Apple Upgrade and LCD Monitor choices for PS
Hello, I'm new to this forum. Today I also submitted a very similar post to the Basic Photoshop forum @ the NAPP site.
Briefly, I'm a serious amateur (aiming at some point to become an "emerging") photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. While in the past my work tended to focus mainly on landscape and abstraction, more recently I've gotten more into "urban street narratives," taking advantage (if that's the right way to put it) of the boundless diversity of Gotham City. I'm virtually self-taught and work entirely digitally. As far as Photoshop goes, I began working with it seriously about 3 years ago and consider myself an "intermediate" user. OK, that probably enough about me for now.
I have two sets of questions. Any and all responses would be very much appreciated.
1. Mac upgrade path.
I've an old G4 dual 500 MHz, 1GB computer. It's really not up to snuff for doing intensive image editing with PS CS4 (I also need up upgrade from CS2->4.) Nor would the latest version of Bridge work properly. And I also am increasingly working in RAW, then importing to PS in 16 bit and working in 16 bit as long as possible. Plus I may eventually want to print in 12 or 16 bit. So I've really got to upgrade my processor. While I'd love to purchase a Mac Pro, the $2700+ it costs is a bit beyond my budget. But how about a Mac Mini 2 GHz, with 2GB memory? Would that be sufficient to use with CS4, not just now, but looking a bit ahead to further versions? Has anyone here had experience using a Mac Mini with Photoshop CS3 or 4? Can the Mac Mini's performance meet the processor and memory-intensive demands of running Photoshop CS4 in 16 bit? Overall, is the Mac Mini a viable option for serious photo editing, as well as output to print? Are there any issues I should pay particular attention to?
2. Also, I need to replace my aging CRT with a high resolution, high quality, mid-range ($500-1000) 24 inch LCD monitor with at least 16.8M colors and, preferably a gamut approaching Adobe RGB, a viewing angle not less than 170 deg., excellent brightness and contrast ratio, good response time, and adjustable height + tilt, ability to connect via DVI, etc. The panel technology should be IPS or VA or variants thereof, and not TN.
To date, my research has turned up the following possibilities:
HP LP 2465
NEC 2490 (LCD 2490WUXI-BK)
Dell TM 2407 WFP or 2405 WFP
and just possibly Apple's 23" HD Cinema display (though I'm not sure if it uses TN panel technology).
I would also want to deal with a vendor that offers prompt and reliable technical and warranty support.
Another possibility would be to go with an iMAc. However, I'm not sure if the LCD monitor meets the required specifications for serious photo editing and imaging.
Any thoughts or recommendations? Are there other issues I should take into account when deciding on what monitor to purchase?
I look forward to hearing back from anyone viewing this post. Thanks in advance!