Updating My Workstation (Mac)

lgphotography

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
39
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
I'm in need of an upgrade from my current 2009 MBP with an external Apple Cinema Display. Trying to decide if I want to get another MacBook Pro and purchase a 4K monitor, or go for an iMac but then I would not have a good portable option which I need. Budget is an issue too.

Both of these options should be faster for editing than my current setup but curious what you all are using. I do fine art and the occasional editorial assignment. However the thought of maintaining two computers with upgrades, etc., is something I'd rather not spend my time doing. But will a MacBook Pro be powerful enough with maxed out RAM, etc.?

Thoughts on a tricked out MBP with a 4K Adobe RGB monitor vs iMac (not the iMac Pro)? After reading a review posted in another thread I think this BenQ monitor might be the best for the money and keep me in the photo game for a while longer - BenQSW271 27

Mac users what are you working with? I'd love to see pictures of your workstations too if you'd like to share! Thanks in advance.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
14,967
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
You already have a portable option with the 2009 MBP. Continue to use it for those times when you are away from home. Home, where you can have a 5K iMac with enough horsepower to manage a master LR catalog
The Cinema display along side the 5K iMac will make an excellent dual screen Lightroom workshop. A 32Gb quad core iMac is what I use for heavy lifting in LR. The dual core MBP is okay for light use, but would get tedious everyday.
 

lgphotography

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
39
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Thanks for the reply and info, Cletus. I'm looking at MBP's with quad core, not dual. Will I see that much difference between a quad core MBP and iMac? Other thoughts include how much I could tolerate a shiny screen and the nightmare of having two computers with different OS's as my MBP cannot upgrade any longer. So many considerations my head is spinning.

Also I've never had a dual display. How would you use the set up you suggested with the iMac + Cinema Display?
 

lgphotography

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
39
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Still wondering if the quad core MBP would be that much different from a quad core iMac? I'd prefer not to have two machines in my life - already have to deal with the iPhone and iPad. Got to draw the line somewhere if possible.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
14,967
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Still wondering if the quad core MBP would be that much different from a quad core iMac?
Unless you spend a lot of computing time away from home base, I'd still recommend the iMac over the MBP. There are two shortcomings to the MBP that I see. One is that you are limited to 16GB of RAM. And AFAIK, not user upgradable. When I upgrades my iMac to a 5K iMac, I also got 32GB of RAM. That extra RAM made a big improvement in performance.
The second shortcoming is upgrading to 1 or2TB of SSD storage. SSD at those levels is still pretty expensive. I priced out a 15" MBP w. 1TB of Storage and the fastest CPU available at $3400
The a similarly spec'd 27" iMac at $2600
 

lgphotography

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
39
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
And the other shortcoming is the lack of ports other than USB-C. Been thinking on this for days and think I'm going to go with the iMac and hope that I make enough $ to purchase a MBP when they realize the error their ways deleting all the other ports. Thank you for replying.
 

lgphotography

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
39
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Yep. But one less thing I have to not just purchase ($ spent) but research too (time spent) by getting the iMac instead.
 

lgphotography

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
39
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
I'm back and a new owner of the 2017 27" iMac! But Cletus, I have to pick your brain one more time. You were the one who suggested that my old Cinema Display would make a great setup with the iMac. I did some research and bought an adapter that folks that have it said it works but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to connect the two. I've posted on every forum I can think of including Apple's and can't get any help. Do you have any idea what I need to do to connect the two?

This is what I've purchased: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073S81DK5/ref=ask_ql_qh_dp_hza. I know it says in the description that it does NOT work with the 2017 iMac but purchasers have said it works fine in the comments. If you have any ideas I'd be grateful. Thank you!
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
14,967
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
You have purchased a USB C TO DVI Adapter. What I think you need is a Thunderbolt 3 connection for the iMac. The TB connector looks the same as USB-C but they are not interchangeable in terms of function. What ports do you have on the Cinema Display? A photos of the Cinema Display ports would be helpful. I'm thinking that in addition to the DVI port you probably have either HDMI or Mini Display or both.

For the definitive answer contact Apple Contact - Official Apple Support
 

lgphotography

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
39
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Here's what the Cinema Display has (top) and the iMac (bottom). I'm not really sure I understand what has to be connected to what. I thought I could just attached the adapter I purchased to the DVI port here and voila. But I'm guessing there is more to it.

91KYdHu521S._SL1500_.jpg
imac-gallery4-201706.jpeg
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
14,967
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
I'm not sure where the DVI cable comes in. It looks like you have one cable coming out of the back that is split in A/C power plug, DVI, Mini Display Port connector and USB2 connector. Is this correct? You also have 2 Mini Display Ports and 2 USB2 ports. I would expect one of the Mini Display ports to accept auxiliary input (like from your iMac). I think the definitive answer is going to have to come from Apple Contact - Official Apple Support
 

lgphotography

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
39
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Yep, tried them and they of course said they don't support the Cinema Display and couldn't help. I found this tonight though that was just posted recently. Looks like at this point using the Cinema Display with the iMac is not really possible. Not sure how badly I really need another screen now that I have this giant one. But I'm sure if I could make it work I'd find a way! Thanks for your help.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
9,189
Location
Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
I'm not sure where the DVI cable comes in. It looks like you have one cable coming out of the back that is split in A/C power plug, DVI, Mini Display Port connector and USB2 connector. Is this correct? You also have 2 Mini Display Ports and 2 USB2 ports. I would expect one of the Mini Display ports to accept auxiliary input (like from your iMac). I think the definitive answer is going to have to come from Apple Contact - Official Apple Support
I believe those two ports on the display are FireWire400 ports.
 

lgphotography

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
39
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
I believe those two ports on the display are FireWire400 ports.
Yes, Johan is correct. There are 2 firewire ports and 2 USB ports on the back of the Cinema Display. But I'm not plugging anything into them. Aren't I plugging everything INTO the iMac? If that is not the case then I am really confused. What would I plug INTO the cinema display from the iMac? Not giving up yet.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
9,189
Location
Netherlands
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Yes, Johan is correct. There are 2 firewire ports and 2 USB ports on the back of the Cinema Display. But I'm not plugging anything into them. Aren't I plugging everything INTO the iMac? If that is not the case then I am really confused. What would I plug INTO the cinema display from the iMac? Not giving up yet.
The display also functions as a FireWire hub and a USB hub, but you don't have to use that. The only plug that is really needed is that big DVI plug. The third small plug on the cable that looks like a MiniDisplay plug is actually the plug that goes into the power block if I'm not mistaken.
 

lgphotography

Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
39
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
The display also functions as a FireWire hub and a USB hub, but you don't have to use that. The only plug that is really needed is that big DVI plug. The third small plug on the cable that looks like a MiniDisplay plug is actually the plug that goes into the power block if I'm not mistaken.
So, Johan, if all I need to plug in the DVI via the DVI->USBC adapter I bought, and I can get the iMac to see the Cinema Display (it is viewable in System Prefs in Displays) but can't get a picture on the Cinema Display (it stays black) do you have any suggestions or can you direct me to another forum/place where I can dig a little deeper? Thanks!
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
14,967
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
So, Johan, if all I need to plug in the DVI via the DVI->USBC adapter I bought, and I can get the iMac to see the Cinema Display
Earlier
Yep, tried them (Apple Support) and they of course said they don't support the Cinema Display and couldn't help
I would think this was an authoritative answer.
 
Top