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Thinking of switching to a Mac for image processing


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#1 Natalie_S

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 05:50 AM

Hi everyone,

I've been using PCs all my life, but I'm getting really tired of the bloatware on my PC that slows it down. Every time I do a Windows Update it seems to get slower with the updates installed. Besides doing underwater photography, I run a part-time photography business so I have a lot of photos to deal with and lots of retouching to do. I currently use Lightroom and CS3, and want to continue using them. My current PC has 4 GB of RAM, and it seemed fast enough when I first bought it a few years ago. But now, when I'm just doing basic editing in Lightroom, my computer slows down to a crawl and for every pen stroke I do, and I have to wait until my computer catches up to continue. CS3 runs a bit faster, but once I'm dealing with multiple layers it gets slow.

My question is: if I get a Mac (specifically, a MacBook Pro with 8 GB of RAM), will it run Lightroom and CS3 faster? Or will it just be the same if I get a new PC with 8GB of RAM? And, will I have to upgrade my computer as often (currently I seem to be on a 2-3 year upgrade cycle). I know some of the benefits (no need for antivirus software), but is it really worth it switch to a Mac? Any helpful comments/tips would be appreciated.
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#2 troporobo

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 06:21 AM

I can't tell you if it is faster than what you currently use, but I can tell you that Aperture on an Core i3 iMac with only 4 Gb of memory does not exhibit any noticeable lag, even processing RAW files. More importantly, I have not had a single software problem on this machine or the previous (slower) Mac. I use a PC all day at work and am so happy to come home to a Mac that I would not contemplate switching.

#3 meme.may.fire

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 07:33 AM

Hi everyone,

I've been using PCs all my life, but I'm getting really tired of the bloatware on my PC that slows it down.


easy, just upgrade.
I heard for photo-editing software u jus need a good graphic card and some ram to go with it.
Nowadays even the processor is cheap.
I know because i jus done so.
Before i upgrade it took forever for an image to load on Lr.
I then upgrade to a decent processor and add some ram, it works well.
(note that i already have a good graphic card i add last year)

if u are a pc user, jus stick with it.
Things people said that mac is faster is as similar as fanboy wars between canon and nikon...

Edited by meme.may.fire, 22 October 2011 - 07:34 AM.

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#4 rovanpera

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 04:55 PM

PS CS3 can only use up to 3 gb of memory, you can get better performance by having faster hard drives for cache and files. processor upgrade and new gpu won't have much of an effect. (CS3 on my 8 core mac can use all of 1 core...)

PS CS5 is an 64 bit app so it can use more memory and can also utilize gpu for some things.

#5 loftus

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 04:15 AM

Hi everyone,

I've been using PCs all my life, but I'm getting really tired of the bloatware on my PC that slows it down. Every time I do a Windows Update it seems to get slower with the updates installed. Besides doing underwater photography, I run a part-time photography business so I have a lot of photos to deal with and lots of retouching to do. I currently use Lightroom and CS3, and want to continue using them. My current PC has 4 GB of RAM, and it seemed fast enough when I first bought it a few years ago. But now, when I'm just doing basic editing in Lightroom, my computer slows down to a crawl and for every pen stroke I do, and I have to wait until my computer catches up to continue. CS3 runs a bit faster, but once I'm dealing with multiple layers it gets slow.

My question is: if I get a Mac (specifically, a MacBook Pro with 8 GB of RAM), will it run Lightroom and CS3 faster? Or will it just be the same if I get a new PC with 8GB of RAM? And, will I have to upgrade my computer as often (currently I seem to be on a 2-3 year upgrade cycle). I know some of the benefits (no need for antivirus software), but is it really worth it switch to a Mac? Any helpful comments/tips would be appreciated.


I'm sure it's possible to upgrade your PC to run fine; if you can sit down with a Mac at a Mac Store or find a friend with one, and decide if you like it. Probably need to decide if you like the Mac system and concept as a whole.
Hard to imagine why you would not.
If you do decide to switch, get a new MacBook Pro with a 250 - 500GB SSD.
It flies; as fast or faster than my 2 year old desktop MacPro which is fast enough. If you have large photo libraries, store these on an external drive. New Thunderbolt drives are now available though I do not have one, yet. I have never noticed software updates to slow down my Mac, always been painless especially with Operating System updates. Aperture updates have had a few hiccups due to the need for library upgrades.
I can't say what the future will hold but my desktop which is almost 3 years old, runs all the latest Photoshop, Aperture etc software without a problem.

Edited by loftus, 23 October 2011 - 04:21 AM.

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#6 Aigar Sisask

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 10:49 AM

If programs worked before just fine, I would consider formatting computer and install all software fresh. Windows collecting so many useless files over the years and that makes computer also very slow.
And also, If you already have PC software licenses, then they don't fit to MAC. So then You need to buy new licenses also. And this cost much more than just new Mac computer. If this is not a option, then its much cheaper to format computer, make some upgrade (graphic card) and life goes on.
Of course, before format your hard drive, You must back-up all your files.

#7 leighd

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 03:06 PM

I just upgraded from an old 13" macbook to the 17" Macbook pro and have no lag editing raw files from my D7000 in Lightroom and the amount of extra space on the screen while photo editing is amazing, i highly recommend it!
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#8 Natalie_S

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 04:43 PM

Thanks for the tips & ideas.

