13" Retina MBP Configuration for Lightroom and Photoshop use

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by James L, May 22, 2015.

  1. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004
    Good evening all,

    How are you?

    I am purchasing a new laptop to replace my early 2011 15" MBP. I'm curious on people's thoughts on the following 3 upgrades, specific to purchasing the most appropriate machine for LR/PS usage:

    1) i5 to i7.

    2) Stock 8GB RAM upgraded to 16GB. Will LR or PS even see the increase past 8GB?

    3) I will eventually need a 1TB drive in this machine due to my mobility, and lord knows Apple charges $$$$ for this upgrade. Is this something that can be swapped at a later date, or is the SSD soldered onto the board like the RAM is?

    Thank you all, I appreciate your thoughts on this machine configuration.

    Best wishes,

  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I'd go i7 because it can't be changed later.
    Then 16GB RAM for a bit of future proofing.
    You can still swap out a hard drive, but think about an SSD external drive. Will work out much cheaper and of course easy to upgrade. Using thunderbolt, there shouldn't be an lag issues.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    If you're just running one app at a time, then you'll probably not really see much difference between the 8 and 16GB. How long are you thinking you'll keep the laptop? If its more then 3 or 4 years then you can make a case to go for 16GB since software and operating systems tend require more and more resources as time goes on.

    I have 16GB in my rMBP and I find it rarely uses the swap space, but as Apple fanboy stated, with the CPU, you cannot change it after the fact so over provisioning the configuration may not be a bad decision, especially if you plan on holding on to it for a long time.
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    I get the maxed out rMBP. Yes it costs more. But I never have a problem in LR or PS running out of resources.

    There are some serious deals on new 2014 Macs with AppleCare right now. Always check the AppleInsider price lists for Macs with and without AppleCare.

  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    There are lots of folks that buy into the "more is better" notion when making a purchase. For what you want to do, it actually does make sense and here is why -

    1) Future proofing given that Apple limits the ability to upgrade key parts of the hardware by the end user. Thus, if you can afford it, go with the better processor and 16 gigs of RAM (obviously, SSD and Fusion drives will be faster than a typical laptop drive).

    2) Photoshop loves RAM with 16-32 gigs being a reasonable amount for the worst case scenarios that a novice to hobbyist might need. You may end up with more than one image opened and worked upon later on or get plugins that tax your RAM.

    3) Many people may start with an image opened up in Lightroom and then round-robin into Photoshop (or 3rd party plugins) for additional edits/work on images.

    4) Having Mail and Safari open while working in Photoshop with limited RAM may introduce least favourite item - the beach ball pause. This is particularly true if you happen to go to a web page that engages various animated media (shockwave as a good example).

    There will be some that disagree with me but to each his/her own and the type of work they do with their computers. I always prefer to get at least a little more than what I think may be required to use certain apps as I have found that upgrades to software (OS, my apps etc.) begin to require more and more resources (CPU, Vid and RAM depending on the given app).

    Btw, you can reduce overhead of Photoshop and thus reduce some resource needs. There are various places on the web that offer up info on this particular topic. I'll just offer up you can reduce the number of history states which can go a long way on a limited computer.
  6. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    :apple:s standard configurations are well balanced and therefore I wouldn't recommend buying any upgrades. If you believe you need more cpu and ram, then go straight to the 15".
    That said my 13" 2013 rmbp 2.4/8/256 handles Lr and Ps perfectly fine.
  7. James L thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004
    Thank you all, keep the great advice coming!

    I usually upgrade my machines on a 4 year cycle (currently on an early 2011 15" MBP), so longevity is always on my mind.
  8. z31fanatic macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2015
    Mukilteo, WA USA
    Photoshop loves RAM so I definitely recommend upgrading to 16GB.

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