Mac Pro for Photoshop/Illustrator

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MacMyDay, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. MacMyDay macrumors regular

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    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, England
    #1
    An employee uses a 24", 2.8GHz iMac with 2GB RAM (the standard config for the highest end model) and always complains about the speed of Photoshop in it. This is the 2nd iMac I've bought them this year, and they still complain about the slowness of it. So I feel I should buy them a mac pro and hopefully that will solve all of the issues. Are there any other people within the web/graphic design industry that could mention their computer specs so I can get an idea of what I need to spend in order to get the best available one for the right money. For example, is it worth spending the extra £1k for the 400Mhz more?
     
  2. Schroedinger macrumors regular

    Schroedinger

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2004
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #2
    You may want to look into upgrading the RAM first in the iMacs you have. If you max out the machine with 4 GBs of RAM it may be fast enough and it will cost much less than getting a new system.

    Good luck.
     
  3. tersono macrumors 68000

    tersono

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Which version of Photoshop are they using? If it isn't CS3, it'll be dog slow whatever computer you buy them CS2 and earlier are PPC-only and run under Rosetta emulation.

    Personally I use the CS3 suite on a 2.4ghz 17" MacBook Pro and an iMac on a fairly regular basis and find Photoshop CS3 performance to be damned good. 4gb RAM is worth having (especially if they're working on large images), although 2gb should still be very useable.

    A Mac Pro is faster, and well worth having if possible (we have a couple of those too), but not ridiculously so unless we're talking about billboard-sized images requiring vast amounts of RAM.
     
  4. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #4
    I have to agree with tersono. It makes more or less no sense to run CS2 on an intel based mac, it will be slow on an iMac and it will be slow on a Mac Pro.

    With CS3 I doubt you will gain much performance going from a 2,8 ghz iMac to a 2,8 ghz Mac Pro, unless we are talking about really big billboards and psd documents well above 500mb. For regular print or web work these are almost never needed.

    If you get a Mac Pro anyway then don't upgrade the gfx card, as Photoshop and Illustrator CS3 will make no use of it.

    Apart from that, Photoshop and Illustrator CS3 won't use 4 or even 8 cores to their full power, as far as I know. I'd love to be proven wrong on that one though.

    In my opinion upgrading ram to 4 gb will give quite a performance boost. Of course a Mac Pro could give one too, but personally I doubt it would be worth the money and the time to get one.

    Edit: You must be quite a nice boss to have, most bosses that I know would go "**** and use this 1ghz G4 for another year, I'm flying to hawaii and you finish that job, I have no money to buy you new machine, in fact I'm reducing your wage." :)
     
  5. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #5
    I run both Photoshop CS2 and CS3 on my Mac Pro (I teach Photoshop and some clients use CS2 while others have CS3 which is why I have both installed)
    IMO CS2 does not run any slower than CS3 ..... :)
     
  6. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

    Joined:
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    #6
    I guess your 9gb ram help rosetta a lot? :)

    I've read many different statements regarding CS2 on intel macs, some claim it to be stable and fast, others to be unreliable and slow. Somehow I tend to believe them all, it's the same with office.

    Personally I had CS2 running on my 2,8 ghz iMac with 2 gb ram, it was definitely useable, but I felt a rather big performance increase with CS3, specially when I have Illustrator/Photoshop/Indesign opened at once.

    I guess it's really a ram thing.
     
  7. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #7
    Well having 9 Gb of ram certainly doesn't hurt !!
    I find CS2 fast and stable. I can understand with your set-up CS3 being noticeably faster than CS2.

    What also helps here is that I have a 250Gb hard drive which is used solely as a scratch disk for Photoshop.
     
  8. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
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    #8
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3B48b Safari/419.3)

    CS3 (if you don't have it) or more ram would both be much more cost-effective solutions than buying a mac pro.
     
  9. MacMyDay thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, England
    #9
    Sorry for the lack of responses. It is CS3 we're using.

    So, it's basically a £90 "risk" to go and install 4GB RAM, and then a £3,000 risk afterwards with a Mac Pro.
     
  10. MacMyDay thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, England
    #10
    Just to add to this old thread for any other web designers.

    Having upgraded to iMac to 4GB RAM, it has had an impact, but it is still too slow and noticeably at that. Of note, this is for a professional who always has open: Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Safari.

    So I'm taking the iMac and buying a Mac Pro:

    Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    16GB (8x2GB)
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB GDDR3
    300GB 15,000-rpm SAS 3Gb/s
    500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    One 16x SuperDrive
    AirPort Extreme Card (Wi-Fi)
    Mac Pro RAID Card

    I'll let people know how we get on once it's arrived.
     
  11. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #11
    Wow, that set up should really smoke.

    I wanted to reply to this thread to say how much faster my Mac Pro has been since fitting a Raptor hard drive - but you definitely have that covered with the SAS storage you've ordered.

    I run an 8 core and can confirm that more than 4 are wasted on Photoshop.
     
  12. MacMyDay thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, England
    #12
    Tell me about it. My Macbook Air (1.8GHz, SSD) opens up libraries of images in Preview way faster than my iMac (20" 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM). The HD has a noticeable effect on the computer, so seemed logical to spend the extra bucks on the SAS....even if I don't get to use it. Curses.

    Probably going to join the dark side with the monitor though. As much as the Apple displays look nicer, I'm probably going to buy him the Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP.
     
  13. DrMoO macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    #13
    Hi MacMyDay

    I would be very curious to know how it went after you upgraded.

    I have the problem your employee has: my iMac is terribly slow when I work on photoshop. I can never work on 2 images as once one is open it seems to be enough.. I was considering the Mac Pro but have read that RAM was more the issue. But it seems here that it did not solve your problem: di d the Mac pro solve it?

    Please let us know! Cheers!
     

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