iMac CS5 HELP please!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by NeilMJ, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. NeilMJ macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi all,

    First post, so go easy on me please!

    I'm a pro photographer using a mid-2010 27" iMac (2.8Ghz, 12GB RAM, OSX 10.8.4). At this time of year, during wedding season in the UK, the iMac is getting a LOT of use and is struggling a bit under the strain. Due to the very large volumes of images I'm working on at any given time, it suits my workflow to open up 50 images at once in my version of Photoshop CS5, after their initial edit in Lightroom 4. These images are split between my two cameras; one shoots 16MP files, the other 22MP, so the files are fairly hefty in size. When working I can have Safari, Mail and iTunes open but regularly shutdown Safari and Mail if things start to get really slow.
    I was wondering if anyone on here could clear up a few queries of mine please (I'm not particularly a tech wizard, so layman's terms please!):

    - During every CS5 session, under the conditions above, my 'Page outs' far exceed my 'Page ins' and my 'Swap used' can easily go up to 8-10GB. I get the beachball regularly and although my iMac very rarely slows down to a complete halt, it can get frustrating when the process repeats itself for hundreds of images!
    I've read on forums that a high 'Swap used' suggests more RAM needed; would an upgrade to 16GB make much of a difference?

    - Before backing up/deleting unnecessary files, my internal HD can get to between 250GB-100GB of free space; would this really affect performance that much? I'm currently pricing up a RAID external set-up, so I can hopefully sort this issue out in the next week or two.

    - I've also read bad reports about CS5 and Mountain Lion. Do any other Photoshop users have better performance with CS6?

    - Are there any preferences within CS5 that allow it to work better on a quad core machine, or will the program do this automatically? After viewing various forum threads I have tweaked the performance preferences in CS5 but didn't see any noticeable difference...

    As my computer is an important tool of the trade, if necessary, I am considering the upgrade to the new MacPro, if it was an upgrade that would make a real difference to my workflow. Does anyone on here with more knowledge than me think it would help, based on the tech info Apple have released so far?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    That's a pretty hefty workload....I have the new 27" maxed out with 32GB of RAM...In similar work conditions to yours, it doesn't mis a beat, and has never paged at all.

    I have the 3,4GHZ I7 in there too...I guess you could upgrade the RAM, that would certainly help, but it might be worth thinking about an upgrade.
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Swap used being 8-12GB suggests that you actually need more than an additional 4GB. You can actually upgrade your system to 32GB according to

    If you're saying you get down to 100GB free space at high use, if it's a 1TB drive, that's not too bad. If it's a 3TB drive, it's kinda low.

    I don't think you need a Mac Pro, you just need a system with more RAM, and new iMac would also be faster processing pictures. A late 2012 iMac would be good or if you can wait, a Haswell iMac when they're released.
  4. FreemanW macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2012
    The Real Northern California
    I'll chime in with the same.

    You need more memory.

    Ultimately, it depends upon how you want to spend your money.

    You would be very happy with a new 27" iMac running a i7 3.4GHz, 3TB Fusion, and 32GB of system memory. The quandary/option would be a SSD along with a huge Thunderbolt external drive. You could certainly wait to see when/what a refresh of the iMac happens and looks like.

    Or you could increase your memory, see how that goes, then buy a new iMac and decide that wasn't quite enough, then purchase a Mac Pro, loaded to the nine's. :D
  5. NeilMJ thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2013
    Thanks for the replies.

    Bear - 32GB? Sounds good to me! It's only a 1TB drive.

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