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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac for graphic work: What does matter most, Ram or processor speed?


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visualthings

 
Member Since: Dec 06, 2012
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Hi all,

I am about to purchase an iMac 27" for graphic work (art and design work). I tend to use Photoshop and Illustrator on pretty big files. I almost never do video stuff, just static graphics.

Now, I was wondering if I should save some bucks by getting a "slower" machine (2.9GHz instead of a 3.2GHz) but adding more ram. What matters the most for handling big graphic files? I assume it is a bit of both and the more the better, but would I notice a difference between 2.9 and 3.2GHz?

I am currently working on a 2.4GHz macbook Pro with "only" 2GB of ram, so anything should feel like a boost anyway : )
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pigoo3

 
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With the 27" iMac you can always add more ram on your own…but you cannot upgrade the processor after purchase. So I would say…buy the 3.2ghz model now…and add more ram later (if doing both now is not in your budget).

Also remember that the 3.2ghz model comes with much better graphics hardware (1gig of vram vs. 512meg).

- Nick

p.s. Heck…the 3.2ghz i5 model can be upgraded to a 3.4ghz i7 cpu (on the configuration page).

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Raz0rEdge

 
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Welcome to Mac-Forums..

Frankly, it is not a matter of processor OR RAM, but rather having enough of both that will give you the most benefit. Having a lot of RAM with a slow processor means you can keep more stuff in memory without having to go to the disk to get it, but processing that data in RAM on a slower processor will be...well slow. Having a fast processor with limited memory means that you are limited in what you can have in memory for processing, which might be happening quickly and the you're going to the disk to get more information which can slow things down.

With a fast processor and lots of RAM, you keep more data available and process it faster..

Now having said that, I purposely left out specifics about what a slow or fast processor is because to compare a 2.9 GHz CPU to a 3.2 GHz CPU is more than just the processor megahertz, the family (i5/i7) matters, whether it is just quad core or quad core with virtualization (adding 4 additional cores) matters..

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...Ashwin



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CrimsonRequiem

 
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Everything matters technically. If you have certain parts that are too slow or not enough of something you are going to have a "bottleneck."

For graphic work you probably need a fast processor, a dedicated gpu and plenty of ram. SSD or flash storage doesn't hurt but is not really needed.

死神はリンゴしか食べない。
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visualthings

 
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Thanks! Good answers (pigoo in particular. Where's my brain when I need it?...
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visualthings View Post
... Where's my brain when I need it?...
Don't ask…unless you want some "creative" answers! Ha ha!

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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