Photo processing on different computers

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by MacBook, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    I am a long-time Mac user (steadily from 1995) but recently have been using a PC primarily for flexibility and cost. There are just a couple of things I miss on Macs, one being Aperture (believe it or not). Try as I might, I cannot warm to Lightroom 4 in its organizational structure. (I may be left-brain or right-brain, but I have no-brain for that program.) I have been trying out ACDsee Pro 6 as a possible alternative -- any experienced users' comments about this program also would be appreciated.

    My primary question is this. For the last seven months, my principle home computer has been a PC. Would reverting to a Mac mini be noticeably slower in terms of processing photos? It seems as though it has everything going against it (slower processor, shared video, slower hard drive, initially less RAM). How much real world different does that make in working with large RAW files? Here are the relevant specs.

    Intel Core i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz
    12GB RAM
    AMD Radeon HD 7570
    2TB - 7200 rpm hard drive

    Intel Core i7 @ 2.3GHz (turbo boost up to 3.3GHz)
    8-16GB RAM
    6MB L3 cache
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    1TB - 5400 rpm hard drive
  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Honestly? Probably no significant difference in processing time. At least not in terms of adjustments, maybe a few minutes on a large batch job. I notice huge differences between different bits of software on the same machine, however - DxO gives me results I prefer, but is at least twice as slow as LightRoom when it comes to processing/exporting RAW files to JPG.

    I'm still trying to work out the best way to build my LightRoom catalog. I like the theory, but not the practice. Sometimes I just want to quickly open one file and give it a quick edit, rather than have to import a bunch. That's where I find DxO to be more transparent - I choose whether to build a project or simply 'edit' in the root directory itself. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

    Also, getting an iMac (or Retina display macbook) will give you a fantastic, accurate color, IPS monitor. Factor that into the cost equation as well.
  3. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    If it were me I would change the hard drive on either of those to an ssd. You don't want the program drive to be the limiting factor.
  4. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
    Anyone got experience building a Hackintosh? I haven't done it as I'm happy with windows/lightroom but you can install MacOS on your existing PC.

    I have no idea if it causes issues with aperture/other licences but they're the same hardware underneath.

    I'm assuming this comes with no warranty of any kind so probably too risky for a photo PC, but thought I'd mention it.
  5. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    I have DxO on an 8GB Win7 machine, I5 4 core 3.6 Ghz. Changes are quick; when I start the actual batch processing to produce JPGs, the limiting factor is CPU speed. I set DxO up to use all 4 cores, so it does as much as possible in parallel.
  6. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    New York
    Agree with the recommedtion for the SSD drive. Definitely opt for that. I got the fusion drive and love its performance. Mini screams with it, it's that fast. Have no problems whatsoever with Aperture, and it was slow as molasses on my old iMac.
  7. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    I do have a good IPS monitor already, so I am not interested in an iMac at this point.

    rklepper and riverr02
    Yes, I have thought about getting the SSD drive. It is simple putting one into the Dell; the Mac mini would involve a little intrigue. (I have done many Mac minis for our office with the putty knife and basically taken everything out a couple of times in one model.) The PC is pretty quick even with the standard 7200, I was just wondering how the current Mac mini would compare.

    I should look at DxO to see how that works for me, it is a lot cheaper than investing in a new Mac mini + RAM + perhaps a SSD.
  8. I have built a Hackintosh, you need to find if your motherboard is supported,the best place to start is Mine runs great , its best if you have an intel based board
  9. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    You can download a trial version, so there's no risk.
  10. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    I am still undecided, using the PC. The move back to Mac would simply be some aesthetic sense of liking Aperture and a couple of other things. I am not sure it would improve anything.

    I tried DxO and ACDSee Pro, and actually liked the latter one better for my uses. I am holding off on a purchase in case I decide to revert to the Mac mini and use Aperture (and LR).
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