Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I tried to piggyback onto an older thread but that didn't really work, so here's my query regarding upgrading my computer to deal with the 42MP Sony RAW files and the latest versions of LR & PS CC. I have a late 2013 13" MacBook Pro Retina, 512GB SSD with an Intel i7 processor and 8GB RAM (not upgradeable) and a late 2011 iMac (128GB SSD & 1TB HD), with an Intel i5 (I think) and 4GB RAM upgradeable to 16GB. My iMac is still working well enough, though it's slow, but my MacBook Pro is just limping along.

 

I can't replace them both at once so I am going to replace that laptop since using one on my lap is easier on my neck and back than sitting at a desk with my iMac. I also travel fairly often and I like to be able to work at a local coffee shop for a change of scene. I'm headed to the Apple Store to look at laptops tonight - I've done some research online and they cost nearly twice as much as I thought they would (hopefully the deals available as an ASMP member through their vendors will help) but I really want to see them in action first. I didn't want to succumb to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday madness, but wanted to give it some thought. It's a huge purchase. Probably close to $4,000! (I was thinking $2,300)

 

Hoping if I purchase a new maxed out MacBook Pro with 32GBRAM and a fast processor, it will last me at least another 5 years (or more I hope). I'll keep my iMac since I can add RAM and get a monitor when it dies on me. No way am I buying two computers again, especially since the newest generation of MacBook Pros are nearly as powerful. For those of you with newish Macs, any suggestions on what to look for? Is the upgrade to 32GB RAM rather than 16GB worth the difference, especially as a way to future proof it? I'd love to get a 13" since it weighs a pound less but the processing power does not seem like it will be enough to replace a desktop especially down the line. I hear the 6-core i9's run hot but even my current i7 runs hot - I think that is just a function of these machines. The 13" is a perfect size for travel but the real estate is small for even reviewing photos if it is going to be my main computer - so going back to a 15", even if it weighs more, has other benefits besides speed. 

 

So - I'm thinking of getting a 15" with an i9 processor and 32MB RAM and a 2 or 4TB SSD drive, so I can use it on my lap without the need to keep it attached to my backup drive all the time. I have super fast internet but using a networked drive is a non-starter with my lightroom catalog and defeats the purpose of having an SSD drive. At night, I can put it on my desk and back it up to my two large hard drives. 

 

What are your thoughts? I have a Sony a7rii - 42MP and an Olympus OM-D 1 - 16MP but with the latest update it lets you stitch a ton of photos together - something my current computers aren't up for. I don't see going beyond the 42MP Sony and over the next five years plan to buy more lenses for both of my mirrorless cameras, so those needs shouldn't change, although I may dabble in video too - not sure. 

 

I just bought a new thunderbolt 2/USB-3 6TB G-Tech drive to replace a 4TB drive as my main photo library early last year (which gets backed up to a thunderbolt 1 RAID array and various firewire and usb-3 hard drives) and I know that I will need all kinds of pricey adapters to use with the new laptop. It's part of what kept me from upgrading earlier but I just feel that my current setup is keeping me from working efficiently and I worry every time I see that beach ball of death, babying this thing along as much as I can. 

 

Right now I feel stymied since working on my files is so very slow, especially with the latest upgrades to PS and LR. I also constantly find the 512GB SSD filling up and it drives me crazy - the idea of a laptop with enough room to carry around a good chunk of my portfolio no matter where I am is appealing. With my iMac, the 1 TB additional hard drive also fills up too fast. I work on large layered files a lot and also kept so many uncompressed tiffs - many of which I finally deleted just to pare things down. I didn't realize until some time last year that I could losslessly compress the tiff files using zip compression, so I have been going back through them as time permits. I have many old files that need to be worked on and many new ones on my current SD cards, so having a large hard drive on my laptop is worth the cost to me. I find wires attached to my laptop defeat the comfort of working on it. 
 

Wim - I saw what you said about Eizo monitors in the "laptop or desktop" thread and I will check them out assuming that they work with Macs and are available here in the US. 

 

Thanks again for any advice.  

Edited by Marianne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally committed to Mac?  I have an iMac for a main machine (24 GB memory, i5 processor, late 2015) and bought a cheaper Dell laptop (not a model with a good screen alas) and have my Adobe programs on both machines (and if I were to start editing on my Dell, I'd need a decent monitor).  I've got a 2 TB spinning hard drive in the Dell and added a 512 GB SSD (M.2 form factor).  Dell has a higher end range that's competitive with the MacBook Pros,  I've read.   SSDs are for fast boot times and for fast access within programs, not particularly necessary for image file storage.  If you have a choice of internal spinning hard drives, get a somewhat faster one than the 5500 rpms (or whatever those are).  

