imac vs mac mini

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by hugh_sakols, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    I am finding my 2007 imac to be quite sluggish when using LR4 and Photoshop. At the moment I use my imac with a NEC P221w monitor and spectraview II. I'm tempted to go with a new mac mini. However, it looks as though the processor in the the new imacs may be faster? Other than having a monitor, is there any other reason one would choose the new imac over the new mac mini?
     
  2. Every new issue is a little faster than the earlier one. 5 years or so is probably a good point to consider a new one.
    As you probably already know, the cheapest way to get the really large display is to buy it with the iMac built in. If you're happy with the monitor you have, the Mini is very good and the cheapest way to upgrade the whole unit. I still have an early Intel Mini hooked up, and use it occasionally. It takes up next to no desktop area, after all. In both the iMac and the Mini there are limits to the amount of RAM and such, but Apple has been very slow in upgrading their desktop machines in the last few years.
    Sluggish performance, however, can also be a symptom of too little RAM - which in my experience is more often a problem than an older processor.
     
  3. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    I like the idea of Hackintosh, personally.
    http://tonymacx86.blogspot.ca/search/label/CustoMac
     
  4. If you go with a Mac Mini, make sure you get one with a dedicated video card, not one that shares system memory with the computer's processor like my 2010 Mac Mini.
    The fairly newer processing of high quality previews of Raw files at different zoom levels in LR4/ACR7 can be process and possibly memory intensive during editing and for caching of 1000's of previews for both thumbnails and the main preview window while hunting and culling through folders of Raw images.
    I have no evidence that this matters except from reading online postings of others who waited for the next gen of Mac Mini's that came with dedicated video systems which they stated made a difference in performance.
    I believe the newest Mac Mini's come with dedicated video chip memory and processing. Also you'll need to buy a separate external CD/DVD burner for installing software and playing those formats. Make sure it comes with the appropriate display port connection that's compatible with your NEC P221w and not just have Thunderbolt only output ports.
    But if you can afford the iMac I'ld get that instead.
     
  5. Another option you could consider would be to replace your mechanical hard drive with an SSD. They're fast and they're becoming less expensive. That option along with more memory could be one possible solution short of a new machine.
     
  6. The current Mac Minis use the Intel graphics integrated with the CPU. Unless you are playing 3D video games you won't know the difference.
    Apple limits the CPUs in the Minis. The iMacs have options for faster CPUs. Even the slowest Mini will be much faster than your current computer.
    Personally I would buy a quad core Mini and spend $1200 on a 30" monitor that can do 2560x1600. These are better than any iMac or any current Apple display. Apple used to sell one with the same specs but now sell worse monitors.
     
  7. I have the 2011 Mini, and I found it to be very slow when I got it. 8gb of 3rd party RAM and a 120gb SSD later, it is much much faster. The hard drive is glacially slow in the Mini so a SSD is recommended. I used the kit and guide from iFixit.com to swap the hard drive out and it worked well.
    How much faster is it? Booting is 12 sec vs 63 before, opening Lightroom was 21 seconds, now 3 seconds. Photoshop took 25 seconds to open, now 5 seconds.
    I have all my data on an external 2tb FW800 WD drive, it's fast enough for it not to feel slow, and lots cheaper than Thunderbolt.
     
  8. I think the Mac mini make more sense than the new iMacs due to the compromises made to achieve a slimmer design. Apple have shot themselves in the foot with the new iMac, which has dropped the DVD drive, Firewire port and ext mic. What is worse is the impracticability to open it up for maintenance. The older iMacs were difficult; but the new bonded case to the screen must be near impossible to open up. Production delays do not look good either now, estimated sometime in 2013.
    I decided against the new iMac and bought a 27" Thunderbolt display to use with my MacBook Pro. It totally outclasses my Dell U 2410 especially with the colors, resolution and build quality. The Mac screen may not have quite the color gamut of the Dell; but I've not noticed any deficiencies in practice.
    I like the portability of the Mac mini. Being able to carry it easily between home and office is a big plus for me. I have ordered a 2.6 GHz i7 Fusion drive version with 16gb RAM. With Thunderbolt, FireWire, SDXC and USB3 ports the mac mini's connectivity is good and I can should be abler to use it with most monitors and HDTVs.
    I Don't believe the shared graphics is going to be a problem for image editing. I'm using a i3 dual core 21" iMac with 8GB RAM 256mb Video in my office and an i7 Quad core 15" MacBook Pro at home. The older iMac works pretty well with 8Gb; so the Mac Mini with 16gb should be pretty fast and give the equivalent of a 750mb Graphics card. I will report on this when I get it delivered.
     
  9. Thanks for your input. I guess I was wondering if the new imac is actually faster than the new mac mini. The new imacs don't look like they are shipping at this point, but I was just curious if the imac option would give me more processing speed. Both will take up to 16 MB RAM - I currently use 3 - yes I'm embarassed that I don't have more. It works but just scrolling takes too much time on lightroom 4.
     
