White 24" iMac vs. Alum. 24" iMac - for Photoshop

Discussion in 'iMac' started by DHart, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. DHart macrumors 6502

    DHart

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #1
    In a bit of a quandry here... I have three white iMac 20" 2Ghz Core Duo machines that I've been using for Photoshop editing of portraits.

    I've been very happy with these machines... the quality and displays (IPS panels) are wonderful. Problem is they're feeling a little slow when using filters. The machines are maxed out at 2 GB RAM. They run fast enough in Photoshop CS3 when not running filters, but I tend to run filters a lot and have multiple apps/windows open. SO... more processor speed and more RAM to the rescue, right? And a bigger screen wouldn't be at all bad!

    In come the new aluminum iMacs... which look AWESOME at first glance... great size (24"), great processor speed 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, great maximum RAM (4 GB)! Sounds too good to be true... and it is... danged glossy screen and sucky exaggerated color saturation. Major flys in an otherwise glorious ointment.

    SO, I find that some white 24" iMacs with 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo processors are available, max RAM is just 3 GB, but that's better than 2GB.

    What would you choose for Photoshop editing of professional portraits... go for the faster aluminum 24" iMac with 4 GB RAM, glossy screen, and exaggerated saturation or the somewhat slower white iMac 24" with 3 GB RAM and the nice, matte 24" display?

    My money's on the white 24" iMac while I can still get it... but am I sacrificing too much in processor speed (2.1 vs. 2.4) and RAM (3 GB vs. 4 GB) for the ideal matte screen and natural colors?
     
  2. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    #2
    CS2 and a G5 MacPro.

    I'll spot edit on LCD, but I think CRT is still the way to go for photography.
     
  3. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    #3
    If you're seriously doing think you're computer is up to speed, it doesn't make sense to make a baby step that may not help all that much. Four gb is double two gb ram, but unless you're paging to the hard drive more ram isn't going to help much.

    I'd also list the difference between the processors as minor.

    What file sizes/types are you working with?
     
  4. DHart thread starter macrumors 6502

    DHart

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #4
    I should point out that my 20" iMacs are Core Duos (NOT Core "2" Duo's), so a 2 GHz CoreDuo is probably a fair bit behind a 2.1GHz Core2Duo even if the clock speed isn't all that different.

    I shoot with a 5D which puts out a 36 MB image. I'll typically open 5 or 10 images to work on at a time. I'm sure I'm doing some calls on the HD with just 2 GB RAM.

    Perhaps I should just "keep on keepin' on", but something tells me the 2.1 GHz Core 2 Duo with 3 GB RAM is going to be noticibly quicker than a 2.0 GHz CoreDuo with 2 GB RAM. Or am I wrong?

    I think I'll at least trade one of my white 20" iMac 2 GHz CoreDuos for a new white 24" 2.1 GHz iMac while new ones are still available, just to put it to the test. With all I'm reading about the displays on the aluminum iMacs (even the 24"ers-oversaturated colors & glossy screens), I think I'll want to avoid them altogether for professional purposes. I guess my next step is to MacPros and high end monitors, dang it. If Apple would only continue to use their older display panels in the new aluminum iMacs, I'd be happy as a clam! But that just ain't the way it's looking.
     
  5. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    #5
    Not as much as you'd expect. My macbook is CD 2.0. My friend's is a C2D 2.16. He has double the ram I do(1vs2), but any speed he has over me is negated by my experience in photoshop.

    I'd have activity monitor up in the background to check if you're swapping out to the disk often and to check where memory usage is at. If you're little ram circle has no free space and your disk activity is high, then I'd consider upgrading.
     
  6. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #6
    300Mhz might knock off a few seconds off a filter that takes a minute, and there's little difference between 3 and 4 gig. I'd be surprised if you ended up using more than 2.5Gb with many programs open. Video editing programs such as Final Cut will probably appreciate 4gigs, but you don't need 4Gb for Photoshop work.

    Go for the white for the matte screen, but make sure you get a good deal on it. Paying only slightly less for the white over the aluminium wouldn't be a good investment financially.

    What kind of filters are you using? The common ones such as blurs take very little time on any G5 iMac and above.
     
  7. DHart thread starter macrumors 6502

    DHart

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #7
    Comparing my current 20" iMac to the white 24", the clock speed difference of 2 to 2.1 isn't where the main difference lies.. it's in the fact that my current machines are 1st generation Intel CoreDuo and the 24" white iMac is a Core 2 Duo... I think that difference alone is relatively noticible. Speed tests I've seen show a noteworthy difference.

    See the Photoshop CS2 test here:

    http://barefeats.com/imcd3.html

    I run Imagegenic Portraiture on every image and it usually takes about 10 seconds, which seems like an eternity. I also occasionally run SHineOff which takes longer than that. Amazing filters, though, which overall save me a lot of time in retouching complexions.

    I can get the 24" white new in the box for $1600.
     
  8. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    MD & ATL,GA
    #8
    ALUMINUM 24" 2.8ghz C2E 4gb ram. I recommend 750GB for you.

    With all due respect, I find this thread pointless. In the future, I bet you Apple will still have Glossy displays, I can't see them turning back soon. And I can't imagine people getting an outdated product at revision of the iMac. It's ridiculous, now, maybe its okay, in the future, its really scary to shoot for an outdated machine, especially when the new imacs got an EXTREME makeover, i mean, who knew it would get a 2.8 CORE 2 EXTREME!?!?!

    So take my advice. You could get a Colorvision Spyder2PRO display calibrator, I've got one, GREAT investment
     
  9. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #9
    You only have to look out for the 20" one since it has a TN panel. Glossy is not a big deal, just dont point it towards any windows.

    The speed increase is not that big either, you would have to get a core 2 duo extreme model for a significant increase. The biggest improvement youll find is the larger resolution which will increase your work space.
     
  10. DHart thread starter macrumors 6502

    DHart

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #10
    Hmmmm..... got me thinking.... perhaps an aluminum extreme 24" wouldn't be as bad as I have been thinking it might be... I'm still a little concerned about the oversaturated colors with respect to calibration with my lab. I'm used to WYSIWYG with the natural color rendition of my 20" CoreDuo 2 GHz iMacs and have heard that the alum. 24" has artificially high color saturation which could lead to me getting flat looking prints... unless I do some mental gymnastics interpolating from the screens saturation to the actual output.
     
  11. bluedoggiant macrumors 68030

    bluedoggiant

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    MD & ATL,GA
    #11
    Hmm, I'm not sure. I think its accurate. My father, a photographer, printed a picture from his Matte display, and it looked nothing like it on the glossy paper. He emailed me the picture, and it looked the same as it did on the glossy paper. Not sure how you print your picture though.
     

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