What is considered a heavy/power user?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by SimonQQ, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. SimonQQ macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2012
    I'm currently a student in university and occasionally use Xcode along with browsing the web and word documents.

    I see a lot of posts about people wanting an iMac because they're "power" users and I never understood what it takes to be considered that?

    Anyone else wonder the same thing or just me?
  2. lulla01 macrumors 68020


    Jul 13, 2007
    Power users are atleast to me people who do heavy video editing, IT remote managment, storing massive amounts of content, intense gamers, and in some cases developers.
  3. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    It's a term often used by a self-proclaimed tech über-geek to make themselves seem more important and proclaim they have higher needs than the majority of users. For example, you'll often here them say "I can't get by with a Mac Mini because I am a power user." I would guess that the majority of them are pimply-faced young males still living in their parents' basement. ;)
  4. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2011
    NY USA
    Yep true true and true. I am far from a power user, I have a 2010 i7 dual core MBP and I just upgraded to a 2012 i5 iMac. I wanted a desktop as I had no need for a laptop anymore. Anyway I agonized over the i7 and 16 gb upgrades, until last night I ran the following on my MBP:

    Safari with 15 tabs open
    Premiere Elements Photo editing two pictures
    Premiere Elements video editor with one HD movie open
    iTunes downloading 2 HD movies
    A bunch of services like Backblaze, Dropbox, OneTouch, etc
    App Store

    With all that open and running, I still had over 2 GB of memory free and was using less than 30% of my CPU power and the computer never lagged and no spinning wheels. I think the average user, even the occasional heavy user can easily get by with an i5 quad and 8 gb of memory for a good long time.

    Yet I laugh when I read how the 2010 MBP just cannot handle most peoples day to day "workflow". I was seriously just going to buy a large screen and turn my MBP into a desktop, but my son needed a computer for school and a nice 21.5" iMac with Fushion drive showed up in the refurb store so I jumped on it.
  5. Lil Chillbil macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Jan 30, 2012
    by definniton it is someone who either

    A: Needs over 4,000 gigs of storage
    B:Needs to have many power hungry tasks open all at the same time such as photoshop, final cut, Safari with 15 tabs open, skype and idvd all running
    C: Games on their mac Like I do. I play Call of duty modern warefare, minecraft and crysis 1 and 2

    i'm all of the above
  6. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2011
    NY USA
    I play COD MWF and actually Black Ops on my 2010 MBP, I also run a Minecraft server and play the game off the same machine as the server is running, I wouldn't call that being a power user.
  7. SR20DETDOG macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2011
    Queensland Australia
    Honestly, mostly this. Any true 'power user' would probably never use the term as it's quite ambiguous and doesn't really mean anything specifically.

    Personally, I would define a power user as someone who uses the computer's hardware at or close to its limits as a job or hobby. And by that I mean using 100% CPU for the occasional Handbrake conversion or 16GB RAM for 10 Tumblrs and Youtube is not a power user.

    I consider myself a power user on occasions.
    I'm an artist (not professionally) and work with quite large files semi-often, while I manage to get by with the 4GB RAM I currently have it is a considerable hindrance. I plan to add 16GB, while 20GB is not entirely necessary the ability to dedicate 10GB to OSX and a Windows VM would be very welcome.

    As a part of my art I also do some 3D modelling/rendering, again large amounts of ram and fast processors are not absolutely necessary but do provide a substantial improvement.

    Yet for the majority of my computer usage (And I would asume most other people's) I turn off my 2nd monitor and let my HDD go to sleep.
  8. SimonQQ thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2012
    thanks for the responses everyone, I guess I'm considered an average user based on my daily usage.
  9. Hail Caesar macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2013
    I consider myself an empowered user vs being a powered user. I do minor things with my iMac, encoding, ripping, iTunes server, Aperture w/photos, safari, etc.

    I by no means do tons of video editing and things of the sort, minor stuff w/iMovie.
  10. GimmeSlack12, Mar 7, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013

    GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    I would consider a "Power user" to be a person who demands an efficient work flow. To achieve this efficiency they tweak and change their computer however it is needed to be able to move throughout the file-system with effortless movements to achieve results within their current work. They tweak their computer to the point that someone unfamiliar with their methods would not know how to use the Power User's computer.

    I think a Power User is an expert of the OS they use and understand many system facets that many people do not. It has NOTHING to do with the hardware that that person is using, rather it is an experience level. A Power User would find ways to be as efficient as possible with a iMac G4 running Tiger as they would with a iMac 2012 i7 running Mountain Lion. A Power User has an SSD in their 2007 iMac because they know it's the best bang for the buck, they don't need a new rMBP (yet).

    A Power User wants to get the job done. They don't want to mess around. They don't have time for clicking and dragging, that's why they use key-commands, Applescript and the Terminal like it's their job (cause it probably is!).

    A Power User doesn't gloat or brag about being a Power User because they don't even consider it a title, they just know how to do their work and do it fast.

    Power Users is a level of experience. It has nothing to do with hardware. Those who claim to be "Power Users" because they have an octo Mac Pro that they use for iPhoto are posers.

    EDIT: Power User's will always have a place in their heart for Quicksilver.
  11. karpich1 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    It's one of those phrases that might mean different things to different people.

