diglloyd Mac Performance Guide

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Photoshop CS6 Performance — diglloydMedium

Last updated November 03, 2012 - Send Feedback

2012 Mac Mini 2.3 GHz quad-core, 16GB OWC memory, 240GB OWC Extreme Pro 6G SSD.

The diglloydMedium benchmark requires that Photoshop have available about 15.7 GB of real memory for itself, which means that a machine with less than 24GB of system memory will suffer in performance due to the need for Photoshop to write and read from the scratch disk.

The fast 240GB OWC Extreme Pro 6G SSD mitigates the disk hit substantially over a hard drive, but bottom line is that the MacMini really would benefit if it could take 24GB or 32GB memory— it maxes out at 16GB.

The results show that both the MacBook Pro and the MacMini suffer badly from having only 16G.

The MacMini loses in another way: its video memory is main memory, which not only reduces usable main memory by about 200MB, but also impairs memory bandwidth slightly. Still, the dramatically lower performance suggests that more is going on, since the performance of the MacMini is quite poor relative to its CPU speed.

  • Note that the OWC 6G SSD cuts the time in half as compared to the Apple 1TB hard drive (install a 2nd internal drive in the MacMini using the the OWC DataDoubler).
  • The OWC Helios + Accelsior PCIe SSD (via Thunderbolt) cuts the time down even more, showing just how important fast disk I/O can be.

Estimated 2.6 GHz time is computed as the ratio of clock speeds of 2.3 / 2.6 = ~13%; the 2.6 GHz MacMini will be faster by some amount than the 2.3 GHz model, but perhaps not the full 13%.

Photoshop CS6 performance on diglloydSpeed1 benchmark
Photoshop CS6 performance on diglloydMedium benchmark

The Speed You Need

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