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Thread: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Folks,

    I'm at that place where I need to consider a new machine for my digital files.

    My current machine is a Mac Pro from early 2008, and it is working great, but it is getting long in the tooth, and my files are not getting any smaller. I now have 36MP files coming in, and the machine is limited in a few ways.

    1. This is the last of the machines that Apple no longer supports with OS updates.
    2. It is a bit slow, but not terrible. I am not doing large-scale file processing (I don't shoot weddings).
    3. I have it maxed with RAM, and have added new HD's to it at times, so it is a bit of a hodge-podge of hardware. A have no room for more drives, so I would have to put in a card and an external HD box of some kind to expand it and maintain access performance.

    SO... I started looking at Apple, and the new Mac Pro appears to me to be really geared towards large scale shooters or video production. It is not a machine that I consider viable for a serious shooter (but not a high volume shooter), simple because of the obscene cost to assemble an image editing system.

    ...Except that I am not sure that any other model is terribly viable for serious image editing... so I have a few questions.

    ---What about dual monitors on the laptops? I don't mean using a single monitor extension and the laptop monitor, I mean two separate extension monitors, and not use the laptop monitor? How can this be done? Can I get different profiles working in the configuration as well?

    ---I presume an external keyboard should be no issues? I detest the small keyboards on laptops, even tough the Apple ones are as good as they get otherwise.

    ---I presume that the Thunderbolt interface will permit a large, fast HD box to be connected? Need that for all the image files.

    ---What else do I need to be thinking about if I try to use a laptop and my primary image editing machine? I will be using LR and PS almost exclusively.

    ---Are either the iMac or the Mac Mini viable alternatives? I suspect profiling will be a problem with these. That is a deal-breaker for me.


    Thanks,


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    If you don't need a computer that is portable, I will strongly recommend a Mini or an iMac. The Mini has the advantage of an FW port should you need it, but it doesn't have a dedicated graphics card and when you add the price of a quality monitor, keyboard and mouse, the savings vs. an iMac isn't that dramatic. The fastest iMac is as far as I remember much faster than a Mini.

    Two monitors shouldn't be a problem with any new Mac, but one would have to be connected via a Thunderbolt port (and an adapter if it isn't a Thunderbolt monitor) since there's only one HDMI port.

    I have so far used a Mini at home and a MacBook Air everywhere else, but have decided to go for a MacBook Pro Retina to replace both. To secure the investment for the future (and since my employer picks up the bill ), I went all the way and ordered the top model with a dedicated graphics card, 1 TB SSD and the fastest processor. It should arrive here within a couple of weeks (special order). According to those who have tried this configuration, it's sufficiently fast for editing 4K video, so photo files of more or less any size shouldn't be much of a challenge.

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Thanks Jorgen...

    I'm going to look over the specs of the iMac and Mini and see what they can do for me.

    These new form factor computers really aren't in line with the way I've worked in the past, but if they are up to the task, I'm willing to consider them.

    I have two high quality NEC monitors that I'd prefer to continue using, so for the monitors, I'm all set unless I decide to splurge.

    I guess one of the big questions is whether I need a laptop or not. My opinion is that I do not. I have a Nexto device that I can pull all of my images to in the field, and at this point I've never com close to maxxing that out. I bring a iPad for general web browsing and email while travelling.

    That may put me in the Mini realm pretty solidly.


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    The iMac is wicked fast (in some cases faster than the Mac Pro) and can run 2 monitors (one internal).
    Brad Husick
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Brad,

    Can you profile both monitors? I thought I had read that there was a problem doing that...


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    I had a similar issue with my 2010 Mac Pro. Other than memory upgrades, getting to the internals of an iMac is PITA, regardless of performance capability. I agree with other postings regarding the new Mac Pro -- too expensive and geared towards serious commercial video work.

    My solution:
    OWC Mercury Accelsior_E2 PCI Express SSD
    This replaced my boot drive using PCI slot and freed up a HD slot which now houses an SSD. The Accelsior also provides two additional eSata ports for additional HD expansion.

    An additional option, although officially not supporting MacPros older than 2010 is the following. It works with older machines with newer OS installed and some driver tweaks.

