Are Macbooks capable enough for Photoshop?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by hans3185, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. hans3185 macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2008
    I ask because I've been lurking the forums for a while, looking at all the "Macbook or Macbook Pro" threads, and whenever someone mentions running Photoshop everyone usually hollers out "Macbook Pro".

    I wish that were my case, but ultimately I'm going to get a Macbook.

    So my question is, is a Macbook capable enough to be running Photoshop? Just slight post-processing, but I usually open huge RAW files which make my current PC cry in agony. Will I have any trouble in a 2.2 ghz Macbook?
  2. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    With enough memory, a Macbook will be fine for Photoshop work.
  3. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    Drop 4GB of ram into the macbook and it will be perfect.
  4. urbanskywalker macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2007
    These forums have a tendency to keep upping the anti. Any recent macBook will be fine, and unless you are working with massive files, 2 gigs of ram should be sufficient.
  5. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
    If you're charging clients by the hour to do big projects, then no. You'll be up all night and your lap will be red and sweaty.

    If you're doing touch-up on your significant other's laugh lines for a holiday card, then you're fine.

    For instance, I currently have a 2.0 GHz C2D w/ 2GB RAM running 10.5.4 and CS3. Just tonight I used the Automate dialogue to resize 25 two- to three-MB jpgs (all open simultaneously). The process took about 90 seconds. The fan went full-bore but it got done.

    If you're shooting RAW, the place you might suffer is in screen real estate. Get used to scrolling around and zooming in and out. But you'll be fine with enough RAM.
  6. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    Just max out the ram and it will be fine for your purposes.
  7. hans3185 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2008

    Getting a Mini-Dvi to VGA would fix this right?

    And thanks to everyone's replies.
  8. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    i only have 2gb- 1.9ghz Amd turion64x2 core and cs2 in running smooth.. im going to get cs3 soon
  9. illidian macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    The primary difference between the MacBook and MacBook Pro for Photoshop use is by and large screen real estate.
  10. klb028 macrumors 6502

    Aug 10, 2006
    I use Photoshop Elements with 2 gigs of RAM on my MacBook. Not a problem. :)
  11. Apple-Man23 macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2007
    the mb even without the extra ram should suffice 2 gigs is still a lot of ram but the extra will help
  12. yaroldb macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2007
    To give you an idea... I have a Rev A Macbook that is over 2 years old. It is a Core Duo(not even a Core 2 Duo) and has 2gb of ram (the most you put in this machine). I shoot with an Olympus in Raw and the files are about 14mb each. I run PhotoShop CS3 without any problems. I'm sure it is much faster on the new Macbooks.
  13. Chappers macrumors 68020


    Aug 12, 2003
    At home
  14. Nicolecat macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2008
    Yeah, I bought a macbook in May...opted to upgrade the memory a little...and I am very satisfied with it using the entire cs3 suite. :)

    Have fun with it!
  15. Stratification macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2005
    Spokane, WA
    I use my Macbook for nearly all of the CS3 apps with very little trouble. The memory upgrade mentioned is a must, but I'm very happy. Mind you I'm not editing multi-GB sized files, but I am a fairly heavy user. One thing to keep in mind though, is that the next version of Photoshop is likely to make usage of the GPU which is obviously going to give a little more advantage to the MBP. You'll be plenty happy with the Macbook though.
  16. macworkerbee macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2008
    Well, you can do some Photoshop work on a current macbook with the ram maxed out. The main issue for me is if you need to do any kind of serious work this machine will slow your workflow way down. Also it may not run CS4 or later versions of Photoshop that well.

    If you can't afford the mbp and are only using the macbook for recreational and light post work it should suffice.
  17. ZacUSNYR macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    My macbook with 4gb of ram does great for what I use it for.
  18. Brundlefly macrumors member


    Oct 4, 2003
    Hamilton Ontario
    CS4 is supposed to take advantage

    of the GPU to take large files and use the video memory to make large files seem small and render quickly.

    As the Macbook has no "real" GPU, you might be stuck suffering through with CS3 while all us cool kids are rocking in CS4 :p
  19. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    CS3 runs perfectly on my (last rev.) MacBook w/ 1GB of RAM. Cheers
  20. hans3185 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2008

    Haha, don't worry, I'm still rockin' the CS2.
  21. Stratification macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2005
    Spokane, WA
    Just to clarify, CS4 probably won't run worse than CS3 if you don't have a proper GPU. You likely just won't get a few of the benefits.

    You did say you have CS2 though, which isn't Intel native if I remember right, so you're going to take a rather large performance hit, an upgrade might just be worthwhile.
  22. ttw951 macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2008
  23. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Not relevant at all with CS3. CPU speed is king, regardless of MB or MBP.

    Even moderate to heavy work is fine on a MB, unless you're using Aperture.

    A 2 gHz MBP would have taken the same amount of time.

    Like a 15" MBP would be any better? Seriously, for the money saved over the MBP he could get a 24" S-IPS display and have true 8-bit color as display 2.

    With this said, Adobe is planning to leverage gpus in future editions of Photoshop.
  24. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    It renders my 30D raw files in about 2.5 seconds. My MBP renders them in about 1.5". My Hackintosh renders them instantaneously. :)
  25. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    I've a 2007 2GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook with 1GB RAM and it handles Photoshop and Flash just fine. Obviously it's not the biggest number-cruncher in the Mac lineup so you might be seeing those blue progress bars a while longer than you might on a MBP when performing more intensive tasks.

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