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Would a new IMAC help me?

domsueads

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Joined
Apr 18, 2019
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10
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lightroom classic CC 8.2.1
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macOS 10.14 Mojave
I have the opportunity to buy a use IMAC at a very good price. i'm currently on an older imac but don't know if the new one is going to give me enough performance increase. here's my specs: using LR CC Classic with 390,00 photos in one catalogue. i have the photos spread over 7 or 8 external drives. LR is very slow...my current system is in the first comment, the new system in the second. i know they both have the same processor and amount of memory (although the new one is ddr4 vs ddr3). the display also seems different (hopefully update to my current one). the price of the new system is $900. do you think i'd get enough bang for the buck?the new machine is 2017 while my current machine is late 2014. i would probably add additional memory to either machine i would use. thanks
 

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Jun 20, 2009
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Both machines have a 27" Retina display. I don't see much benefit gained from going to a 2017 machine from a 2014 iMac. I'd put my $900 into upgrades to the machine that you have. Adding RAM up to 32GB will make a difference. For around $500 you can install a 2TB SSD to replace your primary drive. This would let you move some of those files back to Mackintosh HD for quicker response. I would also invest in Thunderbolt connections to the EHDs. If you are using USB2, you are probably taking a performance hit.
 
Joined
May 9, 2015
Messages
398
Lightroom Experience
Power User
In addition to adding as much memory as you can, having the LR catalog on the fastest internal drive available is good for performance. If you follow Clee's advice and install a 2tb SSD, this would be the ideal place to put the catalog. I have found that other than during import, having the image files on faster internal drives does not dramatically affect LR Classic performance. Maybe a second or two dealy when bringing up the next image in the Develop module or a second or two per page waiting for LR to build previews when paging through a folder in the grid view. So, moving images to the SSD is probably #3 of the three items (1=more memory, 2=catalog on SSD, 3=images on SSD)
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
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In addition to adding as much memory as you can, having the LR catalog on the fastest internal drive available is good for performance. If you follow Clee's advice and install a 2tb SSD, this would be the ideal place to put the catalog. I have found that other than during import, having the image files on faster internal drives does not dramatically affect LR Classic performance. Maybe a second or two dealy when bringing up the next image in the Develop module or a second or two per page waiting for LR to build previews when paging through a folder in the grid view. So, moving images to the SSD is probably #3 of the three items (1=more memory, 2=catalog on SSD, 3=images on SSD)
I would add to all that you might wnat to buy new drives in the 6-8 TB range, so as to better manage your entire library. There was a recent thread on this topic, where someone had about 7 different drives with image files, and wanted to consolidate everything onto one drive.

I have heard that Seagate Ironwolf drives are very good, but otherwise, buy only Western Digital drives.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
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Consider transferring to a refurbed Mac Pro (the silver tower one) they relatively cheap, have 4 hard drive bays, plus the PCI slots can hold SSD cards and also have USB 3 slots. The graphics card is interchangeable so you can have Mojave compatible cards - I have a Radeon RX 6800 8 GB card - probably more powerful than I need. I have also have 32 GB of memory in 4 slots. The memory could be increased.

I have 11.5 TB of online storage plus the ability to plug in USB3 compatible drives for removeable backup. I have two by 4TB drives to back up the system , one each night and one once a week for "offsite" storage in the shed at the bottom of the garden.
Downside of this method is that one has to obtain a screen, however that is also an advantage as you can choose what screen you want to use.

If you choose to go this route use a reputable company that builds and tests the old new silver towers.
 

domsueads

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Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Messages
10
Both machines have a 27" Retina display. I don't see much benefit gained from going to a 2017 machine from a 2014 iMac. I'd put my $900 into upgrades to the machine that you have. Adding RAM up to 32GB will make a difference. For around $500 you can install a 2TB SSD to replace your primary drive. This would let you move some of those files back to Mackintosh HD for quicker response. I would also invest in Thunderbolt connections to the EHDs. If you are using USB2, you are probably taking a performance hit.
i read up a bit on adding an SSD drive..it looks complicated (and a bit scary!). i've upgraded memory, but would appreciate any help as to best way to install the ssd drive (or having it done professionally)...also, do you have an approximate price point for the drive? thanks again
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
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Location
Houston, TX USA
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i read up a bit on adding an SSD drive..it looks complicated (and a bit scary!). i've upgraded memory, but would appreciate any help as to best way to install the ssd drive (or having it done professionally)...also, do you have an approximate price point for the drive? thanks again
Check out OWC. They have all of the upgrade parts, prices as well as detailed instructions on installation of RAM and disk drives for Macs
 
Joined
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Encinitas, CA USA
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iFixit.com also has many detailed sets of instructions for how to repair/upgrade older macs. I personally have used their guides to keep several older MacBooks and iMacs operational over the years.

They also offer specialized tools and tool kits with just the right tools needed to get the job done.

-louie
 

Zenon

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Jan 13, 2017
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Check out OWC. They have all of the upgrade parts, prices as well as detailed instructions on installation of RAM and disk drives for Macs
Thanks Cletus. I'm getting a new iMac in a few months and several threads suggest not to upgrade RAM via Mac as it is pretty expensive.
 

Beckyk

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Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
22
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
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6.x
Both machines have a 27" Retina display. I don't see much benefit gained from going to a 2017 machine from a 2014 iMac. I'd put my $900 into upgrades to the machine that you have. Adding RAM up to 32GB will make a difference. For around $500 you can install a 2TB SSD to replace your primary drive. This would let you move some of those files back to Mackintosh HD for quicker response. I would also invest in Thunderbolt connections to the EHDs. If you are using USB2, you are probably taking a performance hit.
I have never heard of thunderbolt and going to google it to find out more!
 
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