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Thread: Advice on a new Mac

  1. #1
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    Advice on a new Mac

    Could you please sanity check my logic here (i have a tendency to out-think myself occassionally).

    I currently use a 20" iMac, "late 2006 model" that is limited to 3GB RAM.
    Specs:

    2.16 Intel Core 2 Duo processor
    2.5 GB RAM
    I use 2 external 1 TB WD drives - one for data, one for backup

    This system generally works OK, but it boggs down on large files, and the display is fairly marginal for photos, even when calibrated.

    I am thinking about replacing it with a new Mac Mini, which I can configure with 4 GB RAM (an increase of 38%). Processor speed seems to be a wash, as is the graphics speed (I think). This will cost ~$800, most of which I can recoup by selling my iMac to a friend.

    And perhaps the biggest advantage is to add a monitor better suited to editing photos (NEC, Lacie, Eizo) for another $850 - $1500. It would also make upgrading to the Mac Pro at some point less painful since I would already own a good monitor.

    Does this make sense? I realize that it is probably an incremental improvement, but it is an improvement nonetheless correct? Or am I missing something....

    Thanks for the help

    Scott
    Last edited by Scott G; 10th March 2009 at 09:29.

  2. #2
    DougDolde
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Not really. I don't think the Mini is powerful enough for image processing. The new iMac would be a better choice, but if you are thinking Mac Pro you'll probably be better off going to that now rather than later.

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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    If a laptop is a choice (workstation will always preform better) I bought a 2.4 dual core back in early 07. Since then I did the following upgrades. Larger internal harddrive OWC WD 350G, replaced my 4GB RAM with OWC 6GB kit. Bought a Lacie 324 monitor, and a Drobo external with 3- 1TB drives. It works very good for a laptop setup.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Photoshop is ALL about Ram. You want at least 6gb for large files. Fast hard drives 7200 and a scratch for photoshop. Might be time for a upgrade. Question is which do you prefer and we can build a fast setup for you. We have a lot of very experienced folks at this here. You want a rocket ship or a nice speed boat. LOL

    The Mini maybe nice but not sure how much you can push the ram up and the hard drives
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    That's my dilemma. I feel like I have a canoe, but I want a speed boat that costs as much as a rowboat! Maybe it is time to bite the bullet and do it right, one time, and get the Mac Pro.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    See the Mac Mini might not be too bad but there are some potential issues and that is Ram and not sure you can substitute a 2gb chip for a 4gb to make 6gb total like we can do with a MacBook Pro or MacBook. or get in there and change the hard drive to a 7200. Actually the MacBook is a better chocie since i know you can change bothand also get a faster processor

    Here is a Mini configured Mac mini Intel Core 2 Duo
    Part Number: Z0FX
    2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    320GB Serial ATA Drive
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    User's Guide (English)
    Accessory kit
    Gift message: Add

    MacBook

    Now here is a Macbook at 1599 than some add ons coming. Rip out the hard drive and we will add 6gb of ram

    MacBook, 13-inch, Aluminum
    Part Number: MB467LL/A
    2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x1GB
    250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    Backlit Keyboard (English) / User's Guide
    Accessory kit
    Gift message: Add

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other.../8566DDR3S6GP/

    6gb of ram is 379

    This is also a nice new drive at 160 dollars. Now you hit the 2k mark. So depending on money and what you want

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Seagate/ST9500420AS/
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Or start looking at the Imac new units
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Scott:

    My .02 is that in a few weeks Apple will be offering pretty decent deals on last generation "refurb" Mac Pro's, and you'll likely be able to snag a very good buy on one of those. The refurbs are usually the in-store demos or machines they've assembled out of remaining supply stock and carry the full warranty -- also eligible for and I recommend the 3-year Apple Care service plan. It won't be a speedboat at rowboat prices, but figure a good 15% - 25% off what the comparable level new machines are listed at.

