I mean with advice, not money. Dear LazyWeb: I’m about to replace the MacBook Pro that I’m typing this on, and not sure what to get. The problem is the pictures. I’m actually seriously thinking about buying a Windows (!) box.
In recent years I’ve been running with this perfectly-OK 13" SSD-based Google MacBook Pro. Its death knell approaches, and there are lots of options.
Here’s the Problem · (I’m looking at you, Adobe.) I take pictures. I use Lightroom to process them. I like it. The current camera emits DNGs that average between 20-25M, and I take them dozens or hundreds at a time. Lightroom 4 is, um, not faster than Lightroom 3 and I see no evidence that Adobe knows how to make any future version faster. Lightroom on the current machine is just barely fast enough, where “just barely” means “not really”.
My current machine has a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; other Mac options are a 13" Air with an i5 at a lower clock rate, a 13" MBP with what looks like the same CPU, or a 15" MBP with a Quad-core i7 and 8G (the others have 4). The price is, surprisingly, sort of a wash.
For the non-Lightroom stuff I do (Android software development, blogging, tweeting, Chrome) any of these would be equally excellent. If I thought the Air would hold up to my Lightroom demands, I’d be there. But I’m dubious. So... Dear World:
Is there anyone out there running Lightroom on a 13" Air with lots of 20M+ DNGs, and if so, is it OK?
If the Air Won’t Fly · I suppose Plan B would be the MBP with the i7. That’d have to be better than what I have now, but... Dear World:
Is there anyone out there running Lightroom on a 15" MBP with SSD and 8G, and if so, how is it?
Plan C would be to get the Air, accept that it’s just not gonna be my photo hub, and go buy some sort of meat-grinder to run Lightroom and nothing else. The idea would be that yes, it’d go on the road with me, but it’d live in the carry-on/roll-aboard and only come out in the hotel room after a day’s shooting.
I suspect that if you’re looking for maximum CPU and memory without overspending, you’re looking at a Windows box. And I have to say, recent versions of Windows seem much less painful than in days of yore. Of course, I wouldn’t dream of trying to reconstruct my software-development and blogging infrastructures in such a place; but as a standalone Lightroom appliance, it might be just the ticket... Dear World:
Is there anyone out there running a portable (or even luggable) Windows computer as a Lightroom appliance? If so, do tell.
Plan D · Maybe I’m missing something obvious... Dear World: Here’s your chance to enlighten me.