Will a base 13 MBP cut it?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kingebaneezer, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. kingebaneezer macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2013
    Photoshop CC will be the most intensive use. I shoot big RAW files and do a lot of HDR, my current machine can't keep up. Up to 8 minutes to put together a HDR. Has to be portable as I am going to Australia for a year and will be living out of the car. I will of course be doing the basic internet stuff but I am only concerned about photo editing software.

    So I am looking at the base 13 MBP or maybe the 256 SSD from the refurb store, both are the 2014 models. The 256 with tax will be just under US $1400, that's the top of what I can spend. I was honestly looking into PC to save some $$, something I thought I would never do again, until I used the new windows on my parents machine. I just can't go back, I need a mac OS.

    Could I get by on a MBA? I am more hoping I could get with less machine, don't think I'll need more. Oh and I will be able to upgrade in two years so not worried about any future proofing garbage.
  2. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    I have a base 13" rMBP from late 2012 (the first rMBP in 13" form factor). I use CS6 for photo edits both on the road and at home. Will it cut it? - er... yes, it will accomplish any tasks that you throw at it.

    But, when I use the max resolution (the point of buying a gorgeous retina screen); the iGPU on my machine struggles to render/ refresh images - which is pretty annoying especially if you are trying to use any of the fine lasso-like tool tips. Some days, I end up wishing I had an iMac or rMBP 15".

    Having said that, the latest Haswell iGPU's are better than the HD4000 in my machine, so you may not exactly encounter my experience.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The Iris GPU is indeed better then the the prior generation's. Additionally, the 15" model's GPU is even better, plus you get even more real estate to let PS spread its wings.

    I found the 13" form factor too small for me, when using PS and LR (among other apps) and moved on to the 15" form factor. YMMV but for me, I needed the increased screen real estate.
  4. TimStait macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2014
    I have the base rMBP as my secondary machine next to an iMac, I rarely use photoshop, but regularly process 100+ photos in Lightroom, all very large RAW files from a 5D mkii.

    I do notice the difference in speed between the two machines, but it isn't too bad on the rMBP.

    Export of the images is the most notable difference with the process taking around 5 minutes to work through all the images and convert to JPEG for transfer to the client.

    If you can afford the bit extra for the 8GB model I think you would be more comfortable processing the large files.
  5. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    I have the late-2013 13" rMBP with the 256gb SSD. It's a great machine! I use mine for college. The 2014 is the same except for a very slight bump in the processor speed. I can't speak for Photoshop, but I can say it's very portable. My other machine is a 2009 13" MBP, and the rMBP is much lighter and noticeably thinner when you compare them side by side. I'm not a fan of the MBA's wedge design, and the rMBP is actually thinner overall than the MBA is at its thickest point. The retina display is also beautiful. Not sure how it would affect professional photography, but it makes my iPhone photos look good :rolleyes: The mid-range rMBP is also an excellent buy for the money. You get a better processor, more RAM, and more storage than the MBA for a price that is pretty good for this class of laptop, especially with the refurbished discounts. I got mine new with the education discount which is about the same as the refurb store.
  6. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Exporting images and HDR processing is mainly the job of the cpu.
    The speed difference on your iMac is due to the quadcore.
    More ram will not speed up those tasks.
    But 8gb are recommended when dealing with Ps and Lr on a regular basis.

    I agree and I might add that the 15" models quadcore will shorten the OPs HDR processing times in Ps. For traveling however the form factor does play a role, at least speaking for myself.


    It makes looking at them much more pleasurable, but it does not affect the end product imo.


    Also take a look at the base 15" of 2013. It will perform equal to the 2014, but cheaper and still give you the cpu power you need.

    The mba is the most portable though. And the battery life will make a huge difference when travelling.

Share This Page