    Other option will be used Mac Pros from individuals wanting to upgrade. Here you have only a tail-light warranty, but will probably find 1st generation, 4-core Mac Pros at under $2000 -- and those machines have a lot of good life left in them and should outperform the new iMac or Mac mini pretty easily.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    There are some benchmark tests out on the new iMacs from MacWorld:

    http://www.macworld.com/article/1393...enchmarks.html

    I would still look to Lloyd Chambers' tests and reviews, as these MacWorld tests look to be using older apps (PS CS3, not CS4). That may or may not matter to some, so this becomes another set of data to review in helping make choices. (Also appears to have some reviews on other machines too.)

    I agree with Jack on picking up either a refurb or possibly even a new old model that is being replaced. When I was in the Apple Store last week for my MBP battery and to look at the new 17" MBP, the guy told me that they had sold out their excess inventory on the older machines at huge discounts. I could have gotten a 17" MBP for $1,500 had I been watching, and built things up from there. So it is worth checking all sources if you are looking, and especially when models change, as we are seeing now.

    LJ

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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Second on LLoyd Chamber's site - well worth the coin. His recommendations are bang on.

    Refurbs from Apple are w/o question a nice way to go. It's all I ever buy. As said, they are a great deal at model inflection points.

    You have a variety of choices between a nice Honda (Mini, iMac, laptop) or a Ferrari (Mac Pro). The former will need to be changed in 3-4 years (or earlier if you step up a lot in file size. etc). But you save money now and bank on buying more for less in x years. The latter you pay for now and expand/modify as you move fwd. Buying a lot more performance than you need now or will need in very near future makes little sense. That same RAM and fast drives you buy for X today and don't use will cost you 1/2 X in 2 years when you do need them. This also effects resale value in the future.

    I think the new Mini, an iMac or Macbook Pro will be more than powerful enough for what you (and most folks) do. If you have an unlimited budget,a Pro would be sweet, but any of the new Minis, imacs or Macbook Pros (or last round refurbs) will easily outperform your existing machine -- especially if upgraded properly. The benefit of a Mini or laptop is that they are MUCH easier to sell/ship than a Mac Pro or iMac. More and more folks are also moving to laptops as their primary machine.

    One thing to watch for with the new Macs is the screen. You will NOT want a gloss screen. Issues with reflections and some reported problems with getting good profiles. Sadly the new iMacs are all gloss. Another note is that iMacs, while they've increased in capacity, are not upgradable by the user for disk space and with RAM only to a 'modest' limit (4GB) vs a Macbook Pro (6GB).

    CS is a HUGE memory pig and needs fast hard drives with LOTS of space for scratch use. The less RAM, the more disk space it sucks up and the slower the performance (hence the need for fast drives). Processor performance matters much less than does RAM and hard drive speed (7200 rpm or solid state being ideal). A 100% increase in RAM from 2 to 4GB for $150 will do EXPONENTIALLY more for you than the same money spent going from a 2.0 GHz processor to say a 2.26 Ghz one.

    A great way to test your needs and confirm the above is to have the Activity Monitor (AM) utility up and running when editing photos. Watch the RAM utlization and disk activity as you edit files. You'll see the processor struggling far less (with CS) with large files as you'll see the disk activity (reads in & out) going nuts spiking like a heart attack victim. Also, check the space remaining on your scratch disk as you edit files. You'll be stunned as to just how much space CS will chew up as it's editing a file.

    My buying recommendation?
    -----
    1. Take your budget and subtract from it the machine you want - basic model first.
    2. Then hit places like OWC and subtract from that budget enough RAM to FILL the beast
    3. Do the same, if not in machine, for a 7200 rpm drive replacement. Also, if you don't have one, at least one 7200 rpm backup drive or dual drives for a RAID (see Lloyd's site). Drives are DIRT cheap.
    4. Now back out a monitor (if not an iMac or if wanted with a laptop) - a refurb 20" Cinema Display is great and can last you many computers.
    5. At this point, if any money left, move up your machine to the highest CPU model you can until you run out of $$.

    No need to repeat all of what Lloyd's excellent site does in much better detail, such as optimizing performance, periodically purging your history and cache, etc. Give it a read.

