Should I Buy the Mac Mini for Raw Photo Files?

Episode 1602 (1:43:44)

Shane from Roy, Washington
Mac Mini

Shane has a 2014 Trashcan Mac Pro and he's having trouble uploading his raw photo files. Would the new Mac Mini handle them, or should he bite the bullet and get the new cheesegrater this fall? Leo says that the new Mac Mini is a great computer and he can max it out for a great price. Leo also says that he will likely slow down the computer when he uses extra cores during rendering. So it's difficult to gauge the specs. It all depends on the workflow.  Also, graphics processors are shouldering more of the load, and as such, it uses less processor power. Additionally, not all apps give the option of using multiple cores. Plus, Shane will want to get the Mac Mini that supports turbo boost. But another issue is that Apple now thermal throttles when the computer gets too hot. 

Should he get more than 32GB? Leo says that performance really doesn't go up beyond 32GB. It levels out. Faster SSD drives give a better boost. He can also upgrade to an external GPU, and that would help more than 64GB of RAM.

Raw processing in Adobe Lightroom is just plain awful. Leo prefers Photo Mechanic, Raw Processor, and then moving it into Lightroom after. 

But if he won't want to invest $5-30K on a pro iMac or Mac Pro, a Mac Mini is a very viable and affordable option. It's the right choice.