New Imac advice please!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ashj52, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. ashj52 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 14, 2018
    #1

    Hi Everyone,

    I would very much appreciate any advice here. My situation is that I am not really tech savvy, work as a doctor and just set up my own practice. I purchased a sony a6300 mirrorless camera and learnt the basics of photoshop and lightroom editing raw images. Things were painfully slow to do with my current system which is 5 years old:

    Samsung 700A3D 23.6 inch All-in-One Touchscreen Desktop PC (Black) - (Intel Core i3 3220T 2.80GHz Processor, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, DVDSM DL, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8)

    I was silly and thought it must be a virus and so downloaded windows 10, and everything is fine until it comes to adobe editing programmes. They are so slow it sometimes takes 5 minutes for the programme itself to load

    I have an ipad pro first generation but think I need to buy a new desktop. I plan to edit raw images (roughly ten a week) and create 4k videos etc. I am thinking of getting an imac, with a budget of maximum £2500. I was thinking a 27inch, but would appreciate any advice on processor, ram etc.I hope to keep the computer for at least 3-5 years.

    Not sure what I can offer in return except for sincere gratitude!
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #2
    You don't need to offer anything, my friend. We're all on here to help each other

    Frankly, any of the 27" iMac's are so much more powerful than the system you come from that it won't really matter at all. My one recommendation however, is to either get it with an SSD, or the 2TB Fusion Drive. The 1TB Fusion Drive in the newer models only has a 24GB SSD alongside the hard drive, and that will be relatively slow, and make an otherwise fast system feel a bit dull.

    Other than that, a base model will do just fine.

    If you want to spend that budget more fully, the highest end base model will do brilliantly, but I really don't think it's needed. As said, you can do well with the lowest-end base 27" if you upgrade the storage option.

    The main benefit to the top tier model, to my mind, is that you get a substantially better GPU, but when it's just images and not video, it won't make that huge a difference. The CPU is a bit faster as well, and you won't have to upgrade the storage from the base config, since the top-tier base already has the 2TB Fusion Drive, which includes a 128GB SSD.

    But as said, any of these can edit images very well. I have a 2014 iMac 5k myself, and Photoshop ain't a sweat at all. (It's the highest end model of its time, which roughly places it between the first two base configurations of the newer models on Apple's website - depending on which part is compared it varies of course, but roughly). Regardless, you really can't go wrong.

    If you want to work with many, many things at once, you might also want to upgrade the RAM, but with the 27" iMac this can very, very easily be done at any time. So you can get the 8GB that come standard, and then if you find out you want/need more later on, you can upgrade yourself and save money since RAM prices have likely dropped at that point.

    User instructions for upgrading RAM are on Apple's support site, and can be found in the RAM section of "About This Mac" as well, so it really is so easy that even Apple gives guides for it :)
     
  3. ashj52 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 14, 2018
    #3
    Thanks casperes for writing such a detailed reply, your time is much appreciated. Ive just configured it with 3.5ghz, I5 processor, 16gb ram, and 2TB fusion drive for a total price of £2309.

    In your opinion do you think this will also be powerful enough for 4k video. I do not play video games, this machine is purely for RAW photo editing, 4k video editing and evernote lol

    thanks again!
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #4

    That depends what you expect to do with that 4k video.
    Did that configuration end up with the Radeon 575 or 570?

    With video, the GPU is probably the most important element. And would you be using Premiere for the editing, Final Cut, or DaVinci Resolve?

    Small projects with few effects and non-full quality preview 4k video can be edited on a MacBook, but my 5k iMac can't do all what I'd want to do with 4k video myself, without a lot of waiting on renderings and using proxy media.
     
  5. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

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    #5
    Well Doc that is a pretty old Samsung, came with Windows 8 originally, has an inadequate i3 processor, inadequate memory and a very slow old platter drive for starters., 27:,

    A current model iMac with a 512GB/1TB SSD. I suggest you give the Fusion Drives a big miss. They are compromise at best and as the Flash Drive fills upo, get slower as the main drive is what you have now in the Samsung, a 7200rpm platter drive.