    --------
    Note: A GREAT way to speed things up on a modest machine is to go into System Preferences/Spotlight/Privacy and tell it to ignore your drives.

    If you run AM you'll see something called 'mdimport' chewing up CPU performance when your editing large files. 'mdimport' is the program used by Spotlight to search your hard drive for file criteria, to make searching for files, with Spotlight, more effecient. On modest machines it can go nuts chewing up CPU time and file read/write access proccessors just when you need it the most because all the scratch disk activity by CS puts it into overdrive. You can always trigger it manually when you have down time.

    Subscribe to Lloyd's site - some of the best $40 you'll ever spend.
    Last edited by robmac; 13th March 2009 at 10:18.

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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Robmac wrote:
    One thing to watch for with the new Macs is the screen. You will NOT want a gloss screen. Issues with reflections and some reported problems with getting good profiles. Sadly the new iMacs are all gloss. Another note is that iMacs, while they've increased in capacity, are not upgradable by the user for disk space and with RAM only to a 'modest' limit (4GB) vs a Macbook Pro (6GB).


    The new iMacs can take up to 8gb RAM.

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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Oops - you're absolutely correct. Now if only they got rid of that $%^ glossy screen, with the current round of upgrades and the cheap RAM and drive prices, it has the potential to be a nice PP machine
    Last edited by robmac; 13th March 2009 at 14:01.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    I actually been thinking about selling my Mac Pro and my MBP 15 inch . Go with a 17 MBP 8gb of Ram running 2 SSD drives internally running Raid O. Also sell my 23inch display. Get a Drobo for the Laptop and run some external Sata running scratch. Yes I am nuts but keeping my 30 inch. This way I have a fairly powerful desktop on the 30 inch and a screamer for a laptop for the road. Right now I am in town but at a hotel and processing on the laptop. I have BIG files so this area could use the bump plus workshops and shows. Still digesting these thoughts.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Guy,
    This makes NO sense to me at all.
    You get a bigger system without the nice portability of the 15 at lower performance and without the expandability of the MacPro.
    The 17 is not really disk performance limited, it is CPU and memory limited.
    You would be spending a hell of a lot of money to enhance the area that is of LEAST value to a photographer, but hey, its your money. I'll spend mine on photo gear.
    -bob

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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Guy,
    This makes NO sense to me at all.
    You get a bigger system without the nice portability of the 15 at lower performance and without the expandability of the MacPro.

    The 17 is not really disk performance limited, it is CPU and memory limited.

    Oh wait, am I repeating something somebody already said?


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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    I'd have to say running C1 on MFDB files, the extra processors of the Pro, not to mention the expandability would be an absolute necessity. We mere DSLR mortals can get buy with tricked-out lesser machines, but...

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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Bob & Jack,
    I understand what you are saying to Guy, but in all honesty, the scenario he is describing is not far from what I am thinking about also. No doubt, a Mac Pro with all the extra RAM and storage options will kick *** further, but does nothing on the road. If you are doing a lot of "away from the office" work, the 17" MBP actually makes a lot of sense. You can load it with 8GB RAM. The top end processor, while not a quad core, will still hold its own for processing big files. It will never be as fast as even the average Mac Pro, but with some of the mods Guy is thinking about (dual internal SSD drives), plus doing stuff with eSATA externally for scratch/storage, plus a FW800 storage, it will do more than a decent job.

    It really comes down to the portability component. The Mac Pro, no matter how fast and all does not do much for on the road work. The new matte screen on the 17" MBP is also way better than even I expected, thus allowing one to do a fair job with correction on the fly. Finals would best be done on a better monitor, but honestly, I am not sure that the 17" MBP monitor is giving up anything to even the older 30". (My choice would be the Eizo CG301 for the color critical work back at the office, but that is the cost of a couple of lenses!)

    So, in Guy's defense (not that he ever needs that), his plan may be more practical for the kind of work he is doing, the traveling and needing something big enough and good enough to show clients or to work on. I completely understand the strategy. I am thinking about the same thing, and then later....like maybe next year, add a Mac Pro back into the mix if I really needed that much more horsepower.

