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Gear Talk => Software & Accessories => Topic started by: daniemare on November 30, 2012, 06:04:55 PM

Title: Which iMac
Post by: daniemare on November 30, 2012, 06:04:55 PM
This might have been asked before, but I would really like some advice on which iMac, from those models just launched, to get.

I am looking at the 27" Desktop and I am going to configure it to at least include the 3TB drive.  I will upgrade the memory (2 extra 8GB = 24GB total) after market as it is cheaper.  Now I can just upgrade everything, but I would like not to if there is really no need or real world impact.

So, I need the community's advice for the CPU and GPU specs to lead me in understanding where my money will best be spend
1 - CPU > Taking into account my usage, is there any need/benefit to upgrade from the i5 2.9GHz to the i5 3.2GHz or i7 3.6GHz --- each step = $200
2 - GPU > Taking into account my usage, would I benefit from the increase the 512MB to 1GB memory ---- $150 upgrade

My Usage (None for professional purposes):
Photo Editing
 - Aperture.  I have also recently started to work more with RAW files and my current 2009 MacBook does feel the punch.
 - Photoshop Elements (rarely)
 - NIK HDR
Video Editing of family videos using iMovie
Family Computer usage: Word, Excel Internet, e-Mail.

Cameras: Hopefully Canon 6D and 12Mpix Panasonic GF3

PS - let this not be a discussion about Mac vs PC or Desktop vs Laptop.  Those choices are settled

Thanks
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: StephenC on December 01, 2012, 03:27:03 AM
I'm no expert but I suspect any of your choices will be up to the task and will trounce your 2009 MacBook.  Plus the screen is supposed to be brilliant!

I have just ordered a 27" 3.2GHz, 8GB RAM, 675MX 1GB graphics, Fusion drive for much the same work.  I have ordered 32GB aftermarket RAM as this is the cheapest 'upgrade' and I believe will make more difference than a processor or graphics card upgrade, for photo editing.  I suspect 32GB RAM is overkill but at the (non-Apple) price it was an easy decision.  Personally I keep a lot of my files (but not my photos) on an external drive so don't need a big internal drive.  Ideally I would have gone for a SSD as they are noticeably faster.  I gather the new Fusion Drive is nearly as quick, and was a lot cheaper, so you may wish to think about this.

Enjoy

Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: bycostello on December 04, 2012, 04:29:59 AM
photo and video, by the biggest and fastest of everything....
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: brianleighty on December 04, 2012, 01:12:28 PM
photo and video, by the biggest and fastest of everything....
I think this negates a valid price vs performance analysis. I just ended up building a hackintosh last night because the 27" iMac is out of my price range and the 21" is pretty much not upgradable at all unless you have apple do it which is super expensive. I think the stock CPU will be fast enough for you. Graphics card won't make a huge difference either. These are all incremental upgrades. The fusion drive though might be worth it. I made my own fusion drive since it's a hackintosh and it only cost me $75 extra. I think apple charges $250 which isn't cheap but for apple standards isn't bad. The only way to do this on an iMac if you don't get it with it is to setup a thunderbolt SSD and by that point you're better off just getting it from Apple. That's my take on it. So from Apple, possibly Fusion drive and then upgrade the ram your self.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: daniemare on December 06, 2012, 07:51:07 PM
photo and video, by the biggest and fastest of everything....
I think this negates a valid price vs performance analysis. I just ended up building a hackintosh last night because the 27" iMac is out of my price range and the 21" is pretty much not upgradable at all unless you have apple do it which is super expensive. I think the stock CPU will be fast enough for you. Graphics card won't make a huge difference either. These are all incremental upgrades. The fusion drive though might be worth it. I made my own fusion drive since it's a hackintosh and it only cost me $75 extra. I think apple charges $250 which isn't cheap but for apple standards isn't bad. The only way to do this on an iMac if you don't get it with it is to setup a thunderbolt SSD and by that point you're better off just getting it from Apple. That's my take on it. So from Apple, possibly Fusion drive and then upgrade the ram your self.

Thanks.  So you feel the stock i5 on the 27" is good enough.  What is the advantages of i7 then?
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: brianleighty on December 07, 2012, 08:26:56 AM
photo and video, by the biggest and fastest of everything....
I think this negates a valid price vs performance analysis. I just ended up building a hackintosh last night because the 27" iMac is out of my price range and the 21" is pretty much not upgradable at all unless you have apple do it which is super expensive. I think the stock CPU will be fast enough for you. Graphics card won't make a huge difference either. These are all incremental upgrades. The fusion drive though might be worth it. I made my own fusion drive since it's a hackintosh and it only cost me $75 extra. I think apple charges $250 which isn't cheap but for apple standards isn't bad. The only way to do this on an iMac if you don't get it with it is to setup a thunderbolt SSD and by that point you're better off just getting it from Apple. That's my take on it. So from Apple, possibly Fusion drive and then upgrade the ram your self.

Thanks.  So you feel the stock i5 on the 27" is good enough.  What is the advantages of i7 then?
Well you end up spending an extra $400 ($200 for the upgraded 27 and $200 for the processor) for it so my thinking is why not save that money and probably in another 3-4 years put that towards a new one. My best guess is you'll get a max 25% increase in CPU speed with the upgrade. From the last gen iMac to this one you're looking at a 25% increase in processor overall and some benchmarks I believe showed up to 100% increase. So if you  use that as your "upgrade path". Then over the course of 3-4 years you get more value for your money there. I have no doubt the stock 27" iMac will be plenty fast and will be a huge upgrade from your current system.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: V8Beast on January 26, 2013, 09:23:06 PM

Thanks.  So you feel the stock i5 on the 27" is good enough.  What is the advantages of i7 then?

This might be too little info too late, but the Core i7 can hyperthread while the core i5 can not. That means the Core i7 functions as an 8 core processor, while the Core i5 functions as a 4 core processor. I'd spend the extra couple of hundred bucks on the Core i7. The Core i5 is quite old at this point, and I'm surprised Apple offers it in a newly revamped machine like the iMac.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: fonts on January 26, 2013, 09:30:28 PM

Thanks.  So you feel the stock i5 on the 27" is good enough.  What is the advantages of i7 then?

This might be too little info too late, but the Core i7 can hyperthread while the core i5 can not. That means the Core i7 functions as an 8 core processor, while the Core i5 functions as a 4 core processor. I'd spend the extra couple of hundred bucks on the Core i7. The Core i5 is quite old at this point, and I'm surprised Apple offers it in a newly revamped machine like the iMac.

The i5 is a great inexpensive alternative. But honestly for photo and video, just like a previous poster said, you'll the good everything. GPU should def be atleast 1GB. You can definitely get by with the i5 if you don't have the money after getting the GPU, but if you can, get both.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: paul13walnut5 on January 26, 2013, 10:37:15 PM
I use a mac pro at work and an imac and macbook pro at home.

I've an old (in computer terms) i7 from 2009. 

The main upgrade I would consider is your internal drive, fusion or SSD, pref SSD, forget the 7200 option.
Personally I would spec two SSD's, one smaller for your system, one larger as an external raid capture scratch (can get great capacity per buck with 2 or 3x Baracuda HDDs stripe raided)

64bit processors on fast buses are only really working properly if you are getting the data throughput, the imac bus might be pretty fast, as may your ram, but the large spinnng 3tb disc is going to be the slow point.  With a system like what you are speccing the weakest link in the chain is data transfer.  120MB's or so is fantastic from an HDD, but you could be hitting double that with SSD's.  Then the extra RAM etc will make a difference.

System performance increases are always going to be hamstrung by a spinning disk, even thought the estaIII barracudas are fast.  SSD's are much faster, to the point where I would forsake some RAm (Buy crucial and retrofit your RAM) and the i7 for two internal SSDs and a 2x or 3x HDD external RAID.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Waterdonkey on January 26, 2013, 10:55:13 PM
I got the 27" 3TB Fusion Drive Fastest chip and all the ram i could fit.... and I haven't looked back.  Finally a FAST computer! Quick- quick like the wind! :o
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: V8Beast on January 26, 2013, 11:16:19 PM
I use a mac pro at work and an imac and macbook pro at home.

What are the specs on your Mac Pro and iMac, and how would you compare the photo editing abilities and speed of each? The new iMacs look nice, but I like how easily you can upgrade the Mac Pros. I already have a nice display, and I'd rather spend money on a tower than getting an all-in-one like the iMac. I suppose the big question is what kind of hardware and features the next Mac Pro is going to have.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: paul13walnut5 on January 26, 2013, 11:32:26 PM
Imac is 2009 i7 27", 2tb sys, 2x usb 1x fw800 external discs
8gb Ram, 10.6, cs5

MacPro is early 2008, dual 3.0 quads, 1gb radeon upgrade (stock card failed twice) blackmagic hd extreme, bay 1 system hhd, bay 2, time machine hdd for bay 1, bays 3&4 striped barracuda 2tbs giving 4tb at 270mb/s using software raid- and this is a sataII 3gb bus. Fw800 storage.

With a macpro tower you could have a 256 ssd system drive and striped bays 2,3&4, probably hitting 350-400mbs, 3x barracuda hdds giving massive capacity and massive speed for cost of one 512 ssd.

Top end i7 not costing much less than macpro, but macpro due decent upgrade.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: V8Beast on January 26, 2013, 11:41:08 PM
So is the Mac Pro much faster :)?
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: agierke on January 27, 2013, 12:45:55 AM
if you are not a professional then the standard 27" iMac with 8gb Ram out of box should be more than fine. unless you are crunching 1000's of images on a weekly basis the specs you quoted are overkill.

i'm running a i5 2.66 GHz with 8GB Ram, 1TB drive, and 512mb vidcard and its just fine at crunching through 3000+ image weddings while running multiple programs at the same time.

if you got extra money to burn i'd put it towards lenses.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: jabbott on January 27, 2013, 01:05:54 AM
I recommend going with the iMac 27" Core i7, as it trounces both of the i5 options on Geekbench:
http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks#64bit (http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks#64bit)

The late-2012 iMac 27" i7 3.4 GHz has benchmark numbers that are 35% higher than the late-2012 iMac 27" i5 3.2 GHz, and 40% better than the late-2012 iMac i5 2.9 GHz.  The price isn't 35-40% higher though...  it's only 10-22% more.  Considering you can't swap out the CPU later on, if you want longevity with your iMac it really helps to get the best CPU you can get when purchasing.  Over the last nine years I've only used two iMacs using this approach and still don't expect to upgrade for another year or two.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Niterider on January 27, 2013, 01:08:50 AM
Ahhh there are a lot of apple fanboys on this site  :'(

Do note that the iMac is a sealed system and you can't upgrade it in the future without paying apple an arm and a leg.

The iMac is based on laptop architecture thus its not going to be a true desktop in performance. There is a reason I have a $2500 workstation under my desk at work and not an iMac. Building yourself a Hackintosh is going to be your best bet if you want to maintain the mac os. Plus, the build minus the monitor will run you around $600 and you can put the money you saved towards camera gear.

Don't get me wrong, I dont hate the Macintosh Operating System, I despise Apple as a company. So whatever os you use, I could care less (unless you are using a unix/linux distribution other than the mac os, then I applaud you). Its shelling out over two grand on ridiculously overpriced hardware that frustrates me.   

I do not mean too offend you as many get when one insults apple. I just want to show you the alternative. If you at any point decide to go down the path of a Hackintosh, I would happily help you with the parts to buy and the information on how to build one.

Ohh and if it makes you feel better, feel free to insult windows ;D
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: intence01 on January 27, 2013, 03:59:09 AM
Niterider I disagree slightly.

Yes it's expensive, but when you compare spec for spec, Apple does charge quite a bit.  The products are generally usable and you don't waste time with stuff that doesn't work.  Instead you can use your time to simply use the product.

There isn't much difference between laptop/desktop architecture anymore.  Yes, performance is better with a big huge desktop, but what do you need the performance for?  Keep in mind with the iMac you're getting a 27" IPS screen.  After the computer is useless, I believe the screen is still usable via the thunderbolt port (but only with thunderbolt enabled devices, which right now are mostly apple laptops but that might change in the near future).  In any case, a 27" IPS (unless you buy some no-name brand on eBay) is going to run your $700+, so factor that into the specs.  It is NOT the same as the $199 27" specials you see all the time.

As for the hackintosh, don't do it.  I built one and it works ... mostly.  Sometimes something doesn't work, then you have to go through the forums and figured out what went wrong.  It's a fun project and I enjoyed doing it, but for a PC that's going to be used daily that I need to rely on, it simply doesn't cut it. 

My only suggestion is that if you don't need super-performance, buy a Mac-Mini instead, and a cheapo monitor for now (unless you have a monitor, if you do, use that).  When Apple releases a new Thunderbolt Display (27" IPS based on the NEW iMac monitor) either grab that or another high quality 27" IPS or PLS Monitor (Samsung, Asus, Dell Ultrasharp, etc.)  They're all going to be pricey.  That way you're separating the computer from the monitor, and can upgrade the PC every few years and keep the monitor.  The biggest drawback with the iMac is that it's difficult to upgrade yourself, and the PC side of the tech will likely get outdated well before the monitor.  Separate the two, and you can replace the PC every few years.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Niterider on January 27, 2013, 05:03:01 AM
Niterider I disagree slightly.

Yes it's expensive, but when you compare spec for spec, Apple does charge quite a bit.  The products are generally usable and you don't waste time with stuff that doesn't work.  Instead you can use your time to simply use the product.

There isn't much difference between laptop/desktop architecture anymore.  Yes, performance is better with a big huge desktop, but what do you need the performance for?  Keep in mind with the iMac you're getting a 27" IPS screen.  After the computer is useless, I believe the screen is still usable via the thunderbolt port (but only with thunderbolt enabled devices, which right now are mostly apple laptops but that might change in the near future).  In any case, a 27" IPS (unless you buy some no-name brand on eBay) is going to run your $700+, so factor that into the specs.  It is NOT the same as the $199 27" specials you see all the time.

As for the hackintosh, don't do it.  I built one and it works ... mostly.  Sometimes something doesn't work, then you have to go through the forums and figured out what went wrong.  It's a fun project and I enjoyed doing it, but for a PC that's going to be used daily that I need to rely on, it simply doesn't cut it. 

My only suggestion is that if you don't need super-performance, buy a Mac-Mini instead, and a cheapo monitor for now (unless you have a monitor, if you do, use that).  When Apple releases a new Thunderbolt Display (27" IPS based on the NEW iMac monitor) either grab that or another high quality 27" IPS or PLS Monitor (Samsung, Asus, Dell Ultrasharp, etc.)  They're all going to be pricey.  That way you're separating the computer from the monitor, and can upgrade the PC every few years and keep the monitor.  The biggest drawback with the iMac is that it's difficult to upgrade yourself, and the PC side of the tech will likely get outdated well before the monitor.  Separate the two, and you can replace the PC every few years.

Honestly, I have little experience with hackintosh builds. All of my computers are either on windows 7, windows 8, ubuntu or running a virtual machine of a different linux distribution. I have heard running a hackintosh is a hit and a miss for stability sake so I can understand the desire not to go down that route.

While the iMac has an IPS screen, I often find that the graphics cards that are in the iMac just dont cut it for QWHD resolution, especially if you get into CAD or 3D rendering. Just a preference, I am not the biggest fan of the glossy screens either. I prefer the anti-glare screens in the Dell Ultrasharps.

Probably the most important part of a custom build for me is just simply convenience. I have a sound card, multiple graphics cards, efficient power supply, blue-ray, cooling like crazy, 16gb samsung ram (overclocked), multiple solid states, multiple hard drives in RAID arrays, a processor with 4 real and 4 virtual cores stable at 4.5ghz idling at 36 degrees Celsius, and a motherboard that can allow for lots of further expansion. I just cant get that in an iMac and if I could, it would cost over $3000 at least.  I built this computer for less than 900. Unfortunately, I am one who does need super performance and most of the software I run is best on a windows platform (emulating doesnt work very well for these programs).

Plus if i need to upgrade, I can just pop the door of the case off...

Do most people need a QWHD screen, i7 processing power, over 8 gb ram, 3tb and a ssd os boot drive? Not many, but for those who need or want it, get ready to top off that credit card limit.

Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: dolina on January 27, 2013, 05:34:36 AM
2012 27-inch iMac (I have a Dell U2711 to dual display it with)
3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz (because I wanted the fastest iMac possible)
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB (Getting (4x8GB) 32GB from elsewhere cause Apple charges too much)
1TB Fusion Drive (DIY Fusion Drive is more expensive than from Apple & I want SSD already)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5 (Will be running a dual 27" 2560x1440 setup)
Apple Magic Trackpad (Multitouch Gestures)
Apple Wireless Keyboard (So I can use it also with the iPhone & iPad via Bluetooth)

Ordered in December 6th but until now no word from the dealer. I went with a dealer because they offering a savings equivalent to a 128GB Lexar 800 UDMA 7 CompactFlash memory card for 4-6 weeks wait.

I'm on 8th week of wait and it sucks balls.

Hackintosh is pointless as the whole point of getting a Mac is it's appliance-like simplicity. If you want to go hunting for drivers, tweaks and such it is easier to do so with Windows 8 Pro.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 28, 2013, 12:18:06 AM
OK, I can't resist.  I have to chime in because honestly, I'm like the Neuro (based on Neuro's stellar cranial reputation on this forum) of IT when it comes to this subject.  Sorry, no offense Neuro!!  Between my knowledge and my associates' knowledge, I'm pretty solid on computer stuff ever since roughly 1985.

So now that I've established myself as an IT badass  8), let me say this...

I could have written the posts by Niterider and intence01.  They saved me a lot of effort.  And they were mostly right.  If you like iProducts, great.  They are pretty, they do what they claim, they make a LOT of money for Apple.  I agree with Niterider, I also don't like Apple.  I like their products for the most part but they are WAY too expensive.  Apple is way too arrogant, greedy and controlling, not to mention hypocritical.  That said, I've owned Apple before, an IT associate owns Apple currently and I may even own it again someday.  But don't kid yourself.  The hardware isn't any different.  When you buy iProducts, you buy the whole rosy experience, the Apple ecosystem including the hype and the marketing.  In reality, you have a different OS and slightly different software but with limited driver or troubleshooting support from Apple.  Take away the matte Aluminum and the hardware is no different.

