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Author Topic: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1  (Read 1646 times)

mainoo

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speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1
« on: April 26, 2019, 12:27:56 pm »

Hello

adopting C1 from LR. My MBP is on its last legs so I am looking at a mac mini and was hoping for some help with certain choices i need to make. my behaviour on LR resembles C1 session workflow (new catalog for each shoot). i don't do anything fance (rarely batch process anything and no HDR or stitching /pano work. Rarely even batch output. Typically import photos from their location on disk, cull repeatedly, edit individual shots and export to destination on web. hardly do any DAM and don't plan on using catalogs in C1 (scared off by the horror stories).

the choices i have to make are:

i5 or i7
my understanding is that, given the weakness of the mac mini's GPU, C1 will not use it and the load on the CPU is therefore increased. Given that i don't batch process and will not be using catalogs is the i7 overkill for image at a time editing?


16Gb or 32 Gb
i have no idea how C1 uses RAM - would appreciate any resource that explains the architecture/performance characteristics. Which C1 actions are memory intensive? I realise that memory is also important for the other programs that are also running but i don't do anything else on my system that is so resource intensive. and, yes, i know - more ram is always better so my default is 32Gb.

SSD - one monolith internal or one internal and one fast external (samsung X5)
what are the disk intensive actions that C1 takes in the course of editing single photos (again, i neither batch edit or export, typically). Does it make sense to prefer 2 separate disk channels and, if so, what objects should be placed on either to maximise parallelism and which objects should be placed on the internal SSD and which on the (quite fast external SSD)?

Thanks in advance and please excuse any naivety/stupidity in my line of questioning.
mainoo
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IanSeward

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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2019, 02:49:53 pm »

Hello

adopting C1 from LR. My MBP is on its last legs so I am looking at a mac mini and was hoping for some help with certain choices i need to make. my behaviour on LR resembles C1 session workflow (new catalog for each shoot). i don't do anything fance (rarely batch process anything and no HDR or stitching /pano work. Rarely even batch output. Typically import photos from their location on disk, cull repeatedly, edit individual shots and export to destination on web. hardly do any DAM and don't plan on using catalogs in C1 (scared off by the horror stories).

the choices i have to make are:

i5 or i7
my understanding is that, given the weakness of the mac mini's GPU, C1 will not use it and the load on the CPU is therefore increased. Given that i don't batch process and will not be using catalogs is the i7 overkill for image at a time editing?


16Gb or 32 Gb
i have no idea how C1 uses RAM - would appreciate any resource that explains the architecture/performance characteristics. Which C1 actions are memory intensive? I realise that memory is also important for the other programs that are also running but i don't do anything else on my system that is so resource intensive. and, yes, i know - more ram is always better so my default is 32Gb.

SSD - one monolith internal or one internal and one fast external (samsung X5)
what are the disk intensive actions that C1 takes in the course of editing single photos (again, i neither batch edit or export, typically). Does it make sense to prefer 2 separate disk channels and, if so, what objects should be placed on either to maximise parallelism and which objects should be placed on the internal SSD and which on the (quite fast external SSD)?

Thanks in advance and please excuse any naivety/stupidity in my line of questioning.
mainoo

I will give you my thoughts but I am PC rather than Mac:-)

i7 for the hyperthreading
32Gb ram if user upgrades are not possible on Mac Mini.  If they are start with 16Gb to save some money.
500Gb internal ssd
Samsung T5 for bulk photo storage

Or best of all get a PC :-) :-)

Ian
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JaapD

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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2019, 03:05:40 pm »

The biggest disadvantage I see here is the poor GPU performance of the Mac Mini. You’re going to miss quite a lot of performance with C1.

Now with your new purchase are you really limited on the selection of a Mac? No considerations towards a PC with a proper Nvidia 20xx card?

Regards,
Jaap.
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faberryman

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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2019, 03:21:43 pm »

The biggest disadvantage I see here is the poor GPU performance of the Mac Mini. You’re going to miss quite a lot of performance with C1. Now with your new purchase are you really limited on the selection of a Mac? No considerations towards a PC with a proper Nvidia 20xx card?
An iMac may be the better choice. There are graphic card options.

mainoo

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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2019, 06:29:54 pm »

Thanks for your inputs. PCs are not an option for me.

i did consider an imac (and am still considering one) but i kind of like not having everything in one basket and if i need to move, a mac mini with magic keyboard/trackpad and a 15 inch monitor will easily fit in my hand luggage.

when does C1 use GPU?
will an i7 instead of an i5 make up for the lack of GPU?
Does the fact that i rarely do any batch or HDR or stitching make any difference to GPU use?
Does anyone have any experience running C1 on a mac mini 2018?

