Which MacBook Pro for d800?

Started Mar 8, 2013 | Questions thread
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Mark K W Senior Member • Posts: 1,493
Re: Which MacBook Pro for d800?

I do not have a D800, but have 24MP Sony and process the RAWs off that. I currently have a 2009 3GHz core-duo MBP with 8GB RAM, and run LR4.3 on that (sometimes launching CS5 also in one combined workflow). I would say my machine is at its comfortable working limit with LR4.3 and only for ex. Safari and iTunes running. If I do LR plus CS5 (which is RAM hungry), I then have to close down those other apps like Safari and iTunes, and often also LR itself because it is keeping CS5 from working efficiently.

I have considered D800, and this is one of the reasons why I have not switched to it. I just think my dual-core/8GB system is not really up to it. Granted, my system is also 7200rpm HDD, not SSD, but it's cores and then RAM that I think hurts me the most as far as LR4 is concerned.

So, I would probably caution running LR4 on a dual-core in 8GB with big D800 RAW files. Sure it will run and process them, but I think could well be pretty slow, particularly after a large import (I dunno, >100 full 36MP RAW images in a folder say). If you are wanting to have other apps running at same time, then it will obviously suffer even more as mine does. The 13" display means you may well later be thinking about an external monitor, and then I think you really could have a very slow LR4 system (for D800) from the get-go. Still workable, just very slow and less than you would want performance-wise. I think the cores will be as much your constraining issue with LR4 as the RAM.

So - if I were you, I would go 15" (which is then quad-core) and max the RAM to 16GB. I know that's a very different budget level, but that might see you through a good replacement cycle, including LR5, whenever that comes, whereas I don't think an rMBP with only dual-core and 8GB will.

[ I do not know about Aperture - that maybe a different case. ]

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