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rickeames

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 12, 2008
389
71
I've always had the 15" and I just got one, but I am in the return window and lamenting the portability. But I worry my photography editing would suffer using a 13". How good/bad is the integrated graphics?
 

deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,260
6,412
US
Which software are you using that leverages a discrete GPU enough to affect your work efficiency?

Generally in my experience, most photography related stuff is more cpu bound than anything else.

The real question would be whether six cores vs four cores would make a difference to your workflow, and whether the 13.3" screen would be limiting vs 15.4 -- which depends on what work you do in the field and what work you do when docked at your desk and using a large monitor.
 
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Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
1,197
943
Austin, TX
For perspective, I use a 13" 2017 MacBook Pro wTB for photography editing and I have no issues. On occasion I get some pixelation when zooming in or out of an image, but nothing that is bothersome. A 2018 model 13" would handle this work even better with the quad core processor.

Now if you plan on connecting a 4k monitor you may want to go with a 15", as from what I've seen on other threads, the 13" can struggle a little bit driving a 4k monitor, and when doing something intensive like photo editing you may experience more dropped frames, and/or longer pixelation periods. The dgpu on the 15 would help in this regards.
[doublepost=1534871863][/doublepost]
Which software are you using that leverages a discrete GPU enough to affect your work efficiency?

Generally in my experience, most photography related stuff is more cpu bound than anything else. The real question would be whether six cores vs four cores would make a difference to your workflow, and whether than 13" screen would be limiting -- which depends on what work you do in the field and what work you do when docked at your desk and using a large monitor.
I agree with this. Most issues with pixelation or lagging when photo editing are related to the processor, not GPU. The dGPU will mainly only have an impact if trying to drive multiple external 4k monitors, or if you decide to do video editing and/or video games.
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,260
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Now if you plan on connecting a 4k monitor you may want to go with a 15", as from what I've seen on other threads, the 13" can struggle a little bit driving a 4k monitor, and when doing something intensive like photo editing you may experience more dropped frames, and/or longer pixelation periods. The dgpu on the 15 would help in this regards.

Good point, which I didn't cover. Do look at which setup is better suited to driving your intended external monitor configuration.
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,260
6,412
US
I know of a fair number of photographers that use a 13" laptop, however I'm of the mind, that a 15" display is a better options.

It really depends on how the photog works and how mobile he or she needs to be with the laptop. Where will most of the work be done - in the field on the laptop, or at the studio/office on a large monitor? Will the photog be displaying portfolio or shoot results to clients from the laptop or in the studio? If most of the work is done on an external monitor then the laptop display size becomes less of a driver. Those questions are something the OP needs to decide on where the balance lies.
 

chabig

macrumors G4
Sep 6, 2002
11,327
9,011
I worry my photography editing would suffer using a 13". How good/bad is the integrated graphics?
Let me ask you this, what kind of computers do you think they used to edit photos 15 years ago? I assure you yours is much more powerful than they were. Photo editing doesn't require a lot of raw power. There is simply a tradeoff between performance and time.
 

macintoshmac

Suspended
May 13, 2010
6,089
6,992
Depends on if you need tight portability. If you do, 13 is going to work very well. If not, get the 15 for greater horsepower that should bring more smiles per editing session than the 13.
 

blackreplica

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2010
105
49
I edited photos on my 13 inch for many years. Does it get by? Sure, but now on a 15 inch, its a huge difference. Firstly, the smoothess and speed when applying adjustments is very welcome, but another huge benefit is that larger screen. It just makes things so much easier and nicer. So as long as you can manage the size of the laptop, I'd say go for the 15
 

bully worm

macrumors regular
Sep 17, 2009
174
4
I was in the same boat you were. Decided to jump ship to 15'' and couldn't be happier. I don't think I could go back to the 13'' for my needs. Portability wise, I don't notice the difference. Works perfectly for me on my lap on the chair as well.
 
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macintoshmac

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May 13, 2010
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I edited photos on my 13 inch for many years. Does it get by? Sure, but now on a 15 inch, its a huge difference. Firstly, the smoothess and speed when applying adjustments is very welcome, but another huge benefit is that larger screen. It just makes things so much easier and nicer. So as long as you can manage the size of the laptop, I'd say go for the 15

I was in the same boat you were. Decided to jump ship to 15'' and couldn't be happier. I don't think I could go back to the 13'' for my needs. Portability wise, I don't notice the difference. Works perfectly for me on my lap on the chair as well.

Both excellent comments. I wholeheartedly agree. However, specifically considering carrying a DSLR on a trip along with the laptop, I find that my Thinktank Retrospective 30 carries the 13 inch 2016 happily. Carrying the 15 otherwise is not an issue, however, the moment you bring a DSLR into picture, carrying a 13 for travel makes more sense.

