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Old Aug 5, 2013, 09:07 AM   #26
tekmoe
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I got fed up with my 2010 MacBook Pro running so slow in Lightroom and Photoshop so I switched over to a blazing fast 3.4ghz i7 iMac. I couldn't even imagine trying to go from a Mac Pro to a MacBook Air as a primary machine.
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Old Aug 5, 2013, 12:49 PM   #27
Laird Knox
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Originally Posted by tekmoe View Post
I got fed up with my 2010 MacBook Pro running so slow in Lightroom and Photoshop so I switched over to a blazing fast 3.4ghz i7 iMac. I couldn't even imagine trying to go from a Mac Pro to a MacBook Air as a primary machine.
How much memory did the MacBook have? When on the road I've been rather happy with my 2011 with 16GB of RAM.

I was looking at the 13" yesterday and messing about in PS. I was impressed with the speed - I upsampled an image to something like 7000x4000 to try out some of the filters. The performance was nice. I could work with the limited screen size on the road (actually it is better than my MacBook Pro). My only concern is with the 8GB limit on memory.
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Old Aug 5, 2013, 02:07 PM   #28
tekmoe
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How much memory did the MacBook have? When on the road I've been rather happy with my 2011 with 16GB of RAM.

I was looking at the 13" yesterday and messing about in PS. I was impressed with the speed - I upsampled an image to something like 7000x4000 to try out some of the filters. The performance was nice. I could work with the limited screen size on the road (actually it is better than my MacBook Pro). My only concern is with the 8GB limit on memory.
That could have very well been the problem as my MBP was maxxed out at 8gb of RAM. I've been reading other forums and it seems to work with image files such as the resolution you mentioned you will need a minimum of 16gb of RAM. When I bought my D800 and started importing the RAW files to be edited, I could immediately tell the performance was drastically slower compared to RAW files coming from my D5000. 12mp vs 36mp - pretty big difference. Even now my iMac will choke from time to time if I'm really taxing the hell out of it. My page outs in Activity Monitor shoots to the sky if I am working with multiple RAW files in Lightroom and Photoshop. Something tells me I need to max out my iMac with 32gb of RAM...
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Old Aug 5, 2013, 03:33 PM   #29
Laird Knox
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I was having issues with my desktop with 16GB so I upgraded to 32. Although to be fair I think the issues were primarily related to Windows.

I've been able to do road edits on the d800 images without issue. Where I run into problems is in working on stacking of panoramas. Those images are typically in the 50-60MP range with the PSDs often topping out over 2GB.

Oh, I also put an SSD in the MacBook Pro so with the extra memory it works really well.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 03:12 AM   #30
Prodo123
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Going from a Mac Pro to a MacBook Air? What a big jump!

Keep in mind that most of the computing done for digital photography is done by the CPU. That being said, the MBA will NEVER catch up to a quad core Xeon Mac Pro.

That doesn't mean that the little guy won't do the job at all. It's definitely able to handle the load! Not as fast, of course, as the Mac Pro, but on-the-go edits are certainly a possibility.

The display quality on the Air suffers a bit due to the size constraints, but it still fits the sRGB spectrum quite nicely. When calibrated accordingly you should get accurate colors.

One thing you will miss is the RAM. I used to have 8GB RAM on my MBP and that struggled a tiny bit with some of my projects in Lightroom. Now at 16GB it's buttery smooth.

