MacBook 12': Garageband, Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 27, 2017
Hi community,

I would like to ask you if the M3 Macbook will cover my needs.

I won't ask for any day tasks (office, browsing etc) as I know that the MacBook M3 2016 can handle these tasks.

What I would like to know is what about Garageband, Lightroom, Photoshop and InDesign.

I am not an expert of these programs but as an amateur i will use them every now and then.

Unfortunately, I can't afford the extra 200$ for the 13' 2016 MCB Pro and furthermore I need an ultraportable solution.

Thank you for your answers


macrumors 6502
Jan 4, 2008
Stuttgart, Germany
Macbook M5 user here, no problem for me with Photoshop, Lightroom and GarageBand.

Yes, it's not as "snappy" as my MacBook Pro, but it isn't supposed to be. And all applications are perfectly usable.

Consider also your storage requirements - the M3 comes with a 256GB SSD, so if you're going to be doing a lot of media creation (photos/music/whatever) you might want to consider some external storage to expand that (GarageBand alone is nearly 15GB if you download all the loops and samples!)
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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 27, 2017
Hi @chriscl

Thank you for your answer. I use external disk for my projects and afterall I am a hobbyist not a pro :)

I see you have M5 which is much "stronger" than M3 that I am thinking to buy.

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macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2011
Yeah, I have an m7 here. Couple things:

1) GarageBand should be fine. But you might wanna consider more storage because GarageBand will surprisingly take up a huge amount of disk space after a while, especially if you start stacking plug-ins. And yeah, this is more on top of the initial 15GB size.

2) Lightroom is horrible. Hardware acceleration does not seem to work at all. Highly recommended that you replace it with Capture One Pro.

3) Photoshop is surprisingly not that bad, but for bigger projects, it can still go to a crawl. I'd recommend that you replace it with something more efficient. Hell, even GIMP or Pixelmator would work better.


macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2017
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I'm using a M3, 2016. Since the day one this little fella surprised me. It's not a fast thing, obviously. Bear in mind that it's a fanless machine.
But the overall performance is so good! I'd run Photoshop with no issues. Indesign takes a few more seconds to load up, but works fine. I'have done simple editing using Final Cut Pro, too. You need to consider waiting about a couple of secs more to every task.
I don't like Lightroom, there's better choices over there. Like Bill-p I prefer Capture One. But I had never tried it in Macbook. This machine is not intended to this kind of work, I think.
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