upgrade or replacement for two Macs

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Diogones, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. Diogones, Aug 15, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013

    Diogones macrumors regular


    Dec 23, 2009
    Hey all,

    My friend and I have a photography business, and we both use our Macs to process video and picture files for clients.

    His Mac: http://goo.gl/aPRcbK
    A 2008 24'' iMac

    My Mac: http://goo.gl/sC14nw
    A 2010 13'' C2D MBP

    We've been very pleased with our Macs, and are glad we switched from Windows, however, over the past two years, we've both noticed significant slowdown with our Macs.

    My question is: Is it worth it to upgrade them, or to simply sell them and use the money to upgrade to newer models?

    I could easily max out the RAM in his iMac, as that is not using the full amount. Similarly, my MBP could use more RAM, as well as a faster HDD. I'm almost considering upgrading the Mac to an SSD, removing the optical drive, and installing a second HDD in its place. I have an external optical drive so it wouldn't be an issue.

    I can also upgrade both of our OSes, as he's running Leopard and I'm running Snow Leopard. An upgrade to Mountain Lion to both of them, using a clean install, could be just the ticket to revive them.

    On the other hand, I'm wondering if it's worth the time and expense. After all, I've heard that getting a quad core CPU could be more useful for lots of video and photo processing jobs. For just a hundred or so more dollars, we could both get newer Macs with the "i" Intel series. Is upgrading the RAM and HDD on the laptop enough, or would faster processors be called for? We do use Adobe CS6, iPhoto, Aperture, and other resource-intensive programs.

    Any advice would be gratefully accepted!
  2. toddzrx macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2012
    I'm not a photo guy, but if I were in your shoes, I'd keep the 2010 MBP but replace the 2008 iMac, simply based on the age of the machines.

    That said, I would also install an SSD in the MBP. It's pretty easy to do on that machine, and I think you'll notice a significant improvement. I did my first SSD install nearly 3 years ago, and I refuse to go back to a HD as my primary drive (I still use them for mass storage like my backup drive and music). At this point, SSD's are pretty reasonable in price, especially when you consider that it will most likely extend the useful life of the machine an extra 2 years or so (at least that's my experience).
  3. Bear, Aug 15, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013

    Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Based on what you run, get new systems. You want faster processors. Although you waited this long, you might as well wait for the Haswell updates, especial if you're getting a MacBook Pro.
  4. Diogones thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 23, 2009
    Thanks for the reply Bear!

    I think you're right; it's probably a good idea to switch over to multi-core systems. I'm not sure if we'd wait for the Haswell updates though, simply because we would be upgrading to newer systems, not necessarily brand new Macs. I guess it all depends on the budget.
  5. Diogones thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 23, 2009
    Thanks for the suggestions todd! Yeah, the MBP is still fairly new, so it may just need a new drive and some more RAM to get it running smoothly again. The iMac is a little bit older, and probably should be replaced by a newer iMac, or at least a large monitor that we could connect to my MBP. This is especially relevant because upgrading the HDD in an iMac is quite a bit more work than a MBP.

    The only issue I have is that I'm wondering if the C2D in the MBP will be adequate for our work, or if getting a faster processor might help improve the workflow and job processing speed for our projects. It could simply be the case that the bottleneck lies with the OS, RAM, and HDD, and that the C2D is sufficient.
  6. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    I suspect your bottleneck is spread across the RAM, HDD and C2D. So even if more RAM and a SSD improve your performance (and they probably will) you next bottleneck will definitely be the C2D.

    You might want to look at refurbished Macs on the Apple web site to save money. This way you get a full 1 year warranty and you can add AppleCare for more protection if you want.
  7. Saltymac macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Rocky Mt State
    Replace unit

    I don't see that an upgrade to Mt Lion on your present machine will increase speed in your application. The i7 chip would assist you in photo and video work as well as a more powerful video card. Upgrade the imac would be my recommendation. If you have the space, a 4,1 or 5,1 macpro would be another way to go. Keep the MacBook for now.

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