Help me decide: new 27" iMac or min+monitor ?

Started Oct 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
7enderbender Contributing Member • Posts: 822
Re: Help me decide: new 27" iMac or min+monitor ?

Len_Gee wrote:


First off, I am not a pro photographer just an avid photo enthusiast.

FWIW: I am not a computer genius, so must be easy to just turn on and use.

Am ready to retire my current iMac 20" Intel 2 Ghz Core Duo, 2GB RAM OSX 10.6.8 due to not being able to load latest programs like Aperture 3.4, ACR 7, PSE 11, and Topaz software.

Have my photo and video libraries on an WD Studio 2TB external hard drive. About 22,000 photos. and a few videos.

Not sure what I should upgrade to:

  • new 27" iMac or min+external monitor.
  • cost ie. budget. 27" iMac fully loaded or same bits with mini.
  • size of monitor. 27" on iMac or 27"-24"(?) external monitor if I buy a mini.
  • monitor calibration. I have heard iMac monitors can't be calibrated ie. too bright out of box. But, external monitors like an Eizo are expensive. I like to print my pictures. I have problems with WYSIWYG even though I calibrate with eye-one display 2>Epson 2200 inkjet printer.
  • RAM. iMac soldered in, can't be easily upgraded by user. Mini can easily be user upraded.
  • Amount of RAM. How much do I need? Should I max it out to begin with?

I'm in the same boat. I was leaning towards a Mini anyway but now with the new announcements that choice looks more solid now. The specs of the i7 quad look pretty impresive - and that's before any changes and upgrades to memory and hard drive(s). I'm pretty confident at this point that it should work for both my targeted applications, photo editing and audio recording.

The iMac looks as if they were mostly worried again about design for the consumer market. I frankly don't care what my computer looks like and will be happy to throw a Mini under my desk or into a rack. The 27" monitors have been pretty unimpressive so far. Maybe the new one is better, but then you're stuck with it.

I've decided to buy two really nice 24" screens instead to hook up with the Mini and set things up with a good calibration system. That's more real estate and likely better quality - even after the Mini gets replaced at some point with maybe then a Mac Pro if I like the Apple route (I'm still on PCs right now).

And honestly, for just photo editing even the i5 Mac Mini should do. 16MB RAM from an external vendor for cheap should do also.

The new Mac Mini i7 looks like the equivalent of my 5DII to me: finally a good enough Apple product in the price range I'm willing to invest in while offering pro-grade quality with some head room actually.

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow