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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 02, 2013
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    1
    Is 4Gb enough on a MacBook for an advanced photographer?
    I bought a gently used MacBook Pro that's a bit over a year old and that has 4 Gb of RAM. I am wondering if it's good enough to handle large raw photo files and so on as my wife is going to use this mac for doing her photography stuff... via Photoshop and other such software for pic editing.

    I could upgrade to 8gb if necessary but thought I'd ask the pros before dropping a $100-200 or whatever it costs to add the memory.

    Thanks!

    Lewis

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    48,038
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    It would be a good idea to up the memory to at least 8 GB especially if you're going to be running Photoshop. We recommend Crucial or OWC as the best vendors to buy the memory from.

  3. #3

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
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    U.S.
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    34,288
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by lewiscoughlin View Post
    I could upgrade to 8gb if necessary but thought I'd ask the pros before dropping a $100-200 or whatever it costs to add the memory.
    An 8gig ram upgrade should cost you closer to $50-$60 bucks (assuming you're in the U.S.). At that price...why not!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Feb 27, 2011
    Posts
    186
    Specs:
    '11 15.4, 2.2, 8gb MBP - '11 15.4, 2.0, 8gb MBP, 2x4gb Gen1 Nano, 8gb Gen3 Nano,
    Quote Originally Posted by lewiscoughlin View Post
    I bought a gently used MacBook Pro that's a bit over a year old and that has 4 Gb of RAM. I am wondering if it's good enough to handle large raw photo files and so on as my wife is going to use this mac for doing her photography stuff... via Photoshop and other such software for pic editing.

    I could upgrade to 8gb if necessary but thought I'd ask the pros before dropping a $100-200 or whatever it costs to add the memory.

    Thanks!

    Lewis
    Do the 16gb from OWC $149 Get all that you can.
    Craig Lamson - Craig Lamson Photo

    www.craiglamson.com

  5. #5

    bobmielke's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 23, 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    291
    Specs:
    21.5" iMac 3.06 I3, 16Gig Ram, OSX 10.6.8
    Quote Originally Posted by lewiscoughlin View Post
    I bought a gently used MacBook Pro that's a bit over a year old and that has 4 Gb of RAM. I am wondering if it's good enough to handle large raw photo files and so on as my wife is going to use this mac for doing her photography stuff... via Photoshop and other such software for pic editing.

    I could upgrade to 8gb if necessary but thought I'd ask the pros before dropping a $100-200 or whatever it costs to add the memory.

    Thanks!

    Lewis
    The very first thing I did after getting my iMac was to order 16 Gig of high speed RAM and have the Mac dealer install it. It's not the Apple brand of RAM but identical chip modules made by Crucial. It's been running great for better than 4 years, now with Mountain Lion aboard. I'm a power Photoshop user.
    Bob
    iMac, iPad, iPod Nano

  6. #6

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by bobmielke View Post
    The very first thing I did after getting my iMac was to order 16 Gig of high speed RAM and have the Mac dealer install it. It's not the Apple brand of RAM but identical chip modules made by Crucial. It's been running great for better than 4 years, now with Mountain Lion aboard. I'm a power Photoshop user.
    Great advice Bob!

    As far as I can tell...you're one of the "Main-Men" around here when it comes to photography!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  7. #7

    bobmielke's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 23, 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    291
    Specs:
    21.5" iMac 3.06 I3, 16Gig Ram, OSX 10.6.8
    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Great advice Bob!

    As far as I can tell...you're one of the "Main-Men" around here when it comes to photography!

    - Nick
    Few computers or software require more resources than Adobe Photoshop. Only high end gaming requires more.
    Bob
    iMac, iPad, iPod Nano

  8. #8

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
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    9,596
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    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    Hey Bob wouldn't it be safe to say that other than memory an ample amount of storage space is one of the next best investments?
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  9. #9

    bobmielke's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 23, 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    291
    Specs:
    21.5" iMac 3.06 I3, 16Gig Ram, OSX 10.6.8
    Quote Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
    Hey Bob wouldn't it be safe to say that other than memory an ample amount of storage space is one of the next best investments?
    IMHO you don't need a big hard drive at all. My iMac has a 500 gig HD and still has 350 gig free. I store my photos online at SmugMug.com, have for 4 years. They backup everything on three different servers at three different locations. It cost me around $50 a year for that security. Even though hard drives have gotten cheaper it doesn't get close to that price. Plus, what's your time worth spent backing up on multiple hard drives? If there's a fire, theft or disaster in your home you lose everything. I can't deal with that.

    After RAM your best investment is good software. With my Photography I own the latest Mac versions of Photoshop and plug-in suites from 3 different makers: Topaz, OnOne & NIK. Again, these were all downloaded from the companies so backups are always available for free. Been there, done that.
    Bob
    iMac, iPad, iPod Nano

  10. #10

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
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    Specs:
    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    That's a good deal to have backups in more than one place. I don't have a lot of photos at the moment but would like to begin digitizing a lot of old family photos and do some touchup work.

    I have the OnOne plugins and really like them. I need to contact them since I need to reinstall them and seem to have misplaced my serial number. I'll be trying the NIK plugins soon as well.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  11. #11

    alicepattinson's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 28, 2013
    Posts
    179
    4GB RAM is just fine if you just collect so many pictures, etc. But if you're planning to download so many applications and software a larger RAM is better

  12. #12

    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 17, 2009
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    MA
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    27" i7 iMac, 24" iMac, 13" Macbook Air, iPhone 6S, iPod Nano 7th GeniPad 3
    Quote Originally Posted by alicepattinson View Post
    4GB RAM is just fine if you just collect so many pictures, etc. But if you're planning to download so many applications and software a larger RAM is better
    RAM has nothing to do with storage. So what and how much you download are have no relation to the RAM. RAM has everything to do with WHAT you run. So running applications that will load large RAW images or video footage for post-processing needs a lot of RAM to make it efficient..

    Please learn about the terminology and usage before posting..
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin



    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

  13. #13

    bobmielke's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 23, 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    291
    Specs:
    21.5" iMac 3.06 I3, 16Gig Ram, OSX 10.6.8
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz0rEdge View Post
    RAM has nothing to do with storage. So what and how much you download are have no relation to the RAM. RAM has everything to do with WHAT you run. So running applications that will load large RAW images or video footage for post-processing needs a lot of RAM to make it efficient..

    Please learn about the terminology and usage before posting..
    Give her a break. I've got underwear older than her.
    Bob
    iMac, iPad, iPod Nano

  14. #14

    CebuCity's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location
    Cebu City, Philippines
    Posts
    200
    Specs:
    MacBook Pro 15" 2.2GHz i7 16GB RAM 250G SSD OS X Mountain Lion, iMac mid 2011, iPhone 3G
    Go with 16G crucial. Great investment.

  15. #15

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    9,596
    Specs:
    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    Quote Originally Posted by bobmielke View Post
    Give her a break. I've got underwear older than her.
    LOL
    1. WAAAAAY too much info there Bob.
    2. You must hate shopping more than I do.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

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