iMac for Semi-Professional Photo/Videographer/Designer

Discussion in 'iMac' started by utcoug1, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. utcoug1 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 25, 2011
    #1
    I will run Aperture 3, Sketchbook, Pixelmator, and maybe Coda the most. I will use Final Cut the least. I don't believe in feeding the Adobe monster, I just prefer software that was for the most part written for use on a mac.

    I don't want to spend a ton, but I don't want to upgrade in the very near future either. I want a ton of screen real estate, so I will not negotiate on the size of the display, bigger the better.

    I am debating the need for the Quad Core processor and more than 4 GB of RAM. Any thoughts or suggestions?
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #2
    If it fits your budget, get the i7 CPU for all those apps and then get the base amount of RAM from Apple and then add more RAM from a third-party supplier like OWC for much cheaper.
     
  3. utcoug1 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 25, 2011
    #3
    Alright, so you are saying to get the Quad Core i7 with the stock amount of RAM? So should I even consider the i5 to save a couple hundred bucks? I've seen the benchmarks for the i7 and they are pretty impressive compared to the Mac Pro. Great bang for the buck, especially since I can control the lighting in my office and don't mind having the glossy screen. I prefer the higher contrast anyway.
     
  4. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #4
    The difference between the i5 and i7 vs cost is up to you. You'll only notice the performance difference in heavy video rendering and the time it takes. If you don't plan on doing a lot of that, then save the $ and go with the i5. As for the RAM, yes, get the base amount from Apple and then upgrade it more RAM on your own for a much better price than Apple will charge you.
     
  5. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    #5
    Aperture 3 seems to take advantage of the hyperthread cores of the i7, and the i7 has a better graphics processor which is also advantageous with Aperture.

    Remember there is no way to upgrade the processors later.
     
  6. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #6
    Is this a good time to mention that iMacs are due for pretty serious update?

    My advice (which is pretty much the same advice I give all of my pro level people) -- get the i7. Worth the extra.

    Order stock. My 6 year old could install ram in an iMac.

    bump from 4 gigs to 12 gigs for $100, or go to 16 for under $200. (or you could go to 32 gigs... but thats $3000 =)

    Get a seagate goflex drive -- this 3TB for $120: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...m1043X499650X95914cd89b589bd5f2e8e359f7799844

    then hit bestbuy for the $20 FW800 replacement foot: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Seagate...18199529445&skuId=9948596&st=goflex&cp=2&lp=9

    thats $140 for a 3TB FW800 drive, awesome.
     
  7. utcoug1 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 25, 2011
    #7
    You know, I heard there was an update coming soon. I am a regular to the forums so I know not to buy when there is an update coming. However, you can't beat the deals on refurbished units from Apple. I could pick up the Quad i7 for $1899 US. Quite a deal.
     
  8. iMikeT macrumors 68020

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    #8

    Go ahead and be cheap, no one is stopping you.
     
  9. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #9
    Its all relative.

    For me, refurbs have tax. So thats $1900 + $190 in tax, $100 more gets me new from someplace that that doesnt charge tax.

    I like new =) (yeah, Ive bought plenty of refurbs when they made sense)

    the issue is that the update will not just make the iMac slightly faster, but a whole bunch faster.

    Same thing happened with the last MBPs -- base 15" went from a 2.4 i5 to a 2.0 i7 and the geekbench scores nearly doubled. High end 13" MBP was given an i7 and now technically faster the fastest MBP you could buy in Jan 2011.

    So figure the current i5 iMac for $1699 will be replaced by a much faster i7 equipped iMac -- for the same $1699.

    and the old $1899 i7 might even drop more...

    probably worth the wait.
     
  10. iMikeT macrumors 68020

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    #10

    I wish that more people would think like you and see the bigger picture.
     
  11. utcoug1 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 25, 2011
    #11
    It's not cheap to try and get the best machine for your money is it? I understand his point about getting a future proof processor since that is near impossible to swap down the road, while the HD and RAM can be swapped pretty easily. In most machines the HD is the greatest bottleneck, and can be upgraded to add quite a bit of speed, not processing muscle. I get it, just because someone wants to be cost effective doesn't make them cheap. I have a budget I am trying to stick to. If money was no object then of course I wouldn't be asking for your opinions because I would just get the best machine I could buy. I appreciate the responses. I will get the new i7 when it's released. I am in no hurry. Thanks again.
     
  12. iMikeT macrumors 68020

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    #12

    I know where you're coming from when you say that you're trying to get the most out of the money you're going to spend within your alloted budget. I'm in the same boat. If I didn't have to work within my budget, I would go ahead and purchase the top of the line Mac Pro with all the bells and whistles and add an extra layer of *bling :D bling* instead of having to make some compromises and settle with what ever top of the line iMac Apple releases.

    The point that I and other posters were making is that when you're going to be spending for example $1799 on the second best model and the top of the line is $1999, it's almost a no-brainer to shell out the extra $200 to get the added features/benefits and also future-proof your machine. This is especially true with a machine that you cannot swap a CPU and GPU in the future like the iMac.

