More RAM is Apple at premium prices in his calculator. It comes cheaper from third parties, the new Mac Mini you can upgrade yourself. That’s the way it works.
The Mac Mini has always been a fascination, he promised a lot of performance in a small space. Who wants to have a huge tower standing on his desk. This promise was not fulfilled recently, but this has radically changed with the current generation. The current processor generation from i3 to i7 promise enough power, but is that enough for image and video editing?
We want to pursue this question in the next few weeks and start with a basic article here. For this we take a Mac Mini with the maximum CPU expansion, which means an i7 processor with 6 cores and upgrade it.
We start with the memory, take care of external drives in another article, continue to work with external graphics cards and monitors and do not listen to accessories like keyboards. But let’s take some tools in hand first.
More memory for more power
Of course, the basic configuration of 8 GB of RAM is not enough and doubling is not enough for demanding tasks. The most economical option is currently upgrading to 32 GB.
For this we have two 16 GB modules from Kingston worried, which are to have together for just under 260 euros. The matching model name for the S0DIMM DDR4 2666MHz modules is the KCP426SD8 / 16. There are other memory modules in the market that meet the specifications of DDR4 2666MHz Non-ECC Unbuffered, but a quick query to Kingston Support confirms that only the KCP426SD8 / 16 modules are suitable for the Mac Mini.
Much helps a lot? That brings upgrading with RAM
Almost a classic photographer is Adobe Lightroom. Sort and optimize many images quickly, here is Lightroom in its element. As it comes quickly to stoppages when scrolling, opening the catalog or while working in the development module.
Ideal for a benchmark test: We measured time with common tasks such as importing, previewing and exporting. For this we have produced a test catalog with 46 folders and 2299 pictures, a total of 20.76 GB of data. And because fast SSDs accelerate working with Adobe Lightroom, we used the G-Technology SSD-RAID G-SPEED Shuttle SSD as a disk. In addition, we measured the work of the Excire Search and Aurora HDR plug-ins.
Whenever it has become more computationally intensive, for example when creating previews or when exporting, the larger main memory has had a positive effect. Likewise when stitching panoramas or transferring to the HDR plug-in Aurora from Skylum. So the 1: 1 preview of our pictures was done in about 2:25 minutes, which is 1:45 minutes faster than with 8 GB of RAM. The export speed has even doubled. It took just under 15 seconds for 10 RAW images to be exported as JPEGs.
When transferring three RAW images to Aurora HDR, the 32GB of RAM saved 4 seconds, which took only 15 seconds to complete. The billing of the three images then to an HDR was even accelerated by a third.
There was no significant acceleration in Excire Search, here only the processor is authoritative.
But even with the video editing with Final Cut Pro can score the 32-GB expansion. We had a 2:15 minute video from a GoPro fusion with effects and animations calculated. The export as 1080p in the h264 codec took only 53 seconds and was thus 15 seconds faster. The material itself was in the ProRes 422 codec and even an export in this codec could be accelerated from 27 to 19 seconds. Even faster was the acceleration when Final Cut Pro had to scale the video to 720p. Here was the export with 1 minute and 28 seconds, 20 seconds faster than with 8 GB of RAM.