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Author Topic: Mac upgrade advice  (Read 9880 times)
Benoit Malphettes
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« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2012, 08:17:19 AM »
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ooops, sorry guys, I did not notice the date on this BusinessWeek bulletin which I saw yesterday in Bloomberg. My mistake and my apologies...
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schrodingerscat
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« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2012, 08:07:35 PM »
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I picked up a 2010  27" iMac i7 refurb at a very good price from Apple. The IPS panel calibrated well, and the gloss has proven to be no problem in a controlled environment. So far, very happy with it.

With 12GB RAM it is fast enough for LR and PS processes with full frame files. I also installed a Seagate 750GB Hybrid drive for the system, and relegated the 7200 RPM HDD for image file storage. Previous to this I was using a Mini with a 24"  NEC IPS panel monitor. The new machine is an improvement over the old one. I do have a 2010 C2D Mini server that I operate as a client machine. It's the emergency backup and also serves as a HTC in the meantime.

A note on SSDs, if your system doesn't support Garbage Collection you won't get the full benefit. To date, only Macs that ship with SSDs support it. That's why I went the Hybrid route, as well as getting 750GB for $140 as opposed to $300+/- for 256.

PS - I don't "throw away" computers or monitors. When all was said and done, I used the Mini/NEC combo for about three years and my out of pocket was about $400. When the iMac needs replacement...
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K.C.
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« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2012, 12:08:46 AM »
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On the chance that the OP is still reading this thread now that it's digressed well beyond his questions...


My six-year old iMac is still going strong, but the RAM limit is an issue. I want a faster machine, with much more RAM (at least 8GB).

Anything you buy is going to be so much faster than what you have it's really kind of silly to discuss the fusion drive. Any new Mac with a current generation HD is going to boot and open apps several times faster they what you've been working with. With a fusion drive installed by Apple you'll have a machine that boots and launches apps in seconds. If that's worth the money to you go for it. Trying to create you're own isn't typically the territory of someone who lives with a machine for 6 years and asks the questions you're asking.

No matter which you buy, the Mini or the iMac, you'll need external drives. Once your apps are open the fusion drive does little to affect your work experience editing images in any app. Consider how much external storage you'll need to work and have duplicate backup drives. Then look again at the cost of the fusion drive and decide what's most important.

The iMacs that were recently announced supposedly have even better displays but I am not yet sold on the hybrid drive idea.

The new iMacs have exactly the same displays as last year. They've just had the glass that covers them removed and 70% of the glare along with it.

Geeking out on a home grown fusion drive takes time and adds to the potential for problems. Sticking to factory built machines with Applecare leaves you free to be a photographer.


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Per Ofverbeck
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« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2012, 04:31:10 AM »
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....
A note on SSDs, if your system doesn't support Garbage Collection you won't get the full benefit. To date, only Macs that ship with SSDs support it. That's why I went the Hybrid route, as well as getting 750GB for $140 as opposed to $300+/- for 256.

...

Download, install and run Trim Enabler if you mount the SSD yourself! Works great (of course; itīs a Swedish product!  Cheesy).

BTW, my Mini setup has just arrived, ahead of schedule  Grin.  Works great so far; will return to this thread when Iīve finalized the setup....
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Per Ofverbeck
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2012, 04:41:49 AM »
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Just to update people on this - Lack of desk-space meant a 27" iMac was never an option, and after due consideration, I've bitten the bullet & ordered a 21.5" iMac, with an i7 processor & 16GB RAM (for which I had to pay through the nose - yeah thanks Apple).

I've already got back-up drives (One for Time Machine backups, two more for other file back-ups, one kept off-site, and when that comes home for a new back-up, the previous one goes off-site in its stead). I will now need to get a seperate CD/DVD drive though.

As the old iMac is still going strong, and where the limited RAM isn't an issue still functions fine, it's going upstairs as a replacement for the kids' eMac (which is pretty much done for).

Hopefully I'm set for the next five years or so.
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2012, 05:59:12 AM »
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Download, install and run Trim Enabler if you mount the SSD yourself!.
Agree. The best choice would be to get the same controller Apple mounts on their Mac, so maybe a Samsung 830 SSD like I did. You'll find it on Amazon in a lot of capacities.
Same product, way cheaper Wink
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kikashi
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« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2012, 11:39:41 AM »
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The 27" iMac offers a choice of video cards. The standard is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX 1GB GDDR5; an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5 is available for (in the UK) an extra Ģ120.

Is this likely to be money well spent if I use LR and CS5?

