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Forever-PC user seeking advice about PC vs MAC for Photoshop/Lightroom19448

Club Member
Gilroy, California
Dataventurer private msg quote post Address this user
I may be opening Pandora's box with this topic...I have NEVER owned an iPhone or a MAC computer. Always used Android and Windows. My current editing platform has 16GB of RAM (the max) and a fairly fast processor (Ryzen 5 in a Dell 3505 Inspiron laptop).

When I edit using Lightroom and Photoshop, the memory shows up in the 95%+ range and it seems slow. Moving from Lightroom to "Edit as Layers in Photoshop" seems to take a long time. And then saving the edited file back into Lightroom.

Adding to the frustration, my HDMI connection on the laptop has been getting flakey over the past couple weeks. I need to re-seat the cable a couple times per day. I may be heading for a breakdown, thus my consideration of upgrade options.

So, could a 32GB Windows laptop with a fast processor compete speed-wise with a comparably-priced MacBook? Even an older model (cheaper) would be acceptable if it was fast enough.

Thank you for advice!
Post 1 IP   flag post
Los Angeles
Home3D private msg quote post Address this user
Hi Data,
This is a limited-perspective reply, in that I switched from PC to Mac in 1990 before even the very first version of Windows. Back then it was MS-DOS all the way. So I know nothing of the horse race between a Windows / Mac laptops. But here’s one bit of advice.

I’ve never looked back. Okay, you’ve probably heard this from numerous Mac friends over the years. Apple is great for creative users. Tops of course is the seamless flow of all your daily activities between ALL of your devices. I have iPhones, iPad Pros, laptops, even top-line Mac Studio (192 Ram and 60-core processing). Anything I do on any device is fully integrated on all devices. And Apple tech support, when needed, is always available within minutes and actually solves the issue. So yeah, I’m a devotee.

But here’s the one bit of advice, maybe too simple to mention. This is the age of Apple Silicon processors. Whatever you may buy, new or used in the Apple universe, be sure it has an “M” processor. Apple now makes its own central processor chips, though the changeover only began a couple years ago. The Apple Silicon M1 and M2 processors are powerful and use less current. My Mac Studio running full speed doesn’t make a sound. I don’t think it even has a fan. When the first M-chip MacBooks came out, you could buy the same laptop in your choice of Intel or Apple Silicon processor. The only difference? The Intel version was rated to run 9 hours on a full battery. The M-chip version would run 19 hours. It’s all about the efficiency of Apple Silicon.

So if you do try a Mac, just make sure it’s powered by an M-chip Apple Silicon, not Intel. It’s the next level of Apple’s vertical integration and it works.

Good luck with your choice, whatever you decide on.

PS: Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere, 3DVista, PTGui, they all fully launch in less than 5 seconds for me.
Post 2 IP   flag post
Club Member
Gilroy, California
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@Home3D Thanks for taking your time to reply. Some sage wisdom here...
Post 3 IP   flag post
MeshImages private msg quote post Address this user
Over the last years - since the introduction of the Mac silicon, the M chip generation, I have moved parts of my setup from Windows to Mac. I have always had the ipads for the Matterport, but I am typing this post on an iphone 13 pro Max and my portable computer is a Mac M1 Air - which is the best piece of hardware that I have ever had.

But what convinces me the most with Apple is - yes, of course the perfect ecosystem of various devices in perfect sync - but even more these small unique software tools that make life much easier for me. Photomill for example, touchretouch is another, concheeta another one. Also admin tools like grandperspective or daisydisc that help you identify space consuming files on your system. Just to name a few.

I must admit that I still have 3 PC workstations in the studio because for all 3D applications and also for the work with pointclouds and CAD PC is still the better choice.

