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.