new iMac for Graphic Design work station

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rickpoet, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. rickpoet macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    Los Angeles, California

    I'm a graphic designer (lots of Creative Suite work, large graphic files) using a Power Mac G5 (last released model). I've been waiting for the next Mac Pro revision to upgrade, but the new iMac (27" i7) seems pretty tempting. I'm wondering about the following:

    Second hard I better off with a Mac pro and a second internal hard drive (in terms of speed) versus a top of the line external connected to the iMac (and what would the best one be?)

    Does anyone else use a glossy screen for print graphic design? Any complaints?

    Does anyone else use a recent model iMac as a graphic design work station?

    Any advice would be appreciated.


  2. c.s. macrumors regular


    Nov 11, 2007
    I'm a designer & agonized over going with the new iMac, played with it at the store for a while. Current setup is MBP with the 24" ACD. The glass screen is great, as long as you don't have a light/window behind you. It's so bright you can't even tell it's glass - much sharper than the 23" aluminum matte ACD.

    But here's my problem with the 27" iMac - the density is something like 115 dpi, making all the text & menus (especially in InDesign/Photoshop) much smaller. The 24" ACD is 96 dpi. I find my eyes are MUCH more strained from trying to use a higher density, than anything related to the gloss/matte debate. Sure, you get more pixels, but doesn't matter if it gives you a headache by the end of the day. The 27 is beautiful, but I don't think I could handle the native resolution for day-to-day work.
  3. ewytt macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2009
  4. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007
    1. Primarily a print media graphic designer here. I have the alum 2.8 Extreme iMac, 24", w 4 gigs of RAM.
    2. Run all of the Adobe Creative Suite Pro CS4 programs with no issues.
    3. Glossy screen is no issue, and what I see on screen is the same as what gets printed, etc.
    4. No issues with photoshop CS4 either in regards to colors and print or web work.
    5. I use a USB Iomega External HD with no issues.

    Hope this helps you in your decision!
  5. miki66 macrumors 6502


    Nov 19, 2008
    thank you!:) This help me as well
  6. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    I'm run almost the same as DOM

    24" 2.4 AL iMac /4 gigs ram put in a 640 gig drive myself (really easy) + second 20" Dell monitor -- and i run 4 external FW800 drives (3 500 gigs 3.5" + a 400 gig 2.5"), a FW400 external DVD±RW + FW400 80 gig portable drive + 1.5 TB USB drive (for backups) + Xerox 7300DN + Epson R1800 and I use the entire Adobe Creative suite + Quark 8 + everything else that you need in a design studio (Suitcase, 3 browsers, Fetch, etc)

    Been going strong for 2+ years now

    No problems with the gloss screen, you look "through" it after using it for a bit.

    And your math is off, its 109, not 115.

    If you are used to looking at a large (24"+) screen, I doubt the new 27" will bother you.

    And from what I have read, the i5 maybe nearly as fast as the i7 once it gets all said and done. The i5 is a newer chip with slightly better performance.

    Since these iMacs come with a 1TB drive, unless you are saving years and years and years and years of client files, or working with large amounts of RAW files (or whatever) then the 1TB internal should be plenty? FW800 is plenty fast for external storage that you need to access a lot, or if you just need backup, then USB 2 is more than fine.
  7. MacKiddyWiddy macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    Im not. Heavy designer or editor but my 20" imac 2gb ram 2.88ghz doesnt struggle at all with anything i through at it so you'll be more then fine with the new ones [​IMG]
  8. brobins macrumors member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Hi There,

    I am a CGI Artist working primarily in 3D Animation.

    I use 3ds Max / Maya, Vray & Adobe Photoshop and After Effects on a daily basis and I am currently considering the i7 27" for my home machine.

    I am more than convinced that it will be good enough for what I do as on paper it is a faster machine than what I use at work; Dell-690, Duo Core 2 @ 2GB with 4gb Ram.

    I am considering the i7 with as much ram as possible.
  9. richmac macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2009
    Go for Pro

    Im in the printing world and the i7 iMac sounds tempting but here is my reasoning for not getting it to replace my G5 (2003).

    1) Cant connect more then 2 screens.

    2) Screen is not good for colour correcting. I use a Lacie 324 calibrated to SWOP standards.

    3) Cannot expand like the Mac Pro.

    These are enough reasons for me to not get the i7 iMac. But we are all different. I have upgraded my G5 with all new hardware and it has lasted me almost 6 years since I bought it brand new.

    If you dont want to keep buying new iMacs every 2 years then i'd go for the Mac Pro and keep buying more ram until you've maxed it out and it'll be a happy computer and you'll be a happy user :¬)
  10. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    G5s were great in their day, but just not anymore

    I had dual G5s in my studio -- and they were upgraded too -- fast drives, upgraded video, 4 gigs of ram (a lot back in 2004)

    When it came time to upgrade, Macpros were $2500 and the RAM was even more expensive. I needed 3 new Macs at the time which meant $10,000 in new macs.

    Bought 3 AL iMacs instead for half the money.

    And wow.

    They blew my G5s out of the water, made them look like they were standing still. 300 meg multilayer Photoshop files took a few minutes to open on our G5s. Same files take seconds on our iMacs.

    You are kidding yourself if you think your G5 is still productive.

    Cant connect more than 2 screens? So you use 3 screens? Screen in the new 27" iMac is a top of the line S-IPS panel. You cant buy better.

    Expand what? You have an internal 1TB drive and drop as much FW800 storage off it as you want. My 24" iMac has 3 500 gig FW800 drives hanging off the back, accessing the files are easy and fast.

    Every 3 years to upgrade your Mac, which is your primary money making device, is nothing. Divide $2000 over the first 3 years, then only $1000 over the next 3 years. (sell the old one and recoup)

    $333 a year aint nothin.

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