Spec for Spec: Mac vs PC

Discussion in 'iMac' started by GerryPelser, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    Hi all – long time lurker, 1st time poster here.

    (Disclaimer – I’m not an IT geek, I’m not a power-user. I’m a professional photographer left in the lurch.)

    The non-appearance of the new iMac has left me a bit in a technology purgatory. To make a very long story extremely short: I’m a PC user needing to make the jump to Mac for various reasons. I’ve not owned a Mac before (got an iPas2 though), so this will be my 1st Mac. I have been waiting in anticipation for the new iMac so I could finally do what I need to do. Yeah, well all know the let-down on that.

    I have the option now of buying a bottom-of-the-range 2011-edition iMac (which is not cheap for old technology) and waiting for the “Real” update coming in 2036, or just saying “screw it” and buying a high-spec PC.

    The question is, the baby iMac is spec-for-spec identical to my current production machine. i5, 4MB of RAM. I’m replacing the PC with a Mac of exactly the same specs. Will I make a mistake in doing this? Will I see a difference in performance between the two?

    A major consideration for me has been the release of the new Nikon D800, which I’m on a waiting list for. My PC battles to edit the 12.5 MPx images my D300 delivers, and I know it won’t be able to handle a 36MPx file from a D800. (I also need to upgrade to Adobe Creative suite 6, which I have a license key for… ) So I need to upgrade my ‘puter before I upgrade my camera.

    Getting the new MBP is not an option, as I cannot edit on a 15-inch screen, and buying an external screen is just unjustifiable and un-recoverable cost – so no, the MBP is not on at this stage. (a 17-inch MBP may have filled the gap, but alas…)

    So – is it worth getting a baby iMac, or won’t there be a difference between it and my current PC? Will this be an investment, or should I just go throw money through the shredder?

  2. macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
    would go with the:
    this should do everything you need and more.

    Remember the new MBP has lots more pixels and so it might be best to take a look at these in an apple store.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    What totally duff advice above!

    CPU-wise, your current PC is very likely more powerful already as the iMac will have the 2400S (2.5GHz) processor and your PC probably has a 2500 or 2500K (3.3GHz)

    If your current PC cannot hack it, the i5 Mac definitely won't be able to. OSX may be more "snappy" than Windows, but it won't process images any more quickly and no way will it make up for 800MHz of CPU speed loss.

    You would be very disappointed. Avoid!
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    Charlie - I need real-estate, not neccesarily pixels. doing magazine-quality photo edits you need square footage of screen-space. 17-inch laptops JUST get the job done, 15 inch won't cut it, sadly.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2012
    I am puzzled as to why your existing PC can't handle what you are trying to do. I would suggest sticking 8GB or 16GB of ram in it to start with and maybe you can save yourself a whole load of money. An Intel i5 desktop cpu should be able to handle pretty much anything photography-wise, given plenty of ram.
  6. mim, Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012

    macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2003
    flesh, melbourne.... heart, london
    Definetly try more ram first, as much as you can, then a SSD drive if you're able.

    Another option, which I did some years ago, is get a refurbed MacPro - pre WWDC model, and use your existing monitor. This will give you the ability to max out ram, drives, as you need.

    Even if you do decide to go the baby iMac, get a refurb unit and save your money.

    P.s. I'm not a pro, but I do 14Mpx edits on a 6 year old MacPro without dramas. Ram is key. Managing a big library of raw images is another matter though!
  7. necromorph, Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012

    macrumors regular


    Jun 5, 2012
    Go for a pc mate, cheaper and better rather than puttting up with this stupid apple nonsense.

    Check this out:


    All for £376.45

    If you can get all that for a few quid shy of £400 imagine what you can get for the price apple charges for it's overpriced rubbish.

    Check out this 8 core monster:


    Uploaded with ImageShack.us


    *sticks two fingers up at apple*
  8. macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
    You can adjust the new screen to allow for more space, (or less), lots of talk about this on the forums atm
  9. macrumors 68030


    Jul 11, 2008
    Can we stop talking about beige boxes and iMacs as though they were the same thing?

    Also, it's laughable that you posted stuff with AMD CPUs and last year's graphics cards.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    He said that he needs a Mac. Apple nonsense aside, he needs what he needs.

