Lightroom 2 on a 13″ MacBook Pro

13" MacBook ProAs most of you know, Apple made some major product announcements earlier this week at their worldwide developer conference. While the new iPhone 3Gs looks very cool, it was the new 13″ MacBook Pro that really caught my attention.

I’ve always liked the light-weight and small form factor of the my 13″ MacBook, but really lusted after the more powerful graphics processor, larger hard drive and aluminum unibody construction found in the MacBook Pro models.

Now we have the best of both worlds in the new 13″ MacBook Pro and I went ahead and ordered mine a few days ago. Setting it up and migrating all the programs and files from my old MacBook went perfectly and only took a few hours to complete.

And what a result! Lightroom 2 really flies on this machine and with the faster CPU & GPU, I don’t hear the constant whine of the fan every time I start working in Lightroom. If you use Adobe Lightroom 2 on an older MacBook you really should look at the new 13″ MBP. It’s one sweet machine.

15 thoughts on “Lightroom 2 on a 13″ MacBook Pro

  1. This is great to hear. I am thinking about buying my first Mac after working on Windows for as long as its been available. I was worried that the 13inch wouldn’t be powerful enough for LR and Photoshop but I think I can go ahead with that purchase. 15 inch may be good just for the additional screen real estate.

    • Matt,

      Thanks for reading. Any of the current MacBook Pro models have more than enough horsepower to run Lightroom and Photoshop and the screen is simply beautiful.


  2. Jeff-
    I am a photo student in college looking for my first laptop. At this point I am unsure of the direction I want to take in my art but am seriously considering going into graphic design or animation while continuing photo editing. Do you suppose that these demands would require an upgrade from the 15″ Macbook Pro with just the NVIDIA 9400M graphics card to the 15″ with a second, faster graphics card? Or would the one graphics card be able to handle these demands later on by itself?

    • Morgan,

      Thanks for reading. The Nvidia 9400M should be able to handle your graphic needs. I know several photographers that use their MBP’s for video editing and 3D work in Photoshop CS4.


  3. Thanks for the reassurance Jeff, I’ve gone ahead and ordered my MBP. I’m looking forward to having the portabality again – I was a big fan of the old 12″ Powerbook, which fits in my camera bag nicely.

    Thanks for your comment on the car shots. I don’t tweet but I am slowly building a blog

    I’ll probably get some car stuff on there soon.

  4. Hi Jeff,

    I’ve been looking for more info on this unit by photographers such as yourself. How is the screen glare when doing retouching / colour correction etc? There’s been a lot of talk about the new screens being overly reflective, and it’s the only thing making me think twice before ordering one for pro retouching purposes in the field.

    • Sam,

      Thanks for reading!

      I was a little worried about the new displays as well but I honestly haven’t seen any glare at all and I use my 13″ MBP in all sorts of lighting conditions. Once calibrated, the new display really seems to be bright and clear. My only issues with the MBP and Lightroom is the gestures on the touchpad.

      BTW – Great car shots Sam! Do you tweet?


  5. Jeff,
    Do you keep your images on the internal drive or an external drive? And do you keep your LR Catalog and images on the same drive?

    I am relly considering switching from Aperture to LR.

    • John,

      I keep my images (.dng) and Lightroom catalog on my internal drive and backup the original (.cr2) files to an external drive during import. I also backup my Lightroom catalog to the same external drive each day. My entire system is backed up every hour to an Apple Time Capsule in my home/office.


  6. I have the 13″ Unibody MacBook (the immediate predecessor to this one) and LightRoom 2 runs quite nicely on it as well, as you’d expect.

    That said, I’ve been thinking of selling it off and upgrading to the entry level 15″ MBP, because a little more screen resolution would be nice to have…

    • David,

      Thanks for reading! I waffled back and forth on this as well but decided the portability of the 13″ was more important to me. When I’m working on Lightroom in my office I’m usually hooked up to a 22″ LCD monitor anyway.


  7. Great info. My G5 iMac is running a little slow and I wondered how LR2 would perform on one of these Macbooks. Thanks for the info.

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