Is the iMac strong enough for me?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by vtprinz, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    #1
    I'm a photographer and musician, mostly the former. I have a ton of 10MP RAW files that I run through Adobe Lightroom and CS3, and I do the occassional music recording in Logic Express (just of myself, so I don't need to do simultaneous multi-track recording). None of it is pro work, though I do sell the occasional print, and may do more of that in the future.

    With my edu discount I can get the 20" iMac w/500GB HD for $1489, and max out the RAM for about $100 or so more (OWC). I can deal with the single HD bay by using externals (not too concerned about clutter), and I'm not too worried about the glossy screen because I already have a 19" matte LCD that I can do my photo editing on. I'm just not sure if I'll ever wish I could stick more than 4GB of RAM into it.

    For about $500 more I can get the new quad mac pro, stock (with a student ADC discount), but I'd then have only one monitor (the aforementioned 19" LCD), and RAM is more expensive (don't know exactly the cost yet, as OWC hasn't added the new Mac Pro memory, but going on the previous Mac Pro it's likely to cost more than iMac memory).

    Are my needs enough to justify the extra $500, lack of a second monitor (until I can afford one), and more expensive RAM upgrades? I'm certainly lusting after the Mac Pro, but I'm trying to be realistic. After all, I'm a grad student and could certainly find use for an extra $500 in my pocket. I'm also coming from a 1.42GHz G4 iBook, so I know either one will be a huge upgrade.
     
  2. taficke macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    #2
    I would get the iMac just because its all in one. But if you are seriously considering the MacPro today they just bumped the standard configuration to 8 cores.
    Good luck!
     
  3. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    #3
    The 24" imac might be worth a look for the bigger screen (it's amazing how much you come to love the extra space!) The screen is also a better type, with less colour variation as you move around it.

    I have a 24" with a 19" matte as a second monitor, and the 19" is very much just extra desktop space now - the gloss screen really isn't an issue. Using it now in a brightly lit room (although it's night time) I can't see ANY reflections at all. It's different somehow from a glossy laptop screen, if you've used those. The only time you will notice it is when the room is bright, and you're working on an image with dark areas. Somehow you can only see reflections in near-black parts of the screen.

    As to speed - I have a 2.8ghz with 4gb ram, and I use 7mp images with aperture, so not exactly what you're looking at. But it's lightning quick - loading and editing are near instant, things like colour adjustment are pretty much realtime even in fullscreen.

    Overall though, it depends really on how much you want to futureproof it. The imac should be fine for the next few years, but with the pro you could drop in a second quad core processor and an extra 16gb of ram in a year or two.
     
  4. vtprinz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    #4
    I've thought about that, but it seems like it might be overkill on my tiny desk. Plus, as I can't afford the 2.8GHz option (or at least can't merit the price over the the quad mac pro if I'm going to spend that much), I'm not sure if I want to spend an extra $300 just for the larger screen. I'm thinking, if I want a larger screen at some point, I can sell the 19" LCD and get something larger (supports up to 1920x1200, which is the resolution of the 24")
     
  5. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #5
    He's talking about getting the lower BTO single quad-core Mac Pro.
     
  6. vtprinz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    #6

    Definitely. Can't afford the 8 core options.
     
  7. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #7
    Me niether... I was looking at getting an iMac after MacWorld, but then I saw the new Mac Pro's single quad-core BTO option and now I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I will probably make my decision after MacWorld... but I'm really pondering as what to do.
     
  8. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    #8
    There's not all that much software that really needs 8 cores anyway, so I doubt you'd see that much difference unless you're a really heavy duty user. Besides, I think the quad core option has a nice, empty cpu slot ready for a second quad core cpu to be dropped in later - if that's correct, and considering that cpu prices drop while you're saving up, it's pretty future proof.
     
  9. overcast macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #9
    The real issue is finding the heatsink/mounting that Apple uses for your extra CPU.
     
  10. Jimmdean macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    #10
    My feeling on the Mac Pro is that those who need it KNOW they need it. If you're on the bubble you probably don't...
     
  11. johny5 macrumors 6502a

    johny5

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    aha, that is a very good point, I was also thinking of going for the single but your post has just dissuaded me :)
     

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