Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > 27" iMac: screen glare & RAM issue

27" iMac: screen glare & RAM issue
Thread Tools
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jul 2013
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 24, 2013, 02:37 PM
 
Hi there,

About to buy a new mac. Gave up my old G5 Quad awhile ago, and have been limping along with my macbook since then. I kept the 6ish year old 30" ACD which I still love.

I use adobe CS, mostly to edit large layered images and sometimes images over a gig. Will be upgrading the latest CS, and will start working in illustrator and indesign a lot more.

Two questions:

Given the matte screen on the ACD and the 3" of extra screen, would it be better to brave the cables, transformer brick and required adaptor and get the best mini, or sacrifice the 3" and accept the glare for the convenience of a new iMac 27?

If you think the 27", then 8, 16 or 32 GB of RAM? Vid card upgrade? and $200 extra for 3.2 to 3.4... I don't mind paying for noticable differences in speed, but don't want to pay for 1%, a difference only discernable on a test bench.

Can anyone help?

Thanks,

John
     
Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Location: Location:
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 24, 2013, 03:49 PM
 
I have an old 23" Cinema HD Display, and I dearly love that matte screen. That said, I have learned to soldier-on with my iMac, glossy screen and all. I've found that, if you control the lighting correctly in your room, you can cut any glare down to minimal levels. I'm not working on the monster 27" model, though, so YMMV.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 24, 2013, 04:01 PM
 
I would not bother with the processor clockspeed bump. the iMac will have the option for much better graphics performance than the mini. the more RAM the merrier. it is easily replaceable, so max out what you can afford now. the mini will be limited to 16GB (I think) whereas the iMac 27" supports up to 32GB.

you could always go dual screen: miniDP->DVI, add the 30" ACD to the 27" iMac.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 24, 2013, 04:09 PM
 
The new (late-2012) iMacs are far less glossy than the previous aluminum ones.
( Last edited by Spheric Harlot; Jul 28, 2013 at 11:05 AM. Reason: Edited for time-travel. Where did I park my Tardis?)
     
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 25, 2013, 03:42 AM
 
Also, if you want, you can connect your 30" Apple Cinema Display to the iMac and have two ginormous screens.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Amenbo  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jul 2013
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 25, 2013, 11:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The new (late-2013) iMacs are far less glossy than the previous aluminum ones.
Thanks SH... how close to the matte sceen are they.... if the old ACDs are 10 and the super glassy iMacs a couple gens ago, where are the new ones on that scale?
     
Amenbo  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jul 2013
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 25, 2013, 11:41 AM
 
[QUOTE=abbaZaba;4240003]I would not bother with the processor clockspeed bump. the iMac will have the option for much better graphics performance than the mini. the more RAM the merrier. it is easily replaceable, so max out what you can afford now. the mini will be limited to 16GB (I think) whereas the iMac 27" supports up to 32GB.

Having consulted a good friend and gratefully recd the feedback here, this is my state of thinking. Any further feedback would really help, as I am about to order this:

27"iMac vs mini+30"ACD — Leaning iMac. Can't do both.... not enough room on my desk. As long as the glare isn't too bad, I am willing to give up 3 inches for the single cord, lightweight, sleek feel of the iMac.

Processor Speed — Leaning toward i7. Good friend says there are other things besides processor speed that are simply better on the i7, citing higher capacity busues and larger cache.... does that sound right?

RAM — Thinking 16GB.... I read one guy had a huge layered PS image of 3+ GB and when processing it approached his allocated RAM capacity of 19GB (of 24GB.... didn't you could allocate like that.) The biggest images I have handled are in the 1+ GB range, and more often are like 350MB. Seems 32 would be overkill, and most importantly, not at all noticable. Is this accurate? 8GB is what I had running CS2/3my old Power Mac Quad 2.5 tower

Memory — Gotta have the Flash. My friend says it is more stable and everything will be much bouncier and responsive... does that true up with the experiences of any of you?

Graphics Card — Only have gotten one opinion... that its $150 well spent. Is that trye, even though I am only working with still images in CS, not video editing?

Best and thanks,

John
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 25, 2013, 11:59 AM
 
The graphics card is pretty much irrelevant for the usage you're describing, as is the bus and backside cache.

See if you can take a look at the iMacs' screen in person. I could tell you it's a glossiness of "3.7" or "4.3", and it would be totally meaningless if it will bother you.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 25, 2013, 12:45 PM
 
I mentioned the 27" iMac has an easy to access RAM slot- try it out with 16GB, see how your workflow goes, and you have the possibility of adding up to 32GB down the road. in my opinion, the more RAM, the merrier.

I would definitely opt for the Fusion Drive or straight SSD.

you said you did not want to pay extra for something that will get you 1% better performance- in all likelihood you will barely notice the difference between the stock processor and the i7. RAM/SSD will be the areas where upgrading will make a noticeable difference. Less so with the processor.
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 25, 2013, 01:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Amenbo View Post
Processor Speed — Leaning toward i7. Good friend says there are other things besides processor speed that are simply better on the i7, citing higher capacity busues and larger cache.... does that sound right?
Higher capacity bus - no. That was sorta true several years ago (the old i7-900 series was better than the i5-700 series...but also better than the i7-800 series, which was the only option ever offered in an iMac) but not anymore. Bigger cache is true, but it doesn't really matter. No, the two big differences are the clockspeed and Hyperthreading. Hyperthreading is a feature that lets a single core pretend to be two to get slightly better performance when there are more threads that need running than cores in the CPU. It's quite nice in that situation, but you already have 4 cores in the i5, and it is quite rare that you need to run more than 4 threads. I have an iMac 27 myself and had the same decision. I opted for the i7 and have realized since that it was just silly to do so.

