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New Mac time

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  #1  
Old 11-28-2013, 08:44 AM
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New Mac time

Well my dear old G5 is starting to feel the pace of modern living and I think it's time to upgrade. Seems there is a new black shiny Mac on the horizon which may fit the bill but I was also considering a well spec'd iMac. Having looked at one a few years back I was put off by the highly reflective screen and envisaged hours of trying to clone out 'non existent' reflections. That said I like their smart and compact appearance. Any of you guy's use iMacs day in, day out on premium commercial work? Are they as robust and reliable as a 'tower' unit? BTW I only use my Mac's to retouch with PS and upload/download images - the rest of the icons in my dock are purely decorative! I kid you not. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:28 PM
creativeretouch creativeretouch is offline
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Re: New Mac time

In your case, I would go for Mac Mini and good, professional monitor (not shiny Apple mirror). You don't need extra power of two high-end graphic cards within new Mac Pro - these are for video and 3D work.

regards, Filip

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Old 11-29-2013, 12:32 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: New Mac time

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Originally Posted by creativeretouch View Post
You don't need extra power of two high-end graphic cards within new Mac Pro - these are for video and 3D work.

regards, Filip

You would have to look at something beyond the base cards (D300s) to really qualify as "high end". Those two seem to be chopped down versions of mid range workstations cards. As far as I can tell, you're still limited in most cases to the size of the framebuffer of one card in many applications. I agree about the mini though. It might be annoying with storage depending on what Repairman is using. USB3 might be okay for storage arrays. I don't care for the shiny imacs. The new ones are supposed to be less reflective, but I haven't tried them.
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Old 12-20-2013, 10:39 AM
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Re: New Mac time

I went into the Mac store the other day to enquire about delivery dates for the MacPro. One of the t-shirted dimwits they employ had never heard of it (and didn't know what a G5 was) and the second dimwit 'couldn't possibly say; why not speak to our business advisor'. Resisting the urge to shove his iPad where the sun don't shine I made my excuses and left. I hate those boutiques! Well anyway, looks like the MacPro is available in February (UK). Still undecided - think I'll wait for some user feedback from the the early adopters. Note they don't include keyboards in the price so that we can make our own choice. They are just so kind at Apple!

Last edited by Repairman; 12-20-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 12-20-2013, 01:31 PM
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Re: New Mac time

I use my iMac day in and day out, but not for retouching. My daughter thinks I spend too much time at the computer. I have the 27" with 16 GB RAM, fully loaded, except for selecting the i5 instead of the i7 as recommended by MacWorld. I use it for slide scanning and restoration. So far it's just calibrated by internal software, and maybe has a slight green tint - emphasis on maybe. I know about how neutrals look neutral no matter what - got to get around to a real calibration one of these days.

All this is preamble to saying you should get the Mac Pro if you don't have a light-controlled workspace. While the iMac now has a less reflective screen than earlier versions, its still too much (I'll admit I have it oriented so that it faces a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows - not the best, I'll admit.) If you have a light-controlled workspace, the iMac should be plenty. Just get lots of memory.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:46 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: New Mac time

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Originally Posted by Repairman View Post
I went into the Mac store the other day to enquire about delivery dates for the MacPro. One of the t-shirted dimwits they employ had never heard of it (and didn't know what a G5 was) and the second dimwit 'couldn't possibly say; why not speak to our business advisor'. Resisting the urge to shove his iPad where the sun don't shine I made my excuses and left. I hate those boutiques! Well anyway, looks like the MacPro is available in February (UK). Still undecided - think I'll wait for some user feedback from the the early adopters. Note they don't include keyboards in the price so that we can make our own choice. They are just so kind at Apple!
If you want to save some money and don't require multiple displays, you could consider a mini. They'll still take 16GB of ram. I've seen some retouchers go with up to 32, but 16 isn't actually bad. I suspect the next revision will have real gpu acceleration from the few features in photoshop that support it. It's just a thought as they are a couple thousand less, and you got this far with a G5. I would personally take a quad core mini + NEC or Eizo monitor over an imac.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:45 AM
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Re: New Mac time

