Need a new computer now!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Tiwele101, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. Tiwele101, Apr 5, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016

    Tiwele101 macrumors newbie


    Oct 16, 2015

    Like some others I was trying to hold out until the last Keynote, but was disappointed by the lack of announced updates on their Mac-series.
    Unfortunately I cannot wait for the WWDC 2016, as much as I'd like to.

    I'm a hobby photographer and I'm starting to get new commissions in. Editing with my current computers is nerve-racking to say the least, even small tasks take very long and the lack of efficiency is frustrating.

    At the moment I'm working on a early 2008 iMac, 2.8GHz and 4GB RAM, I've repaired its hard drive once. Due to its age, I'm hesitating to spend more money on it, especially since I can't put more RAM in.

    But I have no idea which Mac I should buy.

    A Macbook Pro is above my price limit and I'd like an external monitor mainly for calibration, so the pretty iMac screens aren't a selling point for me. The Macbook looks very pretty, but I'm not sure if it has enough power. So, how about a Mac mini?

    Main usage:
    Photoshop CS6 + Lightroom 4 (big RAW files)
    I also edit GoPro Videos of my horse trekking

    I'm also interested into 3D modeling, it'd be a big plus if the computer would be able to handle a program on a basic level.

    Everything else, Microsoft Office, YouTube videos and such should be a given, right?

    Having thought about my choices since last year, I just find myself lost now.

    Budget would be 1500 US-Dollars excl. external screen, Apple Care etc., more or less.
    2ndhand Macs are very hard to find in my country, unless they're ancient.

    Any advice, input, idea would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks!
  2. kch50428 macrumors 6502


    Oct 30, 2015
    North Iowa
    Buy the machine with the best specs your budget allows.
  3. Tiwele101 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Oct 16, 2015
    As said, I'm pretty confused to what the "best" for me personally would be.

    I edited a budget in my first post.
  4. petalino macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2010
    As a photographer I would post this question onto forums at DPREVIEW.COM.

    You are dealing with photogs there. I recommend either the Mac Forum or Pro Forum.
  5. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    With your budget and since you want an external display anyway go with a Mac mini and max out the RAM and CPU if you can. I'm not sure the prices in your country, but basically get a mini that is as close to maxed out as you can afford.
  6. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Just another opinion - skip ALL of the Mac Minis as they more powerful ones are way over priced for what you get. Perhaps a 21" iMac is in order (refurb or 2nd hand).

    In my estimates, if you can tear yourself away from OSX, for the dollar amount you could get a far more powerful counterpart in a PC. I say this as someone who deals with photography oriented work, works with both OSX and PC/Windows.

    As far as Photoshop - loves CPU power, loves RAM, SSD drives make a huge difference and though CS6 PS barely takes advantage of GPU, there are a couple of filters that do improve with Open GL (no Nvidia in the newer Macs sadly). I would imagine getting a good quad i5 or better i7 is in order, maxed RAM and an SSD drive would make the world of difference for you. This is why (I say again) consider the 21" iMac for budget or a decent PC. I suspect the goal is ease of use of applications without much waiting during usage and as much bang for the buck in hardware that should last for a few years.
  7. imhereareyou macrumors regular


    Aug 28, 2013
    Get this one (sorry copy and pasted title from amazon) it's within your budget.
    Apple iMac MK452LL/A 21.5-Inch Retina 4K Display Desktop (3.1 GHz Intel Core i5 Quad-Core, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Mac OS X), Silver (Newest Version)

  8. Tiwele101 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Oct 16, 2015
    Thank you for your replies! It's interesting to read so many different opinions.

    That's handy advice, I didn't think about asking in a photography forum. Thank you!

    Yes, I think if I stay on the Apple side, this would be (sort of) the most reasonable option.

    You're touching a sensitive spot here. I enjoy OS X very much, but I have been playing with the idea of switching over to the dark side or Windows. At work, I use Windows, so it won't be entirely new to me, but I haven't had a PC with Windows for years, so I'm a bit nervous about malware and such.
    However, the option to build a PC to my needs sounds lovely.
  9. garirry macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2013
    Canada is my city
    I personally would avoid the 21.5" iMacs due to low specs.

    If I was you, I would probably get a high-end Mac Mini, but with 16GB of memory (8GB is fine, but you won't be able to upgrade, so you better futureproof it), maybe a Core i7 processor, and DEFINITELY an SSD or a Fusion Drive. The regular 5400RPM drives can go to hell. The Iris graphics chip is pretty powerful, believe it or not.

    And trust me, you don't want Windows. Not a hater, but with my awful experience with it, you wouldn't want to go back/invest in Windows. Worst case scenario if you really want to try it build something that would be compatible with Hackintosh, just in case it doesn't work well enough for you.
  10. Tiwele101 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Oct 16, 2015
    May I ask what your specific reasons are?
    I'm new to costumizing a PC anyway (OS X or Windows), so I wasn't aware I could build a computer that runs OS X, but I suppose it defies the purpose... What I liked about Apple products is that software and hardware work together fairly well.
  11. garirry macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2013
    Canada is my city
    I had a massive amount of compatibility issues, first of all, and secondly, I find Windows rather buggy (both 7 and 10) with crashes, weird bugs and glitches, being spec-demandant, and having a short lifespan (before having to get reinstalled). I generally prefer OS X for almost all reasons. Linux is also great, but it's extremely advanced and has a lack of programs. Of course, different people have different experiences, but that's just how I feel.

    As far as Hackintosh goes, any sane person should invest in a Mac computer. There often is a lot of compatibility problems with them, and that defies the "it just works" motto. I only meant to say that if you do end up investing in building a computer, then make sure it would work fine with OS X, in case you really don't like Windows and you really prefer OS X.
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    You say the iMac is poor specs but then suggest a dual core mobile processor with IRIS graphics found in the Mac mini, over a quad core desktop CPU with IRIS pro graphics found in an iMac. I don't think you have any idea what you are on about.
  13. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I can appreciate your preference for OSX but when it comes down to the best hardware you can afford, sometimes it is worth it to go to the dark side. However, if you want to remain with OSX, then you may have to make some compromises as well. I do believe that the Minis are a poor choice these days and that perhaps the 21" iMac properly fitted would be an excellent investment given your needs. I'll simply stand by my original post and urge you to by pass the Mini option as they are rather anemic.

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