13” MacBook Pro - which one to go for?

Shadow Puppets

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 28, 2016
87
39
I’m looking for a travel companion computer that is very portable, and has enough power to do light photoshopping, a bit of video editing in Final Cut, and a bit of recording in Logic (projects with about 10-15 tracks, maybe 7 or 8 tracks of software instruments).

I tend to always get the highest spec of something to future proof it. However, I’ve never owned a 13” before (usually own larger laptops) and would like to know if there is an “ideal” spec that can handle all the tasks mentioned but also not be too powerful/too heat generating etc for the form factor. I’ve read a few reports of certain spec 13” MBPs getting really hot.

So just wondered what people think the ideal spec would be for someone like me?
 

sublunar

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
817
482
The i7 upgrade isn't worth it for the money (Less than 10% performance boost for more than 10% the money) more RAM would be imperative for your workload, and I don't know your storage requirements but USB-C makes SSD external storage possible so unless you need contiguous on-machine storage for big projects it might be worth considering an external SSD.

I'd look at base model 15" machines but I understand your concern over portability. If you start adding options to the 13" the price starts to rack up massively and gets very close to the 15". A 'bit' of video editing might well make the 13" models a bit pricey.
 

Shadow Puppets

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 28, 2016
87
39
Am I likely to see heat issues / continuous fan issues with my workload on a 13 inch? Or specifically on a maxed out 13”?
 

sublunar

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
817
482
Sounds like one of the touch bar models then as you also work a bit on Logic, depends if you want 256Gb SSD or 512Gb SSD but you'd want extra RAM too if you're taking it very seriously. Is this going to be your only Mac or main Mac?
 

Shadow Puppets

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 28, 2016
87
39
Sounds like one of the touch bar models then as you also work a bit on Logic, depends if you want 256Gb SSD or 512Gb SSD but you'd want extra RAM too if you're taking it very seriously. Is this going to be your only Mac or main Mac?
I have a 27” iMac 5K from 2015 that is my main home computer and can be used on more intensive tasks if they ever (rarely come up).

However, would the 13” MBP TB run a 27” monitor ok without the dedicated graphics?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,152
5,515
I think you'd do just fine on the non-touchbar 13".

IF you don't mind spending a little more money, get the touchbar version...
 

rforno

macrumors newbie
Oct 18, 2017
26
36
I went with a 13" i5 NTB 16GB 256GB the other day but ended up deciding to wipe & return it while still setting it up. The keyboard was an instant hate w/me and the trackpad was annoyingly large. Has a gorgeous screen, and battery life was more important than the touchbar .... but for me the keyboard was the main issue and I didn't want to fight having to re-learn how to type again.

Ergo I'll stay w/my beloved 2014 MBAir and it's many redeeming portable qualities (and MagSafe) for as long as I can .. .might even buy another one down the road if something breaks on this one.