    That brings up some other points. Depending upon applications of choice, some are more CPU intensive than others. PS goes for RAM and scratch, but severely underutilizes all the CPU power. C1 takes advantage of the CPUs more than most things, and that does help processing a lot. Worth doing some trade-off tests, like prepping stuff quickly in C1 and then batching all of it while you go have dinner or take a nap ;-) I know that I cannot live without a laptop myself, but the 15" MBP, while easier to carry, still does not have enough screen, and it will only go to 6GB RAM, plus may be a struggle to fit stuff in....and it still has that ugly glossy screen. The new 17" MBP will allow a bit more RAM and space, has a gorgeous new matte screen that is bigger and photos look stunning on it, (text can get pretty teeny), and it has a seriously more powerful battery for extended work when needed. Those are significant differences in my book.

    LJ

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    LJ:

    Then my advice to both you and Guy is to wait for the 4-core 17" MBP which should be out soon...


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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    LJ:

    Then my advice to both you and Guy is to wait for the 4-core 17" MBP which should be out soon...


    ,
    Jack,
    I heartily agree with your advice on this, as I do think that would help a huge amount. The drag here is that Apple just did the update rounds on essentially all their computers, so it may be another 9-12 months before we see that. (Boy, I really hope it comes sooner, but there is not much news on quad-core chips for the laptops from Apple yet.)

    I think Apple's approach with the bigger incorporated battery is their first step in trying to figure out how to power those new chips for something longer than it takes to drink a cup of coffee.

    So, I am going to just suck up the present slowness and sit tight a bit longer myself, but I have to say, that new matte screen on the 17" MBP is looking better than anything else I have seen yet, and that is a key step also. Now, if they get things worked out for a quad-core chip that will not suck your battery dry in minutes, nor set your desk(lap) on fire from its heat, we will be in heaven.....at least for a while

    LJ

    P.S. Also would like the SSD prices dropping a bunch, and somebody designed a compact dual SSD RAID0 drive thingie to drop right in easily, and put a dual eSATA port next to the FW800 port. Now we are getting sexy

  20. #20
    DougDolde
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    A note about the battery. I use my MacBook Pro nearly all the time with an external EIZO and a ReadyNAS NV+ raid box. When the MacBook Pro is sitting on my desktop I have it plugged in to AC power but have the battery removed. This prevents the battery from going bad. The guys at the Apple Genius Bar recommend this in fact.

    With the new models that have a non removable battery you can't do this. Bad for battery longevity.

    As far as chips go, they will likely put the Nehalem in all Macs eventually. But i agree with LJ this won't happen that fast since the new models are so fresh.

  21. #21
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post

    When the MacBook Pro is sitting on my desktop I have it plugged in to AC power but have the battery removed. This prevents the battery from going bad. The guys at the Apple Genius Bar recommend this in fact.

    With the new models that have a non removable battery you can't do this. Bad for battery longevity.

    I think that is one of those techno-wives tales held over from the NiCad battery days. Today mobile computers are using Li Ion batts, not the same problem with "training" like a NiCad.

    Your battery will last longer if you leave it plugged in on a float charge. Your computer should be good for that. Batteries are a chemical process, always in a state of decay, no way to stop it. The best we can do is provide a stable environment to prolong the rate of decay. That is what a float charge does, a very low current at high voltage to keep the battery 'topped off' so that it isn't going up and down, e.g. "cycling".

    A battery "cycle" is anytime you discharge a battery below 90% of its capacity, e.g. 10% discharge on your computer's batt meter. A battery can only be "cycled" (discharged/recharged) so many times (300 - 500 depending on depth of discharge), then it craps on your shoe. Leaving a battery in your computer keeps it from cycling, helps it to last longer. Without a float charge a Li Ion batt will self discharge at something like 5%/month. So in as little as 2-months, you lost 1 battery cycle by not leaving the batt in your computer.

