Macbook Pro graphics for photography

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by orlandoo, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. orlandoo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm helping someone choose their first mac. It'll mostly be used for photo editing (not sure what software now Aperture's finished but that's a different discussion..), and we were thinking of a 13", probably 16GB and maybe upgraded processor.

    Obviously she'll be editing lots of high-resolution photos. Will the integrated graphics be a problem?

    She wanted a 13" over the 15" for portability and budget, but I don't know if she'd regret not getting a 15" with discrete graphics.

    Thanks
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #2
    You don't need 16GB of ram, or upgrade the processor, but I think the 15" may be better because of the increased screen real estate. Both machines (13" and 15") will be fine for photography. I use Lightroom on my 2012 rMBP which is a quad core processor with a dGPU. I also have a SP3 that is dual core and only has a iGPU. Both run Lighroom very well, though the rMBP has the performance edge.
     
  3. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #3
    As Maflynn has stated, the standard macbook options are well balanced.
    If you have to upgrade ram and cpu, go with the 15" straight away.
     
  4. scaredpoet, Apr 6, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015

    scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #4

    Integrated graphics won't be a problem for photo editing, as most of the software out there still uses the traditional CPU for operations anyway. Unless you're truly processing lots of photos... say, thousands, constantly, day and day out... then there likely won't be a difference seen in an upgraded CPU either.

    If this was massive video editing, data modeling or game playing, it would be a different story.

    RAM helps, but 8GB shouldn't be a problem (again, unless your user is constantly processing photos and doing lots of tasks, or running VMs).

    In this case, I would instead spend my money on storage (bigger SSD) and possibly screen size. 13 inch is fine, but 15 inch would be better. That said, the way Apple configures the 13" rMBPs, it looks like you're going to get a 2.9GHz or faster processor if you want larger than a 256GB SSD anyway.
     
  5. Eggsavior macrumors newbie

    Eggsavior

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    On a farm
    #5
    My friend, a photographer, bought a 15" and he is really happy about it, especially about the SSD speed. Personally for me, even 15" would not be enough - my down limit is 23" when it comes to graphic design or photographs. But I know from my own experience that integrated graphics and 8 GB RAM are not a problem unless you batch process several hundreds of pictures. So, I would also choose larger screen size and better resolution over more RAM and better GPU.
     
  6. xylitol macrumors regular

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    Nov 2, 2013
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    Finland
    #6
    My vote goes to 13" for portability (if that's what she wants) plus an external monitor if something bigger is occasionally needed.
     
  7. orlandoo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    #7
    Many thanks for all the replies

    Yes, she wants it to be portable, so is thinking of the 13" rather than 15", and with external display and storage at home. (So things like sorting photos and non-editing when she's out, detailed editing at home.)

    As she isn't planning to upgrade any time soon after buying, would the 13" with 2.7GHz, 8GB, & 128GB/256GB be sufficient?
     
  8. aerok macrumors 65816

    aerok

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    #8
    Yup very. Unless she plans on batch editing hundreds of huge RAW pictures at the same time on Photoshop.
     
  9. iSheep5S macrumors 6502a

    iSheep5S

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    Jun 4, 2013
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    Scotland
    #9
    I am an amateur photographer and i use Lightroom on my Mac with no issues. My sister has a Sony 15.6" screen i7 powered laptop and is also a photographer. She complains of slowdown where i have no issues. PLUS i would rather edit with a retina display. :cool:
     
  10. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #10
    Of course.
     
  11. dexterbell macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2015
    #11
    This. If you are working with uncompressed RAW files, especially batch processing or multiple plug ins and many layers, skip the 13 and get the 15 with the dedicated graphics. I do photo and video work professionally and had the new rMBP 13 but took it back. It doesn't play well with RAW files and CS6 unless its one at a time and minimal editing.
     
  12. fieldsphotos macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    #12
    This is a great thread since I am waiting to buy a 15" for photography once they get upgraded and was wondering about the discrete GPU or not.

    I do lots of HDR merges and panorama merges which involve lots of Uncompressed RAW files from my full frame DSLR in Photoshop. It sounds like that might require the dGPU.

    Lightroom is not a good measure for how well a machine handles serious photography editing, my current MBA runs Lightroom just fine. It completely chokes when I start trying to merge HDRs or anything more complicated in PS. And don't even ask me about that one time I tried to put together a timelapse on it. Ugh.
     
  13. xylitol macrumors regular

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    Nov 2, 2013
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    Finland
    #13
  14. davehutch macrumors 6502a

    davehutch

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    #14
    What was your configuration and were you using PS or LR for editing RAW files?
     
  15. dexterbell macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2015
    #15
    The base model new rMBP 13 with CS6
     
  16. davehutch macrumors 6502a

    davehutch

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    Location:
    Croxley, Herts
    #16
    Thanks. Im considering the 2.9GHz version with Lightroom.
    Expecting a massive improvement from my early 2009 Core 2 Duo MBP
     
  17. davehutch macrumors 6502a

    davehutch

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    Croxley, Herts
  18. flur macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #19
    nm = nevermind.

    --

    If she's using LR and PS at the same time, especially if she's processing a lot of photos, I'd think she'd want the 16gb memory. Especially if she's planning to keep it for a long while. I've run into issues when stitching in PS and processing in LR at the same time, though those were on my MBA (I haven't had a chance to get going on the MBP yet).
     

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