13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?

Started Apr 29, 2015 | Discussions
TheCohbrah
TheCohbrah Junior Member • Posts: 34
13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?

I have a mid 2010 macbook pro that pooped on me.  That means I am getting a new MacBook Pro soon.  On my mid 2010 macbook pro, I had 8GB of RAM and a 320GB HDD.  With the new ones having a newer processor, newer PCI-E, and newer RAM, would 8GB be enough for me to do photoshop and lightroom together?  Maybe some slight video editing here and there.

I have final cut pro x and have been using it for a little while.  It runs well on my mid 2010 macbook pro.  I have funds for the 8GB of RAM and NOT the 16GB 13 inch upgrade.

Thoughts on the 8GB retina macbook pro 13 inch?  Would 8GB be enough for me with photoshop and lightroom?

Kevin Muldoon
Kevin Muldoon Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?
2

8GB is sufficient for photo editing. I have 8GB of RAM installed on my windows laptop and my iMac and use Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro.

I would normally advise someone to just buy the default amount of RAM and upgrade manually later, however the fact that RAM is soldered onto the motherboard would encourage me to go for the 16GB of RAM so that the laptop is a bit more prepared to tackle RAM hungry applications over the next few years (aka future proofing).

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MarshallG
MarshallG Veteran Member • Posts: 7,472
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?

The 4GB in my MacBook Air is plenty. 8GB gives you room to grow, honestly. The only case where 16 can make a difference is if you run virtual machine with Windows and OSX at the same time, and even then, 8GB will work as a pair of 4GB "machines."

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TheCohbrah
OP TheCohbrah Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?

Yeah I think 8gb will be fine (especially with the SSD being a newer model).  I think the whole RAM thing is messing with my head.

Thanks for the input!!

Kevin Muldoon
Kevin Muldoon Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?
1

TheCohbrah wrote:

Yeah I think 8gb will be fine (especially with the SSD being a newer model). I think the whole RAM thing is messing with my head.

Thanks for the input!!

I recommend opening up all the applications you use regularly on your existing computer. Then open up activity monitor and check how much RAM you are using. That will give you an idea of whether you need to stick with 8GB of RAM or save some money and upgrade to 16GB of RAM.

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MarshallG
MarshallG Veteran Member • Posts: 7,472
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?

Yeah I think 8gb will be fine (especially with the SSD being a newer model).  I think the whole RAM thing is messing with my head.

Thanks for the input!!

The system can only use so much RAM. It doesn't do anything with excess, unused RAM. And, as you said, with the SSD, paging is very difficult to notice.

I run all of the Office apps concurrently all day long with 4GB and I have no problems. If I were buying a new Mac today, I would get 8 and not 16.

Enjoy the new system!

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Zapirian
Zapirian Senior Member • Posts: 1,242
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?

I'm sat at work with 4 applications(2 of which are just Skype and an internal company messaging application), explorer and a couple of browser tabs open. My Win 7 machine is currently using 3.5GB of ram. I would definitely get at least 8gb in any new system. And with LR now using GPU for offloading some of the tasks when processing, the system will need to transfer data to the GPU memory and back again. I'm going to do some testing with monitoring of resources on my 8GB laptop and 16GB desktop tonight or tomorrow and post back, but I would not be advocating using a 4GB machine for any enthusiast/professional level photo/video editing. I certainly notice the difference when trying to do any LR editing on my wife's Surface Pro 2 with 4GB and an Intel i5. It feels slow and with benchmarks between i5 and i7 CPUs not showing a world of difference a lot of that has to be attributed to the lack of memory.

It's true often sales people will try and sell you extra ram when you don't actually need it, but when dealing with image/video/3d it is one of the situations where you want plenty of ram.

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nandbytes Veteran Member • Posts: 6,081
"problem" with macbooks

As others have suggested 8GB will be enough, I have nothing much to add on that end.

The "problem" with the newer macbooks is that the HD and RAM is soldered on to the motherboard. So previously you used to be able to buy the least amount of RAM and cheapest HD and upgrade both yourself but this not possible any more. So for one you are stuck with whatever you buy initially and upgrade via. apple is eye-wateringly expensive.

But the above does have its benefits. I have a 13inch Mac with 16GB and i7 which is a joy to carry but carrying my windows laptop is pain in backside. So I believe it allows them make sleeker laptops and also faster. but all that comes at a rather hefty price

So if you are going to buy a Macbook make sure you buy one that will serve you well in the future, 8GB might be enough today but remember you are stuck with it forever after! so the question you have to ask yourself - is it going to be enough 3-4 years down the line?

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Zapirian
Zapirian Senior Member • Posts: 1,242
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?