    Also check the software you are running to see if there are Mac versions. My Endocrinologist uses an iMac but much of his software was written by his Mac consultant.
     
  6. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #6

    The 2TB and 3TB Fusion Drives work perfectly fine. I have the old 1TB one from before they gimped it - i.e. 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD. 90% of the time it feels like SSD speeds, because of how well the block splitting is implemented.

    If no macOS version exists, dual booting or using something like Parallels is always an option.
    But for Adobe, which was the primary concern for this specific post, there's no issue. Adobe's apps all work
     
  7. haruhiko macrumors 601

    haruhiko

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    Sep 29, 2009
    #7
    Your old Samsung computer is much slower than any iPhones from the recent 2 years. You can see why it struggled to run Adobe apps.

    Any of the current iMacs with 16GB of RAM and SSD will be heaven for you.
     
  8. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #8
    Don't forget to budget for some kind of backup solution - an external hard disk of some kind. Do you have any clue what kind of space requirements you have at the moment/will be having? My gut feel would be to recommend the 512 SSD over the 2TB Fusion. But, if you need to store more than 512, then you would be looking at another external drive to store your pictures and videos. That in itself is no big deal, but it does add an extra layer of management and of course, more money.
     
  9. c0ppo macrumors 65816

    c0ppo

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    Feb 11, 2013
    #9
    @ashj52

    I would skip on Fusion Drive. And don't upgrade RAM directly from Apple. You really don't need any technical skills to upgrade it yourself. To prove my point, just look at this very short video:



    Pick any i5 CPU. Upgrade to SSD. Use external drives if you need more space.
     
  10. ashj52 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 14, 2018
    #10
    Thanks casperes I will be using adobe premiere :)
    --- Post Merged, Feb 15, 2018 ---
    Thanks everyone for your replies, your time is much appreciated.

    Im going to be using adobe premiere - im no expert literally just starting out but am already enjoying the process of learning lightroom etc. At the time when I was editing pictures I genuinely thought I had a virus, and I edited roughly 200 pictures which was torture on the computer!

    I checked the price of RAM in the UK, and I think it wont work out much more expensive than to just take the apple 16GB ram upgrade, any further RAM i could buy later. I think

    Could I get some thoughts on i5 vs i7 for my use? I dont mind paying extra now if it will future proof my machine, my Samsung has lasted me a solid 5 years so hope the mac will too. Thanks again!
     
  11. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #11
    Right. Premiere is pretty notorious for not using hardware to its fullest potential. Final Cut especially, but as of late also DaVinci Resolve, can often do things in half the time on the same hardware.

    If you use much lower quality previews during editing - i.e. proxy media, you should still be good, but you can't exactly edit a 4k blockbuster on this iMac with Premiere. – Or, you can, it just won't be a very smooth ride. Small projects with proxy editing though; That can work well.

    You might want to try DaVinci if you need larger projects. They have a free version that allows up to 4k timelines. It's only if you need 8k or something you need the paid version. And it's a professional-grade tool, usually known for colour grading, but in later releases has a very competent NLE and even DAW.
     
  12. ashj52 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Thanks! thats really helpful! I already have purchased adobe premiere but will check the other two out for sure especially davinci as its free :)
     
  13. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #13
    Both Premiere and DaVinci have been used in major feature films as NLEs - if we look at use in general, DaVinci has been used even more - so that's a testament to its quality. Great app, and if you're not already very familiar with Premiere, I can highly recommend using it, as you say, free, and also it runs super well on Macs, utilising Metal 2 (Apple's graphics API similar to DirectX 12 or Vulkan).

    Don't be entirely discouraged from Premiere either though. Your final exports can be 4k with it no problem (if you're willing to wait for the exports), but your actual editing flow may need to depend on lower quality preview material. That won't matter too much in the end when you output the video anyway though.

