Macbook spec for Photographer?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Dtp8513, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Dtp8513 macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2010
    I ordered my Macbook yesterday, but I was curious as to what everyone believed would be the best/cost efficient spec for a photographer (using basic/advanced photography programs open at the same time) (using either the 13-15in models)
  2. digitalfrog macrumors regular


    Nov 26, 2007
    The entry level 15" with the high res antiglare screen looks like a winner !

  3. Chwisch87 macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2008
    Are you shooting raw files? Because if so, the GPU is not as important as the fast hard drive. I would suggest you spend on an SSD than bigger more powerful chips.
  4. Tibits macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2011
    • 8 MB of RAM is a must if using Aperture, Photoshop or the like
    • Anti glare screen will have more accurate color reproduction unless you are using an external/calibrated monitor as well
    • HD of at least 500G internal regardless of the type (7200 helps for a traditional drive). I like internal storage and the big SSD was just too much $$ from Apple, though I expect to upgrade to SSD when the prices come down a bit more.
  5. DanFreemanPhoto macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2011
    I'm a photographer, my specs are

    i7 processor
    7200rpm HDD as storage
    160GB SSD for programs
    Anti-glare - A MUST!! Do NOT get a glossy screen if you're a photographer!

    I will be upgrading to 8GB RAM soon.
  6. Grouchy Bob, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    Grouchy Bob macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    AssWipe, New Mexico
    Wouldn't it have made more sense to ask this before you ordered the macbook?

    Also, what "basic/advanced" programs are you referring to? LightRoom? Aperture?

    And which macbook did you order?

    Utter horse crap.

    Any display properly calibrated is fine. It's the environment you edit in that's important. Also, the specs of your print lab.
  7. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    I purchased the "base" 15" MBP last spring when Photoshop CS5 was announced. The only change that I made was to put in 7200 rpm drive.

    The updated MBP's announced yesterday will be MORE than addequate for PS CS5, Aperture 3 or Lightroom. The base model is MORE than adequate.
  8. Evil Spoonman macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2011
    Remember that everything is pushing the GPU harder these days. Photoshop CS5 will leverage OpenGL to do some of its drawing. 256MB of VRAM isn't enough to really use this feature effectively. How you prioritize is up to you, but I would suggest the high-end 15" for any kind of studio work, along with 8GB of memory, an SSD, and an external storage drive.
  9. davie18 macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2010
    Would it not be better to invest in a big 7200rpm HDD though because I'm not sure but I'd assume having lots of high quality photos could soon take up a lot of space.
  10. Dtp8513 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2010
    I ordered the high end 15 with a 256 ssd and a glossy screen- but a friend of mine said they would buy it from my if i decided to switch..

    Right now, I cant decide whether to go for the 500g 7200 or the 256 ssd (the price increase of 450 is alot and pushes me over what I wanted to spend).
  11. Grouchy Bob macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    AssWipe, New Mexico
    I am a full time photog and use a MBP13 (glossy) with a 256gb SSD. I also use a specially calibrated external monitor for all of my editing.

    The SSD is necessary IMO. Going back and forth from LightRoom to Photoshop is disk intensive and this is where the read/write speed of the SSD is invaluable. The time saved adds up when PP'ing a thousand RAW files over the course of a day.

    If you are going to use that 15" display for editing (and have nothing else) keep it. Just make sure it's calibrated to your print labs specs.

    But... the SSD will save you time (if you do this full time like me it's a no-brainer).

    *if* you're hellbent on avoiding the cost of an SSD (and you'll be sorry), at least get 8GB of memory. Your core apps will at least cache and be ready quicker. This won't help you when accessing RAW files though - particularly when your apps need to retrieve the embedded info contained in said files. (like the JPEG preview image).
  12. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    Amen, Bob.

    If you're not editing in a darkened room, then why bother? And neither the glossy or matte can be calibrated very well and they are both TN panels. So very little difference except in black levels and saturation. Don't judge prints with a TN panel anyway.

    And you're right on the RAM vs. SSD, too. Putting your LR / PS cache on the SSD is night and day. 4GB is plenty, really, for OS X, unless you do many multiple levels of PSDs on your full-size 20MP+ files.
  13. AlvinNguyen macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    Antiglare while not necessary will be a very welcomed option. Once I went to it, I never want to go back to glossy screens. I find that with CS5 you need the best possible machine and as much RAM as you can get your money on. I bought the i7 2.3Ghz yesterday with 8GB RAM, Antiglare, in 17" since I won't be using an external monitor :)
  14. lurrego macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
    I'm hoping to get the base 15 with matte screen and 7200rpm 500gb and upgrade to 8gig memory once I get it + later on hopefully switch to the new Vertex 3 SSD.

    So is the consensus that the 15 base is perfectly fine for intensive photography tasks? or is the difference between the the graphics and cpu of the higher end 15 enough to warrant the price? all the testing sure does show how impressive the high end 15 is
  15. davie18 macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2010
    Don't upgrade to a better HDD or SSD through apple, buy it from somewhere else and just install it yourself.

    That way, you can get a better one for a cheaper price and even sell off the HDD to get some of the money back if you want.
  16. Dtp8513 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2010
    if someone could address the question above about the 15 (lurrego)... Im leaning towards switching mine to a 500gig hd, instead of the SSD and switching to antiglare
  17. itsmeGAV macrumors regular


    Mar 11, 2010
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    My specs are in my sig, runs like a dream when editing RAW images in PS CS5 :cool:
    Defiantly spend ££ on a SSD, life will be so much more better.
    Oh and I have a glossy screen model, should've spent that extra ££ for a matte hi-res :(
  18. Dtp8513 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2010

Share This Page