photoshop on a macbook: are you crazy?

ashjamben

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 28, 2007
608
1
Shanghai, China
just thought i'd share my experience of going with my girlfriend to the apple store to buy a macbook.

i have a macbook which runs photoshop fine. i dont do anything major, but everything works. my girlfriends just about to start uni so decides to buy a new computer, and decided on a mac.

so we go in and look around, but kind of already know she's gettin the base model macbook. i wander off for a bit looking at some other stuff, then see an apple sales guy talkin to my girlfriend. i wander over as shes telling him what shes wanting to use the computer for: "just basic stuff really like emailing, going on the internet, typing stuff up on word and also doing a little bit of work on photoshop"

the guy looked quite surprised, then said: "well i wouldn't recommend a macbook then, they can't run photoshop because they don't have a graphics card"

i wanted to argue, but couldn't be bothered. needless to say my girlfriend did walk out of the store with a macbook. but it got me thinking...

does photoshop need a graphics card? the system requirements state 64mb of vram, which i was led to believe by another apple sales guy once when asking about games, includes the integrated graphics cards on the macbooks.

so, what gives?
 

Elven

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2008
859
1
UK
I use a Macbook for basic photoshop work, as long as your not dealing with huge work as in massive high resolution images,hundreds of layers etc... you are just fine, seriously bump it up to 4GB ram and it will fly.
 

DHart

macrumors 6502
Jan 17, 2008
398
12
I run Photoshop CS3 on a MacBook 2.2 GHz w/4 GB of ram in a professional portrait studio (driving a 24" external monitor) and it's great. Would a Mac Pro be better? Sure. But not necessary. The $1300 MacBook does the job with Photoshop just fine as long as it has 4 GB of ram and a good quality external monitor.

 

andrewdale

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2008
868
1
Memphis, TN
Photoshop doesn't utilize the graphics card at the moment. So, really it's down to cores and RAM for it.

However, CS4 is supposed to utilize the graphics card, which will make it much snappier on machines with dedicated graphics.
 

Star Destroyer

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2006
376
4
I will totally agree, your gf i totally safe.

i have core duo macbook, baseline model, 2gb of RAM, and i run CS2 85% with no problems. The problems i do encounter is that sometimes its a little slow, mostly when i have to make posters (3.5ft x 4ft) at like 400dpi.. Then things get choppy.

Also an external monitor is usually very handy especially when your working in colour haha I noticed a difference in the colour of my work just by viewing it on the external which prompted me to make some changes...So i dont think the macbook monitor is too good for very specific work.
 

DHart

macrumors 6502
Jan 17, 2008
398
12
Yes, an external monitor is essential for proper image evaluation... the internal monitor on the MacBook isn't good enough for professional evaluation of brightness nor colors... but is fine for cropping, retouching, etc. And of course for data work, web surfing, e-mail, database, etc... the Macbook is great.
 

Voidness

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2005
848
65
Null
I run Photoshop CS3 on a MacBook 2.2 GHz w/4 GB of ram in a professional portrait studio (driving a 24" external monitor) and it's great. Would a Mac Pro be better? Sure. But not necessary. The $1300 MacBook does the job with Photoshop just fine as long as it has 4 GB of ram and a good quality external monitor.
That's a really nice setup you've got there. :)

As someone just said, Photoshop CS3 doesn't utilize graphics processors; It's entirely CPU-bound. MacBooks have good CPUs, so it'll be fine.
 

thomahawk

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2008
663
0
Osaka, Japan
i have a macbook 2.1 ghz with 1GB of RAM the $1099 and i have to say i run photoshop cs3 aboslutely fine. its fast when i use it. just takes a lil while to start the program up. but other than that its fine. you dont need a "primary" grpahics card to run it.
 

ashjamben

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 28, 2007
608
1
Shanghai, China
thanks for the replies, just really glad i was right in photoshop doesnt need dedicated graphics card. them guys at the apple store are sometimes pretty dumb when it comes to the things they're selling :p
 

bertpalmer

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2007
387
0
It runs fine - it's not graphic intensive although the small screen might be a pain.

Although I have wondered why they only have the Adobe suite installed on all machines other than the MB at the apple store.
 

hogfaninga

macrumors 65816
Aug 16, 2008
1,305
0
Chestnut Tree Cafe
It works fine on my wife's Macbook as well as mine. Granted we both have 4GB's right now, but even with 2GB's it was fine. Like another poster said, that guy was just trying to upsell however it wasn't right for him to say it wouldn't work(maybe didn't say that--I don't know). Upselling is one thing, lying is another.
 

wallstreetcrash

macrumors regular
Sep 15, 2008
188
0
New York
I run Photoshop CS3 on a MacBook 2.2 GHz w/4 GB of ram in a professional portrait studio (driving a 24" external monitor) and it's great. Would a Mac Pro be better? Sure. But not necessary. The $1300 MacBook does the job with Photoshop just fine as long as it has 4 GB of ram and a good quality external monitor.

Wow, that is nice! I feel like copying your layout exactly :D
 

ashjamben

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 28, 2007
608
1
Shanghai, China
Yes, upselling I can understand. but out right lying to do so is just wrong. I mean, let's say my girlfriend went in on her own. she needed a laptop, so when she'd been told MacBooks can't run photoshop she'd have probably ended up in another computer buyin a laptop, as a mbp would be way out of her budget.
 

maccompaq

macrumors 65816
Mar 6, 2007
1,152
3
I have a G3 Blue and White 400 MHz tower with 768 MB RAM, and it runs Photoshop CS just fine. Naturally, I have newer and more powerful computers, but I just wanted to assure you that Macs are very efficient. My Compaq with a 2.41 GHz Athlon 64 processor and 1.5 GB RAM running Windows XP cannot crop a photo in Photoshop Elements. It uses all the RAM and then just hangs. I take that same photo and crop it on the old Mac G3 in about 1 second.
 

Eddyisgreat

macrumors 601
Oct 24, 2007
4,847
1
I run Photoshop CS3 on a MacBook 2.2 GHz w/4 GB of ram in a professional portrait studio (driving a 24" external monitor) and it's great. Would a Mac Pro be better? Sure. But not necessary. The $1300 MacBook does the job with Photoshop just fine as long as it has 4 GB of ram and a good quality external monitor.


Looks like your running Lightroom , not photoshop :) (Lightroom 2 has native dual monitor capability, btw)

But OP, PSCS4 boasts some pretty good 3d processes that I know a number of people use, and will utilize any additional graphics mem from your video card for really high resolution and large images (i'm thinking posters and medium format). In my own tests with the latest beta ( gone GM now?) it flew on my 2.5 Ghz penryn on some pretty large documents. I forget if it speeds up filters too.

If she is serious about PS , just get/save up for a Macbook Pro. Especially if she qualifies for the student discount. Get the entire creative suite and do some animations in After Effects :cool:
 

jmann

macrumors 604
I use cs3 with my MacBook with 2gb of ram and it runs just fine. I'm not doing anything heavy duty, but I agree with everyone else, as long as it's nothing major it should work just fine. I think the people at the apple store would just prefer that you spend more of your money on a MacBook Pro.
 

DHart

macrumors 6502
Jan 17, 2008
398
12
Looks like your running Lightroom , not photoshop :) (Lightroom 2 has native dual monitor capability, btw)

But OP, PSCS4 boasts some pretty good 3d processes that I know a number of people use, and will utilize any additional graphics mem from your video card for really high resolution and large images (i'm thinking posters and medium format). In my own tests with the latest beta ( gone GM now?) it flew on my 2.5 Ghz penryn on some pretty large documents. I forget if it speeds up filters too.

If she is serious about PS , just get/save up for a Macbook Pro. Especially if she qualifies for the student discount. Get the entire creative suite and do some animations in After Effects :cool:
Eddyisgreat but, I do run more than Photoshop on my setup! Just so happened than I had Lightroom on the screen when the photo was taken. Typically I will run Photoshop CS3, Lightroom, Mail, Safari, iTunes, Excel, and MacJournal all simultaneously, all day long. I use Spaces to separate my work spaces. The Macbook 2.2 GHz wit 4 GB of RAM handles it all, including the beautiful 24" widescreen, with ease. Typically the screen on the Macbook is turned off because I prefer working with just the 24" monitor unless I'm away from the desk with the Macbook.