Help needed please

blackglass

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 28, 2014
16
0
Newbie here so please accept apologies if I transgress and ask stupid questions. I'm and older (retired) bloke that's recently got back into digital photography. My current PC was very powerful 4-5 years ago but seems to stumble on some of the files I work on now.

I'm thinking of going back to Mac for graphics and am looking at the iMac 27". I don't want to spend money unnecessarily but would like a system to handle the following...

1) Running Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 5 simultaneously.
2) I do end up with stitched panorama files of over 1GB in size.

  • So will 16GB of RAM be sufficient?
  • Will the standard NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB GDDR5 do the job?
  • Would the 3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz be adequate?

Any thoughts from you Mac experts out there would be appreciated. As mentioned, I don't want to spend more than I need to but don't want to be disappointed with performance either.
Thanks
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Feb 25, 2012
2,530
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
Newbie here so please accept apologies if I transgress and ask stupid questions. I'm and older (retired) bloke that's recently got back into digital photography. My current PC was very powerful 4-5 years ago but seems to stumble on some of the files I work on now.

I'm thinking of going back to Mac for graphics and am looking at the iMac 27". I don't want to spend money unnecessarily but would like a system to handle the following...

1) Running Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 5 simultaneously.
2) I do end up with stitched panorama files of over 1GB in size.

  • So will 16GB of RAM be sufficient?
  • Will the standard NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB GDDR5 do the job?
  • Would the 3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz be adequate?

Any thoughts from you Mac experts out there would be appreciated. As mentioned, I don't want to spend more than I need to but don't want to be disappointed with performance either.
Thanks
If you are retired and don't have a lot of money, all that can be done on a Windows PC if you need save.

However if you want to go to the imac and spend the money, that will be just fine for your uses.
 

blackglass

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 28, 2014
16
0
If you are retired and don't have a lot of money, all that can be done on a Windows PC if you need save.

However if you want to go to the imac and spend the money, that will be just fine for your uses.
Thanks for the reply. One reason I'm thinking of going back to Mac is because Mac has always been the standard for graphics solutions and for some reason Photoshop CS6 crashes every time on startup now. It seems to be more a PC issue and according to my Google searching, might be related to the graphics card. I've tried Adobe support but spend hours going around in circles.

The only other reason is I like the idea of doing away with a big black box and cables everywhere :)
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Feb 25, 2012
2,530
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
Thanks for the reply. One reason I'm thinking of going back to Mac is because Mac has always been the standard for graphics solutions and for some reason Photoshop CS6 crashes every time on startup now. It seems to be more a PC issue and according to my Google searching, might be related to the graphics card. I've tried Adobe support but spend hours going around in circles.

The only other reason is I like the idea of doing away with a big black box and cables everywhere :)
Yeah, tho be aware you will need to rebuy all the software you currently own for OSX.

It depends on what money you want to spend, there are PC all in ones out there as well.

Windows 8.1 is pretty well thought out and stable as well, Ive had no issues. No issues with my OSX machines either.

its all about what you want to spend.
 

khedden

macrumors member
Jun 18, 2014
70
0
Charleston, SC
  • So will 16GB of RAM be sufficient?
  • Will the standard NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB GDDR5 do the job?
  • Would the 3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz be adequate?
The answer to all your questions is 'yes'.

I would also recommend an SSD or fusion drive for the type of work you do. The speed difference in launching apps and opening large files will be significant.
 

blackglass

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 28, 2014
16
0
Yeah, tho be aware you will need to rebuy all the software you currently own for OSX.

It depends on what money you want to spend, there are PC all in ones out there as well.

Windows 8.1 is pretty well thought out and stable as well, Ive had no issues. No issues with my OSX machines either.

its all about what you want to spend.
Thanks again... Firstly Adobe WILL allow one platform change (ie, PC to Mac).