    Sapphire 100352MAC HD 7950 3GB GDDR5 Mac Edition... in stock at OWC

    There are a number of options for bringing older MacPros closer to current state of the art. Personally, I would much prefer to keep my MacPros than go to an iMac, using the same cash expenditure to upgrade the MacPro and buy a new monitor that offers superior performance to that of the iMac.

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Charles,

    Thanks for the info.

    My machine is the last of the 32-bit architecture, so it is now unsupported in the OS development anymore, and won't be able to take anything like that.

    One thought I had was to find a reasonably prices 2010 or newer Mac Pro to purchase and then get it loaded with memory, etc.

    The other thought I have it to abandon Apple and go to a PC for my computing needs.

    Right now, I'm leaning towards abandoning Apple frankly. The high cost of the Apple products is indefensible compared to the equal or better performance from PCs these days.


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    There are btw. several new Thunderbolt hub devices appearing on the market now. I will certainly buy one or two of these for my new MBP:

    CalDigit Thunderbolt? station
    Sonnet - Echo 15 Thunderbolt Dock
    Thunderbolt

    Only having to connect one cable for all accessories makes life so much simpler

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Yes the 2013 Mac Pros can be very expensive. You might consider doing as I did and purchase a refurbished 2012 Mac Pro directly from Apple. They can be purchased with the same Apple Care Coverage that is offered with new computers so there is no risk as there is with a used computer purchase. The 2012 machines can run OS 10.9.

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    I'm at the same place as you are Michael. I'm okay with my Mac Pro 2.1, 2X3 Ghz Quad-Core with only 10 gig of RAM running OS-X 10.7.5 and use two 30" Mac Cinema Screens (which I never could calibrate exactly the same) I also upgraded the graphics card to an ATI Radeon HD 5770 but it is all getting long in the tooth, and some applications are running a bit slow with these huge files these days (I work on 1,000 images at a crack when doing weddings).

    Plus, I'm now doing a second photo/computer location in Florida, and it is there that I want any new set-up.

    I'm looking at the iMac and spec'ed out one that will be around $3K after my pro business discount. 3.5 GHz Quad Core with turbo boost to 3.8 GHz, 3TB Fusion Drive, beefed up Graphics Card. I figure I can add a second better monitor since I only use the second screen for library collections and moving things around while processing an image on a main screen. Getting rid of the box allows me to put it on a rolling stand to make tethered work easier and more convenient.

    I also priced a MacBook Pro and it was more expensive, and not as fast or as powerful even maxed out.

    - Marc

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Marc,

    Thanks for the comments...

    I am hung up on the iMacs for some reason. Maybe they would be OK< but the all-in-one approach makes me a little itchy. At least with a Mac Mini, you get to choose the monitor, but then you concede on the video card and chipset options.

    I have priced out some pretty good Photoshop machined in the PC realm, and they clearly come in cheaper than the Macs. Even if buying used, or refurbished, as photophill suggested (which I am completely comfortable with doing, at least for the refurbished ones).

    Here is a link to some info on building a Photoshop PC:

    Building a Photoshop CS6 Computer 2014 | NYC Graphic Designer Roberto Blake

    I don't know the guy, but in general the recommendations look sound to me (I used to build all my machines before getting this most recent Mac Pro, so I am comfortable taking this approach).

    Comes in around $1500... Hard to get newer than a 2010 version of a Mac Pro at that price.

    Still struggling with this. Luckily, my current machine is still fully functional, so there is no imminent need to decide.


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Yes, you can profile both displays.
    Brad Husick

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by mjm6 View Post
    Marc,

    Thanks for the comments...

    I am hung up on the iMacs for some reason. Maybe they would be OK< but the all-in-one approach makes me a little itchy. At least with a Mac Mini, you get to choose the monitor, but then you concede on the video card and chipset options.

    I have priced out some pretty good Photoshop machined in the PC realm, and they clearly come in cheaper than the Macs. Even if buying used, or refurbished, as photophill suggested (which I am completely comfortable with doing, at least for the refurbished ones).