    Perhaps it's just that there are too many people that come to these boards that ask what they should get all too often. A lot of the time there are people who want to get a Mac and are seriously cheap about it. They come in here telling us that they need to run X, Y, and Z on a Mac but do not, not cannot, but simply DO NOT want to shell out the cash for a Mac. They come in here and say that for the price of a base model iMac that they can get a beige box with more powerful this or better that... To which I say, go ahead.

    As for being cost effective, I agree, especially in this economic climate. Up until two days ago I was dead set on getting the next updated iMac (top of the line and BTO of course) on day one. But since all this news about Lion is buzzing, I'm seriously thinking hard about delaying the purchase until Apple releases Lion. Why? If I can save presumably $129 (assuming Lion is a full upgrade) I'll most certainly do it.
     
  13. rnb2 macrumors regular

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    West Haven, CT, USA
    #13
    If you need a new computer now, buy a refurb i7 and enjoy it - it's a great machine.

    However, if you can wait a few weeks and can afford to spend a bit more, the upgrades will be pretty dramatic, both in processor and GPU performance, and in 'future-proofing', as the new iMacs with have a Thunderbolt port. While there aren't any Thunderbolt devices available yet, when they start hitting the market this summer, you will see a dramatic improvement in external storage performance - if your Aperture library is of any appreciable size, fast external storage will be a great benefit.

    I have a 2009 i7 iMac (upgraded to 12GB of RAM), and have several external drives (both USB and FW800), and while performance is satisfactory for what I do (mostly Aperture with some Photoshop for plugins), better performance from my externals would be very welcome. However, I'm probably still a year or so away from an upgrade.
     
  14. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

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    #14
    Another vote for the i7 and stuff it with ram.
    If you don't absolutely need it right now and can wait a month or two,
    blazing fast Sandy Bridge iMacs should be out soon. Hopefully with great
    GPUs and SSD options. Whatever you do, good luck.
     
  15. UnReel ATX macrumors newbie

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    Mar 10, 2011
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    Austin, TX
    #15
    Don't drop the extra cash on the i7 or even the i5. I personally am also an amature videographer, and I picked up a 27" i3 machine with 4gigs of ram back in january. It works fine for what I do with it. I run Final Cut pro, Adobe After Effects, Logic Pro, Adobe Photoshop, and Lightroom, and every single program runs flawlessly on the i3. With the multithreading in the dual core, you wont notice a difference. The only think I wish I had done was ordered the upgraded graphics card. Other than that, dont spend more than you need to on the computer. Besides, you can always take the savings and go pick yourself up some new camera equipment! ;]
    :apple:
     
  16. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

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    #16
    I'm sorry, recommending the i3 over the i7 is bad advice for the OP's needs, and is a decision they will regret. The money they will save and make by increased speed and productivity over three to four years of ownership will greatly exceeding the paltry intial skimping of choosing the i3 over the i7.

    The upfront savings of the i3 will get you a few memory cards.
    The increased productivity of of the i7 over the i3 over a couple of years will get you a full frame camera body.
     
  17. utcoug1 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 25, 2011
    #17
    I would love to upgrade to a full frame body in the future. Good idea! I think the i3 is good, but I have gone with good enough in the past and just wanted to upgrade every time I did any heavy lifting or extremely intensive GPU/CPU type work. I can also appreciate the fact that although we all may enjoy some degree of multimedia production/design, we may have a higher need for CPU/GPU grunt than the next guy.
     
  18. utcoug1 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 25, 2011
    #18
    I like the idea of some new camera equipment. I keep getting the itch to go out and get some new wide angle glass. I'm working with a dual core processor now, although not the new i3 architecture, it really bogs down with even the most simple of tasks. I am working with large RAW images, but it seems pulling up a brush for some simple touch ups shouldn't take a lifetime and a half to complete. And so, here I am trying to decide if I should go with another "good enough" build, or a really great (if not slightly more than I need now) BTO.
     
  19. rnb2 macrumors regular

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    Jan 23, 2006
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    West Haven, CT, USA
    #19
    Right now, anything over four physical cores can only be recommended for very specific tasks where you know they'll be used. However, the benefit of going from two cores to four is pretty obvious in day-to-day use.

    You'll see it every time you import photos into Aperture, or export TIFFs or JPEGs. Four cores will increase your productivity if you do anything beyond the basics. The only caveat is that you'll need to make sure you have enough RAM to really take advantage of the speed - 8GB is good, but going to 12GB via 3rd party RAM (from macsales.com) is so cheap, you might want to just do that immediately.
     
  20. iMikeT macrumors 68020

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    #20

    Don't bother with just the "good enough" model. I can't even keep count of how many times I have seen the situation where the "good enough" model was purchased only for the purchaser to experience buyer's remorse and wish they spent the extra money on the top of the line model. I'll just reiterate what I said before....



    This is what I was talking about when people cheapen out on what it is they're purchasing. There's a difference when you're trying to maximize your cash and when you're being cheap. Maximizing your cash is when you get as much as you can with what you have or for the least amount as possible. Being cheap is going with the $1799 model so you can skimp out on $200 while the $1999 model is available and obviously far superior.
     

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