Configuring 2019 iMac for Photo and Video Editing

Biro

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Oct 21, 2012
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My 2011 21.5-inch iMac with i7 chip, 8GB of RAM and 1TB HDD is beginning to slow down but still works. However, it can no longer be updated to the latest Mac OS. Given its age, it's probably time to replace it.

But my budget is not unlimited and cannot handle a completely maxed out 2019 iMac, which I'd love for future proofing as well as performance. Still, I might be able to swing something under $3K. I'd like a 27-inch 5K display so I'm considering one with the i5 9600K six-core chip and a 1TB SDD. I can add my own extra RAM.

My question is, will the best of the i5 chips be enough for, say, Capture One for stills and an as-yet-undetermined program for video? Does Capture One even use multiple cores? As far as videos are concerned, I'll be shooting 4K going forward but they won't be very long - maybe 10-to-15 minutes. I'd likely try using the Apple's own iMovie app at first and maybe Final Cut Pro if that's too limiting.

If i5 is too dicey I could opt for a 21.5-inch 4K iMac with an i7 chip for about the same price. The i9 with Vega GPU in the 27-inch version is just too much money. Well over $3K.

Suggestions are welcome.
 

christilou

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I shall be following. My 27" iMac is about the same age and is now running Lightroom CC two updates behind and also can no longer be updated to Mojave. Photoshop will not open at all now.
 

SpecFoto

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Photography is my passion and I use LR, PS and iMovie for the limited drone and Sony A73 4K video. What I am looking at is the 9th Gen 6 core 3.7GHz with a 512GB SSD. Base price of $2299 plus $100 for the ssd. Most important, as I do still play some games, is the Radeon 580X 8GB graphics card, but I see no reason to go with a Vega and don't think it is necessary as I have been getting along just great with a Radeon 3GB graphics card driving 2 27" LCD's since 2012 and never had any complaints. Will add my own memory of 32GB, bringing the total to 40GB and plan on storing all data on a external 8TB raid that is now USB 3 but may move to a TB3 box in the future. This will be way more than fast enough, as I currently use the same software with my 2012 6 core MacPro with 32GB without issue.
 

Brian Barth

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Brian Barth
Hi Biro


In my experience Capture One is multi-threaded and will adapt to your system automatically. (After installation it starts a system check to configure itself) Phase One recommends at least two, better four, cores and hence a six core machine will be enough to plough through your images.


The problem is as always finding the bottleneck. If you really consider 1 TB all SSD (not fusion drive) your safe in my opinion because this will be the fasted option to load and process your images. Paired with 16 GB of RAM (or even more) means that your Mac will have enough power to feed the i5 CPU - so the system as a hole will be balanced.


I guess that your suggested Mac will be more than capable of powering Capture One.

Sorry that I can't give any thoughts on video as I don't have any experience in that area.


So if you can stay clear of the fusion drive which might be a culprit with working with many images as they might be shifted on and off the ssd from a slow spinning drive - which might hit you even harder with video editing.


Just my two cents...

Brian.
 

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