    Here is a link to some info on building a Photoshop PC:

    Building a Photoshop CS6 Computer 2014 | NYC Graphic Designer Roberto Blake

    I don't know the guy, but in general the recommendations look sound to me (I used to build all my machines before getting this most recent Mac Pro, so I am comfortable taking this approach).

    Comes in around $1500... Hard to get newer than a 2010 version of a Mac Pro at that price.

    Still struggling with this. Luckily, my current machine is still fully functional, so there is no imminent need to decide.


    ---Michael
    I hear you. That a Graphic Designer is talking PC is telling. Most commercial places are Mac equipped.

    I'm to set in my ways (to Old?), to learn a different operating system.

    I don't need the second computer until November, so we'll see what's what then. One thing seems clear, the new Mac Pro is too expensive for me these days.

    - Marc

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    My image processing system is a Mac mini (late 2012 version) with i7 Quad-Core 2.6Ghz cpu, 16G RAM, 960G SSD (aftermarket installation). I use a 27" Thunderbolt Display with it, and have occasionally attached another 27" display as well. My image libraries are on external FW800 drives; at some point I'll move them to either USB3 or TB, but no need for now. The system is fast and responsive with 5, 12, 16, 18, and 24 Mpixel raw files from digital capture, as well as the FAR larger 4000ppi scans from 6x6 film.

    The big internal SSD made a huge difference. I keep it such that it has approximately 50% free space. System boot up, Lightroom startup, PSCS startup are now just a few seconds.

    I like having the mini vs an iMac ... I can upgrade the cpu unit to a new mini, a laptop, or a Mac Pro just by swapping the cables easily, without re-buying another display, keyboard, etc. The performance is just fine for my photography, and the cost was reasonable.

    G

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    If I didn't work at 3 different locations plus when I travel, I would probably continue using a Mini or two. For photo work, it's powerful enough, it's very cheap and as Godfrey points out, it can be replaced by just disconnecting the little box and connect another one. Even with a new, powerful MBP, I'll keep a mini as file and possibly print server. One of the great things with Apple computers is how easily they connect with each other.

    As for cheaper PC alternatives, I have worked with both for 20 years and Mac has one great advantage, at least after OS X took over and the "bombs" disappeared: They simply work. I'm frequently asked to help friends with their PC problems, a question that hardly ever arises from my Mac friends, except those who changed from PC very recently.

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Jorgen,

    Hahaha, yes, you are right about the darn things just working... That has been a pleasure these past 6 years or so. No problems to report whatsoever, other than some basic configuration issue (Apple really screwed up when they took the color profiling back under the hood, and I'm not positive that Adobe has yet to get it all straightened out. This caused a lot of trouble for photographers who needed an unprofiled printing process for certain specific printing needs, of which I am one).

    I have an engineering degree, and I worked on PCs from the beginning. I got the Mac Pro because it could do things that the PCs of the time were struggling to do, if I recall correctly (16G of ram is the one feature that I can recall). I simply don't think those differences exist anymore, and if anything, the PCs are probably better in some ways (certainly in the cost factor).

    So there we have it... I'm going to look into the Mini and also the iMac a bit more, but I suspect I will be jumping back to the PC platform for my next machine.


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    FWIW, I use a maxed out 15" retina MBP with thunderbolt displays. It's not the cheapest solution, but it works for me, and I always have my main man with me

    Just this guy you know
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    My late 2009 Mac Mini with 4 GB is getting pretty slow with ost processing and I'm also wondering if I should buy something new or upgrade it with 8 GB and an SSD. But considering the different Apple models, I feel they're not selling what I'd need. The Minis are made with the focus on being small and not necessary powerful. The iMacs on the other hand come with integrated displays, while I'd prefer to use an external one as I always have. Don't know how good the iMac displays are for post processing and accurate colour profiles. And then we have the Mac Pros which are over the top for me both specs and money wise. What I'd prefer is a separate Mac without an integrated display and located in the huge hole between a Mini and a Pro.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    emr,

    You are feeling my pain... welcome to the club.

    Sadly, I get the feeling that Apple is moving away from computers and towards gadgets. One look at their revenue stream by product, and you can see why this is possibly the case. The Mac products are increasingly becoming dwarfed by iPhone and iPad sales. Considering what it must take to continue developing the computers, that is a tough thing to maintain.

