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  1. #1


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

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    May 20, 2008
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    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).
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    27" i7 iMac, 24" iMac, 13" Macbook Air, iPhone 6S, iPod Nano 7th GeniPad 3
    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..
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin



    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

  4. #4

    CrimsonRequiem's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 24, 2008
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    MBP 2.3 Ghz 4GB RAM 860 GB SSD, iMac 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 32GB RAM, Fusion Drive 1TB
    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。

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    Macbook Pro, Ipad, Iphone 4 and a few powerbook G4 in various states and conditions
    Thanks! Good answers (pigoo in particular. Where's my brain when I need it?...

  6. #6

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
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    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    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
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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