Retina iMac for Lightroom and Photoshop

Discussion in 'iMac' started by aerok, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. aerok, Nov 29, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014

    aerok macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    Hello all,

    I'm really interested in buying a Retina iMac soon. My main use is heavy Lightroom editing and Photoshop (Canon 6D). I also plan on using Final Cut and Adobe Premiere.

    That said, I am also on a limited budget so I cannot go for the maxed out version.

    1. Should I go for 1TB Fusion or 256GB flash?
    2. Should I upgrade the CPU or GPU?
    3. Besides the resolution difference, is there any other noticeable difference between regular and retina? (Colors and contrast)

    Thank you all for your input.
  2. melllvar macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2007
    Can't recommend it! Lightroom and other Adobe Apps that don't have GPU Acceleration run terrible on the iMac 5K. I have the maxed out version and it runs worse than on a macbook air 11".

    I would wait until Adobe / Apple sort this out before spending that much cash on this computer.

    At least that's my experience.
  3. spiritlevel macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    As far as the right upgrades go for your usage, get the GPU upgrade (this will really help your video) and 256 Flash. 256 is more than enough for OS and Apps. You will no doubt need external storage for your photos though - either a cheaper USB3 external drive or Thunderbolt if funds allow.
  4. aerok thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    Thanks for the advice guys.

    can anyone comment on the differences between the two screens besides resolution?
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Hmm. I run LR on an riMac and it does as well, if not better, than the 4770k Mac Pro it replaced overall. And not just me; take a look here:

    Some folks do a lot of photo editing IN LR. I don't. LR does exhibit some stepping when using say "exposure" in the develop module; it is a bit less pronounced if I am viewing the image on the 2560x1440 monitor I also use. If I use a graphics program to do the same thing, I can also get slow redraws with some. Others don't even show intermediate transitions with a slider but wait until you stop, and those don't usually show any ill effects. Photoshop is similar; some steppiness if you drag a slider for say exposure back and forth.

    But I tend to apply stuff all at once, and it seems really quick when I do that, like enter a value, or just click a spot on the slider.

    MacPhun's Pro applications seem to run the smoothest.

    What you can see is that it seems to be a bit application dependent. And my old machine had some issues as well. I use a maxed 4.0GHz295 riMac, BTW. I haven't tried just running in full 5k as opposed to "best for display" either.

    So at the end of the day you are either gonna go with a nMP perhaps, and a screen that doesn't have the resolution. Maybe they aren't seeing the issues (and that word even seems to exaggerate what is really not an issue for me).

    I think that having the higher resolution screen trumps ALL that. By a HUGE margin. I can move an image to a 2560x1440, but then I have to do more stuff to view it, and it ends up slowing me down FAR more than doing the same operations on the 5k screen.

    Here are some tests, however, that focus more on non-editing tasks:

    It again deserves mention that Yosemite, Lightroom and the machine are all variables. Yosemite, eg, apparently clips some blacks. I say that to point out that not all of what I've seen so far is down to the hardware.

    As far as other differences, the color gamut is a bit larger with the riMac. I think it has better anti-glare, and mine just seems better in terms of even brightness, lack of bleed, and contrast than my 2560x1440 and previous iMac 2010. But that's really subjective.
  6. aerok thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    Wow thanks a lot for this detailed post. Here's hoping Adobe gives a good eprformance update on LR to fix those steppings.
  7. Col Vandal macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2010
    I disagree. I have the base model retina with 16GB ram and the 1TB Fusion drive. Most editing tasks work outstandingly well for me in Photoshop and Lightroom. Where I see slowdown and sloppy graphics is when using the filter gallery or the blur gallery. I went through a lengthy tech support session with Apple and the engineers are aware of the issues and it should be addressed through a Yosemite update to rework the GPU driver.

    Overall, I love my new Mac. You may want to upgrade and max out if it's in your budget. I decided against it and put the money toward external storage.
  8. aerok thread starter macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2011
    I'm tempted to put it all on my credit card and regret it later lol
  9. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    Adobe is well aware too. Expect a fix from both ends.
  10. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Is that a commentary on their pricing policies? I know some have said they are being, um, violated by Adobe's new subscription model, but gee.....:eek:

    But seriously. Adobe is all over upgrades. I'm still using CS6 on this. And I should have mentioned that I use the perpetual license LR; it might be that CC subscriber's will get improvements sooner (perhaps a good reason to subscribe).

    If you are interested in visuals, and don't have some very specialized needs (say really critical color calibration), then you should have a retina display of some kind. Most of us who have them cannot go back. Non-retina is the visual equivalent of short shorts with tube socks, perms on males, and bad disco.
  11. thedeske macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2013
    Very funny ;)

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