pc to mac graphic design switcher, what imac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dianah, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. dianah macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2010
    Hi Guys,

    I use my pc professionally, but want to switch to imac. The question is, which imac?

    I use the following programs next to each other, so they are al open and i use them at the same time, switching

    acrobat pro
    and in the future, Indesign

    I use these programs for professional fashiondesign, artworks, photoshopping and i also create brochures, flyers ect.. with them.

    Perhaps i will also start with basic and simple webdesign. Next to the standards, such as word, excel, surfing ect..

    I dont really need a 27" persé, çause i use a second 23" inch next to the pc (future imac).

    So what imac would be best for me? Will the basic 21.5" do me just fine or does it need more memory then the standard 4gb they all have??
    Is this graphicscard (videocard?) also ok for me or does my work need a heavier card?
    Do i really REALLY need an i5 or is the 3.06 also ok for me? In what configuration? What about the 3,33? is there a big difference with the 3,06?

    I understand that faster, newer, bigger ect.. is always better, but if i dont really need it, i would rather use my (these days) hard to earn money in a different way.

    I dont really know so much about the technical terms of computers, so please, don't go all hi-tech on me.... :)

    All help is very much appreciated, so many thanks in advance

  2. Alvi macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2008
    Get the high end 21.5" Since the performance on the lower end is way lower because of the graphics card, and the programs you use push graphics too.
    Also, i think 4GB is Okay but if you might want to spend some extra bucks get 8GB
  3. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    Photoshop will use as many CPU corse and as much RAM as the system has, so the simple rule of tumb is the more you have of both, the better it will perform.

    Also, just as a warning: Photoshop CS4 for Windows is a 64-Bit applications. Photoshop CS4 for Mac is NOT. And if Lightroom is an indicator for the performance difference between 32-Bit and 64-Bit Adobe apps, than this will be a significant difference.

    Office for Mac is, I'm sorry to say, a piece of junk compare to Office for Windows. Neither is it fully compatible to the Windows versions - it screws up formattings and it cannot run any VBA makros - nor is it even half as fast as the Windows version. You will be better off running Office for Windows in virtualization than using the native Mac version of Microsoft Office.

    Have you checked with Adobe what you can do with your existing licenses? If you are on CS3 or before, you will have to BUY an upgrade to CS4 for Mac. On the other hand, if you already are on CS4 for Windows, Adobe -might- give you a cross license for a small handling fee plus DVD shipping.

    Now to the Mac:

    In your case, I'd get at least one with a 24" display, because that's closest in size to the second 23" display that you have.

    On the other hand, if this machine is going to be your professional tool to make a living: Forget about the iMacs and Minis. Get a Mac Pro. On the long run, it's the only Mac that's really going to cut it. You will outgrow the limitations of an iMac very quickly. iMacs are pretty surf boards and iTunes libraries -- what is what most people only do with them anyway -- but for professional work, you will rather sooner than late need more disk space, more RAM, more CPU power and maybe even more graphics power. The iMac cannot give you any of this.

    In summary, that's my own experience and the reason why I ended up with a Mac Pro. And in the next step, you might feel strangled by all the artificial restrictions that Apple puts into its products - a PC can feel like Freedom itself after a few years in Apple land. But you didn't want to hear that, now, did you? ;-)
  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Mac OS X: No virus, no 15 minute driver installs, no windows registry problems / vulnerabilities, no manual defrag / tinkering required to have your OS work properly.

  5. Habitus macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2009
    Where ever my life takes me...

    Get the high end 21.5" 4GB of RAM is plenty, but you could always opt for 8GB. AppleCare, however, is a must.


    Habitus :apple:
  6. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007

    I run all the programs your going to use, except canvas, on a 2 year old alum 24" iMac w/4 megs of RAM. No issues and no problems with the iMac or any of the programs.

    I would suggest maxing out the RAM and getting Apple Care however, even though I have not needed ant repairs under warranty!
  7. dianah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2010
    Is it (dollar for dollar) worth it to go for the 3,33? or is the difference with 3.03 to small? I dont know what 3mb L2 cache or 6 mb l2 cache means and does for you.

    quote Winni: Photoshop will use as many CPU corse and as much RAM as the system has
    Is there a maximum RAM that these progs use? standard is 4, so they use it all, if i have 8, will they also use it all? ect..with 16 RAM on the 27"?

    Is RAM more important (in my case) then processor?

    @ DesignerOnMac: your 24", what kind op processor does it have? and the graphics card?
  8. pionata macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2005
    Get the imac 27 anyway, you wont regret the extra space.

    Graphic designers work with a lot of pixels and it will really turn out to be useful.
  9. suburbia macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2008
    I never understood such an elitist attitude-- that unless you use a Mac Pro, you're not a professional, WTF?!?!??

    I've been working in design since 2001, and although that's not a long time to some, all the studios that I've been with have all used iMacs. They're perfectly capable machines. And if you plan on upgrading in a few years, there's absolutely nothing to worry about in terms of the iMac handling any of Adobe's suites.

    Get the most powerful iMac you can afford. What may seem like overkill now will be just right in time, you won't regret it. Even if you think the 27" display is too big-- it isn't; I got accustomed to the 30" ACD very quickly. So go for the i5/i7 iMac if you can-- but I would wait until the problems are worked out first in these models if you can.
  10. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    I have to recommend the 27" Core i7 iMac @ 2.8GHz, 8GB RAM, 1TB HD. The large space of the 27" should be great, and the Core i7 is the best value processor imo.

    What are the current specs of your PC, and how does it hold up doing what you are doing?

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