New to photography, $2500 budget, advice please.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by LaloG, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. LaloG macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    #1
    Hello everyone, like the title says, I'm going to start a new hobby and my budget is $2500. What do you all suggest would be the best bang for my buck. I currently have a 2010 macbook pro which is starting to show it's age. It has only 4GB, my HD is almost full, the battery doesn't last very long, and when I start to edit photos (started in iphoto and moving on to photoshop and lightroom). The screen has started to go black on me when using iphoto and sometimes in photoshop which leads me to believe that there's some kind of glitch in iphoto. I have a canon 40d currently and would be getting a 5D sometime next year. So, would you all recommend the rImac or perhaps a different scenario where I could get a new laptop (refurbished or some kind of discount through work) plus a Dell screen or maybe a 21" with a macbook pro, etc. I'm really open to any suggestions which you all may think would be best for my situation. I need something that can handle photoshop and lightroom. Thank you all for your help.
     
  2. iModFrenzy macrumors 6502a

    iModFrenzy

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Location:
    501st Legion
    #2
    If the screen goes black, I would think its a GPU issue.

    Anyway, If you are going to do Photoshop,iPhoto and other photo-related things then make sure you pick a laptop with a good GPU.
     
  3. JustThinkin', Mar 9, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015

    JustThinkin' macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    #3
    The straight-up answer for most people in your shoes is to get the base model retina MacBook Pro 15" and a monitor of your choice. If you have a number of peripherals you'll be plugging and unplugging, or you want a dual monitor setup, strongly consider the TS2 docking station from CalDigit as well (I like mine).

    If you want a desktop, consider the iMacs or the 2012 Mac Mini (2.3 or 2.6 GHz quad-core models).


    The most important consideration is to get a good screen with at least 8GB of RAM. Next would be to upgrade to 16GB RAM, and after that to get a quad-core CPU (although sometimes you can do OK with a dual-core). Finally, an SSD or Fusion Drive can help - but again, in some cases you'll be OK with a Hard Drive, as long as you have 16GB or more of RAM (16GB is usually adequate).

    An upgraded GPU may or may not be a significant help to you - it really depends on what you're doing. A quad-core CPU is a sure performance boost, but a GPU upgrade is highly dependent on what operations you're performing. In general, you probably want to either stay with the Iris Pro built in to a machine like the 15" rMBP, or go all the way with the R295X GPU in the riMac. It doesn't sound like you're a really intensive Photoshop user, so I think either one should do. If you are an intensive user, then you'll have to do some research into the specific GPU and specific Photoshop operations you'll be performing often. And that can be hard to find good info on sometimes - at least it has been in the recent past. The Iris Pro is already a reasonably good GPU, which is why some people don't need to upgrade it.
     
  4. LaloG thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    #4
    Thank you

    Thanks!!! I wasn't really considering the 2012 mac mini. Your posts is really helpful. Thanks again.
     
  5. Wahlstrm macrumors 6502a

    Wahlstrm

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    #5
    If you can find one then the i7 quad 2012 Mini is the most bang for your buck :)
    I have one with 16GB ram an 2x 256GB SSD. In raid you get 900MB/s in read write.
    Just like all other macs right now it´s not very "future proof". 4K/5K displays are coming along for real now and non of the current macs will run a 5K display. Most will not even run a 4K at a decent Hz..

    I think 2016 will be a good year to buy something for the long run.
    So just buy something to keep you running until then :)
     
  6. LaloG, Mar 9, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015

    LaloG thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    #6
    I haven't seen any 2012's in the refurb store but I see that BandH has the i7 2012 2.3 server in stock for $899. How is the server different from the "normal" mac mini. I see that it has 2 1TB HD's. I'm assuming I could just upgrade it to an SSD and 16 GB RAM myself and use the 1 TB HD for backups. What displays would you recommend to go along with the mini. I think the current apple display is overpriced. If this can lasts me about 3 years + I'll be happy.
     
  7. JustThinkin', Mar 9, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015

    JustThinkin' macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    #7
    Yes, you could use it that way. You don't need to run the server software on it, just re-install OS X with Cmd-R at bootup - it's the same machine, of course. You could also run one or both HDDs (e.g. in RAID 0) if you like. With 16GB performance is fine (I have single 1TB drive 2.3 model I set up last week - with 4GB it was frustrating, but with 16GB it's quite nice).

    Of course, an SSD is even a bit better, and can be configured as a Fusion drive or left separate. The Samsung 500GB (and especially 1TB) 850 EVO are very good values, as it's a reliable brand and the price/performance is quite good, with the 1TB nearly matching the 1TB Samsung 850 Pro's performance for ~$250 less. At these prices you can afford to over-provision about 12-25% of the drive (I'd usually do around 18-20%) and get great capacity and performance for the $, and generally be fine without any TRIM support (since you can't securely get TRIM under OS X Yosemite with any third-party drives - the alternative being finding a used Apple drive on eBay or somewhere).

    As for displays, I have two 20" IPS Dells I plan to continue to use, so I haven't looked into displays extensively for my own use lately. But a relative's just broke, and the Dell u2412M and u2415 look pretty good, as well as the "factory calibrated" ASUS PA248Q. All of these have the preferable 16:10 aspect ratio (my 20" Dells are the old 4:3 ratio, which I especially like).

    Saving a little money isn't such a bad idea, since you may need to put some $ toward a photo storage and backup solution as well, if you'll have over 1TB of photos and don't already have that figured out.
     
  8. bokdol macrumors 6502a

    bokdol

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    VA
    #8
    as JustThinkin, said. the mini server is no different then regular just with preconfigured raid and core i7. make sure it is the late 2012 model. the ram speed is ddr3 1600 early 2012 model were the older ddd 1333. i am also using the late 2012 model. and it runs great. when i get the time dual ssd's will be my next upgrade.

    i had a dream that they would have let use still configured the ram on our own for the newer models but alas no. so keeping my mini for a while.

    two more thing the late model had usb 3. early is still usb 2 and, intel hd 4000 on the late while hd3000 on the early.
     
  9. LaloG thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    #9
    Thanks

    Thank you all for your help. After talking it over with the wife, she offered her 15" mac pro 2012 retina and said she'll just get a base 13" pro. So I guess all I'll need is a display and external storage and I'm good to go! Any good places to pick the extra storage? I'm gonna check out those Dells. Thanks everyone!
     
  10. bokdol macrumors 6502a

    bokdol

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    VA
    #10
    congrats. get a ssd if she does not have one in there already.
     

Share This Page