I've recently started my photography course at uni and have now been exposed to the program "Aperture". After finding this program extremely helpful and easy to use I get told its Mac-based only and being a Windows person I was quite disheartened by this. So can anyone point me in the right direction of finding a cheap Macbook?


  • 3
    A cheap MacBook does not really run Aperture that well unless you buy a memory upgrade. 2GB of memory (standard in current low-end models) does not seem to be enough in practice. An upgrade from 2GB to 8GB made a huge difference for me (unbearable vs. useful). Oct 5, 2010 at 15:29
  • See also: photo.stackexchange.com/q/4284/21 Nov 4, 2010 at 13:26

3 Answers 3


As above, I'd suggest looking into Adobe Lightroom, which is a sort-of equivalent Photo process-management-library-workflow program. As a student, you'd qualify for a discount from Adobe on it, and it's also worth remembering that you can use the Apple store for education (or Higher Education for an even bigger saving) which will reduce the cost further if you intend to go down the Mac route.

There is a free demo of Lr available from here, so I'd give that a try on your Windows PC first and foremost.

  • Lightroom kicks ass. Dec 8, 2010 at 23:16

I have two suggestions:

  • 4
    +1 for lightroom-- previous versions of aperture were quite hardware-hungry (no idea about the current iteration), while lightroom 3 seems to run pretty well on my 4 year old laptop.
    – mmr
    Oct 5, 2010 at 15:27

I strongly suggest looking at Lightroom too. I've tried Aperture and for some reason the interface seems more distracting than the Lightroom interface. Lightroom places the emphasis on the photos being displayed smack bang in the center of your workflow and all the palettes surround it but in a more subtle way due to the consistent dark UI.

I run Lightroom in fullscreen and it's great as all of the control remains but you are 'sectioned' off from the rest of your distracting computer environment such as browsers and social networking apps etc.

  • Funny, I find the LR UI to be more distracting, mostly because there tends to be a lot of UI there that you can't get rid of, whereas on Aperture, it's easier (at least as far as I've been able to tell) to get more things to be more hidden more of the time. Instead of being black, they're just gone.
    – lindes
    Dec 9, 2010 at 2:34

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