Macbook Air(i7 & Intel HD GPU) & Aperture/Lightroom/Photoshop


limexd

New Member
Dec 14, 2010
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#1
Going to be getting a Macbook Air to replace my aging Macbook Pro as a portable bring around laptop.

just asking for people whether anyone has experience using the Macbook Air with Photoshop/Lightroom/Aperture,and whether there is any significant performance issues? I primarily use aperture, and occasionally work with photoshop

My understanding is that the new 1.8 ghz i7 processors( I got the highest spec one) are much better than the Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz in my 2007 MBP,
and the SSD would make hard drive operations faster... just not too confident that the Intel HD3000 graphics that come with it would be an issue. I kinda detest integrated graphics... but I don't want to shell out another $500 to get the 15" MBP (taking into consideration the weight too)

Did a Google search, and all that came out were issues with gaming and the intel GPU

PC users using the intel HD3000 chip are welcome to share their experiences too.

edit:
I notice there's also another ongoing thread regarding the GPU and performance...
 

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Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#2
Ah boss, there's a thread about this right here...

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/threads/938090-Photo-editing-with-netbook-!


Honestly: GPU doesn't really matter at all. What matters is RAM! And this is where the Air has problems. You would need an external monitor too since 13" is pretty small real estate, so you need the Thunderbolt -> DVI/Vga connector too.

The SSDs are great and fast, but 256GB is gone REALLY quick if you do photo editing. And if you use an external drive, you would need to constantly shift your images back and forth...
 

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limexd

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Dec 14, 2010
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Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
#3
I'm currently working with my MBP - 4GB ram too... not too much issue, but realised its getting slower and slower by the day
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Thinking of splitting my aperture libraries into 2 - so I'll stick my current projects in the air and archive the rest... haha
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Apparently for processor , although its clocked at 1.8gHz and 2 cores, the processor according to intel supports hyperthreading (2 more virtual cores) and turboboost (some overclock thingy to push it to 2.8ghz)
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I guess RAM wise, mac has virtual memory too right? and I know Pshop writes to the HD for cache(scratch disk or something)...
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talking about screen size, the thunderbolt display looks really tempting... but I'll sooner buy a new iMac than to get that - the Air is more of for portability...
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thanks !
 

Jan 27, 2010
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#4
Having the exact same dilemma. Waiting for more Clubsnapper's views on the new AIR.

Currently im doing photo editing on a 14.1 inch fujitsu laptop. Its small yes, but still okay for editing purposes. Its usually editing casual pictures of family and friends, so i dont really need a large screen for non-professional work IMO.
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
4,669
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www.tomato.sg
#5
Going to be getting a Macbook Air to replace my aging Macbook Pro as a portable bring around laptop.

just asking for people whether anyone has experience using the Macbook Air with Photoshop/Lightroom/Aperture,and whether there is any significant performance issues? I primarily use aperture, and occasionally work with photoshop

My understanding is that the new 1.8 ghz i7 processors( I got the highest spec one) are much better than the Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz in my 2007 MBP,
and the SSD would make hard drive operations faster... just not too confident that the Intel HD3000 graphics that come with it would be an issue. I kinda detest integrated graphics... but I don't want to shell out another $500 to get the 15" MBP (taking into consideration the weight too)

Did a Google search, and all that came out were issues with gaming and the intel GPU

PC users using the intel HD3000 chip are welcome to share their experiences too.

edit:
I notice there's also another ongoing thread regarding the GPU and performance...
Here is what I think...

Depending on how often you use your MBP for editing while you are outside. I would rather to have a i7 iMac with 16gb RAM as main computer.

If you want to speed up your older 15" MBP, you can just change the HDD to either the faster 7200rpm or SSD. I did that with my 17" MBP which I use from time to time.

I just bought the 27" iMac i7 with 16gb RAM, it really makes a lot of different when you process lots of images.

MBP has FireWire 800 option which is still one of the fastest for connectivity for apple. So I would lose it just yet with Air.

Although, thunderbolt has a 10gbit connection, we still have to wait for the supporting stuff such as DROBO and similar stuff to catch up. It may be at least another year or two before it become a standard if it become standard.

If you need a lot of portability everyday, then air might be the answer but to be honest, a simple upgrade to your HDD to current 15" makes lots of different.

Graphic card do play a part In how fast it render the image on the screen but it doesn't speed up the process. I do find it better to have a good graphic card if I have an option, so I don't have to wait for the image to refresh itself.

My view point is from a heavy user for Photoshop and mostly do retouching when I get back to my studio. Yours might be different.

However, you will know what u need most.


Regards,

Hart
 

limexd

New Member
Dec 14, 2010
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Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
#6
Generally I do event photography - and have to batch process a large number of photos over Aperture to do basic touch up and sorting... don't really touch photoshop unless I really need to.

the new MBA has Thunderbolt - thats faster than the current Firewire 800 with my mac - although I have the option of express card. there are already Thunderbolt to Firewire 800 adapters in the market

my MBP is the non-unibody mac, so HD upgrades are a real pain. Plus I already did an upgrade once

I eventually want to get an iMac - after I've saved up more... not enough to buy both at the same time..
 

2evans

New Member
Nov 8, 2007
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#7
Due note that if your work flow is more dependent on Aperture, it will rely more on faster GPU as it tries to do real time updates. PS on the other hand will use the CPU more.

The new Imacs require proprietary hard drives making them harder to upgrade in the future.
 

limexd

New Member
Dec 14, 2010
109
0
0
Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
#8
Due note that if your work flow is more dependent on Aperture, it will rely more on faster GPU as it tries to do real time updates. PS on the other hand will use the CPU more.

The new Imacs require proprietary hard drives making them harder to upgrade in the future.
I'm guessing the intel HD 300 will be sufficient? since I'm not exactly doing 3D rendering

With regard to 'upgrading' the iMac HD in the future - a thunderbolt/firewire 800 HD will probably suffice...
 

limexd

New Member
Dec 14, 2010
109
0
0
Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
#9
I just got my new MacBook Air i7... Tried running aperture (off an external USB HD library) and... surprise, it actually runs much much faster compared to my older Macbook Pro... even without the 'SSD advantage'
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the Macbook Air fans start becoming really very noisy when Aperture starts though... I suspect its the system trying to offset the additional heat from over clocking the i7 processor...

One possible explanation could also be because OS X Lion or Aperture 3.2 ( i was running a slightly outdated version in my prev mac) optimises performance as well...
 

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NikF601

Senior Member
Jul 26, 2010
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#10
Any update of your usage on Mac Air ? Still as fast as before ??
 

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