iMac or PC for Lightroom

Discussion in 'iMac' started by xzebra, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. xzebra macrumors newbie

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    Feb 20, 2018
    #1
    Good afternoon - I have a few questions for only those that owned both Mac and PC with extensive use on Adobe products mainly Lightroom and Photoshop.

    With much research I am still concerned about making a switch from my current PC to the Mac. I used to view Mac as superior quality, however I have heard some bugs with the new OS (not that MS has never had that). My main concern is the fact the Apple is using the Radeon which I hear is less powerful the Nvidia, especially when used with Lightroom. My third concern is the inability to swap out hardware if ever needed and paying a tech to do so.

    Do those the have had both - How do you feel the LR performance is when compared to the two systems? Are there any other concerns or non-concerns that I should not before making the plunge. I love photography (not professional) and I do not want to regret my decision.
     
  2. Regime2008 Suspended

    Regime2008

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    #2
    I would go with PC without a shadow of doubt.
    https://www.slrlounge.com/lightroom-mac-vs-pc-speed-test-4k-imac-vs-4k-custom-pc-performance-test/
     
  3. xzebra thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
  4. Regime2008 Suspended

    Regime2008

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    #4
    If it costs 4k for a Mac, might as well build a pc that can run circles around it in productivity for less!
     
  5. OBirder macrumors 6502

    OBirder

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    #5
    You can have different views on this. What it seems to neglect is:

    - You buy the components individually from different manufacturers
    - You need to spent time for research, order and building the machine
    - You will deal with setup issues until the system is running smooth
    - My assumption the person who put it together spent days of doing so
    - The speed benefit is mainly coming from overclocking with an increased risk of premature component failure
    - You probably loose warranty ; in any case you have to deal with each individual manufacturer

    If the OP has a technician or IT department that might not matter.

    In the past I did the above for the two PC machines we had and over the last years I spent countless hours. Manufacturers/Sellers fight to honor their warranty and do the blame game (it's the board, or the GPU or ...)

    We switched over to iMac with AppleCare. For 3 years one Manufacturer to deal with and should be worry free. An Apple Store half hour away. Twice in 10 years I had to exchange an iPhone which didn't create a problem.

    We decided to switch from PC after we changed a few years back our Laptops to Macbook Pro's. Updates/Upgrades on the Mac don't seem to slow down the system as much as on Windows. After 3 years still very fast, while PC slows down and sloooows down ...
    While the MacOS has some restrictions, some of them are good. Example: MS Office 365 - PC: Can only install all programs (Outlook, Access, Excel, Word, PowerPoint OneNote, Publisher). Doesn't matter if you only need two. MacOS: You can select individually.

    We basically have no problems with Sierra or High Sierra. Lightroom and Photoshop as example have been running solid. Actually Photoshop and Illustrator frequently crashed on PC.

    GPU shouldn't be a concern for Lightroom/Photoshop. SSD / RAM more important.

    I my opinion if the OP can afford the i7 with 512 SSD, add RAM later you will be quite happy. The i7 especially during rendering of 1:1 views in Lightroom will really help. On the Macbook's we use for travel and client visits we have an i7 and i5 (almost a year newer than the i7). The i7 is about twice as fast in rendering in Lightroom.

    Good luck to the OP with his decision.
     
  6. Regime2008 Suspended

    Regime2008

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    #6
    Every PC I have ever owned, I have built myself. NEVER had a problem with any component ever. I personally feel that, anyone who can do simple math (1+1=2), can build a pc for half the money, and can gain a HUGE advantage on exporting and what not when it comes to Adobe products, as well as having an AMAZING PC.
     
  7. OBirder macrumors 6502

    OBirder

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    #7
    OK, go ahead. The 27" i7 iMac with 512 GB SDD as I recommended is $2600.

    Maybe you want to share your simple math. Which components and OS will you use that you get a i7 PC with a 5k 27" monitor, 512 GB SSD. That for $1300 with HUGE advantage on exporting and to have an AMAZING PC.