So forget brands and focus on what matters.  Your data, your image files.  What keeps them safe?  What helps your workflow?  Fault tolerance, backups and performance.  Sorry but Win7Pro and a high end Intel computer + Lightroom + decent IPS monitor will get that for you.  Spec out lots of RAM (16G +), and i5 or i7 CPU and a RAID1 Mirror drive array and you are ready to roll for at least another 3 years.

And FWIW, an iMac is a laptop with a 27" LCD attached.  Fine if that's what you want but not worth over 2 grand.  I've spent that but I have a i7 system wiith 32G of RAM, several 2TB Mirror arrays, 180G SSD, decent video and a solid 750W power supply/solid case.  I also use a U2410 DELL IPS Display.  It's been running for going on 2+ years.  Runs like a champ.

What do I gain by spending more to have an Apple product?  I don't fault anyone who does but I simply would rather put all that extra money toward a lens or even an iPad.  (Even though I actually have a nook HD+.)  I like Apple stuff just like the next guy but I cringe at how they take advantage of their customers' wallets with their overpriced products.  They didn't end up having the highest stock price on their own!  It required a high profit margin.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: dolina on January 28, 2013, 01:30:26 AM
Desktop parts
- CPU
- HDD
- Display

Notebook parts
- GPU
- RAM
- SSD
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Normalnorm on January 28, 2013, 01:46:44 AM
I like Apple stuff just like the next guy but I cringe at how they take advantage of their customers' wallets with their overpriced products.  They didn't end up having the highest stock price on their own!  It required a high profit margin.

While you may feel Apple overcharges for what it provides it is fair to argue that those who purchase Apple products feel they are getting fair value because they buy them in spite of alternatives and DO believe they are receiving value for money.

I would suggest the difference is similar to restaurants and home cooked food. The Apple restaurant uses the same ingredients as the others but happens to make a dish that far more preferred by diners. The home cook may actually make something that tastes better but the diner wants the ambiance of the restaurant that Apple has built and is uninterested in dirtying their hands.

They are not to be pitied they have made a decision that is sensible to them.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Niterider on January 28, 2013, 02:12:17 AM
I like Apple stuff just like the next guy but I cringe at how they take advantage of their customers' wallets with their overpriced products.  They didn't end up having the highest stock price on their own!  It required a high profit margin.

While you may feel Apple overcharges for what it provides it is fair to argue that those who purchase Apple products feel they are getting fair value because they buy them in spite of alternatives and DO believe they are receiving value for money.

I would suggest the difference is similar to restaurants and home cooked food. The Apple restaurant uses the same ingredients as the others but happens to make a dish that far more preferred by diners. The home cook may actually make something that tastes better but the diner wants the ambiance of the restaurant that Apple has built and is uninterested in dirtying their hands.

They are not to be pitied they have made a decision that is sensible to them.

I guess ignorance is bliss...

The marketing strategy of apple: Take a product that is in every way insensible for what they charge and make the consumer think it is a sensible purchase.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RMC33 on January 28, 2013, 02:15:25 AM
Niterider I disagree slightly.

Yes it's expensive, but when you compare spec for spec, Apple does charge quite a bit.  The products are generally usable and you don't waste time with stuff that doesn't work.  Instead you can use your time to simply use the product.

There isn't much difference between laptop/desktop architecture anymore.  Yes, performance is better with a big huge desktop, but what do you need the performance for?  Keep in mind with the iMac you're getting a 27" IPS screen.  After the computer is useless, I believe the screen is still usable via the thunderbolt port (but only with thunderbolt enabled devices, which right now are mostly apple laptops but that might change in the near future).  In any case, a 27" IPS (unless you buy some no-name brand on eBay) is going to run your $700+, so factor that into the specs.  It is NOT the same as the $199 27" specials you see all the time.

As for the hackintosh, don't do it.  I built one and it works ... mostly.  Sometimes something doesn't work, then you have to go through the forums and figured out what went wrong.  It's a fun project and I enjoyed doing it, but for a PC that's going to be used daily that I need to rely on, it simply doesn't cut it. 

My only suggestion is that if you don't need super-performance, buy a Mac-Mini instead, and a cheapo monitor for now (unless you have a monitor, if you do, use that).  When Apple releases a new Thunderbolt Display (27" IPS based on the NEW iMac monitor) either grab that or another high quality 27" IPS or PLS Monitor (Samsung, Asus, Dell Ultrasharp, etc.)  They're all going to be pricey.  That way you're separating the computer from the monitor, and can upgrade the PC every few years and keep the monitor.  The biggest drawback with the iMac is that it's difficult to upgrade yourself, and the PC side of the tech will likely get outdated well before the monitor.  Separate the two, and you can replace the PC every few years.

Honestly, I have little experience with hackintosh builds. All of my computers are either on windows 7, windows 8, ubuntu or running a virtual machine of a different linux distribution. I have heard running a hackintosh is a hit and a miss for stability sake so I can understand the desire not to go down that route.

While the iMac has an IPS screen, I often find that the graphics cards that are in the iMac just dont cut it for QWHD resolution, especially if you get into CAD or 3D rendering. Just a preference, I am not the biggest fan of the glossy screens either. I prefer the anti-glare screens in the Dell Ultrasharps.

Probably the most important part of a custom build for me is just simply convenience. I have a sound card, multiple graphics cards, efficient power supply, blue-ray, cooling like crazy, 16gb samsung ram (overclocked), multiple solid states, multiple hard drives in RAID arrays, a processor with 4 real and 4 virtual cores stable at 4.5ghz idling at 36 degrees Celsius, and a motherboard that can allow for lots of further expansion. I just cant get that in an iMac and if I could, it would cost over $3000 at least.  I built this computer for less than 900. Unfortunately, I am one who does need super performance and most of the software I run is best on a windows platform (emulating doesnt work very well for these programs).

Plus if i need to upgrade, I can just pop the door of the case off...

Do most people need a QWHD screen, i7 processing power, over 8 gb ram, 3tb and a ssd os boot drive? Not many, but for those who need or want it, get ready to top off that credit card limit.



CAD on an iMac is laughable at best for anything beyond basic planning and simple design. My PC/MBP retina synch to each other for photo work so I can seamlessly go between the two. I would KILL to be able to do the same with AutoCAD 2013 and Inventor 2013 on my retina without dual boot. I do have to say though... SSD for boot and primary software is not overkill. My productivity is much higher using a SSD for all my CAD and photo work (one 512 in my win7 PC) since the read/write is so fast. Once done I transfer to my internal 3TB Raid 1 that is used for storage + a pair of 2TB NAS drives for backup.

In regard to the value of an Apple product vs the rest. All I can say is show me a laptop as good as my Retina for a similar price. Their desktops yes, total scam. I have yet to find a laptop that can do what it does for the same price.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Tov on January 28, 2013, 04:55:43 AM
So its is turning into mac vs the rest.

Back on topic. ;)
The cheapest iMac will do the trick for your needs easily. I agree with paul13walnut5 that getting a ssd or fusion is the bigger difference.
Just got the mini i7 and have Apple put in the ssd(256) and working with Aperture and Photoshop its really fast. At least compared to my old iMac - 2006 model.
I later put in 16gb of ram, makes it smoother but the ssd is the wow factor.
Of course if you get an iMac you have a better graphic card and with an update of ram and possibly a ssd or fusion drive you will be needing a safety belt and crash helmet.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Sith Zombie on January 28, 2013, 05:00:46 AM
If you can afford the best, then go for it. We all enjoy the nicer things in life  :).
However, I wouldn't be too concerned with processor and ram specs. I have a 2007 macbook with a dual core 2Ghz processor and I upgraded the ram to 4gig [667mhz], man let me tell you: I use photoshop heavily, along with final cut pro, aperture, some website building software as well as some other stuff and I don't know how or why but my machine just handles it all. Photoshop can be a tad slow when your using liquify but I have edited files from a medium format back with loads of layers no problem. Aperture can be a little slow to open sometimes but when it does it's fine. All this with 15 tabs in safari open and itunes running in the background.
Point is the ram on the newer machines is 3 times as fast as mine, so around 8gig would be fine for most purposes [i'v read on a few sites that even heavy video guys say they don't see much performance increase in going to 16gig]
i5 would handle all that you can throw at it [id say get i7 if you were a heavy video editor and into 3D rendering]
I would spend the money on getting as much solid-state storage as I could, as well as a huge spiny disk backup, because you can never have to much memory! or put the savings into a new lens?
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 28, 2013, 10:47:01 AM
I like Apple stuff just like the next guy but I cringe at how they take advantage of their customers' wallets with their overpriced products.  They didn't end up having the highest stock price on their own!  It required a high profit margin.

While you may feel Apple overcharges for what it provides it is fair to argue that those who purchase Apple products feel they are getting fair value because they buy them in spite of alternatives and DO believe they are receiving value for money.

I would suggest the difference is similar to restaurants and home cooked food. The Apple restaurant uses the same ingredients as the others but happens to make a dish that far more preferred by diners. The home cook may actually make something that tastes better but the diner wants the ambiance of the restaurant that Apple has built and is uninterested in dirtying their hands.

They are not to be pitied they have made a decision that is sensible to them.

That's an interesting analogy Normalnorm!  I agree, folks that buy Apple products are buying the whole experience, not just the hardware.  I don't pity them, I just think some (not all) of them end up regretting the purchase a few months later when they discover the limits that Apple imposes to ensure the whole experience isn't tarnished by the user.  For some this is great, others end up disappointed.  Fortunately, Apple products tend to hold their resale value for quite a while.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 28, 2013, 11:50:04 AM
OK, Whoops.  Sorry again for the long post.   :-[

Yeah, these things do tend to end up being Mac vs. the rest.  In this case however, I think that the iMac is a beautiful thing but very overpriced and somewhat ill suited for photo/video work.  Yes, it CAN be used for those functions but it's very expensive and inefficient to create a good environment for the task.  IMO, when working with thousands of important images or large video files, the important task (that shouldn't be overlooked) is not just CPU or RAM, it's file management.  The images should be on a RAID volume to offer protection from failure and then also stored on a large secondary volume for backup.  An iMac is essentially a laptop with a big screen and isn't designed to provide this type of multi-volume fault tolerant infrastructure.  (Without hanging a bunch of expensive Thunderbolt drives off the back, which is still very new technology.)  Yes, you can do fine with an i5 CPU and 8G of RAM (although OSX has always been very RAM hungry) but you can't do anything if your data or system is lost.

Whether the OP buys Apple or Wintel, the advice should point them to something that is powerful, configurable and upgradable.  I would suggest a Mac Pro, not an iMac.  I don't think the Mac Pro is a rip-off if that is what the job demands but it is still very expensive, just like all Apple products.  I didn't set the prices.  The Mac Pro disk structure, CPU and RAM can be much further expanded and is better designed for what the OP is doing.  (Esp if they venture into video!)  The iMac isn't very expandable.  It's primary purpose is to sit on a desk and look pretty and provide a nice device for desktop activities like web/email/iTunes and basic home duties.

Please remember that Apple products are built first and foremost to steer Apple users into the Apple stores to consume and purchase media/app content and other Apple products.  Getting other functionality from them is a secondary priority.  The iMac is a perfect example of this.  It is marketed to the affluent crowd that already owns iPads, iPhones and iTouch devices and want to venture into an Apple computer.  Most long time Apple owners that I know or read about purchase MacBook Pros with Retina and MacBook Airs these days.  Those are the most bang for the buck at this time.  The iMac is the least bang for the buck.  Production houses and graphics firms either use Mac Pros or they have started investing in comparable WinTel boxes.

Bottom Line is that if someone is looking to spend $1500 -$2000 on a device, I am going to help them spend that money wisely on the best choice, not just get what looks nice and be good enough for the time being.  Unfortunately, an ideal appropriate Apple device doesn't exist for photography/video work for less than over $2000.  That's just the way it is.  Again, I didn't set the prices.  Which is why I have an exceptional WinTel box (comparable to a Mac Pro) instead for literally thousands less.  I don't do my serious photo editing on a laptop (regardless of the make) and I'm not using a limited All-In-One Monitor+Laptop Hybrid machine either.  It doesn't matter whether it's Apple or not.  The tool should still be appropriate for the task.  If you've ever helped/consoled someone who lost everything due to a drive crash, you start to realize the value of fault tolerance and easy automated backups.  If you want a great WinTel laptop device for photo editing, check out the Lenovo ThinkPad W530.  It has features designed for photography work like built-in color calibration, an IPS matte display and a built-in RAID disk option.  For less than a comparable Apple laptop.  But it's not brushed aluminum so there's that to consider.

I would suggest either getting a MacBook Pro with SSD-Hybrid drive + big external disk for backup and then an external display or a Mac Pro with RAID and internal backup drive + external backup drive with external display.  The iMac would be my last choice for photography or video editing.  It's just too limited, crippled and expensive.  At least with a MacBook there would be the added convenience of portability, a better screen and an i7 CPU.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: bseitz234 on January 28, 2013, 12:22:45 PM
Didn't read the whole thread- just the OP. Take that into account.

For what it's worth, I have a 2010 27" iMac, i7 quad-core 2.93 GHz. Upgraded to 12 GB RAM but contemplating getting more from OWC (www.macsales.com (http://www.macsales.com)). It cost about $2k when I got it, but I'm sure you could now get one for substantially less. I thought about upgrading when I heard they were going to do a refresh, but I immediately decided I didn't want anything to do with the new one, for the following reasons:

1) Optical drive. If you're ever going to want to burn CDs or DVDs, I'd much rather have that built in than have to buy and deal with an external drive.

2) FW. Yeah, I know, you can get a TB-FW adapter. But I already have a FW800 RAID setup for data storage and backup, which is significantly cheaper than a comparable TB RAID device.

3) What I have, works great. I have CS6, so I'm using LR4, Photoshop Extended, and Premier Pro for video. And I can run them all at the same time, with no lag. If I do something really intensive I might have to free up a bit of RAM, but I've been amazed at how smoothly this system tackles hard work. I can't imagine that the performance upgrade would be particularly noticeable, for my usage, and therefore not worth the cost for me.

My recommendation? Keep an eye on the Refurb section of the Apple store, and save some money on the lastest version of the old generation. And regardless of the specs, get the 27" screen. Having that kind of real estate is awesome. :-)
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 28, 2013, 12:27:58 PM
This might have been asked before, but I would really like some advice on which iMac, from those models just launched, to get.
Make sure you look into Academic Discounts if you are a student or have students in your family.  It's about the only way to get a discount on Apple products.

I am looking at the 27" Desktop and I am going to configure it to at least include the 3TB drive.  I will upgrade the memory (2 extra 8GB = 24GB total) after market as it is cheaper.  Now I can just upgrade everything, but I would like not to if there is really no need or real world impact.
You should get at least the iMac RAM MAXED OUT AT PURCHASE TIME because it is practically impossible to open, repair or upgrade anything once you receive it[/s].  The 27" iMac RAM is easy to upgrade.  (But not much else.)  So get your extra RAM from Crucial for a fraction of the price.  There is an eject button in the power cord socket at the back of the iMac. Press it, and a cover pops open giving you easy access to the RAM slots.  Otherwise, the iMac can't be modified easily.  This is one of many reasons I discourage folks from buying them.  They are like buying a huge iPad when it comes to working on them.  Pray it doesn't develop any problems during its lifespan!  Read this to get a better idea of the situation...
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9234218/Upgrading_RAM_on_new_iMac_practically_impossible

So, I need the community's advice for the CPU and GPU specs to lead me in understanding where my money will best be spend
1 - CPU > Taking into account my usage, is there any need/benefit to upgrade from the i5 2.9GHz to the i5 3.2GHz or i7 3.6GHz --- each step = $200
2 - GPU > Taking into account my usage, would I benefit from the increase the 512MB to 1GB memory ---- $150 upgrade
If you are doing much video, max out the CPU.  Otherwise the CPU difference listed above is not that important.  512 MB of video RAM won't matter either way for photo or video.  The graphics chipset in the iMac is pretty weak anyway so save the money.

My Usage (None for professional purposes):
Photo Editing
 - Aperture.  I have also recently started to work more with RAW files and my current 2009 MacBook does feel the punch.
 - Photoshop Elements (rarely)
 - NIK HDR
Video Editing of family videos using iMovie
Family Computer usage: Word, Excel Internet, e-Mail.
The iMac can handle the casual usage you describe above and iMovie will likely do you fine for video.  Just please get a large backup drive(s).  Other World Computing (http://eshop.macsales.com) is a great place to get better drives than the overpriced Apple drives.  Also get a copy of SuperDuper! for better recovery backups than TimeMachine.  Also, if you have kids in school, don't forget that you can get a lot of your software in legitimate academic versions to save money.  Esp MS Office, Adobe, etc. 

Cameras: Hopefully Canon 6D and 12Mpix Panasonic GF3
I can't speak to the GF3 but I own the 6D and love it.

PS - let this not be a discussion about Mac vs PC or Desktop vs Laptop.  Those choices are settled
Sorry, I pretty much screwed the pooch on this part.   :-[

Thanks

After re-reading the OP's post (above), let me apologize for my previous lengthy post answering essentially the opposite of what the OP requested.  See above for my thoughts on his actual post.   :-[
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: And-Rew on January 28, 2013, 12:30:03 PM
Felt a need to have an input. Why not - they asked...

I'm writing this on a 24" 3.06ghz iMac from Jan 2009. It has its max 4gb Ram and 512mb graphics card with 1Tb H/D.

Interestingly, it has spent its whole life processing 5D2 21mp RAW files using variations of LR (of which only V3 affected its performance). My trip to Vegas brought home some 1000+ images and the only issue i had was downloading onto the computer - took an hour or so  ;) Processing though, didn't even bat an eyelid  :)

Were i still in the upgrade market, i'd def go for the cheapest RAM option and swap it out myself after purchase. I'd also go for an SSD option - i tend to keep most of my files off system except for when being processed or kept in catalogue with LR. I'd definitely get the 2gb Graphics set but not overly fussed about getting an i7.

As for the cost benefits of Apple - yes it's expensive and without doubt 'too expensive', but every one i've shown mine to say the same thing - much simpler to work with, back up and recover than anything they've seen with Windows. These are Freelance Pros in the Music Industry & Marketing and they have saved so much time with the Apple OS that the cost has been recovered in time saved.

At the end of the day, it's a horses for courses. My wife and i just love the simplicity and integrating nature of the Apple OSX and IOS that allows seemless working between MacBook Pro, iMac, iPads and iPhones.

So, that's my two penneth worth  ;)
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 28, 2013, 12:33:16 PM
Didn't read the whole thread- just the OP. Take that into account.