    Plus, the MacBook sales are probably a high percentage of the total Mac sales. Might make sense for them to just do the MBs and leave the rest of the market to other people.

    I have seen rumors that they are going to pull the Mini off the market as well. That probably won't happen, but it has been 2+ years since an update to those, which is probably fueling the rumors somewhat.

    I really like the Mac Pro I have, and am not sure I want to part with Apple in my workflow. Heck, if I hated it, then I'd have an easy decision!


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    If you can tolerate Windoze and the associated viruses and spyware then by all means go cheaper.

    No thank you. How much is your time worth?
    Brad Husick
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    FWIW, I use a maxed out 15" retina MBP with thunderbolt displays. It's not the cheapest solution, but it works for me, and I always have my main man with me
    That was the conclusion I came to in the end as well. I'm comfortable with it as long as I don't think about the Zeiss Otus those monies could have bought me...
    Things I sell: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/epixx?language=en
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    If you can tolerate Windoze and the associated viruses and spyware then by all means go cheaper.

    No thank you. How much is your time worth?
    Don't even talk about it. I recently spent several hours ridding my father's computer of a nasty, little virus. He runs Norton and all, but the nasty little bugger found a way around that too

    PS. For those interested, the virus set the incoming signal of the automatic time/date adjustment many years back, effectively disabling many programs like Java etc., but also Norton updates. Disabling the automatic update and setting the correct time manually enabled me to re-install Norton and get rid of it, but sometimes the simplest things (like checking if the date is correct) is what I remember last.

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    FWIW, I use a maxed out 15" retina MBP with thunderbolt displays. It's not the cheapest solution, but it works for me, and I always have my main man with me
    I use a rather minimal MacBook Pro 13" Retina for all my writing work, and if I were to buy another laptop for myself (the office provides me my work machines) I'd likely buy the same thing for myself ... or a MacBook Air 13" when they do a Retina screen for it. I use the laptop in conjunction with the Thunderbolt Display, both at the office and at home.

    But I've long since stopped carrying a laptop when I travel. On travel I carry just an iPad mini now, saves a ton of space and weight, and is good enough for the occasional couple of images I want to check or process on the road. I bought the Mac mini for my image processing work at home because I realized it saved me a bundle (already had the Thunderbolt Display, etc) over buying the laptop.

    I'm running about 50-50 on film to digital capture lately, so having the latest, greatest image processing machine with me all the time doesn't really speed things up by much. Leaves more time to look around and hunt for photo opportunities... ;-)

    G
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    I too am at the same crossroad, editing 2k video and retouching MF files are taking it's toll on my aging MacBookPro. Pricing out a new MacPro or even iMac is giving me severe sticker shock.

    I've also been incredibly frustrated with the stability of Adobe in the OSX environment. It seems that every time apple updates their patches adobe gets buggy until they update their programs. Cursors disappear, CC14 crashing, etc etc. It's especially frustrating as my studio mate whizzes along nicely on his PC with very few issues.

    Viruses are a concern, but from what I understand aren't nearly the issues they were 5-10 years ago. Here is what I do know:

    Get Windows 7 pro (Super Stable)
    Buy top of the line hardware, don't skimp.
    Build it on the side so that your not without a machine

    Best,

    J

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    I highly recommend the 6-Core nMP, fully loaded. A wonderful machine for photography, provided one has sufficient fast storage attached to it.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    I highly recommend the 6-Core nMP, fully loaded. A wonderful machine for photography, provided one has sufficient fast storage attached to it.
    Here is another thread touching on some of the main issues raised by the OP:
    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/51...ld-macpro.html

    -d.

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    I am a Mac Book Pro user, with bootcamp alongside Win7 Pro, because I have to, for some ERP software (MS Database). When it comes to workstations I build my own machines and take care to use only hardware that is specified for server applications. It may not have the best price/performance ratio, but solidness is a very nice feature.
    I have never any issues with stability, running Win 7 Pro.

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    So, I figured I'd follow up with what I decided to do...