Now if you'll bear with me I'll ask something else that is probably stupid. I'm not very computer smart so when comparing processors between Mac and PC are the relative speeds comparable? Say i7 quad core 3.5g/hz on either machine or are there differences between platforms?

Thanks again for your advice G51989, I really appreciate it.

Considering my original post and usage, what would you consider to be minimum specs on both platforms?

----------

The answer to all your questions is 'yes'.

I would also recommend an SSD or fusion drive for the type of work you do. The speed difference in launching apps and opening large files will be significant.
Thank you too khedden. I was considering a fusion drive but a store over here (in Australia) has a basic spec 2013 iMac 27 on sale. I know I can add RAM later but can a fusion drive be added also?
 

khedden

macrumors member
Jun 18, 2014
70
0
Charleston, SC
I was considering a fusion drive but a store over here (in Australia) has a basic spec 2013 iMac 27 on sale. I know I can add RAM later but can a fusion drive be added also?
A fusion drive or internal SSD can be added, but you would have to crack open the machine. NOT recommended unless you are an experienced hand at taking apart and repairing such machines.

If you don't have an SSD today, then the machine with a standard HDD will perform as you expect and are used to.
 

PixelpusherBV

macrumors member
Dec 16, 2013
81
0
Harwich, UK
I'm doing similar work using CS6 & Aperture on an old 2007 iMac with 4GB ram (with Mavericks), albeit a little slowly, so the mac you're suggesting will be fine now & a long time to come.
 

blackglass

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 28, 2014
16
0
I'm doing similar work using CS6 & Aperture on an old 2007 iMac with 4GB ram (with Mavericks), albeit a little slowly, so the mac you're suggesting will be fine now & a long time to come.
My greatest concern with changing platforms is the crap one has to deal with setting it all up and transferring data.

I'm using a windows 7 PC that's 4-5 years old with an i7 quad core 2.8ghz chip, 6GB RAM and I'm not sure about the video card but processing large files is terrible. To upgrade my RAM to 16GB is going to cost about $250 and I don't like the idea of spending that sort of money on an older system.
 

zarf2007

macrumors regular
Aug 27, 2010
222
17
London, UK
My greatest concern with changing platforms is the crap one has to deal with setting it all up and transferring data.

I'm using a windows 7 PC that's 4-5 years old with an i7 quad core 2.8ghz chip, 6GB RAM and I'm not sure about the video card but processing large files is terrible. To upgrade my RAM to 16GB is going to cost about $250 and I don't like the idea of spending that sort of money on an older system.
the only way to be sure is to get the maxed out 27 i7 with latest graphics card and stick in an additional 16GB memory. While it wont be the cheapest, it will future proof the iMac for 4-5 years for what you want to do. With the nature of the iMac everything apart from memory has to be upgraded by apple at purchase or you will void the warranty. Also make sure you include applecare in your budget.

if you can stretch your finances a bit now I'm sure you won't be disappointed...

Ideally get an internal SSD only (the biggest you can afford) and add external USB3 drive for cheap storage or get the 1 or 3TB fusion which is a good compromise of cost/speed. Definitely try to move away from normal Hard Drive as it will be the single limiting factor in the performance of the iMac.

and dont listen about windows 8/8.1 it is the vista of the operating system world and is awful. If you did get a new PC, put windows 7 on it, its about the only decent OS MS has ever released.
 
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pcd109

macrumors regular
May 1, 2010
127
57
forget windows

My greatest concern with changing platforms is the crap one has to deal with setting it all up and transferring data.