Thank you all for your input. It helps to crystallise my thoughts and hone in on the right solution for my general workload. I'm intrigued by the Mini but it's low cost (£849) suggests that it will be deficient in some areas. A good spec, off the shelf iMac is about £1k more! The MacPro then is at least another £1k on top of that. I'm not including accessories costs in the equation. Although I don't do 3d or video I'd like to future proof myself (to a degree only) in case that arises. Given that cost is not an issue I guess I'm just looking for max speed when handling large files. iMac wins on looks, Mini + Eizo for compactness and display, MacPro for power, potential and looks.
I'd be interested to know what your money-no-object choices would be, given your own typical workloads. Cheers all.
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:43 AM
creativeretouch creativeretouch is offline
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Re: New Mac time

http://www.everymac.com/ultimate-mac-comparison-chart/

here you can find specifications and compare all Apple computers.

I would say, that best iMac, best Mac Mini and cheapest Mac Pro will give very similar results in CPU tests ... there will be huge differences in GPU of course ...

Regards, Filip



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Old 12-21-2013, 09:28 AM
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Re: New Mac time

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Originally Posted by Repairman View Post
I'd be interested to know what your money-no-object choices would be, given your own typical workloads. Cheers all.
For me it would be a bigger and better screen probably 27" or 30" NEC or possibly Eizo if I could be persuaded that the more expensive Eizo brought enough to the table to justify the extra cost.

Now the controversial bit, for some at least I am a PC user! I would be speccing out my own PC components for an ultimate build probably Intel CPU i7 based mobo around 24MB RAM, large SSD for applications and OS with a smaller one for scratch disk, couple of internal 2TB drives, a decent 1 or 2GB graphics card and a host of external storage (not RAID). I am not too keen on small form factor cases so I would be housing it all in a tower.

Obviously I know you are a Mac user and as such are likely to stay that way but have you considered the PC alternative? Not as pretty/aesthetically pleasing as a Mac maybe but can be specced out to whatever level of power madness you want at a lower cost?
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:22 AM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: New Mac time

Creativeretouch speaks the truth, relative parity, all good enough. I'm a photographer and freelance retoucher. For myself, I use a a non retina 15" macbook pro with a non glossy screen hooked up to a 30" IPS monitor. I love the MBP because of it's portability. I unhook it from the monitor and take it all over the house, in the back yard, and stick it in a backpack to take it on photoshoots and shoot tethered to it. It's so very versatile. If money is not an object, short of the newest, soon to be released Mac Pro, this plus a quality monitor would be my recommendation.

However, as a freelance retoucher, I had to add a second workstation so my wife could help me in the busy season. I bought a quad core mini, 15 GB RAM, w/ a 27" NEC. Also a very capable machine.

I also use a new iMac at one of the places where I work on site. It's also quite capable, and if positioned appropriately, the newest screens are not too bad from a refection standpoint (certainly do not have a window or light scource behind you). However, I still find them troublesome at discerning gradations and depth of detail in blacks.

On other sites I work on older Mac Pro's of various vintage and quantities of RAM. I find these newer Macs (iMac, Mini, MBP) will well outperform those of a few years back (and I don't mean G5's, I mean much more recent) if they have the advantage of greater RAM and faster hard drives, which they often do.

In the end, I don't think Photoshop is the most taxing of programs for a computer to run, save for giant file sizes that must be held in memory, where adequate RAM and file management (not an ungodly number of history states, smart objects, pixel layers, etc) is far more important than number of cores and GHz speed.

So long as you've got a quad core and 12+ GB RAM you should be in pretty good shape for the vast, vast majority of what you'd likely do. The rest is form factor.

My personal order of preference for my lifestyle is as such.

Macbook Pro w/ external non glossy IPS monitor
Newest, yet to be released, Mac Pro (assuming it's as good as supposed)
Mini w/ external non glossy IPS monitor
iMac (Great family machine, very capable, gorgeous form factor. But even though I work with glossy monitors at two locations, and it is doable, and the newer ones are far better than the old wrt reflections, I just don't like looking through glass.)
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