Macbook Air 4g Ram 256 Ssd Good For Photography?

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We are continuing our series on how to choose and buy computer hardware for photography needs and today nosotros will be providing suggestions on what Apple laptops are worth looking into. Get-go, we will practice a quick overview of the Apple line of MacBooks, then nosotros will provide our superlative recommendations for doing post-processing work. This article has been written in collaboration with our team members who apply Apple tree’s MacBook products exclusively and extensively for their photography work.

Apple tree makes a total of two unlike lines of laptops. Showtime, there is a lightweight 13″ MacBook Air, so in that location is a MacBook Pro line, which comes in two sizes: thirteen″ and xvi″. The latest xvi″ MacBook Pro version released in 2022 has replaced the previous-generation 15″ model, and it looks like Apple has as well discontinued the bones 12″ MacBook line.

For someone who is shopping for a solid Apple laptop for photography needs, all these choices might exist overwhelming and confusing, so if you are wondering nigh which 1 to pick, below you volition discover a summary of each production line.

MacBook Air

Commencement, permit’s take a look at the MacBook Air line of laptops. Apple tree used to make eleven″ and xiii″ versions of the MacBook Air, but the 11″ line has been discontinued for a while at present in favor of the thirteen″ version. MacBook Air is an extremely lightweight machine and information technology also might look bonny at first.

MacBook Air

However, when something is this lightweight, in that location will always be compromises somewhere, and that’s the trouble with the MacBook Air line – they are fairly underpowered machines overall, and they are designed for light use, such as browsing the web, electronic mail, and entertainment. Although you lot can buy a higher-spec MacBook Air model with a Quad-Core Intel Cadre i7 processor, it is only clocked at one.ii Ghz, which is non great. There is no dedicated graphics card (GPU embedded into CPU) and there are only two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and so if you have more than 1 device to connect, you will demand to get a USB Type-C hub.

If you lot beef up the car with 16 GB of RAM (maximum) and 2 TB of SSD storage, you lot are looking at spending $2,250 – that’due south a lot of coin and not as much value.

Both Photoshop and Lightroom will part, but you will need to arm yourself with some patience, especially when working with large, loftier-resolution RAW images and opening multiple applications at in one case. If you don’t shoot with a high-resolution camera and you need something that is very lightweight and meaty for travel purposes, so the MacBook Air is non a bad option by whatever ways.

If lighter weight is more than important for you than performance, I would propose investing in the top-cease configuration for the MacBook Air. If your budget is tight, prioritize RAM over storage – I would not recommend anything less than 16 GB.

MacBook Pro 13-Inch

The MacBook Pro is a whole different beast. The Pro line is what everyone wants, since these machines are much more powerful for heavier post-processing workloads. The MacBook Pro xiii″ (technically xiii.iii″) is a nice and compact machine – it tin host adequately good CPUs up to 2.eight Ghz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 2 TB of PCIe-based SSD flash storage. Both Photoshop and Lightroom will run fine on these specs, simply you will yet struggle with opening big RAW files and stitching panoramas with 16 GB of RAM.

Apple MacBook Pro 13

The thirteen″ MacBook Pro has i limitation you should be aware of. Similar to the MacBook Air, it does not take a defended GPU and cannot host one. Many photo and video applications today provide support for GPU acceleration in order to get much faster performance (both Photoshop and Lightroom can accept advantage of information technology), and then if you are planning to make the MacBook Pro your primary editing car, I would suggest considering the larger 16″ model below.

Simply if you are afterwards lighter weight and smaller footprint, here are the three configurations we would recommend:

  1. Apple 13.3″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, ii.4 Ghz Intel Core i5, sixteen GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD Storage – $2,179
  2. Apple 13.3″ MacBook Pro with Affect Bar, ii.8 Ghz Intel Core i7, xvi GB of RAM and 1 TB SSD Storage – $two,699
  3. Apple tree xiii.3″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, ii.8 Ghz Intel Core i7, 16 GB of RAM and ii TB SSD Storage – $3,099

MacBook Pro sixteen-Inch

Now let’south talk well-nigh the Mercedes-Benz of Apple laptops, the MacBook Pro sixteen″. I personally own the older but maxed out 15″ version that I use every day, but when the 16″ was released, I drooled over its specifications. Apple was able to push all the latest technology, lots of RAM, storage and eight-core CPU into a similarly-sized torso as the predecessor.

