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Archive 2013 · Computer advise for lightroom
  
 
silvermesa1
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Computer advise for lightroom


Just getting back into photography after a 20 year lapse. I used to work as horseshow photographer. Today my photography is for fun.

I just purchased my first digital camera a D300 and have been enjoying it over the last couple of weeks. I have been shooting in raw and jpeg fine.

Been considering purchasing lightroom Version 5 and have questions about my current laptop and it's usability with this program. I have a 2008 13" Mac Book, OSX 10.5.8, 2.4GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo, with 4GB 1067 MHz DDR3 memory.

I am not a computer person and all of this is a bit overwhelming.

Questions:

1) It is my understanding I would need to update my system by 2 programs, up to Mountain Lion to run lightroom. If I do this, will my basic computer be suitable for lightroom considering the D300 is a 12mp camera?

2) I can see myself in the next year considering a 18-36mp camera. Should I buy another computer system that can handle these larger files. I've been reading about dual monitors etc on this forum and would consider this if necessary.

Thank You!

Dan



Jul 04, 2013 at 06:47 PM
ebiggs
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Computer advise for lightroom


Personally I shy away from Mac's mostly because of the ridiculously high cost.
I just got a Dell PC, Intel I7, with 16 GB, two 2 TB HD's, XFi Sound Blaster Titanium and GeForce GTX 660 with dual outputs.
It was on sale at Micro Center for less than $1400 bucks plus another $1000 for two 27" monitors.
I wandered over to the Apple department and priced a very similar Mac system and it broke $5000 with one 27" monitor.
So it was nearly double for a lesser system.
The Dell smokes through CS6 and LR5, simultaneously, plus anything else I have run so far.



Jul 04, 2013 at 07:03 PM
mhayes5254
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Computer advise for lightroom


LR5 is the key to my workflow and I would not want to be without it, therefore I would just try it. The OS upgrade is cheap enough that it is worth a try and see how it works. I do not know if your system can handle LR5 (although the 4 GB of ram could be a problem). Others may have first hand experience with LR on that system. I went from a 2008 mac pro to the new 27 iMac for my D800. If your system cannot handle it, or when you go to a high MP camera, you can upgrade to the Mac of your choice.


Jul 04, 2013 at 08:07 PM
WAYCOOL
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Computer advise for lightroom


Provided it is a LATE 2008 MBP you could put Mountain Lion on it, otherwise Lightroom will run on Lion. Your current MBP should do ok with your D300 files. 36 meg files in the future may slow thing down a bit though. I current MBP or Imac would help with those larger files both speed wise and IO considerations.


Jul 04, 2013 at 08:25 PM
butchM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Computer advise for lightroom


For on the road and out of the office work, I use a late 2007 Macbook Pro, Core 2 Duo 2.4 Ghz with 4GB RAM, running OS X 10.8.4 (Mountain Lion) ... while it is no speed demon it runs Lightroom, Aperture 3 and Photoshop CS6 just fine. I shoot D300 and D300s bodies exclusively these days and the laptop handles the 12MP files rather well. Though I'm afraid it wouldn't do so well with a D800 ...


Jul 04, 2013 at 09:10 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Computer advise for lightroom


I'm not an Apple person, but i would say that i'd expect a PC of those spec's to be a bit sluggish with LR5. The CPU is just too old - dual cores and only 2.4Ghz. It's a bit light on RAM too, but not critically so as LR is not a RAM hog. I would also question the quality of the screen for photo work.

For higher MP files you definitely want something faster. Best value for LR is an overclocked i5-3570K or i7-3770K. An overclocked i7-3930K is a little faster but quite a bit more expensive. From testing it seems that LR likes extra Mhz more than extra cores, so overclocking is well worth the effort. However, if you are a dedicated Apple customer this is not an option and you should just go with the highest Mhz quad core chip you can afford.