For what it's worth, I have a 2010 27" iMac, i7 quad-core 2.93 GHz. Upgraded to 12 GB RAM but contemplating getting more from OWC (www.macsales.com (http://www.macsales.com)). It cost about $2k when I got it, but I'm sure you could now get one for substantially less. I thought about upgrading when I heard they were going to do a refresh, but I immediately decided I didn't want anything to do with the new one, for the following reasons:

1) Optical drive. If you're ever going to want to burn CDs or DVDs, I'd much rather have that built in than have to buy and deal with an external drive.

2) FW. Yeah, I know, you can get a TB-FW adapter. But I already have a FW800 RAID setup for data storage and backup, which is significantly cheaper than a comparable TB RAID device.

3) What I have, works great. I have CS6, so I'm using LR4, Photoshop Extended, and Premier Pro for video. And I can run them all at the same time, with no lag. If I do something really intensive I might have to free up a bit of RAM, but I've been amazed at how smoothly this system tackles hard work. I can't imagine that the performance upgrade would be particularly noticeable, for my usage, and therefore not worth the cost for me.

My recommendation? Keep an eye on the Refurb section of the Apple store, and save some money on the lastest version of the old generation. And regardless of the specs, get the 27" screen. Having that kind of real estate is awesome. :-)

If you MUST get an iMac, I would follow this advice.  Thanks bseitz234.  Save some money and maybe still have the ability to at least open and upgrade/repair the older version of the iMac.  The newer Thunderbolt drives and peripherals are either non-existent or outrageously expensive at this time.  Older tech FW800 stuff is super solid and proven.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: 7enderbender on January 28, 2013, 12:33:22 PM
Hi Rusty,

Thanks for your insights on this topic. I'll also have to upgrade my computers in the upcoming months. I was already slated to get a new desktop and monitor but had to postpone this because of a few other things that were higher priority. But I'm still looking around and following this.

My observation has been that the even for non-geeks the whole computer experience is somewhat becoming more difficult and expensive if you do anything that is a little more demanding than what 99% of computer users do every day. And I think that's part of the reason why desktop and laptop sales are slowing down.

And I'm really frustrated with both the hardware and software choices we're getting at the moment - even in the higher price segment. My main computer for both general stuff and photo editing is my old IBM Thinkpad t60. Why? Because it has the best screen I have available right now. And I like the high resolution, decent color representation and relatively small form factor even at home. It's running XP and it will be dying at some point. I already replaced the screen once.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any modern Windows laptop that comes close. With that in mind I started looking at Apples. Benefits I see are the relatively decent hardware quality and a nice OS (compared to my experiences with Win7 and Win8). I'd wait for the next generation of "retina" screens though and hope that some of the current issues are getting better - not worse. So my though was to enter the Apple universe via a Mac Mini i7, trick that out a bit and get a really good screen that is suited for photo editing. There is a bunch of things that would not want me to get any of the new iMacs. One being the screen.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: bseitz234 on January 28, 2013, 12:47:18 PM
Oh, yeah- upgrading the RAM in the older iMacs is a breeze. Three external screws (#0 Philips, I believe) removes a plate on the bottom of the enclosure, and gives you direct access to all 4 slots. And aftermarket RAM is less than half the cost... $227 for 32GB from OWC, vs $540 to have it built in.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 28, 2013, 12:51:25 PM
7enderbender - I totally sympathize and I agree.  It's a challenge to choose a good system now.  I think Apple has really taken the laptop display up a big step with Retina.  That is a game changer.  However, I hate glossy displays.  So as good as it is, Retina is out for me.  I can't stand the glare and reflection of a gloss display.  95% of high end professional desktop displays running into the thousands are matte finish for good reason.

Keep in mind that once you remove OSX and the aluminum case, all the internal hardware, chipsets, RAM, drives, etc are identical to a Windows PC.  All the extra money is going to Apple, not to the technology.  The Retina display on laptops is the only standout right now.  And it deserves praise.

However, the problem is that people compare Apple products to the cheap retail crap at Best Buy, not to the better enterprise level systems that all the major vendors make for business.  Lenovo, Toshiba, DELL. HP, Sony, Fujitsu, Panasonic, etc all have much better offerings in both PC and Laptop devices if you look at their website and venture into the other product lines.  Those lines are more expensive and I typically suggest folks look into the refurb items that have come off of lease (2+ years old) if they want a real steal of a bargain on those units.  For instance, there are a lot of nice refurb T series Lenovo units out now, some now with iSeries CPUs (like a T410) for less than $500-$700 and then you could simply upgrade the RAM and throw in an SSD for a screaming ThinkPad that's built like a tank and has a great display.  Here's an example (not necc what you need)... http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b (http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b)
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Halfrack on January 28, 2013, 12:59:21 PM
Didn't read the whole thread- just the OP. Take that into account.

For what it's worth, I have a 2010 27" iMac, i7 quad-core 2.93 GHz. Upgraded to 12 GB RAM but contemplating getting more from OWC (www.macsales.com (http://www.macsales.com)). It cost about $2k when I got it, but I'm sure you could now get one for substantially less. I thought about upgrading when I heard they were going to do a refresh, but I immediately decided I didn't want anything to do with the new one, for the following reasons:

1) Optical drive. If you're ever going to want to burn CDs or DVDs, I'd much rather have that built in than have to buy and deal with an external drive.

2) FW. Yeah, I know, you can get a TB-FW adapter. But I already have a FW800 RAID setup for data storage and backup, which is significantly cheaper than a comparable TB RAID device.

3) What I have, works great. I have CS6, so I'm using LR4, Photoshop Extended, and Premier Pro for video. And I can run them all at the same time, with no lag. If I do something really intensive I might have to free up a bit of RAM, but I've been amazed at how smoothly this system tackles hard work. I can't imagine that the performance upgrade would be particularly noticeable, for my usage, and therefore not worth the cost for me.

My recommendation? Keep an eye on the Refurb section of the Apple store, and save some money on the lastest version of the old generation. And regardless of the specs, get the 27" screen. Having that kind of real estate is awesome. :-)

Need to bump this one more - the refurb section on the Apple store is going to give much fruit soon.  The previous gen iMac 27" is a great workhorse, and since it's a known quantity, getting the stock model or the upgraded video card is all you want.  Take it to a retailer that works on them - or use the iFixit tools to crack it open and upgrade the internal hard drive bays to SSDs and max out the ram.  FW800 is great, though the newer models have USB3.

The best part is using the 27" iMac as an LCD for another thunderbolt mac or mac laptop.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 28, 2013, 01:08:33 PM
I goofed again!   :-[

The 21" iMac is the nightmare iMac.  Forget doing anything with this other than turning it on and off.   ;)  Okay, that was mean.  Forget doing any upgrades or repairs with the 21" iMac other than turning it on and off.

The 27" iMac (the OP says he wants) RAM is easy to upgrade.  (But not much else.)  There is an eject button in the power cord socket at the back of the iMac. Press it, and a cover pops open giving you easy access to the RAM slots.

I still think the older refurb iMac would be your best bet if you MUST get an iMac.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 28, 2013, 01:39:53 PM
i honestly wouldnt get an imac for gfx / video use.

the screen is glossy and a mess to work with compared to a dell u2711 or dell u2713h.

source: i own both, a 2012 imac and a dell u2713h.


had a look at mac mini / used mac pros??

My thoughts exactly with regard to the display and avoiding the iMac entirely.  I hate gloss displays.  Ditto on buying the refurb stuff.  And FWIW, I have a DELL U2410 that works great!
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: cayenne on January 28, 2013, 03:41:37 PM
OK, Whoops.  Sorry again for the long post.   :-[

Yeah, these things do tend to end up being Mac vs. the rest.  In this case however, I think that the iMac is a beautiful thing but very overpriced and somewhat ill suited for photo/video work.  Yes, it CAN be used for those functions but it's very expensive and inefficient to create a good environment for the task.  IMO, when working with thousands of important images or large video files, the important task (that shouldn't be overlooked) is not just CPU or RAM, it's file management.  The images should be on a RAID volume to offer protection from failure and then also stored on a large secondary volume for backup.  An iMac is essentially a laptop with a big screen and isn't designed to provide this type of multi-volume fault tolerant infrastructure.  (Without hanging a bunch of expensive Thunderbolt drives off the back, which is still very new technology.)  Yes, you can do fine with an i5 CPU and 8G of RAM (although OSX has always been very RAM hungry) but you can't do anything if your data or system is lost.

Whether the OP buys Apple or Wintel, the advice should point them to something that is powerful, configurable and upgradable.  I would suggest a Mac Pro, not an iMac.  I don't think the Mac Pro is a rip-off if that is what the job demands but it is still very expensive, just like all Apple products.  I didn't set the prices.  The Mac Pro disk structure, CPU and RAM can be much further expanded and is better designed for what the OP is doing.  (Esp if they venture into video!)  The iMac isn't very expandable.  It's primary purpose is to sit on a desk and look pretty and provide a nice device for desktop activities like web/email/iTunes and basic home duties.

Please remember that Apple products are built first and foremost to steer Apple users into the Apple stores to consume and purchase media/app content and other Apple products.  Getting other functionality from them is a secondary priority.  The iMac is a perfect example of this.  It is marketed to the affluent crowd that already owns iPads, iPhones and iTouch devices and want to venture into an Apple computer.  Most long time Apple owners that I know or read about purchase MacBook Pros with Retina and MacBook Airs these days.  Those are the most bang for the buck at this time.  The iMac is the least bang for the buck.  Production houses and graphics firms either use Mac Pros or they have started investing in comparable WinTel boxes.

Bottom Line is that if someone is looking to spend $1500 -$2000 on a device, I am going to help them spend that money wisely on the best choice, not just get what looks nice and be good enough for the time being.  Unfortunately, an ideal appropriate Apple device doesn't exist for photography/video work for less than over $2000.  That's just the way it is.  Again, I didn't set the prices.  Which is why I have an exceptional WinTel box (comparable to a Mac Pro) instead for literally thousands less.  I don't do my serious photo editing on a laptop (regardless of the make) and I'm not using a limited All-In-One Monitor+Laptop Hybrid machine either.  It doesn't matter whether it's Apple or not.  The tool should still be appropriate for the task.  If you've ever helped/consoled someone who lost everything due to a drive crash, you start to realize the value of fault tolerance and easy automated backups.  If you want a great WinTel laptop device for photo editing, check out the Lenovo ThinkPad W530.  It has features designed for photography work like built-in color calibration, an IPS matte display and a built-in RAID disk option.  For less than a comparable Apple laptop.  But it's not brushed aluminum so there's that to consider.

I would suggest either getting a MacBook Pro with SSD-Hybrid drive + big external disk for backup and then an external display or a Mac Pro with RAID and internal backup drive + external backup drive with external display.  The iMac would be my last choice for photography or video editing.  It's just too limited, crippled and expensive.  At least with a MacBook there would be the added convenience of portability, a better screen and an i7 CPU.
Trouble is...Aperture and Final Cut Pro X don't tend to work too terribly wall on that Wintel box you're talking about.

And, if someone is needing tools lessor than that for real amateur work or just getting to learn things, OSX which comes with a mac, has iPhoto and iMovie included with the purchase.

If you go the Windows route, sure you can spec a box that is a bit lower in price to the mac (mac really had no low end machines)...but you also have to spec in the cost to buy all of the software that Windows does not come with, and that adds price to the bill.

Me? I figure whatever tool for the job. I have linux boxes I like to play with and run as my servers at home. My current main work computer, is a loaded up macbook pro, late 2011 model. I loaded it with 16GB ram of my own, i7 cpu, largest disk they had..etc.

I use that as my basic work station. I run Win7 (I won't touch Win8 till I can't help it) in VMWare on it for my windows needs. I have VMs for different distros of Linux when I want to play with that...

I have it hooked to a Dell U2711 IPS monitor, I run keyboards and mice hanging off the monitor's USB...so, basically my macbook pro is a desktop at my desk, but I can travel with it too, just pick it up and go.

I'm about to finish up and get a freeNAS system on my network for massive storage, all using ZFS to basically supplant RAID...and it will allow everything on the network to access and back up to it.

So, anyway....any tool for the job.

I like things about the mac. I cut my teeth with iMovie and iPhoto...and for a very small price, have upgraded (only $30 for Apeture and only $300) for FCPX....MUCH less than what I'd have to pay to get the full Adobe Suite (although I am working a deal to try to get an educational discount for the suite which would only be about $450).....

So, if you add up all the software with comparable hardware on the Win vs Mac system....it gets much closer in absolute dollars spent.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Axilrod on January 28, 2013, 03:44:19 PM
I currently have:
2011 27" 3.1ghz i5/16GB RAM/1TB/1GB VRAM  (Geekbench score: 9500)
2011 15" MBP 2.3ghz i7/16GB/256GB SSD/1GB VRAM (Geekbench score: 11,500)

For comparison the Retina Macbook scored a little over 12,000. 

Both of these are fast enough to handle everything you mentioned and then some.  I do mostly video work, which is quite a bit more intensive than photo stuff. 

But, I'm waiting on my new iMac to come in:
27" 3.4ghz i7, 8GB RAM, 1TB Fusion, 2GB VRAM
This setup scored over 14,000 on geekbench, which is absolutely blazing fast.  I ordered 32GB RAM from a 3rd part and I think it'll score close to 15,000 after everything is said and done.  That's similar to what Mac Pros normally score. 

But honestly if you are on a budget, a 2011 iMac with an SSD would be a great option and would be screaming fast.  SSD's make the biggest difference out of any upgrade you can do, my MBP gained almost 3000 from it, that's massive.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Axilrod on January 28, 2013, 03:45:49 PM
I got the 27" 3TB Fusion Drive Fastest chip and all the ram i could fit.... and I haven't looked back.  Finally a FAST computer! Quick- quick like the wind! :o

When did yours show up?  I ordered almost a month ago and mine still isn't here.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: cayenne on January 28, 2013, 03:47:44 PM
7enderbender - I totally sympathize and I agree.  It's a challenge to choose a good system now.  I think Apple has really taken the laptop display up a big step with Retina.  That is a game changer.  However, I hate glossy displays.  So as good as it is, Retina is out for me.  I can't stand the glare and reflection of a gloss display.  95% of high end professional desktop displays running into the thousands are matte finish for good reason.

Keep in mind that once you remove OSX and the aluminum case, all the internal hardware, chipsets, RAM, drives, etc are identical to a Windows PC.  All the extra money is going to Apple, not to the technology.  The Retina display on laptops is the only standout right now.  And it deserves praise.

However, the problem is that people compare Apple products to the cheap retail crap at Best Buy, not to the better enterprise level systems that all the major vendors make for business.  Lenovo, Toshiba, DELL. HP, Sony, Fujitsu, Panasonic, etc all have much better offerings in both PC and Laptop devices if you look at their website and venture into the other product lines.  Those lines are more expensive and I typically suggest folks look into the refurb items that have come off of lease (2+ years old) if they want a real steal of a bargain on those units.  For instance, there are a lot of nice refurb T series Lenovo units out now, some now with iSeries CPUs (like a T410) for less than $500-$700 and then you could simply upgrade the RAM and throw in an SSD for a screaming ThinkPad that's built like a tank and has a great display.  Here's an example (not necc what you need)... http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b (http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b)
I'd not get another lenovo.
I had a higher end, custom (to the hilt) ordered lenovo thinkpad recently. They are NOT made with the same quality as the old IBM thinkpads which were tanks. The new stuff, has lots of flimsy plastic on the case...and if you even bumped it on the docking station, it would lost monitor sync..etc.

I wasn't impressed with the lenovo product. This was one I bought last year.

I've not played with higher end Dells, but this higher end lenovo, reminded me of a cheapo lower end Dell with regard to plastic and flimsy feeling build quality.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 28, 2013, 04:07:05 PM
Sounds like cayenne is on his game.  Great info.  No need to nitpick details, I think we agree that the right tool for the job, etc.  My biggest problem with iMacs and any other All-In-One computers (besides the high price) is that they are an accident waiting to happen.  You're locked in to a fixed configuration and if anything goes wrong, esp the display or motherboard, it's essentially out the window.  Even under warranty it's a huge pain to send it off, etc.

So it will always be either a computer+monitor or laptop for me but in this case, a tower and a high end display that isn't glossy.

And in my experience, iPhoto and iMovie are great (or used to be, I've heard mixed reviews about the latest versions) but they have their limits so it's eventually off to buy Aperture or Lightroom.  Final Cut Pro doesn't come with the mac for free either, but if you need it, you need it.  Adobe has the advantage of being cross platform compatible.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RMC33 on January 28, 2013, 04:17:10 PM
7enderbender - I totally sympathize and I agree.  It's a challenge to choose a good system now.  I think Apple has really taken the laptop display up a big step with Retina.  That is a game changer.  However, I hate glossy displays.  So as good as it is, Retina is out for me.  I can't stand the glare and reflection of a gloss display.  95% of high end professional desktop displays running into the thousands are matte finish for good reason.

Keep in mind that once you remove OSX and the aluminum case, all the internal hardware, chipsets, RAM, drives, etc are identical to a Windows PC.  All the extra money is going to Apple, not to the technology.  The Retina display on laptops is the only standout right now.  And it deserves praise.

However, the problem is that people compare Apple products to the cheap retail crap at Best Buy, not to the better enterprise level systems that all the major vendors make for business.  Lenovo, Toshiba, DELL. HP, Sony, Fujitsu, Panasonic, etc all have much better offerings in both PC and Laptop devices if you look at their website and venture into the other product lines.  Those lines are more expensive and I typically suggest folks look into the refurb items that have come off of lease (2+ years old) if they want a real steal of a bargain on those units.  For instance, there are a lot of nice refurb T series Lenovo units out now, some now with iSeries CPUs (like a T410) for less than $500-$700 and then you could simply upgrade the RAM and throw in an SSD for a screaming ThinkPad that's built like a tank and has a great display.  Here's an example (not necc what you need)... http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b (http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b)

Every enterprise level machine I have used/come across was not very good when it came to laptops, but I had unique needs at that time. Workstations were the same for every vendor other then Dell who could make a solid CAD/tool-path/Gcode platform for my unique business, and AT budget as well (RS232 ports custom HDD controllers to talk to vert mills.. all sorts of fun stuff). I don't love them as I prefer to build my own machine and I hated the GPU's Dell used as they were overkill. I agree with the glossy screen it can be annoying but I have not run into many issues with it and frankly I love it.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: 7enderbender on January 28, 2013, 04:27:26 PM
7enderbender - I totally sympathize and I agree.  It's a challenge to choose a good system now.  I think Apple has really taken the laptop display up a big step with Retina.  That is a game changer.  However, I hate glossy displays.  So as good as it is, Retina is out for me.  I can't stand the glare and reflection of a gloss display.  95% of high end professional desktop displays running into the thousands are matte finish for good reason.