    I would recommend just buying a lower end 2011 refurb and waiting for the spec bump probably in July, or the 2013 potential redesign if you care to wait that long, then sell the 2011.
  11. macrumors regular

    Apr 6, 2007
    If they were identical yes it would be a mistake.

    However, there may be no need to replace your machine. Core i5 on a PC is NOT slow. Lack of RAM is making it seem slow. You can likely plug more memory into your current Core i5 PC and be just fine, at least til the new iMacs are out. RAM is super cheap right now! You would need to find out how much memory your machine can accept and what type/speed.

    I do amateur photography with Lightroom and Photoshop with an equiv Core i5 and 8gb RAM. Adobe stuff runs just fine. I wouldn't try it with 4gb RAM. For pro work I would recommend 16GB, as much as you can throw at it.

    Now, are we talking about thousands of RAW files from a D800, like from a wedding? Then I would be looking at the high end iMacs. You have a $3000 camera for the body alone, I would not be looking at low end computers to edit the images.
  12. macrumors 68030

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    Thanks for the good laugh. I love the part about the stylish gaming case with the bright blue lights. Thanks for playing though.
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012
    Oooh - I'm sold! I want a stylish case with blue lights! Nothing syas "professional" more than a stylish case with blue lights! does it have a built-in Mountain Dew cooler?

    I need a mac - I've been asked to do some app development for a photographic instuitution.

    I think I'll just grab a new MBP - that seems to be the best solution. Now the question is "to retina or not to retina" - problably "not to", artificially high contrast ratios will not bode well for photography.
  14. macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England

    1. Why do you do still post here? Do you realise that you make yourself sound like a petulant and silly child?
    2. Why are you suggesting computers with such rubbish components? If you're going to suggest a PC, then at least pick some decent stuff.
  15. TennisandMusic

    Aug 26, 2008
    It's not at all, OSX is the slowest feeling OS of the "big three", those being OSX, Windows and Ubuntu. By far.
  16. macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2009
    iMacs are great but sadly you need to pay the price for it. The way I see it the 21,5" iMacs are mostly meant as good looking desktops for non-machine-heavy tasks... Like word processing and simpler tasks. Of course they can do more than that, but if you don't have the cash for it but need better hardware, building a pc or hackintosh would be cheaper. This is probably the reason why apple doesn't let you switch ram yourself on the 21,5"... Most of those buying it won't need it. If you can manage I would at least try getting the lowest 27" iMac and add more ram yourself. Since photography is one of those tasks that benefit from a decent amount of ram and a big screen.
    If you are using the machine professionally you can deduct vat and tax. For me in Norway, that equals nearly 2/3 of the machine, which means the price difference for a top end iMac and low end doesn't really make much difference.
  17. TennisandMusic

    Aug 26, 2008
    Errrr...you're a photographer that isn't even an "IT geek" and you think you're going to do app development?

    I don't think you know what you're in for. The difference between even IT and engineering is like the difference between being able to change the oil in your car, and being able to actually design, engineer and build your car.

    I would say this is a SERIOUSLY misguided purchase if that's your reason.

    Also PCs are faster at the same spec than Macs. Windows 7 and 8 are faster performers. If you just want a good machine for photography, get a strong PC and a nice monitor, at the very least a Dell Ultrasharp, if not something better. You'll get way better value for your money, AND you'll get better performance, even though so many here refuse to believe otherwise.

    If you still want a Mac, you can buy my Mac Pro that's for sale in the marketplace here. :D
  18. Contributor


    Dec 8, 2009
    This nonsense again: OSX "slower" than windows ... Lol ....
  19. 4Hummer, Dec 18, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2012
    My Current G5 20" Imac, pretty much keeps up with my Work supplied Dell Latitude laptop with i7 processor.

    iMac Specs. 2.0 GB Single Core Power PC Processor, with 2gig Ram, Running Leopard OSX

    PC Specs: Intel i7 CPU @ 2.8 Gig, 8gig Ram, Running 64 Bit Windows 7 Enterprise.

    Guess which System I would rather use when I get home. Which system feels "snappier" and is better to work with... I'll give you a hint.. it's not the PC.

    however on that note, I still can't wait for my new 27" iMac.

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