  10. The processor speed is less important than RAM or HDD speed. With 8gb RAM and a 7200RPm Hard drive, even my 2010 dual Core iMac performs imaging tasks effectively enough. if you have 24" iMac, you could try upgrading the RAM and Hard drive first before making a decision, as 3GB RAM is hopeless for imaging.
     
  11. I think the new mac mini has 5200RPm hard drive. But yes you are right I need to at the very least get more RAM. I believe I can squeeze 6 GB RAM on my old machine.
     
  12. >>> Production delays do not look good either now, estimated sometime in 2013.

    The 21.5" iMac will be available this Friday. The 27" model in December. Note that only the 27" model supports user-accessable RAM upgrades.


    Also... I'm very happy with my new 2012 Mac Mini. Went for the quad core i7 option and installed my own SSD. Simple. For me, that's a much better solution than the Fusion drive option.
     
  13. Dupe. Removed...
     
  14. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Processor speed is more important than ram for LR. It is cpu and core intensive. It is the opposite for PS. PS benifits from
    as much ram as possible and not so much on cpu. But with today's machines, any i7 and 16 gigs of ram and ssd is cheap
    and plentiful
     
  15. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Processor speed is more important than ram for LR. It is cpu and core intensive. It is the opposite for PS. PS benifits from
    as much ram as possible and not so much on cpu. But with today's machines, any i7 and 16 gigs of ram and ssd is cheap
    and plentiful
     
  16. >>> Processor speed is more important than ram for LR.

    Absolutely agree on that, along with processor type; ie an i7. For example, I also have a 2011 MacBook
    Pro laptop with an i7 and the stock 4GB of RAM. Much much faster with LR than my 2009 MacPro desktop with loads more
    memory.
     
  17. What is wrong with the SSD that comes with the mac mini? All of my images are on a external drive with firewire 800. Would you still consider upgrading the SSD in the mac mini?
     
  18. What is wrong with the SSD that comes with the mac mini? All of my images are on a external drive with firewire 800. Would you still consider upgrading the SSD in the mac mini?​
    Look closely at the different models and you will see that the cheapest model does not have an option for an SSD, only the 2 more expensive models. Many of us work in the computer industry and assemble and upgrade our own computers for fun or to save money. You can just buy a higher end model if you want an SSD from the start.
     
  19. Hugh, when I bought my Mini last year it was the brand new model and the top of the line one too, and there was no SSD option. anyway, they probably want an arm and a leg for it, knowing how Apple charges for upgrades.
     
  20. Thank you Walter and Chris. I get it now. I will look to see what I want to do. At the very least I will add RAM myself from someplace the OWC.
    Here in Yosemite we are anticipating up to 8 inches of rain!
     
  21. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Personally I would buy a quad core Mini and spend $1200 on a 30" monitor that can do 2560x1600. These are better than any iMac or any current Apple display.​
    +1. There's nothing at all special about Apple displays, I'd hate to be stuck with one after all these years using SpectraView displays. My wife has an iMac and it's fine for Quicken and Mail display wise. But I'd rather have the Mini and hook up a good NEC SpectraView II system for imaging.
     
  22. Hugh,
    Pretty much any new Mac will be considerably faster than your 2007 iMac. The major differences between the Mac mini and the iMac come down to:
    • price (you don't pay for an LCD when you buy the mini)
    • graphics (no current mini has a discrete graphics processor, but all iMacs do)
    Don't get caught up in the Ghz too much. These days, that is less of a performance indicator than in past years. And, the price difference is not always commensurate with the performance difference.
    Things you do want to look for:
    • cores - make sure it has 4. The base model of the mini still has a dual core processor. More is always better.
    • RAM
      • if you can NOT upgrade the RAM yourself (as in the Retina MBP and the 21.5" 2012 iMac), make sure to buy the maximum RAM amount when you buy the machine.
      • If you CAN upgrade at a later time (non-retina MBP, mini, 2012 27" iMac), then buy the minimum and upgrade with OWC or another vendor (it'll be far cheaper).
    • Discrete graphics - more and more, photo processing programs are utilizing the Graphics Processors. While your current software may not use them for the heavy pixel lifting, future versions probably will.
    Also, don't worry so much about the internal drive capacity. If Photography is the or a main use for the computer, and you take a lot of photos, you will very quickly overwhelm any internal drive you get. You'll be using a lot of external drives soon enough!
    Good luck!
     
  23. My wife has an iMac and it's fine for Quicken and Mail display wise.​

    That's pretty funny. How do you really feel. iMac screen is quite good. Yes its not a Spectra View, but so what, a Porsche isn't a Ferrari, but its still a fine car.
     
