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GPU or CPU for indd

New Here ,
Mar 04, 2024 Mar 04, 2024

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Good morning,
I need to purchase a new laptop Mac that will best handle indd files with indd links in it.
Currently my problem is that it lags quickly after adding only 3 or 4 indds in my document.

What is the best between more GPU core or more cpu core ?

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Community Expert ,
Mar 04, 2024 Mar 04, 2024

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Definitely more CPU and more RAM 

The more the better. 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 04, 2024 Mar 04, 2024

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On any reasonably modern system, the hierarchy of performance increase is —

  • RAM. 16GB is a minimum. 32GB will improve performance in many ways.
  • CPU. A major leap in CPU will show enhanced performance. Most minor updates are not worth any change, though, especially on the Wintel side. (That is, a somewhat more muscular processor in the same line is unlikely to be worth the cost of upgrade.)
  • GPU. The Adobe apps are not, for the most part, intensely reliant on GPU power. Midrange is good enough for all but the most extreme work with very large Photoshop images and complex Premiere/AfterEffect realtime work.
  • Local drives. Local SSDs will make a huge difference over even the fastest HDDs. Your boot and app drive should be an SSD; it's nice to have a second SSD for data.

 

But the short answer is always "enough RAM."


╟ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ╢

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Community Expert ,
Mar 04, 2024 Mar 04, 2024

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Yeh I agree, futurproof in RAM + SSD + Processor

When you buy a Mac there are no upgrade paths, you can't upgrade the RAM, you can't swap out the SSD. 

So get the best you can now.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 04, 2024 Mar 04, 2024

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@bbell_it 

 

Does it have to be Mac? Don't want to start any wars - just asking.

 

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New Here ,
Mar 04, 2024 Mar 04, 2024

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Yes, it is a small company which has its computer park in Mac

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Community Expert ,
Mar 04, 2024 Mar 04, 2024

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Yes, it is a small company which has its computer park in Mac


By @bbell_it

 

Then your wallet will hate you.

RAM / SSD tiers are crazy expensive.

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 04, 2024 Mar 04, 2024

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Any new Mac laptop is more than good enough to run InDesign. That’s probably been true since the M1, but it’s even more true today with the announcement of the M3 MacBook Air. I think an M3 Air with 16–24GB unified memory and enough storage space should run InDesign well. But I did choose the MacBook Pro, for reasons other than InDesign.

quote

Currently my problem is that it lags quickly after adding only 3 or 4 indds in my document.

By @bbell_it

 

It might help to order a Mac laptop with more than 16GB of unified memory. But you probably won’t need more than 24GB for InDesign alone. You may want your next Mac to have 32GB of unified memory if you frequently also keep other Adobe apps open at the same time, such as Photoshop and Illustrator in addition to InDesign.

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What is the best between more GPU core or more cpu core ?

By @bbell_it

 

Current Macs have many CPU and GPU cores, but the problem is that InDesign is not able to take advantage of all of them. It would not be expected to, because the high core counts are for apps that must re-render constantly, such as video editing and 3D rendering apps. InDesign just doesn’t strain the CPU very much. For example, if you fall into the trap of buying an M3 Max MacBook Pro for InDesign because it has 14 CPU cores instead of 8 and you think this is “future-proofing,” it won’t work that way for InDesign.

 

The screen shots below show CPU and GPU usage on my M1 Pro MacBook Pro with 8 CPU and 14 GPU cores. I opened 7 documents from a 400+ page book with many graphics, set to high resolution display, and I pressed Page Down and Page Up to go through each page. I also used scrubby zoom, which uses the GPU.

 

InDesign-performance-7-docs-hi-res-paging-CPU.jpg

You can see that even though my Mac is not the newest or more powerful, all CPU cores are not fully used by InDesign. When turning pages with placed graphics, Core 3 does most of the work and is not totally busy, Cores 4 through 6 do some work, but Cores 7 and 8 barely do anything. (The two efficiency cores are very busy, which is normal because those are always handling routine OS and app tasks that are low priority.)

 

And yet, the InDesign pages turn instantly, with no lag, on my M1 Pro. That may partly be explained by the GPU graph, which is fairly busy while I’m turning pages. But even it is not maxed out like it can be when editing video.

 

So the answer to your question is, what does benefit InDesign speed the most is higher CPU single-core performance. That happens generationally, so an M3 and M2 should generally run InDesign faster than an M1 (and all will be much faster than any Intel Mac, if that’s what you currently have). In other words, you’ll probably see more InDesign performance improvement from switching from M1 to M3 than you would by getting a 20-core M1 Ultra instead of an 8-core M1. If you upgrade to 12 or 20 CPU cores because somebody told you to “max it out,” all that will mean for InDesign is you paid a lot of extra money for more cores that InDesign does not have enough work for. But the M3 increases single-core performance, which InDesign does benefit from because it can keep one or two cores busy.

