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  1. #1


    Member Since
    May 23, 2011
    Posts
    2
    MBP Photography rig help!
    Hi all, I just had some questions to the tech gurus out there. I recently bought a 17" MBP i5 to use for professional photography work. It was reasonable though it really started to struggle when doing any intensive photo editing. Since then I upgraded to 8gb of ram in hopes that it would help. And whilst it has, its still not very fast at all. I am curios as to whether a SSD will increase it much or am I never going to get the speed I want out of this thing?
    Im trying to decide whether its worth forking out more money for an SSD or if i should cut my losses and purchase a *gulp* PC ( i hate windows).

    Anyone out there using a MBP for photography with success? Any ideas, opinions etc would be great. I WANT to love this thing but so far its just been a let down...
    -Owen

  2. #2

    Doug b's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 22, 2008
    Location
    Forest Hills, NYC
    Posts
    3,343
    Specs:
    15-inch Early 2008; Processor 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; Memory 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 10.7.5
    I can't imagine what you're doing for it to be as slow as you're claiming. I'm using an 09' MacBook Pro with only 4 gigs and use LR 3 as well as PS CS5. In fact, I just stitched 23 portrait shots for a panoramic and had zero issues. Perhaps you could give us some details, since you didn't actually say, well... anything. What are you using for PP, what are you doing etc etc etc... I'll likely be asleep when you read this so, I'm sure others will come to the rescue.

    Doug

  3. #3


    Member Since
    May 23, 2011
    Posts
    2
    Sure Doug, I just didnt want to comment to much on the photographic side in case it wasnt understood etc.
    Basic workflow involves importing into LR3 where I keep all the RAW files. Sometimes I may just edit within LR and just export for delivery (easy)
    Other times I will edit in CS5 directly from the LR library. This would mean im working on a full size TIFF within CS5. Editing will involve anything from HDR to Pano stiching. But mostly just multiple layers (up to about 40 layers) with basic editing, curves, sharpening etc. Nothing HEAPS intensive, and thats why im worried. Taking a look at the Activity Monitor RAM usage sits at around 7.98gb from my total 8.
    Its weird though the real memory usage for cs5 is only ever around 1.5gb yet all my RAM is allocated somewhere??

    And doug, if i were to stitch a pano together as large as the one you just did, yeah sure it would do it but it would probably take around 10 mins to complete...

  4. #4

    johndope83's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    123
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5 4GB RAM
    IMHO, PS is a ram guzzler. But you can manually set how much RAM to allocate for it.

    You can go to Preference>Performance. (By default it is set to 70%)

    Working on multiple layers (40 layers!!!) can take up those RAM of yours.

    IMHO, SSD would greatly increase your speed but i don't think you'll need it as of now.

    One more issue you forgot to mention is your Hard Disk space. You should have at least 25% to 40% free space in it.

    And lastly, as you said CS5 so far uses 1.5GB in your Activity Monitor. Mind if i ask what other applications are running during these time?
    2011 13" MBP 2.3 Ghz Intel Core i5 4GB RAM

  5. #5

    Dysfunction's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2008
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    6,866
    Specs:
    Way... way too many specs to list.
    I hadn't noticed anything regarding poor performance on my new mbp so far (I am not a particularly 'straight' shooter, so I generally end up with multiple layer groups doing composites). So this morning I decided to push it a bit after this post. Opened up LR, selected a series of 30 images, merged to panorama in PS.. and waited. Took about 15 minutes to get the files merged to a panorama. There's a lot of processing involved with this particular activity, so I watched activity monitor while it progressed. It went over 300% CPU and well over 5GB of physical ram used. Of course, this is a 51.5M file (flattened) and with layers it's a 2.17G file. Which leaves me to this question... When you're working with your images, how big are they in working state? This may help in figuring out what's going on.

    Edit: mbp stats for comparison purposes

    Model Identifier: MacBookPro8,2
    Processor Name: Intel Core i7
    Processor Speed: 2.2 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 4
    L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
    L3 Cache: 6 MB
    Memory: 8 GB
    Attached Images Attached Images
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  6. #6

    Doug b's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 22, 2008
    Location
    Forest Hills, NYC
    Posts
    3,343
    Specs:
    15-inch Early 2008; Processor 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; Memory 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 10.7.5
    I'd also like to see a screen shot of your activity monitor, including the RAM stats at the bottom. Sometimes RAM is allocated to an inactive state, which means that it's simply being "held" by the system for when your active RAM has exceeded its usefulness. Inactive RAM is considered cached, so therefore it should always be available when needed, in theory anyway.

    If you're working on straight psd or tiff files, that's a whole lot of memory you'll need for so many layers and blending etc.. Last night I completely forgot that I wouldn't have nearly enough memory to stitch those pano's since I was working with just the tiff files! I just didn't feel like doing post on the files individually (even though I could of course just copy and paste the settings to match one another) since I was worried about matching exposures across the lot of them.

    I don't really mess with layers in PS all that much, as I find it unnecessary. I get the results I need 99% of the time in LR alone. I only ever go there for cloning or stitching now. I should have just exported those files to jpg before stitching, that was stupid of me.

    But with so many layers like you're dealing with, I'd think perhaps that more RAM couldn't hurt? Would like to see that activity monitor of yours while you're working in PS as you were...

    Doug

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