With LR6 and PSE11 open with few other resident programs running in the system tray I reached 6.5 to 7gb memory usage. This was while having 24mb images open in both programs and doing some processing in LR. 4 is definitely a bit short, and with limited space on many SSD drives in comparison to large capacity traditional hard drives I'd say 8GB is fast becoming a minimum recommendation. If you do video or 3d graphics work then I'd advise jumping to 16GB.

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kentrks Junior Member • Posts: 48
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?
1

I recently bought 13 inch Mackbook pro with 8gb.  It has been a mistake for me.  13 inch is hard to edit on and 8gb, while adequate for my LR, PS, and NIK is adequate, I wish I'd bout 16.  If I had to do over I'd get 15 inch with 16gb of ram.

nandbytes Veteran Member • Posts: 6,081
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?
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kentrks wrote:

I recently bought 13 inch Mackbook pro with 8gb. It has been a mistake for me. 13 inch is hard to edit on and 8gb, while adequate for my LR, PS, and NIK is adequate, I wish I'd bout 16. If I had to do over I'd get 15 inch with 16gb of ram.

15inch isn't much better to edit on (I have a 13inch macbook pro and a 15inch windows laptop).

I would suggest getting a separate monitor for editing (I personally use a dell 27" which supports 10bit colour)

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Zapirian
Zapirian Senior Member • Posts: 1,242
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?

I'd second that. I have a Windows laptop with 15.4" screen and it's ok when travelling but use a Korean imported 27" monitor with my desktop machine. I tried a Dell 2713H wide gamut monitor but found it's use of response time overdrive ruined it for video/gaming use as it caused some nasty ghosting, hence the current Korean import that has an LG panel.

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kentrks Junior Member • Posts: 48
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?
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I agree that 15 inch is a struggle also for editing. But if you tie a 27 inch monitor on it, it is no longer a laptop!

Zapirian
Zapirian Senior Member • Posts: 1,242
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?

Editing on the 10" Surface Pro 2 is even less fun

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nandbytes Veteran Member • Posts: 6,081
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?
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kentrks wrote:

I agree that 15 inch is a struggle also for editing. But if you tie a 27 inch monitor on it, it is no longer a laptop!

well most of my editing happen at home where I can use monitor

if you want to "edit on the fly" as it were then preference will be subjective. i prefer to carry a 13inch macbook pro to a heavier 15/17inch one. There are other what use 10" tablets etc which I think is too small. So just depends on what you find acceptable really...

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MarshallG
MarshallG Veteran Member • Posts: 7,472
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?

Kevin Muldoon wrote:

TheCohbrah wrote:

Yeah I think 8gb will be fine (especially with the SSD being a newer model). I think the whole RAM thing is messing with my head.

Thanks for the input!!

I recommend opening up all the applications you use regularly on your existing computer. Then open up activity monitor and check how much RAM you are using. That will give you an idea of whether you need to stick with 8GB of RAM or save some money and upgrade to 16GB of RAM.

Uh... ok!

I had the Chrome browser running. I opened up Activity Monitor and it said I'm using about 3 GB of memory. So I launched Firefox, and Safari, and MS Word, and MS Outlook, and Photoshop, and opened documents in all of them. Now it says I'm using 2.98GB of Memory.

Seriously. The Activity Monitor will not give you a good idea of memory use.

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Tripodasaurus Junior Member • Posts: 36
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?

Kevin Muldoon wrote:

TheCohbrah wrote:

Yeah I think 8gb will be fine (especially with the SSD being a newer model). I think the whole RAM thing is messing with my head.

Thanks for the input!!

I recommend opening up all the applications you use regularly on your existing computer. Then open up activity monitor and check how much RAM you are using. That will give you an idea of whether you need to stick with 8GB of RAM or save some money and upgrade to 16GB of RAM.

Thanks Kevin for the good tip

I currently have a Late 2010 MacBook Air 2.13 GHz with 4Gb RAM

I just opened Lightroom and Elements 10 in editing mode and combined they use only 3.01 Gb.

I think my next logical upgrade would be the MBP 15" 2.2 GHz quad core with on chip Intel Iris Pro which comes with 8Gb RAM as standard.  The 13" 2.7GHz dual core may not be enough to speed things up nor to future proof and the MBP 15" with AMD GPU I suspect may be overkill for stills only.

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six34sigma
six34sigma Senior Member • Posts: 2,216
Re: 13 inch MacBook Pro Retina 8GB For Photo Editing?

My Mid 2007 15" MBP slowed down enough in post processing that I got myself a late 2014 27" iMac. Its not super loaded with 8 Gb RAM, i5 processor 2 Gb Video. PS CC, LR5, NX2, Nik all run just fine on it. My thoughts were to expand the RAM should I need to.

My laptop is my iPad.

To your question it will work fine with the same processor and RAM. It may not have a graphics card and PS if you use it will complain about that but you should be fine.

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