I was thinking of 2 SSD channels in case disk contention is an issue when editing  and when launching (building previews, etc). I wasn't thinking about  long term storage so much - can disk contention be an issue when C1 only has access to one disk? for example, i start an import and then want to start reviewing photos whilst C1 is doing something else with the new photos - would i experience slowness because of disk contention? don't know whether that's a reasonable example as i will mainly be using sessions, not catalogs.

i7, it will be and mac mini does allow memory upgrades so starting out with 16Gb makes sense too.

Thanks again for your responses.
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mainoo

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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2019, 05:23:22 am »

just a quick note (in case anyone has the same questions), the following article was very useful and mostly answered my questions):

https://www.peterguyton.com/c1p-hardware-acceleration
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JaapD

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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2019, 06:48:23 am »

I take it that you’re going for an eGPU then  ;) ? Refering to your link and “This is key, the 13" with eGPU triples the export performance from 22.2 images per minute to 76.2”.

Regards,
Jaap.
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mainoo

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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2019, 01:39:21 am »

In the end, i decided on a 2019 imac (i5 3.1GHz). the new processor is supposed to be almost as powerful as the 2017 i7. I think that will be sufficient for my needs. my only slight concern is whether driving the 5K monitor will leave enough power for applications. Thanks for your responses.
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Tibor O

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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2019, 03:27:02 am »

In the end, i decided on a 2019 imac (i5 3.1GHz). the new processor is supposed to be almost as powerful as the 2017 i7. I think that will be sufficient for my needs. my only slight concern is whether driving the 5K monitor will leave enough power for applications. Thanks for your responses.

Please see here Capture One release notes Click on the release notes link on that page and see page 14.

Phase One recommended system requirements when using a 5K monitor (see note below) are:

(a) minimum:

• Intel CPU with 2 cores
• 8 GB of RAM
• 10 GB of free hard disk space
• Calibrated color monitor with 1280x800, 24-bit resolution at 96dpi
• macOS 10.12.6, macOS 10.13.6 macOS 10.14

(b) recommended:

• Intel CPU with 4+ cores
• 16+ GB of RAM
• Solid State Disk (SSD)
• Dual (matching) Graphics card from NVIDIA or AMD with 4GB+ RAM per card

Note: Due to the significant additional calculation overhead, systems using 4k/5k monitors will require additional resources in addition to the above recommended spec (both in GPU and CPU power). For a Professional experience we recommend at least doubling the specification above for these configurations.
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mainoo

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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2019, 07:30:10 am »

Please see here Capture One release notes Click on the release notes link on that page and see page 14.

Phase One recommended system requirements when using a 5K monitor (see note below) are:

(a) minimum:

• Intel CPU with 2 cores
• 8 GB of RAM
• 10 GB of free hard disk space
• Calibrated color monitor with 1280x800, 24-bit resolution at 96dpi
• macOS 10.12.6, macOS 10.13.6 macOS 10.14

(b) recommended:

• Intel CPU with 4+ cores
• 16+ GB of RAM
• Solid State Disk (SSD)
• Dual (matching) Graphics card from NVIDIA or AMD with 4GB+ RAM per card

Note: Due to the significant additional calculation overhead, systems using 4k/5k monitors will require additional resources in addition to the above recommended spec (both in GPU and CPU power). For a Professional experience we recommend at least doubling the specification above for these configurations.

yes, that is what i read that led to the concerns i have.  the i5 3.1Ghz only has 4GB of graphics RAM whilst the 3.7Ghz version has 8GB - how crucial is this difference for driving the 5K monitor for photography (i am not a gamer). the other thing i note is that the i5s don't do hyperthreading - does anyone know whether capture one would benefit from hyperthreading on a 6 core (in which case the i7 might be the better choice) or are 6 cores enough (i am not a heavy user and don't normally batch exports)?

thanks for your contribution.
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JaapD

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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2019, 12:50:17 am »

As far as I’m aware all cores are only utilized during batch processing.

Regards,
Jaap.
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Doug Peterson

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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2019, 07:42:51 am »

As far as I’m aware all cores are only utilized during batch processing.

That is not correct.

JaapD

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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2019, 01:39:41 pm »

Well, it is correct because it was stated 'as far as I'm aware'  :o

In other words, I may not be sufficiently aware.....

Doug, could you elaborate and inform us in which cases more cores will be utilized?

Regards,
Jaap.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 01:16:00 am by JaapD »
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mainoo

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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2019, 01:36:13 pm »

let me add my weight to Jaap's plea for more information. the only source of information i could find is this ancient article (2010) comparing different raw processors' use of multi-core cpus. C1 did best of all of them but even it did not use all the cores - digilloyd blamed it squarely on a failure of the developers to meet the software challenge of writing multiprocessor code. i would hope that by now things will have improved considerably.
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