Apple MacBook Pro 16

Previously, all MacBook Pro 15″ versions were express to 32 GB of RAM, but with the 16″ version, information technology is now possible to get upward to 64 GB of RAM. This is a pretty large deal for some photographers and videographers out there since they are able to apply just 1 laptop as a main machine, instead of keeping a laptop for travel and remote work, so using a dedicated desktop for more serious tasks.

You can go up to an ultra-fast eight-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 CPU with a base of operations clock of two.4 Ghz, and information technology is now possible to get up to 8 TB of fast SSD storage, which is insane! The 16″ Retina screen is great for photography work and you don’t accept to strain your eyes – the screen is dainty and big.

In add-on to the built-in Intel Hard disk Graphics GPU, the MacBook Pro sixteen″ models come with a dedicated AMD Radeon Pro 5500M video carte du jour (4 GB and 8 GB models are bachelor), which is powerful enough to not only run postal service-processing software, but also render 4K videos in Premiere Pro, or even play graphics-intensive games. In short, this thing is a powerhouse!

I used to be a fan of Microsoft’s Surface Book machines, just after comparing Surface Book 2 to MacBook Pro, I decided to switch to the latter, because it was a better machine for photo and video editing.

Here are the configurations nosotros recommend for photography needs:

  1. Apple tree 16″ MacBook Pro, two.6 Ghz Intel Cadre i7, 32 GB of RAM, i TB SSD and AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU (4 GB GDDR6) – $2,999
  2. Apple 16″ MacBook Pro, ii.3 Ghz Intel Core i9, 64 GB of RAM, 2 TB SSD and AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU (4GB GDDR6) – $iii,999
  3. Apple 16″ MacBook Pro, 2.4 Ghz Intel Core i9, 64 GB of RAM, 4 TB SSD and AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU (4GB DDR6) – $four,799

If I were buying a xvi″ MacBook Pro for myself today every bit my primary machine for prototype and video editing, it would probably be the second option with 64 GB of RAM and 2 TB SSD. I struggle to see much value beyond these specifications, specially considering that one could spend upwardly to $6,100 on the almost beefed-upward version with 8 TB of storage…

If I needed more storage for photos and videos, I would only buy external storage. The super-compact and lightweight Samsung 2TB T5 SSD drive has been on auction for a while at present, and if that’s not enough, there are other higher-chapters options available, including a dedicated NAS unit.

Is Intel 10th Generation Worth the Wait?

Intel’s 10th generation processors accept already been released, and nosotros are already seeing PC laptops with these processors. Is it worth ownership the above configurations, or should you await for Apple to refresh its Macbook line?

While Intel’due south latest and greatest processors are surely going to offer superior performance compared to ninth generation, I do not recommend that y’all wait until newer machines come out for several reasons.

First, the 10th generation Intel chipset is not going to offer more than features compared to 9th gen CPUs – RAM is nevertheless going to be maxed out at 64 GB, and I seriously doubt Apple is going to offer superior GPU or storage options. Second, from what I accept seen so far, it does not appear that the latest 10th gen Intel CPUs are significantly faster compared to their predecessors – well-nigh benchmarks show very small functioning gains beyond the lath. Third, we don’t know how long it will have Apple tree to refresh its MacBook Pro line – the company might wait and upgrade when 11th generation Intel CPUs are out, which could exist a few years from at present.

And lastly, with the release of new Apple MacBooks, you will need to wait a long time until you can get a good deal on them. Apple tree has already been running some promotions on their 16″ MacBook Pro through retailers like B&H, and every bit we get closer to the end of the twelvemonth, expect to run across many more deals (especially considering the current COVID xix pandemic).

Don’t forget that y’all can never keep upward with engineering. In that location will always be something faster and better, that’south simply the manner it is – just like with cameras. If you accept an immediate need for a solid laptop, I would recommend the 2022 MacBook Pros I listed higher up.

Hope this helps – please allow me know if you take any questions!


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