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Any advice on 13” MacBook Pro spec for running Lightroom CC?

Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
1
Lightroom Version
Lightroom CC 5.1
Operating System
macOS 10.14 Mojave
I have just started to use Lightroom CC and plan to get a MacBook Pro 13” to compliment my oldish iMac. Wondered what advice there is as to the spec of the MBP?
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
338
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
I use a 13". There isn’t much to think about, it will run on any current model. How much to upgrade the specs partially depends on how many megapixels your images typically are. If they’re smaller (12 to 20ish MP), you might get away with the base CPU and 8GB RAM, especially if your budget is tight. But if your budget allows, or if your images are more like 20 to 40 MP, it would be much better to get the faster 2.4GHz CPU and the maximum 16GB RAM. Especially if you want to run other applications at the same time as Lightroom.

Other reasons to spec up, if they apply to you:
  • Get enough storage so that there’s plenty of free space after accounting for all your applications and files, plus room for macOS temp/cache files and Lightroom local cached image storage. Nothing slows down an SSD more than almost being full.
  • Adobe continues to add features to Lightroom that bring it closer to Lightroom Classic, which has higher system requirements. Therefore, getting the faster 2.4GHz CPU and 16GB RAM will help a 13" MacBook Pro last longer as Lightroom capabilities increase.
  • If you will frequently connect more than one accessory and you’re not going to use a hub, the 2.4GHz model has four Thunderbolt/USB-C ports so you can connect the power cable plus 3 accessories. The low end model has only two of those ports, so it's power plus only one accessory.
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2019
Messages
3
Hi Kevin,

Based on my experience as a macOS/Unix user for many years you should always maximise RAM. So 16GB is best. I recently travelled OS for 16 weeks sharing 13” MBPro with my partner (it was her’s that she generously shared.) and found 256GB disk space wasn’t enough so had to buy some external SSDs. A couple of 1TB drives allowed me to backup her files (fairly small) and my 2500 DNGs. I also ended up setting up a LR library on an external drive.
At that stage I didn’t have a LR cloud subscription.
Buy a 2.4GHz processor if you can afford it.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2008
Messages
89
Adobe does not want you to have the LR (Cloudy) library anywhere except the ~/Pictures folder. If you move it to an external using a symlink, you have to make sure your external is always plugged in....not ideal for a laptop.

On a laptop it makes sense to have local smart previews in the LR lib. My 70K library with smart previews uses about 90GB, which is a pretty big chunk of a 256GB machine. So I would say make sure you have at least 512GB. I have just changed my 256GB MacBook to a 512GB model for this reason.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
22,168
Location
Southampton, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Adobe does not want you to have the LR (Cloudy) library anywhere except the ~/Pictures folder. If you move it to an external using a symlink, you have to make sure your external is always plugged in....not ideal for a laptop.
Yeah, for exactly the same reason. You're not the first to complain but I'm not convinced it'll change too soon.

On a laptop it makes sense to have local smart previews in the LR lib. My 70K library with smart previews uses about 90GB, which is a pretty big chunk of a 256GB machine. So I would say make sure you have at least 512GB. I have just changed my 256GB MacBook to a 512GB model for this reason.
I agree with this logic. I went with a 1TB HD and haven't regretted it.
 
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