21.5 imac i3 or i5 advice and software

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gcl1970, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. gcl1970 macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2010
    Hi all

    In the market for a new Imac

    What are my needs:

    • Hobby DSLR - shoot in raw using canon 7d
    • EIther use aperture or LR3 - need opinions (have aperture 1.5 so could upgrade)
    • already have elemnts 8 for pc so could use parallels - does this work
    • use some windows software (Microsoft project and visio)

    Thinking 21.5 imac (27" too large :mad:) but need advice

    i3 or i5
    is 4gb ram enough
    1tb storage
    apple cover
    mobile me (wife and i both have iphones so thought sync would be great)

    Any thoughts?
  2. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    I am a photographer shooting 12MP Nikon in RAW and work with 16-bit tiff files almost exclusively. I have a 2009 3.06 C2D iMac and have no problems at all as far as power is concerned. I also use my 2.4Ghz MBP when traveling and it is about 30% slower but overall just fine. I used PTGui two weeks ago to stitch 11 16-bit tiff files into a panorama and the processing took about 3-4 minutes (my previous XP PC would take at least 20 minutes for this process - and likely much longer.) I also create 32-bit radiance files for HDR in Photomatix in about 30 seconds or less which is pretty good. Of course more power is always nicer but not critical unless you are either gaming, doing video editing or batch processing a huge number of still images which some people may need to do for Event work.

    Your files will be a bit bigger but if you are working on one image at a time the i3 would be fine. I would recommend you up the RAM to 8GB which you can do one your own for about $100. I bought my 8GB ram from B&H Photo, Crucial, and it works fine but do not really need it for my MBP. In sum, at least for myself, a i3 would be fine, and slightly better than my current CPU but still photo editing with Photoshop CS4 and Bridge are my main tools, plus the above mentioned programs and
    Topaz Labs plugins. If you can swing it the i5 is a better choice but if money is tight then for your stated needs the difference is small, like taking 9 seconds instead of 10 seconds to perform a task. The good news is you can't go wrong with either choice but I would recommend eventually going with 8Gb RAm which is a tiny investment that can make a noticeable difference.
  3. gcl1970 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2010
    Hi there

    thanks for that

    do have a view as to aperture 3?

    secondly i have elements 8 for pc - do you think i can use this easily using parallels?
  4. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    I only played with Aperture 3 on a previous generation MBP and it worked fine. On a photography forum I belong to, and moderate, people with slower computers have no problems with A3

    As far as Elements 8 for PC, it should work fine but might be a lot easier to just wait and get Elements 9 for Mac which should be released in a month.

    I moved from PC to Mac earlier this year and wanted a clean break so I didn't bother with Parallels or other ways to keep a PC on a Mac. I used to use MS Office but tried iWorks 30 day trial and loved it so I use that instead. Adobe let me switch from CS4 PC to CS4 for Mac for $6, the price to ship out a new CD. A few other image editing software I use, like Photomatix, PTGui and Topaz plugins cost nothing to get the Mac version.

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