Notebook for photo editing (D800 RAW)

SonnySonny Posts: 5Member
edited March 2013 in General Discussions
Hey guy's,

I'm going to need a notebook soon for school and work and i was thinking it will be great if i could do some decent photo editing there too.
My old desktop is getting a little slow with D800 raw files in PS and LR. I was looking on Macbook pro with Retina display but im not really a fan of apple and I'm not going to spend 3200$ on someting I can't even upgrade. So I was wondering if you can recommend someting with a good screen that is not reflecting so much, has good color reproduction and is evenly lit. Trying to google it did not help me so much.

Also what is more important for PS and LR, ram or processor? To me it seems that loading details in LR needs more processor power and PS with more layers needs more ram (according to my observations).


I am looking for:
7 hour life-time
decent screen around 17-ish
RAM: 8GB (minimum)
PROCESSOR: 3Ghz quad-core (can probably go a little lower but i want to have some reserves)
Decent graphics card
HDD: 500GB minimum (1TB is ok)
SSD for OS is a plus
OS: Windows 7 64

I will be glad if someone will be willing to give me advice. :)
Post edited by Sonny on
«13

Comments

  • PaulohnPaulohn Posts: 33Member
    Well, I am not up to date with computers, but I believe 17" and 7hours battery does not walk together.
    I don't know if there is any notebook factory-equipped with hybrid hds, but seagate has a hybrid option, which is cheaper than ssd and faster than regular hds.
  • flight3flight3 Posts: 379Member
    Hmm well my suggestions for you is that you focus on looking for a laptop with the processor and battery life you want. You can easily upgrade the hard drive or RAM later on (and for a good price), of course I'm assuming you know how to since you were talking about not being able to upgrade a macbook pro. And having a big screen is nice to have, but remember you'll be lugging that thing to school/work everyday and 17 inchers arent that light. I'd say get a 13 (I currently use one) or maybe 15 inch laptop and buy a secondary monitor later on. I find that having 2 screens while I edit photos helps me a lot more than having one big screen. Hope that helps.

    And as for your PS question, I believe that RAM is the more important factor. You'll need a decent processor to do certain things in PS, but more RAM will help your computer when you are editing bigger files/multiple ones at the same time.
    Nikon D3100, 18-55mm VR, 50mm 1.8D, Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 OS, Yongnuo YN-560 II Speedlight Flash www.dreshad.com
  • obajobaobajoba Posts: 206Member
    Go with 16GB and an SSD, less emphasis on CPU. Why can't you go with "just" a MacBook Pro? I gutted mine and added an SSD as the primary drive, left the 750 spinner as my "data" drive, bumped it to 16GB and it's happy as a clam. You *can* upgrade the drive in the MBP Retina, but the RAM I believe is soldered in.

    Also, a 17" laptop sounds great until you have to travel with the laptop and all of your gear. I second the 13" and a secondary display. My 15" MBP is kind of a pain when combined with all of my gear.
    D4 | 70-200 2.8 VR | 24-70 2.8 | TC-17e II
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    edited March 2013
    I recently purchased a Macbook Pro with Retina display and put in 16GB of RAM. Do yourself a favor and take a closer look. I'm running Aperture and not LR, but it's running pretty fast.
    Post edited by proudgeek on
  • SonnySonny Posts: 5Member
    Hmm well my suggestions for you is that you focus on looking for a laptop with the processor and battery life you want. You can easily upgrade the hard drive or RAM later on (and for a good price), of course I'm assuming you know how to since you were talking about not being able to upgrade a macbook pro. And having a big screen is nice to have, but remember you'll be lugging that thing to school/work everyday and 17 inchers arent that light. I'd say get a 13 (I currently use one) or maybe 15 inch laptop and buy a secondary monitor later on. I find that having 2 screens while I edit photos helps me a lot more than having one big screen. Hope that helps.

    And as for your PS question, I believe that RAM is the more important factor. You'll need a decent processor to do certain things in PS, but more RAM will help your computer when you are editing bigger files/multiple ones at the same time.
    Yeah I probably will focus on good processor, baterry life and ram I can upgrade...
    I am still not sure about the 15 inch, I mean 17 inch still seems good for me even when I will carry it around all the time.I am kinda used to carrying around my "brief" breakdown of Economy book that has like 3 kilos. :)
    Why can't you go with "just" a MacBook Pro?

