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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

Help deciding on new Mac please


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DianeK

 
Member Since: Feb 28, 2011
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 19
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Mac Specs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7, OS 10.6.8

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Disclaimer: I'm not sure if this is the correct forum or should be in Hardware - moderators, feel free to move it if necessary.

I need a new computer for photo editing. Video editing will be minimal. I am not a gamer. I am on a $2000 budget.

I am debating between the 13" i7 Macbook Pro and the 27" i3 iMac. All comments and opinions are very welcome, e.g. speed of processing between the two, pros/cons (I see portability of the Macbook as a strong pro). I currently use PSE9 but I do see Lightroom in my future.

Additional issue regarding displays. Is the 27" iMac display wide gamut or normal gamut? If I got the Macbook I would run an external monitor (which would then make the package cost comparable to the iMac). Does the Intel HD Graphics 3000 support a wide gamut monitor because I really like my husband's Dell U2410 display?

I am aware that you will all recommend I upgrade the RAM to 8GB from 4GB.

If only I would win the lottery but alas, I need to stick to my $2000 budget.

A plea for some help with this conundrum!
DianeK
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DianeK

 
Member Since: Feb 28, 2011
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 19
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Mac Specs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7, OS 10.6.8

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I'm going to give this a gentle "bump". I went to 2 Mac dealers today and, no surprise, got 2 different recommendations. The only thing in common was that they both tried to upsell me to the most expensive set up, one was laptop oriented and the other desktop. Neither place could really answer my questions about the processors and graphics cards well and I left as confused as when I went in. I thought I would post this so that all you gurus out there won't think I just want you to do all my homework for me. I'm trying, really.
DianeK
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robduckyworth

 
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Member Since: Jan 04, 2011
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP, 2.5GHz i7, 750GB, 6770M 1GB, iPad 3, iPhone 4, custom PC

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the main issue here is with portability. display issues aside, the deal is do you want to be able to carry it around or not?

they are both great machines. the iMac can take more RAM, great for photoshop, but 8GB should be enough, and the MBP can take that aswell. both are gonna be good for photo editing.

the MBP has a much more powerful processor, which is gonna be great for when you start video editing.

so it all comes down to how much you travel and how much you need a computer while you travel.

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DianeK

 
Member Since: Feb 28, 2011
Location: Western Canada
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Mac Specs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7, OS 10.6.8

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Thank you for that reply.

I was leaning toward the 13" 2.7 GHz i7 Macbook Pro (with a Dell monitor) but neither place I went to could tell me if the integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 supported wide gamut monitors. Do you know?

I'm also thinking (bear with me here because I know very little about computers) that maybe the Intel 3000 would be considerably slower than the ATI Radeon because it doesn't have its own memory cache?

If I go Macbook Pro for the portability issue I have to stick with the 13" in order to fit an external monitor into the budget but I don't want to short-change my processor and graphics capabilities for when I get Lightroom +/- full PS in the future. I am a serious hobbyist but not a professional so I won't be generating any income off this hardware!

Any more light to shed?

Diane
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robduckyworth

 
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Member Since: Jan 04, 2011
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im not too sure about wide gamut, as ive never even heard of it, but i can give you a few links. from what i can tell it is some sort of color correction system?

Apple - Support - Discussions - Wide Gamut Displays with OSX ...

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/642403

the guy on the second thread is using a wide gamut display apparently.

what i can tell you for sure, is that the processor is not the most important part for a photographer. RAM is what you will be chewing up a lot of.

the Intel 3000 is slower yes, but only for intensive video processing, such as gaming. it is perfect for running an external display.

put it this way, i have a core 2 duo macbook pro 13 (2010) and i could run photoshop CS5 extended with an external display on it perfectly. the processors on the new machines are much better than the one i have.

hopefully this sheds some light from a non photographer. hopefully one will chime in.

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DianeK

 
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Thanks again. If I can get this wide gamut monitor thingy sorted out and the Macbook Pro is compatible with one, I think the laptop is the way to go.
Diane
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robduckyworth

 
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okay, good luck with your purchase, and check back if you have any more problems, happy to help.

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infocusinc

 
Member Since: Feb 27, 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DianeK View Post
Thanks again. If I can get this wide gamut monitor thingy sorted out and the Macbook Pro is compatible with one, I think the laptop is the way to go.
Diane

Just did the new macbook pro thing myself.

First, no problems using a wide gamut external monitor. I use a NEC 2690 calibrated and profiled via NEC Spectraview software and it works perfectly with both the Macbooks I now own, a 13" i5 2.3 dual and a 15" i7 2.2 Quad.

Speed wise the 15" quad simply stomps the 13". Quite frankly the 13" is simply too slow for serious raw processing ( Capture 1) and PSCS5 retouching. At least for my workflow where time is money. The 15 quad is much better suited to production work, but still not the equal of a desktop workstation.

If you need to be portable and can afford the price bump, get the i7 quad.

Note: I just ordered 8 gb memory upgrades fro both machines today and that should improve the performance a bit.

My 2 cents and YMMV.

Craig Lamson - Craig Lamson Photo

www.craiglamson.com
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robduckyworth

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macfan76 View Post
i love the lip conditioners. they provide a slight tint of color and make your lips feel so moist. i don't know about mac primers but i love the bare minerals primer, you can get it at sephora, a blush from mac that i really love is called dame. it looks really nice and natural. my favorite mac concealer is the new pro longwear ones. they last forever and cover great. most people don't really like mac mascara but i really love mac opulash. its a lot like dior show but like half the price. good luck!
???????

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DianeK

 
Member Since: Feb 28, 2011
Location: Western Canada
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I could maybe manage the price jump to an iMac quad i5 (since I wouldn't then need to buy a monitor) but the extra jump to the Macbook Pro quad i7 + buying a monitor just isn't doable. How would processing speed be with the i5 quad iMac?
I could consider bumping up the HD in my vintage 2008 Macbook to use it for portable photo storage while travelling. That way if any oopsy should happen to the old Macbook, I would still have the iMac at home and not be totally without a computer. I was originally going to go with a Hyperdrive Colorspace but actually upgrading the old Macbook is less expensive (if a somewhat more cumbersome travelling aid). I already have a G-Tech external to use as a redundancy backup (my backpack keeps getting heavier and heavier!).
Diane
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robduckyworth

 
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the i5 quad will be fast. its a great CPU.

If you find a post helpful, don't forget to use the reputation system (top right of post.)
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