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New 5k iMac

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Pixl10, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. Pixl10

    Pixl10 SC Regular

    29
    Sep 16, 2012
    Hi
    I need some advise. I am about to upgrade my 2007 Mac book to the new 5k iMac. I'm not sure if I should go for the fusion drive or the SSD alone option. I generally keep my computer for at least 6-7 years. I mainly do photo and video editing. My mac book is too slow for above apps. Is it better to get the SSD only and add external drives for storage? I know any of the new options will be way better than what I have now, but I am looking to future proof as much as possible. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    That's the £2k+ iMac in the UK

    sounds very good
     
  3. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I've still got a traditional 1TB drive on my mid-2011 iMac. It's been fine but I have an external 1TB SSD drive for back-up storage. If I could afford it, I'd go all solid state. It seems to me that you're going to need external drives for back-up anyway - just so that all of your photos aren't on one drive. But going all SSD inside the iMac might be more reliable and would probably make a difference as you try to coax an extra year or two out of the computer. Accessing what's on the iMac drive will certainly certainly be faster with a SSD as well. If money is tight there's no reason to think the Fusion drive won't do the job. But solid state is the future.
     
  4. john m flores

    john m flores SC All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    I'm not sure how user-upgradeable the new iMac 5k is. If it's not, get the SSD if you plan on keeping the computer for 6-7 years. If it is, a fusion drive now then an SSD upgrade in 3 years will give your computer a nice mid-life boost.
     
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  5. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    The SSD is always going to be faster than the fusion drive... If I could get a 5k iMac, I would get SSD and use SSD externals as well. Luckily, I havent the cash to do it :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Pixl10

    Pixl10 SC Regular

    29
    Sep 16, 2012
    Thank you for replies. All SSD seems to be the general consensus across other forums also. Also realized the 3TB FD has only 128gb SSD, thought it was 256. Would 128gb be good enough to run lightroom and video editing programs? The 1TB SSD is expensive. I guess I will need an external drive for storage anyway. Decisions decisions....., money money....:banned:
     
  7. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Here's the thing with the Fusion drive: Apple will use a lot of the SSD portion for the OS. So most of your storage and other programs would be on the regular hard drive. And, yes, you will need to use external drives for back-up. Don't confuse your storage drive with rapid-access memory, or RAM. If you're buying a computer this well-equipped, go for as much ram as you can afford. 8gb minimim but 16gb will be better and help future-proof your iMac. And, yes, everything is more money. So take care with your decisions.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. CM_SK

    CM_SK SC Regular

    144
    Apr 23, 2013
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    I upgraded my iMac last year, big screen for great Lightroom ease of use. I went with SSD on board and use a LaCie 2big 6 GB Thunderbolt drive as the main external. All apps including LR run fast from the SSD, as for photos I keep this years photos on the SSD and all others/archive on the Thunderbolt external - key point is that these are very fast, and with the faster processor and sufficient RAM, I'm not sure there is much gain in using an SSD as an external unless you are constantly pulling files from it. I ten to process this years shots far more than older ones, so this works so far for me. Grabbing an archive RAW from the external it is on the screen in a blink.

    And of course there are other drives, slower USB is fine, for true backups.
     
  9. Pixl10

    Pixl10 SC Regular

    29
    Sep 16, 2012
    I'm thinking of the 512 SSD and adding an external drive for storing photos and videos. That's a good idea to keep the most recent photos in mac and store the rest externally. Im aslo going with 8gb RAM, the new imac has slots in the back that is accessible, so I think I can buy 2 8gb owc RAMs and expand to 24gb, from what I read it should work.
    I am just starting to use lightroom and as I'm reading about it, I'm uncertain if the lightroom catalog is allowed to be stored externally or should it be stored in the computer? I intend to save edited, ready for output photos in the external drive. Is that a reasonable?
    Sorry if some of these questions are too basic. I have only been using iPhoto before which is not as complicated.
    Thanks for the replies.
     
  10. CM_SK

    CM_SK SC Regular

    144
    Apr 23, 2013
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    @Pixl10 - Lightroom can have the catalog files anywhere, but I would advise you keep the catalog (i.e. database file), and the previews file that accompanies it, on your fastest drive, that would be the SSD on the iMac if you go that way. This will give much faster response on opening LR and grabbing any file (which essentially grabs the preview that LR has created). Just to give you an idea, my single LR catalog has 20,000 images; the catolog file is only 390 Mb so not that big. The previews file is quite a bit larger (17GB) as I always start by rendering 1:1 previews to allow much better editing views, but if that is a worry you can set up LR to discard 1:1 Previews (that are the largest ones) after one/seven/30 days, depending on what is convenient in your workflow.

    I expect you know this, but just to confirm, your actual photos do not have to be on the same drive as the LR catalog, and you can put them all on an external, all on internal, or a split as I do. If you ever need to move any folder with photos, LR will just display a "?" over the moved folder name, meaning it wants you to navigate to the new location; once you have done this once, it is fine.
     
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