iMac powerful enough for photo editing?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SLR2009, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. SLR2009 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #1
    Hi I have approximately 100,000 photos, I do basic photo editing. Would an iMac be powerful enough? or should I consider a Mac Pro? if so which one? I will be using iphoto. Any info is greatly appreciated
     
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #2
    Yes, an iMac will have plenty of power for you!
    Go forth and conquer!

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  3. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 14, 2007
    #3
    A Mac mini will be powerful enough for you!!

    I edit HD video on my Mac mini (using iMovie) and it's fine with it - so basic editing of stills will be a breeze for any iMac.
     
  4. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 25, 2008
    #4
    Sure an iMac would be good enough, but are you sure you want to use iPhoto?

    I have about 35'000 pictures, spread out over 175 events, all residing on my NAS. This works fine, I do not copy photos to iPhoto folder when I import, and I have the iPhoto folder on the network as well, and access via an alias. This way all my Macs can use the same iPhoto folder, and I only need to import photos once.

    However, it is SSLLOOWW. I mean, I can access the photos, and I can scroll down to the event I want to see, but it can take seconds. Especially if the event has a few hundred pictures in it.

    Just my 5 cents...

    KB
     
  5. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #5
    iMac would be fine. If you need external storage, use firewire 800 or high speed storage with real gigabit ethernet.

    That means your NAS is slow.

    Even with gigabit ethernet, NAS are essentially small computers with underpowered CPU.

    You need gigabit ethernet and possibly RAID to make that work.
     
  6. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 14, 2007
    #6
    The bottleneck is your NAS, not the host computer or client application.
     
  7. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 25, 2008
    #7
    hmmmm

    My NAS, the Infrant NV+, was last year rated the fastest NAS for home usage. It is 4x1TB HDs, in XRaid (basically Raid5), and the connection is Gigabit.

    I am pulling around 23Mb/s, and I can stream several BR films, music, and files, concurrently, without any loss of streaming quality. Right now my daughter is watching an AVI via our Media Player (EVA8K), my wife is listening to iTunes on her MA (mostly FLACs), and I am working on iPhoto. I don't think it is the NV+ which is the bottleneck here. Also, this has only gotten worse since I upgraded to iPhoto 8.0.1.

    KB
     
  8. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #8

    23Mb/s (or even 23MB/s which is what I think you meant) is really slow for a RAID.

    Firewire 800 gives close to 80MB/s performance for a single modern drives.

    As I said, NAS are typically under powered for file transfers.
     
  9. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    #9
    +1

    Something like iPhoto is going to be requesting a LOT of random access of the data, lots of reads & writes in quick succession.

    Streaming media in a steady flow is a lot easier to process which is why it's fine as a media server.

    Anything requiring fast, random access should be kept as local to the client machine as possible, i.e. on the SATA bus internally, or via FW as a second best option. USB follows, with network storage as last resort where the host machine needs to share its CPU resources with others - and if the CPU and RAM is slow, there's your bottleneck.
     
  10. SLR2009 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #10
    Thanks for the comments. So iphoto wouldn't be able to handle this many photos? would a Mac Pro improve performance? A quad core mac pro is in my price range, should I consider getting one? Thanks
     
  11. waiwai macrumors regular

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    Feb 24, 2009
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    Florida
    #11
    most definitely
     
  12. Abidubi macrumors 6502

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    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal
    #12
    Wooooow slow down there! I think you are mixing up the discussion about NAS using iPhoto and using iPhoto on an iMac. The comment above yours (if I understood correctly) was about why an NAS is no good for a program like iPhoto. The NAS is transferring at 23MB/s... which is slower than the 5 year old stock 80GB HD in my G5 (reads at least 40MB/s and it's about 70% full).
     
  13. x86isslow macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    Adobe Lightroom is pretty good for editing and organizing large amounts of photos. Even a mac mini will run everything you need.
     
  14. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #14
    First; I totally agree, an iMac would be very well suited for photo editing. Of course, if you can afford a Mac Pro, go for it. You will not regret it. And the bigger the better, but remember to factor in the price of a decent monitor;)

    Second; I do think you can reliably run iPhoto from a NAS. As I said it only got markably worse when I upgraded to v. 8.0.1. Also, I just did a complete re-import of all my photos, and that helped tremendously. Before I had just updated iPhoto, and it was really slow, but now it is better, just not great.

    SLR2009 wants to put 100'000 photos into iPhoto, and no I do not think iPhoto was ever envisioned to be a professional photo organiser. This is evident in a few areas; there is no way to share the iPhoto library, it doesn't deal with import of different photos from the same folder twice very well. Basically there are better organisers out there, and Lightroom is one of them.

    KB
     
  15. SLR2009 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 19, 2009
  16. Aegelward macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    Maybe a little off topic, but Windows Home Server based NASes tend to feature slightly stronger CPUs, like Tranquil's Atom 330 based models.

    Couldn't one of those perform better than a more traditional NAS?
     
  17. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #17
    My wife who is a wedding photographer uses a 24" iMac for her main editing machine and it is just fine. As others have mentioned I think iPhoto is going to be your main slowdown with really large libraries.

    On the NAS issue, I have a ReadyNAS 600 and NV+. I primarily use them for storage of already edited photos they are plenty fast when I have to browse my archives using Photo Mechanic. They only feel a little slower than when pulling off an Xserve at work. (The real-world data throughput is MUCH higher on the Xserve of course but the price/performance ratio is very good on the NAS.) Netgear has a newer ReadyNAS Pro on the market now that uses a Core 2 Duo chip and is much faster than the older models.
     

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