Macbook for photo editing - seems too slow

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bigfried, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. bigfried macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2008
    I took a trip to an Apple store yesterday to help make my purchasing decision. I came away more confused than ever. I read on a lot of threads that a Macbook should be just as capable as a Macbook Pro or iMac at photo editing as they have similar power processors and the lack of a dedicated graphics card isn't an issue.
    However I looked long and hard, and did the same experiment on all three machines. Looked at the same sample image in iPhoto, zoomed in, edited it and moved it on screen. With the Macbook there was a large delay with the editing sliders 'catching up' with my actions, the navigation box went 'fuzzy' and the image was slow to move. With the MBP and Imac it flew along. I was set on getting a Macbook with additional monitor, but immediately this meant for me it would be unusably frustrating and surely this is not a very demanding task, only a small jpeg.
    It was a new black MB and had 2 Gig RAM. Do any MB owners have this too? Am I missing something? This is a main reason for my upgrade. my old PC has this lag moving sliders in Lightroom and I really don't want anything getting in the way of creative editing process.

    My options are:

    MB + Monitor - can it handle it?
    MBP 15" + Monitor - expensive combo
    iMAc 24" - too glossy?

    I'm talking refurb here and need to keep an eye on the £$£$£.

    Those Apple stores.....must have been there 3 hours going round in circles......
  2. El Phantasmo macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2005
    for what it's worth i have the new black MB and it does great with 6MP photos and hhome video editing in imovie... the dedicated video card doesnt affect its performance at all..

    i haven't used a new MBP though...
  3. raxafarian macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2007
    I have used 2 different macbooks the past year. A 2.16 and a 2.2. I haven't noticed any performance lag in lightroom with either. I had 2gb ram in the 2.16 and 4gb in the 2.2.

    I recently switched to a macbook pro but it was for several reasons not really related to actual performance:
    - bigger screen
    - Matte screen
    - Time for a new toy.
  4. Thiol macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    Photo editing gets easier with more RAM in my experience... If you have one of the later laptops, I would upgrade to 4 GB.
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I have a MacBook C2D with 2 GHz processor and 2 GB, and it's perfect.....on Tiger. After switching to Leopard recently, it seems that I need a lot more RAM to do the same thing. I can just tell from the fan turning on more frequently, along with the large number of page-outs I'm getting from my multitasking. I have 448814 right now after 13 days of use. :eek:
  6. deputylove8 macrumors regular


    Mar 25, 2008
    in the comfort of my Singapore
    not only ram..i've been using my imac for 2 years now..initially..when Mr Hard disk was very empty..everything went on smoothly...editing on the such a darling...

    but now....Imac has shown her true colours..haha..she has only 2 Gb of HD free space left..and i realise that ..she lags here and there..not as smooth as before...hehehe...but hey..the Imac is great!

    I;m thinking of getting the MacBook ...i was thinking..can the Air edit pics well too???

    I'm torn btween Air and MB....

    Before you buy..think
    1) Budget
    2) u really need the portability??or do the need the power of Imac??
    3) My designer friends have been using the MBP..but i find it mega ex...

    weight the pros and cons of each.. and hey

    follow yr heart..yr mind..yr soul.....and yr wallet..hahaha
  7. bigfried thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2008
    So perhaps it's a question of RAM with Leopard needing more and if I get the Macbook and top it up to 4 Gb I should be able to run Lightroom/Photoshop editing 10MP RAW files from my canon DSLR without having to wait for the sliders to react when I drag them to adjust exposure/sharpen etc? I don't mind waiting a little longer for a file to convert format or compress or apply a filter etc, it's just losing the smooth work flow, feeling like you have a responsive machine,that is important to me if that makes sense!

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