Photoshop on a PowerBook?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by prophet621, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. prophet621 macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2005
    As the title suggests, how well/bad will Photoshop run on a PowerBook? I have a P4 2.4ghz with 512 333mhz laptop that doesn't handle Photoshop very well so naturally I'm hesitant that a Mac 1.5 G4 with 512 will perform any better with it. Can a PowerBook take more than 512 of RAM? I know the major problem with my laptop is the slow (333mhz) memory and being limited to only 512 which barely qualifies as a decent amount but laptops aren't really designed for power.

    I know the obvious solution is to get a Desktop but I already have 3 PCs in the house (my gaming box, one running Linux and my daughters computer) so I really have nowhere to put another desktop and I want portablility.

    Now, I must admit, the only reason I am considering getting a Mac is for graphics. I already know Photoshop and Illustrator but many places also want knowledge of Quark and Macs in general. So would getting a PowerBook for graphics be pointless?

    Thank you for any help.
  2. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    You'll be fine. My 2+ year old G4 (specs in my sig, first line) runs Photoshop just fine.

    I can run Photoshop on my G3 (see sig also) if I had to. The PB will take it.
  3. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    RAM is the most important factor in Photoshop performance. You can get the 15" and 17" PowerBook with up to 2GB RAM. If you do some serious Photoshop work I would recommend getting a PowerBook with the stock 512MB stick and put in a 1GB stick yourself (it's cheaper that way), for a total of 1.5GB of RAM, but even 1GB of RAM should be fine for a lot of work.
  4. prophet621 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Thanks for the replies. I was working on a picture in Photoshop a few nights ago and it was causing my laptop to slow down considerably. It wasn't a large file, an 8x10 I was doing for my in-laws, 300dpi and 4 layers and it put a strain on my laptop. Any editing to the layers, filter use, extracting or enlarging (especially enlarging) took too long to finish applying.

    I'm not familiar with the G4 architecture but I was concerned with the same memory (512 DDR 333mhz) and a slower processor (1.5 vs 2.4) that attempting to run Photoshop on a PowerBook would give me the same sluggish results that my PC laptop does.

    Good to know that I can add more RAM. My current laptop can only hold 512.

    Again, thank you.
  5. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    The 1.5 GHz in the G4 isn't a "slow processor." The PowerBook will be much faster then your P4 now.
  6. St Soichiro macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2004
    Tulsa, OK
    You may also want to look into how much RAM is allocated to Photoshop. By default it assigns 100MB, and beyond that it starts writing to the disk. You can change this under Preferences in Photoshop. I usually set the number to be ~50% of total physical RAM.

    Of course this is not an issue with CS2 and Tiger. In that case Tiger takes over the memory management and does a very good job of it.

    I do a lot of Photoshop work on my 15" PB. Granted that I have maximum RAM, I have never experienced major slowdowns.
  7. amin macrumors 6502a


    Aug 17, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I have four computers that I have used Photoshop on recently:
    1) New 1.5GHz 15" Powerbook with 1.5GB RAM
    2) Rev A 12" Powerbook with 640MB RAM (recently sold)
    3) Athlon XP 1600+ HP desktop with 768MB RAM
    4) Wife's Dell 700m 1.8GHz Pentium M, 1GB RAM, integrated video

    My completely subjective impressions are as follows: #1 and #4 are comparable with the speed edge going to #4. #2 and #3 are comparable to one another. #2 was my main PS workhorse for editing 6MP photos in a RAW->TIFF->JPG workflow for over a year. I found that tolerable, though I much prefer #1 as my current solution.