Jul 04, 2013 at 09:18 PM
 

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gabimaster
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Computer advise for lightroom


ebiggs is so right !!! I also never understood why Mac pc are so expensive. You should build you own pc at home since it is so easy. A i5 3570K is more than enough if you pair it with a Z77 chipset motherboard (Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, -take a pick) , a 120-180 Gb SSD ,a 2TB WD Caviar black , a decent graphic card (GTX 650 gpu should be enough), decent case ,decent power supply and a DVD-RW . And of course a Dell U2413 and that's it . All this is 1300$ - 1400$ .


Jul 10, 2013 at 09:33 PM
gabimaster
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Computer advise for lightroom


Don't forget 2x8Gb DDR3 1600 or 1866 Mhz , so let's say 1500-1550$ US. But it will be a true monster and an Apple pc with these specs will costs at least 3300-3500 $ ,maybe even more.


Jul 10, 2013 at 09:40 PM
John Caldwell
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Computer advise for lightroom


I Would: Stick with your current MBP, putting your images files LR5 catalog(s) on an external drive. As your catalog gets large, you'll observe some performance drop off. Upgrade to a better machine when performance becomes rate-limiting. Going to an iMac next makes the most sense to me, dual monitors if you want. If portability is an issue, you're Mac options leave you with a newer MBP which, on a bang-for-buck-basis, is pretty expensive. The iMac is, on the same basis, a fine deal.

iMac screen calibration works fine, but is an issue you'll need to read about.

I buy external drives from OWC:

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/1394/USB/EliteAL/eSATA_FW800_FW400_USB

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/on-the-go

The suggestion to build your own Windows machine are more than valid, I am sure. The thought of using my time that way is out of the question, in my world only, and I dislike Windows enough to happily spend money avoiding it.

Your experience, and that of others, may vary of course.

John Caldwell



Jul 10, 2013 at 11:30 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Computer advise for lightroom


gabimaster wrote:
ebiggs is so right !!! I also never understood why Mac pc are so expensive. You should build you own pc at home since it is so easy. A i5 3570K is more than enough if you pair it with a Z77 chipset motherboard (Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, -take a pick) , a 120-180 Gb SSD ,a 2TB WD Caviar black , a decent graphic card (GTX 650 gpu should be enough), decent case ,decent power supply and a DVD-RW . And of course a Dell U2413 and that's it . All this is 1300$ - 1400$ .


You can drop the graphics card from that list - LR has no GPU acceleration for image editing. Onboard graphics on the i5 are fine.



Jul 10, 2013 at 11:50 PM
Alan321
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Computer advise for lightroom


Personally I think your 13" MacBook is sub-optimal but usable for Lr with 12Mpx images. Obviously slower than more recent computers but fast enough for casual use. You do have enough RAM for Lr already. The most significant upgrade you could apply to that computer or practically any other is to change your present hard drive for a solid state drive. Consider OWC drives for your Mac (see www.macsales.com). Even a newer hard drive will be faster but the SSD is the fastest by a significant margin and, unortunately, the most expensive.

However, for bigger files in future your computer will bog down and you will benefit from a newer computer.

The 2008 macBook lacks speedy external data storage capability. It has neither USB 3.0 nor thunderbolt nor eSATA. USB 2.0 is s-o-o s-l-o-o-w that it is painful. Fire Wire 800 is usable but I don't know if your computer has that.

If you take few photos and are not in a hurry then your computer will do the job but if you are more impatient or pressed for time then it will let you down sooner than later.

I reckon that a 13" low-res screen is too small but you will need to verify that the computer can cope with a larger screen and also feed it different information from what is on the built in screen. That graphics capability will limit what you can use in the way of bigger and better screens.

So, Plan A is try Lr with what you have. Try to separate functionality from speed.
Plan B is to upgrade the HDD if only a smallish speed improvement is required.
Plan C is to get a new computer if a significant speed improvement is required.

If I was buying today I might still go for a Mac but it is increasingly unlikely as Apple continues to dumb down their computers and limit upgradability. Windows 8 will allow other computers to shrink to Apple sizes. Few if any have screens as nice as the Apple retina screens but even they are limited to 15".

- Alan



Jul 12, 2013 at 01:44 PM





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