iMac spec for working with D800 photos and video

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tone654, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. tone654 macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2011
    I have a mid-2007 24-inch iMac (2.8GHz Core2 Duo with 4GB RAM and 256MB graphics).

    Unsurprisingly, it crawls to a halt when I work with the large files from my D800 camera. I'm going to upgrade to the new 27-inch iMac. Photos and video are the only processor intensive tasks I do. How much benefit would I get from the upgrade options?

    2.9GHz i5 vs 3.2GHz i5 vs 3.4GHz i7 processor?
    16GB vs 32GB RAM?
    512MB vs 1GB vs 2GB graphics?
    3TB Fusion Drive or 765GB flash and an external hard drive?

    I plan to keep it at least 3 or 4 years.

  2. Mac2133, Nov 17, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012

    Mac2133 macrumors member

    May 31, 2012
    Same situation. But I'm using a (2009 Jan) PC Core i7 first generation 2.67Ghz 920 with 12GB RAM. But when I work with D800 files where the RAW files can be as large as 60-80MB, it really, really struggles - PC sounds like a fire truck. Sometimes crashes. Have decided to switch to Mac. In fact decided about 6 months ago. But Apple has kept me waiting and waiting and waiting.....

    BTW, I use Capture NX2 and not Photoshop.

    Any advice is welcome and much needed..
  3. Richard Peters macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

    Jul 18, 2010
    Surrey, UK
    I've been holding out for the iMac for a while, and was previously working on a 2009 MBP but the D800 files where giving it some grief (and even the D4 ones sometimes!). Earlier this year I picked up a maxed out 2012 MacBook Air as a stop gap (connected to my old large monitor) and it handles the D800 files well, but that said I'll still be maxing out the iMac when I order it as the faster I can work on those files the less time I will have to spend doing so.

    I won't be getting Fusion because as far as I understand you need to open a file at least twice for it to be moved to the SSD. No good for me as I have a huge library of images and if I typically look in the archive, open an image to edit then not look at it again for a while - this means archived images may well never get the benefit of SSD speeds which is no good with such large D800 files. So it looks like it's going to be (painfully expensive) SSD only for me.

    Capture is awful for slowing down computers. Get Free Ram from the App store and watch how quickly it gets eaten up once you open several D800 files. I convert to Tiff in Capture twhen work on that Tiff in Photoshop. Makes a big difference.
  4. Vuddha, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012

    Vuddha macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2012
    I also use Photoshop but I don't work with D800. But what may be a solution is get:

    27" 3.4GHz quad-core Intel core I7 with 8MB L3 cache
    8GB Ram - Upgrade to 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 from OWC or Crucial
    768GB SSD
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX Graphic processor with 2GB of GDDR5 memory
    Get a Fast External Thunderbolt Raid.

    That will speed things up a bit.

    I was planning to get the above system with the 3T or 1T Fusion drive, with a Samsung SE-506AB Slim Portable Blu-ray Writer. Right now I have a Synology DS212+ NAS 6T for Data and Backup.

    Hope this helped:)

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