New MacBook Pro M2 - 14/16

New MacBook Pro M2 with 14/16 inch monitor - recommendations


after working several years with my MacBook Pro 13 inch (late 2014) I look for a new one since eg the van is continuously running and performance with 4 GB RAM is also kind of limited.

I‘m looking for the 14 inch model and would like to know, which configuration is sufficient for PL for the next (at least 5-8 years).

Any recommendations (especially for the RAM: 16 or rather 32)?

Thanks & KR

If you’re not using an external monitor, get the 16" with 16GB and a 1TB drive.

1 Like

Check out the videos that you can access through
this post: Help Spec-ing a new mac 4 PhotoLab 6 - #8 by Swoquix

Please note that the new MacBooks with M2 Pro and Max are new and real world performance data is only starting to appear. If you like, you can always have a
look at this: Mac Benchmarks - Geekbench Browser


Thanks a lot @platypus, some insights gained from the video…

I have the original 13" M1 MacBook Pro and have run PL5 and PL6 on it with no problems.

I have 16GB of RAM (the highest option in this model) and never have an issue, even running PL and LR at the same time, along with Safari and a ton of tabs, plus various other apps. Photo processing isn’t hugely resource hungry.

That’s a very specific set of recommendations. If you want to use it on an aeroplane, then 14" is preferable. If you want your entire life portable, then you might be wanting more than 1TB, or you may decide you can live in 512 GB.

The “16 GB RAM is enough” is the only recommendation that matters. Everything else is personal preference/individual circrumstance.

1 Like

Here’s a vote for 32GB. I had the 16 GB M1 Pro and ran into all kinds of memory and paging issues. Upgraded to the 32 GB M1 Max (didn’t care about the Max at the time, but had to go max to get off-the-shelf 32 GB ram). With 32 GB, I rarely run into issues with ram or paging. With 16 GB, you should quit most applications before running a big media program like DxO PhotoLab or FCPX or Davinci Resolve. Ideally it would be one at a time for media applications. Don’t forget VRAM is also taken out of RAM. So if a current graphic card requires 4 or 8GB of VRAM, the M1 Pro/Max will use that RAM as VRAM.

14" makes lots more noise unless you keep it open as second or third monitor, no clamshell mode while video editing or photo editing.

The 16" isn’t all that big and the monitor is a whole lot better for working on the road than the 14".

1 Like

Thanks @uncoy for your insights!

I thought about the right device for some months now and chatted several times with the Apple chat (they are quite good). As I do not do video editing, just editing RAW (max. about 700 files per session, only a few with denoising), I go with this:

MacBook Pro M2 (2023), 10‑Core CPU, 16‑Core GPU, 16‑Core Neural Engine, 32GB RAM

I will use an external screen (Studio Display)


Additional I would go with at least a 1 TB internal SSD Storage. The entry level M.2 storage option has a lower speed as in the M1 MacBooks before. There was an article in 9to5Mac about this.


Both of these things can be true.

1 Like

Indeed. I have a 2020 M1 MacBook Air with 16 GB Ram - and can run DPL versions 5 and 6 in parallel without any issues (other than screen real estate).

1 Like

I have just started using a new MacBook Pro with M2 Pro, and was wanting to find out how the export speed compared with my desktop PC. I tried a random ORF file from a Pen-F (20mpix) and was very disappointed (to put it mildly, given what I have heard about the new processors) that it took around 18 seconds to export. Much slower than on the PC. I tried switching between the GPU and the Neural engine, but no difference. But then I tried some other images, and they exported in 2-3 seconds, whether I used the GPU or the Neural Engine.

Are such differences from one file to another normal? Same camera, same file size, with no processing at all. A couple of OM-1 files exported in 3-4 seconds (all timings approximate).

Finally ordered the new equipment:

MacBook Pro M2 (2023) 14’’, 10‑Core CPU, 16‑Core GPU, 16‑Core Neural Engine, 32GB RAM, 2 TB SSD, Studio Display, and a CalDigit TS4.

Once all arrived, I will upgrade to the latest PL and NK

Thanks for your help and suggestions!


The equipment arrived and I am very pleased with it. Works all perfect, but I haven’t expected anything else to be honest.

The 14 inch M2 pro does a good job with PL 6 and NK 5, to which I upgraded as well (coming from PL4). It is quite quick with the export of files (haven’t used the demolishing yet). And, it is silent. No noise at all. And the SD slot of the TS4 is much quicker than the MacBook slot.

The pictures also look much better on the Studio Display. It makes much more fun than with my old PC to work on the RAW.

I had some questions about PL6, but the support was fast with their response.

Thanks again for your help!