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Archive 2013 · Mac advice please.
  
 
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Mac advice please.


Hi guys , not sure if this should be in the P&P forum or the general but anyway:

First let me say I'm (till now) a PC man and have never even used a mac . But I'm thinking toward a new computer . This new one will be more of a family machine that I will use as for my P&P as well .
I want a large screen anyway so was thinking of going toward the all in one route . But as I've not seen many really nice windows all in ones . most have 1080 screens other than the Dell 27 my head has started to look at the iMac 27.

Problem is the current one is a bit over my budget once I start to add in the extra ram (and maybe a fashion drive) so then I start looking at the price of good used ones .

Question is should I go down this route and if so what one is the best to get ?

I'm seeing well speced 2011 model machines go for 1000-1200and a few 2010 model ones around the 800-1000 mark . I've tried to research a bit but the mac world confuses me a bit , so what are the main differences in the model years ? Should I steer clear of the older first gen 27 inch ones (2009 model I think) as these look to be 7-800 .
All I know is that a friend of mine (now moved away) had a 27inch mac which looked great whenever I visited him .

Cheers in advance.

Edit:

By the way my main P&P software is LR4 . I know this has had a few speed issues on some windows machines but how is it on something like an iMac ?



Apr 03, 2013 at 03:12 PM
BobCollette
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Mac advice please.


Ian, I understand the attraction of an all-in-one such as an iMac: it has a very small footprint and is good for locations where space it tight. However, it also has some drawbacks as well. In my mind, the biggest drawback is that everything is in one package. If the motherboard dies, or the computer becomes obsolete, you're left with an unusable monitor. I'm on my third computer using the same monitor.

Secondly, most all-in-ones (and I believe this is especially true of the iMacs) have very limited expansion room. If you want to add a second (or third) hard drive (I have 4 in my tower), you have to use externals because there is no, or limited, expansion room. Once you start cluttering the desk with external hard drives (not to mention the additional fan noise), I'm not sure how much space you've saved. Also, most all-in-ones run hotter than a mid-tower (not as much space for ventilation), which likely somewhat shortens the life of the computer's components.



Apr 03, 2013 at 03:22 PM
DanBrown
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Mac advice please.


Ian.Dobinson wrote:
and maybe a fashion drive


Apple equipment is always fashionable, but in this case, I think you mean a fusion drive. Fusion drives are worthwhile options. You can see a fairly recent performance test here.



Apr 03, 2013 at 03:47 PM
martines34
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Mac advice please.


Buy one from the Apple store that has a new warranty but, has been returned.


Apr 03, 2013 at 03:53 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Mac advice please.


DanBrown wrote:
Apple equipment is always fashionable, but in this case, I think you mean a fusion drive. Fusion drives are worthwhile options. You can see a fairly recent performance test here.



Yeah fusion drive . That would be my iPads spell correction taking over and me not noticing



Apr 03, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Mac advice please.


Ok so would I be better to hook up a MacBook Pro (used) to a 27 inch display ?
Amazon are doing the dell u2711 for just over 500 and the apple 27inch for 780 . Is this the same screen that's in the iMac 27?



Apr 03, 2013 at 04:27 PM
rodmcwha
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Mac advice please.


The monitor in an imac is usable as a monitor with another computer.
My 2011 27' doesn't even run warm, so I don't expect to have any heat problems.



Apr 03, 2013 at 04:32 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Mac advice please.


rodmcwha wrote:
The monitor in an imac is usable as a monitor with another computer.
My 2011 27' doesn't even run warm, so I don't expect to have any heat problems.


That's interesting . So does the iMac have another input that makes it a screen for another machine?



Apr 03, 2013 at 04:51 PM
Sunny Sra
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Mac advice please.


http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3924


Apr 03, 2013 at 05:12 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Mac advice please.


I admit i'm in agreement with BobCollette - all in one machines (Apple or otherwise) tend to put a lot of eggs in the same basket. Of course, if space is a premium then it might be worth it to you.

At those prices i would go for a 2011 model. Prices are not that much different to the 2009's, they will be faster and a two year newer model is likely to be more reliable.



Apr 03, 2013 at 05:33 PM
 

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voltaire
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Mac advice please.


I might be mistaken but Mac towers have not been updated in years. I bought a new iMac 21", 32 GB RAM and fusion drive. My MB Pro lasted four years. Limitation was RAM--4GB max for early 2008 model. The 27" gives you capability to changes ram whereas mine is shut. I bought AppleCare so I'm covered for three years. My wife's old iMac G5 which is white is still running but obviously is slow.

