Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-02-2012, 11:44 AM   #1
Veteran Member
abieleck's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 799
iMac Specs/Parallels on Mac

After recently working on a very nice Mac Pro at work, I am looking at switching platforms from Windows to Mac. The I am looking at the iMac and was wondering who runs an iMac, how much beef (GHz/RAM/Graphics) I would need, and how much would just be over-kill. I run normal photo programs ie. Lightroom 3, Photoshop Elements, Firefox and am looking at getting Silver Efex Pro. I don't do a lot of video, but would like to get into time-lapse photography. I do do larger shoots shoots from time to time, coming home with 500-1000 images.

I guess I am just wondering:

-What other people run and how it handles their workflow
-If I should consider spending more $ and get more processing power (2.7GHz vs 3.1 GHZ)
-If I should upgrade the RAM from 4GB to 8GB
-If a 512 MB vs. 1 GB Graphics card would make a huge difference in terms of photo editing.

Also if anyone has experience running Windows programs (Lightroom, Photoshop) on a Mac platform using Parallels or by starting windows during the system boot. Would I have to buy a new copy of Windows 7, or could I install the copy I previously installed on my PC on a Mac.

Any input/experiences would be much appreciated.

Thanks

03-02-2012, 11:55 AM   #2
Ash
Community Manager
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 23,317
I personally wager that there is no such thing as 'overkill' when talking about computers.
The technology is advancing so fast that it seems as if computers are obsolete the moment they're bought.
New operating systems are being developed very soon after the previous version, and with each advance, there is a further demand on speed and memory to run them, let alone the software they have to run on these new oprating systems.
I also have Macs, but not a Mac Pro - those machines are indeed built to last and withstand the 'insults' each new software developed puts on the computers - much more so than iMacs. Even with my own 3GHz quad-core iMac with 8GB RAM and 512MB graphics card, it's been slowing down somewhat since first buying it - mainly from the added software and updates I've been putting on it. The more processing power and RAM, the better IMO, and graphics programs are one of the most demanding on a computer, besides video editing programs, so the most advanced computer will last you longest, and will not be overkill for long...

Not sure of the Windows installation, but I gather than since you purchased the Windows 7, with Boot Camp or similar software for Mac, I'm sure you'd be fine running your Windows software on it with your current Windows package.
03-02-2012, 12:00 PM   #3
Forum Member




Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 95
Disclaimer: I don't have much experience with Macs, but i'm contemplating the same move, so i've read and talked about it with people who do have macs for quite some time.

QuoteOriginally posted by abieleck Quote
I guess I am just wondering:

-What other people run and how it handles their workflow
-If I should consider spending more $ and get more processing power (2.7GHz vs 3.1 GHZ)
-If I should upgrade the RAM from 4GB to 8GB
-If a 512 MB vs. 1 GB Graphics card would make a huge difference in terms of photo editing.

Thanks
- You will never notice the difference between a 2,7 and a 3,1 ghz processor. You may well notice the difference between an i5 and an i7 processor, though; and not necessarily just for programs that can benefit from having more cores.

- More RAM can neve hurt, is what i say! Don't know if it's as true for Macs as it is for PC's.

- I can't imagine the RAM on your GFX-card will have any impact on your photo editing.

Macs nowadays use exactly the same hardware as the PC - they didn't in the past. How the Mac OS handles the available resources seem to be what separates the two - things like audio,video and photos seem to flow somewhat better on a Mac. I have no idea why. Is it worth 2-3x the price for a similarly specced PC? Not for me, unless i get a ridiculously good deal. But perhaps it is for you?
I should also say that to me, the Apple screens, both on laptops and stationary tabletops, looks better than most PC-laptops and generic monitors.
03-02-2012, 12:27 PM   #4
Pentaxian
Site Supporter
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 32,253
A little over a year ago... I went for the top of the line i7 with a 512 graphics card, because I use Aperture and it eats processing power and graphic ram like a hog. The way I see, it, and especially with macs, because I've never had one die on me... the better machine it is, the longer it is before it's sitting unused in your basement because it's too slow. The i7 is a much better upgrade over the i5 than the i5 was over the i3. And if you're looking pure processing power for the dollar, the most expensive iMac is the cheapest, even though it costs the most. Whether or not you can do better on a PC is pretty much moot. I've had so many PCs burn out on me, sure they looked cheaper when I bought them, but in the long run, they were more expensive.

