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cza



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# 109298 17-Sep-2012 14:37
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Hi there,

Hope that this is the right place to post - seemed a bit more suitable than the desktop forum.

My partner is looking to upgrade from a macbook to an iMac - keep the macbook for out on the road, but move to a iMac for processing photos (she is a photographer).

The iMac we are looking at is the 27inch 3.2ghz version

I dont really have much experience with macs I am a PC man myself and as such have a couple of questions:

[list=1]
[*]Where is the best place to by an iMac - does anyone have any favorite retailers or is from the mac store as good as any?
[*]4gb of ram is not enough, but $480 to upgrade to 16gb (from the apple store site) is crazy. Am I am to buy a couple of sticks of 8gb from somewhere like computer lounge and use that
[*]I would like to go with a solid state drive but again $830 for that upgrade is very pricey is it possible to change drive after purchase - or how hard is it, since anything is possible?
[/list]

Thanks in advance for your help



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  # 687157 17-Sep-2012 15:07
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1) Depends on where you are located? Auckland? Ubertec has my vote.
2) Get RAM elsewhere. Apple RAM is very expensive.
3) Hard-drives are a bit trickier to replace. I'd avoid (or have it professionally installed). See cyril7's response below.

PS: You could just get a 27" Apple Cinema Display and use with the MacBook. That's what I'm planning on doing. I currently have a 27" iMac that I use only for Aperture (photography as a hobby here), which I'm looking to replace next year with a Retina-ready MBP.




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  # 687158 17-Sep-2012 15:07
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Hi, apple store or online is as good as any, pricing is pretty much controlled, so when DSE for example has specials, its not very special at all.

Changing RAM is quite straight forward, I have been using Kingston RAM in machines around here but Strontium seems fine too, $79+gst for 8G is more the go.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1423#1

Changing the hard drive (from a purely open the box point of view) is a bit of a pain, but not impossible.

http://www.macworld.com/article/1159956/imacharddriveupgrade.html

Cyril


 
 
 
 


cza



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  # 687161 17-Sep-2012 15:13
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Thanks for the quick reply. Yes I am in Auckland - sorry should have mentioned that.

I will check that place out.

The thing with the Macbook is it just can't deal with batch processing of photos. I am looking to upgrade her so she has a quad core processor 16 gb ram (min) and that sort of thing. Can prob get these specs with a Mac book but I think you have to make sacrifices with vid card and also a lot harder to upgrade RAM.

MacBook is still perfect for out in the field but need something a bit beefier at home.

cza



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  # 687164 17-Sep-2012 15:20
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cyril7: Hi, apple store or online is as good as any, pricing is pretty much controlled, so when DSE for example has specials, its not very special at all.

Changing RAM is quite straight forward, I have been using Kingston RAM in machines around here but Strontium seems fine too, $79+gst for 8G is more the go.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1423#1

Changing the hard drive (from a purely open the box point of view) is a bit of a pain, but not impossible.

http://www.macworld.com/article/1159956/imacharddriveupgrade.html

Cyril



Thanks for that cyril, just had a look through that article and it seems involved changing the drive. Not to sure I would be comfortable taking it apart like that.

Are the Mac Pro's worth considering - I had a quick look on the apple store and I didnt think the real world performance gains were relative to the jump in price but they look easier to upgrade later.

Does anyone have an iMac with the SSD - is it worth paying the extra money upfront? As mentioned earlier this will be used for photoshop, lightroom, illustrator, bridge - basically most of creative suite.

Cheers for the replies so far.

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  # 687167 17-Sep-2012 15:22
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SSD is definitely an upgrade worth getting.

Mac Pro's are easier to upgrade, but Apple seems to be slowly phasing them out.




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  # 687174 17-Sep-2012 15:36
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Ram is easy, Kingston value ram has worked fine for me in the past and its not to expensive. Re the HDD you could do it yourself however it may void the warranty so you are best to find out first.

Regarding services providers depending where you are I'd recommend Service plus over Yoobee. I've had nothing but problems with them and I've heard nothing but problems with them.

cza



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  # 687183 17-Sep-2012 16:01
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I have added RAM before in an old (circa 2009) iMac which was very simple. Do you need to be careful not to get any ram with a big heat spreader/heat sink on it?

