Please help me with my computer purchase

kja6

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I recently purchased a Nikon D800 and the 36.3 MP creates HUGE files. There's no question that my 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2 GB RAM MacBook cannot handle these files while having both Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4 open.

For those of you that own the current model of the iMac (21.5" monitor, 2.7 GHz with 8GB RAM specifically), would I be able to run all of the above without significant slow-downs and image loading times? I'm no expert on computers so I can't judge if it'll be enough. Do any of you have experience with the above setup or something similar? (And adding additional RAM to this 21.5" model is nearly impossible, so I won't attempt that.)

I'm trying not to bankrupt myself, so I'm avoiding the 27" iMac that has accessible exterior RAM slots for upgrades.

Thanks in advance for the input.
 

KenC

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If there is an option for smaller raw files, say about half size, your file size problem would probably disappear and you would lose nothing. No one needs more than about 10-12 MP unless you're cropping out half the image and then trying to print the rest on the side of a bus. I have a 2010 iMac with an i3 and 4 GB RAM. I handle PS files from about 50 to 150 MB with no hold-up at all (they are mostly from a 17MP camera).
 

cgipson1

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If there is an option for smaller raw files, say about half size, your file size problem would probably disappear and you would lose nothing. No one needs more than about 10-12 MP unless you're cropping out half the image and then trying to print the rest on the side of a bus. I have a 2010 iMac with an i3 and 4 GB RAM. I handle PS files from about 50 to 150 MB with no hold-up at all (they are mostly from a 17MP camera).

Why have a D800 if you aren't going to take advantage of the wonderful detail that 36mp gives you? My PC has no issues with the file sizes either!
 

KenC

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My understanding is that a full-frame gives you better high-ISO performance and better dynamic range, but that neither of these is related to MP count. If this is incorrect, then I'll stand corrected, but I haven't heard or read anything that indicates that anyone could see the difference between 18 and 36 MP under any "normal" circumstances. I'm sure there must be occasions where one might make use of that many MP (like side-of-bus prints), but I don't believe most of us will ever see one.
 

DorkSterr

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cgipson1

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My understanding is that a full-frame gives you better high-ISO performance and better dynamic range, but that neither of these is related to MP count. If this is incorrect, then I'll stand corrected, but I haven't heard or read anything that indicates that anyone could see the difference between 18 and 36 MP under any "normal" circumstances. I'm sure there must be occasions where one might make use of that many MP (like side-of-bus prints), but I don't believe most of us will ever see one.

Try this at 18mp: http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...l-size-100-crop-70-200-2-8-vrii-handheld.html
 

cgipson1

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Why not build your own?

CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB)
Intel Core i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E 3.6GHz
EVGA SSC 02G-P4-3653-KR GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2GB
CORSAIR AX860i 860W Digital ATX12V
ASRock X79 EXTREME4-M LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0


All you need is the HDD/SSD and monitor(s) And it will be faster than any Mac you can get.

My late 2011 Macbook has the same specs and it could bearly process my 16MP files I don't know what would happen with a 36mp, maybe explode?

^This! More speed, not locked down to where you are limited in what you can do, not a bunch of proprietary hardware / software!
 

DorkSterr

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My understanding is that a full-frame gives you better high-ISO performance and better dynamic range, but that neither of these is related to MP count. If this is incorrect, then I'll stand corrected, but I haven't heard or read anything that indicates that anyone could see the difference between 18 and 36 MP under any "normal" circumstances. I'm sure there must be occasions where one might make use of that many MP (like side-of-bus prints), but I don't believe most of us will ever see one.

Try this at 18mp: http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...l-size-100-crop-70-200-2-8-vrii-handheld.html


+1 cropping on a 36mp is a dream that even the D4 is envious about.
 

TheStig

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Building your own pc is easier than it sounds, and once you learn how, you'll never buy off the shelf again. It's an incredible value.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 4 Beta
 

texkam

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Not here to bash Macs, but a desktop PC workstation, whether built or purchased will give you more bang for the buck compared to your MacBook for the need you stated. Use the right tool for the job. Your MacBook is designed to handle other things better.
 

cptkid

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Not here to bash Macs, but a desktop PC workstation, whether built or purchased will give you more bang for the buck compared to your MacBook for the need you stated. Use the right tool for the job. Your MacBook is designed to handle other things better.

Rubbish, what are macs for if they are not for graphic design and photography?

OP, you could just replace the HD in your Macbook with a SSD and then upgrade the ram to 8gig.

However if I was you I would buy the iMac.

I'm actually running an iMac at the moment, but I do most of my editing on a Macmini Server model, with a SSD drive, quad core 2.3ghz i7 processeor and 8gig ram.
 

TheStig

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Macs don't contain any magical hardware that makes them better for editing. A PC with identical parts will cost far less and perform the same.

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cptkid

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Macs don't contain any magical hardware that makes them better for editing. A PC with identical parts will cost far less and perform the same.

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No, they just come with amazing displays as standard.
 

Light Guru

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Macs don't contain any magical hardware that makes them better for editing. A PC with identical parts will cost far less and perform the same

No they dont contain any magical hardware but they do run the Mac OS.
 

Stevepwns

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You are running out of RAM, OP. I am not a Mac fan at all but I am sure if you upgrade your ram to at least 8 gigs (if you can) you will see a huge difference. Your hardware is plenty to process what you have. But if you choose to buy a new computer all together, A PC is the MOST cost effective way to do it. I built a PC with 16 gigs of RAM, 2 x SSD, 1 TB harddrive, Top 1155 socket processor and Dual graphics cards and saved about 2 grand compared to a comparable Mac. That includes 4 - 24 inch monitors. If you choose that route, hit me up and Ill help you, its not hard and you can save a boatload of money. If you bought Lightroom and PS it should have come with both a Mac disk and a Windows Disk. Mine did.
 

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