The Right iMac Set-Up For Me?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by macphoto44, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. macphoto44 macrumors newbie

    Dec 27, 2011
    Currently have

    2007 15' MacBook Pro
    2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 256 MB
    Mac OS X Lion

    Ideally want to upgrade to

    27-inch iMac
    3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
    4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB (plan to upgrade to 16GB on my own)
    2TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive
    AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5

    I'm a recent college grad and no longer have the luxury of using the school's Mac Pro computers and my MBP is only capable of internet browsing at this point, so I've been saving up to fund my own iMac purchase. By all means I am not a hardware guy so while I know this set up that I'm looking to purchase is certainly loaded, I'm not exactly knowledgable of each of the components I'm adding on and if they are 100% necessary.

    My basic wants and needs are to be able to work in Photoshop and Final Cut Pro 7 without any lags. While I'm working I typically have iTunes running and a browser with at least 4-5 tabs open and stream a lot of content online. My photo files range from 300mb-1GB (hi-res film scans) and only grow in size as layers are added. Video work is HD, and while I am fairly new to video, the work is slowly starting to pick up and becoming more intense. I'm looking for a machine that will last 4-6 years while I begin to establish myself. While all these specs may be WAY more than what I need currently, photo and video just keep growing and I want a machine that will be able to keep up with the technology (and the technology I can get my hands on the more I work) say 3 years from now. Is it safe to say that I should be okay with this set up? As I learn and experiment more I'm sure I will take on more programs under my arsenal. Will this type of set up be hard to resell later on if I choose to upgrade?

    I just feel like I might be over doing it, but I really want a sound system to produce work on for the coming years.
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Your iMac configuration is what I would buy right now. I am planning to upgrade my 2009 iMac at the next release, and I am hoping that the SSD/HDD sizes are increased. I could *probably* live with 2TB over the next 3 years... but I would prefer a 3TB drive to give me extra headroom without using an external drive.

    In 2009, my entire personal data set size was about 600GB. Now it is 1.2TB. It seems to grow at a faster pace as time goes on.

    I currently rip movies that I buy... but I *MIGHT* give up on movies. With services such as Netflix... I am not sure it makes sense to own movies anymore. The reward-to-space issue seems to be poor. There are a few things that I might want to keep... but honestly, I do not feel compelled to buy videos very often anymore.

    My photo library has been groaning much faster than in the past because I have switched to RAW+JPEG for my photos which drives storage space quickly.

    I think that if I give up on videos, I'll be fine with 2TB for the next few years. Still... I would like more space. I know I can go external... or I can transfer the movies over to a home server. That is a backup plan.

  3. zarf2007 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    London, UK

    I went for the same setup (added extra 8GB memory after market), and it does everything you mentioned and also good for some gaming as well.....if you want to future proof I can highly recommend it, with the thunderbolt ports it gives you future expandability.....also after going SSD you will never go back, normal HD seems like a dog....
  4. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    You probably don't want to hear it, but there's a reason the school uses their Mac Pros for this. If you want a machine for real business, the mere fact that it's super hard to replace the drive in an iMac should point you toward the Mac Pro. With AppleCare you could insulate yourself a bit, but 3 years would be max.

    There aren't many areas that are on the bleading edge of tech but unfortunately you've chosen one in editing HD video. Messing with it requires as much power as you can afford, so assume that if it's gonna be a business for you that you're going to be doing a lot of hardware upgrading. If this is a business you're planning to get into, develop a plan for amortizing costs and so on and let that help you guide your business decisions about equipment, not just speed specs.


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