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

Which iMac for Adobe?


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DeliciousBagel

 
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Hello all!

My family is in the market for a new iMac for use with the Adobe Creative Suite, particularly Premiere Pro.
The budget is preferably $2000 or less.

The original plan was to get a 21.5 inch late 2013 with the following specs:
3.1 GHz core i7 quad core (turbo to 3.9GHz)
16GB 1600Mhz RAM
Nvidia Geforce GT 750M 1GB VRAM
1TB 5400RPM Hard drive

total price (with usb superdrive): $1838

However, when looking at Premiere's System Requirements, Adobe calls for at least a 7200RPM hard drive. We cant really afford to purchase the flash storage.

So, We configured the next level up, a 27 inch late 2013 with the following specs:
3.2 GHz quad core i5 (turbo to 3.6 GHz)
16GB 1600MHz RAM
Nvidia Geforce GT 755M 1GB VRAM
1TB 7200RPM Hard drive

total price (with usb superdrive): $1958

So here is my question:
I like the idea of having a powerful core i7 in this machine. However, Adobe needs a 7200RPM drive in this machine, which you cant get until upgrading to the 27 inch. Flash storage is not really affordable. The 27 inch only has a core i5.

So I have to chose between an i7 and a 5400RPM hard drive, or a core i5 and 7200RPM hard drive.

Could somebody please explain the difference between the iMac core i5 and i7, and which iMac of the two listed would be a better video editing machine?
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louishen

 
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That's an odd system requirement, but I would expect the16 gig of RAM would negate much of the speedy hard drive need.

I would also buy a model with the base amount of RAM and buy the upgrade to 16 gig yourself, (you may even be able to afford 32 gig) it should work out much cheaper, and stick with the i7

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harryb2448

 
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Suggest going with the 27" model.

Geekbench shows not a lot of difference in performance between the two. The 21.5" 3.1Ghz i7 returns 3465 and the 27" 3.4GHz i5 return 3401. Apart from the 7200 RPM drive, memory on the 27" model is user upgradeable.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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chscag

 
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I agree with Harry. Buy the 27" iMac with the base amount of memory (8 GB) and do the memory upgrade yourself. The 2013 27" iMac is very easy to do a memory upgrade and you can purchase the modules at much less the cost that Apple charges.

Forget about the 21.5" model, it's not user upgradeable and besides...you'll really appreciate the extra screen size of the 27" model when it comes to doing Adobe work.
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DeliciousBagel

 
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Thanks everyone for the replies!

It seems like an i7 cpu is a must have for Adobe.
Also, the general consensus is that I should do a memory upgrade myself. I've upgraded RAM DIMMS on a regular PC before, but never on a Mac. How difficult is it, and is there a risk of complete destruction? This is my first Mac, and I just want to be as safe as possible considering its a very expensive investment.

Finally, could someone put a link to newegg or amazon for compatible memory?
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chscag

 
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Upgrading memory in the 27" iMac is very easy. There's a small door right above the rear AC power plug that opens and allows access to the modules. Go to iFixit: The free repair manual and look at their instructions. But like I said it's very easy. Also we recommend buying memory from either Crucial or Other World Computing.
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I wouldn't worry too much about the drive requirement. The reason they want a 7200 RPM drive or better is because you're editing video. Video takes up masses of space, so the best way to handle this is with an external.

Luckily, both the 21 and 27 inch iMacs have Thunderbolt and USB 3, meaning you can add a fast drive externally and use either native thunderbolt connections or USB 3. TB has adapters so you can use Firewire 800 drives or eSATA drives, but even the USB 3 might be quick enough for your needs.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
I agree with Harry. Buy the 27" iMac with the base amount of memory (8 GB) and do the memory upgrade yourself. The 2013 27" iMac is very easy to do a memory upgrade and you can purchase the modules at much less the cost that Apple charges.
Make sure there will be unused open ram slots first.. Reason being is that 8 to 16GB of RAM is a $200 upgrade. Crucial Mac Certified 16GB (2x 8GB chips) Dual Channel RAM kit for Mac is $160 dollars from Newegg. So you would only save 40 bucks and upgrading ram is never 100% guaranteed to work.


Quote:
Forget about the 21.5" model, it's not user upgradeable and besides...you'll really appreciate the extra screen size of the 27" model when it comes to doing Adobe work.
Very true..


