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Upgrade memory or computer?

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Hi Brian!

I am currently using a Mid-2014 MacBook Pro Retina 13". It is an Intel i5 and upgraded to 16gb ram and 512gb SSD.  As a whole I don't seem to have any issues with how it functions (though I'm new to the Adobe programs so maybe that will change?) - but I do feel limited with the 512gb storage. I am considering getting this upgraded to 2 TB, but from very preliminary research it looks like that might cost be $500-$600. Am I better off just getting a new computer - also worth noting, I am very comfortable with windows/PC as well as I use them every day for work, so I could go either way on the Mac vs PC issue if i were to buy new.


Thank you!

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This one's a little tough. Why? Because even the new laptops come with small SSD Drives, usually 256GB! The models with 512GB SSD HDs are becoming  a little more common, but they can still be tough to find. 1TB SSD Drives have lowered in price, but with your model, it's the m.2 interface type of SSD, which is expensive, especially a 2TB size.

Right now it really depends on your budget and what you are willing to spend. The US Import Tariffs on China had made all the computers increase in cost from about $300-$500 as compared to the prices from last year. Everything seems to come from China, from whole computers to components, and those Tariff costs are being pushed to the consumers. So today's $700 computers were last year's $400 models, so you really need to read the technical specifications. That $1000 computer might be a low-end model in terms of specs.

In terms of Mac vs PS, Macs aren't "Better," they are just "Different." The cheapest route for you at this point is to upgrade your laptop to 2TB. Windows Laptops that meet my specs of being "Good for Photo Editing" seem to be around the $2000-$2500 mark. Mac Laptops are even more expensive. Why? Finding a IPS-based Display on a laptop is difficult, not to mention one with at least a 512GB HD and 16GB RAM (at a minimum.) Laptops are built for streaming & portability these days, not meant for desktop replacements. The ones that are...usually are expensive, plan on a $1500 budget at a minimum.

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Today's 8GB is yesterday's 4GB. It's way too small for today's modern Photoshop. In fact, I recommend 16GB at a bare-minimum in 2020 and really would like for you to have 32GB. Especially if you have a camera that is 24MP or more. Heck, I have 64GB of RAM in my iMac to handle my D850 100MB Raw files.

I don't think you can upgrade the RAM on your laptop as it's soldered to the board. You are forced to upgrade at the time of purchase and pay Apple's extremely over-priced upgrade options. Often upgrading to 32GB adds $600 to the cost. If I went 3rd party and got the same configuration from say Crucial.com, it's be less than $150. That's right, a $450 "Apple Tax."

I'm afraid it's new computer time. Budget for a new MBP that handles Photoshop well: $3800-ish.

Mac Laptops are insanely over-priced and really only give you a good 4-5 years before you look to purchase a new one. Just like the boat you are in now. 2014-2020 is what, 6 years or so? I'd say you have had a good run. It's only money, right?


If you are running PSE, 8GB "Might" be enough, but in 2020 I still recommend 16GB RAM at a minimum.

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Buying a new lens instead of computer / camera body is actually smart. You'd be surprised on just how much a difference a pro-grade lens is vs a consumer model. You will end up spending LESS time in PS, believe it or not. That's due to the sharpness, colors and contrast are all better that you get with a quality lens.

If you want my help with the lens, post a thread in the "Gear Talk" section."

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