    Hope you enjoy the iMac :)
     
  14. ashj52 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 14, 2018
    #14

    Thanks Casperes!!! Would you say i5 is good enough for my requirements?
     
  15. colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

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    Colorado
    #15
    Unless you are heavy into video editing or playing games, the i5 should be just fine.

    Use the $$ you save vs. the i7 and apply it toward internal SSD. You won't regret it ;>)
     
  16. Fishrrman, Feb 15, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018

    Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #16
    For the budget you specified, get the midrange 27" iMac with the 3.5ghz 7600 CPU. It has a better graphics card than the baseline model -- worth the extra $200.

    Get the standard 8gb of RAM. You can always add more later.

    Get one with a "straight" SSD, either 256gb or 512gb (adds $100 or $300, respectively).
    If you find yourself "needing more room", add USB3 external storage (either HDD or SSD).

    I would avoid the fusion drive iterations. SSD will run fast out-of-the-box, and will always run fast (so long as you leave "breathing room" for it to do so).

    The SSD models are "special order" from Apple's web page -- you generally can't walk into a brick-n-mortar Apple Store and walk out with one. It will be worth the extra time and trouble to order one.
    A -few- 3rd-party Apple-authorized resellers may keep this model in stock, but one has to ask first.
     
  17. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #17

    The i5 is perfectly fine. The i7 could help a little with 4k video if that's really important, but working with images and practically all other tasks will see such little improvement that it'll be unnoticeable if you're not timing it with a stopwatch. And even then, you probably won't be quick enough on that stopwatch trigger to capture the difference.
    A better GPU will improve video editing even more than the i7 upgrade if anything, but for everything else you've mentioned, the setup you specified as having ordered in a previous post is excellent
     
  18. ashj52 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 14, 2018
    #18
    Thanks guys for all your time. Its been very helpful indeed. Casperes I will be editing 4k videos to upload onto youtube.. So if I am editing one 4k video a week the i5 should be ok? Sorry to double check but after my disastrous experience with the Samsung I am a little worried! Thanks again
     
  19. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #19
    How long will these videos be, and how complex will the edits be? I.e. will you just cut or will you be compositing, transforming, keying, grading, etc?
     
  20. ashj52 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 14, 2018
    #20
    I think the videos will not be more than 10 minutes, hope to apply/learn to apply some basic effects to it but nothing CGI like. They will be promotional videos for my clinic involving some videos of me doing the procedure. thanks!
     
  21. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #21
    I don't think you'll be limited by the i5, but the GPU may make it a less tha optimal experience. The 580 will be nicer, but not at all a necessity if you won't be filling the videos with effects.

    It's worth noting that without effect work, a 12" MacBook can edit 4k just fine in Final Cut (see Jonathan Morrison on YouTube for evidence). This iMac is exponentially much faster than that.
     
  22. ashj52 thread starter macrumors newbie

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  23. ashj52 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 14, 2018
    #23
    Thanks everyone for your help, this is the configuration I am going to buy any thoughts would be much appreciated. I own a sony a6300 for images/4k vid:

    Customise your 27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display.
    Add To Favourites
    • 3.5GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz
    • 16GB 2400MHz DDR4
    • 512GB SSD
    • Radeon Pro 575 with 4GB video memory
    • Magic Trackpad 2
    • Magic Keyboard - British
    Price is £2,449.00

    Any final thoughts on this? Would be much appreciated

    Kind Regards
    Adil
     
  24. c0ppo macrumors 65816

    c0ppo

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    Feb 11, 2013
    #24
    Final thoughts:
    You are getting a great machine that won't overheat, that should be (mostly) dead silent, and that is more then adequate for your requirements.

    Going with just SSD is the best choice you could have made, and it will bring you more joy then you can realise. You also get a really great and bright screen.

    Enjoy your new iMac, it will amaze you at first ;)
     
  25. colodane macrumors 6502a

    colodane

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    #25
    Great choice. Essentially the same as the one I have. You will like it!
     

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