    In addition list how many hours you spent to order the components and how long it takes you to build the machine, get a OS and all the drivers and have the system running smoothly.
     
  8. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

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    #8
    Mac HS was buggy to start with but pretty much all has been ironed out, that wouldnt be a stopping point for me. Windows 10 is far far more buggy depending on your hardware.

    Lightroom is a hog and even with the most recent updates it still doesn't run smooth even with the highest end systems, especially so if your running the new crop of DSLRs like 30mp + 5DMKIV D850 A7RIII etc

    The difference between editing a 22mp 5DMKIII and a 5DMKIV is literally night and day although its only 8mp it seems to slow systems down a lot quicker. Nvidia graphics cards are better than ATI as cuda is better than open CL and cuda is only supported well in windows.

    Bare in mind with lightroom it is constantly building and rebuilding images as it works non destructively the more pixels you push to the display the slower it is. For example my Mac pro if I use the 27" ACD it slows down even with the RX580 but if i put the lower resolution 23" ACD its like lightning. Really is a big difference.

    One issue with the iMac is that 5k dsiplay, its beautiful but the pixel density means the graphics card and CPU work harder which means slow downs.

    Unfortunately the whole CC suite just works faster on windows not to say the performance is bad on a mac at all but for the time being thats the case its just not that well optimized, Adobe is working on it tho and actively making speed improvements. The latest version of lightroom is a big speed improvement but its still not what I would call instant.

    It also depends on your workflow, I run 500-3k images at a time from events and weddings the machines do slow and tbh I want to get through them as fast as possible to get back out shooting again. If you are a casual shooter the difference between the two will be minimal. The speed is more important if your using it all day everyday and needing to get images out to clients. If its casual its less important, but having a good experience is still really important or you wont want to use it.

    The issue on the PC side is ensuring all the components and drivers are good which is hard as you wont know until you put it together. Dont skimp on components or just buy a prebuilt system. Building your own these days means you have no support and you have to fix it if it goes wrong. As a pro I cant really afford the down time so buying a machine prebuilt with support is much better. The iMac drivers are written specifically for the hardware so they do tend to work rather well and they are super stable.

    I have a couple of windows Xeon workstations single and twin CPUs with Quadros which blitz lightroom but its expensive stuff. I also have an older gaming pc with a 4790 i7 GTX760 32gb 256 ssd. I also have access to a 2017 5k iMac base model i5 with the 3.8 i5 with the 2tb fusion drive and the 3-4 year old pc is I would say on par but it has an i7 with hyper threading which speeds up import and export rendering. I have a 2010 Mac pro also and it gets there but is laggy, 100% previews are slow and adding local adjustments/sharpening/noise/lens corrections can be a frustrating. It is 8 years old.

    HP are selling Omen 8800 an i7 Hex core, watercooled, 512 NVMe, SSD 32gbs ram and a 1080TI for a sliver under 2k thats a hell of a system considering 1080TIs are currently £8-900. Obviously you get no screen which is where the imac shines.

    The current iMacs arent on the newest coffee lake architecture which is a decent performance boost and the likelyhood is the new ones will be and they will all be 6 core systems with hyperthreading meaning the newer iMac will probably hold its own against the base line iMac pro for about £1000-1500 less which will make the new line up very interesting.

    Essentially where all current Apple machines fail is the fact you cant upgrade the components, the RX580 is ok its a mid range consumer card so how long it will feel quick is anyones guess. You can add expansion via TB3 but you have to buy expensive enclosures. If you want to add new graphics cards you can via an external enclosure these are roughly £500 so add 50% on top of a graphics card swap on a PC.

    Similar, storage raids enclosures are £500 then you have to fill them with drives, in a PC you can just stick a new drive in and 4TBs are only like £90 now everything is also encased so no reason to clutter up the desk etc

    The other thing to consider is that 90% of apps are now multi platform so its not like it used to be where a mac shines with a specific software. Windows 10 has also come along leaps and bounds. I still prefer Mac OS but they both have their positives and negatives.

