Which Imac to get for photo editing?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by redryder, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. redryder macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2010
    Hi guys.

    I’m finding my macbook unibody performance slow on some of my Lightroom plugins, so looking for an upgrade.

    I don’t know if I should get the 27” quad-core Imac or the 21”. 80-85% of time spent on the system would be Lightroom photo editing, maybe 5% HD video editing, and the rest web surfing and working with Microsoft office. Would the i7 quadcore be overkill? I could afford the quadcore, but don’t want to pay for power I won’t be using. I’m also concerned that 27” would be too big. I'm perfectly happy with the current Dell 22" external monitor that I'm using now.
  2. 300D macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2009
    The original 233mhz iMac is great for editing photos, though you may want a 400mhz iMac DV SE for editing video.

    Seriously, any computer made in the last 5-10 years will be more than adequate. Pick whichever one you can afford.
  3. iann1982 macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2008
    Leicester, UK
    I've just got the quad i5 27", very very powerful compared to my C2D Macbook 13" 2.4ghz with 4gb ram.

    I've looked on it as a long term thing, there's power for today, and power for the future, I can easily put an extra 16gb of ram in to extend its life in the coming years.

    It doesn't really take up much more desk space than the 24" Dell it replaced, I've also been able to get rid of a USB hub, desktop test machine and external DVD rom - so all in my desk's now got a lot more space. The display's a thing of beauty - remember the 27" can also be used as a monitor for a displayport Mac.
  4. redryder thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2010

    Actually I beg to differ. Some of the plug-ins I run in Lightroom (i.e. Nik Software’s Noise Reduction and Sharpening) run pretty sluggishly on my 2ghz macbook with 4GB RAM. That’s why I’m looking for an upgrade. I’m just wondering if the 3.0ghz Imac can do the job, or if I need to go quad-core.
  5. 300D macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2009
    Noise Reduction and Sharpening? Come on, even Preview has those features.
  6. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    If you have the $ for quad core, get it. The 27" screen is amazing for photo editing and the extra horsepower is never bad when thinking about future
  7. MacRodster macrumors member

    May 31, 2010
    I just picked up the i5 iMac 27 inch and I am very happy with my purchase. Primary use is Photo Editing then some Audio Production/Mixing, Video Converting and then day to day office stuff.

    Here's a Pic - Highly recommended!

    Attached Files:

  8. alph45 macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2010
    Bud, you have no idea what your talking about.

    Bud, you have no idea what your talking about. Any comp last 5-10 years? I think not. The fact that you would compare a preview function with a lightroom function (or in this case a lightroom plugin) further indicates you have no idea what lightroom is or what the sys requirements are. Spend a lot of time dealing with 1000's of RAW photos? Pro NR plugins are processor intensive, particularly when handling 5k+pix files.

    I prefer i7 27", but both i5/i7 will simply blow away your current laptop. I do a lot of video production as well and this is really where it (i7) shines for me, particularly for Color, AE and Compressor. Again, both will rock lightroom.
  9. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    The iMac with the most ram will suit your needs. So in saying that, I think you should get baseline 27 inch, and spend an extra 100usd putting in 4more gb of ram, for a total of 8gb of ram.

    Ram's probably the most important factor when working with really large photos or canvases. (of course that all depends if the program you're using is 64bit or not)

    If you do enough video editting (like once a day or once every couple days) then you should definitely consider the quad cores as well. If you have the money, go for the best you can get. No sense in trying to save money over a lesser product when it comes to computers-- especially when they're not as upgradeable as your more conventional towers.
  10. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    The quadcore is most certainly not overkill, especially for that 5% video, but it's also beneficial for picture processing. The 27" display is wonderful -- you won't want to go back to anything smaller once you see the resolution and plenty of room to view your images and palates. I've even connected a 20" Dell (1600x1200 resolution) on the side for even more screen.

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