Macbook Air M1 with 16GB Ram suitable for most photo editing software?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Paul Regular Member • Posts: 418
Re: Macbook Air M1 with 16GB Ram suitable for most photo editing software?

Saint 112 wrote:

Tom_N wrote:

Saint 112 wrote:

Even the Mini has not enough ports for me. I already did some reseach for docks. The really good ones, with 2 TB ports, are expensive. An S/PDIF is a requirement since I can forget about FireWire.

I saw one some time ago that even had a case for an HDD or an SSD. It would be very handy. But I couldn't find one.

There's the OWC Thunderbay Flex 8 . Eight drive bays, three USB ports, a DisplayPort, memory card readers, and a half-length 4-lane PCIe expansion slot. Four of the bays can take M.2 SSDs (with an adapter). No S/PDIF port, and it's $1,199 without any drives.

This would be an overkill for my needs… and for bank account.

There's the Mercury Elite Pro Dock . Two drive bays, two USB ports, a DisplayPort, an Ethernet port, and a card reader, for $279. Still no S/PDIF port.

I own an ADC/DAC I bought about 15 years ago that's stil going strong. It's a FireWire Solo but the maker, M-Audio, doesn't support it anymore since years so there are no upgrades for the driver. Yet It still works. As its name implies its connection is FW. But it has S/PDIF ports too so hopefully it could work on a dock with a Toslink port.

Firewire 800 ports used to be common on Thunderbolt docks, but these days, they seem to be disappearing. I believe that you can still add a Firewire port to a modern Mac by daisy-chaining an Apple TB3-to-TB2 adapter with an Apple TB to Firewire 800 adapter. You might then need another cable to convert from one Firewire standard to another – e.g., to go from Firewire 800 to the 4-pin ("no power wires") iLink port on a Sony MiniDV camcorder. Apple ought to be ashamed of themselves for not coming out with a TB3 to Firewire 800 adapter after all of this time. (They can make it up by coming out with one that costs $30 or less and that has two TB3 ports to allow for TB3 daisy-chaining.)

FW has been very popular in the music industry thanks to its extremely steady rate of data transfer. Many audio gear have, or had this type of connection. There is still a market for PCIe cards for PCs and hackintoshes. It's a pity Apple stopped developping the technology.

Actually I dream of a real desktop Mac with a complete set of ports and with internal bays.

Internal mechanical drives are not coming back – except on the Mac Pros, and then, only on third-party expansion cards. A more productive approach might be to lobby Apple to use standard M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD slots in iMacs, iMac Pros, Minis, and Mac Pros. On the 27" iMacs, one could imagine expansion hatches providing access to four RAM slots and two SSD slots.

Lobbying Apple! Are you kidding? It's in their DNA they know what's good for you better than you do so, from their Cupertino ivory tower, they never listened to what their users had to say.


I know quite few people in the music industry with similar requirements and concerns, problem is that it is such a niche market and overall speed and ease of use has left many older connections in the dust....high end scanners with SCSI were the first....

you will have to stick with an older machine and usually (as far as I know) older system since a lot of the older plug ins don't get updates either....

for anyone else moving to USB C and TB 3 is awesome, speed, charging, fewer cables....mix and match....same goes for (what used to be called) cloud storage is faster these days then my old external storage (even raids)....and cheaper ....NVMe is coming down in price and blowing older storage out of the water in terms of speed and reliability....

like I said, I know a few people with similar requirements, they all run ancient Mac pros or whatever sometimes just for a few effects...and they all have a hard time making it all work together and adding older and older machines into their workflow....

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