    Depends where you want to put your money the mac will be more stable but probably slightly more expensive and slightly slower its the trade off but you get the 5K display for pretty much free.

    If you buy one just spec it to make sure it will cover your bases to ensure it will last you the timescale you need it for.
     
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #9
    Adobe products run just about as badly on all hardware, they are poorly updated poorly optimised and are really rather crap to be honest. Also they are useless for leveraging GPU's so it doesn't matter to much for photo editing.

    Go for an imac, why not, its pretty much designed for your use case, it has a 5K screen with P3 colour and will be fine for years of non professional photo editing.

    Personally I would be looking to use different software myself pixelmator pro ( http://www.pixelmator.com/pro/ ) for photos and FCPX for video.
     
  10. Regime2008 Suspended

    Regime2008

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    #10
    I built an i7 7700k, 32gb of ddr4 @3200mhz, 2 SSD, 2 HDD, GTX 1080, 4k monitor for under 1300, all parts brand new, warrantied last year. No one needs a degree or IT department to simply put the parts in the computer case. It literally can be put together and up and running in under an hour. IMO I would save the money for a MUCH better machine, vs paying double to still come out on the bottom by a good margin.

    Best of luck OP in whatever you decide.
     
  11. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

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    #11
    Not true with GPU usage. Lightroom and Photoshop both use the GPU at least from the latest update and the support will get better in the future. If you download iStat you will see the GPU usage while your working. My 5770 had issues with the 27" ACD as the ram on the card was maxing out making edits very slow indeed. The Rx580 with 8gbs has hit 5-6gb of usage while editing and exporting.

    Here is the activity of my RX580 8gb while using lightroom

    GPU processor usage
    IMG_1806.PNG

    GPU Ram usage
    IMG_1807.PNG

    You can clearly see the spikes when I was making adjustments.
     
  12. fathergll macrumors 65816

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    Sep 3, 2014
    #12

    Adobe apps while not the most optimized still tend to run better with the more hardware you throw at it which is why putting your money into a custom PC is going to be the best option for performance.
     
  13. Regime2008 Suspended

    Regime2008

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    #13
    Which seems to be the BEST route for the OP. Build you a PC or buy a PC for much cheaper than a Mac, and get much more performance/benefits from it.
     
  14. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

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    Dec 6, 2009
    #14
    Sure, buy a PC is that works for you, but word of caution in building one:

    I was headed that route until a well known and highly knowledgable tech who works for a *very* famous fashion photographer told me of his experience last year. He was tired of waiting for a new version of a Mac Pro to come out and went this route. It took him not days but almost two weeks to get bugs worked out of all the hardware and get the thing to run right. Then, 3 months later he had a couple of component failures dog him, thankfully this was his personal machine, not hardware he uses at work.

    Basically he told me that since my living depends on it to not even take the chance, just sit tight and get new hardware from Apple when the specs look right. I did and I am now sailing along with my new iMac Pro.

    Sometimes piece of mind is worth more than piece of hardware.
     
  15. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a

    tomscott1988

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    Apr 14, 2009
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    UK
    #15
    If you dont want to build one check this out HP OMEN 880-172na Gaming Desktop

    http://store.hp.com/UKStore/Merch/Product.aspx?id=2XC34EA&opt=ABU&sel=DTP

    £2047 with 3 years care pack.

    Spec:
    • Windows 10 Home 64
    • Intel® Core™ i7-8700K (3.7 GHz base frequency, up to 4.7 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 12 MB cache, 6 cores)
    • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 Ti (11 GB GDDR5X dedicated)
    • 32 GB memory; 2 TB HDD storage; 512 GB SSD storage
    • Glass Side Panel; Advanced liquid cooling solution for processor; Tool-less access; 2 hot swap drive bays
    Just speced this up on ebuyer and to buy the components separately it was £400 more and didnt include windows. Shop around and you will get a good deal especially as graphics cards are super expensive atm. This will probably give the iMac Pro a run for its money at £3000 cheaper and that change will buy you two non consumer 4k displays.