    The only way there is an advantage to removing your batt when your computer is on AC is if iApple does not have a modern battery charging scheme integrated into their laptops. I just don't see that.

    Put your batt back into your computer when it is on AC.



    ETA: there is a phenomonon with Li Ion batteries -- if totally 100% discharged a cell can reverse polarity. A battery is actually made up of several cells, in series, inside of the battery case. One of those cells can reverse polarity; e.g. the anode becomes the cathode, and vis a versa. Some folks have been able to recover from that situation, some cannot, battery must be trashed. Do not totally discharge a Li Ion battery.

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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    What you are saying is the theory for these Li Ion batteries. The reality is that they do get wonky if left plugged in all the time. I just replaced one in my MBP. I was a rather diligent caretaker from the start. That was the third battery in a couple years. For the last few weeks, I had left it plugged into AC without ever going to battery use. Something went horribly wrong inside the battery chip. It was alternately saying fully charged then empty. When unplugged at fully charged state, it would die suddenly in 10 minutes or less. Guy was having same sort of problem with his. I took mine to Apple. They put it on a their fancy battery testing device that checks each cell and entire sectors individually. It said "O.K." Funny thing was that it also said 10 hours remaining charge! Not real. Battery then died instantly, while still showing full charge on meters. Go figure. Apple guru postulated that the internal battery chip went haywire. If not that, then there is something else wrong on the logic board (which was replaced about 16 months ago, but was not the problem....bad third party RAM chip that was only found after a new logic board had been installed). Now, with new battery in place, and still following my routine to get it conditioned from the start, everything working fine, with nearly 4 hours run time on battery.....as it is supposed to be. My thoughts are that there are some real QA problems with the batteries from the maker (Sony in many cases, but not all), and behaviors can be off normal schedule. In other words, the "smart" battery may not be so smart all the time. It is possible that leaving things plugged in all the time actually create some of the malfunctions. Apple does recommend all laptops to be run on battery for at least a few hours each week.....not to shutdown, but just to keep the circuitry between the battery chip and the computer charger in sync. Evidently that sync can get messed up when plugged in all the time.

    LJ

    P.S. As an aside to that, a lot of us were having similar charging issues with the batteries in the Leica M8 when it was first released. Even Leica did NOT recommend leaving batteries in the charger once they were fully charged.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Guy,
    This makes NO sense to me at all.
    You get a bigger system without the nice portability of the 15 at lower performance and without the expandability of the MacPro.

    The 17 is not really disk performance limited, it is CPU and memory limited.

    Oh wait, am I repeating something somebody already said?


    Yea you ding bats are not setting here looking at 1200 images to process by morning for a show and it is 10 pm already. I need better road gear. LOL

    I love ya both you know that but I WANT SPEED.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    And you are working how far away from your studio (and that Mac Pro tower) right now? Total round-trip drive time at the speed limit -- as opposed to how fast you normally drive -- will suffice.



    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    LOL I know it is just easier to stay at the hotel. I want that 2.93 processor and bigger cache. Maybe just update the laptop when I have the money. First thing though is drop a second SSD in this one and run Raid O. At least I can get to a 160 gb hard drive , 80 is a touch small. If I move up I can at least take that with me. I will sell my 24 inch cinema though. To pay for that SSD Drive and mounting hardware.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    LOL I know it is just easier to stay at the hotel. I want that 2.93 processor and bigger cache. Maybe just update the laptop when I have the money. First thing though is drop a second SSD in this one and run Raid O. At least I can get to a 160 gb hard drive , 80 is a touch small. If I move up I can at least take that with me. I will sell my 24 inch cinema though. To pay for that SSD Drive and mounting hardware.
    You will miss that monitor.

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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Not really when at shows they rent one for me for the weeks but at home your probably right. Sacrifice is my new middle name. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  28. #28
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post

    ... Apple guru postulated that the internal battery chip went haywire. If not that, then there is something else wrong on the logic board (which was replaced about 16 months ago, but was not the problem....bad third party RAM chip that was only found after a new logic board had been installed). Now, with new battery in place, and still following my routine to get it conditioned from the start ...
    THAT'S an iApple problem! Yeah, follow iApple's advice. Never heard of anything remotely close to that with any other Li Ion battery application.

