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View Full Version : Photo Editing in Lightroom - GPU required?




Mad Mac Maniac
Jul 12, 2011, 09:50 AM
And I'm using the word "required" very loosely.

My wife is doing a lot of photo editing in Lightroom (and eventually in Photoshop) for our start-up business. We are going to be buying a new macbook.

My brother-in-law (a techy) told us that we would need to get a mb with a GPU for it to run properly (which knocks out the MBA and 13" MBP). Then he also said that if the GPU has less than 500MB of memory we are "basically wasting our money" which would leave us requiring the $2,200 15" MBP (or any iMac, which may become an option).

I was hoping to buy the $1,500 13" MBP (probably after the next refresh, because there is no immediate need), but do you guys really think it would be worth that much more to spend an extra $700? How much better would these editing programs really run with a GPU? Again, she will mostly be doing editing in Lightroom with some minor work in Photoshop (say for content-aware deletion).



Mac-key
Jul 12, 2011, 11:16 AM
from my personal experience, LR3 runs just fine on my 2009 13 inch MBP. Now granted, I did upgrade my RAM to 8GB.

So I'm sure a current 13inch MBP would run it just fine

Mad Mac Maniac
Jul 12, 2011, 03:08 PM
Is there some kind of huge benefit of having the GPU? We won't be using the computer for any gaming.

Another thing I am concerned about is longevity. In 5 years we'll be working with Lightroom 5. I don't expect anyone to predict the future, but could the lack of a dedicated GPU cause slow-downs more quickly years down the line?

cube
Jul 12, 2011, 03:16 PM
Aperture, Capture One and DxO already have OpenCL.

Kebabselector
Jul 12, 2011, 05:11 PM
Whilst I don't do a lot of heavy editing when on my laptop, i've not found it too bad. The laptop in question a 2006 Macbook with GMA950 and 2gb ram.

Ruahrc
Jul 12, 2011, 07:29 PM
As i understand it, lightroom in its current implementation does not really use hardware GPU acceleration.

the bigger issue is the screen. Do you have an external monitor? Editing is going to be much more productive and higher quality if you are doing it on a large, calibrated IPS panel. The higher resolution (and dual screens, if you run a laptop with an external monitor attached) really increases your productivity. I'd make that a high priority as well.

Mad Mac Maniac
Jul 12, 2011, 07:43 PM
As i understand it, lightroom in its current implementation does not really use hardware GPU acceleration.

the bigger issue is the screen. Do you have an external monitor? Editing is going to be much more productive and higher quality if you are doing it on a large, calibrated IPS panel. The higher resolution (and dual screens, if you run a laptop with an external monitor attached) really increases your productivity. I'd make that a high priority as well.

Thanks for the tip! Both of them :)

andalusia
Jul 13, 2011, 09:27 AM
Honestly, sounds like your brother-in-law is chatting crap. I have the nVidia 9400m with 256MB of shared RAM and it works really well with Lightroom. Any new machine would blow my Macbook out the water.

paulsalter
Jul 13, 2011, 10:04 AM
Whilst I don't do a lot of heavy editing when on my laptop, i've not found it too bad. The laptop in question a 2006 Macbook with GMA950 and 2gb ram.

I have similar spec, mine is a mid 2007 model with GMA950 & 2gb ram

I dont notice any slowness in it, but the fans kick in if I do a lot of editing

quite impressed how well it runs

mackmgg
Jul 13, 2011, 10:43 AM
I've got a 2007 MacBook Pro, and it has a GPU, but only 128MB. It runs everything I need fine, including Photoshop, Lightroom, and After Effects.

You should see no problem with the MBA and 13" MacBook, and if you do get one with a GPU, the extra memory certainly doesn't matter for Lightroom. One with a GPU be faster, but it won't matter in terms of functionality

FourCandles
Jul 13, 2011, 03:01 PM
...
I have the nVidia 9400m with 256MB of shared RAM and it works really well with Lightroom.
...


So do I, and it works fine for me too. And Photoshop CS5. :)

luminosity
Jul 13, 2011, 06:48 PM
I have a 2009 17 inch MBP, which means I have the ability to go back and forth between integrated graphics and dedicated graphics.

I've used integrated graphics about 99.99999% of the time, and tens of thousands of images have come through Lightroom with said graphics. It works fine and runs much cooler.

Mad Mac Maniac
Aug 14, 2011, 10:54 AM
Thanks for the help all!