New Monitor or Retina iMac?

RavingMac

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I am considering upgrading my photo workstation as part of my 'prepping for retirement' gear aquisition.
Currently I have a 27in Viewsonic (1920x1080) driven by either my 2012 Mac Mini or 2012 15in MBP.
I don't do video and don't expect that to change. Main use of the workstation is LR, Photoshop CC and will be adding DXO Optics. Everything else I do on my iPad, so no games, websurfing or cat videos. This is essentially a dedicated photography setup as I never turn it on for any other reason.

Biggest consideration is the display, I want the best, but on the otherhand I don't want to throw down tons of money for little impact.

Thoughts or recommendations?
 

pigoo3

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Biggest consideration is the display, I want the best, but on the otherhand I don't want to throw down tons of money for little impact.

Thoughts or recommendations?

Mike…I'm always thinking "dollars & sense" (and not spending $$$$ if not necessary).:)

Obviously there's a big difference in cost between a new retina iMac…and a better monitor. I guess my question is…I'm not 100% sure I'm seeing a specific need for a this hardware upgrade.

- You didn't mention that you were having performance issues with the your Mac-Mini or MBP (so maybe don't need the improved performance of a retina iMac).
- What is it that a better/bigger monitor will do for you that your current monitor isn't doing?

I guess here's what I'm thinking.

1. Don't do/purchase anything…unless you have a strong need.

2. If computer performance isn't an issue…go for the better monitor…maybe go for a nice big 4k display.

3. Hold off on this purchase altogether for a while if you have no pressing need at the moment. Maybe Apple will come out with a better external monitor choice than current. With the 27" retina iMac in production…I wouldn't be surprised if Apple came out with a 27" retina external display in the near future.

4. If you did decide to go with a 27" retina iMac. Wait for "version 2" to come out.

HTH,:)

- Nick
 
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RavingMac

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Mike…I'm always thinking "dollars & sense" (and not spending $$$$ if not necessary).:)

Obviously there's a big difference in cost between a new retina iMac…and a better monitor. I guess my question is…I'm not 100% sure I'm seeing a specific need for a this hardware upgrade.

- You didn't mention that you were having performance issues with the your Mac-Mini or MBP (so maybe don't need the improved performance of a retina iMac).
- What is it that a better/bigger monitor will do for you that your current monitor isn't doing?

I guess here's what I'm thinking.

1. Don't do/purchase anything…unless you have a strong need.

2. If computer performance isn't an issue…go for the better monitor…maybe go for a nice big 4k display.

3. Hold off on this purchase altogether for a while if you have no pressing need at the moment. Maybe Apple will come out with a better external monitor choice than current. With the 27" retina iMac in production…I wouldn't be surprised if Apple came out with a 27" retina external display in the near future.

4. If you did decide to go with a 27" retina iMac. Wait for "version 2" to come out.

HTH,:)

- Nick

A lot of your reasoning mirrors mine. I am going to wait (at least a while).
1) As far as "need" goes, I don't need an upgrade. But, photography is my hobby and my final product is ultimately what shows on the screen. I have considerably more than the cost of a new iMac invested in photo gear, so the question isn't the money so much as, "Will I see the difference?"
Been reading quite a bit and think the answer is I will.
2) Competing monitors (even updated ones from Apple) will doubtless appear, but it will be quite some time before Macs and PCs will be able to do them justice due to inability to push data through the display cable quick enough
3) so, I figure sometime between Oct 15 and Jun 16 a refresh of the new iMac will appear, and I will probably pick one up then. No need to rush
 

pigoo3

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...so the question isn't the money so much as, "Will I see the difference?"

Here are my thoughts on this (as a rank ammeter photo-taking person);)…and from what I've read over the years. I think that it comes down to color reproduction and/or color accuracy.

But I think that most monitors do a pretty darn good job if that monitor is the only one the photos are being seen on. Of course just like TV's…and soon as you put multiple TV's side by side…then you can see differences (good or bad).

But if someone is sharing photos with other folks (other photo professionals or photo enthusiasts)…and color accuracy is a VERY important aspect (you want them to see exactly what you see on their equipment)…or if the photos are going to be printed out (want the print to look the same as on the computer display)…then having a super accurate monitor is important.:)

You know me. I'm "Mr. Frugal" in many ways. So I'm usually looking at things from the ""Do we REALLY need this?"" perspective. And if we do…what is the least expensive way of accomplishing the goal.:)

My 2 cents,:)

- Nick

p.s. I would imagine that theres got to be a ton of discussion on a topic like this in some dedicated photography forums. It would be awesome to find out what the photography forum experts currently think are the best computers/computer displays for photographers that want the best!:)
 
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RavingMac

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I have been reading everything I could find regarding opinions of the new iMac, and in particular on photography sites.
Everyone who has one seems to love it. My main reason for posting here was to see if there were any gotchas.

