Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Macbook Air and photo editing?

SkiHound2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 15, 2018
237
165
More of a hardware question but I figure folks here do quite a bit of image editing. I do most of my editing on a 2019 iMac and will continue to so do. Thinking about a 2020 Macbook Air as a mobile companion. Would probably go with pretty low end specs; 8gb ram, 256gb SSD, and either i3 or i5. My take on the Air is that if you're going to start spending much money on upgrades it's better to looks that 13" Pro. My intended use will mostly be routine stuff like email, web surfing, watching videos, standard work applications, etc. Either i3 or i5 should be fine for that stuff. Was wondering if anyone had tried running LR and/or PS. I'm also very curious about On1 Raw. This would be for organizing and editing a few images while traveling, or sitting on the couch. Any other comments about photo editing and/or other comments about the 2020 Air would be appreciated.

I've also toyed with the idea of picking up the 13" Macbook Pro with 10th generation i5, 16gb of ram, and 512gb SSD since Bestbuy has had them on sale for $1600. But thinking more that the Air would suffice till we see what the ARM based Macbooks look like.

Thanks
 

mollyc

macrumors 68030
Aug 18, 2016
2,992
14,424
I have a 2019 (maybe it's an 18; I bought it in May 2019) MBA that I use like an iPad. I can run LR and PS although quite a bit slower than on my 2017 iMac. But I can do basic editing when traveling with it. For web browsing, movies, programs like Pages/Numbers, etc. it's totally fine and workable. I've never really liked iPads and find my MBA way more functional.

The hardest thing is the screen size since I am used to editing on a 27" screen, but it's definitely better than not having any screen while I am away. 🙂 And my last trip I downloaded some images to LR and edited them, then exported them as a new catalog and imported it to my iMac as a new catalog and it was super easy to move my work over.
 
Comment

Namara

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
2,968
2,827
East of the sun, west of the moon
I've also toyed with the idea of picking up the 13" Macbook Pro with 10th generation i5, 16gb of ram, and 512gb SSD since Bestbuy has had them on sale for $1600. But thinking more that the Air would suffice till we see what the ARM based Macbooks look like.
You can get a like-new MBP 10th gen i5/16/512 for $1529 in the Apple Refurb Store or
- 8th gen i5/16/1TB for $1609
- 10th gen i5/16/1TB for $1699

 
Comment

SkiHound2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 15, 2018
237
165
That's good to hear. I have an iPad and I like it for information retrieval and for things like watching a movie on a plane, or reading. But I miss a keyboard. I know I could go with an iPad Pro and keyboard, but that gets pretty much as heavy and as or more expensive than a lower Macbook Air. So it's at least partially to try as an iPad replacement. And with the pandemic I find myself wanting something portable on which I can do some office related work.
 
Comment

SkiHound2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 15, 2018
237
165
You can get a like-new MBP 10th gen i5/16/512 for $1529 in the Apple Refurb Store or
- 8th gen i5/16/1TB for $1609
- 10th gen i5/16/1TB for $1699


Not sure whether to thank you or curse you ;) but I just ordered it. Don't think I really need it for my intended uses but it will give me lots of overhead. And I can certainly edit photos without a problem. I know the screen is a bit better than on the Air, the cooling system is much better than the Air. The Airs are pretty neat, however. When I looked at the Air configurations an i5 with 512gb SSD and 16gb of ram is $1499. And at that point why aren't you looking at the Pros. And I know they are pretty thermal limited.
 
Comment

Namara

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
2,968
2,827
East of the sun, west of the moon
Not sure whether to thank you or curse you ;) but I just ordered it. Don't think I really need it for my intended uses but it will give me lots of overhead. And I can certainly edit photos without a problem. I know the screen is a bit better than on the Air, the cooling system is much better than the Air. The Airs are pretty neat, however. When I looked at the Air configurations an i5 with 512gb SSD and 16gb of ram is $1499. And at that point why aren't you looking at the Pros. And I know they are pretty thermal limited.
If this is your first Apple refurb, you're in for a pleasant surprise. Which one did you go for?
 
Comment

SkiHound2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 15, 2018
237
165
If this is your first Apple refurb, you're in for a pleasant surprise. Which one did you go for?

