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Upgrading iMac query

ddrurywilliams

New Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
3
Lightroom Version
LR 5
Operating System
macOS 10.13 High Sierra
Hi all, as per the title header I am seriously considering updating my 2009 iMac to a newer model. The reason for this is that I have purchased a new camera (Sony A7RII) which is not supported by the version of Lightroom I have. As a result I'm planning to move to LR classic and think my 2009 iMac could struggle. Rather than go mad and buy a brand new machine is anybody using an older iMac with this camera and what spec is it. My wife will continue to use the iMac we have so the new to me one will only have to run LR. Locally someone is selling a 2010 iMac which has 12gm ram, 1tb hd and 2.93ghz processor and there is another one which is late 2015 with 8gb ram, again 1tb by and a 3.2ghz processor. The later model has a 5k retina screen which some forums seem to suggest causes issues with lr.

Thanks very much in advance for any advice, Dave.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
21,663
Location
Southampton, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Tough call Dave! Processor speed moved on significantly in the space of 5 years, so I'd be inclined to go with the newer one. It should be notably faster than your 2009 machine, and if you find the retina screen a downside, it's relatively cheap to plug in a standard resolution monitor. You might want to add a little extra RAM, but that's comparatively inexpensive.
 

rob211

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
Messages
1,098
Location
Walnut Creek, CA USA
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
I use a 2014 retina iMac with Lr and have no issues. Sure, I'd want Lr to go faster, but everyone does. The retina screen is essential. Not only is it more beautiful than a 2009 screen, but because of the higher resolution editing is more effective: you can see more of your image onscreen at say 1:1 than the old screens, and that also means it's easier to see details in thumbnails in previews. So it's easier to cull. Most iMacs these days use retina screens and they work fine; lots of forum posters either misunderstand them or blame them for slowness when it's sometimes something else.

I wouldn't buy a pre 2012 machine unless you're desperate. Older software won't work on those, odds are, and the latest Apple OS, Catalina, won't work on it. I don't know if it will get raw updates or not. Here are the minimum requirements, and I'd want more than that, especially if you're going to be messing with a state of the art full frame camera: Lightroom Classic system requirements

Also, don't buy anything with an internal hard drive. Buy only those machines with at least a Fusion drive, and even then you'd be much better off with an SSD for the boot drive. A 1TB Fusion drive has a very small SSD component, and it will probably be a bit of a drag on performance. If the 2015 is a 27" iMac the good news is that RAM is user-upgradeable, and going up from 8GB would help (note Adobe recommends 12GB). Not all iMacs allow the user to install RAM, and getting it installed by Apple is really expensive.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
14,670
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
You might want to add a little extra RAM, but that's comparatively inexpensive.
I'd say that 16GB is a minimum and a quad core CPU is another minimum. That said, I use a rMBP for my travel computer:
Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro10,2
Processor Name: Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 2.9 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 2
Memory: 8 GB

I would not want this machine for everyday use, but it does hold up to 47mp RAW files on a trip.
 

Zenon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
1,337
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
With a 2010 you can't upgrade to Mojave and Catalina is just around the corner. Sierra will lose support when the OS goes to Catalina. I'd go for something newer.
 

ddrurywilliams

New Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
3
Thanks very much for the advice. Seems the 2015 model or even a later one would be the way forward. My 2009 model copes ok with 46mp files from a Sigma DP1M with both Sigma's editing software and LR5. Both are not super fast and that doesn't bother me, but obviously want a machine that is going to work with that latest LR software. Thanks again, Dave
 
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