D800/E & Mac Minimum Computer Specs

Started Oct 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
Fred Briggs
Fred Briggs Senior Member • Posts: 1,023
Re: D800/E & Mac Minimum Computer Specs

Although I use a fairly high spec PC for processing most of my files, I also use a laptop when on vacation or other trips, to back up and review my photos.  I used to use a Macbook Air 11" 2010 with 1.6GHz cpu for this, albeit dual boot with Mac OS X and Windows 7.  This was a bit slower than the desktop, though acceptable, at opening D800 files In Adobe LightRoom.  Performance was pretty much the same under either OS but I prefer using Win 7.

However the main issue was the 128GB SSD did not have enough space to backup all my files internally especially as it was partitioned with BootCamp for Win7.  This left me having mess about with two external drives to get the one master copy plus one backup copy which is my minimum requirement.

I then looked at getting a more up to date laptop with more internal storage.   I tried a Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook which has a 16GB SSD to speed up booting plus conventional 500Gb hard drive.  This has the same Intel i5 plus HD3000 graphics which many of the later Macs have, but I was a bit disappointed in the performance.  This did not seem significantly faster at processing than my old Macbook Air and actually seemed slower at screen redraws.  The other annoyance was that the screen did not angle back quite enough for an optimum viewing angle. The Samsung suffered a hard drive failure after only a few days use and I returned it for a refund.

To replace the Samsung I have bought an immaculate second hand Macbook Air 13" late 2010 model.  This has a 2.13 GHz cpu and 256 GB SSD and like my previous Macbook has a separate Geforce graphics chip.  I am very pleased with this.  It gives me about 160GB free internal storage space even with dual boot, meaning I only need to use one external drive for a second backup copy.  I also wanted a bit bigger screen than the 11" model but without detracting from portability, and the compact design achieves this.

(I should note that I don't use the laptop for cpu intensive work like expoerting from RAW to jpg)

There seems to be very little difference in performance compared to my desktop, and the Geforce graphics seem to be vastly superior to the Intel 3000, with screen redraw times which are very acceptable.  It does seem that LightRoom is more dependent on graphics performance than outright cpu processing power.  Maybe the latest 2012 Macs with Intel 4000 graphics would be OK but I'm not prepared to spend that kind of money.

Anyway - just goes to show that the latest equipment is not automatically better, plus although I don't approve of Apple's business practices, I have to say that they build very nice hardware!


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