The Best Apple MacBook Pro for Photo Editing in 2023
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It’s no news that most photographers and creative professionals use Apple laptops and tablets for their demanding workflow. A modern MacBook Pro is more than capable of handling large photo editing projects and software like Photoshop, GIMP, and Canva.
But with so many models available, how can you choose the best MacBook Pro for photo editing? In this blog post, we’ll review all the factors you can consider before choosing a MacBook Pro based on your skills, needs, and preferences.
Apple fans, gather round!
Let us start with the basics: There are a few specifications you should definitely look for when buying a laptop for photo editing. Software like Photoshop has certain minimum requirements for CPU, RAM, graphics, and storage.
What Specs Do You Need for Photo Editing on a MacBook Pro?
Even though photo editing programs are not as demanding as games or animation software, you should make sure that the MacBook Pro you choose meets the following requirements:
Most mid-range and premium laptops can easily meet the CPU requirements of photo editing software. Of course, the scope of the project also plays an important role. For example, an extremely large Photoshop project requires more CPU resources. Nevertheless, a modern quad-core or eight-core chipset will have no problems handling such a project.
The latest Apple M2 chipsets are specifically designed for creative software. This is why multiple professionals use MacBooks for a carefree photo and video editing process. The same is true for the (previous gen) M1, M1 Pro and M1 Max.
Although 16 GB RAM (or more) is ideal for photo editing, you probably will not have any problems editing with a MacBook Pro with 8 GB RAM. This is especially true when the RAM combines a top-notch M-series CPU and Apple’s latest graphics cards.
When it comes to graphics, Apple has managed to create the best-integrated graphics cards on the market. The modern MacBook Pros can handle any editing software effortlessly and render graphics at top speed.
As far as storage goes, any modern laptop can easily cope with photo editing. In other words, a 500GB SSD allows you to quickly load and save multiple projects without any issues. Of course, a 1TB (or more) SSD is preferable, especially for professionals.
Display and Accessories
As with any creative process, photo editing requires a color-accurate, high-quality display. Thankfully, the Apple Retina displays are superior in terms of RGB accuracy.
Choosing the right screen size a lot of the time comes down to users’ personal needs and preferences. If you value portability, a 13-inch or 14-inch MacBook Pro is your best option. On the flip side, a 16-inch display will offer a more comfortable editing experience.
The same is true for accessories. Many professionals edit photos using a mouse and keyboard set, while others opt for a drawing pad.
3 Best MacBook Pros for Photo Editing in 2023
Choosing the best MacBook Pro for photo editing is no easy task. The final choice depends on your budget, editing skills, and daily needs. Nevertheless, there are three Macs that cover the needs of every creative professional or enthusiast. Let’s have a look into them:
1. Apple MacBook Pro M2 (16-inch)
CPU: M2 Pro / M2 Max (12-core) with integrated GPU (up to 38-core)
Display: 16.2” Liquid Retina XDR
RAM: 16GB / 32GB / 64GB / 96GB
SSD: 1TB to 8TB
If you’re looking for the best MacBook Pro for photo editing, the latest flagship Pro is the one for you. The new MacBook Pro M2 is simply the best laptop Apple has ever created. It is a performance beast that can easily handle any creative task you throw at it.
The M2 Pro and M2 Max CPUs, combined with the extended RAM and the vast SSDs, offer top-notch editing without any lags. The 16.2” retina is breathtaking, offering high color accuracy and top-notch viewing angles.
In a few words, this is the best choice for professionals and enthusiasts that want a laptop that will be able to handle photo editing for many years. If budget isn’t an issue for you, the MacBook Pro M2 is by far the best way to go.
2. MacBook Pro M1 (14-inch)
CPU: M1 Pro / M1 Max (10-core) with integrated GPU (up to 32-core)
Display: 14” Liquid Retina
RAM: 16GB / 32GB / 64GB
SSD: 1TB to 8TB
The 2021 MacBook Pro is the best alternative if you want to save some money without compromising quality. Of course, the hardware kit of the MacBook Pro M1 isn’t as powerful as the M2. Still, the 14” model is one of the most powerful laptops on the market.
The M1 Pro and M1 Max CPUs come with a premium GPU and up to 64 GB RAM. This kit can easily handle extremely large photo editing projects. If you want to buy a new 16-inch MacBook Pro but the model is far beyond your budget, this is by far the best laptop for you.
3. MacBook Pro M2 (13-inch)
CPU: M2 (8-core) with integrated GPU (10-core)
Display: 13.3” Retina Display
RAM: 8GB / 16GB / 24GB
SSD: 512GB to 2TB
Last but not least, we have the brand new 13″ MacBook Pro M2. This is by far the best choice for those who value portability. The 13″ model is much lighter and more compact than the other Pro models.
At the same time, this version is available at a much lower price. In terms of performance, the MacBook Pro M2 13-inch can easily handle image editing software like Photoshop. So if you do not need your laptop for extremely demanding tasks, like 8K video editing, this is a very reliable and affordable choice.
If this hardware kit does not appeal to you, you can always opt for a used MacBook Pro. On Gadget Salvation marketplace, you can also sell your used laptops, MacBooks, or other electronic devices that you no longer need. This way, you can save money on buying a new or used MacBook Pro.
It is pretty obvious that most MacBook Pro models are perfect for photo editing software. Of course, the brand new Pros with the M2 CPUs are also an investment in the future. But that doesn’t mean that the previous models are not also suitable for photo editing.
On the contrary, MacBook Pros have always been a top choice for photographers and graphic designers. So if you do not want to spend $2000 or more on your next MacBook, you can easily opt for a more portable model or a used Apple device.