  24. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    From what I've read,.this years iMacs have a nicer monitor than previous years. I've also
    read its harder to take apart and that the hdd's have thier own apple connectors
     
  25. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    That's pretty funny.​
    Glad I could provide some humor to your day
    How do you really feel​
    Thanks for asking, pretty good. How about you?
    iMac screen is quite good​
    In what way? I never said it was bad. I said it's nothing special. It's fine for non image editing tasks but far, far from ideal.
    Yes its not a Spectra View, but so what?
    The so what is the SpectraView is a smart monitor (reference display) with a high bit internal calibration path that provides functionality that the iMac and most other displays can't provide. If the utmost precision, control and options of calibration targets (multiple targets based on differing output needs) is important to the photographer's digital darkroom, the differences are significant.
    a Porsche isn't a Ferrari, but its still a fine car.​
    Poor analogy. How about this. A Porsche and a RAM truck are both fine products to get from point A to point B. If you heed to haul a lot of equipment or tow another vehicle, one's vastly better for the task. If your goal is 0-60 MPH in the least amount of time, there is again a significant difference in the two cars. If you don't really understand the differences in the two products (their design, their capabilities), sure, they both seem like fine cars. I seriously doubt consumers who purchase a car feel the Porsche and truck are equal for the tasks they hope to achieve with either. They don't expect to fit as much stuff in the Porsche as the truck and they don't expect the truck to corner nor accelerate like the Porsche.
    IF you purchase an iMac, you're 'stuck' with the display forever and you've paid for it too. It's simply not close to providing the capabilities and qualities for image editing as the SpectraView or similar Eizo. Same could be said of any old CRT versus a Barco Reference V, PressView or Sony Artisan. Reference display systems cost more and do more for a reason. IF editing images visually, soft proofing and expecting a very close match between display and print are the least bit important to you, then the quality and functionality of the display system should be considered.
     
  26. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    unreal
     
  27. What's special? sorry, but that's a load of b.s. You can always run another monitor, your not stuck at all. iMac will calibrate nicely, is pretty accurate, looks good and you can match prints to screen quite well. I know several people that run print companies doing quite well with iMacs. It does what most photographers need it to do and I've made a lot of prints that match my monitor.
    IF editing images visually, soft proofing and expecting a very close match between display and print are the least bit important to you, then the quality and functionality of the display system should be considered.​
    ... and the iMac will do all those quite well.
     
  28. Barry, old man, do you have any idea who you are talking to? Andrew is what we call "The real Deal". He's one of the most respected digital guru's on the planet. You can check the links below if you want further info about his qualifications to talk about issues like these. You might want to post your own qualifications that show you are up to debating with him. HTH
    http://www.digitaldog.net/about/
    http://www.digitaldog.net
     
  29. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    What's special? sorry, but that's a load of b.s​
    You win the award for the most preposterous comment I've seen this in a long time! You ASK what's special (clearly you have no clue) then tell us it's a load of BS. You need to do some research about technology you clearly don't understand before you post in such an insulting tone. The person with the large BS factor is none other than yourself.
    Some non BS FACTS (sorry others for taking this OT, but what ever Barry is smoking is affecting his ability to think):
    Nearly all if not all current SpectraView displays are wide gamut, Apple's are not (sRGB like gamut).
    SpectraView uses a high bit internal processing path (at least 10-bit) with internal 3D LUTs. Apple doesn't. These high bit LUTs allow precise adjustments to be made to the display’s Tone Response Curve without reducing the number of displayable colors or introducing color banding artifacts.
    SpectraView has at least a 3 year on site warranty, Apple has 1 year non on site warranty.
    SpectraView panels are hand selected from the manufacturer line (pick of the litter). Apple?
    SpectraView has electric technologies like ColorComp, which adjusts and improves screen (brightness) uniformity using individually measured matrices for each display at the factory. All done high bit with compensation for operating time and temperature. Apple does not.
    SpectraView has electric technologies like GammaComp, to adjust the monitor's internal 10-bit gamma Look-Up-Table, allowing various custom display gamma or Tone-Response-Curves to be achieved. Apple doesn't.
    SpectraView is a smart display system that integrates custom software for calibration including multiple target calibration's which can be loaded to adjust the display while loading the associated ICC profile, Apple can't (and few other products aside from Eizo) can do this. To quote from the manual:
    SpectraView communicates with the display monitors using Display Data Channel - Command Interface (DDC/CI) which is a two-way communications link between the video graphics adapter and display monitor using the normal video signal cable. No extra cables are necessary. All adjustments to the monitor settings are done automatically using this communications link. It is not necessary to manually configure the monitor as all of the necessary settings are made by the software.
    Apple has nothing like this, nor can 3rd party software you have to pay for extra do this.
    SpectraView will bundle a custom mated Colorimeter with their software for calibration, Apple doesn't. The price you pay for software and colorimeter with the SpectraView, depending on what country you live in, costs significantly less than buying the hardware and software for a non SpectraView. And that extra money will not provide a fraction of the capabilities outlined.
    SpectraView PA series offer the ability to calibrate WITHOUT a Colorimeter with the FREE Multiprofiler software since each panel is measured with a very expensive spectroradiometer and that data is embedded in a chip in the panel. It can update the calibration as the unit ages to ensure calibration. Apple has nothing like this.
    SpectraView can emulate with a single click other behaviors, again on the fly so it can simulate a non wide gamut display (sRGB) among other standardized behaviors (Broadcast Video, DICOM, etc)
    SpectraView has internal electronic control over contrast ratio, Apple doesn't. Real useful for soft proofing on media that has differing contrast ratio's (matt vs. glossy papers).
    SpectraView has Network support (Windows only). Apple doesn't.
    SpectraView has provisions to lock some or all the display controls so no accidental alteration to behavior by mistake. Apple doesn't.
    SpectraView displays allow the user to raise and lower the display for best viewing position AND it can be rotated 90 degrees for Portrait. Apple doesn't provide this.
    Several SpectraView's support Picture in Picture (you can have two differing calibration's per picture). Apple has nothing like this.
    Get your facts straight bud, before you call out the BS badge.
    Barry, old man, do you have any idea who you are talking to?​
    Barry doesn’t have a clue about display technology, that's certain.
     