I'm using a windows 7 PC that's 4-5 years old with an i7 quad core 2.8ghz chip, 6GB RAM and I'm not sure about the video card but processing large files is terrible. To upgrade my RAM to 16GB is going to cost about $250 and I don't like the idea of spending that sort of money on an older system.
Yea, so basically if you do graphics macs are still the way to go. From what you tell me your usage is very light(1Gb photoshop files). I do graphics for over 12 years so let me give you one idea. Go to an Apple store(or re seller) and try a mac pro quad core. They will let you to play with it for an hour or so. I done some very intensive graphics, i mean 400-500mb photoshop files with dozens of layers and then distilled the files to pdf's for print on 700Ghz power mac g4. I moved to g5's when they appeared and i could run 1-2 gb files with ease. I mean this was like 8-10 years ago? So if you don't do anything graphic extremely intensive(like 3d) the quad core mac pro will be more than enough. Just put 16-32GB of RAM(not from apple) and an external hard disk and you are set for 3-5 years depending on your workflow. I don't now about Aperture requirements though, never worked with it, but i guess it's more then enough for that too. Do yourself a favor and don't buy iMac for graphics. The cpu's i5-i7 are not meant for extended use, that's why we have Xeons and workstations. Do yourself a BIG favor and test a base new macpro - for photoshop you will need the highest cpu speed, not core count so base 3,7GHZ is the way to go. You can add external hard drives(if you are a real pro you already have them anyway) and more RAM and you are good to go. And don't listen to the windows trolls either - that OS it's a nightmare to use. It's a resource hug, and still does not have proper multi tasking after all this years. If you go online with it, it WILL catch viruses no matter what you do and it will add so much bloatware that you will need to re-install your apps and OS all the time. You really don't know how bad is that OS and i don't have time to explain it in detail, but let me tell you just one thing: it has a hidden application data folder witch stores so much info that after few months of use you will have DOZENS of GB of files in there. Ever wondered why you run out o space and why your win works so bad? Now you know. Not to mention 'dll nightmare'. I done graphics with top 100 fortune clients and i NEVER worked on windows. On my mac i have all the apps i use open(photoshop, acrobat, illustrator etc) and just switch to them when needed with apple+tab. I don't need to re-install anything and i can be VERY productive. I even have an old g4 witch i still use to organize files(on mac i can color code them). I used to make A4/A3 posters and 2d graphics on it for a living. I wait for the revision 2 to get myself a new macpro as well. So, do yourself a great favor and just get rid of that win*** asap. You will be so much more productive and you will stop worry about viruses, OS and so on and just focus on your job.
 

zarf2007

macrumors regular
Aug 27, 2010
222
17
London, UK
Yea, so basically if you do graphics macs are still the way to go. From what you tell me your usage is very light(1Gb photoshop files). I do graphics for over 12 years so let me give you one idea. Go to an Apple store(or re seller) and try a mac pro quad core. They will let you to play with it for an hour or so. I done some very intensive graphics, i mean 400-500mb photoshop files with dozens of layers and then distilled the files to pdf's for print on 700Ghz power mac g4. I moved to g5's when they appeared and i could run 1-2 gb files with ease. I mean this was like 8-10 years ago? So if you don't do anything graphic extremely intensive(like 3d) the quad core mac pro will be more than enough. Just put 16-32GB of RAM(not from apple) and an external hard disk and you are set for 3-5 years depending on your workflow. I don't now about Aperture requirements though, never worked with it, but i guess it's more then enough for that too. Do yourself a favor and don't buy iMac for graphics. The cpu's i5-i7 are not meant for extended use, that's why we have Xeons and workstations. Do yourself a BIG favor and test a base new macpro - for photoshop you will need the highest cpu speed, not core count so base 3,7GHZ is the way to go. You can add external hard drives(if you are a real pro you already have them anyway) and more RAM and you are good to go. And don't listen to the windows trolls either - that OS it's a nightmare to use. It's a resource hug, and still does not have proper multi tasking after all this years. If you go online with it, it WILL catch viruses no matter what you do and it will add so much bloatware that you will need to re-install your apps and OS all the time. You really don't know how bad is that OS and i don't have time to explain it in detail, but let me tell you just one thing: it has a hidden application data folder witch stores so much info that after few months of use you will have DOZENS of GB of files in there. Ever wondered why you run out o space and why your win works so bad? Now you know. Not to mention 'dll nightmare'. I done graphics with top 100 fortune clients and i NEVER worked on windows. On my mac i have all the apps i use open(photoshop, acrobat, illustrator etc) and just switch to them when needed with apple+tab. I don't need to re-install anything and i can be VERY productive. I even have an old g4 witch i still use to organize files(on mac i can color code them). I used to make A4/A3 posters and 2d graphics on it for a living. I wait for the revision 2 to get myself a new macpro as well. So, do yourself a great favor and just get rid of that win*** asap. You will be so much more productive and you will stop worry about viruses, OS and so on and just focus on your job.
tbh, while I agree with you about how bad windows is, i could not recommend anyone getting the quad core mac pro as when you add the cost of a decent 27" IPS monitor that is needed and compare the benchmarks, a maxed out 27" iMac beats it into the ground on performance and price with the only exception being the GPU.