Since you're getting a mobile workstation, however, a retina MacBook Pro could be a better choice. More RAM, more processing power, more storage. The screen is well calibrated out of the box as well. The only gripe is that the high DPI screen is not really ideal for photo work in my opinion since the 100% view will have 1/4 the size of the 100% view on a non-retina screen. But if you don't mind that, a 13" rMBP would make a better mobile workstation than the 13" MBA in my opinion.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 04:16 AM   #31
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Keep in mind that most of the computing done for digital photography is done by the CPU. That being said, the MBA will NEVER catch up to a quad core Xeon Mac Pro.
Actually, the cpu in the MacBook Air is already faster than in the first Mac Pros (look at the single core Cinebench benchmarks where the Air beats a 2009 Mac Pro). I was unable to find a direct comparison to earlier 4-core Mac Pros, but this comparison between a 2006 Mac Pro and a 2012 quad-core Mac mini indicates that a 4-core 2006 Mac Pro is about as fast as a 2-core 2012 mobile CPU. Then you use that the Haswell upgrade on mobile is performance-neutral compared to 2012 and you arrive at the conclusion that even in conditions where the app makes good use of all 4 cores, the Mac Pro and the MacBook Air are comparable. For workloads which rely on fast storage (the Air's SSD is faster than any SATA SSD you can put in a Mac Pro) or on single-core performance, the Air will be faster. But that's not really surprising, given that we're comparing a 5~7-year old machine to a new one.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 04:39 AM   #32
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Actually, the cpu in the MacBook Air is already faster than in the first Mac Pros (look at the single core Cinebench benchmarks where the Air beats a 2009 Mac Pro). I was unable to find a direct comparison to earlier 4-core Mac Pros, but this comparison between a 2006 Mac Pro and a 2012 quad-core Mac mini indicates that a 4-core 2006 Mac Pro is about as fast as a 2-core 2012 mobile CPU. Then you use that the Haswell upgrade on mobile is performance-neutral compared to 2012 and you arrive at the conclusion that even in conditions where the app makes good use of all 4 cores, the Mac Pro and the MacBook Air are comparable. For workloads which rely on fast storage (the Air's SSD is faster than any SATA SSD you can put in a Mac Pro) or on single-core performance, the Air will be faster. But that's not really surprising, given that we're comparing a 5~7-year old machine to a new one.
I wasn't aware how old the OP's Pro was...wow I stand corrected.
Although on multithreaded tasks I'd expect the Pro to outdo the Air by a small margin.
The OP's MBP will outperform both the Pro and the Air though.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 05:17 AM   #33
OreoCookie
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I wasn't aware how old the OP's Pro was...wow I stand corrected.
Although on multithreaded tasks I'd expect the Pro to outdo the Air by a small margin.
Again, I'd be more careful: on single-core benchmarks, the Air beats even the 2009 Mac Pro. The reason behind that is the vast jump in performance introduced by Sandybridge in 2011 which was leaps and bounds faster than its predecessor. Back then, the slowest 2011 MacBook Air was as fast or faster than the highest-end 2010 15" MacBook Pro. Since the Mac Pros never got Sandybridge and will only get Ivybridge later this year, it's not surprising the Air is faster for quite a few workloads.

Couple that with vastly faster storage and you have a machine that's more than competitive with the fastest Macs from pre-2011.
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The OP's MBP will outperform both the Pro and the Air though.
Yes. If I were in the OP's shoes, I'd wait for the new revision of the Retina MacBook Pro and get the 15" model with maxed out RAM and storage as needed. I can't wait to see what the battery life on these machines is.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 11:01 AM   #34
butch10x
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Hey OP

Do you still have your MBA? If yes, are you using it as your primary machine? And how instant are slider adjustments when you are working in the develop module of LR with your 36mp RAW files? I'm basically wondering if the MBA has enough grunt for LR and 12mp or bigger RAW files?

My personal situation is similiar to yours: I have a 27" iMac (Mid 2011) and an iPad 4. I also use LR 4 to work on 12mp RAW files.

I'm considering to get the new 13" Haswell MBA with 8GB RAM and the i7 CPU as my primary machine. I'd sell the iMac and iPad but also get a TBD so I'd still have a proper screen for editing.

Any input would be very welcome.
No, I do not have my 2013 MBA anymore. I returned it within the 14 day period since the Photoshop flicker was an issue at the time and didn't want to be "stuck" with a new machine that flickered when using photoshop. According to Adobe and Apple updates, that issue has now been resolved.

As far as Lightroom was concerned, it performed wonderfully. The sliders would adjust in realtime and editing was a a delight. The screen is also what made my decision easier for the return. I am now waiting for the Retina Haswell 13". I'm sure it will be a way better investment for the dollar value. My notebook is NOT my primary workstation. I have a 2010 Mac Pro that I have been using since its release. However, I am also changing from my Mac Pro to a Windows 8 PC that I'm building. After finding out what the 2013 Mac Pro's are, Apple isn't giving me what I'd want in a workstation anymore, primarily that fact that they are pushing Thunderbolt, which is at this point a huge investment on its own.

If anyone is curious, my system will now be:

Primary Photo Workstation:
Intel 4770k 3.5ghz Quad Core(OC'd to around 4.2-4.6)
32GB Ram
2x Samsung 840 Pro 250GB SSD's
EVGA 770GTX 2GB Video Card
Western Digital 2TB HD
Windows 8 Pro
(Build can be seen here: http://pcpartpicker.com/user/butch10x/saved/24Qo )

Back Up/ Storage will be a Synology Diskstation setup

Mobile Workstation:
2013 Haswell MacBook Pro Retina

It was a tough decision to move to a Windows based system, but frankly I'm very disappointed that Apple is putting out a Mac Pro that isn't very much customizable. Once I complete the build and test out my workflow, I will post here my thoughts and experiences.
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