At a desk and for carrying without the DSLR, the 15 shines without question.
 

smirking

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,783
3,768
Silicon Valley
Now if you plan on connecting a 4k monitor you may want to go with a 15", as from what I've seen on other threads, the 13" can struggle a little bit driving a 4k monitor, and when doing something intensive like photo editing you may experience more dropped frames, and/or longer pixelation periods. The dgpu on the 15 would help in this regards.

Also, don't expect an eGPU to bail you out if you need extra juice for driving monitors for photo editing on a 13" MBP. At least don't expect the kind of performance you might normally expect from a given graphics card.

I'm returning a Blackmagic eGPU because my 2016 15" MBP Radeon 460 was actually significantly slower for some photo tasks while only being modestly faster for others when I had the eGPU connected. Given that photo editing has a high CPU dependency, my guess is that adding an eGPU into the equation contributes more lag than performance for the majority of tasks.

I use Capture One Pro 11. It performs quite capably on my 2016 MPB, but the culling process can be subject to blips of lag that interrupt your flow. I was hoping to get near instantaneous preview renders by adding the eGPU, but instead it made preview renders much slower in comparison to the onboard Radeon 460.
 
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macintoshmac

Suspended
May 13, 2010
6,089
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Also, don't expect an eGPU to bail you out if you need extra juice for driving monitors for photo editing on a 13" MBP. At least don't expect the kind of performance you might normally expect from a given graphics card.

I'm returning the Blackmagic eGPU because my 2016 15" MBP Radeon 460 was actually significantly slower for some photo tasks while only being modestly faster for others when I had the eGPU connected. Given that photo editing has a high CPU dependency, my guess is that adding an eGPU into the equation contributes more lag than performance for the majority of tasks.

I use Capture One Pro 11. It performs quite capably on my 2016 MPB, but the culling process can be a little bit slow. I was hoping to get near instantaneous preview renders by adding the eGPU, but instead it made preview renders much slower in comparison to the onboard Radeon 460.

Very interesting. So, as I gather, the Radeon 560 is not delivering near instant previews. Have you tried the 2018 hex cores to compare?
 
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Royksöpp

macrumors 68020
Nov 4, 2013
2,313
3,870
I had purchased a 2018 13 and it was choking when multitasking. I was editing an image with Photoshop on one monitor and I had safari and iTunes open on another, it was lagging like crazy. I encountered frame skipping when opening mission control and switching desktops. Photoshop didn’t do too well either. I had a file open in the dock and it lagged when I expanded it. One 4K monitor and one UHD with the lid closed. I bought the 15 and haven’t had any problems. I don’t know if it was the ram or the dedicated graphics, but It was a hot mess.
 

Snoim

macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2018
17
3
I had purchased a 2018 13 and it was choking when multitasking. I was editing an image with Photoshop on one monitor and I had safari and iTunes open on another, it was lagging like crazy. I encountered frame skipping when opening mission control and switching desktops. Photoshop didn’t do too well either. I had a file open in the dock and it lagged when I expanded it. One 4K monitor and one UHD with the lid closed. I bought the 15 and haven’t had any problems. I don’t know if it was the ram or the dedicated graphics, but It was a hot mess.

I've had very different experiences with the 13" 2018 i5 Model. I've used it with an external 4K LG (as well as with the 5K UltraFine) and had no problems at all. On the 4K I edited photos in Lightroom (the non-abo version) from a catalogue which was stored on an external HDD that was connected over USB (haven't had time to transfer my whole libraray from my old MBP). Even though the external HDD is far from an ideal setup I hardly encountered any lags.
 

smirking

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,783
3,768
Silicon Valley
Very interesting. So, as I gather, the Radeon 560 is not delivering near instant previews. Have you tried the 2018 hex cores to compare?

No, I don't have access to a 2018 hexcore to test on. I wouldn't expect it to be dramatically better. The performance of my 2016 with the Radeon 460 is decent already. The render time for a preview of a 24MB RAW file on my LG 5K Ultrafine is typically under half a second with some 1 second slow downs here and seldomly a delay of over 1 second. It's not a lot of lag, but it's just enough that I can't cull my photos reflexively and need to put more energy into remembering which version I like better.

The 2018 is a nice step up, but my hunch is that I'd need about 2x more computing power to make the previews close to instant and the 2018. That was why I picked up the eGPU. It was about 2x more powerful than my Radeon 460.
 
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maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,712
It really depends on how the photog works and how mobile he or she needs to be with the laptop
As with anything, but I'm a photographer myself (more of hobbyist) and I prefer 15" but in my travels, I've seen more photographers sport a 13" over a 15". I tried the 13" myself but found using Lightroom to be too constraining on the smaller display.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G5
Jun 14, 2010
12,260
6,412
US
I tried the 13" myself but found using Lightroom to be too constraining on the smaller display.

