Base 21.5" iMac for Photo Processing / Minimal Gaming / XCode Dev, is it sufficient?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by patambrosio, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. patambrosio, Apr 29, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013

    patambrosio macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2013
    Hello, very new here.

    I'm considering a 21.5" base configuration iMac (i.e. the one with the infamous 5400RPM drive).

    I mostly do Web Development and this pays the rent, it's getting top priority but fortunately it doesn't ask for heavy computing power - a base 11" MBA + External Monitor would do if not only that I do a bit of Photoshop on some minimal design projects and need a color corrected screen, but it's not something I do frequently (maybe at most 6-8 times a month) and not heavily (<30 vector layers). Also, I am very interested in getting into iOS development on XCode.

    As a hobby, I do photography and I'm pretty invested in organizing and post-processing in Lightroom 4, soon LR5. The big and color corrected screen will be wonderful for this, and is why I can't have a Macbook as my main computer. I process RAW files no bigger than 4mb, and JPEGs no bigger than 3mb. Batch imports around ~100-170 mix of RAW and JPEG files.

    I have a penchant for keeping things minimal, so I do avoid bloating up PSD files and doing heavy processing on photos.

    I would like to be able to run some small games off of Steam, and hopefully Sim City, but mostly small games will do.

    I am coming from a non-SSD Windows setup that costed me as much as the base iMac which recently collapsed in itself (GPU gave, and then the HDD) in under a year and a half, so I am pretty done with tinkering with computer hardware - hence I need something I can purchase and would still work at least 2 years later - no matter how outdated. This would possibly be my first time owning my own Mac, I used to lug a round an office issued Macbook (the white plastic one back in 2009).

    I did consider a MBP/MBA but I no longer have the patience to lug around a relatively powerful device for my tiny mobile needs, I like walking around with just my iPhone and a slim bag to hold writing material but I am also contemplating a new tablet in the future, I currently have a first gen Kindle Fire and it does the trick at the moment but does not get heavy use like my iPhone.

    I like having my equipment and setup lean, I really don't want to spend more than what I need. Also, that means keeping a lean spending budget too not only because I want to but because I have to.

    I've read from the below linked post that they are happy with the base model, and those coming off from older iMac models say that the base model would be enough for Photoshop work, but I don't know how it would fair to XCode work, Lightroom work, and some minimal gaming.

    So the question is, will the base configuration 21.5" iMac suit my needs above?

    Another question, the above would easily say I may have to wait longer doing batch imports on Lightroom and loading game files, but, are their any problems I would frequently run into besides these?

    TL: DR;

    Is the base 21.5" iMac good enough for processing 4mb RAW files on Lightroom 4/5, minimal Photoshop CS5/6, playing a bit of games like Sim City or smaller games off of Steam, and iOS development on XCode?
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Yes, it is ;)

    P.S. If you can afford it, get the Fusion Drive
  3. patambrosio thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 29, 2013
    Actually, if I save up a bit for a month or so, I could, unfortunately from where I am, it is not an option. There are no official Apple Stores here (the Philippines), so, I could only get what's available on the shelf from retailers. I would opt for buying direct from the online Apple Store, but with the iMac part supply delays, it may take months for me to get my computer. :(

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