From PC to Mac: Dedicated to Photoshop

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by RickinWaSt, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. RickinWaSt macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2014
    Good Day...

    I'm planning on moving from a PC to a 13" Mac Book Pro (Non Retina). This Mac would be dedicated to running the most current version of Photoshop CC 2015.5.

    I would like some input on how best to configure the Mac Book Pro to run Photoshop without issues.

    Note: There's been a great deal of discussion on the Adobe site by folks complaining how slow CC 2015.5 runs on their Macs. Source:

    Note: Additionally, iMac user's have complained about how sluggish PS CC 2015.5 is on their iMac Retina 5K systems. Source:

    Thank you for your assistance!
  2. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Dec 20, 2013
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    why would you choose that computer? how do you see it working for your situation?
  3. 960design macrumors 68030

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    I agree, stick with windows if Adobe products are a requirement for your job. Proper tool for the work and all.

    Asus makes a fine windows laptop: I have last year's model and am pretty impressed with it.

    My daily computer is still my MBPr, but I choose to use Pixelmater and Sketch for fast stuff and Affinity for photo work.
  4. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    I read through the 2nd Adobe forums thread. If people with iMacs that are loaded with a lot more CPU and graphics power than a 13" rMBP are having problems, I wouldn't consider the Macbook Pro at all.

    I'm running a 5k iMac, loaded, and my lag problems range from slight to nonexistent, with LR, which I use every day. PS sometimes doesn't seem too fast. And oddly enough, InDesign sometimes gets laggy.

    I think you'd be asking too much of that 13".
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Why would you buy a 4 year old laptop for this work???

    I would rethink completely, the best way to run modern applications is with modern hardware, set your budget and then buy the best hardware for your use case that you can for that price. Hint a 4year old dual core laptop with hd4000 graphics is not a good choice.
  6. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    If you live in CC just get a PC or better yet a desktop and a Sypder
  7. Reality4711 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2009
    The OP's choice of that laptop seems to indicate(sorry if I am Wrong) a limited budget?

    If so then the budget is the first port of call in this decision.

    On a Mac using Adobe (any Adobe) my first recommendation for general performance would be a 6core MacPro (late 2013) with the 700 series GPUs. So about as far away from the OPs stated choice as I can go.

    An external display is not mentioned and working on a 13" screen would be hard work indeed.

    If you are happy working non. 4K then perhaps a 2nd hand MacPro plus an Eizo Flexscan 24"/27" in..

    This combination (in the UK anyway) IMHO would give excellent speed, colour stability and longterm reliability on a budget.

    By all means stay with Windows, but if Apple is your goal a bit of a rethink is needed here.

    Most Macs, to me, seem to struggle with 4/5K displays and the large GPU calculations necessary in Photographic software. So at the moment I still recommend the old style displays when speed is primary.

    Regards Sharkey
  8. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    I recently downsized from a 15" rMBP (2012) to a 13" rMBP (2015), the performance is similar but I wanted something a bit lighter for travel. While the 13" rMBP is a nice little machine the screen size is way too small to be used for full time photographic work, it's just good enough for when I'm out on the road and I don't want to carry anything to heavy as I have a load of camera gear too. For full time photo I would look at a 27" monitor, perhaps two.

    As for the PC/Mac debate I have both and have used both for LR and PS. I have a 6-core nMP with D700's that cost around £4k and an ageing PC with a generation 3 core i7 (3770k) with a decent graphics card and a load of SSD's. The only time the Mac is quicker is when it comes to raw CPU performance, and the only time LR really needs this is when building 1:1 previews. The rest of the time the PC is quicker, more stable (doesn't crash when GPU acceleration is turned on) and the app works pretty much identically on both platforms.

    If I were the OP, and I didn't need the portability, I would upgrade the PC as it's the more flexible and faster platform. Components can be swapped out to suit the budget, there's no need to upgrade the whole machine at once. It might even leave some money free for a decent monitor which is a must for photography work. Sure Macs are nice, but OS X and iCloud won't make photo edits any quicker.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I found the 13" laptop to be too limiting for Photoshop. Now I would consider myself a light user of PS, but I cannot imagine using the 13" as my main computer to run PS. I would suggest a tool that better fits the need
  10. Reality4711 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2009
    Having used Windows and Mac with most versions of PS up to CS5 in all honesty there is little or no difference in day to day use. If you are used to the Windows way then over time your speed will increase as your muscle memory takes over from having to think about every action. The same applies to Mac with my personal proviso that I have found that process less protracted with Mac software+hardware combination. That said, the OP is asking for guidance on moving to a Mac laptop.

    My first thoughts stand; however if that move is set in stone a high end 15" refurb. or from a good second hand retailer will be a good option. The longevity of the Mac product plus maybe acquiring a CS5 install.

    This massive piece of software is highly competitive with its newer sibling and on the newest Mac you can afford offers a professional setup to last many years.

    I am not a great believer in the newest/fastest all bells and whistles approach because if my living depends on my customers depending on me - well the rest follows.

    My moving to Affinity was a decision bought about by that pressure no longer being there and PS moving to a 'rental' of service. I like to own rather than rent (post war baby).

    In the OPs case maybe, just maybe the deep PS dependance could be the cause of the hard decision he needs to make with the Mac choice. Please do not jump on me, I know I am off course here. But. Base level 13"/15" rMBP+Affinity+RAM of choice+ display as mentioned in my previous is another cost effective way to go which may offer more 'bells and whistles' and a setup that can be tweaked in the future.



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9 September 26, 2016