    Also, a 17" laptop sounds great until you have to travel with the laptop and all of your gear. I second the 13" and a secondary display. My 15" MBP is kind of a pain when combined with all of my gear.
    I am not really fan of apple products and I will need to use windows for some stuff. Also the pro macs seem kinda expensive if you compare it with the widows 7 with same specs.


    I was just interested if anyone have some info on what brands are generally better for us PS/LR users.
  • GodlessGodless Posts: 113Member
    Hey guy's,
    I'm going to need a notebook soon for school and work and i was thinking it will be great if i could do some decent photo editing there too.

    I will be glad if someone will be willing to give me advice. :)
    My advice for you is: forget notebooks for D800 RAW workflow.

    It would be more cost efficient to upgrade your desktop computer and use that, as there is generally more space inside a desktop puter case for upgrades and less limitations for increasing the memory capacity, less restricting overall. If you cannot install the memory & hard disks yourself, get a knowledgeable friend to do it for you.

    What you need is a powerful enough processor (an i5 will do) at least 8 To 16GB RAM and a couple of huge hard drives to store your data. And an external HD for backups.

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited March 2013
    <
    My advice for you is: forget notebooks for D800 RAW workflow.





    +1

    you something with a bit of grunt

    at least i5 12 GB Ram
    i 7 and 24 GB would be better
    high spec note books tend to run a bit hot and some more prone to overheating

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Depending on how much you shoot - I would not get anything less than 16gb of ram and 256 (-/+) SSD.

    I'm running 32gb of ram on my PC desktop and Lightroom will bog down a bit with heavy edits. I know Macs rely on ram much more than PCs do. I have a 128gb ssd and have to constantly move files to a USB drive to keep it from filling up.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    17" and 7h battery life... You are joking... unless You get Hyperjuice for it. as for the rest of specs... any new i5/i7 will handle the job and You will not see a much difference between them (assuming the rest specs is same). You will end up better if You put a good 256ssd inside (the more the better) and at least 16gb of ram.
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    'Brand' makes no difference in windows machines, as none of the 'brands' actually manufacture anything but the case (if that).

    Unless you are stiching large panos (as I do) or HDR, a 4 core i5 or i7 around 3ghz and 16 gb should suffice. SSD or fusion is a good idea since paging or temp files may be generated.

    I use PS CS5 and ACR (not lightroom), but often see cpu at 300+ %.

    ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi,

    A desktop would be preferred, but the Core i7 is where the rubber meets the road.

    As a student and D800 user, I would think that the OP would like to use CS6 and Bridge, which really puts a lot of additional RAM on the table, too. My teaching computer has 16GB and one 3TB drive dedicated to virtual RAM - that's over-kill, but then, I have 30 TB to play with.

    Too much space can be too much. BIOS setup can be your friend, and chipsets and setup and motherboards are important.

    As an earlier poster mentioned, you can have long battery life or a big screen, but trying to do both doesn't quite fit, but I don't buy adding a screen (monitor) later. Most VGA outputs (that's most, not all) are limited in color space, so that the Photoshop experience would be really limiting - another plus for going to a desktop to get a pumped up graphics card to increase editing and color depth, much more than a laptop would allow.

    Granted, the mobility is limited, something the OP was likely counting on in the original post, but the bang for the buck is clearly on a desktop, not a laptop.

    If the laptop is still on the table, expect to pay dearly for the same editing power, a premium of 300% or more, likely, much, much more, possibly 6 times more for the same bang, benchmark for benchmark.

    My best,

    Mike
  • SonnySonny Posts: 5Member
    edited March 2013


    Unless you are stiching large panos (as I do) or HDR, a 4 core i5 or i7 around 3ghz and 16 gb should suffice. SSD or fusion is a good idea since paging or temp files may be generated.

    ... H
    I don't do large panos but somewhere near medium....(but i will do some large in the future) I do some HDR in photomatix, but since it usually doesn't look too good I'm going to move to digital blending in PS6, (I probably forgot to mention that :)). My desktop pc is just not up to the task of loading more raw files so getting a notebook that can handle this seems like a good idea since I will be getting one anyway.
    Hi,

    As an earlier poster mentioned, you can have long battery life or a big screen, but trying to do both doesn't quite fit, but I don't buy adding a screen (monitor) later. Most VGA outputs (that's most, not all) are limited in color space, so that the Photoshop experience would be really limiting - another plus for going to a desktop to get a pumped up graphics card to increase editing and color depth, much more than a laptop would allow.

