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M1 Macbook air - Is the base model enough??

Community Beginner ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Hello everyone,

I need to upgrade my old 2011 macbook.  Will the base model M1 macbook air or pro be enough to edit photos with lightroom. 8 or 16 gb?

Thanks Ash

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021
Where the M1 is different is that where having only 8GB RAM would cause problems on an Intel Mac, the same task on an 8GB RAM Apple Silicon Mac has generally been observed to perform much closer to an Intel Mac with 16GB RAM. However, Lightroom Classic does not exactly fit into that, because if you give it more than 12GB RAM it has at least one specific use for it: It will cache adjacent previews in RAM so that it's faster to go from image to image in Loupe view. If you use an 8GB RAM M1 Mac...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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The MacBook Pro is great, but new models are likely to come out soon. I would definitely recommend 16 GB of Ram.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Thanks! There is always a new model : ) but they may not be actually available until next year.

I'll probably go 16gb to future proof my laptop. Im still using a 2011 MBP so I'll most likely have the new one for years to come.

Thanks

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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I would suggest that you'll find 16GB to be the best option. I'm using that on an M1 Mac Mini, and performance is fine (but even with the 16GB option there are the odd occasions where memory swapping has to take place). I have seen posts from unhappy Lightroom users who selected the base model and regretted it.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Thank ! 16gb seems like the way to go and will future proof my laptop.

I will just have to bite the bullet and buy the cheaper external ssd.

thanks for the feedback

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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What size internal SSD are you thinking of ordering? If you're thinking of having the Classic catalog folder on the internal drive, I'd suggest 256GB isn't enough. I had an MBP with the 512GB SSD....I started with my Catalog folder on the internal drive, but eventually had to move it to a dedicated external SSD as there was too much pressure on the available free space on the internal drive (Classic uses a lot of temporary working space on the system drive, so it's generally advisable to maintain 20% free space on that drive). So for my Mac Mini I bought the 1TB model so that I could get my catalog back on the internal drive.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Ok thanks. I was going to get the 512 ssd and also buy an external ssd.  I'm not a professional but want to do more photography 

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LEGEND ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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even with the new M1 chips??

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LEGEND ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Why would new chips require less memory?

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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The M1 is not an Intel chip and by all reports it is more powerfull than the intel chips.

People have been reporting that the new macbook with the M1 are working fast event with only 8gb. This is why I am trying to do some research before I buy the new Macbook M1 with 8 or 16gbs.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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I would advise you check and see what upgrades are available after purchasing. Lr Classic comes with the Photogrophy Plan has Photoshop included, do you plan to install both on the same Mac? Consider your full workflow.

 

Regards, Denis: iMac mid-2015, 5K 27”, GPU 2GB, Ram 24GB, HDD 3TB, macOS 11.6, LrC 10.4, Lr 4.4, Ps 22.5,; Camera OM-D E-M1.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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quote

I would advise you check and see what upgrades are available after purchasing.

 

There are no post-order upgrades possible with the Mac M1 systems, hence the need to get the decision right from the outset.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Yes, Jim I am very aware of that it's up to the purchaser to check. I have an iMac myself.

 

Regards, Denis: iMac mid-2015, 5K 27”, GPU 2GB, Ram 24GB, HDD 3TB, macOS 11.6, LrC 10.4, Lr 4.4, Ps 22.5,; Camera OM-D E-M1.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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NO KINDING  : )   that's why I am asking. There seems to be differing opinions with the new M1 macbooks. Some say 8gb is fine some say you need 16. I think I will just get the 16gb with 512 ssd and have an external ssd also.  My old 2011 mbp will not handle lightroom.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Adobe hasn't changed their system requirements, the document still says 16GB is recommended. Since Adobe has code that works with the M1, I guess they have good reason to still recommend 16GB.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Where the M1 is different is that where having only 8GB RAM would cause problems on an Intel Mac, the same task on an 8GB RAM Apple Silicon Mac has generally been observed to perform much closer to an Intel Mac with 16GB RAM.

 

However, Lightroom Classic does not exactly fit into that, because if you give it more than 12GB RAM it has at least one specific use for it: It will cache adjacent previews in RAM so that it's faster to go from image to image in Loupe view.

 

If you use an 8GB RAM M1 Mac, although it is RAM efficient Lightroom Classic may not believe it has enough RAM to use that performance enhancement. For that and other reasons, even on an Apple Silicon Mac, it is still important to get the recommended 16GB RAM if you want Lightroom Classic to perform optimally.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Thanks !! 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Adobe don't tend to change their system requirments between versions. So, use them as a guide not absolutes.  Also, like many other vendors they're still honing their apps for optimim performance. Fortunately, memory use is largely controlled by macOS, although that's not to say that app developers can ignore it.

 

Above being said, 8GB is definitely not sufficient for Lightroom Classic. My recommendation is for 16GB ram and a minimum of 512GB SSD (1TB preferred). 

 

Jim mentioned memory swapping above, and while it does occur, I don't find my 16GB, 1TB M1 Mac mini with 1TB ssd and 16GB of ram any worse than my 16-inch MacBook Pro with 1TB, 16 GB ram and 4TB of VRAM. In both cases, it's most likely to occur in the Develop module, especially if louping from image to image or when using the Healing brush or Local Adjustment brush. A more useful metric than swap use is Memory Pressure, and I've yet to see it go into the red band (i.e. band at which more ram would absolutely be more benificial).

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LEGEND ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Looking at the Apple web page on the Air.

What is meant by unified memory? Apparently no separate VRAM? 

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