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New Hardware thoughts?

Participant ,
Mar 02, 2023 Mar 02, 2023

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The 2017 iMac 27" is starting to breathe heavily, creaking under the load. Still stuck running 2020 Creative Cloud, but we've made it all work.

But it's getting time.

On a tight budget of course, so where's the best use of company dollars - an M1 iMac that has a 24" screen (boo - will miss my 27") or an M2 Mini with an add on monitor, and if this option, what's a good monitor these days?

For background, we're a commercial printer, and it's all print prepress work, heavy Indesign, Illustrator and Acrobat work. A little Photoshop and some very minor web work. No video, no gaming. We've been working since the original days of Illustrator 88 so this is most definitely not our first rodeo in upgrades, though they come few and far between.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 02, 2023 Mar 02, 2023

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Any Apple Silicon Mac will feel like a big leap in performance compared to Intel Macs. The M1 iMac is kind of basic, it should handle print work just fine but it’s the oldest Apple Silicon processor sold now, and of course the display doesn’t go above 24". The M2 mini with 16 to 24GB of Unified Memory should work well; I would probably go with 24GB to better handle larger image files. The nice thing about print is you usually don’t need the most powerful Apple Silicon processors like the M1 Ultra or M2 Pro, because their high number of extra CPU and GPU cores and media engines are more for video editing and such, and aren’t fully used by print applications. For print it might not be necessary to upgrade a Mac mini to the M2 Pro processor, the M2 might be fine.

 

For a display for a prepress business, what has not changed is having an accurate display that you profile, especially if it supports hardware calibration, and a wide gamut display (like the P3 display on the 2017 iMac) can reproduce more of the CMYK gamut than an sRGB-type display. What has changed is that there are more choices today. Eizo ColorEdge and (if still available) NEC SpectraView are still solid choices, and now the BenQ DesignVue line may be a contender. Also maybe the Asus ProArt line. At the next price level down are a large midrange of models from companies like Dell and LG that include some wide gamut options but generally don’t have hardware calibration. A site like rtings.com can help identify displays with high enough accuracy and uniformity for your requirements.

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Participant ,
Mar 03, 2023 Mar 03, 2023

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Thank you so much for the indepth thoughts - lots of good info to think about!

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Community Expert ,
Apr 26, 2023 Apr 26, 2023

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you might want to look at the entry level macstudio which I bought recently...  I'm mainly a premiere guy, but it's been rocksolid in photoshop so far...   and it's got lots of ports which is important for me...  yeah, you'll need to buy a monitor but you've probably already got the keyboard and mouse...  I bought an apple refurbed and saved a couple of hundred dollars, but a friend recently told me that he bought a new one from costco and saved $400...  

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