I went for the 10th generation i5 with 16gb ram and 512gb SSD. It seems really well balanced in terms of specs and it's the Macbook Pro I've looked at numerous times. Whenever I looked at doing much upgrading to the Air it just seemed you were getting into the Pro range in terms of price. So I was leaning towards the base Air and maybe upgrading from i3 to i5 thinking it would be fine for the majority of what I do but image editing can start taxing things. It'll also run some stat software that I wasn't intending to even install on the Air. I've only heard good things about Apple refurbs. At any rate I made a decision and it's on its way.
 
Comment

Namara

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
2,968
2,827
East of the sun, west of the moon
I went for the 10th generation i5 with 16gb ram and 512gb SSD. It seems really well balanced in terms of specs and it's the Macbook Pro I've looked at numerous times. Whenever I looked at doing much upgrading to the Air it just seemed you were getting into the Pro range in terms of price. So I was leaning towards the base Air and maybe upgrading from i3 to i5 thinking it would be fine for the majority of what I do but image editing can start taxing things. It'll also run some stat software that I wasn't intending to even install on the Air. I've only heard good things about Apple refurbs. At any rate I made a decision and it's on its way.
Congrats, you made an excellent choice. Post back to let us know once you get it, eh?
 
Comment

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 68030
Sep 26, 2017
2,948
13,036
Tanagra (not really)
Nothing wrong with Apple refurb—it will be like buying a new one, and you can even get the Applecare for it. I was going to say, so much of your editing is going to depend on what you’re editing—is it RAW or JPG, 16MP, 20MP, 47MP? JPG edits rather easily on most modern hardware. You already made your choice, but I would have elected to go with the i5 model for sure, as you get 2 more cores and 4 more threads in the CPU department, and Ice Lake has much improved graphics over the 8th and 9th gen Intel. I’m actually thinking about getting the Air myself.
 
Comment

Namara

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
2,968
2,827
East of the sun, west of the moon
You already made your choice, but I would have elected to go with the i5 model for sure, as you get 2 more cores and 4 more threads in the CPU department, and Ice Lake has much improved graphics over the 8th and 9th gen Intel. I’m actually thinking about getting the Air myself.

Did you mean i7? OP ordered a 10th gen i5/16/512 MBP, not an Air.
 
Comment

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 68030
Sep 26, 2017
2,948
13,036
Tanagra (not really)
Did you mean i7? OP ordered a 10th gen i5/16/512 MBP, not an Air.
No, I was referring to the 10th gen i5 on the Air, but it’s the same situation on the MBP. All the 10th gen i5s are 4C/8T chips. The 8th gen i5s were only 4C/4T chips—you had to go to the i7 to get more threads. The difference between the i5 and i7 on the Air does not look especially ”worth it” to me, but going from the i3 to the i5 is a bigger upgrade.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Namara
Comment

SkiHound2

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 15, 2018
237
165
No, I was referring to the 10th gen i5 on the Air, but it’s the same situation on the MBP. All the 10th gen i5s are 4C/8T chips. The 8th gen i5s were only 4C/4T chips—you had to go to the i7 to get more threads. The difference between the i5 and i7 on the Air does not look especially ”worth it” to me, but going from the i3 to the i5 is a bigger upgrade.

I don't think I've seen any "professional" reviewers recommend upgrading from i5 to i7 in the 2020 MBA. I've seen some simply say don't because there is very little performance difference. I have seen posts on forums suggesting the i7 run cooler, but I've not seen any actual tests or data that support that assertion. The i7 upgrade on MBA was never on my radar.
 
Comment

Ish

macrumors 68020
Nov 30, 2004
2,104
529
UK
I've also toyed with the idea of picking up the 13" Macbook Pro with 10th generation i5, 16gb of ram, and 512gb SSD since Bestbuy has had them on sale for $1600. But thinking more that the Air would suffice till we see what the ARM based Macbooks look like.

Thanks

I was deliberating between the new 13" MBP and MBA a few months ago and looked at some of the relevant threads on this site. I discovered that people found there was more difference in capacity between these than the specs would suggest so went for the MBP and have been very happy with it. I got i5, 16GB RAM, 2GB SSD. I do keep my computers for a very long time!
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.