speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1

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speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1

Postby NNN635125276928819687 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:13 am

Hello

moving to 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 fancy (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?
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?


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 (or that i am not prepared to kill whilst editing [google chrome, i'm looking at you]). and, yes, i know - more ram is always better so my default is 32Gb.

SSD - one monolithic 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)?
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.


Thanks in advance and please excuse any naivety in my line of questioning.
mainoo
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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1

Postby Tibor » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:38 pm

i7 = because you cannot upgrade later
16 GB = upgrade to 32 GB only if you multitask a lot (open C1 and other programs)
SSD = internal for system, external for sessions will be fine
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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1

Postby Eric Nepean » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:22 pm

Some well thought out questions
NNN635125276928819687 wrote:....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).

IMO this is an over reaction for CO11 and later. I have been using catalogs these past 4 years and while initially buggy is pretty stable now. Catalogs for up to 10000 images is very straightforward.

NNN635125276928819687 wrote: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?

My new iMac with i7 is considerably faster than my old iMac with i5.
when does C1 use GPU?
will an i7 instead of an i5 make up for the lack of GPU?

I believe that it does so in my iMac
Does the fact that i rarely do any batch or HDR or stitching make any difference to GPU use?

HDR and stitching are not C1 features; you will do these with another app, it will be convenient if your Mini is powerful enough that you don't have to stop C1 to run other photo apps..
Does anyone have any experience running C1 on a mac mini 2018?
here is a useful link https://forum.phaseone.com/En/viewtopic.php?f=75&t=31611&p=154066&hilit=%2AMini#p154066

NNN635125276928819687 wrote: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 (or that i am not prepared to kill whilst editing [google chrome, i'm looking at you]). and, yes, i know - more ram is always better so my default is 32Gb.

32GB is a good choice considering that GPU also uses this RAM.
C1 seems to consume about 4GB as a baseline value, when it does imports and preview generation that increases

NNN635125276928819687 wrote:SSD - one monolithic 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)?

I have system on my internal drive, C1 catalogs on an external SSD, Images and sessions on another extranl SSD, and backup files on yet another extrnal HD. This is partially because 512GB SSDs are a commodity and I have chosen that as a standard size for now
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.

For both Sessions and Catalogs, C1 has a database where metadata and adjustments are stored. In addition there is storage for previews and thumbnails and masks. C1 continuously refers to this data on disk.

I usually don't use C1 for other taks while it is importing. Once import is finished, preview generation continues for while, and then I start using C1.
Import is a critical phase as C1 is updating its database and it is wise not to risk an error while that is ongoing.

This is a behaviour learned from earlier less capable versions of C1. and might now be unnecessary caution.
Cheers, Eric
[late 2015 iMac, 4GHz i7, 24GB RAM, external SSDs. GX8, E-M1, GX7, GM5, GM1 ....]
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Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1

Postby NNN635125276928819687 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:18 pm

Thanks so much for the thoughtful responses and apologies for the delay in replying.

Regarding catalogs vs sessions, i have decided to go with sessions - even in LR, i created a separate catalog for each shoot. today my system crashed resulting in a corrupt cosessiondb and C1 refusing to open it. i found out that this db file only contains albums and favorites so i junked it and C1 recreated it on startup - i believe the solution would have been more involved if i had been using the catalog.

Re the system, in the end i decided to get a 2019 imac with an i5 (3.1Ghz). what swung me was the lack of 5K screens (i was initially only considering 4K but after i visited the apple store....), the difficulties people were having with finding the right cables to connect their 4K screens with, the bluetooth issues that mac mini users were reporting and, most of all, the fact that the 2019 imacs now have 6 core i5s that rival the 2017 i7 in terms of performance and are quieter to boot. they also have easily upgraded RAM slots (4 of them - i hear people are stuffing 128GB of ram in them but i wonder whether macos will address 128GB and can't imagine ever needing more than 32GB). If i add 2X 16, i don't have to throw away any ram - i get 40GB instead. i am now running C112 trial version on an early 2013 MBP with 16GB ram and a 3rd gen quad core i7 and i am having little trouble running C1 alongside 10+ chrome tabs and lightroom - it'll feel like bliss on the new system.

Regarding multiple disk channels i will start with just the internal SSD (512 GB) and if things start to get choked, i'll buy a samsung X5 (external).

I am seriously impressed with C1. it's day 2 and i feel right at home (which i never felt after years of using LR). Still struggling to get skin tones right but that's just me - i can see there are lots of tools available to do the job. Thanks again for the help and advice.

mainoo
NNN635125276928819687
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: speccing a mac mini 2018 for C1

Postby Eric Nepean » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:33 pm

NNN635125276928819687 wrote:Thanks so much for the thoughtful responses and apologies for the delay in replying.

Regarding catalogs vs sessions, i have decided to go with sessions - even in LR, i created a separate catalog for each shoot. today my system crashed resulting in a corrupt cosessiondb and C1 refusing to open it. i found out that this db file only contains albums and favorites so i junked it and C1 recreated it on startup - i believe the solution would have been more involved if i had been using the catalog.
I have had a number of system crashes with C1 catalogs, no problems witth that in the last two years. But the real answer is in preferences, you can configure a catalog backup on close (or less often). But I have set it to backup on close, and then I cancel the backup if its not meaningful. If the catalog is corrupted, I would get the backup version. I've actually had to this a few times to deal with finger problems - and its not a big deal.

Re the system, in the end i decided to get a 2019 imac with an i5 (3.1Ghz). what swung me was the lack of 5K screens (i was initially only considering 4K but after i visited the apple store....), the difficulties people were having with finding the right cables to connect their 4K screens with, the bluetooth issues that mac mini users were reporting and, most of all, the fact that the 2019 imacs now have 6 core i5s that rival the 2017 i7 in terms of performance and are quieter to boot. they also have easily upgraded RAM slots (4 of them - i hear people are stuffing 128GB of ram in them but i wonder whether macos will address 128GB and can't imagine ever needing more than 32GB). If i add 2X 16, i don't have to throw away any ram - i get 40GB instead. i am now running C112 trial version on an early 2013 MBP with 16GB ram and a 3rd gen quad core i7 and i am having little trouble running C1 alongside 10+ chrome tabs and lightroom - it'll feel like bliss on the new system.
Excellent choice. 128GB of RAM does sound like overkill; for me 24GB of RAM does very nicely.
The other consideration is that the GPU on that model has 4GB of video RAM, which means that C1 will use the GPU more often; C1 doesn't make much use of the GPUs with 2GB of RAM (e.g. mine)
Regarding multiple disk channels i will start with just the internal SSD (512 GB) and if things start to get choked, i'll buy a samsung X5 (external).
That SSD may get filled up rather soon. And SSDs don't run real well above 80% capacity because erasing SSD storage is so slow.
I bought a little Startech 2.5" dual bay enclosure with USB 3.1 for external drives (S252BU313R) that works like a charm for my image files. It would do RAID, but I just have it set for two volumes.
https://www.startech.com/HDD/Enclosures/usb-3-1-drive-enclosure~S252BU313R
I am seriously impressed with C1. it's day 2 and i feel right at home (which i never felt after years of using LR). Still struggling to get skin tones right but that's just me - i can see there are lots of tools available to do the job. Thanks again for the help and advice.

mainoo
Cheers, Eric
[late 2015 iMac, 4GHz i7, 24GB RAM, external SSDs. GX8, E-M1, GX7, GM5, GM1 ....]
Eric Nepean
 
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:02 am
Location: Ottawa


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