MacDirectory Magazine

Steiner Creative: Visual Artistry

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 55 of 115

56 MacDirectory CONTENTS DEPARTMENT Apple's 2013 Mac Pro is a design, engineering and performance masterpiece. Reviving the concept of the personal workstation, it's a machine that was conceived for successful media professionals. And if you want to go anywhere beyond a bare-bones system, you'll soon discover that it's priced for the top tier of buyers as well. That meant a bad case of sticker shock a lot of us who had been getting every last hour out of our big- box Mac Pros. When I bought my early 2008 Pro, it was near Apple's top of the line and it served admirably for longer than any computer I'd owned. But looking out enviously at Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 hardware, I was feeling like the world was quickly passing me by. At First Sight When Apple announced the 5K Retina iMac in October, it certainly sounded impressive—for an iMac. But I was curious enough to visit the local Apple Store on quiet afternoon to see what 5K really looked like and see if the system was as sprightly as people were saying. Though the system on display was a base model, it was still like getting behind the wheel of a light and fast sports car. Windows snapped open, applications launched in a flash and Yosemite's sophisticated visuals felt super slippery. Staring at a bright, colorful 27-inch screen with resolution rivaling a printed page made me realize that not only had the world passed me by, it had just changed forever. And I was hooked. Running the numbers, I realized that a top-end, SSD- equipped Retina iMac plus peripherals priced-out at about two-thirds of what I would spend for a mid-range Pro. To accessorize the system, I turned, as I often do, to Other World Computing, long my vendor of choice when the words "more" and "faster" come to mind. They had recently announced the ThunderBay 4 Thunderbolt 2 enclosure and their upcoming Thunderbolt 2 Dock would alleviate my concerns with the comparatively limited number of ports an iMac provides. Logical Choices The top-end Retina seemed like a logical choice. When a system is pushing 14.7 million pixels around, a 4.0GHz Core i7 and the optional 4GB Radeon R9 graphics card were well worth the added $500. And 32GB is not a lot of RAM when working with photo and video files that grow larger with each new generation of equipment. 512GB of Flash storage would provide plenty of room for my system and applications with all my user data on the RAID. There are, of course, some concerns about scaling back to an iMac from a Pro. The most obvious is that all the components are in one package (and one that no mere mortal dare open). Memory can be upgraded, but beyond that it's a sealed box. Secondly, you don't get to take advantage of the Pro's server-class Xeon processor options. REVIEW 56 MacDirectory Product: Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display (35GB RAM, Quad-core Intel i7, AMD Radeon 4GB graphics, 512GB Flash Storage) Made by: Apple | Price: $3,899 Pros: Ultra-high resolution done right; Affordable; surprisingly fast and smooth Cons: All-in-one may not be best choice for many shops Rating: TAKING THE RETINA IMAC TO THE MAX BY RIC GETTER

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