Deciding on an iMac for photo editing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Mitch444, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. Mitch444 macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2010
    Trying to choose the perfect iMac for our new photography business. Right now thinking a base 27 inch is the way to go. Is the cheaper 27 inch model equipped well enough to handle photoshop? We can't decide wether to buy now, wait for Lion or wait another 100 days or so for the inevitable upgrade. Any help would be great! Thanks!
  2. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    Base 27 inch will be more than enough for photoshop. Aside from having a decent cpu and gpu for it-- which the base 27" iMac has, photo editing largely relies on HDD speed, in this case it'd be more optimal to get an SSD rather than an i7 quad (that's only if you want to spring for the extra money)

    The base 27 inch model by itself should be more than enough.
  3. RRmalvado macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2010
    Agreed. It'll server the OP very well.
  4. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    My family has a 21.5" and for photos, its amazing. I bet the 27" screen size for professional work will be much, much better. Especially for photo editing - which zoom in/outs are for mandatory picture tweaking as well.

    For your business iMac, I'd recommend external FW800 Backup drive and configure it with included Time Machine. If wondering, I have this "set it and leave it" backup. It automatic backup works great as well. Especially on its FW800 port.

  5. macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2010
    Littleton, CO
    Hi Mitch,

    I was in your shoes a few weeks ago, having just started my business and crashed my Dell laptop by feeding it hundreds of RAW files from my decided to go the way of the Mac.

    I have a friend with the 24" iMac Core2Duo and it still runs Photoshop and Lightroom amazingly fast. That settled it for me, an iMac it would be. (hey, that rhymed!)

    Shopping around I decided that I'd only upgrade that which wouldn't be easiest to upgrade by my self, aftermarket style...which leaves the CPU. Being for a business and my goal of longevity, I chose to look into the i7 2.93ghz (870 I believe it is).

    I was all set to buy a 27" i7 2.93 with the base 1TB hard drive and 4gig RAM, when my friend suggested I look into refurbished models. So I did, and here I am typing on my refurbished 27" with the i7 2.93ghz iMac.

    The kicker? What originally was going to cost me $2200 (roughly) for a new one, only cost me $1800. came with a 2TB hard drive!

    Having had it for a few weeks now, I can honestly say it's cut my post processing time for a set of over 200 photos in RAW down from 8 hours to about 4. Granted, I was working at a snails pace on the Dell laptop, but this thing runs like a dream.

    Absolutely no wait times for Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS5, Photomatix Pro4, and various web pages and iTunes running....all at once, going back and forth. I couldn't be happier.

    Running Activity Monitor I keep glancing at the charts and I've only used a max of 80% of the RAM, and the CPU hasn't passed 50% use, that's amazing room to grow in my opinion.

    Next to my Nikon D300s, this iMac is the best investment in my business I've made. You won't regret it.

    Hope that helps :)
  6. wilhelmreems macrumors member

    May 25, 2010
    I'm also in the same boat as the OP.

    Essentially I keep going back and forth between the i5 3.6 and the i5 Quad, as well as the 5670 and the 5750.

    the iMac will be used nearly exclusively for photo editing and standard computer uses like email, surfing, music, etc.

    I keep asking myself, do I need quad core? Do i need 1GB of graphics card memory just for photo editing?

    Would i be happy in 4 years with the lesser powered options, or should i get the higher powered to avoid an upgrade in a few years?

    After doing so much research i've finally hit the overload on information point and i'm in a deadlock with myself.

    any fresh perspective would be helpful, thanks!
  7. AlexisV macrumors 68000


    Mar 12, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    For what you describe, you'd be happy with the base 21.5"

    You'd actually be fine with a 2005 G5 to be honest.
  8. Mitch444 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2010
    We did it : )

    Now typing on our brand new 27 inch iMac. Thanks for all the help guys!

Share This Page