Base MBA for handling a lot of raw files

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by GRSM, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. GRSM macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2013
    My main computer is a pc desktop that was build mainly for video and photo editing. I can easily work with 1000+ raw 16meg raw files in lightroom and adobe camera raw (photoshop) but now im looking not for a replacement of that pc, but just for a laptop to work on the few times per week im away from my main workstation, just to not get that behind in my workflow...

    My problem now is that i dont know if a base model 13' MBA will be enough for at least editing (not exporting) that many files at once.

    I do care about screen quality (also considering a 13' non retina)
    Battery life is not an issue.
    Do care about portability.
    Wont use it for video editing.
    Ill move the LR catalogs or xmp files to main pc, so render/export times wont be an issue.
    Other uses: email, blogging, light dreamweaver use, photo mechanic, surfing.

    So... Any experience playing around with that many files on those programs? Ill appreciate any feedback you guys could give.. :)
  2. Miltz macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2013
    New York
    Based on your needs if you do get a MBA, I would max it out. i7,512,8GB
    The base model wouldn't be able to handle that kind of load, not to mention the 128GB SSD would fill up too fast and further degrade performance once it fills up with RAW files. Let us know how it works out for you. I'm a photographer myself and have i7 2600k, 16GB, 512GB Samsung 840 PRO desktop for my editing. At times even that seems to lag a bit, so I would never try to do professional photo editing on a base model.
  3. Y So Jelly macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2013
    Go to the store and compare fullscreen photos on the air & cmbp. While both have the best TNs you will ever see, I found the cmbp to have more accurate color reproduction. The glare is much worse though. If you do get the air pay for the ram upgrade & core i7. Otherwise base cmbp & slap in 16 gb ram.
  4. AXs macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    you 'can' manage with Macbook Air, but why do you want to pay $2000 for a system (maxed air) that key's strength isn't designed to do what you need?

    Air's key strengths are- portability, battery life, low power consumption, low temperature and fan noise...
    To do what you stated negates all those strengths. Plus the display is 3 years old.

    Go with 13" Retina or 15"Retina(ideal), if in budget.
    Wait till next month for the refresh though
  5. m98custom1212 macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2013
    Toledo, Ohio
    If you have have main workstation that does most of heavy lifting. I would get just macbook air either the base model or i5/265/gb/8gb. Granted your editing wont super fast but you want stuff on the go.

    What about remote into your desktop?
  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    That is a good point... but even rounding up from 1000+ 30MB images to 2000 50MB images is still only 100GB... so the OP can probably get by with a 256GB MBA given this is the primary application and the MBA will be "emptied" once back at the main computer.

    Portability was high on the OP's list. There is a significant difference between the MBA and MBP.

    Personally I will generally recommend a 13" or 15" MBP if it is a sole machine. However... a powerful workstation + MBA is a better choice (IMHO) if one wants dual machines. Having a iMac/MBA combo is my preference for a number of reasons. I am tempted by a Mac Pro/MBA combo... but I probably will not bite.


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