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7enderbender

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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #45 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


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.
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RustyTheGeek

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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #46 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.
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RustyTheGeek

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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #47 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


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.
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RMC33

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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #48 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
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

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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #49 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
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.

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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #50 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. 

cayenne

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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #51 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

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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #52 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
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brianleighty

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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #53 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.
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cayenne

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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #54 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

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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #55 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.
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RustyTheGeek

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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #56 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.
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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #57 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:


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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #58 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?

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Re: Which iMac
« Reply #59 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?