Keep in mind that once you remove OSX and the aluminum case, all the internal hardware, chipsets, RAM, drives, etc are identical to a Windows PC.  All the extra money is going to Apple, not to the technology.  The Retina display on laptops is the only standout right now.  And it deserves praise.

However, the problem is that people compare Apple products to the cheap retail crap at Best Buy, not to the better enterprise level systems that all the major vendors make for business.  Lenovo, Toshiba, DELL. HP, Sony, Fujitsu, Panasonic, etc all have much better offerings in both PC and Laptop devices if you look at their website and venture into the other product lines.  Those lines are more expensive and I typically suggest folks look into the refurb items that have come off of lease (2+ years old) if they want a real steal of a bargain on those units.  For instance, there are a lot of nice refurb T series Lenovo units out now, some now with iSeries CPUs (like a T410) for less than $500-$700 and then you could simply upgrade the RAM and throw in an SSD for a screaming ThinkPad that's built like a tank and has a great display.  Here's an example (not necc what you need)... http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b (http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b)
I'd not get another lenovo.
I had a higher end, custom (to the hilt) ordered lenovo thinkpad recently. They are NOT made with the same quality as the old IBM thinkpads which were tanks. The new stuff, has lots of flimsy plastic on the case...and if you even bumped it on the docking station, it would lost monitor sync..etc.

I wasn't impressed with the lenovo product. This was one I bought last year.

I've not played with higher end Dells, but this higher end lenovo, reminded me of a cheapo lower end Dell with regard to plastic and flimsy feeling build quality.

Exactly right and that's one aspect of my frustration. There is really NO replacement in the Windows world to the best of my knowledge. Lenovo is now worse than ever it seems. The Dells feel like toys. And I currently have a pretty expensive HP Elite Book from my work place. It's a hunk of junk to be honest. The screen would be completely useless for any creative work - and is even only borderline workable for my office applications thanks to the ridiculously low resolution. The keyboard is utter junk as well - even worse than the MacBook keyboard that it tries to mimic. And given that it is a Win7 with i5 and 4GB my old XP Thinkpad with Intel DualCore and 3GB of usable memory runs circles around that thing. Looks like Sony tried a few things that looked promising but then it turns out that their screens are all discolored.

So that and the even more hideous Win8 OS leaves me with some MacBook to replace my lovely Thinkpad at some point. Which means I'll have to get ready to change "eco systems" - because otherwise Adobe makes you buy everything twice. And I wouldn't want to deal with two types of system for the same tasks anyway.

I'll still need Windows for my work work and business stuff but that's ok. So for music recording and photography I'm willing to take the plunge and go Apple. But even that is a struggle I find since a lot of there stuff is not as useful for specialty applications than you'd expect. Which brings me back to the OP: The iMacs now more than ever are basically consumer grade computers that are only borderline workable for creative people with pro-level use in mind. As a photographer I want a better screen. As a musician I expect a designated Firewire port and a CD drive. So there's that.

The new Mac Mini on the other hand is a real improvement (if you don't need a high powered graphics card). I'm looking to get the i7 Mini, max it out with third party drives and memory and hook it up to a good NEC (or so) monitor and an external storage solution.

That should work for both my photo editing and as the center piece of an upgraded home recording studio.

Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: 7enderbender on January 28, 2013, 04:34:38 PM
7enderbender - I totally sympathize and I agree.  It's a challenge to choose a good system now.  I think Apple has really taken the laptop display up a big step with Retina.  That is a game changer.  However, I hate glossy displays.  So as good as it is, Retina is out for me.  I can't stand the glare and reflection of a gloss display.  95% of high end professional desktop displays running into the thousands are matte finish for good reason.

Keep in mind that once you remove OSX and the aluminum case, all the internal hardware, chipsets, RAM, drives, etc are identical to a Windows PC.  All the extra money is going to Apple, not to the technology.  The Retina display on laptops is the only standout right now.  And it deserves praise.

However, the problem is that people compare Apple products to the cheap retail crap at Best Buy, not to the better enterprise level systems that all the major vendors make for business.  Lenovo, Toshiba, DELL. HP, Sony, Fujitsu, Panasonic, etc all have much better offerings in both PC and Laptop devices if you look at their website and venture into the other product lines.  Those lines are more expensive and I typically suggest folks look into the refurb items that have come off of lease (2+ years old) if they want a real steal of a bargain on those units.  For instance, there are a lot of nice refurb T series Lenovo units out now, some now with iSeries CPUs (like a T410) for less than $500-$700 and then you could simply upgrade the RAM and throw in an SSD for a screaming ThinkPad that's built like a tank and has a great display.  Here's an example (not necc what you need)... http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b (http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b)


Well, yes and no. It depends on what you want to d. That Lenovo in the link I'd consider a downgrade from my ancient IBM version. The new screens just don't cut it.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 28, 2013, 04:44:40 PM
Well, I've run into this too.  Not sure which Lenovo laptops you have been disappointed with but since I use the older ones, I haven't run across what you say about them being plastic crap yet.  However, my wife has about a year old T430 with i7, etc from work and it seems fine, not much difference from my older T61 and T400s.  Screen, keyboard, etc all seem good.  Are you sure you are talking about the same level ThinkPad units?  Because the ones at Best Buy are crap.  The problem with Lenovo is that they have sooooo many versions of their laptops it gets confusing real fast.  However, it's safe to say that if the model starts with a T or X, it should be a decent system.

And keep in mind, no where am I trying to totally trash macs, the next mac I get will likely be a MacBook Pro when I want to start messing with video again (but not professionally or anything).  I just don't like the iMac for the money and what it is.  A MacBook is much more versatile and much easier to sell.  That's what an IT Buddy has been using lately and when he's at the office, he just hooks it up to a BAD.  (Big Ass Display)  And he runs Win8 in a VM because he has to get actual work done at some point as well.

As far as desktop computers, at some point, they all work about the same for basic computing.  After that, for high performance needs, I just build from scratch, even for clients.  However, the DELL and HP higher end "Workstation" lines are pretty nice but also pretty pricey.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 28, 2013, 04:48:43 PM
7enderbender - I totally sympathize and I agree.  It's a challenge to choose a good system now.  I think Apple has really taken the laptop display up a big step with Retina.  That is a game changer.  However, I hate glossy displays.  So as good as it is, Retina is out for me.  I can't stand the glare and reflection of a gloss display.  95% of high end professional desktop displays running into the thousands are matte finish for good reason.

Keep in mind that once you remove OSX and the aluminum case, all the internal hardware, chipsets, RAM, drives, etc are identical to a Windows PC.  All the extra money is going to Apple, not to the technology.  The Retina display on laptops is the only standout right now.  And it deserves praise.

However, the problem is that people compare Apple products to the cheap retail crap at Best Buy, not to the better enterprise level systems that all the major vendors make for business.  Lenovo, Toshiba, DELL. HP, Sony, Fujitsu, Panasonic, etc all have much better offerings in both PC and Laptop devices if you look at their website and venture into the other product lines.  Those lines are more expensive and I typically suggest folks look into the refurb items that have come off of lease (2+ years old) if they want a real steal of a bargain on those units.  For instance, there are a lot of nice refurb T series Lenovo units out now, some now with iSeries CPUs (like a T410) for less than $500-$700 and then you could simply upgrade the RAM and throw in an SSD for a screaming ThinkPad that's built like a tank and has a great display.  Here's an example (not necc what you need)... http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b (http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b)


Well, yes and no. It depends on what you want to d. That Lenovo in the link I'd consider a downgrade from my ancient IBM version. The new screens just don't cut it.

That link was only for an example of price.  I don't think it's a valid replacement for your needs.  And Lenovo offers several display options so on the refurbs, you have to check closely.  Some corps buy the better displays for their road warriors and others don't.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RMC33 on January 28, 2013, 05:02:08 PM
7enderbender - I totally sympathize and I agree.  It's a challenge to choose a good system now.  I think Apple has really taken the laptop display up a big step with Retina.  That is a game changer.  However, I hate glossy displays.  So as good as it is, Retina is out for me.  I can't stand the glare and reflection of a gloss display.  95% of high end professional desktop displays running into the thousands are matte finish for good reason.

Keep in mind that once you remove OSX and the aluminum case, all the internal hardware, chipsets, RAM, drives, etc are identical to a Windows PC.  All the extra money is going to Apple, not to the technology.  The Retina display on laptops is the only standout right now.  And it deserves praise.

However, the problem is that people compare Apple products to the cheap retail crap at Best Buy, not to the better enterprise level systems that all the major vendors make for business.  Lenovo, Toshiba, DELL. HP, Sony, Fujitsu, Panasonic, etc all have much better offerings in both PC and Laptop devices if you look at their website and venture into the other product lines.  Those lines are more expensive and I typically suggest folks look into the refurb items that have come off of lease (2+ years old) if they want a real steal of a bargain on those units.  For instance, there are a lot of nice refurb T series Lenovo units out now, some now with iSeries CPUs (like a T410) for less than $500-$700 and then you could simply upgrade the RAM and throw in an SSD for a screaming ThinkPad that's built like a tank and has a great display.  Here's an example (not necc what you need)... http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b (http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b)
I'd not get another lenovo.
I had a higher end, custom (to the hilt) ordered lenovo thinkpad recently. They are NOT made with the same quality as the old IBM thinkpads which were tanks. The new stuff, has lots of flimsy plastic on the case...and if you even bumped it on the docking station, it would lost monitor sync..etc.

I wasn't impressed with the lenovo product. This was one I bought last year.

I've not played with higher end Dells, but this higher end lenovo, reminded me of a cheapo lower end Dell with regard to plastic and flimsy feeling build quality.

Exactly right and that's one aspect of my frustration. There is really NO replacement in the Windows world to the best of my knowledge. Lenovo is now worse than ever it seems. The Dells feel like toys. And I currently have a pretty expensive HP Elite Book from my work place. It's a hunk of junk to be honest. The screen would be completely useless for any creative work - and is even only borderline workable for my office applications thanks to the ridiculously low resolution. The keyboard is utter junk as well - even worse than the MacBook keyboard that it tries to mimic. And given that it is a Win7 with i5 and 4GB my old XP Thinkpad with Intel DualCore and 3GB of usable memory runs circles around that thing. Looks like Sony tried a few things that looked promising but then it turns out that their screens are all discolored.

So that and the even more hideous Win8 OS leaves me with some MacBook to replace my lovely Thinkpad at some point. Which means I'll have to get ready to change "eco systems" - because otherwise Adobe makes you buy everything twice. And I wouldn't want to deal with two types of system for the same tasks anyway.

I'll still need Windows for my work work and business stuff but that's ok. So for music recording and photography I'm willing to take the plunge and go Apple. But even that is a struggle I find since a lot of there stuff is not as useful for specialty applications than you'd expect. Which brings me back to the OP: The iMacs now more than ever are basically consumer grade computers that are only borderline workable for creative people with pro-level use in mind. As a photographer I want a better screen. As a musician I expect a designated Firewire port and a CD drive. So there's that.

The new Mac Mini on the other hand is a real improvement (if you don't need a high powered graphics card). I'm looking to get the i7 Mini, max it out with third party drives and memory and hook it up to a good NEC (or so) monitor and an external storage solution.

That should work for both my photo editing and as the center piece of an upgraded home recording studio.

I ran into the "buying everything twice" Issue since I use PC/Mac. I went with creative cloud and no longer have this issue for $600/yr
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Niterider on January 28, 2013, 05:13:27 PM
7enderbender - I totally sympathize and I agree.  It's a challenge to choose a good system now.  I think Apple has really taken the laptop display up a big step with Retina.  That is a game changer.  However, I hate glossy displays.  So as good as it is, Retina is out for me.  I can't stand the glare and reflection of a gloss display.  95% of high end professional desktop displays running into the thousands are matte finish for good reason.

Keep in mind that once you remove OSX and the aluminum case, all the internal hardware, chipsets, RAM, drives, etc are identical to a Windows PC.  All the extra money is going to Apple, not to the technology.  The Retina display on laptops is the only standout right now.  And it deserves praise.

However, the problem is that people compare Apple products to the cheap retail crap at Best Buy, not to the better enterprise level systems that all the major vendors make for business.  Lenovo, Toshiba, DELL. HP, Sony, Fujitsu, Panasonic, etc all have much better offerings in both PC and Laptop devices if you look at their website and venture into the other product lines.  Those lines are more expensive and I typically suggest folks look into the refurb items that have come off of lease (2+ years old) if they want a real steal of a bargain on those units.  For instance, there are a lot of nice refurb T series Lenovo units out now, some now with iSeries CPUs (like a T410) for less than $500-$700 and then you could simply upgrade the RAM and throw in an SSD for a screaming ThinkPad that's built like a tank and has a great display.  Here's an example (not necc what you need)... http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b (http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b)
I'd not get another lenovo.
I had a higher end, custom (to the hilt) ordered lenovo thinkpad recently. They are NOT made with the same quality as the old IBM thinkpads which were tanks. The new stuff, has lots of flimsy plastic on the case...and if you even bumped it on the docking station, it would lost monitor sync..etc.

I wasn't impressed with the lenovo product. This was one I bought last year.

I've not played with higher end Dells, but this higher end lenovo, reminded me of a cheapo lower end Dell with regard to plastic and flimsy feeling build quality.

Exactly right and that's one aspect of my frustration. There is really NO replacement in the Windows world to the best of my knowledge. Lenovo is now worse than ever it seems. The Dells feel like toys. And I currently have a pretty expensive HP Elite Book from my work place. It's a hunk of junk to be honest. The screen would be completely useless for any creative work - and is even only borderline workable for my office applications thanks to the ridiculously low resolution. The keyboard is utter junk as well - even worse than the MacBook keyboard that it tries to mimic. And given that it is a Win7 with i5 and 4GB my old XP Thinkpad with Intel DualCore and 3GB of usable memory runs circles around that thing. Looks like Sony tried a few things that looked promising but then it turns out that their screens are all discolored.

So that and the even more hideous Win8 OS leaves me with some MacBook to replace my lovely Thinkpad at some point. Which means I'll have to get ready to change "eco systems" - because otherwise Adobe makes you buy everything twice. And I wouldn't want to deal with two types of system for the same tasks anyway.

I'll still need Windows for my work work and business stuff but that's ok. So for music recording and photography I'm willing to take the plunge and go Apple. But even that is a struggle I find since a lot of there stuff is not as useful for specialty applications than you'd expect. Which brings me back to the OP: The iMacs now more than ever are basically consumer grade computers that are only borderline workable for creative people with pro-level use in mind. As a photographer I want a better screen. As a musician I expect a designated Firewire port and a CD drive. So there's that.

The new Mac Mini on the other hand is a real improvement (if you don't need a high powered graphics card). I'm looking to get the i7 Mini, max it out with third party drives and memory and hook it up to a good NEC (or so) monitor and an external storage solution.

That should work for both my photo editing and as the center piece of an upgraded home recording studio.

It sounds like IT at your work really screwed up your HP Elitebook. When I have worked on those in the past, I have had the screen at 1920x1080 and they are extremely capable at doing intensive programs (CAD, etc.). Don't be so quick to throw lenovo under the bus either. If you have not taken apart a newer lenovo, I can assure you that they are still built like a tank. The T-series are absolutely solid and most thinkpads have a roll cage for protection! On the other hand, lenovo's Ideapads are absolute crap and would recommend a macbook over those any day of the week. I actually think the macbook pro is a solid laptop and if portability is what you need, they are top performers.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Waterdonkey on January 28, 2013, 05:18:03 PM
I got the 27" 3TB Fusion Drive Fastest chip and all the ram i could fit.... and I haven't looked back.  Finally a FAST computer! Quick- quick like the wind! :o

When did yours show up?  I ordered almost a month ago and mine still isn't here.

I got mine on about Jan 5th.  But I preordered in December. 
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: cayenne on January 28, 2013, 11:23:22 PM
Well, I've run into this too.  Not sure which Lenovo laptops you have been disappointed with but since I use the older ones, I haven't run across what you say about them being plastic crap yet.  However, my wife has about a year old T430 with i7, etc from work and it seems fine, not much difference from my older T61 and T400s.  Screen, keyboard, etc all seem good.  Are you sure you are talking about the same level ThinkPad units?  Because the ones at Best Buy are crap.  The problem with Lenovo is that they have sooooo many versions of their laptops it gets confusing real fast.  However, it's safe to say that if the model starts with a T or X, it should be a decent system.

And keep in mind, no where am I trying to totally trash macs, the next mac I get will likely be a MacBook Pro when I want to start messing with video again (but not professionally or anything).  I just don't like the iMac for the money and what it is.  A MacBook is much more versatile and much easier to sell.  That's what an IT Buddy has been using lately and when he's at the office, he just hooks it up to a BAD.  (Big Ass Display)  And he runs Win8 in a VM because he has to get actual work done at some point as well.

As far as desktop computers, at some point, they all work about the same for basic computing.  After that, for high performance needs, I just build from scratch, even for clients.  However, the DELL and HP higher end "Workstation" lines are pretty nice but also pretty pricey.

I believe these were the specs on the one I got for a contract job:

Description      
ThinkPad T520 - 1 Yr Depot Topseller Warranty   
Processor:   Intel Core i7-2640M Processor (2.80GHz, 4MB L3, 1333MHz)   
Operating system:    Windows 7 Professional 64   
Operating system language:    Windows 7 Professional 64 English   
Windows XP Mode:   Microsoft Windows 7 XP Mode - English   
Display type:   15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) LED Backlit Anti-Glare Display, Mobile Broadband Ready   
System graphics:   NVIDIA NVS 4200M Graphics with Optimus Technology, 1GB DDR3 Memory   
Total memory:   4 GB DDR3 - 1333MHz (1 DIMM)   
Keyboard:   Keyboard US English   
Camera:   720p Camera   
Hard drive:   500 GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm   
Optical device:   DVD recordable multiburner   
System expansion slots:   Express Card Slot & 4 in 1 Card Reader   
Battery:   9 cell Li-Ion Battery - 55++   
Power cord:   Country Pack North America with Line cord & 90W AC adapter   
Bluetooth:   Bluetooth 3.0   
Integrated WiFi wireless LAN adapters:   ThinkPad b/g/n   
Integrated mobile broadband:   Integrated Mobile Broadband - Upgradable   
Language pack:   Language Pack US English   
Microsoft productivity software preload:   Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010 (North America) and Adobe Acrobat X Standard - English   
 
Accessories and options:   
ThinkPad Battery 55++ (9 Cell - T410/420, T510/520, W510/520, L Series)   
ThinkPad Mini Dock Plus Series 3 (170W) (US/Canada/LA)   
Kensington MicroSaver Security Cable Lock from Lenovo

I opened it up and bumped it up to the max 8GB.

