Lightroom 4 with Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by qalam, May 15, 2012.

  1. I am currently using Lightroom 3 on a Mac Mini and considering whether to update to Lightroom 4. I am not much concerned about a slowdown in cataloging, importing or exporting but I am very concerned about processing/editing speed.
    I have a Mac Mini mid-2007 (2,1), 2GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo (64-bit) running on Lion 10.7.4. My RAM is maxed out at 3GB.
    Will I see any significant sluggishness if I update to Lightroom 4?
    If so, would a computer upgrade to a Mac Mini mid-2011 (5,1), Intel Core i5 (64-bit) with RAM maxed out at 16MB provide a significant improvement?
  2. You likely wouldn't experience a significant decrease in speed with LR4 on your current system. But if you're already noticing the time it takes to do things, then perhaps it's nearing time for an upgrade.
    My experience has been that I run up against the Mac's RAM capacity long before I do the processor's capacity. That's why my late 2006 MBP is needing to be replaced, as it too can only address 3 GB.
    Your current Mini benchmarks at 2368 or 2593, depending on the processor speed. The mid-2011 benchmarks at 5839, 6393 or 6936, so yes, you'd see a pretty significant speed bump there. For other options, a 15" MBP with the i7 (only way they come) gets you to a benchmark of 10,006 to 10,891, depending on which of the 3 speeds you pick. And a 27" iMac can get you into the 11,000 range with the 3.4 Ghz i7 option.
    Be careful with that upgrade, though. Your Mini has a DVI output for the display. The new Mini has a Thunderbolt port, which, I believe, is mini-DisplayPort compatible, and an HDMI port. While you may be able to use your current DVI display with an HDMI adapter, I'm not sure if you'd get the full resolution of your display. So, if you'd be needing another display anyway, maybe the iMac should be considered.
    Good luck!
  3. Download the trial version of LR 4 before committing to anything permanent. Earlier this year there were several complaints on Adobe and LR forums about sluggish performance in LR 4. It's possible a recent 4.2 version is better but I haven't tried it.
    I tried LR 4 recently and found it unusably slow (Windows 7, 3.1 GHz quad core, 4 GB RAM). On most attempts to run it would never finish loading. When it did finally load there was a lag time of a minute or longer just to navigate between folders, let alone actually do any editing.
    I then downloaded the trial version of LR 3.3, which runs fine on my PC. Upgrading my PC, other than RAM, isn't an option so unless (1) I can continue using LR 3.x or (2) Adobe fixes LR 4, I won't be purchasing LR after this trial expires.
  4. I use it on the late 2011 Mini, the one with the discrete graphics, and LR4 works very fast for me, and only 4gb RAM too. I have not had cause to complain about the speed. I am, however, a new LR user, so a new catalog and no experience of LR3 to compare it to, but I for one am extremely happy. I like the SD card slot in the back, and it runs a calibrated Dell 23" IPS screen, I am very pleased with this setup.
  5. Refer to current thread here, "Can I return to Lightroom 3?' about slow Lightroom 4 performance. It seems Adobe really did it this time
  6. I use it on the late 2011 Mini, the one with the discrete graphics, and LR4 works very fast for me​
    Same setup for myself (although a Core i7)and I have to agree that its fast - and Im running 16GB of RAM.
  7. Just an update to clarify my earlier comments about Lightroom 4...
    A few days ago I decided to try LR 4 again, after having used LR 3.3 for a couple of weeks. For reasons unknown to me, LR 4 is running fine now on my PC (Win7 64 bit, AMD 3.1 GHz quad core, 4 GB RAM, 1 TB 5500 RPM HD), which is pretty comparable to some Mac Mini configurations.
    No idea why LR 4 is running well now, but it's quick enough for my purposes and offers some nice touches over LR 3.3, although I'm not sure the improvements are enough to be worth the upgrade cost.

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