    I was all set to build a PC and probably run it as a Hackintosh. Really spec it up and then be good for a long time on that machine.

    I had the gear priced up and was about to pull the trigger, and I though about it some more, and realized that I believe that it massive overkill for the volume of images I do right now.

    I reviewed my Mac Pro a bit more and then decided to spend some money on upgrades and hold on to it for a bit while longer. At some point in the future, Adobe won't support it any more as it is locked at OS 10.7.5 but frankly, that is just fine with me for the time being. I really like the Mac Pro and don't want to part with it anytime soon.

    a nMP is simply massive overkill for photography, and way too much money. I think it is a very poor investment for most photographers unless you are moving a huge amount of large images regularly.

    I upgraded the CPUs in the machine to the best that are compatible, and installed SSDs in for the OS and apps and another one for cache. I upgraded the video card to speed up the 2D processes somewhat. I installed a USB3 card in a slot and put together an external HD box with redundancy into the HDs in the machine (weekly backup). Finally, I swapped out one of the smaller HDs with a larger one.

    All in all, it was about $500 or so, not counting the external HD box. I think that was money well spent, because I will probably get another 5 years out of the machine now before it gets relegated to backup or recycled. Considering I got about 6+ years out of it so far, I think it will be overall the best computer I've ever owned.

    At this point, I'm very pleased with the results. Not the fastest machine out there, but it's costing me very little to own right now, and it is capable of meeting my needs fully.


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    If you can tolerate Windoze and the associated viruses and spyware then by all means go cheaper.

    No thank you. How much is your time worth?
    How much is your money worth.

    Two of our clients have recently had a virus which locked all their data . . . and requested large payments to reinstate it. Luckily they had proper backups, but many people are forced to pay this money.

    I appreciate the shortcomings of Apple, and I use VMware virtual machines for what I need to do in XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8. . . But the concept of running my life on a Windoze machine turns my blood cold.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Well, life is too short to muck around with PCs!

    Seven or eight years ago I gave up on individual USB and Firewire drives. Not enough storage, too slow, and a cable mess! I switched over to FirmTek eSATA enclosures. My dual 2.5 GHZ PPC G5, that lasted for over 9 years, worked great with those FirmTek eSATA enclosures. Over the years I upgraded my disk drives from .5 to .75, 1, 2, 3, and currently 4 TB drives. Speeds improved quite a bit as well. So, when after more than 9 years, I finally replaced my dual G5 with the nMP I was looking for a way to continue to use my substantial investment in eSATA enclosures. Luckily, Firmtek developed an adapter that permits attaching the eSATA enclosures via Thunderbolt.

    Here is a diagram of my current system



    and corresponding sustained data rates as a function of buffer size.





    A current individual 4 TB disk drive can sustain up to about 150 MB/s of read and write speeds for large buffer sizes. With 8 spindles that can scale up to about 1200 MB/s as the first graph above shows for about 1 MB buffer size.

    SSDs have different performance characteristics. In particular, their read speeds are impressive.

    Is such a system overkill for processing photographic images or videos? Maybe yes, maybe not.
    It certainly permits to fly through videos or large number of images with impressive speed.

    This Forum has a large number of threads entitled "Fun with ...".
    My guess, we need a thread entitled "Fun with Computing!".
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post

    This Forum has a large number of threads entitled "Fun with ...".
    My guess, we need a thread entitled "Fun with Computing!".

    I'm impressed K-H I'm a simple person at heart, and I've gone over to SSD's except for backup purposes. Works for me

    Just this guy you know
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post

    I'm impressed K-H I'm a simple person at heart, and I've gone over to SSD's except for backup purposes. Works for me
    Exactly Jono. Thanks.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    I have now had my new MBP Retina 15" for a week. The only thing I can say is...

    Do you remember the "good" old days, when you started Photoshop, then went for a cup of coffee, had a chat with a colleague on the way back, and upon returning to your office, Photoshop was almost finished loading?

