Do Nothing, 4K or iMac Retina

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mr Ski 73, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. Mr Ski 73 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #1
    Hi

    I am based in the UK and have a 2010 MP with a hex 3.33ghz processor, 32GB RAM and about 5TB of storage inc a OWC Accelsior boot drive. I use a Samsung 27A850 monitor which runs at 2560x1440 driven by my ATI 5870. I am a keen amateur photographer and use DXO and Lightroom extensively. This is a factor as DXO uses maximum processor power and I have 6 cores rather than 4 cores for the iMac.

    Given recent articles I visits to the apple store I am impressed with the Retina 5k displays and have the itch as to weather to upgrade. This is purely to get the display as I don't think I will gain anything from the computer itself.

    My options as I see them are as follows

    1. Do nothing (unsure on the benefit of going from 2560 to 4k, from what I can see it may not be that great I and I am just wowed by the apple marketing and store display images
    2. Upgrade to a flashed Nvidia 670 graphics card (macvideocards) and get a Dell P2715Q, sell my Samsung monitor and ATI card
    3. Get the best iMac and then upgrade the RAM and go shopping for an external storage housing

    Any thoughts welcome
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    I use DXO as well, and perhaps I'm not as serious as an amateur photographer as you, but I've always found 4 cores to be fine for my needs, heck, I've actually run Lightroom and DXO on a dual core SP3. While no speed demon that respect it handles it decently.

    How many images are you pumping through DXO?
     
  3. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #3
    Thanks for the reply, probably 100-150.
     
  4. smallcoffee macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    North America
    #4
    DO nothing or purchase the upgrades. Buying an iMac just for the monitor when your MP is working just fine seems like a sup-optimal use of cash.
     
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #5
    Well from all reports the screens are excellent especially on the 2015 configuration.

    The i7 5k iMac has the same performance as a nMP, with a hex core and dual D500 graphics cards.

    So in theory it will be at least as good as what you have (better if you get it with a PCIe SSD) and to beat it with the current Mac Pro options will take an 8 core configuration with D700 graphics cards.

    If you can afford it order one and test it for a week or so you have 14 Days to to return for a full refund with no worries.
     
  6. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #6
    Its true my MP is fine and this is why I ask the question. I am not sure about the upgrader route though as card + screen will cost me c£700
    --- Post Merged, Jan 18, 2016 ---
    Good idea its just the temptation. I would be keen to hear from anyone that has gone from 2560 to either 4k or 5k
     
  7. shaunp macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #7
    I've got a couple of Dell monitors, one running at 1440 like yours and another one running at 4K (P2715Q). Like you I also use a lot of Lightroom and things like colour accuracy are important to me.

    What I have found with the 4k monitor is that it makes some difference to photo editing (1:1 previews look quite good), but it's everything else that looks so much sharper - text, icons, etc. Comparing the two side by side is like night and day.

    The P2715Q is currently going for £470 on amazon. Get one, calibrate it and you will be happy. It covers 99% sRGB which is good enough for most of us and has good uniformity with hardly any backlight bleed. It's also a matte screen. If you later decide that you want a 5K iMac or a Mac Pro or anything else you can add it to these machines later so it won't be a waste of money.
     
  8. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #8
    Thanks that is helpful. What machine are you using and what graphics card?
     
  9. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #9
    It depends on your budget and what you really want. If you want to be trouble free. It's either go to get the iMac or don't do anything. Yes, the cMP can handle 4K screen, or even multiple 4K screens, but the chance of having trouble (especially during OSX upgrade) is higher with 3rd party hardware in 4k.

    If you want to upgrade your Mac, please make sure you chat with MVC and confirm that the card you are looking for able to give you the 4k boot screen, able to run with OSX native driver, etc.

    A friendly reminder for you. AFAIK, there is no "native' way to choose "retina" mode in display setting for cMP. And there is no guarantee that you can get the HiDPI setting you want with zero trouble.

    The iMac only has 4 cores, but each core is much faster than the W3680. Therefore, the overall multi core performance is more or less the same. However, if your Mac is continuously under stress, then the Mac Pro obviously is a better choice, since the cooling system is decided for the machine to run 24/7 at 100% load. The iMac will have much higher chance go into thermal throttling, and the continuous excessive heat may shorten the iMac's life.

    In terms of internal storage, nothing can beat the 5,1 in Mac's world. We can have 4x SM951 in RAID 0 (~6000MB/s), or easily have 24T internal storage (4x6T HDD), etc. If you don't want external storage, then may not be a good idea to go to iMac just because of the monitor.
     
  10. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #10
    Thanks some good pointers here.
    Could you expand on how I will select my mac to run 4k. Is it not as simple as system preferences>displays and then pick the highest resolution.
    SM951s are a new one on me. how do they fit (looks super speedy!)
    I need the storage so I am starting to think the upgrade option is the way to go.
     
  11. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #11
    You can refer to this thread about SM951.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/sata-express-meets-the-09-macpro-bootable-ngff-pcie-ssd.1685821/

    Yes, basically all you need is just set the resolution to 4k at system preference. However, for a 27" monitor, I am sure all the words will be super small and very hard to read. Therefore, you need HiDPI, however, there is no guarantee that the system will give this choice natively. Also, there is no guarantee that you can get 4K 60Hz easily (4K 30Hz is almost guarantee, however, it not good enough for computer operation. The input lag is too large, not even good for using the mouse).

    Also, even though you get a flashed card. There is no guarantee that you can get the boot screen on a 4k monitor. If that didn't work, you may not able to access the recovery partition when needed. However, this is not the primary concern, you should able to easily get the answer from MVC.
     
  12. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #12
    I am beginning to think I am better keeping what I have for the time being. The risk of things not working in the future plus the cost of a new card with international shipping and import taxes means I will be pushing £1k. Probably best wait for a couple of years and then upgrade and in the meantime explore external storage solutions. Thanks for all the help and advice
     
  13. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #13
    That's relatively easy and low cost / risk. A $20 KT-4004 USB 3.0 card will do the job. Then you can utilise the USB 3.0 port for external high speed storage (not bootable). And this storage should be good for future use.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #14
    I'd not rush into an upgrade if you're happy with your Mac Pro.
     
  15. shaunp macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #15
    The PC is just one i built myself - i7 3770k and a GTX 780. I also have a nMP with D700's
     

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