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Hi 

I have been looking around for a secondhand 21,5" imac for my photo editing but feel a little unsure what would be the minimum spec that would be up to the job, also how old a model would it be safe to buy, i only run Elements 12 cheers Nick.

Edited by Nick Hatton

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H Nick

 

I am looking to upgrade mine but it is 27". Am away for about a month but will be buying a replacement in December/January. I am based in Norht West London.

 

It was made 2011, 3.4 Gh, 24 Gb of RAM.

 

 

dov

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Hello Nick,

 

May be more than what you need but I run quite happy with a 27in iMac late 2013 at 3.5Ghz with a i7 processor, 16 GB memory, Nvidia Geforce GTX775 and 1.12T.B. fusion drive. Lightroom 6 and nikon VeiwNX-i. Copes very well with the files from the nikon D5. Hope you find this useful.

 

Alan

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My 21.5 iMac was bought in 2008 or 2010. It's 3.06 GHz with 8GB of memory and currently running OS X 10.9.5. Unless things are not running smoothly, I'm content with the speed of operations I have. I edit in LR 5.7 and PhotoShop CS5. See if your Apple has a refurbished machine. Good luck. 

 

Edo

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As Ed suggests, You can often get a good deal on a refurbished Mac direct from Apple. 

http://www.apple.com/uk/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/mac

 

I'd suggest any recent model with a processor speed of 2.x or more, and a minimum of 8 GB ram.

I'm currently using a 2012 Mac Mini 2.3 GHZ with 16 GB ram which is plenty for Lightroom 5.7 and Photoshop CS 6.

Edited by fotoDogue
  • Upvote 2

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fotoD is right -- 16GB of RAM is what I could use to speed up things on my workstation . . . of course I could add memory myself. Hmm. I also go along with her recommending for the Mac Mini; I had two of those before getting this iMac, and they're great.

 

I've got a number of refurbished lenses, too--with a solid guarantee and never a problem. 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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fotoD is right -- 16GB of RAM is what I could use to speed up things on my workstation . . . of course I could add memory myself. Hmm. I also go along with her recommending for the Mac Mini; I had two of those before getting this iMac, and they're great.

 

I've got a number of refurbished lenses, too--with a solid guarantee and never a problem. 

 

For the past few years, 21 inch iMacs haven't been user upgradeable but if you have an older model with a ram slot in the back, like the 27 inch iMac, it probably is user upgradeable. With the 2012 Mini you can just swivel the bottom off to access the RAM chips. Newer ones may not be as easy.

 

TekServe used to have a deal where they would max out your RAM  and hard drive for $200. Apple or other Apple Authorized Service shops may have similar deals.

Edited by fotoDogue

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I would be confident that any 21.5 inch iMac would be plenty fast enough. We make much of having lots of RAM but I suspect we may be kidding ourselves. My upstairs 27 inch iMac has 20 GB of RAM and an i7 processor running at 3.4. Downstairs is Jane's 27 inch with 4 GB of RAM and a slightly slower i5 processor. To be honest, I don't see much difference when I go on Jane's. She recently had her internal had drive swapped out for a 500 GB SSD which does speed up launching applications. Her mac guy was ever so keen to do it, but I'm not sure it's such a leap forward

 

refurbs can save about 15% and you do get both a guarantee and a well scrubbed hard drive. Upgrading RAM on a 27 inch is a doddle, but that's not always the case with the 21.5s

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The standard advice has always been to get as much RAM as you can. These days I think getting a machine with an SSD is equally as important.  I'm happily using a late 2009 iMac with the Superdrive replaced by an SSD. It's performance is night and day compared to when it had a spinning hard drive.

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Upgrading from 4GB RAM to 20GB was simply a matter of installing 2x8GB Ram strips into a couple of empty slots after unscrewing a couple of screws at a cost of about £70. Seemed too cheap to not do it, but it mainly allows me to be sloppy and leave lots of applications running. Easy on the 27inch, but not all the 20.5 inch ones are so easy.

 

If I was running lots of layers in Photoshop or working on videos, I would want all the grunt I could muster. But I don't ,so this machine is probably over specked. As it's almost 5 years old, I'm pretty hot on back-ups. I've had two refurbs over the years and they have been fine

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One of the older 21.5's would be ideal (last ones before they stopped been up-gradable, i.e. not the really skinny ones). Easy to change memory and, not to hard to change hard drives. Just need a suction cup to remove the front glass. I've got one that I upgraded to 24gb and installed an SSD drive to replace the standard one and it is a fast machine for photography.... not enough for 4k video but more than enough for A7rii stills.

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