Mac for Photography work

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mavericks7913, May 19, 2016.

  1. mavericks7913 macrumors 6502

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    May 17, 2014
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    NY
    #1
    Well, I'm using Macbook pro 15inch 2013 full upgraded(Except for SDD) for college and works currently. I mostly use Photoshop, premier, and Lightroom only and sometimes play games. I have no problems for these days except for screen size, glossy panel(Window is right behind me), slow performance for RAM, and accessories like external HDDs. Anyway, not too soon but I might need better computer for photography works. Adding extra displays would be nice since Macbook pro 15inch is very small to me but I also need better performance. But I am not sure if I should stick with Mac OS computer or not. PC already perform way better than 5k iMac with same price(http://petapixel.com/2016/04/25/4k-pc-trounces-4k-imac-photography-speed-test/). Mac Pro is very expensive. One of my friend go Dell Alienware desktop for $3000 with great performance. Compare to Mac pro, I really hesitating that Mac pro doesn't even perform well base on its price.

    For now, I'm thinking to purchase extra display for Macbook pro but I def need desktop one day. Any advices?
     
  2. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #2
    The article compares a custom built PC with an overclocked water cooled CPU running at 4.5GHz to an off the shelf iMac. As for price, that $4500 for the iMac is at least $400 over current price new and the $4000 for the PC is all in parts. Much assembly needed. To have it built for you might cost an extra grand. What ports were used for the transfer tests? The iMac has Thunderbolt. The PC motherboard is USB3 and eSATA.

    Here's a different take on the results from the Mac perspective:

    Import time per image: 0.023 sec
    Smart Preview: One per 1.39 sec
    Image Development per frame 1.035 sec
    (The PC did the Image Preview for the pano faster, but the merge times were almost the same)

    If I wanted a great photo editor I'd get a 4GHz i7 iMac 27 with 8 gigs of ram and upgrade it to 24 myself. The 2 gig video card is fine for photography. 4 is overkill.

    As for the Mac Pro, that is a video and production FX workstation that supports something like 8 monitors. It's a super computer in desktop clothing.

    Call me easily satisfied...

    Dale
     
  3. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #3
    iTunes is a power hog. If you have a 2013 MBP move some of your files including music to an external drive. After you have edited videos and photos, move the ones that you don't need to an external drive. One of my MBP is 2004 and works fine. Sure rendering movies takes time but I don't mine because it's not like I'm working for a big production team. There are a lot of things that slow these MBP down. I'm sure my 2015 MBP gets hung up because LR is connected to the dayum web. Whoever thought of that would be more productive is crazy too.

    iMacs are a nice addition like Designer Dale said.
     
  4. Moakesy macrumors regular

    Moakesy

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    Mar 1, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I have a slightly lower spec machine to yours (I'd say loaded, but not fully loaded), the main difference being it has the SSD. I find that it's very quick for Lightroom / Affinity Photo work. I would guess the performance issue is going to be the hard drive. I'm not sure if it's possible to change to a SSD and save yourself a tonne of cash...maybe someone on here can say if it's possible?

    I got the Dell P2415Q for exactly the same reasons as you state, and it's fabulous for photo work. Highly recommend it.


    Finally, I know it's not a direct comparison, but I brought my son a great spec'd Windows PC for gaming as his Xmas present. Based on reviews, looking at the specs etc I thought it would be so much faster than my machine. In reality though, I found it quite underwhelming given what I'd paid.....a 2015 high spec PC just didn't do anything better than my 2013 MBP. Your money, your choice of course....
     
  5. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #5
    A PC will definitely give you better value for the money and an ability to customize down the road, but the machine you have now should be adequate. The cheapest way out would be to boot from an SSD externally through USB 3 and use an external monitor. The slow speed you mention is undoubtedly due to spinning hard rive, not RAM (how much RAM do you have?). An SSD will make this feel like a new machine.
     
  6. v3rlon macrumors 6502

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    Sep 19, 2014
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    Earth (usually)
    #6
    If using the non-retina, upgrading to SSD is as easy as any other laptop. Go get the OS from app store, extract the install to a USB stick (tons of info on how via your favorite search engine), and get a small set of screwdrivers ready.

    The SSD can replace the hard drive in the laptop, or their are options to delete the DVD drive - which is a great idea for most people, but be aware there are limitations there depending on what kit you go with. The DVD connection doesn't seem to be as fast, and I ran into issues trying to put a SATA III drive there where a SATA II worked. YMMV.

    If a retina, there are options to upgrade the SSD through 2013 (I think).

    In any event, I use an 15" MBPRO retina exclusively. I use an LG ultra wide monitor with external keyboard, mouse, hard drives, and such as my 'desktop,' but take everything with me in my laptop. Obviously files like FCPX libraries must stay home. It renders images quickly enough that it is generally waiting on me and not the other way around. Videos are a bit slower to render, but editing in 1080p is not an issue.
     
  7. mavericks7913 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I don't think so. it has SDD and RAM is 16gb.
     
  8. Moakesy macrumors regular

    Moakesy

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    #8
    So it DOES have a SSD? In which case, it's similar spec to mine....16Gb RAM and SSD....for final piece of the performance jigsaw is that it has the 2.3 i7 processor.

    So when you say you need better performance, where is the performance causing you frustration?