 

It’s the same with GPU cores. InDesign should be fine on the GPU of any current generation Mac…as long as there is enough unified memory to keep the GPU fed. Moving up to excessive GPU cores, such as the 76-core GPU in the M2 Ultra, means InDesign uses the few cores that it has enough work for, and the rest of the cores you paid for contribute nothing. Those high GPU core counts are definitely for 3D (Adobe Substance), AI (Photoshop, Camera Raw, Lightroom), and video editing/visual effects (Adobe Premiere Pro/After Effects), where all cores might get a constant stream of pixels to re-render. But more GPU cores do not do much to speed the editing of static page layouts (InDesign).

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Community Expert ,
Mar 04, 2024 Mar 04, 2024

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@Conrad C

 

But the problem is - you can't max out RAM - without maxing out CPU / GPU... which is quite expensive... 

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 04, 2024 Mar 04, 2024

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But the problem is - you can't max out RAM - without maxing out CPU / GPU... which is quite expensive... 

By @Robert Tkaczyk

 

I don’t see that as a problem because of the way the memory ceiling has gone up on Macs, combined with not really needing that much memory for InDesign itself even with multiple multi-page documents open.

 

The MacBook Air and base MacBook Pro used to be capped at 16GB, now it’s 24GB. It seems like 24GB should work well for many InDesign users, unless they are doing something else that’s memory intensive such as editing very large files in Photoshop at the same time, or running a virtual machine.

 

The M1/M2 Pro MacBook Pro used to be capped at 32GB, but the current M3 Pro goes to 36GB.

 

The M3 Max does max out at an astonishing 128GB, but I doubt any InDesign-only user could make good use of all that. So someone using mostly InDesign has three reasons to dismiss the M3 Max: InDesign can’t use its maximum 128GB of unified memory, it can’t use all of the CPU cores, and it can’t use all of the GPU cores.

 

That leaves the rather more affordable M3 Pro with its 36GB maximum, which should still be far more than enough for InDesign alone. I haven’t run into production problems keeping InDesign and other Adobe apps open (usually Photoshop and Bridge) under the 32GB of my M1 Pro.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 05, 2024 Mar 05, 2024

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@Conrad C 

 

My point is - you can't just upgrade memory alone - you are forced to pay extra for CPU/GPU cores that you don't need...

 

The difference between upgrading from 16GB to 36GB

 

8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 16GB Unified Memory, 1TB SSD Storage - £2,099.00

 

14-core CPU, 30-core GPU, 36GB Unified Memory, 1TB SSD Storage - £3,299.00

 

requires also CPU/GPU upgrade - and the difference is £1,200.00 - even if someone only needs memory upgrade...

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 05, 2024 Mar 05, 2024

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Yeh it's not feasible for the general person to go the full hogg. You have to find out what's important to you.

And future proof. 

 

I mean I can't upgrade Sonoma due to compatibility issues - and I'm on CC 2022 

On a brand new Mac - I can't even upgrade the OS because of compatibility issues.

Which is just wrong - in all the ways I can think of and I fully blame Apple.

 

As said earlier, I run the full CC suite fully up to date on Windows 10, 6 year old laptop with no issues.

 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 05, 2024 Mar 05, 2024

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[...] 

 

As said earlier, I run the full CC suite fully up to date on Windows 10, 6 year old laptop with no issues.


By @Eugene Tyson

 

Same here.

I've upgraded memory to the max - only 16GB but swap is off.

I can upgrade both SSDs - I have SATA and M.2 - to anything I want when I want for the price I want. 

 

Macs could probably be better optimised for some tasks - but the pricing is a big problem... 

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 06, 2024 Mar 06, 2024

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My point is - you can't just upgrade memory alone - you are forced to pay extra for CPU/GPU cores that you don't need...requires also CPU/GPU upgrade - and the difference is £1,200.00 - even if someone only needs memory upgrade...

By @Robert Tkaczyk

 

I see now, that is a valid point, for a user who might use only InDesign and office apps.

 

My perspective was a little off because I also heavily use Adobe Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, and the Adobe video apps, so for me, if I end up getting more CPU and GPU cores (because I wanted more memory), my other applications will see definite benefits so I don’t mind. Also, I recognize that the price difference can be worse outside the US.

 

Most Mac users don’t need the extreme core counts of the Max or Ultra, but it might be likely that a significant percentage of users do not only use InDesign, but also produce photographic and video media because those are what dominate today and do benefit from more CPU and GPU cores. Also, AI and 3D are two areas where all Adobe apps are advancing rapidly and both are heavily GPU-dependent. So anyone needing to produce content for more media than just print may benefit from more CPU and GPU cores anyway…if not today, then probably before they buy their next computer 4 or 5 years from now.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 04, 2024 Mar 04, 2024

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I have 32gb m3 Mac book Pro and it constantly freezes and crashes. 

 

Never been a fan of them.

But needs must

 

I have a 6 year old laptop windows laptop and it works perfectly.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 04, 2024 Mar 04, 2024

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That’s unfortunate, it should not be that way. I wonder what’s causing it. I’ve had the opposite anecdotal experience…my M1 Pro is the best and most reliable computer I’ve owned. I just looked at its uptime and it’s been 30 days since the last time it was restarted or shut down, and that includes putting it through production work in multiple Adobe apps including video editing/rendering.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 04, 2024 Mar 04, 2024

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I know. And several others I know personally with same specs experience similar things.

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