What config iMac do I need? (PS, Maya, Ableton, more)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Liffey, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. Liffey, Mar 3, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015

    Liffey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    #1
    I am sick of my 2009 iMac freezing in the middle of work and just being slow in general with large files, so I am looking into a new one.

    I typically use:

    Photoshop (often juggling several 2GB+ files at once)
    ZBrush
    Maya
    Unity 3D
    Ableton Live
    Reason
    Then of course I also have Safari, iTunes and a couple other random apps running.

    My current iMac is Late 09, 2.66GHz i5, 12GB DDR3, Radeon 4850 512 MB with an SSD. Even when I'm using Photoshop alone I can sense it slowing down. It crashes nearly every day. Maya can be a disaster.

    What configuration would be required to run the above apps simultaneously and quickly? Rarely would I have them all open at once, but if I'm going to upgrade I want it to be worthwhile. I'm willing to wait til the next refresh but I'd rather not.

    Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    A 27" with an i7, 16GB RAM (can upgrade yourself), pure SSD and an upgraded GPU. That would last you for quite a bit of time.
     
  3. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #3
    The Retina makes an excellent choice for graphic design. I second yjchua95's advice above with this additional detail.
     
  4. JustFoJ macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    #4
    I think you definitely want the 27" retina, especially considering how much graphics work you do.

    • Upgrade to the i7 processor
    • If you feel comfortable, purchase the standard amount of RAM and just upgrade it yourself (much cheaper).
    • If you're going to be keeping this machine for a long time, I'd go with the 1TB SSD; it's less likely to break down (no mechanical parts) and is much faster, too. You could also get a smaller internal SSD and buy an external one later, too.
    • I'd upgrade the graphics considering how much you're doing

    Just my opinion, of course. But this configuration will probably keep you running for quite a while!
     
  5. Liffey thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    #5
    Is running intensive applications off of an external SSD a viable option? The price of the built-in SSD is the biggest barrier for me right now.

    And yes I will upgrade RAM myself to 16 :)
     
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #6
    Not really, because:
    1. It's not running at full speed
    2. Sleeping the iMac would disconnect the ports and hence the SSD as well, so it won't switch back on from sleep.
     
  7. kepler20b macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2014
    #7
    get an ssd, i7, and 8gb of ram that you upgrade to 24 or 32.

    you dont need to spend the extra on your gpu unless you game.


    If you are worried about overpaying for SSD, you should get the lowest config and purchase a usb3/tb2 external enclosure that you can move files to and from depending on what you need.
     
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #8
    I disagree, the upgraded GPU can really help in speeding up CUDA-assisted rendering (it'd be useful for Maya).

    Besides, considering that the iMac is already so expensive, paying extra for the upgraded GPU isn't going to put a large dent into it.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    [[ What configuration would be required to run the above apps simultaneously and quickly? ]]

    Mac Pro time...
     
  10. cltd macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2014
    #10
  11. AppleFan360, Mar 4, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015

    AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #11
    If a pure SSD system is out of your budget, a 1TB or 3TB Fusion should work fine. The SSD evangelists around here love to spend other people's money. The Fusion drive is fast and a great value. BTW, the audio issue theory with Fusion drives has since been disproved. Those thread links posted are very old.
     
  12. cltd macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2014
    #12
    Yeah, very old, less than month ago... :rolleyes:

    "Del Rei Feb 9, 2015 8:47 PM
    Re: Massive problem with audio interface"
     

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