    To test the individule cells there must be a way to isolate each cell inside of the battery. We're talking about some serious battery design for what is arguable a throw away part, e.g. not worth the NRC or manfg costs to implement. Now I'm curious, when I get back I'll look into what those iApple batts are all about.

    Fwiw, nothing about a Li Ion battery requires "conditioning". Maybe it has something to do with keeping in line all of that funky iApple battery management logic stuff you were talking about. The whole idea of needing to run your computer on battery power for a few hrs a week sound like either iApple has some serious design issues, can't get their act together on how to charge a friggin' battery (doubt it), or someone wants to sell batteries -- reference what I said above about there being only so many 'cycles' in a battery's life before it dies.

    As far as what I said about leaving a battery in a laptop when on AC, I don't think I have ever removed my battery from my Lenovo/IBM, spends most of its life on AC, battery has been in there about 3-years now and still supports the laptop for the spec'd time. Lenovo has a pretty good battery management scheme. I just checked the condition of my battery and it is rated Good+, consistent with the performance I am getting. This is after 3 years. And I can guarantee you there isn't a nickel's difference between the cells inside of your iApple battery and my Lenovo/IBM battery. It's all about how the battery charging is managed and keeping it on a float/maintenance charging scheme.

    P.S. As an aside to that, a lot of us were having similar charging issues with the batteries in the Leica M8 when it was first released. Even Leica did NOT recommend leaving batteries in the charger once they were fully charged.
    Computers have some intelligent battery management and charging schemes built into them. They are safe to leave Li Ion batteries in all of the time while on AC. Not all battery chargers are that way, especially the el cheapo wall warts that come with many cameras, MP3 players, and cell phones. Those chargers are marginal, at best, for managing a potential over-charge. Over charging a Li Ion battery is a huge safety issue -- think: FIRE! Never leave a cell phone or MP3 player plugged in and charging after the indicator says it is charged. The same goes for most camera batteries that rely on a wall wart charger. Remove then after they are charged. I'm thinking it's not a Leica issue, and it is not a battery issue; it is an el cheapo battery charger issue.
    Last edited by Oxide Blu; 14th March 2009 at 02:12.

  29. #29
    DougDolde
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Back to the original question. Lloyd Chambers just posted a review of the Mini.

    http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-MacMini.html

  30. #30
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    CPU L2 (or L3 for Nehalem) cache size is VITAL for image processing performance. This is part of the reason the previous-gen dual quad Xeon Mac Pro was so fast. So regardless of generation, look for a CPU with large cache. This could be a problem with the Mini, find out exactly which CPU it has.

    If you decide to go with the new Nehalem Mac Pro - stay away from the budget model as it's quite limited WRT expansion, max 8 GB. So you're looking at some $3200+ for a starter.
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    That's the kind of analysis that makes LC's site so invaluable. Not just talking about expansion, etc, but trying it and reporting vs other configs.

  32. #32
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Thanks for the Digillyod's Mini link. That is exactly what I was contemplating doing (base model + RAM + fast drive. Haven't made any decisions yet.

  33. #33
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    Re: Advice on a new Mac

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    CPU L2 (or L3 for Nehalem) cache size is VITAL for image processing performance. This is part of the reason the previous-gen dual quad Xeon Mac Pro was so fast. So regardless of generation, look for a CPU with large cache. This could be a problem with the Mini, find out exactly which CPU it has.

    If you decide to go with the new Nehalem Mac Pro - stay away from the budget model as it's quite limited WRT expansion, max 8 GB. So you're looking at some $3200+ for a starter.
    That is what i have been looking at is the new cache of the 15 and 17 inch L6 cache 2.93 1053 mhz. Kills my L4 cache. My laptop is 2.4 667 mhz and desktop 2.66 667 mhz both L4 cache.
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