  30. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Andrew, do you actually make photographs? Would love to see some somewhere
     
  31. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Andrew, do you actually make photographs? Would love to see some somewhere​
    Eric, do you actually know how to use the functionality here at PhotoNet to SEE my photo's? Do you know how to navigate to my web site to view some?
     
  32. Barry, old man, do you have any idea who you are talking to? Andrew is what we call "The real Deal". He's one of the most respected digital guru's on the planet.​
    Good grief! How could we forget since we've been constantly reminded of it at least in the past ten years I've participated in similar discussions online.
    So what! Are we all suppose to just shut up and ride?
    Maybe we're just tired of lazy experts whose zealous behavior over one particular product confuses some folks over whether they're selling or informing or maybe just pumping up Google rankings on that particular product. But of course to do that requires the name of the product and its features be mentioned over and over and what better way to do that than in a heated debate. SO DEBATE AWAY! It's all good whether whose side you're on.
    Just because one is an established expert doesn't mean they know everything and aren't subject to debate. And BTW most folks do know how to use the functions of the internet for finding whatever they want through searches and looking up member profiles so we don't have to be reminded of the expertise of one particular participant.
    I agree with most of what Andrew posted about the iMac's VS NEC's displays except the part about not being able to edit images adequately for a print match on an iMac. I wish Andrew would SHOW US with side by side photos of what he's talking about rather than tell us. Most folks who are hobbyists (and they do outnumber the professionals here) don't need all the bells and whistles Andrew listed about the the NEC display to get a print match.
     
  33. No, I know Andrew's reputation and have looked at some of his work and he's great. He really is a "guru" in color in photography and he's a fine photographer too, just follow the link to his site from his profile page. He knows more about color correction and creating a color workflow in than I will ever know. But I just have never agreed with what he has to say about the Apple monitors because I have seen too many great results come off of them by too many photographers and professionals. I went to a photography program that had its digital lab designed by a highly respected digital media shop and it used all Apple Monitors in a digital lab with controlled lighting, high end print viewing stations, high end scanners short of a drum scanner (Imacon) and good printers. And students were getting great work that had to stand up to critique. We have a local shop that primarily produces digital prints for advertisers and professional photographers and art editors and he does all his correction and prints off iMacs. The guy has one of the finest eyes for print matching I've ever seen. Much of their work is on large format continuous stream ink jets for producing very large installation prints. I know several fashion and commercial studio photographers in the area that are working off an iMac. I mean, I've just seen to much stuff in the real world to believe that the mac monitors aren't pretty darn good. Yes, I know that the NEC's and Eizo's are better, particularly because of Nec's spectraview, but that doesn't mean that you can't a very good calibration on an iMac. When I hear to the contrary, I have to say its b.s. regardless of the source.
     
  34. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "Eric, do you actually know how to use the functionality here at PhotoNet to SEE my photo's? Do you know how to navigate to my web site to view some?"

    Yes, I think so. That's why I asked, to double check. I haven't seen anything new in your folder for a decade or so when I first joined PN. So I took the next step and visited your "site" and persevered and looked for a link to take me to your photos but the anxiety won and I ran away screaming.

    Art or commerce, I'd hazard a guess that the iMac monitor is responsible for 90% of the images made on Apple hardware today. The authors like Barry that are actually out there making photos seem to be doing just fine.
     
