Looking into a new PC

Well my Mac is almost paid for. I have been quite frustrated with the aspect of trying to get it to behave with photo processing so I want to go back to Linux.

My issue is I don’t want to build a new PC. Anyone have any pointer when looking for a prebuilt and Linux compatibility. System 76 is way too pricey IMHO.

Laptops are also a consideration.

Could your almost paid-for Mac be redeployed as a Linux box?


If you want a PC then make sure it has a new AMD Ryzen processor! The performance drop of Intel processor to mitigate their hardware bugs is 15-30%.


@asn Yes I feel if I went with a PC AMD would be the way to go as well.

@elGordo I believe it is possible to redeploy this current machine as a Linux box but not positive. I have tried to look into it but there is very little information if all the hardware is supported or not.

I guess that machine has a USB 3 hub, so maybe the easiest and cheaper way to test is buying an SSD hard drive (that you could use in a new machine, too), installing it in an external USB3 case, and set up linux on it. If everything goes well, you won’t need any more tests, and you may just install the HD into the machine.

Anyway, if you are lucky and keep the mac, just try to install the max amount of memory you can.

Or even cheaper: Grab an usb stick or sd-card with reader laying around for testing - there exist tiny live linux distros (and “normal” ones should easily fit on 4GB).

1 Like

Yes, it’s an option too.

But in my experience the speed won’t be nearly as fast as a real SSD HD (at least one of the better ones: WD/Sandisk, Corsair, Crucial, Samsung).

On the other side, I didn’t say to try a live distro, but to actually install it, so any problem with the hardware will be shown.

One option could be cloning the MacOS startup disk to a external hdd. Then just installing Linux on the Mac. This way if things go wrong I can recover off the external drive.

It still might be more feasible finding a more powerful system. My Mac only has 8gb of ram and it needs to go to a authorized shop for ram upgrades because apparently it is cool to solder the ram to the main board now a days.

I have nothing against MacOS except the pain of trying to compile opensource software. I wanted to get into development of a Gimp plugin but man Mac makes that painful to figure out.

1 Like

Right now, methinks cores is the thing, as it has become very easy for programmers to wrap their for-loops with multithreading, thanks to OpenMP (thanks to folks here for pointing this out to old-fool here… :smile:). There is a knee to the curve somewhere, between #cores used and the overhead to distribute the data through the lane/cache structure, which is dependent on the image size, I just haven’t been able to characterize it with my smallish cameras and 4 cores…

GPU parallelization, on the other hand, does not seem to have gotten any easier and is spottily applied in softwares

I’ve been using a 4-core AMD machine for some years now with current Ubuntu, with 8Gb of RAM; I’ve run GIMP, PhotoFlow and RawTherapee on it with no speed annoyance. Or maybe I just have low expectations…

1 Like

Biggest issue I see with RT is my 4k display really slow. Darktable runs great. Can get slow as in I have to wait for the render in 1:1 view but not until later in a edit when I start denoise and such. Overall I think my hardware is fine. The OS is starting to limit me a bit as I want to look into some dev stuff.