My hesitation over getting one is more philosophical than anything else. Not a fan of all-in-one computers. Why replace everything (display included) if it goes belly up?
For that reason, I would much rather have a stand-alone display that rivaled the new iMac.

Unfortunately, I have become convinced (perhaps wrongly so) that such does not exist, nor will anytime soon.
I strongly considered going the FrankenMac route, but by the time I pop for a top notch 4K Monitor (still not as sharp as the iMac's) and build my new system, I will have spent as much (and probably far more) than if I went with the iMac.

So, at this point (unless I change my mind again) I will hold my nose and violate my principle against all-in-one computers. ;)
 

chscag

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Go for it Mike! I love spending your money (as my wife would say). :p
 

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So, at this point (unless I change my mind again) I will hold my nose and violate my principle against all-in-one computers. ;)

From everything I've read…there's hardy a review out there that doesn't "gush like a 13 year-old school girl" over the new 27" retina iMac!!!;);)

One thing I don't know is…what is the display accuracy like from a professionals viewpoint (if this is what you're looking for). I would certainly think that since (at the moment) this would be a "flagship" product for Apple to video & photography professionals…the display accuracy has got to be pretty darn good…and/or…that it can be calibrated to be pretty darn good!

This is why I was mentioning that I would think that Apple may be coming out with a 27" retina external display sometime soon (this would mesh well with your thoughts on not liking all-in-one setups).

Or if you went with a 2nd generation 27" retina iMac. You would have all the benefits of the 2nd gen. improvements…and possibly the removal of any "bugs" (if there are any) from first gen. 27" retina iMac's.:)

- Nick
 
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Go for it Mike! I love spending your money (as my wife would say). :p

From everything I've read…there's hardy a review out there that doesn't "gush like a 13 year-old school girl" over the new 27" retina iMac!!!;);)

One thing I don't know is…what is the display accuracy like from a professionals viewpoint (if this is what you're looking for). I would certainly think that since (at the moment) this would be a "flagship" product for Apple to video & photography professionals…the display accuracy has got to be pretty darn good…and/or…that it can be calibrated to be pretty darn good!

This is why I was mentioning that I would think that Apple may be coming out with a 27" retina external display sometime soon (this would mesh well with your thoughts on not liking all-in-one setups).

Or if you went with a 2nd generation 27" retina iMac. You would have all the benefits of the 2nd gen. improvements…and possibly the removal of any "bugs" (if there are any) from first gen. 27" retina iMac's.:)

- Nick
LOL

I feel like the guy in the cartoons, with a character with wings and halo on one shoulder, and pitchfork and horns on the other. I'll leave it to you two to sort out which is which . . . ;D
 

pigoo3

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I feel like the guy in the cartoons, with a character with wings and halo on one shoulder, and pitchfork and horns on the other. I'll leave it to you two to sort out which is which . . . ;D

Pretty good analogy!!!:)

angel-and-devil-simpsons.jpg


- Nick
 
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RavingMac

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Pretty good analogy!!!:)

angel-and-devil-simpsons.jpg


- Nick

Unfortunately, now my cheap (that is frugal) side is winning and I am being tempted to go with a Dell 4K Monitor for about $2K less than the iMac. ;P
 

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Has Dell dropped the price that much? Dell was advertising them starting at $2,000+ at the time this latest 27" retina iMac was introduced.

edit:
nvm - My brain was thinking their new 5k monitor which matches up pretty well with the new iMac screen. The Dell equivalent monitor only of that new iMac screen is still $2499 - basically the same price as the whole Apple computer. Sounds like Apple could bring out the monitor only at $1,000 and pull the rug out from under Dell on this one.
 
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RavingMac

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Has Dell dropped the price that much? Dell was advertising them starting at $2,000+ at the time this latest 27" retina iMac was introduced.

edit:
nvm - My brain was thinking their new 5k monitor which matches up pretty well with the new iMac screen. The Dell equivalent monitor only of that new iMac screen is still $2499 - basically the same price as the whole Apple computer. Sounds like Apple could bring out the monitor only at $1,000 and pull the rug out from under Dell on this one.

