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best iMac I can afford for Raw files work in Aperture 3

297 Views 1 Reply Latest reply: Jul 26, 2011 11:30 AM by SierraDragon RSS
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Jul 26, 2011 9:23 AM

I'm looking to purchase a new iMac soon. I work mostly with a lot of RAW Nikon files with Aperture and I do a lot of adjustments with them. I'm debating between the 21.5"  iMac but upgrading the processor to the i7, or, getting the larger 27", but can't affford the i7 with that model, would have to stick with the i5 processor. The xtra sceen real estate is nice of course, but would it be better to have the i7 processor since I could always add a second monitor to the 21.5" iMac for additional screen area for menus, etc...Would adding that second monitor affect my processing and/or graphics speeds at all, somewhat negating the xtra power from the i7 processor, or, would adding that 2nd monitor not really affect my processing and graphics power at all?

Also, the 21" and 27" base models have the same graphics card with 512mb vram, is that ok for Aperture with RAW file also?

 

 

Thanks!

Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)

    All 2011 macs have nice performance improvements over previous models. However Aperture is a hardware hog: GPU, CPU, i/o, RAM. Those intending Aperture as an important app will do far better with the strongest available hardware in a given category.

     

    The GPU will be key as to which iMacs are stronger, after that the CPU. RAM should be 8 GB via third party.

     

    The second display will suck (some) power from the less-than-best GPU in the lower end iMacs. Note that every Mac is really a synergy of its parts to run Aperture, so it is hard to say how much effect a second display has onoverall Aperture performance, but I would not worry about it unless using a Macbook Air. I have a 17" MBP plus $300 Viewsonic VP2365wb and the setup works great. IMO for graphics desktop work a second display is a huge benefit.

     

    IMO hard drives are obsolete as boot drives. If I was buying an iMac (I will not, preferring just-as-strong mobile Macbook Pros with their inexpensive SSDs instead) and could not afford the expensive iMac SSD configuration I would get an i5 model and have OWC retrofit an SSD into the Superdrive slot.

     

    Note that iMac hard drives are not upgradable except by Apple so you might as well order a large hard drive now.

     

    BareFeats.com has all kinds of relative graphics performance tests up (more coming), including this link:

     

    http://barefeats.com/mba11_02.html

     

    HTH

     

    -Allen wicks

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