This isn't the actual invoice spec, his was an early spec, but I did load this thing up to the max on about everything the Lenovo site offered. I wasn't paying for it (contract deal I had for a job going on)...so, I loaded it up.

Job was finished, so it went back to the contractor....I've played with the old IBM thinkbooks, and even the old ones, feel and work like tanks. But this thing just felt flimsy to me, right out of the box, and talk about a PITA to get the RAM changed out of it...no real instructions even on the Lenovo site, the definitive guide I found was a guy out there who had had a hell of a time getting his swapped out, and decided to blog about how to do it.

I have to say, the MBP I got (Late 2011), I really like.

 I like that I got the last model where YOU can change out the ram yourself. I dunno if I'd get a new one since I believe they are now soldering the RAM onto the boards and the user can't change it.

The walled garden concept is starting to bug me a bit, but for my model of MBP, well, it works for me. I found I could bump it up to 16GB and it blazes, heck, I can even run Davinci Resolve on it...I have to turn sound off when playing back, as that that slows it a bit, but I can still grade with that.

And anyone that is looking to get a MBP but is afraid to change (someone in this thread mentioned having to get used to the new paradigm, and maybe having to buy Adobe all over again)....just get VMware and install it on there and install Win7 as a VM on your MBP.

Frankly, I find it is the best solution currently for all worlds. I run OSX, Win7 and LInux on one box all concurrently, and can pretty much even drag and drop between them all when running.

The operating system is quickly becoming a commodity with VMs so, do consider that as an option.

And at one time, I was developing a real time application with development tools on the Win7 VM, that was talking through to the outside world via a USB to RS232 serial connector...Tool on Win7 in a VM talking through a specialty controller cable...

And it worked fine without a burp.

So, IMHO, going forward, VMs are the way to go...do it all on one box if you can.

cayenne
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 28, 2013, 11:43:14 PM
Yep, that's a great way to go cayenne!  I'm not sure why you had a bad experience with the Thinkpad but the main thing is that you are pleased.  The MacBooks aren't junk by any means.  They're just expensive and definitely not worth the money unless someone is smart enough to do what you are doing and maximize the investment.  I would do exactly what you are doing someday if I ever decide to buy another MacBook.  Buying a Mac is lot like buying a BOAT.  (BOAT stands for Break Out Another Thousand)  And the two best days in your life are the day you buy it and the day you sell it.   ;D
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: brianleighty on January 31, 2013, 12:33:32 PM

Thanks.  So you feel the stock i5 on the 27" is good enough.  What is the advantages of i7 then?

This might be too little info too late, but the Core i7 can hyperthread while the core i5 can not. That means the Core i7 functions as an 8 core processor, while the Core i5 functions as a 4 core processor. I'd spend the extra couple of hundred bucks on the Core i7. The Core i5 is quite old at this point, and I'm surprised Apple offers it in a newly revamped machine like the iMac.

The i5 is a great inexpensive alternative. But honestly for photo and video, just like a previous poster said, you'll the good everything. GPU should def be atleast 1GB. You can definitely get by with the i5 if you don't have the money after getting the GPU, but if you can, get both.

Why does everybody always say a super duper graphics card is mandatory? In both Lightroom and DPP it doesn't help with rendering. I guess if the software you use can take advantage of it, that's one thing but CPUs are king of the hill when it comes to RAW conversion.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: cayenne on January 31, 2013, 02:38:27 PM

Thanks.  So you feel the stock i5 on the 27" is good enough.  What is the advantages of i7 then?

This might be too little info too late, but the Core i7 can hyperthread while the core i5 can not. That means the Core i7 functions as an 8 core processor, while the Core i5 functions as a 4 core processor. I'd spend the extra couple of hundred bucks on the Core i7. The Core i5 is quite old at this point, and I'm surprised Apple offers it in a newly revamped machine like the iMac.

The i5 is a great inexpensive alternative. But honestly for photo and video, just like a previous poster said, you'll the good everything. GPU should def be atleast 1GB. You can definitely get by with the i5 if you don't have the money after getting the GPU, but if you can, get both.

Why does everybody always say a super duper graphics card is mandatory? In both Lightroom and DPP it doesn't help with rendering. I guess if the software you use can take advantage of it, that's one thing but CPUs are king of the hill when it comes to RAW conversion.

It certainly seems to help with video.....I can really slow down Davinci Resolve Lite on my MBP, and it is i7 processor, 16GB ram...but needs some help on the GPU side of the house.

I've heard of these breakout boxes that are out there..something you can load up with video cards and somehow hook into your computer and have it use those GPUs too?

Anyone familiar with that? I'm guessing it would have to be thunderbolt for my MBP to use it, but sure sounds interesting.

I'm still trying to find out what these breakout boxes are called and how they work.

But rendering video, GPU sure seems to help, I believe the Adobe video product is tied in heavily with Nvidia Cuda tech if you have it?

cayenne
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: brianleighty on January 31, 2013, 04:57:42 PM
Sure videos a full different ball game though. You look at intel with their quicksync dedicated on the CPU itself. It's much simpler and more standardized than RAW formats that are company specific. GPU only helps if the software can be coded to use it which as I said most RAW programs don't seem to be doing due to the complexity. I think another part is the quality also can suffer using these things so they're good for previewing but don't help with the final rendering or if they do, it's of lower quality than when rendered with the CPU.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on January 31, 2013, 08:07:52 PM
Sure videos a full different ball game though. You look at intel with their quicksync dedicated on the CPU itself. It's much simpler and more standardized than RAW formats that are company specific. GPU only helps if the software can be coded to use it which as I said most RAW programs don't seem to be doing due to the complexity. I think another part is the quality also can suffer using these things so they're good for previewing but don't help with the final rendering or if they do, it's of lower quality than when rendered with the CPU.

Yes, this is correct.  GPU doesn't matter for images unless there is code written that talks to it, takes advantage of it, etc.  Otherwise it just passes the graphics information through at a fixed rate as it receives if from the OS.  Video isn't much different, it's just redrawing images faster but video isn't 3D rendering.  Games are written to exploit the graphics card, engine, etc.  That's why some graphics cards work better for some games.  Even Windows now exploits the GPU a bit to help render the Aero interface.  Adobe has begun to try to write some of their code to exploit the GPU on some cards but that's also pretty minimal at this point.  I have a nice middle of the road nVidia GeForce 8400 GS Graphics card.  Not top of the line but no piece of junk either.  Around $200 back when I bought it a couple years ago.  Win7 Pro Enterprise x64, i7 CPU, 32GB RAM.  SSD for the OS.  The preview pictures in Lightroom 4 still drag a bit.  Nothing I can do, Adobe did something with LR4 to cause some latency.  (It was faster in LR3.)  Exporting, photo tools, etc all do pretty well considering there is a lot of CPU being used then.

Bottom Line, if money isn't an issue, get the best video you can but if money is tight, don't bother.  Either way, it won't change the performance much if at all for photos.

BTW, I met an IT associate of mine today and eventually, the subject of his MacBook Pro came up.  We discussed briefly how much it helped him with some photo and web development things he works on all day but it did cost him $3200 + over another grand for the large display he uses with it.  And then there's the software, Parallels and Windows 8 he runs on it.  I mentioned this thread and we quickly agreed that the iMacs are essentially a waste of money for doing any serious work like photography, video, graphics design, web dev, etc.  Lower end CPUs, graphics, lower memory limits and slow 5400 RPM drives which he reminded me about.  Even the display isn't as good as what you could get other ways.  In essence, not worth the money compared to other (more expensive but capable) Apple mac alternatives.  Sorry folks but you're just not going to get a standout mac photo workstation for under $2000.  Adequate maybe but not exceptional.  Not new anyway.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: madspihl on January 31, 2013, 09:12:13 PM
I am running a 2012 8GB RAM 256SSD 2Ghz i7 Macbook Air and a thunderbolt display at home - which is my way of having a 27" iMac that I can downsize to my pocket when I go on the road. (The TB display is chained to an 8TB Thunderbolt G-Raid drive for home storage). The Air sits in a BookArc on the bookshelf.

Up until a month ago I used a 17" MBPro, 8GB 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo machine.

I do lots of Photoshop and Illustrator work with both apps open at the same time, and often more than one PSD file in the process, and with Bridge running, as well as a webbrowser or two - and the Air is just so stupendously much faster than the 2009 MBPro. I mean... saving 500MB PSD files is about... well... 10 times as fast, if not more, in CS6.

I know you're looking for a desktop solutions - I just wanted to let you know that the Air + TB setup will get you very far in terms of desktop+mobility. Even into pretty heavy film editing as far as I understand:


CS6 Macbook Air (Photoshop and After Effects) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQcl-Zmkg34#ws)
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RMC33 on January 31, 2013, 09:25:22 PM
Sure videos a full different ball game though. You look at intel with their quicksync dedicated on the CPU itself. It's much simpler and more standardized than RAW formats that are company specific. GPU only helps if the software can be coded to use it which as I said most RAW programs don't seem to be doing due to the complexity. I think another part is the quality also can suffer using these things so they're good for previewing but don't help with the final rendering or if they do, it's of lower quality than when rendered with the CPU.

Yes, this is correct.  GPU doesn't matter for images unless there is code written that talks to it, takes advantage of it, etc.  Otherwise it just passes the graphics information through at a fixed rate as it receives if from the OS.  Video isn't much different, it's just redrawing images faster but video isn't 3D rendering.  Games are written to exploit the graphics card, engine, etc.  That's why some graphics cards work better for some games.  Even Windows now exploits the GPU a bit to help render the Aero interface.  Adobe has begun to try to write some of their code to exploit the GPU on some cards but that's also pretty minimal at this point.  I have a nice middle of the road nVidia GeForce 8400 GS Graphics card.  Not top of the line but no piece of junk either.  Around $200 back when I bought it a couple years ago.  Win7 Pro Enterprise x64, i7 CPU, 32GB RAM.  SSD for the OS.  The preview pictures in Lightroom 4 still drag a bit.  Nothing I can do, Adobe did something with LR4 to cause some latency.  (It was faster in LR3.)  Exporting, photo tools, etc all do pretty well considering there is a lot of CPU being used then.

Bottom Line, if money isn't an issue, get the best video you can but if money is tight, don't bother.  Either way, it won't change the performance much if at all for photos.

BTW, I met an IT associate of mine today and eventually, the subject of his MacBook Pro came up.  We discussed briefly how much it helped him with some photo and web development things he works on all day but it did cost him $3200 + over another grand for the large display he uses with it.  And then there's the software, Parallels and Windows 8 he runs on it.  I mentioned this thread and we quickly agreed that the iMacs are essentially a waste of money for doing any serious work like photography, video, graphics design, web dev, etc.  Lower end CPUs, graphics, lower memory limits and slow 5400 RPM drives which he reminded me about.  Even the display isn't as good as what you could get other ways.  In essence, not worth the money compared to other (more expensive but capable) Apple mac alternatives.  Sorry folks but you're just not going to get a standout mac photo workstation for under $2000.  Adequate maybe but not exceptional.  Not new anyway.

Mind answering a question? My GF is looking for a new computer: She does web design, content creation and a little video editing. I cover all her photography and photo editing. She is dead set on an iMac and currently has an older MBP. I feel this would be a poor investment for her business (I use a retina / PC for my photo and CAD work) and as stated earlier in this thread there is no expandability. What could you recommend?
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Niterider on February 01, 2013, 12:15:50 AM
Sure videos a full different ball game though. You look at intel with their quicksync dedicated on the CPU itself. It's much simpler and more standardized than RAW formats that are company specific. GPU only helps if the software can be coded to use it which as I said most RAW programs don't seem to be doing due to the complexity. I think another part is the quality also can suffer using these things so they're good for previewing but don't help with the final rendering or if they do, it's of lower quality than when rendered with the CPU.

Yes, this is correct.  GPU doesn't matter for images unless there is code written that talks to it, takes advantage of it, etc.  Otherwise it just passes the graphics information through at a fixed rate as it receives if from the OS.  Video isn't much different, it's just redrawing images faster but video isn't 3D rendering.  Games are written to exploit the graphics card, engine, etc.  That's why some graphics cards work better for some games.  Even Windows now exploits the GPU a bit to help render the Aero interface.  Adobe has begun to try to write some of their code to exploit the GPU on some cards but that's also pretty minimal at this point.  I have a nice middle of the road nVidia GeForce 8400 GS Graphics card.  Not top of the line but no piece of junk either.  Around $200 back when I bought it a couple years ago.  Win7 Pro Enterprise x64, i7 CPU, 32GB RAM.  SSD for the OS.  The preview pictures in Lightroom 4 still drag a bit.  Nothing I can do, Adobe did something with LR4 to cause some latency.  (It was faster in LR3.)  Exporting, photo tools, etc all do pretty well considering there is a lot of CPU being used then.

Bottom Line, if money isn't an issue, get the best video you can but if money is tight, don't bother.  Either way, it won't change the performance much if at all for photos.

BTW, I met an IT associate of mine today and eventually, the subject of his MacBook Pro came up.  We discussed briefly how much it helped him with some photo and web development things he works on all day but it did cost him $3200 + over another grand for the large display he uses with it.  And then there's the software, Parallels and Windows 8 he runs on it.  I mentioned this thread and we quickly agreed that the iMacs are essentially a waste of money for doing any serious work like photography, video, graphics design, web dev, etc.  Lower end CPUs, graphics, lower memory limits and slow 5400 RPM drives which he reminded me about.  Even the display isn't as good as what you could get other ways.  In essence, not worth the money compared to other (more expensive but capable) Apple mac alternatives.  Sorry folks but you're just not going to get a standout mac photo workstation for under $2000.  Adequate maybe but not exceptional.  Not new anyway.

Mind answering a question? My GF is looking for a new computer: She does web design, content creation and a little video editing. I cover all her photography and photo editing. She is dead set on an iMac and currently has an older MBP. I feel this would be a poor investment for her business (I use a retina / PC for my photo and CAD work) and as stated earlier in this thread there is no expandability. What could you recommend?

Depending on how old the mac book pro is, you can install a solid state drive and continue using that same computer. SSD are the best bang for the buck upgrade on the market for computers running mechanical hard drives.

Sorry RustyTheGeek, I saw that this question was intended for you, I just could not resist responding! What do you think about an ssd in an older MBP?
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RMC33 on February 01, 2013, 12:29:36 AM
Sure videos a full different ball game though. You look at intel with their quicksync dedicated on the CPU itself. It's much simpler and more standardized than RAW formats that are company specific. GPU only helps if the software can be coded to use it which as I said most RAW programs don't seem to be doing due to the complexity. I think another part is the quality also can suffer using these things so they're good for previewing but don't help with the final rendering or if they do, it's of lower quality than when rendered with the CPU.

Yes, this is correct.  GPU doesn't matter for images unless there is code written that talks to it, takes advantage of it, etc.  Otherwise it just passes the graphics information through at a fixed rate as it receives if from the OS.  Video isn't much different, it's just redrawing images faster but video isn't 3D rendering.  Games are written to exploit the graphics card, engine, etc.  That's why some graphics cards work better for some games.  Even Windows now exploits the GPU a bit to help render the Aero interface.  Adobe has begun to try to write some of their code to exploit the GPU on some cards but that's also pretty minimal at this point.  I have a nice middle of the road nVidia GeForce 8400 GS Graphics card.  Not top of the line but no piece of junk either.  Around $200 back when I bought it a couple years ago.  Win7 Pro Enterprise x64, i7 CPU, 32GB RAM.  SSD for the OS.  The preview pictures in Lightroom 4 still drag a bit.  Nothing I can do, Adobe did something with LR4 to cause some latency.  (It was faster in LR3.)  Exporting, photo tools, etc all do pretty well considering there is a lot of CPU being used then.

Bottom Line, if money isn't an issue, get the best video you can but if money is tight, don't bother.  Either way, it won't change the performance much if at all for photos.

BTW, I met an IT associate of mine today and eventually, the subject of his MacBook Pro came up.  We discussed briefly how much it helped him with some photo and web development things he works on all day but it did cost him $3200 + over another grand for the large display he uses with it.  And then there's the software, Parallels and Windows 8 he runs on it.  I mentioned this thread and we quickly agreed that the iMacs are essentially a waste of money for doing any serious work like photography, video, graphics design, web dev, etc.  Lower end CPUs, graphics, lower memory limits and slow 5400 RPM drives which he reminded me about.  Even the display isn't as good as what you could get other ways.  In essence, not worth the money compared to other (more expensive but capable) Apple mac alternatives.  Sorry folks but you're just not going to get a standout mac photo workstation for under $2000.  Adequate maybe but not exceptional.  Not new anyway.

Mind answering a question? My GF is looking for a new computer: She does web design, content creation and a little video editing. I cover all her photography and photo editing. She is dead set on an iMac and currently has an older MBP. I feel this would be a poor investment for her business (I use a retina / PC for my photo and CAD work) and as stated earlier in this thread there is no expandability. What could you recommend?

Depending on how old the mac book pro is, you can install a solid state drive and continue using that same computer. SSD are the best bang for the buck upgrade on the market for computers running mechanical hard drives.

Sorry RustyTheGeek, I saw that this question was intended for you, I just could not resist responding! What do you think about an ssd in an older MBP?

I have already done that. The laptop will last a while still but she is in dire need of a desktop. I have 6TB (really 3TB as it is RAID 1) on my network that we use for storage + both have 2tb Lacie drives that live with them (her MBP and my MBP retina).
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Niterider on February 01, 2013, 12:42:22 AM
Sure videos a full different ball game though. You look at intel with their quicksync dedicated on the CPU itself. It's much simpler and more standardized than RAW formats that are company specific. GPU only helps if the software can be coded to use it which as I said most RAW programs don't seem to be doing due to the complexity. I think another part is the quality also can suffer using these things so they're good for previewing but don't help with the final rendering or if they do, it's of lower quality than when rendered with the CPU.