    On this machine, Photoshop CS6 starts in less than 2 seconds, and even Premiere Pro CC is ready for work in less than 6. It wasn't cheap this toy, and with 2.8GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, it's the fastest portable machine that Apple has in their lists right now, but it's almost worth it

    Half an hour of HD video outputs from Premiere in 5-10 minutes btw. I don't know how long it took on my old Mini, since I mostly started that just before going to bed, but the improvement is huge. Great fun this is

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I have now had my new MBP Retina 15" for a week. The only thing I can say is...

    Do you remember the "good" old days, when you started Photoshop, then went for a cup of coffee, had a chat with a colleague on the way back, and upon returning to your office, Photoshop was almost finished loading?

    On this machine, Photoshop CS6 starts in less than 2 seconds, and even Premiere Pro CC is ready for work in less than 6. It wasn't cheap this toy, and with 2.8GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, it's the fastest portable machine that Apple has in their lists right now, but it's almost worth it

    Half an hour of HD video outputs from Premiere in 5-10 minutes btw. I don't know how long it took on my old Mini, since I mostly started that just before going to bed, but the improvement is huge. Great fun this is
    Thanks for this report Jorgen!

    I have to outfit a second work station in a new location, and have been debating between a maxed out iMac and the same MBP you just got + a Thunderbolt monitor.

    Your report makes the decision even harder.

    I like the idea of a highly portable but speedy/powerful lap-top for tethered location work.

    - Marc

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    My late 2009 Mac Mini with 4 GB is getting pretty slow with ost processing and I'm also wondering if I should buy something new or upgrade it with 8 GB and an SSD. But considering the different Apple models, I feel they're not selling what I'd need. The Minis are made with the focus on being small and not necessary powerful. The iMacs on the other hand come with integrated displays, while I'd prefer to use an external one as I always have. Don't know how good the iMac displays are for post processing and accurate colour profiles. And then we have the Mac Pros which are over the top for me both specs and money wise. What I'd prefer is a separate Mac without an integrated display and located in the huge hole between a Mini and a Pro.
    I ended up upgrading my current late 2009 Mini with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD. And it is faster and smoother, although not quite the power boost I was hoping for. But as it is at the moment, it's usable with 16 Mpix RAW image post processing for now.

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    I ended up upgrading my current late 2009 Mini with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD. And it is faster and smoother, although not quite the power boost I was hoping for. But as it is at the moment, it's usable with 16 Mpix RAW image post processing for now.
    That's an interesting solution, and something I should consider for the Mini I have at home which is now used as a file/print server.

    - Did you do the upgrade yourself?
    - What was the cost of the upgrade?

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Thanks for this report Jorgen!

    I have to outfit a second work station in a new location, and have been debating between a maxed out iMac and the same MBP you just got + a Thunderbolt monitor.

    Your report makes the decision even harder.

    I like the idea of a highly portable but speedy/powerful lap-top for tethered location work.

    - Marc
    I can concur that the new MPBs are great machines....highly recommended.

    Query to Jorgen - can the memory on the MPB be upgraded from 512mb to 1Tb?

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    That's an interesting solution, and something I should consider for the Mini I have at home which is now used as a file/print server.

    - Did you do the upgrade yourself?
    - What was the cost of the upgrade?
    Yup, did it myself. The SSD was about 150 € in Europe and the Corsair branded RAM about 80 €. 1066 MHz RAM is getting rarer in stores and allegedly some or all 1333 MHz memory do not work. The HD and memory upgrade isn't probably meant to be done by user, but with a suitable screwdriver set and a little care, it's not so hard. There are videos on Youtube showing how to do it.

    EDIT: This video shows the memory upgrade process https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KaHNLR6Aac

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Hold the phone.

    My Mac Business consultant called today to let me know that there may be a new iMac coming and may be announced this Thursday. So far just a rumor, but there IS an announcement coming this week so stay tuned whether it is the purported new iMac.

    - Marc
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post
    I can concur that the new MPBs are great machines....highly recommended.

    Query to Jorgen - can the memory on the MPB be upgraded from 512mb to 1Tb?
    According to Apple; no, it can't. You have to order it with 1TB to start with, which is a special order. However, there are third party solutions available, but I don't know if you save much since you've paid for the 512MB already.

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Well, this issue is back in the hotseat for me, because Adobe basically dropped support for my older Mac Pro (that I just upgraded in the fall with new HDs, faster processors, a new video card, and USB3).

