Ultimate Mac Pro for Photoshop ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by HooHar, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. HooHar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #1
    OK folks - wish I could say money no object - BUT - what's the best VALUE FOR MONEY solution. If I was to get a mac pro for photography (huge amount of storage req'd (currently have 1Tb of files) - needs to be fast as well but I'd rather spend by £ on extra RAM than extra MHz that won't make as much difference. Also - are scratch drives really that important nowadays given that these machines are so fast anyway. What would be your choice - dual v's quad, What HDDs (fitted or aftermarket ;)), how much RAM (regularly working with files up to 500Mb), what monitor - can't wait for new CDs any longer.

    Interested to hear your thoughts...
    Cheers
    HooHar
     
  2. Fast Shadow macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 9, 2004
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #2
    Scratch drives are a must if you're working with very large images containing many layers. 30+ megapixel images, heavy pre-print work, etc.
     
  3. g4cubed macrumors 6502a

    g4cubed

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    #3
    Scratch files are essentially about virtual memory space, not processor speed. You don't want your fast processor to be waiting for files, so a dedicated scratch drive is a good idea even/especially for a fast processor.
     
  4. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #4
    Quad 2.8GHz should be fine. See if you can find a refurb if you want to save a little extra cash.

    Memory: 10GB of memory as it's reasonably cheap (buying two 2x2GB from a 3rd party). Buying 8GB from Crucial UK is about £40 or so more expensive than importing from OWC (macsales.com). You don't need to buy it all in one go of course, can buy 4GB and see how you get on.

    Graphics: I don't know if the 3870 is easy to find here yet, might want to wait for the 4800 series cards, but you may not need more than the 2600XT anyway.

    Storage: You have many options and really it's all about how much redundancy you want and how valuble your files are to you. I mean you could have current work, applications & OS and archieved files all protected against hard drive failure with one or more RAID setups and also off site storage. A scratch disk might be beneficial too, but you might want to see how you get on without one first, or at least if you have a recent SATA drive try using that to start with rather than buying a high speed drive from the kick off. Really you won't go wrong with any recent Samsung, Seagate or Western Digital drive.

    Display: Depends how much you want to spend. For a starting point on colour accurate displays try www.colourconfidence.com or www.cancomuk.com if they have a store near you go down and speak to advisors and look at what they have. Maybe you have a different store near you that can offer advice. I really wouldn't just buy a display without seeing it first, or at least what else is on offer if you don't have to. www.trustedreviews.co.uk may also be useful.
     
  5. Fast Shadow macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 9, 2004
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #5
    For color accuracy the NEC 2490 is pretty awesome if you work in sRGB. If you work in Adobe RGB then the NEC 2690 is also awesome.

    I'm not a big fan of wide gamut displays (such as the 2690) so for me it came down to the 2490 or the Apple cinema displays. I opted for the Apple displays because they were cheaper and because I live very close to an Apple store. Makes it easier dealing with any problems vs. having to ship a 2490 back to wherever. That being said, the 2490 is a superior display vs. the ACD in pretty much all aspects.
     
  6. HooHar thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #6
    Would you still get an ACD today? - even though they're old tech in comparison - I'm still tempted - they're so beautiful...
    :rolleyes:
     
  7. shfreelance macrumors 6502a

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    May 24, 2008
    Location:
    Eustis, FL
    #7
    Yes! As far as I am concerned they are better then any monitor I have owned and are comparable to a NEC with a cheaper price tag.
     
  8. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #8
    That's the main reason I think people still buy them ;). They are decent displays and when properly calibrated they are good for colour accurate work. However it doesn't cost much more to get an NEC over the ACD and they are most definatly a better display. Then on the other end if colour accuracy isn't so important Dell and HP and the like have much more functionality to offer at a better price.
     
  9. Fast Shadow macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 9, 2004
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #9
    I bought two 23" ACDs a week ago and would do so again in a heartbeat. The NEC 2490 is a better display but it also costs more money.
     
  10. HooHar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #10
    Bit the bullet and got myself a nice MacPro today - wonderful !

    Here's my spec:

    2.8 Octo
    16Gb RAM
    4x1Tb HDD
    30" ACD

    I could wait forever - I don't think there will be any changes around the corner that will make me regret this decision. Hope not anyway !
    :D

    Cheers
    HooHar
     
  11. shfreelance macrumors 6502a

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    May 24, 2008
    Location:
    Eustis, FL
    #11
    Did you get the RAM and Harddrives from Apple? Not there's nothing wrong with that. I support people who have the money to give to Apple, since Apple puts allot back into R&D.
     
  12. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #12
    I'd hope not. 16GB of RAM and four 1TB drives costs £2,350 ($4,150) more from Apple than a third party.
     
  13. highjumppudding macrumors 6502

    highjumppudding

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #13
    any 8-core mac pro will do more than fine... add an internal hard drive to run your projects and files from. at least 4gbs of ram. CS4 will be a plus when it is available. any video card will be decent up front and can be upgraded in the future.
     
  14. HooHar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #14
    No - I'm sorry but I don't think Steve will go hungry. Got the base machine from an Apple approved seller and got them to put the HDDs and RAM in for me but prices were really good. RAM almost as cheap as I could have got by mail order but fully fitted. HDDs more expensive than mail order but no waiting and extra hassle.

    From phone call to having the machine in my hands took just 2 hours - is that great service or what !

    Apart from telling me there was 1 minute left to wait for the final hour of migration from my MBP everything is smooth so far.

    Cheers
    HooHar
     
  15. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #15
    Old Tech? :eek:

    Wait... if your serious about using Photoshop for anything creative and desire colour accuracy and matching for print. The ADC's are the way to go. You're not gonna find a good alternative with spot on colour - they're what we used to call 'pre-press monitors'.

    If your just using the machine for image manipulation only, and light DTP then any of the iMacs/MacPro's will offer you more then enough power. Currently Photoshop will only support about 4Gb of RAM so unless your planning to expand into film productions and animation, buying a MacPro would be an over kill. Though doesn't mean you shouldn't as they'll offer more future proofing.
     
  16. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #16
    Well you can get better alternatives, but in the UK you are looking at another £500 for a 30" NEC or Eizo. Not to take anything away from the ACD though as it is perfectly fine for colour accurate work.
     
  17. iamcheerful macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #17
    i/o

    i'm not to certain what your budget is, but have a look at this site. the quick summary is that you'll get excellent i/o numbers.

    Quick quote:


    a personal opinion, i'm not entirely certain that you can boot from that drive, but even then, you'll still be flying thru' most tasks limited to the CPU(s) as of now.
     
  18. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Location:
    B'ham
    #18

    No. I know pretty things are important to people but it's the quality of the picture that is most important, is it not ? The NEC, Eizo and LaCie monitors have MUCH higher image quality. Good luck
     
  19. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Alpine, UT
    #19
    Odd. So it looks like a DDR RAM Tray with a SATA connector. That's a LOT of money for a 16GB Max hard drive.
     
  20. iamcheerful macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #20
    guess that's the current price for speed at the moment ... cheaper than 16GB RAM from AppleStore?
     

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