Here's Intel's specifications on the two chips in question:

ARK | Compare Intel® Products

Originally Posted by Amenbo View Post
Memory — Gotta have the Flash. My friend says it is more stable and everything will be much bouncier and responsive... does that true up with the experiences of any of you?
That would be storage (memory generally refers to RAM), and while I'm not sure what he means by stable, your iMac will be much more responsive with some flash storage (AKA an SSD). If I could only pick one upgrade from the base, this is the one I'd pick.

Originally Posted by Amenbo View Post
Graphics Card — Only have gotten one opinion... that its $150 well spent. Is that trye, even though I am only working with still images in CS, not video editing?
If you want to keep the machine for many years (you have after all stayed with that G5 for a long time), I'd do the upgrade. There is not much demand for it today, but you get a LOT more GPU power for that $150, and it is likely to be more useful down the line. If you're considering a more standard upgrade cycle, you can stay with the base version.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Amenbo  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jul 2013
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 28, 2013, 09:04 AM
 
Update and final round of questions:

Will be ordering tomorrow.

— I went and looked at the new iMacs in person Glare isn't a problem.... not as great as the matte, but quite workable, and no transformers, masses of cables and adaptors that my 30" ACD has. So decided on the 27" iMac.

— Decided certainly for the 768 SSD, Between all your helpful comments and the benchmarks and what my friends ahve advised, it will be money well spent. Big enough to finally hold all my pix in one place too.... even the giant tifs and layered psds.

— Decided the i7 is so little extra, its worth it for even a small speed bump when applying layers.

— First of two remaining questions: I have heard conflicting views on the value of the graphics card to working in CS. Some say very important, others say utterly irrelevant. Could anybody explain it?

— Second of two remaining questions:Everybody I spoke with agrees that 8GB is too little for RAM. Some folks say always max it, others say that for the heaviest thng I do, applying multiple layers to PS images that total a GB or so, I won't even approach the capacity 16GB offers, so 32 won't make the slightest difference. Since I am a user, not so knowlegable about hardware , I just don't know what to believe. Can anyone explain it so a tech-challenged guy like me will know what to do?

Best and thanks again,

John
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: 888500128, C3, 2nd soft.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 28, 2013, 11:04 AM
 
Good call on the SSD.

How much RAM you require for Photoshop depends, for a large part, upon the size of your images and the workflow (do you keep multiple CS apps open in parallel, work on multiple images in parallel, etc.). You can get a pretty decent handle upon what you're using right now by looking at the Activity Monitor and checking how much wired RAM is being used by each app.

The nice thing about the 27" is that you can upgrade later, when RAM prices may have decreased significantly. In any case, I would not upgrade directly from the Apple Store. If you shop around and find that you can get 32 GB for the price of what you'd pay Apple for 16, that would end the discussion right there, wouldn't it?

The other thing about RAM is that with the SSD, even running out of RAM is MUCH less painful than with a traditional HD, because paging out is an order of magnitude faster.


So my recommendation would be:
Unless you're already massively killing your current system with RAM requirements, buy the basic 8GB and work with them until upgrading to 16 or 32 is a clear necessity and pricing is opportune. This may be a matter of days or weeks or months, or even never.
     
Amenbo  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jul 2013
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 28, 2013, 12:12 PM
 
My goodness, thanks Spheric Harlot (love your handle by the way),

— What a great way of seeing the RAM question. Believe it or not, I sold my G5 Quad 2.5 on impulse, thinking I could live on my Macbook (white).... ahem.... my head is certainly up my... can't see a thing and try loading a 1 GB image on this machine.... anyway.... all shall by solved this week, and your RAM solution works for my addled mind.

— Any insight on the graphics card. Useless = won't buy > Provides some small benefit or better, will buy. I would just like to understand why.

Thanks again!!!!

John
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jul 28, 2013, 01:40 PM
 
Adobe has a list of features that are accelerated by the GPU.

Photoshop CS6 GPU FAQ

The upgraded GPU (680MX) has about 70% more computing resources than the base version (675MX), so if you use those features, it's a significant boost.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Amenbo  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jul 2013
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 2, 2013, 01:01 PM
 
Thanks to all who helped me.... the iMac has been ordered.

Went with:
i7
SSD
Better GPU (I hope to do some video editing)
16GB of RAM

Should be a blazing machine.
Could be here as early as tomorrow! Yeehaw.

Best,

John
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: The Sar Chasm
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 3, 2013, 10:41 AM
 
You're gonna love it! I'm still in love with my 2011 i7 w/ssd iMac at work. The only time I have ever seen a progress bar in photoshop finally happened just last week when we upgraded to a 24 megapixel camera. I get abot a 2-second wait between ACR & Photshop. Yours will be much faster, though.

I've 12 gig of ram on mine, but Spherics point about paging out to SSD holds true for me. I don't even notice that i've got 5 or 6 swap files until I look.

When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift.
     
MacNN Editor
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maitland, FL
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 7, 2013, 10:20 PM
 
In my office I have a standing floor lamp as the primary nighttime lighting (during the day its open windows, but they are behind the monitor.

Glare is not an issue when you control the lighting.
Charles Martin
MacNN Editor
     
   
Thread Tools
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:52 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2014 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2