Laptop advice - URGENT

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Nickwell24, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Nickwell24, Apr 10, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015

    Nickwell24 macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2008
    Need input from other Photoshop CS6 Users

    This week I picked up a refurbished 2.5 GHz 13" Macbook Pro and upgraded it to 16GB RAM for Photoshop photo editing. I am running into a lot of hangups even when doing layer masks. The laptop only has the standard 5400 RPM drive and the Intel HD4000 Graphics Card.

    Here's my question - where's the hangup? The CPU or the HD? I edit on a mac mini with the Intel HD4000 in a 2012 QC Mini so I find it difficult to believe the GPU is the hangup (unless dual-core vs quad-core effects the GPU that much).

    I have an SSD on order, the Samsung 850 EVO, but if the consensus of the forums is the CPU just isn't enough to handle CS6 with multiple layers (Normally I'll have 10+ layers for photo) then I'll need to return it within Apple's 14 day grace period. I did my due diligence prior to purchase and everybody said this laptop would be sufficient, so i'm a bit thrown as to why I'm experience issues.

    Please Help! I have 10 days left to sort this out.

    Current laptop Specs:
    Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 9.37.58 AM.png
  2. themumu macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2011
    It's 99.9999% the HDD. If you are gonna get the SSD before the return period ends, I'd wait and plug it in.

    Were you using the Mac Mini in your sig before that with no issues? If so, you should be fine once you throw out that hard disk.
  3. Nickwell24, Apr 10, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015

    Nickwell24 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2008
    Yes the SSD will actually be arriving today and the Mac in my sig is my main computer. I just have a nice long boring shift at work and figured if it was the CPU I'd give myself some extra time to search for the replacement.

    I truly hope you're right, I love the 13" form factor for the portability and hate thinking about returning to a 15".
  4. steveash macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2008
    You should also check your Photoshop performance settings. In particular the memory allocation. Details are here:
  5. Nickwell24 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2008
  6. kenoh macrumors demi-god


    Jul 18, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    I use a 2010 mid 2.53 ghz i5 mbp with 8gb and a ssd and i have no issues...
  7. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    ALWAYS have boot, OS, apps, and caches on an SSD if at all possible. Put data libraries on large external drives connected via USB3 or TB. For backup have TM backing up everything to a Time Capsule or separate backup drive.
  8. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    That might be set too high.
  9. kenoh macrumors demi-god


    Jul 18, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    I use a 2010 mid 2.53 ghz i5 mbp with 8gb ans a ssd and i have no issues... I back up to a NAS and use gigabit wired for storage of photo library.
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    What does Activity Monitor say? Apple includes that app just so you can figure out questions like this. Is the CPU loaded up? Is the I/O rate near as much as the disk can do? Is memory full. Is it being swapped out? Take a look and tell us what you see,

    You tell us how many layers but not what you are doing or the size of the image.

    if Photoshop is paying the bills, I'd say invest in a high end Mac, thats the i7 quad core 27" iMac. You should be spending something some decent percent of yearly gross income on capital equipment and you can write it off on a 3 year schedule. What's $5K (pre tax) compared to the money you will make over the machine's three year lifetime?

    If this is a hobby then just open a second window and work on some other thing while PS riding away, multi task.
  11. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    You can have 4gb of ram or 64gb, your mac will lag because Yosemite does not go well with hdds.
    It does not make any sense and I don't know 100% the reasons behind this, but you will see that once you put in an ssd, all problems will be solved.
  12. Nickwell24 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2008
    Thank you to everybody for your input/advice. After upgrading to the SSD I saw very noticeable performance boosts, there is still some lag at times when I'm trying to mask a lot at once with RAW files (a 2,000 pixel brush at 10% flow to be exact) but when using a brush that's 1,500 pixels or less it's very smooth.

    Now, the mac mini of course is quicker as my current hangup is on the CPU (Activity Viewer will show maxed out CPU when doing a lot of heavy masking or brush work especially) - but to anybody reading this thread for future reference the 13" 2.5 GHz i5 will handle photoshop CS6 quite well IF you're going to upgrade to SSD and additional RAM.

    If I were to grade this computer on it's usability for Photoshop, I'd give it a solid B+ for Digital Photography uses.

    Finalized System Specs: 2.5GHz i5 CPU, 16GB Crucial RAM, 500GB Samsung 850 EVO, Intel HD 4000.
  13. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2010
    I had a 2010 i5 15inch mbp, (8gb) photoshop would get laggy if i had anything else open (e.g. aperture or lightroom).

    Got a 2014 i7 replacement with the 16gb and my problems went away, I assumed it was the ram??

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