Macbook Air w/ Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by TatsuTerror, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hello everyone, I'm looking into purchasing my first Apple computer at some point in the near future, and wanted your opinion...the following is my situation...

    I use my computer, most of the time, for the following:

    • Web Surfing
    • Word Processing
    • Simple Photo Editing
    However, I also use:
    • Photoshop
    • Adobe Illustrator
    Would purchasing a Macbook Air with the solid state drive and maxed out specs give me sufficient power to run these programs smoothly? I know it's no MBP or Mac Pro, but as long as it'll run them relatively quickly, that's fine with me. Upon purchasing I'd take the computer to school every day, so the weight difference (and size) is what's driving me towards the MBA. What do you think is the best solution here? (Note: I'm not interested in buying a MacBook, the plastic is too cheap for my liking, and with the extra two pounds I might as well get a MBP.)
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #2
    A good question would be: do you have another computer as your "main" machine? The Macbook Air "may" be considered "powerful", but while it is "powerful" it is no Macbook Pro, nor is it a Macbook (non Pro) either. It is just a over glorified extra expensive small computer for people who actually need it that small.

    The way it looks to me you want something small, but it is still not a need. Some people however absolutely require that.
     
  3. macrumors member

    ChadBrommer

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    #3
    I think it really comes down to what else will you be running. If you are just running photoshop I don't think there will be a problem. If you're surfing the web, listening to music, downloading content, and using photoshop, you should just buy a MBP because you won't be happy with the Air.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    1) This would be my main machine. With the SSD though, I'm sure the speed would become comparable to the Macbooks. Plus, while I'm running Photoshop or Illustrator, I'm just running those programs.

    2) Nobody needs a computer that is two pounds lighter...however, I think taking a computer to and around school every day (and on many plane trips) can warrant considering shedding off two (or more) pounds.
     
  5. macrumors member

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    #5
    Is that a joke? The MacBook Air has TWO GIGABYTES of RAM. You will have absolutely no trouble running Illustrator, Photoshop, Safari, iTunes, downloads and a number of additional programs at the same time.

    Jesus, it's like you people think the Air is some type of handicapped machine for toddlers.
     
  6. macrumors member

    ChadBrommer

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    #6
    I'm not saying that at all, but if look at it from a processing point of view, if there is going to be any real labor intensive processing, MBPs are the way to go. In addition to that, doing photoshop work on a 13" screen makes screen real estate very important. I mean, I'm not professional or anything, but working on my 21" monitor makes me want more space sometimes.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    paul.b.davis

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    #7
    Yeah, I run all of those app at once on 2 gigs of ram on my 2.2 MBP and have never maxed out my RAM, you should not have a problem running one at a time
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    That's where externals come in handy, with an ultra-portable with the power to be my main computer.
     
  9. macrumors member

    ChadBrommer

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    #9
    I totally agree, but if we start talking externals, that kind of totally removes the portability aspect of it. I'm speaking from a personal point of view, but if you're going to do anything photoshop wise that isn't just editing family pictures and what not, and have a little extra money(like $200), go out and buy a MBP.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Why? Work out of the house all day with a nice light portable computer, come back and work on an external screen. It's the best of both worlds. As far as photoshop, I do graphic design with both that and illustrator.
     
  11. macrumors regular

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    #11
    I use Photoshop and Flash al the time. They run perfectly fine. Although I do plan on updating my RAM in about a year.
     
  12. macrumors member

    ChadBrommer

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    #12
    Yeah, but I mean really, it's going to be tough to do any type of real photoshop work on the road if that's what you mean. I just can't see the merit in it unless you are like a die hard road warrior. $200 more gives you the bigger screen, 2.2Ghz Processor instead of a 1.6, 60 gigs more in the hard drive department, an optical drive, and presumably (I haven't seen the total run down) a better graphics card.
     
