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View Full Version : Will the 13" MBA 2 gb/256gb RAM really be enough for Photos?




kp98072
Nov 8, 2010, 10:17 AM
After readying so many post it appears to me that the $1599 model with only the 2gb ram and 256gb storage will work for photography? I mainly just use iphoto to edit (not serious photographer) and maybe someday CS5. Im looking for others who are doing this now on a similar machine and your feedback before I pull the trigger, otherwise Ill have to spend another $200 which is a bit more than I can afford. Look forward to your comments, thanks!!:apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple::apple:



teski
Nov 8, 2010, 10:32 AM
For photography apps, you are going to want the 4GB of RAM for sure as they are RAM intensive.

As for the storage space, yes it'll do for some period, but I have a 320GB drive in my MBPro and I have to offload my pics every month to an external drive. Of course I have a huge iTunes library and a ton of other work files.

magbarn
Nov 8, 2010, 10:46 AM
If you see yourself playing with Lightroom/Aperture/CS5 in the future and play with DSLR 12+ megapixel files (especially RAW editing) you're going to want as much RAM as possible. the SSD upgrade would also be beneficial.
Many of the "pro-2gb" crowd either like to upgrade their MB every year or consider opening CS5 and opening one pic = "yeah 2gb is enough!"

Pressure
Nov 8, 2010, 11:14 AM
Yes, that is more than adequate for editing photos.

Photographers have been doing it with way less for the last 2 decades.

teski
Nov 8, 2010, 11:16 AM
Yes, that is more than adequate for editing photos.

Photographers have been doing it with way less for the last 2 decades.

LOL...But photographers haven't been opening 12 - 22 MP images in large batches and processing such large files for 2 decades. As the images get larger and the apps get more powerful, you're going to want more RAM.

Yes, if you are doing the occasional family stuff one at a time in iPhoto, you'll be fine.

astrorider
Nov 8, 2010, 11:21 AM
I've got 33GB of photos in iPhoto (about 14,000 photos), I use a 15 megapixel DSLR, and use Photoshop for more heaving lifting. The 2GB Air is working just fine.

I've yet to hear any 2010 13" 2GB Air owners give a usage case where their machines couldn't handle what they were trying to do but a 4GB Air could. Remember, most/all of the people saying you need 4GB don't have a 2GB Air. I believe the Air's fast SSD makes much of our previous experience with 2GB Apple laptops irrelevant.

bcaslis
Nov 8, 2010, 11:33 AM
If you are only going to be using iPhoto then 2GB is enough. However if you plan to move to Lightroom or Aperture in the future you will want 4GB.

cambookpro
Nov 8, 2010, 11:39 AM
If you are only going to be using iPhoto then 2GB is enough. However if you plan to move to Lightroom or Aperture in the future you will want 4GB.

I disagree. iPhoto struggles with my relatively small library at 2GB.

Tomple
Nov 8, 2010, 11:41 AM
If you are only going to be using iPhoto then 2GB is enough. However if you plan to move to Lightroom or Aperture in the future you will want 4GB.

+1
I would recomend 4gb, just to be safe

i7QuadCoreMania
Nov 8, 2010, 11:42 AM
most likely do ok for the most part on 2gb, but since its not a upgradeable part, go with 4gb I did.:D

bcaslis
Nov 8, 2010, 12:13 PM
I disagree. iPhoto struggles with my relatively small library at 2GB.

Didn't for me at all. Use Activity Monitor to check how much memory is being used, I think you will see memory isn't the problem.

cambookpro
Nov 8, 2010, 12:54 PM
Didn't for me at all. Use Activity Monitor to check how much memory is being used, I think you will see memory isn't the problem.

Uses just under 250MB. Granted that's not huge, but if you're running apps like Safari, iTunes and Mail in the background plus the system, it basically grinds down to a halt. Sometimes I have Photoshop open as well - that just kills it.

astrorider
Nov 8, 2010, 01:06 PM
Uses just under 250MB. Granted that's not huge, but if you're running apps like Safari, iTunes and Mail in the background plus the system, it basically grinds down to a halt. Sometimes I have Photoshop open as well - that just kills it.

