Which 27 inch iMac for web design and photo editing?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jontarbuck, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. jontarbuck macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2013
    Hi guys,

    Am trying to decide which of the new 27 inch iMacs to go for - the base level ($1,799) one, upgraded with a Fusion Drive, or the next one up ($1,999), also with a Fusion Drive. I wonder if the slightly more powerful processor, and more powerful graphics card, justify the additional expense for my purposes. I also use Lightroom 4 for photo editing. I intend to upgrade the RAM to at least 16GB after purchase.

    Any thoughts?


  2. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    The difference in the available gpus isn't very meaningful. The lower ones come with less ram, which could be an issue later. Lightroom doesn't care what gpu you use. It could be anything. Photoshop uses some OpenCL, and draws in OpenGL by default. When it comes to specs, they list by required vram, and required frameworks by OpenGL/OpenCL version. CS6 suggests at least 512MB of ram, but OpenGL drawing still runs at 256. It makes little difference. The program can use it for liquify, iris blur, and a few other things, but it doesn't make a real difference in actual use. Iris blur is the only one that is painfully slow on the cpu. Everything else is fine, even with large files. If you use After Effects or Premiere, they use CUDA. You could probably find benchmarks for playback and AE raytracing on barefeats, but don't get caught up in the wrong specs. What really matters once things are loaded is ram.
  3. iamgalactic macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    Def need the Fusion Drive - it really is rather good tech. This is the most important BTO part for your needs. Then CPU, then GPU.

    (obv ram is v important, but you're doing that DIY as you should)
  4. jontarbuck thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2013
    Thanks for the advice guys. From what I can see from reviews, the difference between the 2.9GHz and 3.2GHz processors the two models come with is between 5% and 7% performance boost.

    I'm buying this machine with a view to keeping it as long as possible, so thought about buying the better machine to future-proof it a bit more. I am wondering whether Adobe is likely to make use of the GPU is future versions of the software.

    I also do a little video editing in iMovie, which is painful on my current 3.06GHz Core i3 21.5 inch iMac from mid 2010.

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