  35. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Boy, the reading and retention skills by some is questionable. I made a simple statement: There's nothing special about Apple displays. And there isn't. I was told the statement was BS then attempted to illustrate the differences between this display and a SpectrView (or Eizo, Barco, Artisan, Pressview).
    Yes, I know that the NEC's and Eizo's are better, particularly because of Nec's spectraview, but that doesn't mean that you can't a very good calibration on an iMac. When I hear to the contrary, I have to say its b.s. regardless of the source.​
    Maybe you can explain how they are better, how the points I raised about the calibration qualities and functionality are B.S. or if you have any data like the dE differences with an iMac versus a SpectraView to prove your point. Again, I never said you can't calibrate an iMac (well older one's, you couldn't very well at all, lots of frustrated users who couldn’t get the damn luminance low enough). I said they are just OK and you are paying for a display that's joined to the entire system you are stick with. Not the case with the Mac mini if we are to get back on topic.
    I haven't seen anything new in your folder for a decade.​
    Well several of the images were shot in 2007 in the Amazon, some where shot in the Galapagos in 2010. So the statement doesn't wash. But then that's way off topic and has nothing to do with the discussion of displays does it?
    Art or commerce, I'd hazard a guess that the iMac monitor is responsible for 90% of the images made on Apple hardware today​
    You can hazard any guess you wish, doesn't make it any more factual than the assumed date of my images. I also don't understand how this made up percentage has anything to do with the qualities of the NEC or smart reference display system over the iMac displays.

    McDonalds serves far more hamburgers than anyone else on the planet, doesn't make them anything close to the pinnacle of hamburger quality does it? Here comes a bomb shell: there's nothing special about MacDonald's hamburgers. If you're even in Santa Fe, let me grill you a Wagyu burger and I believe you'll easily agree <g>.
     
  36. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Good grief! How could we forget since we've been constantly reminded of it at least in the past ten years I've participated in similar discussions online.​

    10 years ago I was using a Sony Artisan's. I'm not certain a SpectraView was even around 10 years ago. I didn't start working with them until 2005. More exaggeration in terms of date/time but I'm getting used to statements which don't have much basis in fact in this post...
    So what! Are we all suppose to just shut up and ride?​
    If people are going to make up stuff, that would be useful (to shut up and ride).
    I agree with most of what Andrew posted about the iMac's VS NEC's displays except the part about not being able to edit images adequately for a print match on an iMac.​
    Where did I say you can't edit an image adequately for a print match on an iMac? I have the wife's iMac, do you really want me to calibrate it then show you the dE differences between what I get and the reference values sent to the display compared to the SpectraView? It will not back up the claim you can't do something on one versus the other because such a statement is kind of silly. I can work on a monochrome display IF I had to and probably get a pretty nice print. Soft proof? Nope, not going to work.
    Most folks who are hobbyists (and they do outnumber the professionals here) don't need all the bells and whistles Andrew listed about the the NEC display to get a print match.​
    Many of the best equipped customers I've ever worked with are hobbyists. What makes you think they are too cluless to understand how to purchase the best equipment they can afford?
     
  37. I'm going to inject some recent observations I've made here, in hopes that it turns this thread back into a proper discussion.
    In the last couple years I've had the pleasure of visiting several well-known photographer's studios, some of them Magnum photographers. And on top of that, one of those guys has money like you wouldn't believe.
    My experience is that in almost every studio, computers connected to a large format printer or Imacon scanner are generally using NEC or Eizo displays, and only occasionally the standard Apple display. Computers NOT connected to a printer or scanner are almost always iMacs, even if it's their only machine.
    Granted, a lot of these guys use outlab services, and the labs will have those monitors. And while it may be true that,"90% of all work is done on an Apple display," that doesn't change the fact that the Apple monitor is inferior. And since colour correcting only takes a moment, that could very easily be that extra 10% ;)
    The Apple display is fine. It's not great, but it's fine. Once calibrated, it's pretty solid; however, it doesn't display a wide gamut, and the glossy finish looks awesome for movies, but causes all your images to look slightly sharper and more contrasty than they really are. If you're working mostly in black and white, or if you're not the sort to make a bunch of channel curves to get everything just so, then the Apple monitor is probably every bit as good as the NEC or Eizo. Simply checking the histogram regularly to see where your shadows and highlights have clipped will fill in the small amount of information that the Apple monitor is missing, as compared to the other brands.
    If you've never used one of the wide-gamut monitors, you really should refrain from commenting on their usefulness. While not necessary for most people's work, they provide something that the Apple monitors do not. Making comments like, "I actually take pictures," is grossly ignorant and oblivious to the conversation that is actually being had, not to mention the vast amount of absolutely anal photographers and printers such as Adams and Weston that most certainly took lots of pictures.
     
  38. The iMac does soft-proof Andrew. Its certainly not as good a the NEC. But in most cases it simply doesn't matter. If you think I'm trying to dispute your science or knowledge, I'm not. I'm just saying that the increased quality isn't a must for most photographers.
    If I had an ongoing ad campaign for a major publication It would be sent to someone like you for final color correction anyways in many cases. Fashion shoots, product photography, weddings, events are in many cases well done on an iMac, with happy customers. How can so many professionals be using this equipment and getting great results? Personally I of often send my work to be printed elsewhere and I get good matching prints. In fact in the last few batches, only one print had to be redone because we had a disagreement on the lightness. I had it darker and the printer decided to lighten it and I didn't approve that change.
    I think it was Patrick who said similar things about the iMac vs. NEC. Basicly saying (and please correct me if wrong) that for highest results maybe professional re-touchers would get benefit from the Nec/Eizo, etc. but the iMac will do most work necessary in photography to a pretty high standard. In fact I happen to know a couple of fashion photographers that do all their retouching on iMacs. Anyways, enough. Send me a Nec for the holidays and I'll never challenge any of your premisses again:)
    To the OP, yes the processor in the iMacs are faster than the mini if that's is your major concern. You can look on the Apple site and check the exact differences in speed, ram capacity and storage options. Finally, it looks like the OP already has a NEC and uses it with his iMac. If you want a little more speed, a higher ram capacity and the use of dual monitors, get an iMac as you have been doing. If one monitor is enough and you don't mind a little less, not much less speed, you can save money by using your monitor with a mini and still have a great setup. For sure get the quad core version.
    Good luck. No really bad choice here.
     
