Hardware for editing photos?

  • Posted: 18 May 2007 02:57 PM

    The avdent of RAW, the need for Fit to View (for big files), and an ever larger number of (photo) files to edit makes every wait seem longer. Presently, I have a G5 with 2 BG memory and a ATI Radeon 9600 XT (256 MB) graphics board.

    For large files with compute-intensive edits, I am looking to upgrade to newer hardware. But not right away.

    For the G5, would I be better off spending for newer/faster graphics board more memory?

    Eventually, I will need a dedicate/faster machine, and was thinking about a 24 inch IMac with a GeForce7600 and 2 GM RAM. Will this be enough, or will I need to think about a Mac Pro?

    TIA

    [ Edited: 21 April 2012 12:37 PM by Intruder ]      
  • Posted: 18 May 2007 05:59 PM #1

    It depends on what software you’re using. If you run Photoshop then the video card won’t make a big difference, because Photoshop relies most heavily on the processor. I’ve used Photoshop CS3 on my 2GHz Core Duo MacBook. Thanks to the relatively speedy processor, it performs quite well in spite of my MacBook’s weaker Intel GMA 950 graphics.

    On the other hand, if you’re using Aperture you may benefit quite a bit from a video card upgrade. Aperture makes use of Core Image, whose performance is in turn affected significantly by the video card. Aperture runs alright on my MacBook but I can definitely tell the difference on a machine with an equivalent processor but better video card, like a MacBook Pro.

    Obviously the machines I described don’t mirror what you’ll be using, but the idea is to illustrate the difference that processor vs. video card makes for different software. smile

         
  • Posted: 19 May 2007 12:07 AM #2

    [quote author=“fjdemetrius”]Eventually, I will need a dedicate/faster machine, and was thinking about a 24 inch IMac with a GeForce7600 and 2 GM RAM. Will this be enough, or will I need to think about a Mac Pro?

    TIA

    I have this very set-up and it is highly satisfactory.

    I am running CS3 and Aperture. If there are any tests I could do that may be useful to you, please let me know.

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  • Posted: 19 May 2007 05:59 AM #3

    Thanks

    Thanks for the helpful comments.

    I run software that relies on Core Image, so the graphics processor is important. But large (RAW) files running at, say, 1/4 size, effectively become 40 MG files. Add in compute-intensive effects and various levels of Undo, and time lags become obvious.

    The card I have, a Radeon 9600XT, allows me to do real-time video effects, so I suspect that the problem is that I am more constrained by memory (2GB) than by my graphics processor.

    I could add more memory to my G5, or upgrade to an iMac (with a GeForce 7600).... but I might still be memory constrained since an iMac tops out at 3 GB.

    In short, a faster graphics card would help, but if the problem is that my G5 graphics processor is itself constrained by memory (presently 2GB), an iMac would not solve my problem. Meanwhile, upgrading a (very good) G5 may just not make sense.

    TIA.

         
  • Posted: 19 May 2007 06:04 AM #4

    Thanks

    >>I have this very set-up and it is highly satisfactory. I am running CS3 and Aperture. <<

    Thanks for the offer. 2GB of RAM is enough for your handling Aperture with you graphics processor?

         
  • Posted: 19 May 2007 08:16 PM #5

    Absolutely.

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  • Posted: 25 May 2007 07:28 PM #6

    Regarding the iMac…

    Yesterday I was speaking to an Apple dealer who I know well. He was saying that many of his customers with semi-pro needs, such as vocational training institutions and freelance designers, are choosing the 24in iMac over pro towers.

    His view was that Apple had made the 24in iMac “too good” and that the pro machines were relevant only to those with some real heavy-lifting to do, such as users editing high-def video and creating 3D content.

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  • Posted: 26 May 2007 07:21 AM #7

    Mac Pro v i. Mac

    >>customers with semi-pro needs, such as vocational training institutions and freelance designers, are choosing the 24in iMac over pro towers.<<

    That’s the way I am leaning. However, I will download a demo of the photo-editing software I plan to use and try it on both machines before deciding.

    If I find that I am memory constrained, I will need to go with the Pro. If the faster iMac graphics card handles peak demands, I will go with the 24 inch iMac.

    Thank you for your help. It is much appreciated. fjd

         
  • Posted: 27 May 2007 09:55 AM #8

    Another issue to consider is your budget for all of your desired gear. The 24” iMac IMHO should handle all of your needs quite well at a fraction of the cost of a Mac Pro. For semi-pro use I suggest the iMac with the beefed-up video card and the 2 GB of RAM. Unless you need to expand with cards or additional drives the iMac should do you quite well.

    Another thing to consider is you will most likely get a serious performance boost from Leopard. The dollars saved on the iMac versus the Pro can buy a lot of cool stuff for your studio.

         
  • Posted: 24 August 2009 10:26 AM #9

    If you are running CS4 at all (or plan to), Photoshop was rewritten to foist more of its processing needs to the video card, so a good card becomes more important than loads of RAM. Snow Leopard also supposedly will use the bigger video cards more also. Though if you are sticking with a G5, Snow Leopard is not an option.

    I just had this debate with myself (see iMac thread in Design & Create forum) and I went with a 24” iMac instead of a MacPro and I do print publishing.

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  • Posted: 13 August 2010 09:32 AM #10

    I am usin the Photoshop for the Photo editing .With Adobe Photoshop, it is important to have two hard drives on a Windows computermachine. With a single, Photoshop and Windows using alternately scratchinghard and things can become very slow. Windows will only use the startup disk forzero, but Photoshop will use the second with equal success.Photoshop does not need anything special in the way of a video card , but the video editing can then go with what to do and do not worry Photoshop.

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  • Posted: 19 November 2011 06:00 AM #11

    Photoshop was rewritten to foist more of its processing needs to the video card, so a good card becomes more important than loads of RAM.