But I love the Mac and I will probably upgrade to the M3 Air as soon as it will be released in March this year.
Post 4 IP   flag post
trueview360s private msg quote post Address this user
Here is what Bard had to say:
Best Overall:

Apple MacBook Pro 16.2" with Liquid Retina XDR Display: This laptop is an absolute powerhouse, with the latest M3 Max chip that outperforms even the M1 Ultra Mac Studio desktop. It has a beautiful Liquid Retina XDR display, ample RAM and storage options, and a long battery life. However, it is also the most expensive option on this list.

Best Value:

Apple Mac mini M2 (2023): This compact desktop computer offers excellent performance for the price, thanks to the M2 chip. It's also very versatile, as you can upgrade its RAM and storage yourself. However, it does not have a built-in display, so you will need to factor in the cost of a monitor.

Best for Portability:

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio: This laptop has a unique hinge that allows you to use it in different modes, including a traditional laptop mode, a tablet mode, and a studio mode that's perfect for photo editing. It also has a great display and a long battery life. However, it is not as powerful as some of the other options on this list.

Best for Desktop:

Apple Mac Studio M2 Max: This desktop computer is a beast, with the M2 Max chip that can handle even the most demanding photo editing tasks. It also has plenty of ports for connecting all of your peripherals. However, it is also quite expensive.

Best for Budget:

Dell XPS 8960: This desktop computer is a good option for those on a budget. It has a powerful Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, which is enough for most photo editing tasks. However, it is not as upgradeable as some of the other options on this list.
Post 5 IP   flag post
Club Member
Gilroy, California
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@trueview360s Wow! Thanks for the specific models and distinctions! This will keep me busy on Amazon and eBay comparing prices!
Post 6 IP   flag post
trueview360s private msg quote post Address this user
Bard AI is amazing. I have been using it quite a bit. Better than Google.
Here is a post I did starting out with Bard info and then edited it myself.
Post 7 IP   flag post
Club Member
Queensland, Australia
Wingman private msg quote post Address this user
I cannot compare to MAC even though I have a friend working on it for years for video editing and he is not happy.. It could be he has an old model.

I can compare two different Windows PCs though.

The one I am using for everyday tasks is Lenovo S30 with Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-1620 v2 @ 3.70GHz processor, 32GB of RAM and 2GB VRAM with NVIDIA Quadro K2000

The one that I have custom built for 3D comes with AMD 7950x processor, 32GB of RAM and RTX3060 card with 12GB of VRAM.

Both machines are using SSD drives for OS and storage. Both machines are desktops.

So I have decided to test a single raw image from Sony a7riV which is 59MB in size and use Topaz Gigabyte AI with 2x settings for testing.

First I started with S30:
it took 1 minute just to show a preview
processing and saving the result for the whole image is taking almost 10 minutes already and it is still at 88%

Then I used the same image on a 3D machine:
Preview has taken about 2-3 seconds to generate
Processing and saving have taken about 30 seconds.

At this point it is about 20 times faster.

the 3d one was not too expensive and I paid less than US$2000 for it. It was about 10-15% less to ask building it to my specs comparing with buying a similar as a prebuilt offer.
RTX3060 is not considered fast as it has less processing threats than any new card designed for 3D. However it is still a good value for money as it comes with 12GB. There are different RTX3060s and not all of them comes with 12GB. In rendering 3D there is an opinion that if you do not render animation more threats while less VRAM is better for performance. However when you render animation you will need a lot of VRAM to load all data for frames.

P.S. s30 has finished it. It has taken 13 minutes for processing and saving. Almost 25 times faster.
Post 8 IP   flag post
Club Member
Gilroy, California
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@Wingman Thank you for your detailed comparo!

You are reporting a huge difference in performance. I searched for the AMD 7950x processor on eBay and it's up around $500, just for the main chip. The RTX3060 is looking about $115 on eBay. How much was your motherboard? I haven't priced any and I'm wondering what kind of motherboard (price) would be needed to support the AMD 7950x processor.

Thank you for taking time to contribute your testing results!
Post 9 IP   flag post
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