Help a newbie with specs for photo edit?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ChickenMac, May 21, 2012.

  1. ChickenMac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    #1
    Hi, I'm looking to get a MacBook Pro for photo editing, but I don't have a clear understanding of what the specs mean and how that stuff relates to my purposes on the computer. Basically I want something with a good screen for photo viewing, enough memory to hold thousands of photos and songs, decent speed to watch movies online. I don't think I need anything super high tech at the moment. It would really help me out if you could take a look at the (probably crappy) specs of my current old Powerbook and tell me very simply what is bad and what aspects to look for when buying a new or used replacement. Thanks so much. :apple:

    Machine Name: PowerBook G4 12"
    Machine Model: PowerBook6,8
    CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (1.2)
    Number Of CPUs: 1
    CPU Speed: 1.5 GHz
    L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
    Memory: 768 MB
    Bus Speed: 167 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: 4.9.0f0
    Sudden Motion Sensor:
    State: Enabled
    Version: 1.0
     
  2. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

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    Wisconsin
    #2
    The upgrade to an i Series chip from Intel and the tremendous increase in RAM will benefit you greatly with your photo editing.
     
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #3
    You should get an Intel Mac. The one you've listed the specs for is at least 6 years old.
     
  4. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

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    #4
    That's why he says this: "It would really help me out if you could take a look at the (probably crappy) specs of my current old Powerbook and tell me very simply what is bad and what aspects to look for when buying a new or used replacement."
     
  5. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #5
    I did. Buy an Intel Mac. It doesn't matter which one, really.
     
  6. Xcallibur, May 21, 2012
    Last edited: May 21, 2012

    Xcallibur macrumors 6502a

    Xcallibur

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    #6
    Okay, to start off with, your CPU Type is an old architecture which is comparably slow to modern CPU's such as Intel's iX series. So your going to want a computer with at least an i3/i5 processor, this should suffice for many years to come. If you are definitely buying a Macbook Pro, you will get at least an i5 CPU, which is more than enough.

    Secondly, your memory, also known as RAM, is quite low, this will affect the speed at which you can work with the programs on your computer. The lower the RAM the longer processes will take. So for photo editing, RAM of 2GB or more should be more than enough for light multitasking purposes; although more is generally considered better, especially when heavily multitasking (you really don't need any more than 8GB of RAM though).

    You mentioned you would like a nice screen to view pictures on, if you're considering the 13" Macbook, it may be worth waiting for the new revisions which should be released in the next month or so; I say this as in the current Macbook 13", the screen resolution is 1280x800, which when used for photo editing can be quite restrictive. The new revisions of the Macbook Pro's are rumoured to have a dramatic increase in resolution which will definitely improve the quality of photo viewing, it'll probably look much better whilst watching movies too. For storing thousands of photos and songs, you should be looking for a HDD capacity of 500GB or more.

    That should set you off on your decision!
     
  7. Donka macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    Location:
    Scotland
    #7
    What kind of photo editing are you planning on doing and what software will you be using? If you are looking at working with RAW files from a dSLR or similar and using high end software like Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture then a lot of RAM will realy benefit you. If you like to work with lots of filters or do complex editing then a faster cpu will also be of great benefit although the current generation i5 & i7 are plenty powerful enough.
     
  8. ChickenMac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 21, 2012
    #8
    Wow, you guys are fast! Thanks so much for the tips.

    That's exactly what I'll be doing, working with RAW files in Lightroom. Thanks!
     
  9. Xcallibur macrumors 6502a

    Xcallibur

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    #9
    The more RAM the better then! I'd go for 4GB-8GB.
     
  10. Donka macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    Scotland
    #10
    Yup, I have the MBP 13.3 i5 2.4 with 8GB ram and Lightroom works very well indeed with my Nikon RAW images. Personally I don't see the need for > 8GB for my usage but if you are jumping in and out of Photoshop as well when working with several images or layers then I would look seriously at 16GB.
     
  11. ChickenMac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 21, 2012
    #11
    Thank you for all the useful replies! I now have a better idea what to look for.
     
  12. ChickenMac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 21, 2012
    #12
    One more question?

    I'm looking at used MBPs from a couple years ago, and I see that some have Intel Core Duo, others Intel Core i5. Does this refer to processing speed, with the i5 being faster and more current? Since I'm wanting to use this laptop for photo editing, should I look for an i5?

    Thanks again!!
     
  13. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

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    #13
    Yes, the i5 is newer. I would reccomend an "i" series processor over any Core Duo. The speed difference is well worth it.
     
  14. Donka macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    #14
    +1. If funds allow, I would go with an i series over a core 2 duo.
     
  15. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816

    Astroboy907

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    Spaceball One
    #15
    The specs you posted are quite old in todays terms. Time to upgrade!

    Be careful about what intel mac you get though. I recommend getting something Late 2007 or above, just because of RAM limits. If you have money, got for an i5 or i7 processor. Also- new macbook should be coming out within the next month or so. You could get a new or refurbished one for a good price, and I'll bet ebay prices will drop a few hundred too. So it might be better to wait. Look for a Core 2 Duo or above (NEVER a Core Solo, or Core Duo. These processors are 5 years old, and not much faster than what you have).

    If you are getting a macbook Pro, I have a Mid 2009 2.66ghz with 6gb of RAM installed. So far it has been pretty good with photos and photoshop. I don't work with RAW a lot, but a fast Core 2 Duo should handle it with not much lag, but an i series processor will be faster.

    Edit: If you are wanting to hold a large media library, you can upgrade to
    A. A hard drive, capacity ranges between nothing to 1TB
    B. An SSD- these drives are amazingly fast but expensive for larger sizes
    C. A hybrid SSD/Hard Drive. I think samsung sells one that is 750gb HD (at 7200 RPM, thats fast), coupled with 8gb of SSD storage for files and programs you use a lot.
     
  16. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 26, 2011
    #16
    I suggest budgeting for a good quality external display. Portable Mac displays are not suitable for critical color work and are too small for extended use.

    I use a base model early 2011 13" MBP with an NEC 2490WUXi2 display. I like NEC displays because the company has a large selection of CCFL backlit monitors, they all feature matte panels and they are built like tanks with a four year guarantee. Great ergonomic adjustments too especially compared to the lack of any adjustments except tilt on iMacs and Apple displays.
     
  17. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

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    Dec 21, 2011
    #17
    That's exactly what I do. 2011 MBP13 with a color calibrated external monitor.

    Not reading all the posts... yes, more RAM and most importantly IMO... an SSD. The load time of those huge RAW files takes some time especially if you need to go into an external editor (like PhotoShop) from time to time.

    I edit/process 1000 pics a day sometimes. The SSD makes all the difference.
     

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