 

If you're committed to Macs (and I understand that, too), look at their refurbished models and also order from Apple directly since I don't think Macbook Pro memory is user upgradeable. 

 

Getting a laptop with a big internal spinning drive and an SSD for the OS and programs is one way to do things.  I back up to the laptop (the screen is too crappy to use for editing on the model I bought) and to an external drive formatted exFAT so I can switch between Mac and Windows. 

 

I know people who've been cursing Windows 10.  I haven't had any issues with it other than having to edit the registry to have it recognize my Godox flashes when I update them.  Found files that make the shift in the registry security features, and haven't had any trouble since.   

 

My 2018 Dell laptop will use either HDMI or DisplayPort.  USB C appears to work the same as DisplayPort and both can support 4K monitors.    Most high end monitors will have DisplayPort or USB C and HDMI.

 

Macs do appear to be generally better made than most of the Windows machines, but not twice as well made than the better ones.  I like geeking, though.   If you don't, staying with Macs makes sense.  

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did a similar thing about 4 months ago. I had a Mac airbook and an iMac - I swapped them both out for the top spec 15 macbookpro with 1TB, a Benq 4K monitor (about 1500 USD) and a WD array of disks (which ultimately I would like to replace) and a backblaze account. I had to buy an OWC thunderbolt hub as well.

 

Now I use the same computer for everything which I find much easier than using two setups. I much prefer it to my old setup. Photographically and video wise it has been able to easily handle anything I can throw at it.

 

I just have two minor annoyances I have is the 1) the trackpad - its great for images and video but drives me nuts when typing in the field - I wish the would put a disable button on the keyboard for it and 2) the need to the use the USB dongles - it does not really affect operation just aesthetics and a more bulky cable bag on the road. Most of my time is in national aprks so I only have internet when I am at home or a hotel.

 

I use it with D850 files so same size as your sony and often make big panoramas.

 

I do not regret it at all and it has made my life easier - although the expense was a bit hard to swallow at buy in.

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the Eizo I have at Newegg. With B&H here.

The one with the built in calibrator is twice that price, but you do get a hood for free.

Black foam core works even better.

For calibration I now use a X-Rite i1Display Pro. At Newegg. At B&H.

Prices seem a bit high in the US at the moment. Usually it's the other way around.

Here the X-Rite is the EUR equivalent of $228 and that's including 21% VAT which as a business I get back (or deduct rather).

The Eizo is the EUR equivalent of $755 again including VAT. Even cheaper if I buy through German Amazon.

What's happening over there? Did you have a Brexit or something? Ooops totally the wrong day to make jokes about the Brrr word.

 

Here is all the compatibility info from Eizo about the CS2420 with PC's and all sorts of Macs.

 

wim

 

edit: I see panthera has a 4k, I do not.

A- great for TV and movies, but not for editing at 100%  - for me. YMMV

B- still too expensive for my taste.

Edited by wiskerke
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not just about RAM and processor these days. Video RAM is also very important for fast processing and Lightroom and Photoshop and can be. a drawback with laptops. However, you probably can't go too far wrong maxing out everything I guess. Certainly 32GB of RAM is wise and I think the only MacBookPros that have that at the moment are the 15" ones. I have a 2014 13" which was top of the range when I bought it and it is still going strong. You might save a few $ going for an external portable Thunderbolt rather than paying big $ for more internal SSD storage. The portable by G-Tech are fast and light enough to be portable.

 

It was actually me that brought up the subject of Eizo monitors in the other thread. Eizo is the gold standard for photo editing nowadays. My recommendation is the EIZO ColorEdge CG277 27 inch Monitor - a thing of real beauty but not cheap. The quality is truly astounding and a lot better than the equivalent BenQ. The Eizo does have a built-in calibrator but I have the same X-Rite as Wim mentions as it does a better job. I would not go for 4K for photo editing at 27 inch. 

Edited by MDM
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for all your help everyone. In a perfect world I would get a small SSD on the laptop and a second HD drive, but that only seems to be an option with iMacs. 

 

I much prefer typing and sorting through photos, keywording, researching, surfing the net etc.  on my laptop and as I am also a freelance writer, it makes the most sense to upgrade the Macbook. Since I really tend to use it on my lap, I like the idea of a larger hard drive rather than having to put it on my desk or a table so I can use an attached hard drive. I have a ton of backup drives and back up dutifully after having both my iMac and Macbook crash within 3 days of each other back in 2011with the Macbook being destroyed by a freak lightening strike directly to the transformer outside my house while I was backing up to my primary hard drive, so I lost a fair amount of stuff and paid a pretty penny for hard drive retrieval (partially covered by insurance), hence I now have too many backup drives.

