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Thread: Macbook Pro configuration for processing large RAW files

  1. #1
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    Macbook Pro configuration for processing large RAW files

    I am looking to purchase a new Macbook pro to use in the field. I would like to keep it light and powerful enough to process files from my P45 (and potentially P65 backs in the future).

    I currently have a little Macbook air and iMac at home. The Macbook Air is nice and light for travel, but just can’t handle RAW files (lots and lots of spinning rainbow wheels).

    Question, what are the most important parts of the Macbook Pro for processing large RAW files – processor (core 2 duo, i5 or i7), processor speed, memory, video RAM or SSD hard drive? I know the answer is all, but what parts are the most important?

    I would like to get a MacBook Pro 13” for the size/weight for backpacking/travel, but the fastest current setup is the 2.66 Core 2 Duo and the largest graphics is 256MB).

    If I move up to the MBP 15” I can get the newer processors with 512MB video. Just trying to find out what is most important for processing.

    Also, what is the processing speed difference between the core 2 duo, i5 or i7?

  2. #2
    jamie123
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    Re: Macbook Pro configuration for processing large RAW files

    RAM is probably the most important. I don't think better graphics and processor speed makes much of a difference with processing still images. Get a MBP with 4GB and upgrade it to 8GB with RAM from macsales.com.

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    Subscriber Member kit laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Macbook Pro configuration for processing large RAW files

    We have been discussing this on another thread; see here.

    IMHO, SSD and max Ram from OWC (macsales.com, above), the i7 chip and the high-rez matte screen options all yield practical real benefits.

    My MBP 15", optioned as described, performs 25% faster on all tasks (Geekbench) than an optioned-to-the-max quad-core MacPro. I have sold the desktop and now only use the MBP.

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    Thumbs up Re: Macbook Pro configuration for processing large RAW files

    Quote Originally Posted by timwier View Post
    I would like to get a MacBook Pro 13” for the size/weight for backpacking/travel, but the fastest current setup is the 2.66 Core 2 Duo and the largest graphics is 256MB).
    Speaking as an electrical engineer who's designed microprocessor-based equipment since micros were invented, there's not enough difference from the low end to the high end to worry about.

    I have a 13" MacBook Pro with a 24" Cinema LED display, and it works beautifully for processing the digital files from my Hasselblad 39-megapixel back. I also run Photoshop CS5 with no problems. The combination cost less than a 15" by itself.

    Definitely max out the memory, and put in a solid-state drive if you can afford it. It will do everything you want.

    - Leigh

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