I went to an Apple Store today and played with a MacBook Pro. It was nice. But I have a couple of Terabytes of photos in my archive that are in NTFS format, which Macs can't read. I'll probably buy the MacBook Pro for myself for Christmas, plus a couple of new drives for my archived work. In the meantime, I'll delete any software I'm not using to see if that will help.
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#9 msx

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:26 AM

Macs can read NTSF format, i bought Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X, but there is also free software which gives to your Mac ability to read and write to NTFS discs.
After i upgraded to Mac, i bought external hard drive for Time machine and new external hard drive for photos. I have on my mac only photos from this and latest year. All older photos I back up to external hard drive.
If you need to read this external Mac hard drive on windows machine there is also software from paragon which allows windows to understand (read/write) OS X partition.

Thanks for the tips & ideas.

I went to an Apple Store today and played with a MacBook Pro. It was nice. But I have a couple of Terabytes of photos in my archive that are in NTFS format, which Macs can't read. I'll probably buy the MacBook Pro for myself for Christmas, plus a couple of new drives for my archived work. In the meantime, I'll delete any software I'm not using to see if that will help.



#10 davehicks

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:14 PM

Thanks for the tips & ideas.

I went to an Apple Store today and played with a MacBook Pro. It was nice. But I have a couple of Terabytes of photos in my archive that are in NTFS format, which Macs can't read. I'll probably buy the MacBook Pro for myself for Christmas, plus a couple of new drives for my archived work. In the meantime, I'll delete any software I'm not using to see if that will help.


You should check out some modern, new, clean PC's as well. The Microsoft Store online sells systems that don't have any annoying junk-ware installed on them, and they handle any service or support directly.

http://www.microsoftstore.com

You can get a system very similar to the the MacBook Pro for a heck of a lot less money, and it will run Photoshop or Lightroom faster. Note that there is no 64bit version of either of these applications for the Mac, but they are standard on Windows 7.

I bought a Samsung Series 9 there a few months ago and I love it. Amazingly fast and sleek in a 2.88 lbs package.

#11 loftus

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 07:03 AM

Note that there is no 64bit version of either of these applications for the Mac, but they are standard on Windows 7.

Not sure where you get your data on PS running faster on PC vs Mac , if both are fully optimized, latest software and machines etc. CS5 runs 64bit on new Macs; I believe LR 3 as well though I don't use Lightroom, so not 100% certain of that. The reason for people to choose Macs has to do with issues of slick OS interface, ease of use, fewer security vulnerabilities etc. One does pay a premium for that, which some prefer not to.

Edited by loftus, 25 October 2011 - 07:08 AM.

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#12 wagsy

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 02:01 PM

Lightroom 3, Adobe CS5, illustrator CS5 plus real time editing of native Canon 7D - 60D mov files all no problems on my old 2008 3 x LCD screen Quad PC.
You just have to have them set up correct, does not miss a beat and boots up in 50 seconds.
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#13 Natalie_S

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:10 PM

I've pretty much made my decision. No more PCs for me! The 512GB SSD is a bit pricey, but I can probably make do with 256GB.

Thanks everyone.
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#14 loftus

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:38 PM

Anyone who owns a PC, should read 'Worm - the first world cyberwar' by Marc Bowden who wrote Black Hawk Down. They'd think twice before ever logging on to the internet with their PC. Logging on with a Mac is worrisome enough.....
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#15 wagsy

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 06:38 PM

Anyone who owns a PC, should read 'Worm - the first world cyberwar' by Marc Bowden who wrote Black Hawk Down. They'd think twice before ever logging on to the internet with their PC. Logging on with a Mac is worrisome enough.....


That's why I use a firewall.
Can easily see what little program is trying to get out :-)
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#16 loftus

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 06:53 PM

That's why I use a firewall.
Can easily see what little program is trying to get out :-)

Well you're smarter than 99.9% of computer users
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#17 Drew

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:47 PM

Adobe CS5 will generally run a bit to a lot faster on a PC, especially AEFx and Premiere Pro. The port over to Mac is not as good as the original code.

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#18 Rocha

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 10:08 AM

I just heard Apple is "rethinking" the future of the Mac Pro desktop line. That is one big bummer for me, I haven't had a Windows desktop in ages and was waiting for an update of the Mac Pro line to get my next desktop.

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#19 loftus

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:53 AM

This is discussed on this other thread
http://wetpixel.com/...mp;#entry294323
Probably a bit premature I think to speculate on the demise of a powerful Apple platform; the format /shape/size may change, but it's hard to believe Apple will only sell less capable machines. For example one could imagine a high spec mac mini with Thunderbolt daisy chained to any number of components and peripherals, with the same capabilities in a much smaller and more versatile package

Edited by loftus, 03 November 2011 - 03:54 AM.

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#20 wbk

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:56 AM

Who did you hear they are re-thinking the platform from? Would be really amazed if they are, but it wouldn't surprise me if the long term future ends up being a merged version of a future ipad with the base expansion a bit like i think Asus have done...

I have and love my Mac book pro, was my first mac after having been a PC person for years and was even a Microsoft pro. They will forever be the arguments on both sides of the fence, no matter what bench marks etc are published but it is definitely tough the first time you move over as you need to get all the software again, which adds heavily to the cost of moving, so don't forget that. For the total amount it will end up costing you to replace all the software you could build one powerful PC.. but people also seem to be mixing portables with desktops.. As for portable solutions the MacBook Pro is definitely up there with the best you can get, and personally much prefer how they work to PC's, plus the joy of them being seemless if you also happen to have an iphone and/or ipad aswell.

Also, you said you have a few TB's for storage... The Thunderbolt storage is definitely amazing fast and well worth it.. (again just in my view..) There will always be the love them and hate them camps which kinda makes me giggle as you want have thought that it should be about the end result.

I read that CS3 onwards was re-written from the ground up for macs and so was not only a ported version, or was this just for premier pro?

Anyways, best of luck and sounds like you will be getting a nice Christmas present!
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