Which is faster for graphics programs PS, AI, Indesign etc? Advice needed!

Feb 24, 2016
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Hello All!
I could really use your collective expert advice on which is the faster graphics program processing option. I am a total greenhorn and will admit complete and utter technical ignorance!


27inch late 2012 imac with 3.4GHz quad core i7

8GB (two 4GB) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory

3TB fusion drive

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX graphics processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory


a newer but lower spec 27 inch 2014 model

3.4GHz quad core i5

8GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 SDRAM

1TB 7200-rpm hard drive

NVIDIA Ge force GTX 775M graphics processor with 2 GB of GDDRS

Any idea which would be faster?

Feb 24, 2016
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I should mention I'm trying to avoid the super duper slow graphics processing with my late 2012 12.5 imac. The RAM isn't updatable, which from my very limited knowledge seems to be part of the multiple program processing problem.
Is it possible to buy an SSD which I read are super fast, and tag this onto the 21.5? Again apologies for complete and utter lack of any tech knowledge! :)

Cory Cooper

May 19, 2004
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Hello and welcome.

-Which version of OS X currently?
-Which version of the Adobe Creative Suite/apps?
-How large are the files?

Depending on the size of the files you are using, you may see some minimal processing speed gains by replacing your current iMac with those you listed. For Adobe apps, more RAM and SSDs are the biggest speed gains.

The iMac models you mentioned:
-i7 is faster than an i5, even at a slightly slower speed
-More RAM is a better - but they both have the same amount as your iMac, so no real change
-The Fusion Drive would be faster than a 7200-rpm drive, SSD noticeably faster than both
-GeForce GTX 775M is faster and has twice the graphics memory as the GeForce GTX 675MX, four times as much as your current iMac's 512 MB

Yes, you could buy an external Thunderbolt SSD drive to use with your current iMac. You could either use it as a scratch disk with the OS X and the Adobe apps on your internal drive, or install OX and the Adobe apps on it and use it as your startup drive. You would need at least a 250 GB SSD in a Thunderbolt enclosure, but a 512 GB SSD would be better.

The bottom line is that it really depends on your usage and file sizes. I honestly don't think the expense of purchasing one of the iMacs you listed would be worth the modest speed gain you would see. To get a noticeable and usable speed gain, it would take the purchase of something along the lines of a 27-inch iMac (Retina 5K display) with a current i5 or i7, 16 to 32GB RAM, built-in Flash storage, and one of the modern AMD graphics chips. You would then be in the £2500-3000 range.

Hope that helps and let us know if you have additional questions or concerns,


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