I currently use an iMac with a 4K retina display which is superb for viewing & editing images. I now wish to buy a tower windows PC with 16Gb memory & a fast processor to work with image editing software quickly & easily. Crucially, I also want a display which is, at worst, able to come close to the resolution offered by my mac. I wonder if anyone else is using a Windows 11 combination which works well. Any pointers to offer please? I prefer to buy a separate tower and monitor rather than an all-in-one.
Try Dell. I’m sure they can provide what you need and have an excellent reputation in regards to monitors
Out of interest how old is the iMac, and why the desire to shift platforms? Lack of user upgradability of current Macs or something else?
Possibly worth specifying if you have specific software in mind you wish to use as others may be able to specify minimum specs which have or haven’t worked for them.
My last desktop pc was a refurbished Dell which saved me about 30% on the new price. 6 years on it is It is still reliably processing photos in Lightroom and Photoshop.
Dell does make some good IPS monitors that have good colour accuracy but I would research some forums to see what the current recommendations are. DPreview dot com has some forums where people are more up-to-date with what a good PC spec for photo editing would be.
Pre-loved, refurb Dell box here, running Win 11, from eBay.
Not A Tower… No Need…
Connected to a not-very-new Dell IPS monitor.
You’ll have your work cut out for you matching the quality of your iMac’s retina display. The new Studio display should be more widely compatible with PCs than my old Thunderbolt display is and give you top notch quality. As others have noted, Dell make some good monitors as do LG but I’ve had too much trouble with Samsung to recommend them, personally.
As for PCs - there are too many to choose from and too many options to recommend anything. Are you shopping by price, by support, by features? Of course, don’t forget Parallels and other virtualization options that would allow you to run Windows on something gorgeous like the Mac Studio.
I moved over to a Windows PC for 3D and image processing. Would definitely recommend more than 16Gb RAM for what you are doing. I got a PC built up by Scan in Bolton with 64 Gb Ram and a high end Nvidia graphics card. I often use way more than 16Gb RAM working in Photoshop.
I bought an Asus ProArt display - not 4K but the colour accuracy and brightness really good for the price.
Can I ask why are you changing. Is your iMac 27", and hence there is nothing currently available from Apple with that spec?
After 11 years I finally replaced my iMac 27" with a Mac mini and a separate 27" screen. The new screen (Non Apple) is better in some respects, but it wasn’t 11 years of development better. If I had the funds, I would have gone for the Studio monitor. My preference would have been a New 27" iMac, but as yet one doesn’t exist - expected though end 2023/2024 - so I’d wait.
Thank you to everyone for your helpful responses. To clarify, I am not looking to replace my mac, but to replace a second computer which is a Windows PC and which is not worth repairing. I need to still have a windows machine, separate from the mac. The mac (21.5" 2017) is no longer upgradeable to the latest iteration of OS coming in September and it is now getting a little slow so its days are probably numbered. I’m thinking that I will replace the broken Windows PC and do so with a high spec machine with which I would hopefully be satisfied when the mac becomes a burden. Macs have always been expensive and I can get more bang for buck with a pc. I’m leaning towards Dell as my usual routes of John Lewis or Currys don’t have a very good selection.
Best option is to decide what software you will be using and check system requirements.
I’m using DXO3. 8GB is recommended, I upgraded form 8GB to 16GB a couple of years ago, didn’t make the slightest difference. With 16Gb usage never goes above 40%.
I’m using a better processor than recommended, changes I make happen instantly with the CPU usage at below 50%. The only time the CPU reaches 100% is when the file is converted and saved from raw to JPEG, it takes about 10 seconds.
The latest DXO recommended hardware details are below.
Dell have an online refurbished outlet store in the US, likely in other countries too, with regular coupons, sales and promotions. If you look for the higher end offerings like 7 series Lattitude laptops (for example) the ones I’ve bought have come with three year next business day onsite warranties.
Microsoft Remote Desktop is what I use from my Mac to control my Windows PCs. I prefer the way Apple handle virtual desktops and find it extremely convenient to be able to switch from one computer to another plus my Mac all from one screen and keyboard. Worth keeping in the back of your mind if you start to rethink how you might want to work with everything.
I buy all my PC stuff from Scan, it’s only half an hour away. They are very good.
They’re not in the game of selling the cheapest stuff. They only sell things they know are reliable.
If you’ve never tried it give Parallels a shot (free demo), or try dual booting your Intel Mac via Bootcamp if that can handle Windows 11.
Also, does your iMac have an SSD or fusion drive? If fusion drive external boot from something like a Samsung T7 SSD would probably really speed it up nicely.
Ah, good point. In fact I upgraded my iMac from HDD to SSD a few years back, and made a remarkable difference with speed. “Crucial” give you all the bits you need, with videos on the process if you are up to that level of change
Even booting from a USB 3.0/C external SSD gives quite a boost for an older Mac with a conventional HD and probably better than a fusion drive though I’ve never had one.
Parallels works great on my Mac. I can run all the windows programs without issues.
I did replace my Mac laptop a couple of years ago because the old one got pretty slow after 8 years
But windows works very well with Parallels so then you only need one machine.
And I’d avoid boot camp like the plague. You have to basically restart your box with a different operating system ( Mac vs windows) to run the two sets of programs. With Parallels windows programs and Mac programs are both available atv the same time. It runs windows like just another app on the Mac machine
I upgraded my work pc last month…
1 Dell 34" Ultrawide Monitor P3421w
1 AMDZZ346 3.9GHz AMD RYZEN 5 5600G 6 CORE CPU (TURBO 4.4GHz)
1 CPUZZ229 DEEPCOOL 200W CPU COOLER (DUAL FAN) - AM5/AM4
1 MAINB012 Gigabyte A520M DS3H Motherboard
2 MEMOR970 CRUCIAL 64GB DDR4 3200MHZ CL22
1 OEMZZ140 MICROSOFT WINDOWS 11 PRO LICENCE E-KEY (64-BIT)
1 PCCAS468 ITEC MIDI PC CHASSIS - ATX,mATX, 120mm FAN, SILENT CASE
1 PSUZZ070 750W DEEPCOOL SILENT POWER SUPPLY (80+ BRONZE)
1 SSDZZ127 2TB CRUCIAL M.2 nVME SSD DRIVE PARTIONED OS C AND DATA D
After more deliberation and taking account of the advice kindly offered, particularly the recommendations of @bunter and @Fatcat, I’ve today ordered my new pc from Scan. The telephone help in assisting me to finalise the spec was very good too.
Appreciate you have already ordered your new pc. Did you consider the Intel NUC options? I bought a Skull Canyon model a few years ago, still running and it upgraded to Win 11 with no problems. Would certainly consider them again if I was looking for another machine.
I believe Scan do sell Intel NUC machines, prebuilt or more kit like.