Yes, this is correct.  GPU doesn't matter for images unless there is code written that talks to it, takes advantage of it, etc.  Otherwise it just passes the graphics information through at a fixed rate as it receives if from the OS.  Video isn't much different, it's just redrawing images faster but video isn't 3D rendering.  Games are written to exploit the graphics card, engine, etc.  That's why some graphics cards work better for some games.  Even Windows now exploits the GPU a bit to help render the Aero interface.  Adobe has begun to try to write some of their code to exploit the GPU on some cards but that's also pretty minimal at this point.  I have a nice middle of the road nVidia GeForce 8400 GS Graphics card.  Not top of the line but no piece of junk either.  Around $200 back when I bought it a couple years ago.  Win7 Pro Enterprise x64, i7 CPU, 32GB RAM.  SSD for the OS.  The preview pictures in Lightroom 4 still drag a bit.  Nothing I can do, Adobe did something with LR4 to cause some latency.  (It was faster in LR3.)  Exporting, photo tools, etc all do pretty well considering there is a lot of CPU being used then.

Bottom Line, if money isn't an issue, get the best video you can but if money is tight, don't bother.  Either way, it won't change the performance much if at all for photos.

BTW, I met an IT associate of mine today and eventually, the subject of his MacBook Pro came up.  We discussed briefly how much it helped him with some photo and web development things he works on all day but it did cost him $3200 + over another grand for the large display he uses with it.  And then there's the software, Parallels and Windows 8 he runs on it.  I mentioned this thread and we quickly agreed that the iMacs are essentially a waste of money for doing any serious work like photography, video, graphics design, web dev, etc.  Lower end CPUs, graphics, lower memory limits and slow 5400 RPM drives which he reminded me about.  Even the display isn't as good as what you could get other ways.  In essence, not worth the money compared to other (more expensive but capable) Apple mac alternatives.  Sorry folks but you're just not going to get a standout mac photo workstation for under $2000.  Adequate maybe but not exceptional.  Not new anyway.

Mind answering a question? My GF is looking for a new computer: She does web design, content creation and a little video editing. I cover all her photography and photo editing. She is dead set on an iMac and currently has an older MBP. I feel this would be a poor investment for her business (I use a retina / PC for my photo and CAD work) and as stated earlier in this thread there is no expandability. What could you recommend?

Depending on how old the mac book pro is, you can install a solid state drive and continue using that same computer. SSD are the best bang for the buck upgrade on the market for computers running mechanical hard drives.

Sorry RustyTheGeek, I saw that this question was intended for you, I just could not resist responding! What do you think about an ssd in an older MBP?

I have already done that. The laptop will last a while still but she is in dire need of a desktop. I have 6TB (really 3TB as it is RAID 1) on my network that we use for storage + both have 2tb Lacie drives that live with them (her MBP and my MBP retina).

Right on! Im glad you gave the solid state a try!

If money is not a concern, a Mac Pro tower would be optimal due to the xeon processor and serviceability. But if money is a factor, how opposed would your gf be towards the windows or linux operating systems. I get the impression that you are good with computers, so why not a custom built desktop tailored to her needs? It would cost considerably less and you can choose the individual components.

Plus, if you are wanting a challenge, you could always throw mac os on a custom build!   
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on February 01, 2013, 12:51:27 AM
No Problem Niterider!  And, yes I agree, SSD drives are a great upgrade.  I use them all the time and totally endorse folks getting all the time and ROI they can from their hardware, esp hardware as expensive as Apple.  The only thing to watch is that there isn't any compatibility problems with the mac in question and the drive.  It's not as common as it used to be but still a possibility.  Other World Computing is a great option because they are easy to work with, decent prices and support.  Get a copy of SuperDuper and that will make it even easier to migrate the drives.  And the mac in question must already be using a SATA hard drive which is pretty likely if it's less than 5 years old.

Keep in mind that the older the system, the slower the CPU, the older the chipset and graphics and the possibility that the battery is either dead or close to EOL.  An SSD improves a lot because so much performance is disk dependent but rendering and other CPU intensive tasks will still only run at the supported CPU speeds, etc.

RMC33, your question is likely answered in all the info that is already in this thread.  In general, my thoughts on macs is that iMacs aren't great for doing real work and all macs are too expensive.  A higher end MacBook Pro or Mac Pro are more ideal but they aren't cheap.  iMacs are less expensive but they are also less mac.  I just don't think iMacs are the best use of funds for more than casual use.

What concerns me is that you are doing the photo work but she is doing video.  The video is what will suffer come rendering time due to the older CPU.  If she doesn't mind waiting, so be it.

As an IT consultant, I have only had limited success convincing a would be iMac buyer to choose something else.  The Apple marketing and allure is strong and often people just want it no matter what.  But 3-6 months later I sometimes notice that they no longer use it much or that they complain that it's too slow or limited for their intended purpose.  Unfortunately, not much can be done because it can't be upgraded or modified enough.

If I ever get another mac, it will likely be a macbook pro due to its versatility and ease of resale.  In fact, if it's another year or more, I might get lucky and buy my IT buddies' tricked out unit for half of what he paid.  And it will still be too expensive!  (But at least it will have retina.)

Hope this helps at least a little bit.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on February 01, 2013, 12:56:52 AM
Again, I agree with niterider, a mac tower would be best.  So would a Wintel box custom made.  I'm not a big fan of the HackinTosh FrankenMac only because Apple makes it hard to support so there can be weird quirks or issues after an update sometimes.  Fine for fun and hobby stuff but I wouldn't use it for business.

Regardless of what you decide, I still think the iMac should be the last choice, but that's just me.

Keep us posted on how it goes!
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: dolina on February 01, 2013, 12:58:18 AM
I guess ignorance is bliss...

The marketing strategy of apple: Take a product that is in every way insensible for what they charge and make the consumer think it is a sensible purchase.

BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi and other lux car brands do the same thing. Yet no one whines about it as loudly.

Nothing bad about paying more for a better user experience and better design.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: dolina on February 01, 2013, 12:59:17 AM
daniemare: Just buy an iMac. No need for lengthy discussions.

I have almost an almost identical requirement as yours. I ordered a Build To Order rather than getting the standard config last December 6 and until now I am still waiting. If you are unwilling to wait that long go with the standard config.

Just buy RAM from NewEgg or any other 3rd party dealer. Apple RAM is stupid expensive.

Buy an ext USB 3 HDD instead of going with 3TB. I decided to go with a 1TB Fusion Drive as the blade-type SSD that Apple uses is still cheaper than those being sold by 3rd party dealers.

Any new computer in 2012 or 2013 will be more than adequate to do what you need doing. Heck even a tablet could do what you are asking it to do.

Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RMC33 on February 01, 2013, 01:09:21 AM
Sure videos a full different ball game though. You look at intel with their quicksync dedicated on the CPU itself. It's much simpler and more standardized than RAW formats that are company specific. GPU only helps if the software can be coded to use it which as I said most RAW programs don't seem to be doing due to the complexity. I think another part is the quality also can suffer using these things so they're good for previewing but don't help with the final rendering or if they do, it's of lower quality than when rendered with the CPU.

Yes, this is correct.  GPU doesn't matter for images unless there is code written that talks to it, takes advantage of it, etc.  Otherwise it just passes the graphics information through at a fixed rate as it receives if from the OS.  Video isn't much different, it's just redrawing images faster but video isn't 3D rendering.  Games are written to exploit the graphics card, engine, etc.  That's why some graphics cards work better for some games.  Even Windows now exploits the GPU a bit to help render the Aero interface.  Adobe has begun to try to write some of their code to exploit the GPU on some cards but that's also pretty minimal at this point.  I have a nice middle of the road nVidia GeForce 8400 GS Graphics card.  Not top of the line but no piece of junk either.  Around $200 back when I bought it a couple years ago.  Win7 Pro Enterprise x64, i7 CPU, 32GB RAM.  SSD for the OS.  The preview pictures in Lightroom 4 still drag a bit.  Nothing I can do, Adobe did something with LR4 to cause some latency.  (It was faster in LR3.)  Exporting, photo tools, etc all do pretty well considering there is a lot of CPU being used then.

Bottom Line, if money isn't an issue, get the best video you can but if money is tight, don't bother.  Either way, it won't change the performance much if at all for photos.

BTW, I met an IT associate of mine today and eventually, the subject of his MacBook Pro came up.  We discussed briefly how much it helped him with some photo and web development things he works on all day but it did cost him $3200 + over another grand for the large display he uses with it.  And then there's the software, Parallels and Windows 8 he runs on it.  I mentioned this thread and we quickly agreed that the iMacs are essentially a waste of money for doing any serious work like photography, video, graphics design, web dev, etc.  Lower end CPUs, graphics, lower memory limits and slow 5400 RPM drives which he reminded me about.  Even the display isn't as good as what you could get other ways.  In essence, not worth the money compared to other (more expensive but capable) Apple mac alternatives.  Sorry folks but you're just not going to get a standout mac photo workstation for under $2000.  Adequate maybe but not exceptional.  Not new anyway.

Mind answering a question? My GF is looking for a new computer: She does web design, content creation and a little video editing. I cover all her photography and photo editing. She is dead set on an iMac and currently has an older MBP. I feel this would be a poor investment for her business (I use a retina / PC for my photo and CAD work) and as stated earlier in this thread there is no expandability. What could you recommend?

Depending on how old the mac book pro is, you can install a solid state drive and continue using that same computer. SSD are the best bang for the buck upgrade on the market for computers running mechanical hard drives.

Sorry RustyTheGeek, I saw that this question was intended for you, I just could not resist responding! What do you think about an ssd in an older MBP?

I have already done that. The laptop will last a while still but she is in dire need of a desktop. I have 6TB (really 3TB as it is RAID 1) on my network that we use for storage + both have 2tb Lacie drives that live with them (her MBP and my MBP retina).

Right on! Im glad you gave the solid state a try!

If money is not a concern, a Mac Pro tower would be optimal due to the xeon processor and serviceability. But if money is a factor, how opposed would your gf be towards the windows or linux operating systems. I get the impression that you are good with computers, so why not a custom built desktop tailored to her needs? It would cost considerably less and you can choose the individual components.

Plus, if you are wanting a challenge, you could always throw mac os on a custom build!

SSD or bust these days. I can go from post to CAD loaded with the files I was working on the day before in about 15 seconds on my PC. Money is not much of a concern. How much can one person mod the Mac Pro towers? I have ran the idea of a home built machine and the cost (she set on Apple displays which is fine I have two 23" Cinema HD and love them) but like I said she has never used windows. When she does use my CAD machine for PS or Illustrator work she gets very confused and frustrated due to not knowing the OS and how to access our NAS drive or some of the basic functions. It looks like we are stuck with a Mac Pro for now as I don't feel comfortable making a Hackintosh and she having never used windows would be at a huge business disadvantage.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Niterider on February 01, 2013, 01:43:53 AM
Sure videos a full different ball game though. You look at intel with their quicksync dedicated on the CPU itself. It's much simpler and more standardized than RAW formats that are company specific. GPU only helps if the software can be coded to use it which as I said most RAW programs don't seem to be doing due to the complexity. I think another part is the quality also can suffer using these things so they're good for previewing but don't help with the final rendering or if they do, it's of lower quality than when rendered with the CPU.

Yes, this is correct.  GPU doesn't matter for images unless there is code written that talks to it, takes advantage of it, etc.  Otherwise it just passes the graphics information through at a fixed rate as it receives if from the OS.  Video isn't much different, it's just redrawing images faster but video isn't 3D rendering.  Games are written to exploit the graphics card, engine, etc.  That's why some graphics cards work better for some games.  Even Windows now exploits the GPU a bit to help render the Aero interface.  Adobe has begun to try to write some of their code to exploit the GPU on some cards but that's also pretty minimal at this point.  I have a nice middle of the road nVidia GeForce 8400 GS Graphics card.  Not top of the line but no piece of junk either.  Around $200 back when I bought it a couple years ago.  Win7 Pro Enterprise x64, i7 CPU, 32GB RAM.  SSD for the OS.  The preview pictures in Lightroom 4 still drag a bit.  Nothing I can do, Adobe did something with LR4 to cause some latency.  (It was faster in LR3.)  Exporting, photo tools, etc all do pretty well considering there is a lot of CPU being used then.

Bottom Line, if money isn't an issue, get the best video you can but if money is tight, don't bother.  Either way, it won't change the performance much if at all for photos.

BTW, I met an IT associate of mine today and eventually, the subject of his MacBook Pro came up.  We discussed briefly how much it helped him with some photo and web development things he works on all day but it did cost him $3200 + over another grand for the large display he uses with it.  And then there's the software, Parallels and Windows 8 he runs on it.  I mentioned this thread and we quickly agreed that the iMacs are essentially a waste of money for doing any serious work like photography, video, graphics design, web dev, etc.  Lower end CPUs, graphics, lower memory limits and slow 5400 RPM drives which he reminded me about.  Even the display isn't as good as what you could get other ways.  In essence, not worth the money compared to other (more expensive but capable) Apple mac alternatives.  Sorry folks but you're just not going to get a standout mac photo workstation for under $2000.  Adequate maybe but not exceptional.  Not new anyway.

Mind answering a question? My GF is looking for a new computer: She does web design, content creation and a little video editing. I cover all her photography and photo editing. She is dead set on an iMac and currently has an older MBP. I feel this would be a poor investment for her business (I use a retina / PC for my photo and CAD work) and as stated earlier in this thread there is no expandability. What could you recommend?

Depending on how old the mac book pro is, you can install a solid state drive and continue using that same computer. SSD are the best bang for the buck upgrade on the market for computers running mechanical hard drives.

Sorry RustyTheGeek, I saw that this question was intended for you, I just could not resist responding! What do you think about an ssd in an older MBP?

I have already done that. The laptop will last a while still but she is in dire need of a desktop. I have 6TB (really 3TB as it is RAID 1) on my network that we use for storage + both have 2tb Lacie drives that live with them (her MBP and my MBP retina).

Right on! Im glad you gave the solid state a try!

If money is not a concern, a Mac Pro tower would be optimal due to the xeon processor and serviceability. But if money is a factor, how opposed would your gf be towards the windows or linux operating systems. I get the impression that you are good with computers, so why not a custom built desktop tailored to her needs? It would cost considerably less and you can choose the individual components.

Plus, if you are wanting a challenge, you could always throw mac os on a custom build!

SSD or bust these days. I can go from post to CAD loaded with the files I was working on the day before in about 15 seconds on my PC. Money is not much of a concern. How much can one person mod the Mac Pro towers? I have ran the idea of a home built machine and the cost (she set on Apple displays which is fine I have two 23" Cinema HD and love them) but like I said she has never used windows. When she does use my CAD machine for PS or Illustrator work she gets very confused and frustrated due to not knowing the OS and how to access our NAS drive or some of the basic functions. It looks like we are stuck with a Mac Pro for now as I don't feel comfortable making a Hackintosh and she having never used windows would be at a huge business disadvantage.

To my knowledge, Mac Pros are workstations and workstations cater to businesses. Because of this, the tower was built with an IT support staff in mind. In other words, the computer is very modifiable. Your main limiting factor is going to be the power supply and the connections on the motherboard. As long as you don't put a graphics card in that will exceed the psu, you should be fine. Without seeing a unit personally, I would imagine that you can upgrade RAM, hdd/ssd, optical drives, graphics cards (to an extent) adding soundcards and other pci cards and possibly the heatsink on the processor.

Where I work, we are given HP workstations that feature xeon processors, cuda graphics, etc. There are no compromises made when it comes to business and spending a couple extra grand can mean thousands saved in time over the life of the computer. If this computer is for business, I would go the route your gf feels most comfortable with regardless the cost (within reason of course). But when choosing an Apple machine, I would wait to see what apple will be unveiling with the new Mac Pro tower (coming out later this year). I cannot speak to how serviceable the new model will be though.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Niterider on February 01, 2013, 02:14:26 AM
I guess ignorance is bliss...

The marketing strategy of apple: Take a product that is in every way insensible for what they charge and make the consumer think it is a sensible purchase.

BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi and other lux car brands do the same thing. Yet no one whines about it as loudly.

Nothing bad about paying more for a better user experience and better design.

I do apologize, my comment that you referenced was insensible and uncalled for. I definitely agree that those luxury car brands overcharge for what you get, but I see it slightly differently just because it is not possible to build yourself a car. If you want that sort of performance or luxury in a car, there is no (street legal) way around it. Unless I am forgetting something, then do let me know if that is the case!

I did exactly what the OP was trying to avoid, incite an apple vs pc debate. For that, I am sorry and will not make any future comments regarding the electronic rivalry. My intention was to ultimately convey some information about the iMac architecture and that alternatives do exist if money is a concern. BTW, If anyone is looking to build a computer and would like some help, I would be happy to do what I can!
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: dolina on February 01, 2013, 03:40:12 AM
Your comments are not insensible or uncalled for but it does show an uninformed opinion about how most people do their computing.

It is possible to build yourself a car. All the parts to make one whole car are available for sale over the counter or over the Internet.

http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/31/13588649-homemade-lamborghini-replica-draws-admiring-glances-from-chinese-drivers?lite (http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/31/13588649-homemade-lamborghini-replica-draws-admiring-glances-from-chinese-drivers?lite)

It is just that very few people are inclined to build their own car. Too bothersome for a lot of people to do. Most consumers prefer to buy a Dell, HP, Lenovo etc etc and even an Apple. What sets Apple apart and not just another commodity item is the software and hardware design that is exclusive to the company. Thus they can charge more.

As for cobbled together desktops these are in decline and eventually be niche for DIYers and gamers. As for their out of the box counterparts these are also in decline. Both are yielding market share to mobile devices like notebooks, tablets and smartphones that are mostly bought pre-assembled.

I am not saying that you shouldn't be doing it but for most folks they just want to open the box, plug it to the wall, turn it on and start using it. Then completely replace within 2-5 years. Who wants to assemble a toaster, freezer, stove or microwave?

To make ever smaller and lighter computers manufacturers must solder parts together. This is the direction Intel is planning to take eventually by 2015.

In terms of supply chain cost desktops are much more expensive to move around and store because they take up more space and weigh a lot more.

I know everyone wants to save money on a deal so why aren't most people using m43rds and not SLRs? :)

I do apologize, my comment that you referenced was insensible and uncalled for. I definitely agree that those luxury car brands overcharge for what you get, but I see it slightly differently just because it is not possible to build yourself a car. If you want that sort of performance or luxury in a car, there is no (street legal) way around it. Unless I am forgetting something, then do let me know if that is the case!