    I'm just about certain I am going to get a new iMac here in the summer. The 5K monitors are looking great for photo editing, and they have the speed to do the processing apparently (the best versions are faster than the base Mac Pros, and a whole lot cheaper).

    My biggest problem now will be that I want/need to put together an external HD box of some kind, and I've had less than satisfactory results with the inexpensive boxes.

    This is why I preferred the older Mac Pro style machines. I could internally add HDs, RAM, and other items as needed, but essentially all the Apple machines have eliminated this capability. Drives me CRAZY!


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by mjm6 View Post
    Well, this issue is back in the hotseat for me, because Adobe basically dropped support for my older Mac Pro (that I just upgraded in the fall with new HDs, faster processors, a new video card, and USB3).

    I'm just about certain I am going to get a new iMac here in the summer. The 5K monitors are looking great for photo editing, and they have the speed to do the processing apparently (the best versions are faster than the base Mac Pros, and a whole lot cheaper).

    My biggest problem now will be that I want/need to put together an external HD box of some kind, and I've had less than satisfactory results with the inexpensive boxes.

    This is why I preferred the older Mac Pro style machines. I could internally add HDs, RAM, and other items as needed, but essentially all the Apple machines have eliminated this capability. Drives me CRAZY!


    ---Michael
    The OWC Thunderbay is very reliable and holds 4x6tb drives.

    Rob

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Michael,

    Just to throw a bit of a wet blanket on the scenario...the iMacs do not have
    monitors that can be adequately and consistently profiled...however there are new 5K Dell monitors that can be...

    So I would suggest that a nMP or MBP with an external monitor that can be profiled might serve you better...if you print and need consistent color.

    I just decided to cull the top pictures from some recent years ... 1400 out of 18000 in LR ... made a collection and was outputting it to a drive ... the OWC Accelsior PCI SSD card that the LR Library was on decided to destruct in the middle of the write ... under warranty but a weeks work gone and with it some 3000 files. And my LR is completely back to virgin startup state.

    I too am thinking that it may be time to gift my 2010 MP with 32 GB memory before something bad happens...

    Bob

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Well, crap... I think you are right, but I wonder how big of a problem profiling is on the newer machines. I know it was a problem on the earlier iMacs. I'm going to have to do some investigation on this issue.

    Apple really doesn't want my business I suppose. I never thought I'd say that, but I believe that has come to be the case.

    Maybe the erosion of Apple users in the graphics world was all but complete before the new Mac Pro came out, but I don't feel I can justify making do with their new offerings. The all seem to have too many penalties in one form or another, and the simple solution is the elephant in the corner; switch to PC and get exactly what you want in a machine for less money.

    Dealing with virus software sucks, but it may be the best way to put together a proper machine anymore.
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    No...

    I started with a CPM machine ... then DOS then Windows...converted to MAC returned to Windows when John Scully almost sank Apple ... sugar water indeed ... back to MAC to stay.

    Interesting, we think nothing of spending a small fortune on the newest body or lens ... while the algorithms and processing power leapfrog past models of computers ...

    Apple has been consumer product centric for a long time but their MBP and nMP lines have little to fault other than price ... as a short long term investment they may still have an advantage.

    Wrestling with Windows is not my idea of a relaxing afternoon or late night session.

    Bob

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Harddrives don't belong in computers. They belong in their own enclosures.
    SSDs have been in my Mac computers for years, prolonging significantly their useful life.
    Right now I have an nMP with 6 cores and a Dell 4K display.
    The harddrives get only switched on for backup purposes.
    My active images are stored on an external 4TB SSD RAID.
    I am still using eSATA enclosures from FirmTek that I bought years ago.
    They are now connected via converters to the Thunderbolt ports on the nMP.
    The system works like a charm for image processing and has been very stable.
    I am using a combination of Capture One Pro 8, CS6, Nik, LR6 and Iridient.
    The highest sustained data rate I have measured is around 2 GB/s.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    I don't pump the data that you guys must to need such powerful systems.

