Computer recommendations for post processing


I’ve been living with my very slow 2009 iMac, which has developed a widening vertical green line from top to bottom on the screen so time to replace it.

I had a bit of sticker shock by the price of the retina iMacs which got me to thinking what I need the computer to do. Mostly I use an iPad or iPhone for the internet, document creation, etc.

I want a computer almost exclusively for managing a catalog and post processing X-T2 RAF files in Lightroom or Capture One. I don’t use Photoshop.

How much computer do I really need? The minimum specs from Adobe & C1 are 8gb ram with 16 recommended. Integrated or separate video card? Hard drive or ssd? i5 or i7 processor? :thinking:

I’ve had Apple computers since before they were Macs, but use perfectly fine Windows machines at work.

Suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks. :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi Michael, I do all my editing (Lightroom and heavy stuff like HDR panoramas in Photoshop) on a late 2013 iMac (27 inch, not retina) with a 3.2ghz i5 and 16go of ram. So far so good! Never had any problems.


Thanks, Samuel. :grinning:

I was considering looking at few years old iMacs to save money. Your experience says that is viable.


I’m a technology coordinator for a public library system and value for the buck is what we look for… I have a super duper custom computer at home for myself…but at work where I use PS/LR and On1 the computer cost about 1400.00. That’s a i7 with 16GB Ram 1TB hard drive and a nvidia 3GB video card. and a 27in monitor. Then add a 4TB drive from Amazon for another 125.00 buck and you got a computer that will run for years to come. Since you seem to keep a computer for a long time…why not start with a new one and then keep it for a long time…and with a mini tower windows machine upgrading RAM, video card, etc… in the future is a piece of cake.


Randy, thanks for the reply. I also work at a library, supervising Circulation. Ask me about our brand new Automated Materials Handling machine for sorting sometime.

You have me pegged. I do tend to buy computers about once a decade. Upgradable does make sense. My library uses Dell. Do you? Is Windows 10 better than the 7 we are on?


We do, our contracts are with Dell with 3 yr warranties and we use Chromebooks for laptop checkouts and chromeboxes for our Kiosk machines (We use SirsiDynix for our automation system). Depending on your photography needs…Keep the catalog on the desktop, the photos on the external drive. I also pay for 1TB with Google Drive / Photos and make a good size jpeg of my images and upload them to Google Photo…at home my setup is a little bit more complex but I think you get the jest of what needs to be done. Backups local, remote and in the cloud (at least jpeg versions)