New Mac - help me choose

Started Feb 7, 2011 | Discussions thread
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dbbarron Contributing Member • Posts: 549
New Mac - help me choose

Currently I have a 24" iMac, perhaps 5 years old (2.16 core2 duo, 250Gb HD).

I use it for Aperture and Photoshop CS5. I am an amateur photographer, just a hobby, but I do have a 100Gb+ main Aperture library. I shoot Nikon SLRs, including a new D7k with large RAW files. My son also shoots a D60 and adds to the library regularly. I perhaps shoot a few hundred images a week. Mostly non-critical and maybe 50-100 added to the library.

I have expanded the machine to its limit (3G RAM, external FW800 drive for files), but it is now almost unbearably slow. Any photo manipulations are no longer real time and import/export/preview generation/stamping adjustments are go to lunch sandwich events. Lots of time spent staring at the SWOD.

I note the machine is also used by the family for general purpose web browsing, email and serving iTunes files to various AppleTVs and iPod support. Nothing too difficult. All these tasks still actually work fine.

I would like the next machine to also last 5 years or so, so I am torn between a 27" i7 iMac or a Mac Pro 4 Core 2.8 or 2.9Ghz.

I would like a better display than the iMac from a shadow detail and color gamut/accuracy perspective; and I like to tinker and have expansion capability, thus my leaning towards the Mac Pro. I have been frustrated with the difficulty expanding the iMac - even just to upgrade the internal drive. If I buy a refurb Mac Pro and sacrifice a few screen inches for color accuracy, the total price is similar between the two setups.

However, I like the form factor and convenience of the iMac (although I have the physical space for either).
Is the Mac Pro overkill for me?
Is the notion of expansion a red herring due to technology changes over time?
Any other thoughts or recommendations?

db

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