Yes it can be, though with LR it's pretty simple to toggle the side panels to enhance screen real estate utilization. The other thing is switching to an effective 1440x900 from the default effective 1280x800 on the 13" IMHO makes a substantial improvement in usability.

In reality though, field usage on a 13" is typically much more about rating/tagging/culling or slideshows than it is about detailed retouching work -- where a 27" monitor trumps even the 15" MBP. Even better is working with a dual-display setup in Lightroom.
 

Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
1,197
943
Austin, TX
Also, don't expect an eGPU to bail you out if you need extra juice for driving monitors for photo editing on a 13" MBP. At least don't expect the kind of performance you might normally expect from a given graphics card.

I'm returning a Blackmagic eGPU because my 2016 15" MBP Radeon 460 was actually significantly slower for some photo tasks while only being modestly faster for others when I had the eGPU connected. Given that photo editing has a high CPU dependency, my guess is that adding an eGPU into the equation contributes more lag than performance for the majority of tasks.

I use Capture One Pro 11. It performs quite capably on my 2016 MPB, but the culling process can be subject to blips of lag that interrupt your flow. I was hoping to get near instantaneous preview renders by adding the eGPU, but instead it made preview renders much slower in comparison to the onboard Radeon 460.
That is very interesting feedback on the eGPU. I have often wondered if there would be any improvement in performance for photo-editing but figured not since like you said photo-editing typically stresses the CPU more than anything.

I would be curious to hear if anyone using a 13" MBP like myself has tried using an eGPU for photo-editing. Since the 13" doesn't have a dedicated GPU as the 15" does, I wonder if the addition of the eGPU would have a different result for those using a 13".
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I had purchased a 2018 13 and it was choking when multitasking. I was editing an image with Photoshop on one monitor and I had safari and iTunes open on another, it was lagging like crazy. I encountered frame skipping when opening mission control and switching desktops. Photoshop didn’t do too well either. I had a file open in the dock and it lagged when I expanded it. One 4K monitor and one UHD with the lid closed. I bought the 15 and haven’t had any problems. I don’t know if it was the ram or the dedicated graphics, but It was a hot mess.
I am just curious, did you test the 13" before or after Apple released the CPU throttling patch? I have a 2017 13" MBP and never drops frames, although I get pixelation on occasion when zooming in or out (not surprising for a dual core).

I would be surprised that the 2018 13" MBP would perform worse than mine given it's a quad-core processor machine, so I am curious if when you tried out the 13" computer that was when the 2018 models were still experiencing throttling issues.
[doublepost=1534948346][/doublepost]
Even better is working with a dual-display setup in Lightroom.
Thanks for sharing this! I never really realized you could use a dual display setup in Lightroom, I think I may give that a shot on my 2 27" monitors!
 
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smirking

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,783
3,768
Silicon Valley
I would be curious to hear if anyone using a 13" MBP like myself has tried using an eGPU for photo-editing. Since the 13" doesn't have a dedicated GPU as the 15" does, I wonder if the addition of the eGPU would have a different result for those using a 13".

I had my 15" MBP in clamshell mode so that I could be assured that the eGPU would be taking over the graphics processing. The 13" is probably going to see nearly the exact same performance that I saw, which was disappointing. I don't know what the performance is like for browsing RAW files on the 13", but it would have to be pretty awful for the eGPU to amount to a significant improvement. My guess will be that the performance of the eGPU for browsing on a 13" will tilt toward being a little less worse or only a smidge faster than without an eGPU.
 
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Upeo

macrumors newbie
Aug 23, 2018
19
22
I had purchased a 2018 13 and it was choking when multitasking. I was editing an image with Photoshop on one monitor and I had safari and iTunes open on another, it was lagging like crazy. I encountered frame skipping when opening mission control and switching desktops. Photoshop didn’t do too well either. I had a file open in the dock and it lagged when I expanded it. One 4K monitor and one UHD with the lid closed. I bought the 15 and haven’t had any problems. I don’t know if it was the ram or the dedicated graphics, but It was a hot mess.

Would you be able to tell me what your configuration was please?

I ordered one with an i7/16 GB of RAM, it’s due to arrive on Monday. By all accounts, everybody seems very satisfied with this machine. In terms of processing power it seems to outperform last years 15’ provided you don’t particularly need the graphical prowess.

Yours has been the first overly negative account i’ve heard so i’d love to get more details if you don’t mind.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,643
12,760
I would think that most folks who are really into photography (be it pro, semi-pro, or even serious amateurs) would want a 5k iMac, for the real estate and processing power.

And... keep something "small and portable" for "on the road"...

But... that's just me.
 
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