I did exactly what the OP was trying to avoid, incite an apple vs pc debate. For that, I am sorry and will not make any future comments regarding the electronic rivalry. My intention was to ultimately convey some information about the iMac architecture and that alternatives do exist if money is a concern. BTW, If anyone is looking to build a computer and would like some help, I would be happy to do what I can!
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: dolina on February 01, 2013, 03:50:42 AM
Mac Pro's upgradeability is only useful for those who upgrade biannually or annually. Or else you must just end up getting a iMac or MBPro and expand via Thunderbolt.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Niterider on February 01, 2013, 04:26:39 AM
Your comments are not insensible or uncalled for but it does show an uninformed opinion about how most people do their computing.

It is possible to build yourself a car. All the parts to make one whole car are available for sale over the counter or over the Internet.

http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/31/13588649-homemade-lamborghini-replica-draws-admiring-glances-from-chinese-drivers?lite (http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/31/13588649-homemade-lamborghini-replica-draws-admiring-glances-from-chinese-drivers?lite)

It is just that very few people are inclined to build their own car. Too bothersome for a lot of people to do. Most consumers prefer to buy a Dell, HP, Lenovo etc etc and even an Apple. What sets Apple apart and not just another commodity item is the software and hardware design that is exclusive to the company. Thus they can charge more.

As for cobbled together desktops these are in decline and eventually be niche for DIYers and gamers. As for their out of the box counterparts these are also in decline yielding market share to mobile devices like notebooks, tablets and smartphones. I am not saying that you shouldn't be doing it but for most folks they just want to open the box, plug it to the wall, turn it on and start using it. Then completely replace within 2-5 years.

To make ever smaller and lighter computers manufacturers must solder parts together. This is the direction Intel is planning to take eventually by 2015.

In terms of supply chain cost desktops are much more expensive to move around and store because they take up more space and weigh a lot more.

I know everyone wants to save money on a deal so why aren't most people using m43rds and not SLRs? :)

I do apologize, my comment that you referenced was insensible and uncalled for. I definitely agree that those luxury car brands overcharge for what you get, but I see it slightly differently just because it is not possible to build yourself a car. If you want that sort of performance or luxury in a car, there is no (street legal) way around it. Unless I am forgetting something, then do let me know if that is the case!

I did exactly what the OP was trying to avoid, incite an apple vs pc debate. For that, I am sorry and will not make any future comments regarding the electronic rivalry. My intention was to ultimately convey some information about the iMac architecture and that alternatives do exist if money is a concern. BTW, If anyone is looking to build a computer and would like some help, I would be happy to do what I can!

I am well aware of the attempts to replicate expensive exotic cars or even build tuner cars from kits (such as the ultima gtr720) that purely built for handeling and speed. Most of which are not street legal in the united states and have little practicality in the real world. Given that these are so different than luxury cars such as BMW, mercs, audi, etc., I still do not think the car example relates. On a side note, I build go karts for fun. They are definitely not street legal, the interior doesn't look anything like a 750LI, but damn it can drift around a turn. Not so sure I would be willing to do that in a $100k bmw haha. But hey if my go kart was street legal, I would drive it everywhere!

Anyhow, I build computers for fellow engineers along with people doing 3D rendering, audio engineering, video editing, etc. I guarantee you that computers are not just for the gamers and those who feel like giving building a try. In the custom computer world, home built computers utilizing raid controllers to control the flow of data to SSD's and overclocked processors have overpowered the 5k+ custom ordered computers from dell (or hp i cant remember). When professionals request a custom build, they are set up in such a way that factories cannot meet their expectations or would charge insane amounts to do so. That is the driving force behind why I build computers for others (i dont charge for my work either because I enjoy it too much  ;D)

I actually know quite a few engineers who work at intel (a major intel facility is just 20 minutes from my house) and are very knowledgeable about the 14nm integrated processor architecture. This is the way of the future, but is not going to cause custom build computers to cease to exist. Intel makes far too much money from the custom pc world to risk that. But it also will have a profound effect on advancing major computer companies (dell,hp,etc) 

I realize 95% of the computer market is just looking for a computer to turn on an preform basic tasks. I just find it astounding when they spend twice as much for an iMac than a custom build that I recently did for a client that has 2 to 3 times the processing capabilities. (not just the processor alone - this takes into account overclocking on the processor, ram, having an ssd raid array, motherboard to handle the sensitive current and high data flow, etc.) In the end, all that matters is how many floating-point operations per second is achieved.

But hey, if owning that beautiful aluminum computer is what makes you happy, more power to you  :)
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: dolina on February 01, 2013, 06:33:57 AM
I am well aware of the attempts to replicate expensive exotic cars or even build tuner cars from kits (such as the ultima gtr720) that purely built for handeling and speed. Most of which are not street legal in the united states and have little practicality in the real world. Given that these are so different than luxury cars such as BMW, mercs, audi, etc., I still do not think the car example relates. On a side note, I build go karts for fun. They are definitely not street legal, the interior doesn't look anything like a 750LI, but damn it can drift around a turn. Not so sure I would be willing to do that in a $100k bmw haha. But hey if my go kart was street legal, I would drive it everywhere!

Anyhow, I build computers for fellow engineers along with people doing 3D rendering, audio engineering, video editing, etc. I guarantee you that computers are not just for the gamers and those who feel like giving building a try. In the custom computer world, home built computers utilizing raid controllers to control the flow of data to SSD's and overclocked processors have overpowered the 5k+ custom ordered computers from dell (or hp i cant remember). When professionals request a custom build, they are set up in such a way that factories cannot meet their expectations or would charge insane amounts to do so. That is the driving force behind why I build computers for others (i dont charge for my work either because I enjoy it too much  ;D)

I actually know quite a few engineers who work at intel (a major intel facility is just 20 minutes from my house) and are very knowledgeable about the 14nm integrated processor architecture. This is the way of the future, but is not going to cause custom build computers to cease to exist. Intel makes far too much money from the custom pc world to risk that. But it also will have a profound effect on advancing major computer companies (dell,hp,etc) 

I realize 95% of the computer market is just looking for a computer to turn on an preform basic tasks. I just find it astounding when they spend twice as much for an iMac than a custom build that I recently did for a client that has 2 to 3 times the processing capabilities. (not just the processor alone - this takes into account overclocking on the processor, ram, having an ssd raid array, motherboard to handle the sensitive current and high data flow, etc.) In the end, all that matters is how many floating-point operations per second is achieved.

But hey, if owning that beautiful aluminum computer is what makes you happy, more power to you  :)
People dont build their own cars because it requires skill, time and interest that they neither not have or are not interested in. The only difference between a custom car and a lux car like say a Pagani is that a car requires to pass govt regs to be sold legally while custom cars can be built but not operated in public roads.

I've seen custom cars fitted with pretty good interiors made from scratch. You just need to find the people with the parts or craftsmanship to do it properly. Again, some people enjoy doing such things while others rather fork out the money for something nice.

The software on the Mac is different than those on the PC. Hardware design is also different. End user experience is also different.

These are parallels of Apple products to luxury cars that I named earlier. Apple also follows the customer experience model of the Ritz-Carlton. Why else would people pay "double" for a Mac that does the same thing with a prettier case? Does Apple have to slather their products in leather and chrome to make the connection ever stronger?

People can go to the grocer and make themselves a pretty good meal for 1/10th the price of going to a 5 Michelin Star resto but people still get wait listed months in advance to get a table. Call them crazy for wanting to eat in a fancy place rather than the comfort and privacy of your own home.

There's a saying, you can fool some people some of the time but you cannot fool all people all the time.

Of course Apple and to some extent Dell et al cannot cater to the whole market like custom jobs as these are not economical or even profitable for them to do so. You did mention not charging anything for your labors.

Intel and other parts makers see this also as demonstrated by the declining sales of desktops.

The market will dictate when custom computers will cease to exist in the same way as Linux on the desktop/notebook has been a running meme since the 90s.

Remember, this is Canon Rumor forum and not Anandtech or HardOCP. We just want our pretty pictures (and maybe video) processed with little fuss.

Not putting down custom jobs or commodity PCs. I've seen my brother's gaming setup and it's insane for what he can do but for me I rather spend the extra as I am looking for an appliance more than a project within a project.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on February 01, 2013, 09:13:09 AM
At the moment I am picturing niterider, dolina and myself in the corner of the (CR) party having a nice little debate.   ;D

In general we are all right with good points, we all understand and we all need to raise our glasses and salute the fact that we live in a world where we have all these choices and in addition, we are all badass photographers and like to turn wrenches too!  Gee, what a great life!
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Brand B on February 01, 2013, 09:18:47 AM
To my knowledge, Mac Pros are workstations and workstations cater to businesses. Because of this, the tower was built with an IT support staff in mind. In other words, the computer is very modifiable. Your main limiting factor is going to be the power supply and the connections on the motherboard. As long as you don't put a graphics card in that will exceed the psu, you should be fine. Without seeing a unit personally, I would imagine that you can upgrade RAM, hdd/ssd, optical drives, graphics cards (to an extent) adding soundcards and other pci cards and possibly the heatsink on the processor.

Where I work, we are given HP workstations that feature xeon processors, cuda graphics, etc. There are no compromises made when it comes to business and spending a couple extra grand can mean thousands saved in time over the life of the computer. If this computer is for business, I would go the route your gf feels most comfortable with regardless the cost (within reason of course). But when choosing an Apple machine, I would wait to see what apple will be unveiling with the new Mac Pro tower (coming out later this year). I cannot speak to how serviceable the new model will be though.

Right now is not a great time to buy a Mac Pro. The unit has not been refreshed significantly in years, and the rumors are something new is coming in the next few months.

A couple of other notes, there are only a few video cards that work in the Mac Pro, and none of them are that exciting.

I don't believe you can modify the processor heat sink.  The stock cooling configuration, however, is thought out very well.

On the flipside, some believe that the new release will not be a Mac Pro at all, but rather a thunderbolt box that allows expansion of an iMac into something with Mac Pro capabilities.  This is based on parsing Tim Cook's comment wherein he does not say a new Mac Pro is coming but rather that something that people who are waiting for a Mac Pro will like.  This would be consistent with Apple's movement towards eliminating optical drives and favoring SSDs.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: cayenne on February 01, 2013, 10:33:42 AM
You could always build a hackintosh...

http://nofilmschool.com/build-a-hackintosh/ (http://nofilmschool.com/build-a-hackintosh/)
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on February 01, 2013, 11:30:34 AM
You could always build a hackintosh...

http://nofilmschool.com/build-a-hackintosh/ (http://nofilmschool.com/build-a-hackintosh/)
I looked over the Hackintosh Tutorial.  It looks well done.  Still requires someone with PC experience but it is one of  the better guides for this.  I would suggest shopping around for the components.  Use Amazon but also NewEgg, MicroCenter, buy.com, etc.  (MicroCenter is notorious for having Intel CPUs for dirt cheap prices for some reason.)  I would also try to use a nice Intel 510 series SSD for better performance and reliability.  The liquid CPU cooler is overkill unless you plan to overclock and if you do, you should just save a little money and go with the i5-3570K.  (Here is a good discussion about i7 vs i5 performance with regard to gaming or photo/video work.  http://apcmag.com/ivy-bridge-cpu-buyers-guide.htm (http://apcmag.com/ivy-bridge-cpu-buyers-guide.htm) )  Overall, this *might* inspire me to build one sometime.  Most of what stops me is all the work that this guy already performed so I may give it shot sometime soon.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: fugu82 on February 01, 2013, 11:47:29 AM
I would recommend to daniemare to go for the 27" with the i5 and fusion drive, then max out the RAM to 36 GB aftermarket. This should service your needs very well for 3 or 4 years. I am about to receive my new iMac Tuesday [about 4 weeks from my order] as a replacement for my Mac Pro 2,1. I really wanted a new Pro, but got tired of waiting for Apple to crank out an actual, modern, state-of-art replacement. I use Lightroom and Photoshop, which is not really too demanding, but specced out my iMac all the way [except for RAM] anyway, so that I'll be comfortable keeping it for 5+ years.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on February 01, 2013, 11:58:34 AM
I would recommend to daniemare to go for the 27" with the i5 and fusion drive, then max out the RAM to 36 GB aftermarket. This should service your needs very well for 3 or 4 years. I am about to receive my new iMac Tuesday [about 4 weeks from my order] as a replacement for my Mac Pro 2,1. I really wanted a new Pro, but got tired of waiting for Apple to crank out an actual, modern, state-of-art replacement. I use Lightroom and Photoshop, which is not really too demanding, but specced out my iMac all the way [except for RAM] anyway, so that I'll be comfortable keeping it for 5+ years.
If you get the iMac 27" i5, you can upgrade the ram from Crucial for a couple hundred dollars.  http://tinyurl.com/a8gz37d (http://tinyurl.com/a8gz37d)
That's about all you can do after it is purchased.  Then pray nothing ever goes wrong with it since it can't be opened easily.  And after you upgrade it all the way at purchase time, you could be well on your way to a retina macbook pro.  (Still more expensive but much better unit and more versatile.)
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on February 01, 2013, 12:28:08 PM
I am a Mac fan, have only ever owned Macs blah blah. I cannot understand anybody buying any kind of computer where the hard drive is not comparatively easily replaced, for goodness sake in this day and age they are practically consumables. iMacs have become toys for the masses, and there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that, just don't even think about getting one for actual computing work. As I said earlier in the thread, the Mac Mini is far better than the iMac, I put a second drive in mine so I now have a 256GB SSD and a 1TB 7200 internal, I also maxed the RAM and it is a great little tool, works well for photos but I wouldn't like to edit too much video on it. The 2012 iMac is tomorrows doorstop.

P.S. My sister has had five iMacs, her current one the HD died on 13 months, she has been booting from an external USB drive for months, postage to get it to a somebody who can split it open is around $100, each way, and that is an iMac that can be worked on, plus the cost of the drive and the semi skilled fitting and even that is a crazy hassle to get a new HDD.
TOTALLY AGREE!  My sentiments exactly.  Very expensive and very risky.  As I look at the Apple store, I guess the Mac Mini is a better value now than it used to be.  (It used to be so weak, limited and expensive that any mac laptop was a better deal.)  So yeah, I guess I could support a Mac Mini purchase now.  Esp if you get a nice IPS display.  You can get my DELL U2410 for around $300 now.  It's great.  Or any nice display including Apple (Glossy = GLARE!) depending on how much $$ you want to spend.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Halfrack on February 01, 2013, 01:38:18 PM
@Cayenne   http://sonnettech.com/ (http://sonnettech.com/) Thunderbolt to PCIe break out box - looks like we can't do video cards there yet.

The reason for an upgraded video card is if you're going to be driving multiple displays.  Mac + TB Display + Displayport for IPS screen means that 1gb of RAM may not have enough room to run everything.

Doing an iMac with a second display (matte) would actually be your best option - look at things under both conditions, remembering that lots of content consumption is done on glossy displays.  And when she's away, plug in a MBP and run all 3 screens.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RMC33 on February 01, 2013, 02:51:02 PM
Update: Thanks for all the info.

We are getting a Mac Pro bare bones refurb (was built in June 2012) for $2140 http://store.apple.com/us_smb_78313/product/FD770LL/A/refurbished-mac-pro-32ghz-quad-core-intel-xeon-2012 (http://store.apple.com/us_smb_78313/product/FD770LL/A/refurbished-mac-pro-32ghz-quad-core-intel-xeon-2012). Refurb monitor for $825. I will do the upgrading myself, first thing.. 512 SSD.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on February 01, 2013, 05:51:15 PM
Great RMC33!  Sounds like a wise choice.  However on the SSD, if not a huge rush on the 512, get a 256 until the prices drop more.  It's easy to upgrade later with SuperDuper.  Just my 2c.  If you want great performance and solid reliability, get an Intel 520 series 240GB unit for about $250.  Lightning fast and Intel quality.  Or the 480 GB version isn't that much more (per GB) I guess at $510 for 480GB.  Either way you will love the Intel SSDs and they come with wonderful install kits too.  Don't forget to get a large 2TB drive and a redundant external 2TB drive for internal redundant storage and internal/external backups.

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Series-Solid-State-Drive-2-5-Inch/dp/B006VCP9G6 (http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Series-Solid-State-Drive-2-5-Inch/dp/B006VCP9G6)

HAVE FUN!!  ;D
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RMC33 on February 01, 2013, 06:30:33 PM
Great RMC33!  Sounds like a wise choice.  However on the SSD, if not a huge rush on the 512, get a 256 until the prices drop more.  It's easy to upgrade later with SuperDuper.  Just my 2c.  If you want great performance and solid reliability, get an Intel 520 series 240GB unit for about $250.  Lightning fast and Intel quality.  Or the 480 GB version isn't that much more (per GB) I guess at $510 for 480GB.  Either way you will love the Intel SSDs and they come with wonderful install kits too.  Don't forget to get a large 2TB drive and a redundant external 2TB drive for internal redundant storage and internal/external backups.

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Series-Solid-State-Drive-2-5-Inch/dp/B006VCP9G6 (http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Series-Solid-State-Drive-2-5-Inch/dp/B006VCP9G6)

HAVE FUN!!  ;D

I have an extra 512 Crucial. It was for my old laptop but I got the MBP Retina so it has been sitting. The internals will be 2x 2TB caviar blacks in RAID1 with 6tb of NAS (In raid 1). I will also be bumping to 16gb of ram.

I learned a long time ago to back up back up back up. ALl my photo shoots are on 8 or 16gb cards and I dump to a custom built card reader/HDD/Screen while shooting. I lost almost an entire Ducks game to 1 64GB card dying.

Either way.. Thank you and Night for your advice. I placed the order with apple (and even got the GF to get a 2nd monitor!) about an hour ago. I am kind of curious if apple has kept their internals super clean like back in the G5 series days. 
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: paul13walnut5 on February 01, 2013, 08:22:46 PM
Apple are stopping selling the Mac Pro in it's current form in europe from MArch the 1st, citing new EU legislation regarding fans.

I can confirm that the old G5 i have in my b suite is great for drying clothes and pro-tools, and that the Mac Pro is pretty nice to bolt things into.

I still wouldn't buy one until, or if the new one comes out....

