24" 2.8Ghz iMac with 4GB RAM enough for Photoshop?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by profit42, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. profit42 macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2007

    Does anyone here know if the best iMac available (I mean, the 24", 4GB, 2.8Ghz) is fast enough for heavy Photoshopping.

    My current Sony VAIO (Windows, P4 3.4Ghz HT CPU and 1.25GB RAM) is way to slow for what I'm doing (post processing of 10MP RAW photo's).

    Will the upgrade to the iMac improve my workflow significantly or is it also to slow for work like this (and do I have to buy a Mac Pro)?
  2. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    Id wait for someone to have actual hands on experience with your scenario, however I would have to surmise that heavy PS always needs 2GB+, and if you got 4GB all the better.

    If you can afford it, always go with a Mac Pro if you are serious/professional in anyway or want to be.

    The workflow thru OSX is going to be alot easier and faster for you just on its own, trust me.
  3. techlover828 macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2007
  4. epochblue macrumors 68000


    Aug 12, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Short answer: yes, the iMac you describe would probably suffice.

    Of course a Mac Pro would out perform the iMac, but it'll put a more sizable dent in your wallet too.
  5. c.joe.go macrumors regular


    Apr 15, 2007
    the nexus of the universe
    yes. i work frequently with large quantities of sizable raw files in photoshop so i feel qualified to respond. previous to my 24 2.4 imac i used my mac mini ppc 1.42, needless to say it was painfully slow and prevented me from easily working through each of the 20k raw photos i have on my system.

    switching to the 2.4 imac was an incredible improvement. i have yet to upgrade my ram, which only will improve the performance, however that being said, the new imacs work wonderfully for photoshop work.

    the mac pro is much better for you if you will be choosing to generate serious income from photoshop work and the expandability of the pro extends its life considerably. if you can validate your use of the more expensive system by creating more income from your work, buy the pro. if you are only working through photoshop for fun/side jobs. do not spend the extra cash on the pro.
  6. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    You can also always upgrade to 8GB modules once there available as intel states in the SR specs.
    And i would actually think the core2duo 2.8 in the imac you want would out preform the 2.66 xeons in the Macpro as i dont think photoshop would care so much about more than 2 cores.
  7. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2004
    American living in Canada
    The MBP in my signature has no problem with CS3 on large files. I've been rather impressed by it really.
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Define "Fast Enough"
    Define "Heavy"
    Define "My workflow"

    Seriously.... how can anyone give an accurate answer?

    The Core 2 Duo is going to spank the P4 3.4 silly. I have a P4 2.8 HT and it's barely usable multitasking and opening Excel. The Sony is way under-RAM for the job. As to whether the iMac will be enough to satisfy you? Don't know.
    How much are you making from the photography? If it is your livelihood (>$40K per year lets say) and you do it all day, then just get the Mac Pro. Life's too short to nickel and dime your professional tools.

    If it's a hobby then the iMac's probably going to be great.
  9. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I think that photoshop is one of the few programs that are sufficiently multithreaded to take advantage of all four cores, I don't know that the current version will take advantage of more than 4GB of RAM

    The main thing that I would be worried about though is if you are using photoshop you most likely care about color accuracy, and the new glossy screens are horrible in that area.
  10. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    I use to play with RAW files on my iBook from the fuji S7000 a 6 megapixel camera.

    I think a brand new iMac would play with 10mp images easily.
  11. iBunny macrumors 65816

    Apr 15, 2004
    My MacBook Pro has specs very similar to the iMac's and my machine does really really well with PS CS3.

    I usualy play with RAW images from a 6MP camera. No issues whatso ever. Everything is fast and works wonderfully.
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    The newest iMac is more powerful than the large majority of computers in the world. If Photoshop can run perfectly on older machines, it's going to run fine on a 2.8 GHz C2D machine with 4 GB.

    I have a C2D 2.0 GHz machine with 2 GB of RAM, and it runs CS2 at decent speeds. Running CS3 would make my machine blaze. I can't imagine how much faster your new (potential) iMac would be, but I can't imagine slow speeds.
  13. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    as usual, CanadaRAM has great advice!
  14. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    I think you'd be fine. 10 MB is nothing. Granted I have an extra processor, but I work on 150+ MB PSD files all the time... No problem.
  15. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    he said 10 megapixel, not 10 megabyte.
  16. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
  17. Mr. MacBook macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2007
    Definitely. The reviews prove that the new iMacs are packed with power to almost match a Mac Pro. A 24-inch 2.8GHz iMac should definitely kick the Mac Pro out, especially if you get 4GB RAM, which will bump the price up to a stock Mac Pro if you order through OWC. Mac Pro's GPU will leave it isolated, and it will be 4 ram off.

    EDIT: Here's one of the reviews if you want it.
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Which would make the RAW files smaller than 10 MB, which means the OP has even less to worry about than Heavy Doody originally thought. ;)
  19. Roadlife macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
    I'd simply like to thank all for the input on this subject. I've run the gamut of digital cameras since 1997 when I started with two Kodak cameras using the KDC format. (Anyone know of a good converter that would run on OS X 10.5.1?). That progressed through a couple Coolpix cameras and now I've gone through a D70, D200, and now the D300. The raw pictures are big and the TIF's are humongous.
    As a full-time RVer I haven't the space for a Pro and the iMac I have now, held down with earthquake straps, just doesn't have the oomph I need anymore. The MacBook is faster.
    Anyway, my search for info landed me here and I appreciated the input.
  20. eRondeau macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    :eek::eek: No I'm sorry but one of the most powerful desktop computers ever created -- and Apple's top-of-the-line version -- is still not quite powerful enough to run this software. :eek::eek:

    In other news, I just wrote the greatest Photoshop killer program ever -- but no computer in the whole wide world is capable of running it. I hope to begin beta-testing it in about 200 years. :p
  21. jeremiah239 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2007
    239 Area, FL
    Yes before I got my Al iMac 2.8GHz with 4Gb of ram I had a g5 1.6GHz with 1 Gb of ram and Photoshop ran just fine.
  22. Roadlife macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
    Out of idle curiosity, could you quantify the speed improvement in your workflow?
    Was it well worth the $2500+ outlay (I always get the extended service pack because it has saved me money in the long run)
  23. pvtours macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2008
    Does this make sense?

    I am in the virtual tour photography business and untill now, have been using my MDD dual 1.25 FW800 1.25GB RAM for my CS3 and photostitching workflow. I use a canon 1D MkIIn which is 8.2MP and have been suffering with the amount of time photoshop takes to run my simple actions (resizing, smart sharpen, color range selection). I also have been suffering with the 17" ADC studio display (but this isnt about color correction) My question is am I getting ahead by buying a 24" 2.4 iMac 2GB RAM in terms of performance?
  24. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Welcome to MR

    It's probably better to start your own thread rather than resurrecting one from last year, but...

    Yes, the answer remains the same as above. The iMac Intel machine with 4 Gb RAM and Photoshop CS3 is going to kick the G4 around the block in terms of performance. It is the best performance/price ratio machine under $3000. One thing is that you don't have a choice of screen... you will therefore need to calibrate the screen and then learn its characteristics for doing color correction work.

    Note that you NEED CS3 for good performance on the Intels, and 4 Gb is pretty much necessary as well.
  25. pvtours macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2008
    thanks for your help

    thanks for the quick reply
    from what I have seen/read, the screen takes well to calibration. I guess all I should consider is that the screen is a substantial upgrade from my 17" studio display.

Share This Page