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| p.1 #1 · Help with dedicated photography computer |
I have decided to stop fighting with storage and processing issues on my macbook air, which is a perfect business computer, but less than perfect for using Lightroom, Photoshop, and having ready access to large amounts of fast data storage.
I am lucky to have access to two other machines, either of which I can set up as dedicated photography devices. Each has their benefits; each has drawbacks. I am hoping to benefit from the significant experience here at FM and see what the community has to say.
1. A Mac Pro, circa 2006. This has two 2.66 dual-core xeon processors, 4 GB of RAM, a NVIDIA GeForce 7300 graphics card with 256 mb of RAM and currently one 500 GB SATA HD.
The plus on this is that I can easily add a very large second HD (say 3TB at 7200 RPM) and bump up the RAM. It also allows me to use two monitors that came with it: both HP, one a 24" and the second a 20".
The downside, of course, is that it is very old and I am not sure that putting money into a 6 year old machine makes sense. If I were to update it, how much RAM would you add?
2. An early 2011 MacBook Pro. This has a 2.3 intel Core i7 and 8 GM of RAM, an Intel HD graphics 3000 card with 512 MB of RAM and a 250 GB SSD. The plus on this machine is that it is obviously much better hardware.
The downside is that I am challenged with storage. I don't want to spend a ton of money on a fancy Thunderbolt disk for storage and so I am then looking at using firewire and an external disk. This is not necessarily a downside, but I will need to spend some time learning how to set this up properly for working files, processing, storage etc. I also can't use both monitors (I think) but I suppose I could use the 24" and the laptop display as a second.
Bottom line is that I want to spend no more than $500 getting this whole system set up: either upgrading the Mac Pro or figuring out fast storage for the MacBook.
What do you suggest? If you have other questions or suggestions, I am happy to consider other options or provide more details.