The iMac i7 beats the quad core mac pro on both single & multicore performance:

http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

The Mac Pro in my opinion is only worth it for serious work and then get the six core model to make it worth while.

iMacs are used by business users as well and are more than capable of doing what the OP wants.
 
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blackglass

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 28, 2014
16
0
tbh, while I agree with you about how bad windows is, i could not recommend anyone getting the quad core mac pro as when you add the cost of a decent 27" IPS monitor that is needed and compare the benchmarks, a maxed out 27" iMac beats it into the ground on performance and price with the only exception being the GPU.

The iMac i7 beats the quad core mac pro on both single & multicore performance:

http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

The Mac Pro in my opinion is only worth it for serious work and then get the six core model to make it worth while.

iMacs are used by business users as well and are more than capable of doing what the OP wants.
Thanks again everyone...
I looked at the Macpro but whew, too exe for me being a hobbyist.
Here's what I ordered about 3 hours ago...

iMac 27"
3.5Ghz i7 Haswell Quad Core Processor Turbo Boost to 3.9GHz
16GB RAM 4 x 4GB. Options to 32GB
3TB Fusion Drive
4GB nVidia GeForce GTX 780M 4GB
27" LED IPS Backlit Glossy Display
2 x Thunderbolt 10Gb/s Connectivity
4 x USB 3.0
Digital and Analogue Audio In/Out
Facetime HD Camera
Wired Numeric Keyboard and Magic Mouse
Gigabit Networkiing, Bluetooth, XDHC Slot
OS10.9 Mavericks Preinstalled, iLife Preinstalled
Zerothree Platinum Apple 24/7 Direct Lifetime Tech Support.

I'm pretty sure that will get me out of trouble :):):):):)
 

zarf2007

macrumors regular
Aug 27, 2010
222
17
London, UK
Thanks again everyone...
I looked at the Macpro but whew, too exe for me being a hobbyist.
Here's what I ordered about 3 hours ago...

iMac 27"
3.5Ghz i7 Haswell Quad Core Processor Turbo Boost to 3.9GHz
16GB RAM 4 x 4GB. Options to 32GB
3TB Fusion Drive
4GB nVidia GeForce GTX 780M 4GB
27" LED IPS Backlit Glossy Display
2 x Thunderbolt 10Gb/s Connectivity
4 x USB 3.0
Digital and Analogue Audio In/Out
Facetime HD Camera
Wired Numeric Keyboard and Magic Mouse
Gigabit Networkiing, Bluetooth, XDHC Slot
OS10.9 Mavericks Preinstalled, iLife Preinstalled
Zerothree Platinum Apple 24/7 Direct Lifetime Tech Support.

I'm pretty sure that will get me out of trouble :):):):):)

excellent choice, you won't be disappointed and in a months time you will wonder why you didnt ditch windows long ago....I do laugh at people who still try to justify MS products as personally I think they are the worst thing that ever happened to the computer industry..the purest example of marketing vs quality.........whereas the iMac running OSX (based on UNIX) is a quality computer running a Real Operating system.....enjoy your computer ;)
 
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