 

After years of doing this, I know that a large hard drive is something I need although I don't need so much of it to be an SSD. Wish I could get a dual drive Macbook. Still debating between 2TB and 4TB - very pricy I know but assuming it's something I use daily for 5 years, it makes sense to get what will work best. It will blow my budget and it means I have to really hit my goals before I buy any new lenses - but I certainly have some great camera equipment to work with so can't complain.

 

I believe I can run my iMac as a second screen from the Macbook, so that a powerful laptop makes the most sense, even if it is not as stable and powerful a similarly equipped iMac.

 

I have one giant LR catalog going all the way back to 2005 backed up to two huge drives - a 4TB LaCie and a 6TB G-Tech - and most of it is also on a WD RAID array that got too small for the entire thing so it's time to upgrade that too. I held off on upgrading the RAID and got the G-Tech last year because I knew I'd end up needing adapters once I got a new computer.  I'm thinking that I may start making my catalogs smaller - another topic for discussion and advice. 

 

Thanks again! 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting ready to bite the bullet and buy that new 15" MacBook Pro with 32 GB RAM but still have a few questions re: the processor and graphics card . Getting the 2TB hard drive because I like working on my lap, no cords attached to drives until I'm backing stuff up. The 4TB would be awesome but not $1,700 more awesome. 

 

1) Does it make sense to pay ~$300 more for the 2.9GHz 6‑core Intel i9 processor vs the 2.6GHz 6‑core i7? I'm working with layered PS files and processing 42MP Sony RAW images in LR and PS, and want to do image stacking and those huge panoramas (with up to 50 images, I think) with my Olympus as well. 


2) Am I correct that the base graphics card is sufficient since I'm not a gamer and don't envision much in the way of video?

 

3) If I want to try 3-D renders, would your advice be different? 

 

If any of you tech-savvy folks could chime in on these specs, much appreciated. Thanks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 05/02/2019 at 03:46, Marianne said:

Getting ready to bite the bullet and buy that new 15" MacBook Pro with 32 GB RAM but still have a few questions re: the processor and graphics card . Getting the 2TB hard drive because I like working on my lap, no cords attached to drives until I'm backing stuff up. The 4TB would be awesome but not $1,700 more awesome. 

 

1) Does it make sense to pay ~$300 more for the 2.9GHz 6‑core Intel i9 processor vs the 2.6GHz 6‑core i7? I'm working with layered PS files and processing 42MP Sony RAW images in LR and PS, and want to do image stacking and those huge panoramas (with up to 50 images, I think) with my Olympus as well. 


2) Am I correct that the base graphics card is sufficient since I'm not a gamer and don't envision much in the way of video?

 

3) If I want to try 3-D renders, would your advice be different? 

 

If any of you tech-savvy folks could chime in on these specs, much appreciated. Thanks. 

 

You should be more than fine with the i7. I have heard the i9 can overheat but can't confirm 100%.

 

I use A7riii's and process stills and 4k footage on a 2015 15" 16gb i7 when I'm away from my Mac Pro so the 2018 should be no problem, especially with 32gb ram. If you use it as a workstation attached to a monitor, get one of those laptops stands with the fan in the base that takes power from a USB... not only does it lift the laptop screen to a nice level as a 2nd monitor but, it also helps keep the temperatures down on the laptop when processing footage and renders.

Edited by Duncan_Andison

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Duncan. I ended up with the i9 because B&H had a huge sale on particular items in stock and this had everything that I wanted and ended up being nearly $800 off. They only had two left so as I was beyond frustrated with my 2013 8GB i7 taking forever, I just went for the i9  (I was leaning toward the i7 but I couldn't get one with as good a price). I ordered around 5pm yesterday and it arrived today. Just migrated everything over.  My old lap fan is too small and was starting to get so noisy so I'll have to get a new one since this thing does run hot.

 

Love the screen - It seems huge after my 13" and it's so light - blazing fast too but the keyboard makes so much noise as you type it's really annoying. You have to press a lot harder. 

 

Most important, the thunderbolt adapters work well, which had me worried and was the reason that I had held back on updating before now. Hope this takes me into 2025 with all the power under the hood. 

 

Was hoping to upload new work but they forgot to send the card reader that I ordered. Wish these things had SD slots. I never use my camera cord but I'm guessing I can find it in the box. Hopefully some new work to upload soon. 

Edited by Marianne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.