Jeremy
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popnfresh
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« Reply #47 on: December 10, 2012, 12:05:30 AM »
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The 27" iMac offers a choice of video cards. The standard is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX 1GB GDDR5; an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5 is available for (in the UK) an extra Ģ120.

Is this likely to be money well spent if I use LR and CS5?

Jeremy

It makes more sense if you're going to use it with Photoshop CS6. The new version of PS uses Adobe's new Mercury Graphics Engine, which utilizes the graphics processor for a lot more functions than CS5 uses it for. You can read up about it here: http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/photoshop-cs6-gpu-faq.html#mercury
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Per Ofverbeck
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« Reply #48 on: December 31, 2012, 09:17:36 AM »
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FWIW, Iīve ordered a Mini; delivery date stated as Dec 12th....  So Iīll know something more a few days later..... Roll Eyes

Details: I have a 2007 MacPro w/ 2x2.66 Dual-Core Xeons and 7 GB of RAM. My monitor is a 30" Cinema Display, bought at the same time (and I intend to keep it).  The MP is SLOW, and just putting more memory in isnīt economical; the correct type can still be got at an exorbitant price, but cannot be reused on anything more recent...  I do have a SSD as system disk, but that one is indeed eminently reusable...  So, need for an update, but the wait for an elusive new MP is too much.

After reading, among other stuff, the Digilloyd and ArsTechnica articles, I ordered the 2.6 GHZ QC i7 Mini, maxed out with 16 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD (after reading more about the FusionDrive, I think I can do a better job myself of putting the right things on the right disk... Wink).  Iīll need an external cabinet for the less demanding stuff, and a Time Capsule will (hopefully) take care of auto backup; I perform 2nd and 3rd backups manually, to disks kept in a safe or off-site. The Dual-link DVI adapter should work with the Cinema Display.  The one thing that worries me just a bit is the absence of a separate GPU, but I never play games....

I anticipate a noticeably faster system, with less heat and noise, and fre floor space under my desk.... Now, letīs see if I really get it.... Undecided



Gee...  Just realised I promised a follow-up after having received, setup, and run the new system.  Seems Iīll just make it during the same year.... Roll Eyes


My impressions so far: decidedly faster than the old setup, MUCH faster download from camera SD cards via the built-in SD slot (had a USB2 reader before), and ample power for LR4 without having to terminate other running software. According to Activity Monitor, 16 GB is quite enough: very seldom less than 3-4 GB free, and no pageouts at all. The lack of a dedicated GPU doesnīt seem to be a problem at all, even with 2560x1600 screen resolution (donīt work with video, and not a gaming person....).  And, after several weeks, I still havenīt heard the fan running.  The entire setup (Mini, Display and 2 USB2 HDīs) draw just 5 W power when sleeping, 90 W fully running (the old MP station took almost 500 W!).  It all rests comfortably on the foot of my CinemaDisplay, dead quiet.

The 256 GB SSD is definitely big enough; the LR database and previews reside there, as well as the entire system and all applications, plus my user Library, caches and all.  If I ever need more room there, I could easily get rid of GarageBand, iDVD & c; with their accompanying Application Support files, they are several gigs that i never use.  I certainly donīt miss a FusionDrive; I prefer the full control I have now.

Most documents, raw files, and videos are on a USB3 HD (small 2.5", 5400 RPM one) that fills the far more modest speed demands put on it.  Also another USB3 HD for auto backups with ChronoSync (as an independent alternative to the TM backup to a TimeCapsule.  I also make regular 2nd backups to disks in a safe, plus 3rd backups that are stored offside; Iīm a backup paranoiac...).

In short, I got what I wanted, for far less money than a decent MacPro or a MBPR would have cost me.
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Per Ofverbeck
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Leszek Piotrowski
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« Reply #49 on: December 31, 2012, 11:23:09 AM »
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thanks so much for the follow up. I'll definitely take your learnings into account when I finalize my MBP mid 2010 upgrade path.

cheers,

Leszek
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Walt Roycraft
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« Reply #50 on: January 06, 2013, 07:54:49 PM »
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Per,

So, if I understand correctly, you do your processing on the SSD and then when done, you export to external drives?
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Per Ofverbeck
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« Reply #51 on: January 07, 2013, 10:15:38 AM »
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Per,

So, if I understand correctly, you do your processing on the SSD and then when done, you export to external drives?

Yes, you might put it that way. The īactively usedī raw files are on the SSD, and so are the LR database and previews (plus the LR application itself).  Older raw files are eventually moved to an external drive (and my experiments so far show there is very little performance loss if I have to access and work on them from there - as long as the database is on the SSD and the previews arenīt yet purged; I have LR setup to purge previews older than one month).
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Per Ofverbeck
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