B&H Photo has the Dell P2715Q 27in 4K IPS UHD Monitor for $607.85
 
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You would think I would have realized this upfront, but after researching, I don't own a Mac capable of driving more than 2560x1600 on an external display. So the Retina iMac probably makes the best sense.
 
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You would think I would have realized this upfront, but after researching, I don't own a Mac capable of driving more than 2560x1600 on an external display. So the Retina iMac probably makes the best sense.

Maybe you know the answer already (then I don't have to search for it).;) What Mac model would you need to drive this monitor (other than a Mac Pro)?

By the way (just a thought). If the wallet is opening w-i-d-e for a $2499 retina iMac. Just think. For just $50 dollars more ($2549) you could get this refurbished Mac Pro:

Refurbished Mac Pro 3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 - Apple Store (U.S.)

This doesn't solve the monitor problem immediately. Get the refurb. Mac Pro now…spend $600 later for the display…BAMM…you got the setup you REALLY want!!!:) And you don't have to deal with the All-In-One setup you are not crazy about.;)

- Nick

p.s. Can run THREE 4k displays with this Mac Pro!!!:) Hubba Hubba!;)
 
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RavingMac

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Maybe you know the answer already (then I don't have to search for it).;) What Mac model would you need to drive this monitor (other than a Mac Pro)?

By the way (just a thought). If the wallet is opening w-i-d-e for a $2499 retina iMac. Just think. For just $50 dollars more ($2549) you could get this refurbished Mac Pro:

Refurbished Mac Pro 3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 - Apple Store (U.S.)

This doesn't solve the monitor problem immediately. Get the refurb. Mac Pro now…spend $600 later for the display…BAMM…you got the setup you REALLY want!!!:) And you don't have to deal with the All-In-One setup you are not crazy about.;)

- Nick

p.s. Can run THREE 4k displays with this Mac Pro!!!:) Hubba Hubba!;)

I have a list (somewhere) of 4K compatible Macs, essentially 2013 vintage and later, 2014 for Mac Mini. However, none of them (including the Mac Pro) will drive 4K through the DisplayPort; you have to use HDMI and it is 30HZ refresh rate for 4K.
That gives the Retina iMac a big enough advantage that I'll probably go for it and replace with a 2020 model Mac Super Pro later. ;D
 

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So the Retina iMac probably makes the best sense.

You gotta love that little guy with the pitchfork! :p Hey, live it up Mike, you only get to go around once. No mulligan like golf. ;D
 
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You gotta love that little guy with the pitchfork! :p Hey, live it up Mike, you only get to go around once. No mulligan like golf. ;D

Thanks . . . now go sharpen your fork for the next time. ;D
 

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I have a list (somewhere) of 4K compatible Macs, essentially 2013 vintage and later, 2014 for Mac Mini. However, none of them (including the Mac Pro) will drive 4K through the DisplayPort; you have to use HDMI and it is 30HZ refresh rate for 4K.
That gives the Retina iMac a big enough advantage that I'll probably go for it and replace with a 2020 model Mac Super Pro later. ;D

Definitely sounds like you've done your homework!:)

I was going to mention this in my earlier post. What about purchasing the $600 4k display…and purchasing a 2013 or newer Mac to go with it (2014 Mac-Mini for example). This still gives you a much lower overall price tag…and you won't have to go with the All-In-One retina iMac.

Of course if you SECRETLY REALLY WANT the 27" retina iMac…then darn it…just say it and make it easy on us!!!;)

- Nick
 
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RavingMac

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Definitely sounds like you've done your homework!:)

I was going to mention this in my earlier post. What about purchasing the $600 4k display…and purchasing a 2013 or newer Mac to go with it (2014 Mac-Mini for example). This still gives you a much lower overall price tag…and you won't have to go with the All-In-One retina iMac.

Of course if you SECRETLY REALLY WANT the 27" retina iMac…then darn it…just say it and make it easy on us!!!;)

- Nick

The Retina iMac I want is $2649 from B&H with no tax and free shipping. That's for an i7 CPU version, will upgrade the RAM myself.

If it wasn't for the 30Hz refresh and limited to HDMI I would probably go the separate route

EDIT: no (at least very little) secret longing, just that I can get more money, but not more years to enjoy my toys and hobbies
 

pigoo3

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If it wasn't for the 30Hz refresh and limited to HDMI I would probably go the separate route

This is kind of a downer. I wonder if there's a workaround. I mean there has got to be a lot of professionals out there with new Mac Pro's and 4k monitor combo's…and this (I would think) isn't a limitation for them. Curious.

- Nick
 

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