    My image processing machine is a Mac mini (mid-2012 generation) with 2.7Ghz i7 Quad core, 16G RAM, and Crucial 950G SSD internal drive. The display is a Thunderbolt 27", wired keyboard and BT trackpad. A TB 1G drive is attached for Time Machine backup. The photography archive is on a set of three 2T drives (FireWire 800 daisy chain, 1 working drive, two backups) and the LR6 app and catalog folder is on the internal SSD. It's connected via USB to an Epson P600 and via WiFi to an HP E710 multifunction printer. Film scanners are connected when needed via USB or FireWire, depending on the scanner. All but my E-1 now use SD cards, and the built in SD/SDHC/SDXC is as fast or faster than any I've tried on USB3 or FW800. Adobe PS CS5.1 continues to work well in the latest Yosemite; I just don't use it much any more. I calibrate the Thunderbolt display with an Xrite i1 Display Pro ... seems to work well enough for my needs.

    The system has operated flawlessly since I bought it in 2013, and continues to run the latest OS X and software snappily. Most of my image files nowadays are 16Mpixel and 24MPixel raw files out of the Leica X and M-P. I scan 6x6 negatives with VueScan to DNG files ... seem to recall they're up in the 75-80 Mpixel range. it works on everything I throw at it pretty nicely.

    If I were updating hardware today, I'd just switch out the Mac mini for a new top-of-the-line Mac mini, outfit a top-o-the-line MacBook Pro if I wanted the additional portability, or upgrade to the Mac Pro if I felt it was needed. The Pro isn't needed for my photography, I'm pretty sure of that. :-)

    G
    Godfrey - GDGPhoto Flickr Stream
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Here in mid-2015, I wonder if we've already seen Apple's vision of the near-future of computing:

    I/O ports: USB 3.x and the Type C connector as The One Connector to Rule Them All.

    Storage: Minimal amount of onboard storage for operating system, applications and some documents. But bulk of user data mostly located on networked volumes whether they be in a server farm, or a home NAS shared via SMB.

    Upgradeability: Yes, replace entire unit. They've honed these modern computers down to the barest slivers of glass and aluminum, and the entire computers often cost less than some of yesteryear's upgrades. Because most important data is stored on a networked volume, swapping out one's old computer for a new one is quick and relatively painless, with most of the time being spent simply waiting for a fresh copy of OS X to be installed on the old one prior to resale, then migrating apps and settings to the new one via Time Machine.

    Yup, I think the new MacBook hints at a tantalizing future, though not all of the pieces are in place just yet, and until they are, it'll be a bit inconvenient to use.

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Windows: I've toyed with the idea of doing photo editing on the likes of a Thinkpad W541, which can be had with a high-resolution display, built-in color calibrator and which has a whopping 4 RAM slots, holding up to 32 GB of RAM. Not bad for a system which can be had for a bit over $1500 very nicely optioned-out. But (shrug) at the moment it's but one of many ideas.

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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Thanks for the comments all...

    k-h, I don't even want to think about how much you have sunk in the computer hardware. I can't justify that level of expense for what is now personal and possibly some gallery work.

    That is my big complaint with Apple. IF you look at the performance benchmarks of the various Mac Pros and iMacs, etc., it's pretty clear that the Mac Pros are not really better than the iMacs for Photoshop and other 2D processes, until you buy way up the scale. Those machines were designed for video production, and you pay a massive premium on a machine like the higher-core Mac Pros, you get a real solid video production engine, but that isn't what I or many of the photographers out there are doing, and it feels like a poor investment to me.

    It appears that Apple is letting the Mac mini machines wither on the vine, which is a shame. Look here for a fairly thorough writeup on where that product line is:

    http://www.macrumors.com/roundup/mac-mini/

    I had been leaning towards a Mac mini in the fall, and it seems that the story for those has gotten worse as time has progressed. Soldered RAM, impossible to upgrade HD, dropping the quad-core configuration. Too bad, really. I wanted to go that route and then get a high quality monitor to go along with it.

    I think the iMac is where I need to be, and hopefully, if I go that route, it'll last me at least as long and the old Mac Pro that I have, that is facing the end of the line even though the hardware is still functioning perfectly.

    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm
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