    Granted, the mobility is limited, something the OP was likely counting on in the original post, but the bang for the buck is clearly on a desktop, not a laptop.

    If the laptop is still on the table, expect to pay dearly for the same editing power, a premium of 300% or more, likely, much, much more, possibly 6 times more for the same bang, benchmark for benchmark.

    My best,

    Mike
    Yeah, I was thinking about getting "just" a powerful notebook and adding some nice 20-something inch IPS screen.... VGA outputs maybe also an issue. Thanks

    The money is an issue to some degree and I still would love to get the Macbook pro with retina screen but i kinda still want windows and when i look at the specs I can get much better deal with high-end notebook with w7.

    Thank you for your help so far, I am still looking, (it's not like they are going anywhere) :)
    Post edited by Sonny on
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    edited March 2013
    VGA is analog; very few new laptops have them anymore. Some business-oriented laptops might still come with VGA to hook up to old projectors. Some Sony laptops still have them as well (that's Sony for you.)

    But most laptops today only come with digital connectors, such as DisplayPort or HDMI (or both.) There would be no difference in terms of output color depth from these connectors as compared to a desktop. You can buy a DisplayPort to VGA dongle for around $25 if you really need one.

    -Ade
    Post edited by Ade on
  • YetibuddhaYetibuddha Posts: 388Member
    Yes, on the HDMI, that's the output of my new laptop, which is an I7 with 8gigs of RAM. It could be the displayport as well, but shouldn't have to worry anymore about VGA unless you have an older lcd projector to connect to.
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    @haroldp - brand makes a difference in windows machines more than You would excpect. You can get same specs but You will not get same performance.

    if You already have a desktop than just buy ssd drive and get a decent ($200&up) GPU, assuming U have at least i3 on board. You'll be able to configure the PS6 to use the GPU power for pano stiching. this shouldn't cost U more than $500. for another $1000 get macbook air for all off road duties. anyway, You ain't gonna do picture editing on laptop... it's way to bulky.
  • obajobaobajoba Posts: 206Member
    I do all of my photo editing in LR4.2 and the Nik plug-ins with absolutely no issues, lag, or hesitation (late 2011 MBP 15", 2.5 Quad i7, 16GB 1333 mem, Radeon HD 6770M w/1024MB and a new(er) Samsung 840 Pro SSD for OS/Apps and 750GB HDS spinner for storage) and my second display is a Dell 27".

    There's a great comparo out there for LightRoom that shows it's all about RAM, the CPU's and SSD made little difference for processing time.
    D4 | 70-200 2.8 VR | 24-70 2.8 | TC-17e II
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    @obajoba - I agree with You that LR is all about RAM, but only when it comes to working on the pictures. when it comes to opening and transferring the files it makes a difference when You work on SSD or regular spinning HDD.
  • kenadamskenadams Posts: 222Member
    If you can point me to a Windows notebook with the same specs as the latest MacBooks and still have a large price difference, I'd like to hear about it. Macs are expensive, but usually their guts warrant for it - plus a couple of % for the Apple logo, agreed. Same goes for build quality and ergonomics, and I'm not talking about a nice design or glossy finish.

    Of course storage is an issue, but then again, whether you have 256GB or double that is pretty much an academical question - you'll need external storage anyway for your own good. SSD and external spinner TB drives make sense to me.



  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited March 2013
    If you can point me to a Windows notebook with the same specs as the latest MacBooks and still have a large price difference, I'd like to hear about it.


    Retail prices can be similar
    but the last time I bought a high spec laptop direct from Dell I managed a 50% discount
    Apple would only give 10% if I spent over £10K


    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    Example mid-range configuration suitable for photo editing

    MacBook 15" non-Retina
    Quad-core i7 @ 2.3 GHz ****
    8GB RAM (maximum possible)
    750GB hard drive 7200RPM (fusion not offered)
    15" hi-res 1680x1050px screen
    nVidia GT650M w/ 512MB GDDR5 vram
    DVD/CD reader Superdrive
    $2150

    Dell XPS 15
    Quad-core i7 @ 2.2 GHz
    12GB RAM upgradeable to 16GB ****
    750GB 7200RPM + 32gb mSATA SSD ****
    15.6" Full HD 1920x1080px screen ****
    nVidia GT640M w/ 2GB GDDR5 vram ****
    Blu-Ray + DVD-burner combo drive ****
    $1699

    **** = indicates spec advantage

    Apple premium = 27% before discounts, while the Dell appears to be better specced for photography (more RAM, more VRAM, hybrid drive, higher resolution screen).

