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Old Jan 5, 2013, 01:04 PM   #1
davidgtz
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Is Fusion Drive worth it for Graphic Design?

Hello, I'm a graphic designer and the most I ever require from my mac is working with 300dpi files or 100-150gb tops files in photoshop, perhaps RARELY running 2 or 3 large files at the same time. I don't install much software other than the Adobe Creative Suite and I don't put any music on itunes, I carry it in my iPod instead. I'd like to have it not get any slower for as long as possible.

My question is, do I buy:

1. Low end 21.5" iMac
2. Low en 21.5" iMac + Fusion Drive
3. High end 21.5" iMac
4. High en 21.5" iMac + Fusion Drive

Thanks!
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 01:05 PM   #2
nuckinfutz
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Yes.

I do not recommend buying a Mac without a SSD drive in it.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 01:21 PM   #3
davidgtz
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So what's the better option? Will the low end with fusion suffice for what I need?
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 01:38 PM   #4
Arman
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Option #4
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 07:37 PM   #5
SFVCyclone
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Go for the high end. Just got the 27 inch here almost maxed out, including fusion drive. And it's blazing fast. I'm a graphic designer as well and I was able to edit some 1gig sized photoshop files like a hot knife through butter. It was like editing 10 meg files with my old 2009 Mac mini.
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 07:47 AM   #6
chfilm
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+1 on fusion drive! Now you can get the low end 21" with one!
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 09:24 AM   #7
bonedaddio
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another way of looking at it...

Due to Thunderbolt, you also have the option to get say, #3, and then add an external SSD in a Thunderbolt case/adapter for use as your boot drive. Some favor this, as then drive replacement/maintenance/upgrade is a lot easier than opening that nice new iMac. Adapter plus SSD drive plus TB cable vs. cost of Fusion drive.

After looking at the Apple options for drives, I ordered a 27" iMac i7, 1 Tb HDD, with the 2Gb graphics card. I'm upgrading the Ram to 32 Gb myself (27" IS RAM upgradable), and I have several TB adapters & 256 Gb SSDs (that I've tested with my MBP Thunderbolt.) which I'll be using to boot OSX and Windows7. SSDs in this configuration are indecently fast, arguably in the same speed category as the $1300 (IIRC) SSD Apple offers. It's been said that via Thunderbolt, you can set up your own external Fusion Drive, although I haven't done it and probably won't.

If you like the speed and simplicity, then the Fusion drive should work for you fine. Or the big SSD!

I'm a designer running Creative Suite Master Collection, Lightwave 3D, Ableton Live, Boot Camped Win 7 64 bit, and I don't even remember what all else. My stance is that since these iMacs are not readily upgradable, one should get all the bang one can for the dollar at time of purchase. I'm totally spoiled (30" Dell Monitor will be second monitor), but I can't imagine not hogging all the screen and ram and processor I can get. If you're a content creator, you'll almost always be glad you did. I've never looked at a monitor and said: "You know, I should have gotten a smaller one" or started up a computer or program and said "Gee, that's just running too fast!" LOL. Just one dweeb's opinion, but there it is!
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 11:43 AM   #8
iamgalactic
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Def get the Fusion drive, and if you can afford it get the higher end machine. However, upgrading the RAM to 16gb should be a higher priority than the CPU for working with large files in Photoshop.

I too am a designer and work with large format print files with multiple layers. Upgraded my new 27 to 32gb and it makes a massive difference.

However, with the 21" you don't have the option to do it yourself. You're stuck with the the high Apple prices - but it's probably even more important than the Fusion drive.

At a push, you could do without Fusion and have and thunderbolt SSD or raid HDD as a photoshop scratch disc.

If you can, I'd upgrade to the i7 as well.
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