  39. Where did I say you can't edit an image adequately for a print match on an iMac?​
    You're kidding, right? Oh well, here ya' go...your words...
    It's (iMac) fine for non image editing tasks but far, far from ideal.​
    Ideal for what? Getting a print match? What else do you edit an image on a display for anyway. It's implied. We may not exhibit complete reading and retention skills but we ain't stupid, here.
    It's (iMac) simply not close to providing the capabilities and qualities for image editing as the SpectraView or similar Eizo.​
    The implied meaning of capabilities and qualities in reference to this discussion taken into account the rest you've said is in regards to getting a print match. What else would you edit an image on a display for?
    IF editing images visually, soft proofing and expecting a very close match between display and print are the least bit important to you, then the quality and functionality of the display system should be considered.​
    Again you are implying the iMac's display doesn't provide the quality and functionality required for a print match. You said this. If you're going to split hairs on whether you said it exactly as I termed it then you're just being dense so you can win an argument.
    Good grief! How could we forget since we've been constantly reminded of it at least in the past ten years I've participated in similar discussions online.​
    That statement you missed the boat on what it was in reference to which was to point out how we've been constantly reminded of Andrew Rodney's credentials as an expert and guru and was directed at Carl Stone. Not you or some ancient Sony display.
    Boy, the reading and retention skills by some is questionable.​
    I guess going by the above you can include yourself as well.
     
  40. Well, I can honestly say that i'm sorry that I got involved in this thread. Please excuse me while i bow out.
     
  41. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Zack, thanks for reminding me of another negative attribute with the iMac. That glossy screen!
    Tim. In your quest to divert the discussion about the factual and technical differences in these two display systems, to one aimed at semantics let me assist:
    Proximity/Merriam-Webster U.S. English Thesaurus 7 meaning(s) for “ideal” 1. (adj) constituting a standard (as of perfection or excellence) • (synonym) flawless, indefectible, model
    While the SpectraView has room for improvement, it isn't flawless, it's far more ideal than the Apple display. So I stand by my comment. But let's move the question back to you and Barry who seem unable to answer questions directed at you. Can you tell us how the Apple display and the NEC are equally ideal or rather, how is a glossy, sRGB gamut, 8-bit display system with a 1 year warranty as, or more ideal than a display without a glossy screen, one that can produce both sRGB and wide gamut and has a high bit path with a 3 year warranty?
    Tim, do you or have you ever owned a SpectraView or Eizo? Just trying to understand how you feel my statement that the Apple display isn't close to the excellence of the NEC based on all the factual technical differences I outlined in great detail above.
    Ideal for what? Getting a print match?​
    I posted the differences above about the technology differences that make it far more ideal. Maybe purity control over the display isn't useful to you. Or a warranty that's three times longer. Etc, etc. Your inability to read and comprehend the facts presented here make me wonder I'm talking to a different Tim Lookingbill whom on LuLa has a far greater grasp of imaging.
    The iMac does soft-proof Andrew.​
    Where did I say it didn't? My MacBook can soft proof too. It's ever father from ideal as a reference display system than the iMac. It surely is difficult to get you to understand anything about advanced display technology, you seem to believe that if an image emits from a display, that's all that matters.
    Its certainly not as good a the NEC.​
    For the 2nd time, how so? I don't expect you to answer because aside from the data about the two systems I've tried to educate you about, you don't seem to know. It's better, how and why would that be important to the customer? Or all the NEC, Eizo and legacy smart display systems were sold to saps who don't know the difference and just like to waste money?
    If you think I'm trying to dispute your science or knowledge, I'm not. I'm just saying that the increased quality isn't a must for most photographers.​
    You are surely entitled to your own opinions but not your own unsubstantiated facts. Facts are something you've yet to present. Have you ever worked with a SpectraView or Eizo? A simple yes or no will do. Worse, you ask for the facts while stating before they are provided they are BS. When the differences are presented, you ignore them and conveniently forget to apologize for the BS comment. I think continuing to attempt an adult discussion with you, based on science is an exercise in futility. It is difficult to intelligently discuss science with flat earth believers.
    How can so many professionals be using this equipment and getting great results?​
    Some are as misinformed about display technology as you?
    What's really funny about this post is that prior to my first comment that was an agreement with Walt, Barry was nowhere to be found and Tim didn't have anything to say about the iMac display. Both clearly missed the OP saying he has TWO NEC displays which I will again say are superior to the iMac (SpectraView II and P221W). I agree with Walt that the iMac screen is a waste of good money, and the boys want to start fight. But, they have nothing to back up their opinions; nothing fact based I've seen yet. The old saying about opinions comes to mind about this time <g>.
    This post is going nowhere. I've provided factual differences in the two display systems and I've agreed to provided measured differences in the two systems. Tim and Barry offer little to aid to their 'arguement' which is telling. The OP has two very good display systems, both superior in terms of calibration,purity, lack of banding, warrenty and so forth. Tim and Barry would like the OP (who seems to know more about a good display) to believe that the iMac is worth the cost differences between it and a Mac Mini who's price has to be higher in large part to that big display he doesn't need. They'd rather poorly argue with me than help the OP. Time to move on boys, or provide something fact based and not opinions which are based on ?
     
