MBA's performance with Lightroom and Photoshop

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by tafb, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. tafb macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2007
    I see that some people with MBAs have installed Lightroom and/or Photoshop. Can anyone give me an idea as to how well the MBA handles processing raw files? For example, is there any lag between making an adjustment to a raw photo and seeing the adjustment on the screen (i.e., when working with a raw file before converting it to a jpg file)?

    Also, can anyone compare the amount of time needed to convert a raw photo to a jpg on the MBA v. MBP or MB (or anything else you can compare the MBA to)? I know the MBP (faster processor and graphics card) and MB (faster processer) will be faster in converting the raw photo to jpg, but I am trying to figure out just how much faster. I like the form factor of the MBA, but I do not want to give up so much processing power that it takes me significantly longer to edit a set of raw photos.

    Finally, any thoughts as to whether the SSD would improve performance in editing raw photos? I don't think it would make a difference, but maybe the faster read times would help?

    Thanks in advance for any insight you can give.
  2. sm8770 macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2008
    I am also looking forward to the above information.
    Anyone able to comment?
  3. Nautigar macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2007
    Interested in Lightroom performance, too ...


    I consider the MacBook Air for on-site RAW photo editing in Lightroom. So far, I use a PowerBook G4 12" 1 GHz which is far to slow for the task. Usually, I have to wait for more than 15 seconds for a 10MPix RAW picture to render completely. How much better is the MBA?

    Thank you very much in advance,

  4. lekun macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2006
    A lot of people have this question - and it appears not too many have the answer.
  5. JasonBourne9 macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2008
    My 1.8/80 isn't too shabby. Not terribly fast but definitely usable in CS3 and Lightroom works fine. Frankly I find the smaller screen to be the more limiting factor than the slower performance relative to a Quad G5 with a 30" ACD. It's hard to do really complicated photoshop work on such a tiny screen when you're used to a monster.

    To give you an idea, I got the test below done in 43 seconds. The long thread linked here will show you all kinds of results from other macs from over the ages. It should give you an idea.
  6. diabolic macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    On the 1.8/SSD, Photoshop is definitely useable and not too slow for me so far. I agree that the small screen is the limiting factor in how productive I can be.
  7. tafb thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2007
    Thanks for the link and the info! From what I could tell, it looks like a MacBook (Core 2 Duo, 2.0, not sure how much RAM) performed the same test in 29 seconds, a MBPro (C2D, 2.2, 2GB RAM) in 20 seconds, a MBPro 2.4 with 2GB RAM in 26 seconds, and a MBPro 2.4 with 4GB RAM in 26 seconds (looks like each of these folks had different things running in the background at the same time). The MBA time is comparable to a Mac Mini (1.8, 2GB RAM) that performed the test in 41 seconds. I think the MBA time is pretty respectable given its form factor.
  8. JasonBourne9 macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2008
    I would agree. And by the way, I had a bunch of other apps open and wasn't on a clean boot when I did it so I bet the time could get a bit better.

    It is very useable in Photoshop for light stuff. It doesn't even feel slow.
  9. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Yeah the 1.6/HDD is the same to be honest. CS3 works grand and I would estimate its about the same speed as my old black macbook core duo 2ghz, 80gb, 2gb ram

    Sure it's not as fast as my mac pro, but it is certainly more than usable for photoshoping on the move or if you have to make small corrections with a client on site or such.

    Very happy with it. Painter X works great too. No complaining here.

    (don't use lightroom)

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