13" for 3D modelling

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ry., Sep 3, 2012.

  1. Ry. macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2011
    Hello there,

    Long story short. I'm a skint student. starting my 4th year of uni to do 3D animation using Maya, and also some Sound Production with Pro Tools. Is the 13" good enough? how well does the HD4000 handle hi res renders of video?

    I'll be doing my honours project on which ever machine I buy so the final product is most important. So, is the 13" up to the job? and how much better on a scale of say 1-10 would the 15" with a seperate GPU handle the job?

    Also, If the 13" Pro IS good enough, would anyone recommend the Air instead?

    Thanks! :)
  2. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    I would assume that it is "possible" and therefore the 13'' is "good enough" but the question is more/less whether it is ideal. I would suggest that if you are doing anything graphic intensive that a dedicated graphics card or chip will be the way to go - shared chips lack vRAM and are not as powerful.

    I have never used the applications you've listed but generally speaking you may want a dedicated GPU for graphic intensive applications. Not to say that an integrated GPU is not passable - my laptop has an integrated chip and I have done a ton of gaming on it in the past.

    You may also want to consider screen space if you are going to be working with productivity applications, another reason to possibly go for the 15'' - I wish I could help more but not knowing any specifics of the applications I am quite limited.
  3. Ry. thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2011
    Thanks for your help. The screen space may also be an issue, your correct there. I've also been following the latest iMac news (or lack of) with may fit better than a macbook. Decisions eh!
  4. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    If you're not going to be on-the-go frequently or don't have much of a need for portability then perhaps the possible (or confirmed?) refresh of the iMac would be the way to go. It all depends on what you want or will require - as much portability as possible, as much power as possible, a mixture of the two, etc - again I can't really say as I have never used those applications and can't really make a knowledgeable suggestion as to which option I would choose, but at least you have some things to think about and consider.
  5. Cory Bauer macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2003
    You're going to want a quad-core processor and dedicated graphics, which rules out the Mac Mini, Air, and 13" MacBook Pro. The iMac will give you way more bang for the buck if you can live without portability. Wait for the refresh in the coming weeks and get the 27" model if you can afford it, or if you want to save some money get the 21.5" model. Put a little extra cash aside for a 16GB memory upgrade.
  6. Ry. thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2011
    I think I'm leaning towards the iMac. If the iMac comes out with say the reported 680m Graphics chip, what settings would you guess it could play games such as Battlefield 3? It'll mostly be used for animation but the ability to play games on it at decent settings would certainly make me consider it above the MBP's as I could sell my Xbox and Tv and put the extra cash towards the iMac.
  7. mlfarrell macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2011
    You're gonna want an external monitor/tv if you're trying to model on a 13'
  8. Cory Bauer macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2003
    I couldn't say what gaming performance would be for a 680M-equipped iMac, but googling for some gaming tests with the 650M-equipped MacBook Pro with Retina Display should give you a good idea (the classic MacBook Pro's only include 512MB of VRAM). I'd personally settle for the 21.5" iMac before I'd ever sell my tv and Xbox to fund the purchase of a 27" iMac.
  9. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009

    The Intel integrated video chipset is good for 2D and the GUI, but 3D rendering?


    If Maya utilizes a discrete GPU, then by all means avoid the integrated Intel video subsystem... I don't know the software, but I'd start by finding out what the software wants as a minimum, followed by recommended specifications. Either way, I'd wager real money you would be at a disadvantage by relying on the comparatively puny Intel 4000 GPU architecture...

    Most MBPs are going to get very hot while doing 3D rendering. In a video production class, a fellow student had read (source unknown) that MBPs should not be used for CPU-intensive tasks due to the level of heat produced. (I'd stick to a desktop with proper cooling for any major rendering/compiling work, IMHO)

    I will do coding on my MBP, but I will not compile... the temperature does get very hot. In video editing class, the temp did get to 90C while number crunching and that's not recommended to do for any length of time, Yes, the CPU can run up to 105 before (in theory) automatically shutting down. That doesn't mean it's a good thing to do, running the CPU that hot for ANY length of time...

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