  42. If you still want to add life to an older mac and save that money and use it toward more photo equipment, just replace the hard drive with a new one, max your memory, and install Onyx (it's free) to make sure you keep system clean. I have a ton of old macs that are still being used on a weekly basis. My 2005 Powermac G5 runs CS4 and Lightroom as fast as my Mac Pro running CS6 at work does (actually I really hate CS6. Has been slow and buggy compared to previous versions.) I have an old G4 Powerbook that is still plenty fast and a G4 imac I use as well.
     
  43. All I said, Andrew, is I disagree with your statements saying you can't use the iMac to edit images in order to get a print match.
    Not concerned about any discussion over the bells and whistles of one particular display brand. You spent plenty of time expounding upon those facts quite adequately already.
     
  44. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    I disagree with your statements saying you can't use the iMac to edit images in order to get a print match.​
    I said that where?
    What you may find an acceptable match and what I find as an acceptable match may be quite different.
    Not concerned about any discussion over the bells and whistles of one particular display brand.​
    I'll take that as the answer to my question about your use of a reference display to be no.
    You spent plenty of time expounding upon those facts quite adequately already.​
    Yes I did. Which makes your position one which is best ignored based on the input and answers to the questions directed to you.
     
  45. Some are as misinformed about display technology as you?​
    Wow, you really are charming.
    What facts do you need? People use iMacs, people get great results. You seem to be very dense. I haven't seen anyone say the Nec monitor is not superior, you seem to like making up straw man arguments.
     
  46. What you seem to be missing Andrew, is that having your precise reference display is a level of precision that is not necessary to get matched prints for most photographers. Now, how much for a stick so we can completely beat this dead horse.
     
  47. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    What you don't get Barry is there's far more to the differences in the two display systems than just a match.
    You seem to be very dense.​
    Now that's the pot calling the kettle black.
     
  48. I do actually get that there are far more to these differences, I did read your explanations. And I understand to a certain degree what I've seen you say before about how the Spectra View technology actually makes it very easy to get those levels of accuracy and reliability. But you've said yourself, that you can match prints with an iMac. All I'm saying that for most of us, including many professionals, a calibration that allows you to get decent match prints is a sufficient standard to work with. A a NEC 27" 271W runs around $2500 USD, I just about get my whole iMac for that and it does a good job. Would love to have the NEC though, but its not going to happen anytime soon.
    Now that's the pot calling the kettle black.​
    Ha! I deserved that:) I shouldn't have called you dense, that was uncalled for in a discussion and I apologize for that.
     
  49. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    A a NEC 27" 271W runs around $2500 USD,​
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=689880&Q=&is=REG&A=details
    $1449 and that INCLUDES the Colorimeter and software!
    If you wanted to purchase just the Colorimeter from X-Rite, that be $249.00 from the same company using software that doesn't hold a candle to what SpectraView can provide. And of course, your iMac don’t ship with such a device. So once again, the math doesn't add up.
     
  50. That's a different monitor than the NEC Reference 271 which I was referring to ( I just went back to the site I got the quote from and realized the name is Reference 271. Actually I looked again and the best price I saw was over $2,000 at Amazon but seemed to have a higher price in the UK where the first prices I saw were from converted to dollars.
    Still with a mini with 4GB of ram, needing supporting accouterments, extra Ram and HD choices, Its going to cost you about 2500 with your monitor, compared to 2000 for a more powerful iMac with more standard ram. +2-250 for a i1 and they are close, but the math actually being fairly even in the iMac's favor with the imac having the a little better computing performance and your favorite monitor having better capabilities that don't matter to most photographic users even with your dogged insistence that it should. If you get the reference monitor you would talking around or over $3000. I can get good prints with a more powerful system and have a sufficiently calibrated system for less money. Adds up pretty well actually.
     