For Aperture I was told 6 Gig ram minimum, to make full use of the software, I put in 8, these things always change down the line, plan on not having to upgrade your machine for at least the next generation of the software.

Photoshop is Mac software, if you're going that route, I believe Adobe allowed you to upgrade to Mac software with your Windows license. I don't know if they still do, it's been over 5 years since I was involved in this kind of thing. Something you might want to look into.

03-02-2012, 12:34 PM   #5
Veteran Member
abieleck's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 799
Original Poster
The more the better is my motto too, but it's tough when "more" comes at a pretty steep price. I think the 512 MB graphics would do the job, as I don't do a whole lot of video or gaming.

When considering RAM, is anyone familiar with switching/upgrading RAM in an iMac themselves. Also, in terms of performance is there a difference between 4x4GB and 8x2GB RAM. I found 8x2GB RAM for $300 less if it doesn't take too much know-how. I have seen a couple tutorials....looks pretty straight forward, but would this void and warranties?

A big reason I am looking at the iMac is the screen, it is phenomenal and the 27" would be plenty big. Plus the multi-functional mouse is slick.

It is a big purchase/switch. Any other considerations/input from iMac users would be great! Thanks for the input thus far
03-02-2012, 12:35 PM   #6
Veteran Member
Anvh's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,616
QuoteOriginally posted by morpho Quote
Macs nowadays use exactly the same hardware as the PC - they didn't in the past. How the Mac OS handles the available resources seem to be what separates the two - things like audio,video and photos seem to flow somewhat better on a Mac. I have no idea why. Is it worth 2-3x the price for a similarly specced PC? Not for me, unless i get a ridiculously good deal. But perhaps it is for you?
I should also say that to me, the Apple screens, both on laptops and stationary tabletops, looks better than most PC-laptops and generic monitors.
Hardware is the same and also the performance, all depends on the program and how optimize they are for the OS.
So some programs run better on Windows and others on Macintosh.

In case of Adobe CS5 it runs better on windows 7

It's in Dutch, sorry for that. What they did is use a Macbook Pro and installed Windows on it and tested that against OSX on the same Macbook so hardware is 100% the same and optimize for OSX since it's their own laptop,
OS X vs. Windows 7: nek aan nek | Showdown: real-world-benchmarks | Core | Tweakers.net Reviews

As for the monitors, they are very good in their laptops compared to others but the Screen in the iMac and their separate screens aren't special at all they use a LG panels like everyone else and they are super glossy...
We use them on school (photography) and even the teachers who some still work in the business say you can better buy a Macmini (i7) and a separate screen.
Also they only provide sRGB, not a problem if you out source most of your prints or only do web photos but if you have access to a decent printer or let them print at one then you need at least aRGB.
Sadly the price of the Macpro is ridiculous, there was even some news they want to stop them no idea what the rumours say now.

If you don't mind experimenting a bit and know your way around the computer why not build whitebook?
How to Build a Hackintosh - NoFilmSchool
You need to check other sites for the current hardware but those site are provided in the first page.
03-02-2012, 12:48 PM   #7
Pentaxian
Site Supporter
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 32,253
Oh by the way, if you want to go top of the line... the current rage is the MacBook with 256 gig flash ram...the 27 inch screen and raid drive.... but that'll set you back 5 grand. If you want to spend money, Apple always has a way to take it from you. I ran one of those at my Apple dealer for a bit... very nice.If you can't spend 10 grand in an Apple store, there's something wrong with you.
03-02-2012, 12:55 PM   #8
Veteran Member
Frogfish's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 4,490
I'm currently running an iMac with these specs :- Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6750M 512 MB / Memory 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 / Processor 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5

That's nothing special, but Aperture 3 flies on this, whereas on my higher spec MacBook Pro it's much slower. I regularly upload 500-1,000 shots on this and it's no problem at all. The iMac is an awesome piece of equipment and easily the best desktop I've had.