    -Ade
    (Mac user)
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 641Member
    edited March 2013
    Here is an alternative view: For travel and school, you can't beat the macbook air with an external HDD. Use the money you save on a notebook to buy a very good photo editing quality IPS monitor. You'll replace the notebook in a few years anyway, but a good monitor can last as long as two or three computers. (My home computer is a macbook air, and I use LR4 and CS6 without too much trouble, although it is slower than what I have at work.)

    You'll also want a monitor calibration device. If you spend more money on your monitor than your notebook, you'll save money in the long run, as your photo editing will be faster and more accurate.

    Conventional wisdom is to go for processing power and memory on the notebook, but if you can tolerate some compromise in speed, save some money, and go with a better monitor, you may find you actually work faster and save money in the future. You only need a large (17 in or more) monitor when you are at your desk. For walking around you want the smallest computer you can get by with, as that will give you more room in your bag for the calculus textbooks.
    Post edited by Symphotic on
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • mikepmikep Posts: 280Member
    edited March 2013
    my advice would be to first decide your size, which you can do by determining where you are going to use it. if you want it to be portable, dont go over 15 inch, even 15 inch is annoying to carry. 17 is really best left sitting on a desk imo, and most backpacks that have a laptop slot only go up to 15 anyway.

    there are many options to chose from. try a mac before you decide you dont like apple, you might be surprised. i am a mac convert, but if i were to buy windows again, i would always start with lenovo, as they are built well, and tend to have the best keyboards of any laptop including macs (imo)

    edit ** just found out that lenovo stopped using their classic keyboard last year ..... bad news **


    Post edited by mikep on
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    IMHO, the golden spot for notebook screen size is between 13-14 with resolution of at least 1440x900 - anything less res and You want be able to work comfortably with neither aperture, ps, lr - as You will lost too much space for navigation.
  • itsnotmeyouknowitsnotmeyouknow Posts: 481Member
    edited March 2013
    Example mid-range configuration suitable for photo editing

    MacBook 15" non-Retina
    Quad-core i7 @ 2.3 GHz ****
    8GB RAM (maximum possible)
    750GB hard drive 7200RPM (fusion not off
    ered)


    15" hi-res 1680x1050px screen
    nVidia GT650M w/ 512MB GDDR5 vram
    DVD/CD reader Superdrive
    $2150

    Dell XPS 15
    Quad-core i7 @ 2.2 GHz
    12GB RAM upgradeable to 16GB ****
    750GB 7200RPM + 32gb mSATA SSD ****
    15.6" Full HD 1920x1080px screen ****
    nVidia GT640M w/ 2GB GDDR5 vram ****
    Blu-Ray + DVD-burner combo drive ****
    $1699

    **** = indicates spec advantage

    Apple premium = 27% before discounts, while the Dell appears to be better specced for photography (more RAM, more VRAM, hybrid drive, higher resolution screen).

    -Ade
    (Mac user)
    I have that exact macbook. I had 8GB in it originally, but upgraded to 16GB getting my memory from crucial for a very reasonable price. 16GB is the maximum it will take, the modules have to match, so you will ghave to remove the two 4GB modules and replace them with 2 x 8GB.

    I also have the retina 15" with 768 SSD and 16GB ram. Everything looks fantastic, although when you see your pics of flickr they don't look as sharp as they do in CS6 etc...The one thing I don't like is the glossy screen. A nightmare to keep clean and too many reflections. I have the antiglare on the other MBP
    Post edited by itsnotmeyouknow on
  • SonnySonny Posts: 5Member
    Ok, maybe I will cut down on the screen size to around 15 inches and on battery life and add the HDMI.
    Thank god I asked, I never would realize that connecting IPS screen with VGA will be a problem.

    Still I can't find any notebook with HDMI and specs that I like. I only found the HP EliteBook 8570w but it has a VGA :(

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