On my personal note. Adobes system requirements are complete overkill.
Facts:
- 5400 RPM drive will work perfectly without any issues. 7200RPM is not required.
- Intel iGPU Iris Pro 5000 video will run wonderfully and only 1/3rd of the tools in Photoshop will ever use GPU rendering. GPU is alternative for those select features. GPU rendering can be turned off and the software still operate.
- 4GB of RAM will still run Photoshop for most users, though the larger the images more RAM will help speed up rendering. 8GB is still the sweet spot (price -vs- performance).

That said. I would go for the 1TB Fusion, elect for the i7 core for better multithreading and get 8GB of RAM and use the base 775M video card. Those specs are still overkill for Photoshop and the rest of their suite.


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Quote:
Make sure there will be unused open ram slots first.. Reason being is that 8 to 16GB of RAM is a $200 upgrade. Crucial Mac Certified 16GB (2x 8GB chips) Dual Channel RAM kit for Mac is $160 dollars from Newegg. So you would only save 40 bucks and upgrading ram is never 100% guaranteed to work.
Apple ships the 27" iMac with 2 of the 4 ram slots populated. The standard is 2 x 4 GB modules for a total of 8 GB. You can buy an 8 GB upgrade kit (2 x 4 GB) from OWC for $109.00. 16 GB of memory should be more than enough for what he wants to do and he'll save $$. And as stated above, it's very easy to do yourself.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
Apple ships the 27" iMac with 2 of the 4 ram slots populated. The standard is 2 x 4 GB modules for a total of 8 GB. You can buy an 8 GB upgrade kit (2 x 4 GB) from OWC for $109.00. 16 GB of memory should be more than enough for what he wants to do and he'll save $$. And as stated above, it's very easy to do yourself.
Yea forgot about the 4 DIMM slots when I posted this. Really wished my Mini had 4 slots..


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodist View Post
- 5400 RPM drive will work perfectly without any issues. 7200RPM is not required.
Normally I'd agree with you, but the OP is editing (presumably HD) video on this machine. For that purpose 5400rpm drives are NOT sufficient.
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harryb2448

 
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I'm with chas m on then 7200 rpm issue.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Exodist

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
Normally I'd agree with you, but the OP is editing (presumably HD) video on this machine. For that purpose 5400rpm drives are NOT sufficient.
Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
I'm with chas m on then 7200 rpm issue.
Yea your both sorta correct if the drive it's self is being the media that the data is being recorded directly on to to an extent and I will explain below. However if its recorded say in a digital video cam or a DSLR. Then no a 5400 is still perfectly fine as you will already be dealing with compressed data.

When 7200RPM drives first came out, most were marketed as A/V or Multimedia drives and featured UDMA66 and then UDMA100, but never the less those new 7200RPM drives had a thru output of about 33 to 40 MB/s. Which is what made them applicable for A/V use. The 5400RPM drives at that time were still lagging behind and although newer models came with UDMA66 interfaces, they still had slow thru outputs of about 12-22MB/s making them struggle as A/V drives unless crammed into a RAID Array.

Now lets move a little forward to, today..

Todays modern economy HDDs (let say WD Blue and Green models), while they feature up to SATA6, regardless of 5400 or 7200RPM. They still have a sustained transfer rate of about ~90MB/s. The only key difference is in data seeks times. Which is usually about 20m/s vs. 12m/s respectively. 8m/s isn't noticeable for most desktop use.

Hope this sheds light on my reasoning

Cheers,
Joe


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robertoblake

 
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I currently use a 21inch mid 2010 iMac for Photoshop. It's currently running Photoshop CC. I am able to do photo manipulation artwork using my 24MP photos with no problem. In fact I am able to do so while screen recording using Apple Quicktime. My windows laptop also handles this type of work fine with a 5400RPM hard drive as well.

In both cases I'm using an external drive as a Scratch Disk to help with performance.
I'm not posting this youtube link to spam, but to demonstrate how this actually performs on my iMac.

Demonstration of Photo Manipulation on 21inch iMac while recording in Apple Quicktime
Photoshop Speed Art Dark Valkyrie Diana League of Legends - YouTube


The newer iMac models are even more powerful than mine so if the goal is to do high end Photoshop work, while more power is always better, its not always "necessary" and can save you a few bucks.
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robertoblake your iMac came with the 7200rpm hard drive. the new model the 21.5" comes with a 5400 rpm 2.5" drive, or a laptop hard drive in other words.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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