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Dallas

5K iMac vs 2K iMac?

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I can literally feel myself ageing as I work in Lightroom these days. I have done all the recommended program and computer speed ups and have even created a new fresh catalog for work I am doing this year, yet it is still giving me the spinning beachball every few minutes. It takes about 2 minutes to create an HDR from Lr to the Aurora HDR plugin and then pass back to Lr. I make sure to close all other programs while I am working too.

 

Not happy about the prospect of upgrading my iMac given the prices of the newer 5K versions, which all only seem to ship with 8GB of RAM and have CPU's that are only 0.2GHz faster than what I have. Do you think that if I move to 32GB of RAM in the old iMac or invest in an SSD for it that will make more of a difference than buying one of the newer entry level 5K machines? 

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You should be able to select more RAM as you purchase your new machine! But it won’t be cheap!

As to the speed 2K or 5K difference I’m not sure I make a recommendation as I’m not expert enough! 

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Yup, not cheap indeed. The sales person in the iStore I was in yesterday told me that it would be better to buy it myself than to order a new iMac with the additional RAM in it. 

 

I'm not that interested in the retina screens because they do funky things to websites, either enlarging images and making them less than sharp, or making them appear too small on the page. I am currently running 3 x 27" Apple screens (I have 2 x 27" Thunderbolt Displays daisy chained to the iMac, which is glorious!). 

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Dallas, how about a new Mac mini? I have a 2010 MacBook Pro (and a 2 year old high-end Eizo monitor) which needs to be replaced. A Mini seems the perfect replacement for the MacBook, and maybe also for you?

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I have recently bought a new 27" iMac which as you say is not cheap but my old one which has been sold on was an early 2011 model. I can see a difference in the screen resolution but to be honest it is not mind blowingly obvious. I have 32 GB of RAM and would have preferred to get the basic RAM configuration and add my own as I have done before, but for various reasons this was not possible so I had to bite the bullet and pay up. I think the 27" is the only model that is user configurable.

Speed wise the difference is noticeable particularly as I have now put all my photos on a Thunderbolt connected external SSD drive. Lightroom and Photoshop are both  pretty swift with no discernible processing delays. The jury is still out on whether to use or not use the graphics card for processing as the results seem mixed.

Overall I'm pleased but I wonder how much of the speed increase is due to the lack of data on the main drive now. The drive on my last machine was virtually full.

Oh, and I haven't experienced any of the 'funky things' on websites Dallas.

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@Luc de Schepper I looked at this but I don't think it will be the right machine for me. Once you get used to 3 screens going back to 2 will be difficult. I still have and use my old 2010 Mac Mini! It's not much good for anything other than browsing the net and playing media on, but it speaks volumes about the longevity of Apple products that a 9 year old computer is still working. Actually, off in another corner of my office is an original iMac G3 Ruby that I am trying to sell for my cousin. That too works, but running MacOS 9.2.2 means it can't be used for much. Still looks pretty. 

 

@Clactonian thanks for sharing your experience with your new iMac. Man, I am really tempted, but it's a lot of money and while I could offset some of it by selling the iMac I do have, I am not so sure I'd be much better off. There is definitely something to be said about putting a fresh hard drive into a machine to bring it racing forward. I am therefore tempted to follow your example of investing in a Thunderbolt drive for my media, but then also possibly replacing the internal drive with an SSD and upping the RAM to 32GB. Would cost me a lot less than a new machine. 

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The SSD has certainly made a difference. I have both an internal SSD drive and the external containing my photos. Whilst the external is marginally slower, it is still very quick in comparison to the old spinning drives.

The LR catalogue which has about 30,000 images is on the internal drive and loads very quickly on start-up, whilst importing and exporting photos to the external SSD is pretty seamless.

If you can get somebody to take your machine apart and swap the internal drive and add the RAM then I think yours is a good solution. Actual processing is quicker on my new machine but it is not the massive difference one might expect from the test data, but then Adobe software doesn't utilise multiple cores so the latest 4+ cores are of no advantage.

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Very useful info! Thanks Mike! 

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The new Mac mini can run three screens - daisy chain two off the USB-c like you already do and add the third to the hdmi port.

 

  

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50 minutes ago, crowecg said:

The new Mac mini can run three screens - daisy chain two off the USB-c like you already do and add the third to the hdmi port.

 

  

 

That might work. The only thing is the Apple Displays don't have HDMI input, only TB/MiniDisplayPort. And they have now changed the shape of the TB port, so I'll have to buy a couple adapters too, as well as new kb and trackpad, by which time I might be closer to the price of the 5K iMac than makes sense to use a Mini. Local price for the top end Mini is ZAR20k and the bottom end of the 5K iMac is ZAR32k. It's not an easy decision! 

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