13"/15" 2015/2016 : which MBP is more suited for graphic design

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Hamilcar, May 23, 2017.

  1. Hamilcar, May 23, 2017
    Last edited: May 23, 2017

    Hamilcar macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2017
    Location:
    France
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I need your advice since I'll be getting a new MBP in June but I haven't made up my mind yet.

    I'm currently a student in communication (so I get a discount with Apple On Campus) and this summer I'll start an internship. This new computer will be my working tool for graphic design/illustration (heavy use of Photoshop and illustrator), Lightroom and a bit of occasional video editing on Final Cut/Premiere.
    I need a laptop that I can bring everywhere, that would fit in my backpack since i'll be traveling a lot next year. Something future-proof that could last me at least 5 years without getting old, that I could still use as a tool when I start working for real. I don't need that much storage since I have a 500GB external drive.
    I have been saving for a while so my budget would be between 1600€ and 1900 € (1800-2100 dollars). But obviously, who would mind saving some money ! :p

    Here are the selected models :

    From 2015 :
    13" 3,1 Ghz Intel i7 dualcore, 16GB RAM and 256GB storage for 1839€ refurbished
    15" 2,2 Ghz Intel i7 quadcore, 16GB RAM and 256GB storage for 1909€ refurbished (2024 with AOC)

    From 2016 :
    13" 2,9 Ghz Intel i5 dualcore, 16GB RAM and 256GB storage for 1889€ refurbished (2014 with AOC)

    As you can see, the 2016 ones come with the Touch Bar since I don't see any reason to get the new model without the main new feature. I can't pick between 15" and 13" : the latter seems better for travelling but the former more powerful/more suited for graphic design. I have a 13 inches MBP from 2011 and the screen seems fine to me.

    My questions would be : Is there a significant difference in power between the 3 (for instance between the 3,1 i7 dual core and the 2,9 i5 dualcore from 2016) ? Which one would be more suited for my use and my budget ? Would you recommend my to drop the 16GB RAM ?

    I don't plan on buying it now, I'm waiting for the WWDC to see if they'll get more affordable. But I trust you wisdom :)

    Thanks !
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    15" 2016 would be the best. Those dGPUs make a huge difference. Battery life is better than the 2015. Gorgeously thin design and super fast SSDs.

    If not, I'd suggest the 15" 2015. The quad core CPU really has the grunt you need for longevity and for your usage.
     
  3. Hamilcar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2017
    Location:
    France
    #3
    Well I can't get the 2016 15" (256GB storage) for less than 2289€, refurbished. It would be a great deal (410€ off the original price) but it's still 300€ away from my budget. Still, If I can spend 1900, I might manage to get 300 extra.

    So yeah, when you think about it that would be 300 more for a Touch bar, better design, better battery life, better colour management and dGPUs and better processor. Is it noticeably faster though ? I hate the idea of paying more to lose the SD card/USB A ports too.

    (Nice profile pic, you're a Burzum fan ?)
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    Oh yeah and better battery life and faster Flash storage too! That's a lot more for your money, especially when you're so concerned about longevity.

    Filosofem definitely, Hvis Lyset too. The rest is a bit hit or miss ;)
     
  5. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #5
    If you're concerned about longevity, get the newest possible one you can. The chipset will matter more than an SD port.
     
  6. sunapple macrumors 6502a

    sunapple

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #6
    Benchmarks (they're not everything, but have a look):
    2016 15" 3979/12117 (single core / multi core)
    2016 13" 3740/7377
    2015 15" 3684/12197
    2015 13" 3673/6924
    (specs you mentioned)

    So the dual-core 13" vs quad-core 15" scores make a pretty clear difference. Keeping in mind the 2016 13" is an i5 and the 2015 13" is an i7, I find their scores interesting too.

    The 2016 15" is the only one with a dGPU.

    I'd say the 2015 13" is the worst option given that the 2016 13" is such an improvement in design and features for not that much more money.

    To me, considering the prices too, it's between the 2015 15" and 2016 13". Prices are practically the same, 15" scores better because quad-core, 13" is no slough either and has the better portability.

    Can't make it much more clear I think, it pretty much boils down to personal preference now.
     
  7. Hamilcar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2017
    Location:
    France
    #7
    Thank you that was definitely helpful !
    I think the wisest option would be to wait until WWDC to see if prices will drop after they announce new features. If they do, I'll get the 2016 15". I don't know if it is realistic to hope for 200€ off the current price though. Are they used to doing this ?
    If not, I'll probably try the 15" from 2015 and the latest 13" at a Store and let my heart choose ! :)
     
  8. sunapple macrumors 6502a

    sunapple

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #8
    Wise decisions indeed. Apple never really discounts their products, only refurbished devices. WWDC is a software event with a chance of either a rare future hardware announcement like the Mac Pro in 2012 (?) or maybe something relevant to software development like the Siri speaker could be.

    There are rumors about the MacBooks being updated at WWDC and that has happened a few years back, but without new features they will most likely (to me) do it through the store online at some other time.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    "Portability" between the 13" vis-a-vis the 15" can become an issue as time goes by.
    It will bother some people more than others.

    A friend had a son go off to college and bought him a MacBook Pro 15".
    The kid got tired of lugging it around after a while.
    13" would have been a better choice.
    Something to consider.

    However, for graphics work, the 15" will clearly shine over the 13".
    Can you bear the extra weight for the extra performance?
     
  10. Hamilcar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2017
    Location:
    France
    #10
    Frankly I'm okay with the extra weight but I'm less okay with the extra adaptors a 2016 model will force me to get and travel around in my bag all day long, just in case I need them. Heck I've just realized I wouldn't be able to plug headphones in the new ones. It's a bit ridiculous.

    I don't really now how to read a GeekBench test although I understand that the 15" models are more powerful from the figures. But is the difference between the 13" from 2016 and the 15" from 2015 really important ? Like is the 15" twice faster because it has a quad core ? I'm willing to pay for a difference that I will feel...
     

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