Monday is gear day. Earlier last month I wrote about what hardware to use to post process images (you may click on one of the notes on the left side bar in the main blog roll to find other tech related articles). The answer to the question which hardware to use is generally as always: It depends.
It depends what you want to do with your images, it depends how many images you‘re going to process at once, it depends on image size or Megapixels involved and it depends how much time you‘re willing to spend on waiting for the computer to process your files.
In my case I need my laptops professionally, for example for weddings. The faster the computer the earlier you‘re finished, the earlier you can move on to the next thing and do something else.
When you‘re working with hundreds of files, f.e. when I come back from a wedding I usually bring back 2.000-3.000 images, computer power becomes a necessity to not be annoyed. I was processing a wedding at the beginning of 2011 with a 2007 MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM, this wedding took me a couple of weeks, simply because the computer sometimes needed minutes to import files from Lightroom into Photoshop as it had to swap to its slow hard drive most of the time.
If you want everything to run smoothly you will want the best components possible. For example I‘m using a 2011 MacBook Pro with a Quad Core processor and 16GB of RAM. Those specs are very useful when working with Lightroom because it uses a lot of memory for it‘s library. Importing into Photoshop needs processor speed.
But to put it into relation modern computers and laptops are generally fast enough for everything but the most demanding jobs where you need to process hundreds of images at once. I bought a new MacBook Air for travelling and blogging on the go, especially for my big trip from October till December. It‘s Dual Core i7 processor is actually not noticibly slower than my Quad Core when processing individual images, it takes something between 6 and 10 seconds to import into Photoshop from Lightroom. What‘s really great about the new Haswell generation of processors is their battery life. I sit in the kitchen now with full sun behind me on the balcony. Display brightness is 50% and battery should last another 15 hours when only typing or lightly browsing the web. That means I can also sit somewhere outside in the park and blog from there and not run out of battery on a whole working day. Sweet!
For maximum performance, though, you will want as much memory as possible. For me 16GB is enough, when extensively working with Lightroom the 8GB of the Air are not enough, I found the laptop swapping to disc the other day slowing everything down sicnificantly, even though it has the fastest SSD flash storage on the market at the moment. For big jobs you still need the biggest computers possible.
Why do I use Mac? Well, I‘m sure you‘re totally fine with a PC as well. I was fascinated maybe 8 years ago when a friend just connected to our Wifi-Network with his MacBook within seconds, something that used to be impossible with a Windows machine. I‘m using Mac for 6 years now and to be honest I never ever had any software related issues, my Macs just get my work done with no hassle. I‘m also heavily invested in Mac software, so it's not really that easy to go back to Windows. I am saying this although I really had some nightmares with hardware and Apple Service. Both my MacBook Pros have replaced logic boards now and they have been to workshops endlessly. Still, when hardware is fixed they work flawlessly, never crash and get their task done. Everything just goes ...
But I strongly disagree with Apple‘s policies and the way they‘re dealing with workers in China, especially at Foxconn. I just read another article today claiming bad conditions at one of their main suppliers in China. The bad thing is, there‘s not really an alternative, all other tech companies are producing in China as well, at Foxconn or other doubtful factories.
We can only express our disapproval and beg them to finally establish better conditions and treat people the way they deserve, human ...
Let's hope the best, till next time, happy processing