalent to the price bump

Many, Paul McGowan for one, if I'm remembering correctly..., think the Mac Mini is a great platform for a music server. Just sayin' and suggestin'.

Me? I've been ripping my CD's to hard drives since late Spring & I'm about 75% done. I'm taking a different approach as I am not in the Mac realm. But you....

Finally my audio system is entering the 21st Century.

Jony Ive likes to design streamlined computers. Problem is, he removes most of the ports to make them more streamlined. Users suffer when they need to carry, and lose and buy again, all sorts of adapters. Earlier this year I bought the old Air exactly for that reason. It was the only new Mac that still had sd reader and normal usb. I would still buy it today, rather than this new one, as long as it is available.

[I agree that Apple computers never have enough ports, and that that is a house characteristic. Just like "All Mazdas are underpowered," it remains true despite the rare exception. It always used to frustrate me that the ports of the flat iMacs migrated to the BACK from the sides, where they're difficult and inconvenient to access, just to preserve the sleek unblemished look of the front panel. Form above function.

I'm currently using a '12 Mini because they intentionally hobbled the '14 Mini. But I bought mine used and it's balky and not too speedy. I have to use Macs Fan Control for cooling (readers tipped me about that). The new one will fine for me (although I can't afford to upgrade right now). --Mike]

Am I the only one finding the pricing to be really insane compared to Intel NUC mini PC's?

finally, an upgrade path for my (late) 2014 Mini.... with better memory & storage options...

and a severe loss of ports! only two USB ports? looks like more Apple pushing their own formats and locking the user into limited options... for the time being...

This was good news for me as well. As an owner of a late 2014 Mac Mini (fully loaded), and a recent 2018 MacBook Pro 13" (4 cores), I was surprised at the increase in capability I got with the 2018 MacBook when it came to running the latest versions of LightRoom and PhotoShop. The 2014 Mac Mini is quite adequate with LR and PS, but tends to bog down when running anything batch-like (or even importing and building previews for large sets of files.) The 2018 MacBook Pro by contrast happily handles anything I can throw at it.

So I would surmise that a new Mac Mini with minimal specs (4 core, 16GB, and 256GB SSD) would be well past the 'sufficiency' point for still photographers. (I would think that in the home or small business world, only video pros (I'm not one so I don't really know), and hard core gamers (I'm not one of those either), would want anything more.) And, if you ever feel the urge to add future UHD monitors, you can always upgrade by adding an eGPU (an upgraded Black Magic eGPU has just been announced by Apple.) Could be the last computer many of us may ever need.

I hear ya Mike.. planning to get one myself.

My overworked 13" MacBook Pro (2015) with just 8GB of RAM could now be "retired" to do only what it does quite fine at, which is writing, email and internet on the go. I truly need more horsepower and RAM for photography and driving two 24 & 27" NEC monitors. Happy for you and maybe someday happy for me too. Meanwhile I am amazed that the poor thing does what I ask of it, just a little slowly!

I'm excited about the upgrade. But now I'm looking at a Dell with similar hardware and it's $500 less... not sure which way to go.

Apple Schmapple. Three times faster in some ideal case, with three times the number of cores... That means it's just as fast for (single-threaded) Photoshop use. You could use the money saved for, say, a Fuji X-H2.

Does the Mac mini get worryingly hot?

[Mine did, maybe because it has two hard drives in it? (Dunno. Bought it used.) I got Macs Fan Control and now it doesn't get hot any more. --Mike]

Veblen, eh? Always with us.

Ha! Mike, your favorite 3rd party monitor is the one I have. Yay!

So, what did you decide after your research? I am using a 2011 iMac for LR and find it mind numbingly slow. I never had a problem with Aperture but migrated away when they disowned it. I have a slightly newer mini that I use for a music server and tried to run it on that but it’s even slower even though it has an i7 chip (albeit at a slower clock speed); it also has 8 gb RAM as opposed to 12 on the iMac. I tried calling Adobe to see what specs were important if I were to purchase a new machine and I got some guy in South Asia reading off a script, wanting to troubleshoot my current setup who didn’t sound like he was an end user of LR. Needless to say, he never clearly answered my question as how to best spec new hardware. Based on my limited research, I’m leaning toward a mini with 3.2 ghz i7 with 16 gb RAM and the 512 gb SSD.

[I think I will do the same as you, but with the base chip, for $1,399, which is as much as I'll want to spend. --Mike]

I'm glad they're doing it - the price points aren't great, and Apple overcharges for minor upgrades, but if someone is really committed to Apple's ecosystem this adds a option. The GPU is pretty weak, but shouldn't be a problem for Photoshop users.

At the same time, I've rarely been completely happy with an Apple transaction as an individual or at work. There's always something about the manipulative tradeoffs and configuration options that sours me on the experience. They're pretty transparent about slightly hobbling one product to force you up to the next, more expensive, model.

As a point of price/performance comparison, the six-core PC I built over a year ago with the kids' games in mind (16GB of RAM, 2TB SSD, 6TB WD Black drive, NVIDIA 1080 GPU, BD writer) came in at $500 less than the top model new Mac Mini. And I had a ton of Amazon rewards points to take a good chunk of that off the top. It runs Photoshop and Lightroom really, really well.

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