Your opinion on which Mini to get?

Kevin_TalbotKevin_Talbot Posts: 3Member
I'd like to get some user's input on a new computer. 

My Sony vaio 17" laptop is dying and I am thinking of replacing it with a new Mac Mini. I already have an MBA so I like macs. But I'd probably set the mini up to dual boot and keep win7 for MS Project and Visio  and few other Win only apps I use (and yes, I use Parallels now and will probably do that on the Mini).

My Sony is a 3 year old dual core (1.8 GHz I think). My main apps that requires any significant power are Adobe Lightroom and Corel Draw. The Vaio is pretty sluggish with Lightroom (I have 8 GB of RAM and a hybrid drive HD to help). I'd probably install the Mac version of Lightroom. 

I'm wondering if the quad core I7 is worth the money over the dual core model, both CPU wise and graphics wise. I don't do video editing and I don't play games much so I don't care about that. From what I have read, the speed difference is pretty small on any benchmarks except video editing where the quad core is much faster. Dual monitor support is important to me for Lightroom (I have an older 24" DVI cinema display I'll continue to use as a secondary monitor).

Any opinions on this? The "power" needed by Lightroom is roughly what Photoshop needs as they have the same "engine" under the hood for imaging processing. 

I'm thinking the better bang for the buck is go for the dual core and spring for more RAM and perhaps a hybrid drive.

Your thoughts and opinions are appreciated.....

- Kevin

Comments

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  • crysisftwcrysisftw Posts: 416Member
    1. The new Mac Mini is really good. If you have an external monitor or any other display, you should not wait or ask anymore.

    2. Quad-core may not present immediate boost to all the tasks you do, but it will come into a promise of its own within an year or two. So, yes, it is undoubtedly better and worth the hype.

    3. Intel HD Graphics 4000 can be compared to nVidia's 420M so you shouldn't have problem at the most basic hardware accelerated tasks also.

    4. The quad-core Ivy Bridge is powerful enough to easily handle Lightroom, Photoshop or Corel Draw. It may be a little overkill too for smaller photos (less than 2K).

    All in all, if you are thinking of getting a replacement and when you have the 24" Cinema display, you should seriously go for it and not wait anymore.
  • Kevin_TalbotKevin_Talbot Posts: 3Member
    Thanks for the comments. 

    If I do go for it, I think I'll get the new 27" thunderbolt display too since it is much higher res than my 1920x1200 cinema display. With a screen that big, I want 2400+ pixels across for editing.I'd use my 24" cinema display as the secondary monitor. 

    I have looked at the Dell ultra-sharp 27" and read mixed reviews about the clarity of it's anti-glare coating. Many people report it makes photos look "sparkly" which would be a deal breaker for me. It's only $100 less than the Apple display so it seems the Apple display is a better deal with full thunderbolt connections, etc.

    Thanks again for the comments.

    - Kevin
  • crysisftwcrysisftw Posts: 416Member
    @Kevin_Talbot , if you want to buy the new 27" thunderbolt display along with the Mac Mini (the total would cost you around $1700 with a decent Mac Mini built), why not get the iMac 27"?

    It will cost the same, and it has a much better hardware (with very fast discreet graphics) with slightly better 27" display panel (as compared to the one in the Cinema display).
  • Kevin_TalbotKevin_Talbot Posts: 3Member
    From what I've read on pro photo websites, the imac is a poor choice due to the limited gamut of the display and the inability to reduce the brightness enough to accurately judge the color/brightness of images on the screen to be close to a print. And  since it's built in, you are married to it. 

    I calibrate my monitors with an eye-1 "puck" and I also use paper profiles for the different papers I use in my epson R3000 printer. With this setup and calibration, the colors on my prints are dead on what I see on the screen and are dead on to my macbeth color checker (i.e. the print matches all the swatches on both the actual color checker and the image of the color checker on the screen).

    The only problem I really have is judging how light or dark a print will turn out compared to how it looks on the screen. Typically the screen brightness needs to be turned way down to simulate reflected light off a print. As I have read, the iMac is much too bright to be even close. I can dim my old cinema display to be pretty close.

    Again, thanks for the input. I had thought about the iMac as an alternative but the display "issue" I read about has made me gun shy. 

    -- Kevin
  • shameershameer Posts: 328Member
    crysisftw said:
    1. The new Mac Mini is really good. If you have an external monitor or any other display, you should not wait or ask anymore.

    2. Quad-core may not present immediate boost to all the tasks you do, but it will come into a promise of its own within an year or two. So, yes, it is undoubtedly better and worth the hype.

    3. Intel HD Graphics 4000 can be compared to nVidia's 420M so you shouldn't have problem at the most basic hardware accelerated tasks also.

    4. The quad-core Ivy Bridge is powerful enough to easily handle Lightroom, Photoshop or Corel Draw. It may be a little overkill too for smaller photos (less than 2K).

    All in all, if you are thinking of getting a replacement and when you have the 24" Cinema display, you should seriously go for it and not wait anymore.

    Couldn't have said it better.
  • crysisftwcrysisftw Posts: 416Member
    From what I've read on pro photo websites, the imac is a poor choice due to the limited gamut of the display and the inability to reduce the brightness enough to accurately judge the color/brightness of images on the screen to be close to a print. And  since it's built in, you are married to it. 

    I calibrate my monitors with an eye-1 "puck" and I also use paper profiles for the different papers I use in my epson R3000 printer. With this setup and calibration, the colors on my prints are dead on what I see on the screen and are dead on to my macbeth color checker (i.e. the print matches all the swatches on both the actual color checker and the image of the color checker on the screen).

    The only problem I really have is judging how light or dark a print will turn out compared to how it looks on the screen. Typically the screen brightness needs to be turned way down to simulate reflected light off a print. As I have read, the iMac is much too bright to be even close. I can dim my old cinema display to be pretty close.

    Again, thanks for the input. I had thought about the iMac as an alternative but the display "issue" I read about has made me gun shy. 

    -- Kevin
    Really? The limited gamut is an issue (I've heard it, not actually seen it). But you can adjust the brightness and also calibrate the display using the built-in calibration utility.

    Besides, the new iMac is supposed to carry an entirely new IPS panel which of course will be better. Also, for the printing job of yours, if you already have an external 24" Cinema display which you are familiar with, I think that you're thinking way too much about it. You can use that for precise editing during prints and the iMac for everything else.

    Anyways, that depends on you. I've listed some good options for you.
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