Was thinking of getting a kit like this (2 x 8)

http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=16601

How many slots is there on the board, and are they dual channel (the 27inch iMac).

I will look into all the places suggested tonight and see what they are like.  I see PB are now selling apples, would they be worth looking at? I have bought the odd part from PB in the past and they ok but not sure what returns or warranty issues on something like this would be like.

 
 
 
 


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  # 687211 17-Sep-2012 16:32
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Most of the info about Ram requirements can be found on the apple site
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4621 the link near the bottom will take you to the install instructions. You will want ones without heat sink as it is only a slot big enough for the ram

Unless it is urgent to get a new iMac i would hold off. The current gen is well over a year old(503 days from the last release to be exact) and due for a update. Most rumors are pointing to October however there have been other rumors putting the upgrade in early next year but i can't see Apple wanting to miss out on the December rush

Given the upgrades to the MacBook's it's looking like it would come with USB 3.0 better cpu etc maybe a Retina display but it may be pushing it, as that would put the screen around the range of a 4K display. Which may just be to taxing on the computer.




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  # 687236 17-Sep-2012 16:57
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SSD upgrade definitely gets my vote. The speed gains over a standard hard drive are impressive.

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  # 687238 17-Sep-2012 16:57
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I agree with geocom - the iMac upgrade should be happening VERY soon. Probably next month, so if she can wait, it'll be worth it.
Having said that, in Chch we recently had HNorman running 15% off with 15 months on tick... making for some decent pricing as they push to make room (and I'm guessing here) for new models.
RAM, I have always purchased it overseas from http://www.macsales.com.
They have won when I've done price comparisons and the install process has been straight forward.
I have a SSD in my MacMini and the thing FLIES! 8GB of RAM and a small SSD makes the thing super quick, I now have a 3TB external Firewire 800 HDD attached to hold music / movies and I am as happy as a pig in mud.

cza



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  # 687403 17-Sep-2012 20:41
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Thanks for the info guys, were looking at getting at the end of the month, so it might well be worth waiting for a little bit longer to see if a new gen one comes out.

Dunnersfella: I agree with geocom - the iMac upgrade should be happening VERY soon. Probably next month, so if she can wait, it'll be worth it.
Having said that, in Chch we recently had HNorman running 15% off with 15 months on tick... making for some decent pricing as they push to make room (and I'm guessing here) for new models.
RAM, I have always purchased it overseas from http://www.macsales.com.
They have won when I've done price comparisons and the install process has been straight forward.
I have a SSD in my MacMini and the thing FLIES! 8GB of RAM and a small SSD makes the thing super quick, I now have a 3TB external Firewire 800 HDD attached to hold music / movies and I am as happy as a pig in mud.


External drive is quite interesting. The next cab off the rank in terms of purchases is going to be some sort of NAS system, so getting the SSD and using external storage in the mean time might not be a bad idea.

Do the Macs have an e-Sata port? Thunderbolt looks really interesting, is there any external storage that could handle this sort of thoughput though - I would imagine SSD's probably couldnt write/read as fast as that would allow.

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  # 687409 17-Sep-2012 20:47
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There is no eSATA.

Best option in terms of price would be if Apple do in fact update the iMac to USB3 as Thunderbolt drives are really expensive at the moment unless you need the speed.




Geoff E

cza



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  # 687685 18-Sep-2012 12:48
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Excellent, thanks a lot for the help and comments

I will wait for some news on the next gen of iMac and then take it from there.

The SSD upgrade with external storage is definitely looking like the route at the moment, althought $830 for a 256gb SSD is quite pricey - who knows though, this might reduce when the next gen comes out.

Cheers

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  # 687701 18-Sep-2012 13:13
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Just go for 128GB SSD as this is plenty to run all your programs and will be a bit cheaper. Store all the big stuff like music, video and pictures on the external drive.

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  # 687702 18-Sep-2012 13:20
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myopinion: Just go for 128GB SSD as this is plenty to run all your programs and will be a bit cheaper. Store all the big stuff like music, video and pictures on the external drive.


If you're going to run a large Aperture/Lightroom database, I'd recommend against the above. An SSD for the photo libraries will pay itself off over and over when it comes to workflow productivity.




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