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Old Oct 23, 2010, 06:18 AM   #1
ryanmckenzie
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MaBook Air 11.6" and Photoshop CS5

Hey! Could anyone provide some feedback on this question. I do fairly light digital art / animation with photoshop, flash and premiere, using a wacom bamboo tablet. Does the 11" Air handle software like this well enough to a kind of medium demand? I never do any heavy graphical work...
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 06:52 AM   #2
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I'd say go for the 13" just because of the higher horsepower, not sure if cs5 will run on a 1.4ghz either.
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 07:01 AM   #3
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I'd say go for the 13" just because of the higher horsepower, not sure if cs5 will run on a 1.4ghz either.
According to the system requirements listed on the software section of the Apple Store, Photoshop CS5 requires a "multicore Intel Processor." So it should presumably work.

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Old Oct 23, 2010, 07:41 AM   #4
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i think bigger screen will be much better when working with those apps.
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 07:45 AM   #5
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i think bigger screen will be much better when working with those apps.
I think the difference between the 11.6" and the 13.3" MBA would be marginal when it comes to these types of apps; they will both be subpar; therefore an external display is the ideal solution.

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Old Oct 23, 2010, 08:20 AM   #6
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I don't think the OP is inquiring about the 13 inch model or a cinema display. He is simply asking if a tablet and CS5 would work well on the 11 inch MBA.

How will performance be? Well that's the question most people are wondering. Myself included. Ideally, I'd like the MBA to handle light photoshop edits on raw files. No intensive actions or filters. Just enough post processing for blog worthy material.

Also, at times, clients need small text edits, and layout/design edits when I'm not at work. Ideally, the MBA should be able to handle this. I also use a wacom tablet.

To the OP, not much has been answered regarding photoshop and the 11 inch MBA, but most people come to the conclusion that if you're looking at this as your sole workhorse computer, it might be better to consider another option as the 11in seems to be the perfect "companion" computer.
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 08:58 AM   #7
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Again, people grossly overestimate their computing needs. Photoshop CS5 will run fine on the MBA 11.6", even on the 1.4 GHZ cpu.
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 09:03 AM   #8
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It will work but what I found in my experience is that a 13" screen to be very limiting, so I cannot imagine trying to do some PS work on a smaller screen. Of course resolutions are different when I use PhotoShop on a Core Duo (not C2D).

My advice is too check out the display of the 11" MBA at your local apple store if possible
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 09:06 AM   #9
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Again, people grossly overestimate their computing needs. Photoshop CS5 will run fine on the MBA 11.6", even on the 1.4 GHZ cpu.
+1. The only thing you'll notice is that more intensive changes (like filters) to huge files will take a bit longer. Ps does take up quick some memory though, so everything might slow down a bit when you also have a bunch of other apps opened up that are using up your RAM as well.
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 09:21 AM   #10
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It will work but what I found in my experience is that a 13" screen to be very limiting, so I cannot imagine trying to do some PS work on a smaller screen. Of course resolutions are different when I use PhotoShop on a Core Duo (not C2D).

My advice is too check out the display of the 11" MBA at your local apple store if possible
It has a mini display port you know.

And it has a resolution very close to current 13" macbooks. So screen real-estate will be quite good.
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 12:08 PM   #11
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I don't own a macbook air (yet! I really want one!) but I used to do a lot of my design school work on a 8.9in acer aspire one. I used photoshop, illustrator, and maya all the time on it with very little problems. The only issue I ever had was that the save for web menu was too large for my screen and I couldn't resize it haha!

The new macbook air is definitely ahead of my little netbook and I don't doubt that it will run the same programs just fine.
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Old Oct 23, 2010, 06:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MigsVuitton View Post
I don't think the OP is inquiring about the 13 inch model or a cinema display. He is simply asking if a tablet and CS5 would work well on the 11 inch MBA.

How will performance be? Well that's the question most people are wondering. Myself included. Ideally, I'd like the MBA to handle light photoshop edits on raw files. No intensive actions or filters. Just enough post processing for blog worthy material.

Also, at times, clients need small text edits, and layout/design edits when I'm not at work. Ideally, the MBA should be able to handle this. I also use a wacom tablet.

To the OP, not much has been answered regarding photoshop and the 11 inch MBA, but most people come to the conclusion that if you're looking at this as your sole workhorse computer, it might be better to consider another option as the 11in seems to be the perfect "companion" computer.
Thanks this was a great response.
I also agree that people overestimate the need for better numbers, and I've decided to go for the 11". Minimum setup is all I can afford. I'm sure many others are interested in knowing how the model handles adobe and relative software, so I'll post up a little review of how it handles with a tablet.

Many thanks all.
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Old May 19, 2011, 02:05 AM   #13
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Can you post a review?

I'm planning on getting an 11.6" Macbook Air and I'm thinking that I could save money by going for the refurbished 1.4GHz, 2GB, 64GB, version when the new version comes out possibly in June/July.

I'm looking for something affordable and lightweight and I'm wondering how Photoshop CS5 and AutoCAD would work. I'm well aware that it will run, but that doesn't mean anything since a netbook can run it as well. I wanted to know how well it runs.