    The barebones definition tends to include: someone that does "more" with their machine than the average user, usually requiring more than the bare-minimum PC-specs out there. While your regular / average user might just be someone that only uses their machine for Internet, Email, and MS Word documents.

    Usually I hear it when it's someone like myself in IT, who might use their computer for running developer database, developing code, administrating other machines, etc.

    In most cases, a MacMini would suit a power user fine since the only thing it lacks is a solid video card. And that would only affect gamers or people doing lots of video editing.

    I've never heard "Power User" used as a brag.

    Though I HAVE heard it used by gamers though, who say they need the TOP of the line machine to play games. Like "Pff, I'm a power user I need more than an i7 2.6 Quad" /Sigh
  12. Johnny Vegas macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2011
    I agree with GimmeSlack12. A power user is someone who efficiently uses their computer to the best of its ability. It has everything to do with software, and how well you get around the OS.

    To sum it up, you are not a power user if:
    You think installing a bigger hard drive will increase your computer's "memory".
    You think your computer is running slower because the kid has too many games on it.
    You don't know the difference between hub, switch and router. (this is what keeps me from being a power user) :eek:
    You yell at someone because they are standing on the Ethernet cord and slowing down your internet.
    You think you're really a cousin of an African prince who will make you rich if you send them your bank account info. (To hell with the IT guy for saying otherwise)
    And, if you don't know the difference between "lose" and "loose". (my biggest forum pet-peeve) :p

  13. iamgalactic macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    power user...

    working with big images in photoshop and indesign today on new 27" imac:


    Attached Files:

  14. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    My page outs average 10GB daily. It's not power user, it's power hungry. :D
  15. AndiS. macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2012
    I always thought it meant at least a 1RM of 500 lbs dead lifts, and 300 on the bench.

    Couldn't resist, but seriously, it's actually a good question. I would also think it's somebody, who uses the computer at max or at least close to maximum capability, for professional purposes.
  16. elev8d macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2008
    I don't consider myself a power user, but I still will buy the best machine I can possibly afford because my time is valuable and I don't like waiting when running processor intensive tasks. Hence I get the best available processor and run off straight SSDs. Eventually I'll add a RAID external, but really don't want to worry about that.

    I'm purchasing the best available GPU with the next iMac although I'm not planning on getting much use out of it... that's more just for future proofing/resale value.

    Edit: I use my computer for audio related tasks. Being able to run many HQ tracks simultaneously and render quickly and efficiently is important to me.
  17. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2011
    NY USA
    You still have 15 gb of memory free....how many images were open, what else was open and what sized images. Just curious.


    You know a Mac Mini and a nice Dell Ultrasharp monitory would be a far better computer set up for your needs right? Just as powerful, less money.
  18. iamgalactic, Mar 9, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013

    iamgalactic macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    Well, that was yesterday but if memory servers correctly - 1 in Indesign, around 8-10 in Photoshop. 2 of those in photoshop were A4 300dpi with lots of layers and smart objects.

    Also working in Illustrator and having Pages, Numbers, Safari and Mail open.

    I guess 15gb free isn't bad - but those page outs mean I didn't at various points.

    Indesign was set on high quality display for the viewport.
  19. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2009
    Durham, UK
    Whilst i do agree the term "power user" is applicable in some cases (e.g. scientists, devs, IT professionals, designers and content producers etc) it is thrown around a little too much by those who simply spend a lot of money to spend and have an interest in technology. On this forum i do see this a lot, when in fact the term "prosumer" is much more accurate for their usage habit:

  20. steve119 macrumors 6502

    Mar 2, 2012
    Scotland, land of the haggis
    Video encoding and editing hd material could be construed as being a power user, but although I do this I still would not class myself as a power user.;)

    I have seen people brag about being a 'power user' on this forum, in respect that because they think they are one, that everyone else knows nothing. ;)
  21. cjmillsnun, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013

    cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    So Graphics Professionals (ie PS) are not power users?

    To me a power user is someone who knows about the mechanics of the system and does more on it than the average user.
  22. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I'd say a power user is someone whose workflows are able to maximally utilise the recourses provided by the system. Some technical knowledge is also a plus.
  23. jblagden macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2013
    Yeah, a quad-core CPU is really quite good, especially when it has hyperthreading. Though, I wish I had gone with the 2.8 GHz CPU option when I bought my late 2011 13" MacBook Pro. My problem with the iMac is that the CPU and RAM are soldered in unless you spend an extra $500 to get the 27" iMac, and the SSD is proprietary (making it prohibitively expensive to upgrade). I could probably excuse all of that if Apple still used Nvidia GPUs.

    For those who don't already know, the designations for mobile and desktop i5's and i7's are not equivalent. A mobile i5 is dual-core, while a desktop i5 is quad-core and a mobile i7 is quad-core while a desktop i7 has hyperthreading and it can range from having 4 cores all the way up to having 8 cores (last time I checked).
  24. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    I would define it as someone that is pushing a given device to its max more often then not.

    I don't necessarily consider myself one but I do a lot of video editing and encoding and could benefit from a CPU with more cores for faster encode times.

    This is the reason I don't have a Mac Mini.
  25. jblagden macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2013
    How many cores would you like? 4? 6? 8?

Share This Page