Is a 2013 i5 iMac good enough for professional photo/video work in 2019?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Mcmeowtime, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. Mcmeowtime macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2019
    hi guys. Just want to get your thoughts on this.

    I create content for a living and am a professional photographer by trade. By workplace hasn’t supplied me with a machine so I’ve been taking my 2018 15 inch MacBook (i7 8th gen, 16gb ram, 512gb ssd) to work daily and hooking it to my own lg ultra wide 3440x1440 monitor.

    I’ve brought up the discussion of them providing me a computer and their option was to pass me one of their old iMacs instead of purchasing a new machine. The iMac is a 27 inch i5 3.2ghz, 2560x1440, 32gb ram, 256gb ssd. From what I’ve seen, it runs photoshop fine but my work also involves some motion graphics and heavy stop motion work through adobe after effects which puts a strain on my current MacBook already. I’ve also noticed that it runs an Nvidia 755m which apparently isn’t supported in Mojave?

    My workflow involves processing 5d mark iv Raws, stop motions involve batch processing 15-20 psd files and saving them at a time, lots of key framing in after effects, cutting and exporting in premiere.

    My question is this iMac going to cut it for this kind of work or should I be begging them for something else (is a Mac mini sufficient for after effects without an egpu ?)

    Any help is appreciated!
  2. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    I'd suggest creating a script replicating a typical workflow. Time it on both machines-- and use that information to argue for a better machine.
  3. Zdigital2015 macrumors 65816

    Jul 14, 2015
    East Coast, United States
    Start looking for a different job right now. There is no way in hell you should be using your personal computer and monitor to get their work done that they profit from. Stop bringing it with you or they will keep taking advantage of you while you do it. I have seen this crap too many times before.

    Take the iMac they provide and do the best you can to get the work done, but only do the amount of work you can get done in an 8 hour day - meaning, don’t do anything more than the bare minimum to finish the project inside that 8 hours and then go home and polish your resume, work on personal projects, train and hone your skills to take with you to a better job.

    DO NOT beg them for anything...they need to pull their head out of their @$$3$ and pry open their wallets. If they are handing you projects to do in 4K, a 2013 iMac won’t cut it unless you do proxy and you have the required external storage. It is THEIR responsibility to provide you with the right tools to do the job, not yours.

    Last thing, start looking for a better job, they deserve to go belly up...hopefully soon as they aren’t professionals in any way, shape or form.

    Just my 2¢.

    EDIT: The Late 2013 27” iMac is fully supported under Mojave, however you may find that High Sierra works better since you can install NVIDIA’s Web Drivers and CUDA Driver that may help accelerate your After Effects and Premiere workflows.
  4. Lee_Bo macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2017
    Greenville, SC
    My dad said this his entire life:

    In order to get what you need from company A, you have to go to work for company B.
  5. alien3dx macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2017
    Don't used own equipment even thou you get the latest spec. If not supported leave it as high siera. You should request external ssd instead.. Are you sure 256 GB is enough?
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    You'll want a 2019 27" iMac.
    Or a refurbished 2017 27" iMac...
  7. remymartins macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2019

    Out of topic sorry..

    But would the base model late 2013 i5 iMac (3.2Ghz Intel Core i5, NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M 1024MB, with 8Gb Ram) be good enough for daily usage such as Microsoft Office, streaming, listening to music, etc? Would the boot time be quick? I know most people upgraded their HDD to SSD, but unfortunately I am not tech savvy and I definitely would not be able to open up the iMac and put everything back together!

    My concern is the boot up time and whether it is laggy for daily use

    Thanks in advance
  8. Bohemien macrumors regular


    Mar 28, 2019
    Yes, absolutely no problem for this kind of work, but I’d definitely either get one with SSD or if you have it already, go to a local Mac dealer and have them install a SSD for you if you don’t want to do it yourself. I’d upgrade the RAM to at least 16GB while at it. The SSD will greatly speed up boot up time and program loading time, having a huge impact on how fast the machine “feels”. The processor and GPU are easily fast enough for Office work and ever other “normal” task.
  9. remymartins macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2019
    Thanks for the advise.

    I checked with the local shop, unfortunately the cost of the iMac plus the SSD installation will bring it closer to what the late 2014 and early 2015 model is currently selling. I guess it s probably better to aim for those two models!
  10. Mcmeowtime thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2019
    Thanks for the reply, this was eye-opening. It took two months to get, but I finally am in possession of this iMac. It's old and the screen looks so low in resolution and colour accuracy compared to my 4k production monitor in my own studio but the 2013 imac works fine for a light content workload (just not gonna and give them any video work ever again). I have said no to spending extra time to do things and read private messages between my boss and manager discussing that i already had my own 'powerful machine' (my personal laptop), asking for too much and that I need to work harder to deserve a better machine. Preparing an exit strategy now.
  11. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    If Time saved-Money earned, the answer to your question is No.

    2017 i7 is the minimum you should consider. An i9 or iMac Pro is going to be better. The size of your files, the apps you use and how fast it takes to render should be weighed against your budget.

    Lots of BTO iMac Pros in the Refurb Store at the moment.

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10 April 26, 2019