  13. macrumors member

    ChadBrommer

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    #13
    I did miss, however that he said it would be maxed out. But I mean, that's mad expensive unless you are on the go every waking minute of the day.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Oh...sorry, there's a misunderstanding. When I do Photoshop work I'm on a larger (20-30) inch screen most of the time. Off of that I'm usually just word processing or browsing the web.
     
  15. macrumors member

    ChadBrommer

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    #15
    Then you'd probably be fine, in fact, I don't think you'd even need the maxed out one.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    Price aside, which do you think would make a bigger improvement, the SSD or the increased RAM?
     
  17. macrumors member

    ChadBrommer

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    #17
    I would personally go RAM, but that's just me.
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #18
    I see, you are a college student drawing a high income flying around the country attending various conferences for the many clubs and societies you join, affairs like "Aunt Jeannie's bake club".

    By the way SSD makes absolutely *zero* impact on Photoshop and Illustrator, once everything is loaded into RAM it is all blazing good. If the image is big enough to need scratch disks, well the processor is going to hamper you, isn't it?

    And don't forget you have no swappable batteries, which means you are going to be tettered to a wall socket. Best of both worlds indeed.

    It isn't, but acting as though the Macbook Air is like so powerful with its 1.6Ghz processor isn't doing you any wonders either.

    External drives? How are you going to connect them to your Macbook Air? Using a high speed USB 2.0 connection?

    It doesn't even have wireless USB for crying out loud, what a cutting edge computer indeed.

    RAM, definitely. It is soldered onto your logic board so whatever you order it with will be... pretty much all you are ever going to have on that machine.

    Depends on your definition. For men who are strong enough to tolerate 2 pounds more a Macbook Pro will be the best of both worlds, bar none. Your definition of "best" come with too many caveats for me to accept, sorry.
     
  19. macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

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    #19
    w/o any benchmarks, its hard to say. Also, it depends on what is being done with the specific app. For example, if you are encoding a H.264 file using Adobe Media Encoder, then the extra CPU would be better then memory or faster HD. If you are using dynamic link between AE and Premiere, then the memory will be better (at least that is my experience). If you use RAM preview a lot with AE, then more memory would help.
     
  20. macrumors member

    ChadBrommer

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  21. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    External monitor, we were talking real estate, not data.

    I'm a high school student drawing an income and have very few expenses, and fly around the country for photography. Close enough, though.
    As long as it's an improvement on the 1.5 hours I get with my current computer, I'm happy.
    Well, just checked it out and 2gb RAM seems to be the maximum anyways. So I rephrase my question: which would be more beneficial, a SSD or 1.8ghz?
     
  22. macrumors member

    ChadBrommer

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    #22
    You know, if you didn't want someone's opinion, you shouldn't have asked the question.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    My question is below...

    ...obviously the discussion has progressed, but my original question was whether those programs would run well, and it seems the answer is yes. Plus, where did I say I didn't want an opinion? I am well aware that (though I use macs often already) most others' knowledge is superior to mine. Nowhere have I disagreed, I have explained where I'm coming from though, which is important.
     
  24. macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #24
    Your income better be high enough. Personally? For what Apple is giving me for the MBA I will gladly get another L lens for the money.

    As for your question regarding the 1.6Ghz or the blazingly fast 1.8Ghz option... Hmmm... that's such a tough question to answer... The truth is they both suck!

    Technically speaking humans have been using Photoshop since the days of 600Mhz computers so I am sure you will do fine. It is just time spent waiting. And waiting. And more waiting. But I imagine the Macbook Air is going to run applications like Aperture or even the new shareware application Pixelmator so very fast with its great GPU.

    Plus, with a 64GB drive you can hold so many RAW files. All of which can be speedily backed up through a USB2.0 connection! W00t!

    I am making too many assumptions about you, for one thing you might prefer to be a "green star" and shoot fully auto all the time, but I digress...
     
  25. thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    I've always used USB hard drives for storing photos, so it isn't an issue for me. No need for all the sarcasm.
    Wrong again, sorry.
     

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