Your using a MacBook pro, right? The OP is asking about a macbook air with a fast ssd. That won't grind to a halt like you describe.

bcaslis
Nov 8, 2010, 01:09 PM
Uses just under 250MB. Granted that's not huge, but if you're running apps like Safari, iTunes and Mail in the background plus the system, it basically grinds down to a halt. Sometimes I have Photoshop open as well - that just kills it.

The original question wasn't about how much to grind down the system, it was whether a 2GB system can handle iPhoto. Every single MacBook Air in the Apple Stores has iPhoto loaded with images and work fine.

To say that 4GB is required is not true. However other apps like Lightroom, Aperture, and Photoshop will still run with 2GB but are more likely to be better with 4GB.

magbarn
Nov 8, 2010, 01:21 PM
Your using a MacBook pro, right? The OP is asking about a macbook air with a fast ssd. That won't grind to a halt like you describe.

You are really pounding the SSD if you're doing lots of paging BTW. For me, I use layers and play HDR and filters(I shoot 12MP 14-bit RAW), every time I make a change like that, CS5 keeps another copy of the image in ram. As I usually have lightroom also running in the background, 2gb is not enough.


The original question wasn't about how much to grind down the system, it was whether a 2GB system can handle iPhoto. Every single MacBook Air in the Apple Stores has iPhoto loaded with images and work fine.


He does plan on running CS5 in the future



To say that 4GB is required is not true. However other apps like Lightroom, Aperture, and Photoshop will still run with 2GB but are more likely to be better with 4GB.

agreed

cambookpro
Nov 8, 2010, 01:47 PM
Your using a MacBook pro, right? The OP is asking about a macbook air with a fast ssd. That won't grind to a halt like you describe.

Yeah, MBP with HD. Granted an SSD will be quicker, but to be future-proof 4GB seems sensible.

foiden
Nov 8, 2010, 05:34 PM
From my experience, Macs hit a real sweet spot when they get 4GB of ram in them. Performance improvements all around, I could hardly go back to a Mac that has just 2. It's 4GB, minimum for me. Though I initially bought my Macbook Pro with 2GB, I knew I could upgrade it later, and I did. But for something where you buy it and can't upgrade later, I'd go for the 4GB. Not just for iPhoto, but for stuff like Aperature, which run like a dream with the extra ram.

zub3qin
Nov 8, 2010, 05:53 PM
Can someone here tell me if they use the new MBA with an external USB HD for Photos, is there a slowdown when using iPhoto to edit photos?

The SSD makes MBA super-fast.... no beachballs no matter how hard you try.
But I plan on offloading all photos to an external USB HD.
Does this negate all the benefits of the SSD? In other words, does iPhoto slow down to "regular Macbook Pro" type speed?

barmann
Nov 8, 2010, 08:31 PM
You are really pounding the SSD if you're doing lots of paging BTW. For me, I use layers and play HDR and filters(I shoot 12MP 14-bit RAW), every time I make a change like that, CS5 keeps another copy of the image in ram.


This.

applepearpp
Nov 8, 2010, 11:06 PM
get an external drive. problem solved.

magbarn
Nov 8, 2010, 11:55 PM
Can someone here tell me if they use the new MBA with an external USB HD for Photos, is there a slowdown when using iPhoto to edit photos?

The SSD makes MBA super-fast.... no beachballs no matter how hard you try.
But I plan on offloading all photos to an external USB HD.
Does this negate all the benefits of the SSD? In other words, does iPhoto slow down to "regular Macbook Pro" type speed?

Of course it will, probably even slower as USB 2.0 will negate whatever external hard drive down to 35 MB/s tops. BTW this is much slower than any recent model 7200 rpm 2.5" external HD.