03-02-2012, 01:04 PM   #9
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Syracuse, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 14,166
QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
I'm currently running an iMac with these specs :- Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6750M 512 MB / Memory 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 / Processor 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5

That's nothing special, but Aperture 3 flies on this, whereas on my higher spec MacBook Pro it's much slower. I regularly upload 500-1,000 shots on this and it's no problem at all. The iMac is an awesome piece of equipment and easily the best desktop I've had.
Does that MacBook have a SSD or a regular HD? Aperture needs a fast HD as much as it needs RAM.

I run Aperture 3 on a 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo Mac mini with 8GB of RAM. I also run Parallels Desktop 7 with Windows XP. I tried the Windows 7 beta and gave up after about 10 minutes. A quad core is far better for Parallels because it allows you to use more than 1 core. The only thing I use Window$ for at home is creating Fractal Flames with Apophysis, so your mileage may vary.
03-02-2012, 01:07 PM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Diego
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 883
here are the general things i look at when i shop for computers in general:
CPU- don't worry too much about clock speed, worry more about things like architecture: aim for the latest i7 if possible
RAM- the more the better
Graphics- The bigger the model number the better. A 1GB AMD 6850 will beat a 2GB AMD 6570 any day. Ignore the amount of memory on the graphics, the performance all comes from the chip.
Hard Drive - SSD if you can afford it. Trust me, the damn things are crazy fast. Plus, you can always use an external drive for mass storage
03-02-2012, 01:19 PM   #11
Veteran Member
Frogfish's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 4,490
QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Does that MacBook have a SSD or a regular HD? Aperture needs a fast HD as much as it needs RAM.
It's a regular HD I'm afraid. I do run my Aperture library from a Verbatim 1TB external HD though.
03-02-2012, 01:45 PM   #12
Veteran Member
abieleck's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 799
Original Poster
The more the better is my motto as well, but when it comes at a steep price....
QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
If you don't mind experimenting a bit and know your way around the computer why not build whitebook?
I know my way around a bit, but not enough for this kind of under-taking.

QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
As for the monitors, they are very good in their laptops compared to others but the Screen in the iMac and their separate screens aren't special at all they use a LG panels like everyone else and they are super glossy...
What screens would be similar in terms of resolution, size ect...?

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
the current rage is the MacBook with 256 gig flash ram...the 27 inch screen and raid drive....
I was thinking of a MacBook/Screen setup, not to the extent you mentioned $$$$ but a 13-inch macBook (2.4GHz i5 Processor) with a 27" screen or comparable screen. It would be a bit more $ but then I would have the portable option of of a laptop.

Here are a few options I am looking at. Thoughts?

-MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz i5 processor / 8 GB RAM / 500 GB Hard Drive + 27" monitor = $2229

MacBook Pro 2.8 GHz i7 processor / 8 GB RAM / 750 GB Hard Drive + 27" monitor = $2529

-IMac 27" with 2.7 GHz i5 processor / 8 GB RAM / 1TB Hard Drive / 512 MB Graphic Card = $1779

-IMac 27" with 3.4 GHz i7 processor / 8 GB RAM / 1TB Hard Drive / 1GB Graphics Card = $2259

-Mac Mini with 2.7 GHz i7 processor / 8 GB RAM / 500 GB Hard Drive + 27" monitor = $1999