My imac is great too, just expandibility is shyte. 
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on February 01, 2013, 08:35:15 PM
Great RMC33!  Sounds like a wise choice.  However on the SSD, if not a huge rush on the 512, get a 256 until the prices drop more.  It's easy to upgrade later with SuperDuper.  Just my 2c.  If you want great performance and solid reliability, get an Intel 520 series 240GB unit for about $250.  Lightning fast and Intel quality.  Or the 480 GB version isn't that much more (per GB) I guess at $510 for 480GB.  Either way you will love the Intel SSDs and they come with wonderful install kits too.  Don't forget to get a large 2TB drive and a redundant external 2TB drive for internal redundant storage and internal/external backups.

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Series-Solid-State-Drive-2-5-Inch/dp/B006VCP9G6 (http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Series-Solid-State-Drive-2-5-Inch/dp/B006VCP9G6)

HAVE FUN!!  ;D

I have an extra 512 Crucial. It was for my old laptop but I got the MBP Retina so it has been sitting. The internals will be 2x 2TB caviar blacks in RAID1 with 6tb of NAS (In raid 1). I will also be bumping to 16gb of ram.

I learned a long time ago to back up back up back up. ALl my photo shoots are on 8 or 16gb cards and I dump to a custom built card reader/HDD/Screen while shooting. I lost almost an entire Ducks game to 1 64GB card dying.

Either way.. Thank you and Night for your advice. I placed the order with apple (and even got the GF to get a 2nd monitor!) about an hour ago. I am kind of curious if apple has kept their internals super clean like back in the G5 series days.
Sounds sweet!!  Can't wait to hear about all the great work and satisfaction you are getting from the new setup.  Coooool!   8)
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: dolina on February 02, 2013, 11:06:13 AM
Sometimes I just want to add fuel to the already raging fire!  ;D

(http://d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net/photo/6479559_700b_v1.jpg)

Source: http://9gag.com/gag/6479559 (http://9gag.com/gag/6479559)
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RMC33 on February 02, 2013, 11:33:44 AM
Sometimes I just want to add fuel to the already raging fire!  ;D

(http://d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net/photo/6479559_700b_v1.jpg)

Source: http://9gag.com/gag/6479559 (http://9gag.com/gag/6479559)

Haha! I would love to build my GF a PC and have her toss the money into something she wants, but she has never used Windows. I am just glad I get a new Apple display out of the deal.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Brand B on February 04, 2013, 06:37:09 AM
Sometimes I just want to add fuel to the already raging fire!  ;D

See this is what I don't get. Recently my friend needed a workstation for solidworks and stuff like that, and we built something very similar to what you spec here.  But when his wife, who is in film production, wanted a new computer, a new iMac was pretty much the best solution for her for the stuff she likes to do at home, and for what she wants from a machine as far as non-functional aspects (appearance, form factor, etc.)

So I am at a loss as to why you think the solution you've listed is the appropriate choice for everybody just because it is the appropriate choice for you. Do you think everyone is exactly like you?  Do you truly believe those two machines are equivalent in every way that matters except price?
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on February 04, 2013, 10:36:26 AM
Brand B - dolina is joking.  I think if you read through the thread, you'll find several ideas but everyone is trying to avoid the mac vs PC debate as much as is possible without denying the price factor.  I didn't get the impression the theme of the thread was that one size fits all.  The theme does have a lot of opinions that agree about the iMac not being the best choice for video work or any purpose that requires long term performance and reliability.  The iMac simply can't be repaired or upgraded easily and is still expensive to get configured to the highest spec available.  The other undeniable fact is that regardless of which Apple solution is chosen, they are all very expensive for that experience.  So to save money, buying a refurbished system may be a good compromise and still achieve good satisfaction and value.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: dolina on February 04, 2013, 03:25:53 PM
It boils down to how much you want/can spend and what is your intended intent.

I for example would never recommend a Mac if you intend to play high-end computer games but I would push for it if for creative and home use.

9gag.com is a humor site whose audience is basically highschool and college kids so the graphic I posted is rather shortsighted. What is humorous is insisting on buying a 1,000 pound used Audi without considering the cost of maintenance and other ownership cost for the next 5 years. I like for everything but Apple-related posts. It shows how immature they are without the benefit of years of experience.

Again, people will pay a premium for refined and polished products and services because they understand and appreciate such things. That's why Apple is the 2nd most valuable company in the world because there are not alternatives.

Apple's target market is the mass market high-end. Not high-end enough to only sell hundreds of thousands of machines but millions of machines. This is why they rarely offer Macs with Intel "Extreme" badged chips. Not enough volume to make it their while.

As for me, I want OS X on the fastest non-Mac Pro machine. I bought a Power Mac (PowerPC equivalent to the Mac Pro) back in 2002 and the only benefit I got from it other than processing grunt are the PATA slots. So for my uses it isn't worth buying. I would rather upgrade my Macs annually or biannually. I always have someone to pass the older Macs after 1-2 years use. And when I sell my Macs I get a good used price. There is always someone willing to pay a premium over a similarly spec'd PC.

Often people overlook and put down "great aesthetic design" but to be honest who doesnt want a small desktop that occupies less than 21"x26"x8" and weighs less than 22 lbs? Not to mention consumes less than 200w and thermal output of less than 682 BTU/h?

These things may not matter to places with cheap power and large spaces but they do matter to people in places like Japan where space and power are sold at a premium.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RLPhoto on February 04, 2013, 04:17:55 PM
My PC does everything a Mac can do and does it cheaper, faster, better, and with no compatibility issues.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RMC33 on February 04, 2013, 04:54:08 PM
Thanks for all the advice!

UPS just stopped in and dropped off my GF's new tower and monitors. After about two hours of having the case open, setup and calibration I am quite impressed. Thanks Rusty and Night she is VERY happy. I was apprehensive about apple but this is one robust machine.

Took this:
One 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor
6GB (3 x 2GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC memory
1TB Serial ATA 7200 rpm
18x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

 ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5 memory

Added 1 512 Crucial SSD, 6TB in RAID 1, 16GB RAM. We took the 1TB drive out of the Apple and tossed it into an extra NAS housing. It has two 27 in apple displays (which I want now). Any other recommendations for upgrades?
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: cayenne on February 04, 2013, 05:26:58 PM
My PC does everything a Mac can do and does it cheaper, faster, better, and with no compatibility issues.

Hmm.....so, it runs Aperture 3, and Final Cut Pro X nicely and easily?<P>
:)

On my mac, however...I can run all those OSX only apps, and with VMWare I can run windows and/or linux for anything that runs exclusively on those.<P>
Sure, you can run OSX in VMWare on your PC, but technically, it isn't legal to run OSX on non-mac hardware. <P>
Not that 'technically' ever really stands in my way on things of this nature, but I'm just saying....
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: cayenne on February 04, 2013, 05:27:51 PM
Thanks for all the advice!

UPS just stopped in and dropped off my GF's new tower and monitors. After about two hours of having the case open, setup and calibration I am quite impressed. Thanks Rusty and Night she is VERY happy. I was apprehensive about apple but this is one robust machine.

Took this:
One 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor
6GB (3 x 2GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC memory
1TB Serial ATA 7200 rpm
18x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

 ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5 memory

Added 1 512 Crucial SSD, 6TB in RAID 1, 16GB RAM. We took the 1TB drive out of the Apple and tossed it into an extra NAS housing. It has two 27 in apple displays (which I want now). Any other recommendations for upgrades?

Might we get an idea on the price you paid for said computer plus upgrades?
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RLPhoto on February 04, 2013, 05:42:49 PM
My PC does everything a Mac can do and does it cheaper, faster, better, and with no compatibility issues.

Hmm.....so, it runs Aperture 3, and Final Cut Pro X nicely and easily?<P>
:)

On my mac, however...I can run all those OSX only apps, and with VMWare I can run windows and/or linux for anything that runs exclusively on those.<P>
Sure, you can run OSX in VMWare on your PC, but technically, it isn't legal to run OSX on non-mac hardware. <P>
Not that 'technically' ever really stands in my way on things of this nature, but I'm just saying....

Aperture 3? Don't care, have LR4.

Final Cut pro? Don't care, have Premiere pro or would Get AVID for serious work.

OSX? Eh, the only thing I might do with it is for Cocoa and old legacy stuff I have. I wouldn't pay $$$ for that.

Its all good, but I don't ever use my mac anymore. Also, Hows tethering going with the new release of mountain lion? I heard it was pretty bad. :|
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: Niterider on February 04, 2013, 06:04:42 PM
Thanks for all the advice!

UPS just stopped in and dropped off my GF's new tower and monitors. After about two hours of having the case open, setup and calibration I am quite impressed. Thanks Rusty and Night she is VERY happy. I was apprehensive about apple but this is one robust machine.

Took this:
One 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor
6GB (3 x 2GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC memory
1TB Serial ATA 7200 rpm
18x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

 ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5 memory

Added 1 512 Crucial SSD, 6TB in RAID 1, 16GB RAM. We took the 1TB drive out of the Apple and tossed it into an extra NAS housing. It has two 27 in apple displays (which I want now). Any other recommendations for upgrades?

I'm glad I could help! As far as other upgrades go, it really can't think of any. If the computer is too loud or you notice the computer running hotter than you would like, you could always replace the stock fans with some fluid ball bearing fans. Just replace the fans with those of identical size. A great brand too look into is Noctua because they move a ton of air and are unbelievably quiet. 
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RMC33 on February 04, 2013, 08:04:28 PM
Thanks for all the advice!

UPS just stopped in and dropped off my GF's new tower and monitors. After about two hours of having the case open, setup and calibration I am quite impressed. Thanks Rusty and Night she is VERY happy. I was apprehensive about apple but this is one robust machine.

Took this:
One 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor
6GB (3 x 2GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC memory
1TB Serial ATA 7200 rpm
18x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

 ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5 memory

Added 1 512 Crucial SSD, 6TB in RAID 1, 16GB RAM. We took the 1TB drive out of the Apple and tossed it into an extra NAS housing. It has two 27 in apple displays (which I want now). Any other recommendations for upgrades?

Might we get an idea on the price you paid for said computer plus upgrades?

Refurb on all the Mac items. $2100 for the tower and $840 for the two monitors. SSD was an extra I bought, I think I paid $230 for it. HDD's were $180 each (3x Caviar Black 2tb). RAM ran $120. 4x 4gb sticks.

In total $4800 or so with shipping. Not my proudest moment in computing but she is in love with it.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: paul13walnut5 on February 05, 2013, 12:26:35 PM
My PC does everything a Mac can do and does it cheaper, faster, better, and with no compatibility issues.

Hmm.....so, it runs Aperture 3, and Final Cut Pro X nicely and easily?<P>
:)

On my mac, however...I can run all those OSX only apps, and with VMWare I can run windows and/or linux for anything that runs exclusively on those.<P>
Sure, you can run OSX in VMWare on your PC, but technically, it isn't legal to run OSX on non-mac hardware. <P>
Not that 'technically' ever really stands in my way on things of this nature, but I'm just saying....

Aperture 3? Don't care, have LR4.

Final Cut pro? Don't care, have Premiere pro or would Get AVID for serious work.

OSX? Eh, the only thing I might do with it is for Cocoa and old legacy stuff I have. I wouldn't pay $$$ for that.

Its all good, but I don't ever use my mac anymore. Also, Hows tethering going with the new release of mountain lion? I heard it was pretty bad. :|

My next mac will probably be a PC.  Yes I will miss the loverly OS.  But it isn't enough.  Had FCPX not been an abomination and betrayal to pro users that would have been enough.  But they kicked me in the teeth then tried to sell me candy dentures.  Adobe Premiere CS is where Apple should have been at.  But they only care about iOS peoducts these days.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: cayenne on February 05, 2013, 12:58:52 PM
My PC does everything a Mac can do and does it cheaper, faster, better, and with no compatibility issues.

Hmm.....so, it runs Aperture 3, and Final Cut Pro X nicely and easily?<P>
:)

On my mac, however...I can run all those OSX only apps, and with VMWare I can run windows and/or linux for anything that runs exclusively on those.<P>
Sure, you can run OSX in VMWare on your PC, but technically, it isn't legal to run OSX on non-mac hardware. <P>
Not that 'technically' ever really stands in my way on things of this nature, but I'm just saying....

Aperture 3? Don't care, have LR4.

Final Cut pro? Don't care, have Premiere pro or would Get AVID for serious work.

OSX? Eh, the only thing I might do with it is for Cocoa and old legacy stuff I have. I wouldn't pay $$$ for that.

Its all good, but I don't ever use my mac anymore. Also, Hows tethering going with the new release of mountain lion? I heard it was pretty bad. :|

Why would I need to tether my home computer?
:)
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: cayenne on February 05, 2013, 01:05:17 PM

My next mac will probably be a PC.  Yes I will miss the loverly OS.  But it isn't enough.  Had FCPX not been an abomination and betrayal to pro users that would have been enough.  But they kicked me in the teeth then tried to sell me candy dentures.  Adobe Premiere CS is where Apple should have been at.  But they only care about iOS peoducts these days.
Hi Paulie!!

You've given some good advice on the forums, so I'd like to ask...

Why do you dislike FCPX? I know when it first came out, that it was missing some key items that pros need, but from my understanding, the current, up to date version, contains pretty much everything people were complaining about (multi camera, multichannel sound, XML, etc).

I'm curious why you still don't like it? Is it due to the new layout an paradigm of editing on it (magnetic timeline)? I hadn't really used a previous NLE, so I learned FCPX's methods first, and I find it quite easy to use...I know relearning a new way is sometimes frustrating, but it shouldn't take that much effort to learn to do the same thing a slightly different way?  At least that my personal philosophy.
(On the other hand, I *do* still complain about the d@mned ribbon interface to MS's Office and other apps...hahaha).

Anyway, I'm just curious why you still dislike FCPX, when at least on the surface, it appears it now is up today with features that Adobe Premier has...?

Thanks in advance!!!

cayenne
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RLPhoto on February 05, 2013, 01:13:23 PM
Because It looks cool and clients like to see photo's pop up over skype.  8)
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: paul13walnut5 on February 05, 2013, 03:34:29 PM

My next mac will probably be a PC.  Yes I will miss the loverly OS.  But it isn't enough.  Had FCPX not been an abomination and betrayal to pro users that would have been enough.  But they kicked me in the teeth then tried to sell me candy dentures.  Adobe Premiere CS is where Apple should have been at.  But they only care about iOS peoducts these days.
Hi Paulie!!

You've given some good advice on the forums, so I'd like to ask...

Why do you dislike FCPX? I know when it first came out, that it was missing some key items that pros need, but from my understanding, the current, up to date version, contains pretty much everything people were complaining about (multi camera, multichannel sound, XML, etc).

I'm curious why you still don't like it? Is it due to the new layout an paradigm of editing on it (magnetic timeline)? I hadn't really used a previous NLE, so I learned FCPX's methods first, and I find it quite easy to use...I know relearning a new way is sometimes frustrating, but it shouldn't take that much effort to learn to do the same thing a slightly different way?  At least that my personal philosophy.
(On the other hand, I *do* still complain about the d@mned ribbon interface to MS's Office and other apps...hahaha).

Anyway, I'm just curious why you still dislike FCPX, when at least on the surface, it appears it now is up today with features that Adobe Premier has...?

Thanks in advance!!!

cayenne

Magnetic timeline is biggie. 

Having to capture tape via fcp7 or black magic deck control.

Exporting omfies.

Exporting to tape with intended timecode.

Wheras cs lets me do all of this retaining track based i-o editing with the fcp shortcuts I've used for 12 years.

After 1st March I will not be ableto upgrade my macpro (early 2008) to sometging with expansion pcis or software raidable drives.

Cs gives me the 64bit speed benefits in an interface I can transition to.

Although a lot of the problems are now fixed, (xml import for legacy fcp projects was historically a killer) i previously paid 30%_50% over the odds to edit on fcp because I learned on and loved fcp.   Now I can edit on cs instead I can also spend a lot less.

Apple aren't giving the pro users what they need and are losing the market.  If fcpx works for you then great.  It doesn't for me, or particularly my clients with big tape archives.

A pc will do a vastly better job for the same money when I replace the macpro in the office.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: RustyTheGeek on February 08, 2013, 09:43:22 AM
The primary reason I owned a PowerMac a few years ago and consider buying a Mac Pro in the future is for video work.  Sounds like that is becoming less of an advantage.  Oh well!  This pretty much convinces me that a HackinTosh is the way to go so I can save money and use it completely the way I like with whatever OS I like.  I'm not attracted to aluminum that much anyway.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: paul13walnut5 on February 08, 2013, 05:27:57 PM
The MacPro is the boy.  I'm pretty happy with the performance of my now 5 year old tower, especially since going to a true 64bit OS, and doing bits and bobs in 64 bit versions of Premiere and After-Effects, however, it isn't going to last forever, I'm already onto my third graphics card (known issue with the early 2008 mac pro, now fitted the radeon 1gb option)

But as its a cap ex, I won't get money for a new tower before march, and from march you can't buy a mac pro in the EU (seems to be a temporary measure) if the new tower is absolutely brilliant and a major step up this time then I might spec that as my next machine, but as I'm heading in a less mac proprietary software direction (premiere instead of FCP) it becomes a question of how much do i really really like the mac OS.  The answer is, a lot.  An awful lot.  But then the difference in cap ex, is also a lot.  An awful lot.  Not that its my money, but my hd-25's are on their last legs.. as is the eng tripod.. we're using a domestic samsung LCD for client playback since the broadcast monitor died of obselete major organ failure...

If you are going to cut on FCPX then a macpro tower, when they upgrade, if they upgrade, running the OS off os an SSD fitted in the 2nd optical bay, and running two striped software raids in the 4 bays, one capture, one render, is absolutely the way to go.

If you aren't going to be cutting on FCPX (and I'm not) then a macpro suddenly looks like an unnecessary expense.  Especially compared to a PC with mercury engine card.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: dolina on February 09, 2013, 10:10:08 PM
paul the 2013 Mac Pro is expected to come out once the 2012 Mac Pro sales are halted in the EU. That is the rumor now.

As a non-working photog I see little point in the Mac Pro. I rather buy a top-end iMac everytime a new hardware redesign happens and expand my storage either through USB 3 or Thunderbolt.
Title: Re: Which iMac
Post by: dolina on February 19, 2013, 01:23:29 PM
After 75 days!

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8087/8489158202_4e3431876b_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alabang/8489158202/)
Very late 2012 iMac (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alabang/8489158202/#) by alabang (http://www.flickr.com/people/alabang/), on Flickr

On the brown box it stated it landed in Singapore from China on 01/24/13. It then flew over here and was delivered to the dealer today.

Many thanks to Digital Walker Alabang Town Center for being courteous and helpful despite Apple's manufacturing problems. :D