Which Mac is Fast Enough?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by CaptainofInd, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Our company is preparing a mac-upgrade and I want to make sure I have fast enough for each responsibility without overkill.

    Main tasks include keeping the entire CS3 system open most of the time, going back and forth, running extensive batch files in photoshop, editing 100 page Indd files, and managing/correcting 300+meg photos.

    For these tasks, a new G5 powermac would be beautiful, but is it necessary? Can we get away with a maxed-out iMac?

    As aa secondary task, we have a production manager/art buyer who will be running lightroom as a file management system, checking photoshop, indesign and illustrator files, making minor edits and occasionally running batch files. Rarely will she need more than one program set open at a time.
    Is a suped-up Mac mini good enough, or will she need more? How does a mac mini compare to an older 2.1 Ghz PowerPC G5 imac?

    Thanks for all the help!
  2. macrumors 601

    Get a Mac Pro.

    No idea why you'd be looking at a G5 though… I presume you meant Mac Pro?
  3. macrumors 68000

    Yeah you will need ton's of ram probably 10GB so get the Mac Pro.
  4. macrumors regular


    To be honest, I think a PowerPC would be more than up to the task. Even dual processor G4's.

    You can get some great refirbs if you shop around.
  5. macrumors 68000

    Yes but that would be buying old technology there is already Intel exclusive software so you want a computer to last more than a year or two.
  6. macrumors 65816


    24" Alu iMac with at least 2GB of RAM installed.
  7. macrumors 65816


    Mac Pro - 8 Core - As much Ram as they can afford. I have 8 in mine and run PS, AI, DW, just fine. But if you have all of them open..I'd get as much as possible.
  8. macrumors regular


    After two years Macs don't expire and then become unusable. If Your Mac sufficiently runs the software you need to do a specific job, it can run until the day it's components burn out.

    But I would agree that a Mac Pro is a better investment for the future if you intend on regularly upgrading your software.
  9. macrumors 68000

    I know they don't expire but even now I know the Mac Pro would run them a whole lot better and I'm guessing he's probably going to want to upgrade to new stuff in the future.
  10. macrumors 68000


    lol, complete overkill for now.

    I second that. Maybe better get 4gb and you won't have a problem.
  11. macrumors 68000

    That's not overkill at all. Running all applications at once requires more than 4GB's of ram, Switching between them would be a nightmare and when your working on over 300MB files your going to want the Ram. iMac is not powerful enough.
  12. macrumors 68000


    Well, I recently worked on a 15x7 m megaboard for a car company. The psd file has 1,5 gb. I used a 2,3 ghz dual G5 with 3 gb ram at work and sometimes my 2,8 ghz iMac with 2 gb at home. The G5 runs CS2 Design Standard and I had everything opened + entourage & firefox. On my iMac I almost constantly have Bridge CS3, InDesign CS3, Illustrator CS3, Photoshop CS3, Safari, Mail & iTunes opened. Did I have problems? No. And 300 mb is nothing these days.

    Of course a Mac Pro would be faster BUT to claim that such tasks "require more than 4gb ram" and "an iMac is not powerful enough" is plain wrong.
  13. macrumors 68020


    i would recommend the mac pro but not the over kill, get the basic downgraded quad, 2 GB ram and then you have computers that are as cheep as the 24 inch iMac but more expandable in the future and twice the cores to start of with. Then grow them by need it doesn't take much to order a couple hard drive, ram sticks or a new GPU in the future.
  14. macrumors 68000


    Sounds like a good idea too. The best advise may be, as it is often, a compromise. :)
  15. macrumors member

    If you're looking at the crossover area between the iMac and the Mac Pro …

    … things like 'do I have monitors available already', 'will I need to expand <insert feature here> in future' and 'what is the difference between the two that really affects me' would be questions that would spring to my mind.

    If you're sitting on the fence, read over their specs and features and see what makes you lean forward or fall backward? :)
  16. macrumors 68040


    That is so wrong. Running all applications at once doesn't really require more than 2 Gb. Depends what you mean by 'all'. I keep about 10-15 apps open at a time on a 1 Gb machine.

    The iMac is also powerful enough.
  17. macrumors 68040


    I'm in a similar boat and that's what I did here at work ("on the way" Mac Pro below).

    I have an iMac at home running all the CS3 programs on only 2GB of RAM so I know my Mac Pro will be able to handle it. My boss wanted to me to take a wait-and-see approach on upgrading the RAM, which is fine with me (esp, after a year of requesting a Mac Pro to replace my slow Pentium PC). I don't do much with video so I'm not concerned about having "only" 4 cores. I'm also pretty sure I'll be able to get him to approve at least an extra 2GB RAM after a month or two, if I notice it really dragging (which I don't expect at all).

    I run at least Bridge, InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Safari and Mail at the same time on my iMac and it doesn't have any problems keeping up.
  18. macrumors 65816


    I'd have your main machine(s) as new Mac Pros with lots of RAM.

    Then for secondary machines, either a Good dual G5 or a 24" iMac (the White ones have better screens for colour work etc)
  19. macrumors 6502

    Been running the cs suite since its start (have dropped Illustrator cs3 to go back to cs2 for obvious reasons) & am using the 3 version on a G5 at work with 4gb ram & G5 at home 8gb ram.
    The one at home is faster in general when day to day actions are performed, but when you are working with .psb files lets say, you cannot have a fast enough mac or enough ram ever.
    I would say that there is no overkill with ram, look at the budget (& push it with your boss) for the tower & add as much ram as it will take. Lets face it guys, ram is sooo cheaper now than it used to be & worth every penny..
  20. macrumors G5


    Did y'all miss the part about 100 Mb Indesign files and managing tons of photos?

    Have you ever opened iPhoto with thousands of photos in the library, when there wasn't enough RAM to swallow the entire library's thumbnails? Dog slow.

    Performance on applications that handle large datasets drops dramatically when you don't have plenty of RAM. It is not comparable to multitasking at all, because with multitasking you are using the programs sequentially, so it can swap out the unused ones fairly easily.

    MacPro for the main machine with 8 Gb of RAM would be ideal, and iMac Intel with 4 Gb RAM for the secondary station. The little Mini harddrive with its slow performance will hold you back on disk intensive cataloguing.

    A PowerPC G5 machine is out of the running for CS3 - CS3 really needs an Intel processor to perform to potential.
  21. macrumors 6502

    A PowerPC G5 machine is out of the running for CS3 - CS3 really needs an Intel processor to perform to potential.[/QUOTE]

  22. macrumors 65816


    i agree.

    A G5 will run CS3 very well.
  23. macrumors 68000

    Yeah that is such a lie I had 1GB in my Macbook for the first few month's I owned the Machine and there was no way I could have 10-15 apps open I remember trying to open photoshop and use it with iTunes, Mail and Safari open and it could not be done without huge slow downs it became unworkable when working with large files, you need ram and when switching between applications especially CS3 you want it to be fast Especially If you want to move large files between many applications.

    Now i'll admit 10GB's maybe a bit overkill but at least you won't have to worry about it for quite a long time. You need at least 6GB for what he wants to do 8 would be better.

    For his second machine I would get an iMac for that even an old White one would work just load it up with ram and that should be fine.
  24. macrumors 65816


    you do need a good chunk of RAM to keep all CS3 apps open (and actively working) concurrently.

    I don't see why 4GB wouldn't do. Is there a limit to how much photoshop can address while open?
  25. macrumors 6502


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