Challenge for me was my Drobo can only connect to FireWire or USB 2.0 so I'm not able to optimize the speed of the new iMac because Itnonly has thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connections.

Ian, speed and RAM variability would be the biggest differentiator for the two new iMacs.

Hope this helps.



Apr 03, 2013 at 06:01 PM
theSuede
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Mac advice please.


Honestly - run LR4 on an iMac 2011? Are you serious? (well, if you shoot a 10MP camera, then alright...)

Why not spend ONE hour putting together a really neat working environment with cable collectors and so on? Buy a great Dell 2713H that outperforms the iMac screen for accuracy by about threefold (and has very good Adobe RGB), get some PC builder to build you a quiet 16GB mem i7 SSD system that's more than twice as fast as any 2011 iMac. Bundle the monitor cables and a USB3 hub (or just a memcard reader).

Twice the performance. Better quality. Lower price. Add one hour to tidy up cables.



Apr 03, 2013 at 06:16 PM
theSuede
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Mac advice please.


PS
I develop on OSX. I've nothing against Mac or OSX, except their ridiculous profit margins (and totally unreadable developer support).
DS



Apr 03, 2013 at 06:19 PM
BobCollette
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Mac advice please.


Sunny Sra wrote:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3924


After reading the document, it appears that the iMac has to be working to enter "Target Display" mode. If the computer portion of the unit dies, you won't be able to switch the unit into Target Display mode to utilize the monitor portion. Also, after the computer becomes slow and obsolete, you still need to power up the computer portion in order to use monitor as an external monitor. It doesn't sound very energy efficient to me (having the iMac computer running in order to use the monitor).



Apr 03, 2013 at 06:21 PM
Sunny Sra
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Mac advice please.


BobCollette wrote:
After reading the document, it appears that the iMac has to be working to enter "Target Display" mode. If the computer portion of the unit dies, you won't be able to switch the unit into Target Display mode to utilize the monitor portion. Also, after the computer becomes slow and obsolete, you still need to power up the computer portion in order to use monitor as an external monitor. It doesn't sound very energy efficient to me (having the iMac computer running in order to use the monitor).


Ya it doesn't. It was in response to rodmcwha post about how it can be used.



Apr 03, 2013 at 06:29 PM
howardm4
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Mac advice please.


why dont you do an actual comparison of how much power a 27" monitor uses vs. what a 27" iMac uses? I think you'll find the difference to be not that large.


Apr 03, 2013 at 10:41 PM
WAYCOOL
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Mac advice please.


theSuede wrote:
Honestly - run LR4 on an iMac 2011? Are you serious? (well, if you shoot a 10MP camera, then alright...)

Why not spend ONE hour putting together a really neat working environment with cable collectors and so on? Buy a great Dell 2713H that outperforms the iMac screen for accuracy by about threefold (and has very good Adobe RGB), get some PC builder to build you a quiet 16GB mem i7 SSD system that's more than twice as fast as any 2011 iMac. Bundle the monitor cables and a USB3 hub (or just a memcard reader).

Twice the performance. Better quality. Lower
...Show more

Be realistic not twice the performance but better. Up to date processor and the ability to overclock = faster but not double.



Apr 03, 2013 at 11:24 PM
rattymouse
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Mac advice please.


theSuede wrote:
PS
I develop on OSX. I've nothing against Mac or OSX, except their ridiculous profit margins (and totally unreadable developer support).
DS


!!



Apr 04, 2013 at 04:23 AM
15Bit
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Mac advice please.


WAYCOOL wrote:
Be realistic not twice the performance but better. Up to date processor and the ability to overclock = faster but not double.


Agreed. Top of the range 2011 iMac was a 3.4Ghz i7 (presumably an i7-2600) so a new PC isn't going to be appreciably faster unless you overclock.

I expect those top of the range models are still damned expensive on the used market though. For the same price you could probably make up a nice 6 core PC, though it will for sure not look so sexy as an iMac.



Apr 04, 2013 at 05:30 AM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Mac advice please.


ok lets flip this round a little bit. seeing as there seems to be little love on here for the imac
let me ask the question in a different manor .

what spec of mac (thinking MBP ) runs lightroom 4 well ? . I have been looking around and can see many well priced MBP's on the used market. im also considering a late used MPB and hooking it up to a 27 inch screen like the dell one mentioned above . factoring in the 500 (give or take) that screen will cost me it leaves me a good budget for a used MPB . (added advantage to this route is the portability of the MBP so i can use it when im away )



Apr 04, 2013 at 03:46 PM
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