I have an 2010 i7 iMac at home, but I just need something for school for my architecture class and photoshop class, since the computers here are single-core with only 512MB of ram.
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Old May 19, 2011, 05:58 AM   #14
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I'm using my 11" Air for work sometimes when traveling. Just last week I was updating a Flash project. I was running Flash CS5 to change some flash content, Photoshop CS5 to edit some images (although quite small, no raw files), Coda for updating some HTML files, Thunderbird, FTP client, as well as a Firefox browser with a few tabs, IM / twitter client and a few other smaller apps (all at once ofc, just tabbing between them).

The only time I ever noticed the Air slowing down was when publishing the Flash content (which is 100% cpu dependant). But, to the Air's defense, it was a 180Mb Flash file that even my i7 iMac takes 20+ seconds to publish. I didn't time it on the Air, but I'm guessing maybe double that time.

Anyway, my point is, everything worked flawlessly. I never noticed lag, extensive swapping, jerky scrolling or something like that. Unless you're editing huge raw images with complex filters you'll be fine.

My Air is the 11.6" 1.6Ghz with 4Gb memory. I strongly recommend 4Gb if you're going to use the computer for photoshop and similar.
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Old May 19, 2011, 10:47 AM   #15
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using 13.3" with 1.86 ghz core, 4gb ram without any issue..
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Old May 19, 2011, 12:13 PM   #16
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I use the 11 inch 1.4 (but with the 4gig RAM upgrade) for CS5 fairly extensively - Circa 10 megapixel camera files using multiple levels and filters. It runs great, no performance issues at all and perfectly usable.
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Old May 19, 2011, 01:24 PM   #17
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Thanks for the replies guys, I'm guess I'm going to wait for the summer since I need it next school year. I will get the 4GB upgrade if it is not standard since AutoCAD's minimum requirements is 3GB with 4GB recommended. I appreciate the responses; knowing that CS5 works well is great.
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Old May 19, 2011, 01:31 PM   #18
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I'm running CS4 Production Premium (includes PS, Premier, Encore, After Effects, etc.) just fine on a 4-year old 1.86 Core 2 Duo desk top. Obviously the wattage is higher, but the Air's front side bus is much faster (1066 vs 800).

You can run PhotoShop just fine on the current Air models. The SSD will actually allow larger RAW or JPEG files to load a lot faster, certainly faster than my current desk top.
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Old May 19, 2011, 08:00 PM   #19
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64Bit

With both Mac OS Lion and CS5 being 64bit, won't this produce a dramatic speed increase even on the C2D MBAs?
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Old May 19, 2011, 08:54 PM   #20
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With both Mac OS Lion and CS5 being 64bit, won't this produce a dramatic speed increase even on the C2D MBAs?
But, Mac OS X Snow Kitty is already 64bit though.
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Old May 20, 2011, 07:22 AM   #21
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True, I forgot since my MBP is too old to boot in 64 bit mode. Since Snow Leopard is both and boots 32 bit by default, has anyone switched to 64 bit on the MBA (or any newer Mac) with CS5 and seen speed increases?
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Old May 20, 2011, 07:33 AM   #22
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Again, people grossly overestimate their computing needs. Photoshop CS5 will run fine on the MBA 11.6", even on the 1.4 GHZ cpu.
Depends what sort of Photoshop work you are talking about and what the user requires - basic editing will be fine but connected to a 1600x1200+ screen and dealing with 700MB Raw files will bring it to it's knee's!
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Old May 20, 2011, 08:04 AM   #23
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Depends what sort of Photoshop work you are talking about and what the user requires - basic editing will be fine but connected to a 1600x1200+ screen and dealing with 700MB Raw files will bring it to it's knee's!
So how did you do it 5 years ago ? There weren't any 700MB Raw files back then ?

And why such an extreme example to try to prove my point wrong ? Does everyone deal with such files all the time ? Of course not.

*sigh*, always one in every thread that has to use the niche/extreme example to try to prove a fallacy. The MBA is fine. It runs Photoshop CS5 fine. It might not be able to run every filter in less than 5 seconds on some extremely large datasets, but that's hardly what everyone needs Photoshop for.
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Old May 20, 2011, 09:02 AM   #24
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Again, people grossly overestimate their computing needs. Photoshop CS5 will run fine on the MBA 11.6", even on the 1.4 GHZ cpu.
That it will. I have the 1.6/4gb model and it runs great. The 1.4 isn't that much of a step down that it won't run. Often times, unless I'm working on some huge panorama, I don't notice much of a difference on minor edits between my MBA and my MBP.
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Old May 20, 2011, 04:15 PM   #25
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It's not the software itself that'll give you problems, I run mine on a 11" with just 2GB, for simple editing stuff with smaller happy snap sized files (say up to 10mb files) it works fine. It also loads up nice and quick and is surprisingly usable.

However, if you start trying to open multiple files, multiple layers and RAW files, then you will notice the limits of the Air, after all thats not really what it was designed for.

So, yes for your everyday casual CS5 user, go for it, you won't be disappointed if you don't demand too much of it.
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