  51. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    That's a different monitor than the NEC Reference 271 which I was referring to​
    Not according to NEC:
    http://www.necdisplay.com/category/desktop-monitors
    There are 7 SpectraView modules, one 27" unit which is the PA271W-BK-SV. I own one.
    The Amazon product (shown with a hood) appears exactly like the one I own and that's a piss poor price. The main difference is it is designed for the European market, comes with a hood along with the colorimeter and a different software package (based on BasICColor). SpectraView software which is available in the US as a $99 option (if you don't get the bundle) is not sold in Europe. The display otherwise is the same.
     
  52. Maybe this explains it:
    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/nec_spectraview_reference_271.htm
     
  53. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Yes it confirms what I told you already! It's a European only bundle with a hood, a nice certificate confirming the screen meets some SpectraView Reference standards (whatever that is), and at least in the review, an older X-Rite instrument and BasICColor software. I've written to the US SpectraView product manger to see if you can even get it here (very unlikely as in the US, the software is either SpectraView II for $99 OR the free Multiprofiler).
    BasICColor is an option (at a higher price) in Europe.
    Why not price out the most expensive Eizo you can find to farther add to the price of a display (which the OP doesn't have need for) in order to make the iMac seem more price competitive?
    The review you point to is FROM the UK! You can fly there and spend more money on the same unit you can get here for a lot less at B&H!
     
  54. You didn't tell me that already and now you are just being annoying. As I and others have already told you, the iMac performs, many pros use it and love it and that it actually costs less than a mini with a NEC. You seem to think I'm arguing against a NEC, but not the case would love to have one. Do you get some kick back from NEC or something?
     
  55. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    You didn't tell me that already...​
    You must have missed:
    The main difference is it is designed for the European market, comes with a hood along with the colorimeter and a different software package (based on BasICColor).
    Note to self, Barry has reading comprehension issues.
    Do you get some kick back from NEC or something?​
    I own NEC.
    many pros use it and love it and that it actually costs less than a mini with a NEC.​
    Yes it does cost less, because it's far from able to provide the capabilities of the NEC as I pointed out way above this post. Salient fact based differences you fail to understand. It's got a wider gamut, bigger bit depth, longer warranty, oh forget it, no matter how I try to educate you to the differences, you don't get it. But you want one. Oh for the love of dog...
     
  56. You are a broken record. Have you comprehended one thing I have said to you? I do understand about wider gamut, bigger bit depth. I understand why it costs more as well. What is your problem? Don't you get that I don't need the extra functionality? That most photogs don't? Can you really be that obtuse? This is becoming a Monty Python scene.
    Just let it go Andrew......
     
  57. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Emailed the product manager for US SpectraView last night. Answer: the PA271 and the Reference 271 are the identical display! Wanted to set the record straight.
    But this was discussed on LuLa forums in May.
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=61038.msg525829#msg525829
    HI Will.
    I have a question I have been trying to get an answer to for a really long time. I keep reading that the PA series is very different in Europe and it's kinda confusing me a lot ...
    I bought a PA-241W in France last year. As you might know, here, the PA models come in two categories, as they are also sold under the spectraview reference brand for more money, with a screenhood and the NEC puck and a somewhat obscure statement from NEC that the reference screens have been hand picked by NEC.
    Now, doing some research I have come to read many places that there is strictly nothing different with the hardware of both models and the seller confirmed that to me but I also read somewhere that only the reference model allowed for hardware calibration and the other PA ( mine ) only softwear.
    To be honest it all seems very obscure to me and I was wondering if you could tell me what really is the difference.​
    Will's reply:
    I can't really speak on behalf of NEC Europe, however the display hardware is identical. The difference is with the overall package of monitor, certification, hood, software, and extra levels of support aimed at the European market.​
    So for those of you in the US, the price is as stated above at B&H, $1449.
    Barry Fisher: A a NEC 27" 271W runs around $2500 USD,​
     
  58. So for those of you in the US, the price is as stated above at B&H, $1449.​
    Will somebody for the love of God go and buy one already so this thread will end! GEEZ!
     
  59. Good job!
     
  60. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    There's a saying in Italian that goes: "A lavar la testa all'asino si perde tempo e sapone", which roughly translates to "If you try to shampoo a donkey's head, you are wasting both your time and your soap."
    No need for me to waste any more time and soap correcting Barry and Tim on the subject <g>.
     
  61. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    An $800 Mac Mini running a $1500 monitor?
     
  62. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    An $800 Mac Mini running a $1500 monitor?​
    A $1800 dollar camera body (Canon 5DMII) with a $3400 lens (Schneider PC TS Super-Angulon 50mm f/2.8 Lens)?
     
  63. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    I use $5000 bodies with a $250 50mm.
     
  64. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    I use $5000 bodies with a $250 50mm.​
    But the opposite scenario I've proposed is what, ridiculous? Really?
    Be honest, what's the most expensive lens you've got?
     
  65. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Ridiculous is having a $1500 monitor for arguing on the internet
     
  66. No need for me to waste any more time and soap correcting Barry and Tim on the subject <g>.​
    Can we take you at your word ;>}
     

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