After some research, i am leaning towards buying a base model Mini and holding off upgrading to CS6 for a while. I figure if I stick to this plan, I can spend half as much on the computer now and upgrade again in 2 years instead of holding onto it twice as ling.
My primary source for PS specific info was this article: http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/optimize-performance-photoshop-cs4-cs5.html
My main reason to buy a new cpu is because I started doing stitching and need more power to process the resulting larger files. For single 16mp files, my old Mac Air is slow, but works with my current workflow.
So, does anyone see any reason not to get the base Mac Mini with:
2-core cpu since there are actually 4 virtual cores running on it and that is the most CS5 uses unless I upgrade to the newest PS version.
Load up 16gb RAM -- max on the Mini. This should minimize scratch space requirements, so I should be able to wait for an SSD until the larger ones get cheaper. I dont mind a slow start up time if the cpu and RAM are sufficient to keep PS and Aperature from choking on <2gig PSD files after stitching.
Assuming I dont do video editing or 3-D work, don't run multiple apps at once, and process images serially, this seems like a $599 bottom of line 2012 Mini + $150 for mail order RAM with shipping.
Anyone have any benchmark data between ivy bridge 2-core vs. 4-core Mini running usual PS tasks? All the ones I have found start with the $799 model (which I think has 8 virtual core that I would only utilize if I upgrade to CS6).
Any mistakes in my numbers or other suggestions? I am happy with my Viewsonic monitor and GRAiD 6TB external for now.