    In sum, yes you can get PS work done on a Powerbook. More RAM definitely helps. However, you're not going to get anywhere near the power of a dual G5 or Windows equivalent, so it may not be the solution you are looking for if you are batch processing large files with many layers and don't have much patience.
  8. joecool85 macrumors 65816


    Mar 9, 2005
    My rev a PB (867 mhz) runs Photoshop 7.0 w/640 ram just great. I mean, I've used a dual 2 ghz PM and it puts it to shame, but the PB does a great job. On that same note, my old G3 beige PM still runs PS every now and then and does it ok. (Photoshop 3.0 hahahahahaha!)
  9. St Soichiro macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2004
    Tulsa, OK
    Agreed! While I was happy using PS on my PowerBook, it has been much faster on a dual 2.7 PM. Also, it seems that CS2 works much better than CS on Tiger, so I guess an upgrade is in order.
  10. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2005
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    Gosh! My 800MHz iBook G3 with 640MB of RAM was a champ at Photoshop CS. Granted, I rarely had more than five or six ~1MB images open at any time, but I was surprised it was so fluent. Any recent PowerBook will do very, very well; just remember to get some more RAM as you are able to, as many other people here are mentioning.
  11. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    The PB's crappy LCD will limit what you can edit in Photoshop. I would not use it to make final color corrections or for gamma correction either.
  12. xsedrinam macrumors 601


    Oct 21, 2004
    Get all the RAM you can. I've had nothing but great experience with PS and PB's from PS 5-CS with a Pismo and 1Gb RAM, and my AlPB 15" also with a Gb RAM has had no snags with CS through 10.3.9 Don't have Tiger, yet.
  13. pubwvj macrumors 68000


    Oct 1, 2004
    Mountains of Vermont
    You should be fine. I use Photoshop and Illustrator on my older PowerBook Pismo G3 500MHz 512MB RAM. Having plenty of RAM and plenty of scratch disk space helps. A fast hard drive makes a difference. Any modern PowerBook will be a lot faster than what I have and work fine with Photoshop. I often do very large panarama stitching by hand in Photoshop using up to 30 pictures (Nikon 990 3MegaPixel) without any trouble. Big files.
  14. prophet621 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Thanks for all the responses, they have been incredibly helpful and have eased my mind on the topic.

    I didn't/don't intend to do any extremely large files or gamma corrections with it. I have a friend who runs a technology review site and is getting a AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core processor and he's giving it to me to review since my Athlon 64 3400+ burned up when the AC went out in my house and ran with another computer in a closed room. That's the computer that will be running the large files and a majority of the finalizing. I really want something portable but can handle smaller files for personal use or basic setup with extracting and layers and can also handle Illustrator and Quark so I can learn it. I don't always feel like sitting at my desk and occasionally like to go and have a cup of coffee or a to a local library while I work.

    It's also my venture into the Mac world. I'm comfortable with PCs and somewhat familiar with Linux but I also want to learn Macs. Now it's just trying to find the money for it.

    Once again, thank you everyone.
  15. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    No problem, glad we could be of help.
  16. stevey500 macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2004
    Huntington, Utah
    it should run it fine, i mean even my friends G3 powerbook runs photoshop fine, for my needs anyways... filters all seem to work fine, when i get into very large image files it lags a bit but still can get the job done fine.
  17. sambo. macrumors regular


    Jun 2, 2004
    outback, far from the surf

    my g3/333 PB runs photoshop 6 just fine under 9.2.
    a bit slow if you have to do a mass batch process of raw digi camera files, but for working a coupla pix, no hassles.
  18. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    My wife has a 15" PowerBook 1.5 with 1 GB RAM. It performs very well with Photoshop.
  19. superfunkomatic macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2003
    calgary, ab canada
    i run photoshop cs on a g3 400 powerbook(edit 512 MB of ram), works fine. it's not blazingly fast but it's not painful either. if you are working on full-resolution image files it might be a bit taxing.
  20. jiv3turkey748 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2004
    i run photoshop on the ibook in my sig and it runs pretty well not great but it does what i need it to it should be fine on your pb
  21. eAspenwood macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2005
    I have a maxed out powerbook (specs below) and photoshop cs, and it handles most images well, except 8 megapixel RAW images. Things get a little slow. Its still workable though. 8 megapixel JPEG images it handles just fine.

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