2GB: Mac OS X Lion, Aperture, Photoshop

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by James4894, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. James4894 macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2010
    I currently own an iMac i5 Quad Core as my main desktop. I use it for word processing, web browsing, Aperture, and Photoshop.

    I also own an MacBook Pro 13 2.4 GHz and 4GB RAM as my "travel" computer. I use it mostly for web browsing and word processing. However, I do it for some light Photoshop (JPEG not RAW) and Aperture.

    I am planning replace my MacBook Pro with an MacBook Air 13 1.86GHz and 2GB. However, I do understand that there is a BTO option with 4GB RAM. (I am on a bit of a budget). I will use the Air for what I do with the MacBook Pro. The Air will be my secondary computer for a year to a year and a half. Mac OS X Lion is also coming out in the summer.

    Will the 2GB will be sufficient for my needs?
  2. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    no, not unless you do really light work on Jpegs.
  3. James4894 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2010
    What is considered light work?
  4. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Adding more RAM is one of the most effective upgrades you can make to a computer. Since it's impossible to add RAM to the MBA after you purchase it, it really makes sense to get the maximum RAM available. 2GB may seem like plenty now, but as time goes on and apps and the operating system continue to expect more RAM, you'll wish you had paid the extra $100. So I say get the 4GB upgrade even if you have to save your money a little longer. (Typing this on the 11.6" MBA with 4GB I just purchased today.)
  5. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    Mac Os lion, Aperture, and photoshop...

    2GB won't fly.
  6. fswmacguy macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2009
    How can you say that?

    1. We don't know the specs for OS X Lion.
    2. Aperture doesn't suck on RAM.
    3. I use PS CS5 on my 2GB MBA every day with zero issues, and the memory usage never exceeds ~50%.
  7. tmoerel macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2008
    Which seems to confirm you do light work on CS5. I can tell from experience that when you start working on 15Mpixels pictures and use a lot of layers that 2Gb is on the light side.
    It might work if no other programs are open at the same time but hey, having only one program open defeats the purpose of an OS like OS X.
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    if you're doing something like exposure adjustments or contrast or something, and/or are only using a couple layers.

    Aperture in particular will suck up RAM when using brushes.
  9. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008
    If this is one of those SSD/Flash MacBook Airs, then the SSD drive is almost as good as having the same amount of storage as RAM - the MBA was designed with SSD/Flash memory in mind, that's why they didn't need to put vast amounts of RAM into the system.

    If you don't have an SSD drive in that MacBook Air, then the best way to make that software fly is to replace the hard disk with a large SSD drive.
  10. tmoerel macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2008
    Sorry but this is plainly untrue. RAM is much much faster than even the fastest SSD drives. And also swapping to SSD causes a lot of writing of the SSD which will wear it out quicker.
    There is no replacement for a lot of RAM!
  11. Beanoir macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2010
    51 degrees North
    This man speaketh the truth.

    I have installed CS5 on my MBA (2GB RAM) and it runs fine, will start up fine, and I can use it to do "light work" which to me, is adjusting contrast, cropping etc and maybe a bit of airbrushing and patching, which is in Photoshop terms, very very basic stuff. It's ok for sub 10-12meg files, anymore and it starts to slow up quite a bit, and that with only one file open at a time. I however didn't buy my MBA to run CS5, and won't expect it to perform like the office pro does...because it cost a fraction of the price funnily enough.

    If you want to start batch processing large RAW files and multi layer work etc, then you need much more than an MBA, even 4gb won't make it much better to be honest, you need something proper!
  12. Corax macrumors 6502


    Apr 27, 2009
    Willemstad - Curaçao
    I use Aperture on my MacBook Air and it runs fine! Dunno about CS5.
  13. INEEDANOTEBOOK macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2010
    Icy City
    Just FYI:
    I just come back from the Apple store and the rep told me that if we take a 4GO (or any tailored computer), it is not refundable...:mad:
    (Sorry I just had to rant again...)
  14. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    Nobody knows about Lion, but, I suspect it will be fine. Aperture -- depends on what you do. But Photoshop -- well, my personal experience is that if you are really using it for what it was built for, you need 4 GB. With my work pattern, 2 GB is not enough, but, 4 GB is more than enough.
  15. teski macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2010
    Agreed. I do a lot of RAW processing with multiple layers and the 4GB of RAM is a must for me.
  16. mcdonaldtosh macrumors newbie


    Nov 22, 2010
    Get a Mac Pro, and if you can't afford it you're photography/design/whatever probably sucks.
  17. naktak macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2007

    ^ Judging by your criteria, your judgement sucks. How's that?
  18. tmoerel, Dec 26, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010

    tmoerel macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2008
    You Sir are a rude and insensitive clod. Some of the best photographers in the world live in third world countries where they cannot make a lot of money with their art. They might not be able to afford a Mac Pro or other big machine!
    That you live in a part of the world where success is measured by the amount of money and stuff you accumulate does not mean you have to judge others by your poor standards.
  19. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Because what you can afford shows how much talent you have. :rolleyes: Why get an overpowered computer just to show off your income ? I'd rather spend my money on things I will use.
  20. damnyooneek macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2005
    sorry but this is plainly untrue.
  21. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    what's untrue about it? SSD wear is grossly overblown, but their read/write tops out at ~300MB/s. RAM reads and writes are measured in GB/s.
  22. fswmacguy macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2009
    The last time I checked, SSDs lasted about the same as spinny hard drives. Most drives will last ~51 years before crapping out. That means you would have to do complete write to fill drive -> reformat -> write to fill drive -> reformat -> etc... all day, every day, all month, all year, for 51 years.

    People overblow hard drive wear worse than they overblew the Beenie Baby craze. Your stuffed lizard is not worth $500. Hard drives don't die after only a few years.
  23. James4894 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2010
    I have an iMac i5 as my main computer for photography.
    I am just planning to purchase a MacBook Air for on the go word processing, web surfing, and light Photoshop/Aperture.
  24. altecXP macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2009
    OS X says I'm using almost 3GB just running Chrome, Adium, Activity Monitor and OS X. 4GB is the bare minimum. I find it stupid Apple even offers 2GB.
  25. DevMcLin, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010

    DevMcLin macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2010
    Can you sort you usage and tell me which programs using the ram?

    I'm using the 2GB 13" and have 900 MB free RAM after opened 5 Tabs in Safari and using iChat.

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