    The i7-8700K benches at 5900 single and 26000 multi as a base line with a fan cooler. Overclocked water cooled variants can hit 5GHZ with ease and have pushed 9000 single and 43000 multi... thats doubling iMac pro 18 core on single nearly and matching it multi... probably with serious cooling.

    The fact is you could have a system that rivals the iMac Pro with a better video card for £2000 in pretty much everything but the most intense situations.
     
  16. Regime2008 Suspended

    Regime2008

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    #16
    With that being said, the OP could purchase an already built PC, and still be better off than getting a Mac. Everything will be under warranty, a large portion of money will be saved, and they would still get much better performance over a mac. All day, everyday. I can only vouch for myself as well as all of my friends and people I meet online, that never have problems with their custom built PC's. Been building them for myself and others, and have never had any issues.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 7, 2018 ---
    Exactly! Great post btw
     
  17. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

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    Dec 6, 2009
    #17
    I just did a little checking on what your posting history looks like...

    A. I doubt you own a single Apple product.

    B. I see nothing but pro-PC, Anti Apple posts in your history.

    A+B= you are now ignored.

    By the way, I use a Windows based laptop to tune my Audi.
     
  18. Regime2008, Mar 7, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018

    Regime2008 Suspended

    Regime2008

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    #18
    LOL typical hardcore :apple: fan :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:. That is fine, but the fact still remains PC > Mac when it comes to Price-Performance. Especially with products like Lightroom, as proven in my first post in this thread.

    Who are you to say I may not own any apple devices/have owned in the past? Maybe one day I woke up and realized that it is greener on the other side? Like MUCH greener?
     
  19. givemeanapple macrumors Demi-God

    givemeanapple

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    #19
    Good thing about the iMac is that you get a 5k screen that really looks good.
    Lightroom is a hog as it's already been stated so if you want to save and get the best bang for the buck get a PC otherwise if you want everything working out of the box get the iMac. All OS's have bugs and HS is not better in that field compared to W10.
     
  20. laz232 macrumors 6502

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    #20

    I'll put some 2 cents in:
    I've had to send 3 Macs into repair over the past few years.
    If they had been PCs rather that all-in-one Mac units I could have just changed the monitor or swapped out the HDD/SSD no problem. I think that the mantra of Mac reliability is really born out compared to high quality PC vendors / good quality own build, especially as Apple don't have next day service, don't typically do loaner systems and swapping out components is a pain, thus any problem with a PSU or monitor means you loose the entire box for a week+.

    Lightroom 6 (standalone) definitely wants as much HW as possible - I don't know what the newer (CC) versions are like. If I did LR on a pro basis I would be looking at putting together my own PC for this, as access to significantly more HW power would save time in the editing.
     
  21. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

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    #21
    If you don't use LR CC 7.2 then how can you say you would need to build a PC to get the most out of it? I do use it professionally ( that means full time for my whole income ) and I can say without hesitation that no matter what I throw at it, LR 7.2 on my iMac Pro is not even flinching.

    Here is insight about building a PC for heavy lifting from a *very* heavy user of pro apps, Vincent Laforet:

    "Disclaimer: as with my last post, for those on the very highest end, a custom built PC is still likely to give you the best bang for your buck in terms of pure performance. That being said, 50% of those who’ve custom-built one swear by them … whereas the other 50% swear AT them and are utterly frustrated w them and Windows … it’s a mixed bag and larger depends on your Love (or opposite) of Windows."
     
  22. joema2 macrumors 68000

    joema2

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    Sep 3, 2013
    #22
    I agree on cross-platform apps like LR there's not much compelling incentive to run those on a Mac. The app experience and UI is almost identical. However the macOS experience is pretty nice, esp. regarding OS updates and not having to deal with "crapware" apps.