The graphics cards in the MacBook/Mac Mini aren't as good as I would find in an iMac. Is there that big of a difference between i5 and i7 processors? Does anyone think the 13" MacBook would handle being used as a laptop and desktop computer? The iMacs run Quad Core vs. the Dual Cores of the MacBook/Mini.......Too many considerations and too many options.....I knew I would get fast and informative responses here
03-02-2012, 02:02 PM   #13
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,340
QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
As for the monitors, they are very good in their laptops compared to others but the Screen in the iMac and their separate screens aren't special at all they use a LG panels like everyone else and they are super glossy...
We use them on school (photography) and even the teachers who some still work in the business say you can better buy a Macmini (i7) and a separate screen.
Also they only provide sRGB, not a problem if you out source most of your prints or only do web photos but if you have access to a decent printer or let them print at one then you need at least aRGB.
The problem with the Mac Mini is storage. Small form factor, so your internal storage is limited, and AFAIK there's no USB 3 or eSATA, so external storage is going to be slow.

As far as screens go... the typical PC, even pricey ones, often use TN panels, not the IPS panels that iMacs use. Step-ups include 6-bit e-IPS panels, then 8-bit e-IPS, S-IPS, H-IPS and a couple others, and the various MVA/PVA models.
03-02-2012, 02:12 PM   #14
Veteran Member




Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Diego
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 883
in mobile computers, the difference between i5 and i7 generally isnt as great as it is with desktops. That being said, i7 typically means higher clocks or more cores in the case of notebooks. For desktops, i7 generally means higher clocks along with better processor level optimizations such as hyper-threading, which is where you'll see the leap in performance over desktop i5 chips
03-02-2012, 02:15 PM   #15
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,340
QuoteOriginally posted by abieleck Quote
-MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz i5 processor / 8 GB RAM / 500 GB Hard Drive + 27" monitor = $2229

MacBook Pro 2.8 GHz i7 processor / 8 GB RAM / 750 GB Hard Drive + 27" monitor = $2529

-IMac 27" with 2.7 GHz i5 processor / 8 GB RAM / 1TB Hard Drive / 512 MB Graphic Card = $1779

-IMac 27" with 3.4 GHz i7 processor / 8 GB RAM / 1TB Hard Drive / 1GB Graphics Card = $2259

-Mac Mini with 2.7 GHz i7 processor / 8 GB RAM / 500 GB Hard Drive + 27" monitor = $1999

The graphics cards in the MacBook/Mac Mini aren't as good as I would find in an iMac. Is there that big of a difference between i5 and i7 processors? Does anyone think the 13" MacBook would handle being used as a laptop and desktop computer? The iMacs run Quad Core vs. the Dual Cores of the MacBook/Mini.......Too many considerations and too many options.....I knew I would get fast and informative responses here
For longevity purposes, I'd certainly recommend a quad-core over a dually. The main difference between a quad-core i5 and i7 is the i7 has hyper-threading, which simulates having more logical cores. This is seldom beneficial, though, except in very specific software. Sadly, many mainstream programs still don't take proper advantage of even quads yet.

I'd get the 2TB hard drive option.

Edit: I see the Apple offers a 256GB SSD as a primary drive... I wonder how much $$$?

Edit #2: Going from a 1 TB hard drive to 256MB SSD + 2 TB hard drive is $750! And going from 4 GB RAM to 8 GB is $200! Holy Carp!

Last edited by luftfluss; 03-02-2012 at 02:26 PM.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
copy, imac, lightroom, mac, photo, photography, photoshop, programs, vs, windows
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mini Mac or a Old Mac Pro. layfsphoto Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 48 12-06-2011 03:43 PM
The New iMac's the swede Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 24 08-16-2010 05:32 AM
Q. Mac or PC what is best and specs Gregs Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 54 08-13-2010 08:44 AM
K10D photo series - mac / aperture / .mac Tom M Photographic Technique 7 12-29-2007 03:13 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:38 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top