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Author Topic: VRAM, HDisk Speed, CPU Clock Speed  (Read 2355 times)
djcsmith
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« on: November 25, 2008, 11:00:28 PM »
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I am in the market for a new laptop and desktop, and considering the jump to Mac from PC.
There are options for Video RAM of 256 to 512, and HD speed of 5400 vs 7200 RPM.
Then there is CPU speed, 2.53 vs 2.8 GHz etc.

Which of these options make a big difference in processing speed in Lightroom?
I am an event photographer, and need to quickly review hundreds of photos when I get home from a shoot.  My present duo-core PC is just too slow.
My gut feeling is that spending money on RAM makes more difference than clock speed, and that in the future VRAM may make a difference, but not at present.

Comments and experience?

BTW, I'm looking at both the 17" Macbook Pro and the iMac, and again my gut is telling me to hang on until the new year when both may be upgraded.

David
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2008, 08:53:30 AM »
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Disk speed makes a big difference with imaging, especially when reading and writing files, but also when paging. This will likely be the biggest performance factor, so I'd get the faster disk.

Processor speed is for the most part a linear gain, so going from a 2.53 to a 2.8 will mean things happen about 11% faster with the 2.8.

VRAM for the most part is irrelevant for 2-D graphics. However newer software and OS applications are starting to make use of the GPU more and more, so as long as you're upgrading and assuming it isn't horrendously expensive, I'd go for the larger VRAM too.

My .02,
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francois
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2008, 09:41:08 AM »
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Quote from: djcsmith

BTW, I'm looking at both the 17" Macbook Pro and the iMac, and again my gut is telling me to hang on until the new year when both may be upgraded.

David
The MacBook Pro 17" hasn't been updated with its smaller brothers (MBP 15" and MB) and Apple said that no new Mac would be updated this year. So, I would wait until MacWorld unless you need a new laptop now.

I fully agree with Jack's comments above. A fast hard disk will really give a speed boost. I would also go for the 512MB of VRAM as more and more applications will rely on it in the future.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2008, 09:41:55 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
djcsmith
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2008, 12:00:32 PM »
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Quote from: francois
The MacBook Pro 17" hasn't been updated with its smaller brothers (MBP 15" and MB) and Apple said that no new Mac would be updated this year. So, I would wait until MacWorld unless you need a new laptop now.

I fully agree with Jack's comments above. A fast hard disk will really give a speed boost. I would also go for the 512MB of VRAM as more and more applications will rely on it in the future.

Thanks for the replies,

It would appear that maxing out components, not only increase processing speed, but also provide some resistance to obsolescence.

I really need to upgrade now, but with the Holiday season taking a big bite out of the number of functioning work days, I think I will hold out purchasing until the new year.

David
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2008, 12:24:36 PM »
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Quote from: djcsmith
Thanks for the replies,

It would appear that maxing out components, not only increase processing speed, but also provide some resistance to obsolescence.

I really need to upgrade now, but with the Holiday season taking a big bite out of the number of functioning work days, I think I will hold out purchasing until the new year.

David

A small FWIW on the "New" MacBookPro versus the "old" .  IF you look on BareFeets, and read carefully comparing the fastest "new" MBP 2.8 to the fastest "old" MBP 2.6, you'll see that the newest processor delivers only about an 8% performance boost.  Given the "old" machine still has all the extra connectivity ports, it *MAY* be the better machine to consider for right now since we do not know what the new revision will trim out.  Here is a test, note that the fastest machines by far are the desktop MacPros, so you want to ignore those and get down specifically to the MBP 2.8 versus MBP 2.6, and possibly the slower versions of each listed beneath these. http://www.barefeats.com/mbpp06.html
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