    That said, a self-built PC is not a good comparison. I have built over 100 PCs, and while a given "magic config" can be reliable, you can also encounter irritating, time-consuming troubleshooting situations. There's an almost infinite variety of cards, firmware and drivers, some of which is not public knowledge. A PCIe card vendor can without notice change the microcode or waveform rise time on their device, when then can inject intermittent problems. Sometimes this happens in an ambiguous zone of the governing spec.

    This is why big PC vendors like HP and Dell do not just slap machines together. Somewhere deep inside each company are engineers who spend their entire day in front of a $10k logic analyzer tracking down elusive hardware integration bugs.

    After capturing the needed data, they then spend a long time on the phone with their counterpart at the other company responsible for the card, chip or module: https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-52kXRLG/0/fa43d11e/X3/i-52kXRLG-X3.jpg

    This happens out of sight so you don't know about it. This is why you can buy a Dell XPS and it tends to be fairly reliable -- someone has already done the hard work.

    They also provide a single company to call if something goes wrong. Make no mistake things can go wrong on a self-built PC, especially of an infrequent, intermittent nature.

    If you don't think that ever happens, just email the OP directly and give him your phone number for 24x7 support. If you are correct you'll never get a call.
     
  23. Luxtrau macrumors member

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    Germany
    #23
    At the office I‘m using a windows pc and an iMac 5k at home. Both are running Adobe CC Suite and I can tell you that Adobe isn‘t well optimized on both plattforms. This is one of the CC Suites biggest issues - the performance. And this is why there is a constantly increasing number of new programs that compete with Adobe like Sketch or Affinity Photo. The first time I scrolled across a large file with a lot of artboards in Sketch I was surprised how smooth it ran. So I think Adobe Programs are not the best benchmark to compare computers.
     
  24. xzebra, Mar 7, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018

    xzebra thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 20, 2018
    #24
    Thanks for everyone's help. I truly feel at this point there are too many PC and Mac lovers to make me convinced one or another.

    I like the PC, although I have had my fair share of glitches, driver problems and Yip crashes. Just the other day I had one at work on Win10.

    After 25 yrs of PC I am going to try a new platform/OS. I used to love to build, but -
    a) I am not a gamer anymore
    b) I hate tweaking or trying to tweak
    c) I want a get it and forget it approach. I could get this with Dell (XPS) or others, but the 5K is great. Not the mention I have called both several times and the Apple CS is way better.
    d) my dad and I built the exact same two PC's his is faster (hmm)..We have been building for awhile so can't explain that one.

    I hope I do not regret my decision, but if I do who really cares other than me?

    During my search here and elsewhere I see too much back and forth that I feel that Mac and PC are more equal than most want to admit. The true turning point for me is the 5K and the cleanliness of macOS. I feel Win10 is chunky and personally do not like it.

    Whatever it might be wish me luck. At least I have 14 days to tell you all I was dumb or not not dumb (Happy). I truly don't think all the opinions will ever satisfy my decision and therefore I just need to try it. For better for worse!

    With all said, I certainly want to thank all those that chimed in on all my questioned posts. Hopefully I will appreciate my new device. You help and your time is greatly appreciated - Many Thanks

    3.5 Ghz
    7-inch (diagonal) Retina 5K display; 5120-by-2880 resolution with support for one billion colors
    16GB of 2400MHz DDR4 memory
    512GB SSD storage
    FaceTime HD camera
    Radeon Pro 575 with 4GB video memory
     
  25. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #25
    Or you use well optimised software on a Mac that is pretty much specifically designed for photographers.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 8, 2018 ---
    Good decision, that’s easily enough computer for your use case. Do consider upgrading RAM yourself the 27 inch iMac is the only Mac with easily upgeradeable ram and a 16gb kit for 24gb total is less than apples upgrade cost.

    Do try out some Apple photography apps as I mentioned earlier in this thread I prefer them myself.
     

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27 March 6, 2018