    Lightroom takes about 1.5 seconds to open, then sifting through photos and editing is virtually instantaneous (virtually, but not quite). I wonder if there is another issue at play here, rather than lack of horsepower??

    Unless you just want a new machine of course....and there's nothing wrong with that :p
     
  9. mavericks7913 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Well opening LR takes time but still faster than any other computer with HDD only. But I still feel that both LR and Photoshop are quite slow. Having bigger monitor would be the best choice for now.
     
  10. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #10
    Move to an iPad for work in the field (email, browsing, image import into camera roll...etc.). Then when you are home, use LR on a 5K iMac to import from iPad and do serious editing.
     
  11. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #11
    Have a look at the BenQ SW2700PT monitor.
    Great for stills photography.
    The price is much lower than the Eizo and NEC options, but comes with hardware calibration software, monitor hood (to counter act that window) and a matte screen. It will also show 99% of the Adobe RGB colour space.
    Then at a later date if you need to update your Mac, look at a maxed out Mac Mini if a desk top suits your needs. Especially if they update it soon (which they should).
     
  12. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #12
    That comparison cited by PetaPixel is, I'm sorry, idiotic.

    They are comparing a 2.5k display to a 5k. So, subtract the $1k monitor and add a 5k, and the price of the PC system jumps $1200 to over $5k. Even assuming the graphics don't have to be modified.

    Not only that, but working with higher definition monitors is faster. You can see more in grid view, and more of a single image at a time. In real world tasks that would wipe any small difference (assuming any even exists after having more equal monitors) in things like culling. And BTW, who imports into Lr and goes into Develop without previews? do these guys know how to use Lr?

    Anyway, I think the retina Macs are the best photo computers out there bar none. The only limiting factor IMHO is if you print or output and need a wider color gamut, but that's easily solved by adding say a wide gamut NEC monitor. It's the best value out there, and as you can see by the dumb comparison about 20% cheaper than a comparable PC solution.

    You've got mobile covered with the MBP. Going Mac preserves your software investment as well. I'd favor it over the MP as well.
     
  13. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #13
    Something is not right here. Move your catalog off to an external drive and free up some space on the startup disk. I boot to SSD through USB 3 (slower than your PCIe connection) and use my internal (iMac) Fusion drive to hold my photo catalog and other files. Both LR and PS open almost instantly. My wife uses a 13" 2013 and the same is true on her machine.
     
  14. mavericks7913 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Do you mean putting the catalog on my desktop? I put everything including catalog to external hard disk.
    --- Post Merged, May 20, 2016 ---
    Wow nice display. I should get this later. But which port should I buy and use?
     
  15. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #15
    I meant to external disk, as you apparently have. I was thinking your startup disk didn't have enough free space (10%-20%, ideally). I can't explain why the system is slow. I use two systems that are lesser. LR and PS open almost immediately. Premiere takes five or eight seconds/less than ten.
     
  16. mavericks7913 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    WTH seriously? LR and Photoshop takes more than 5 sec to open and loading images takes time.
     
  17. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #17
    Thunderbolt to display port cable is included in the box.
     
  18. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #18
    Well, 5 seconds isn't that bad, but something doesn't seem right. I did some testing when I got home. LR opens in 3 seconds, PS in 4 seconds. It feels instantaneous. Premiere opens in 8 seconds. Again, this is running apps off USB 3. Your PCIe should be faster, by about 100 MB/s.
     
  19. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #19
    You aren't actually complaining about 5 second launch times are you? I've run data on punch card machines. You have no idea how good it is these days.

    And yes, I'm older than dirt.

    Dale
     
  20. mavericks7913 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I said more than 5 sec not 5 sec. I count the time and it takes 15 sec. Not only for loading speed.
     
  21. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    Between the coasts
    #21
    How often do you open and close these apps? If you're really working, you open them at the start of your day, and they stay open.
     
  22. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #22
    When I used Photoshop, Aperture and InDesign on a regular basis I set my computer to open them on startup and then scheduled that process. Everything was there when I came with my morning coffee.

    Most designers keep active projects in the Dock and let all related apps run in the background. A computer is like a machine shop, you keep the tools you use most often plugged in and ready to use. This is all part of developing an efficient work flow that fits what you do. Cut your wait time down by knowing exactly what you want to do and having things ready and accessible before you even sit down. Then you can get things done and save money on equipment at the same time.

    Dale
     
  23. mavericks7913 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    lol do you seriously know about LR? How do you backup? How do you apply profile? etc? You need to shut down in order to do those tasks.
     
  24. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #24
    I checked this out and was surprised to find that you need to quit LR to perform a backup. Doesn't really make sense to me. With Aperture, I used Carbon Copy Cloner to make regular scheduled copies of my A3 library on an external drive. Also backed up the entire system on another drive. Going go a RAID system when I replace my computer.

    Dale
     
  25. bent christian, May 23, 2016
    Last edited: May 23, 2016

    bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #25
    If you are booting from an SSD with 16GB or RAM, 15 seconds is far too too much time for Lightroom or Photoshop to open. Something is definitely not right. Those are spinning HDD launch times.
    --- Post Merged, May 23, 2016 ---
    Testing on my work machine. 2010 iMac 4GB RAM, 7200 RPM HDD:

    Photoshop loads in 7 seconds with nothing but a web browser running.
    Photoshop loads in 19 seconds with Illustrator, InDesgin, and a web browser running. Spotify is playing music.
     

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