13" or 15" Macbook Pro for an architect?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by FRNKBTMN, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. FRNKBTMN macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2015
    I'm in need of a new notebook and thinking of purchasing my first Macbook Pro. However I'm still in doubt as to which model to buy since I use specific software (see list below) for my architecture and (amateur) photography, and I travel quite often. Therefore I want a powerful, but also portable, Macbook Pro.

    I was thinking of ordering the 13" MBP with 265GB flash storage and upgrade it with 16GB RAM and the 3,0-GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor. However I was told that this model wouldn't suffice my needs, since it's graphical processor (the Intel Iris Graphic processor) won't be powerful enough. Which would push me to a 15" MBP model (with an Intel Iris Pro processor or a NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M processor). I prefer the 13" (since I'll hook it up to my 27" monitor at home) but I want to make the right decision and therefore reach out to you for help and guidance. My budget lies around €2000,-/$2000,-.

    The list of software I use (I'm aware that some of these software don't run on Mac OSX and need to run them on Bootcamp or Parallels):

    Daily use:
    - Arc+ (CAD software, similar to Autocad)
    - Adobe CS6 (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign)
    - Adobe Lightoom 4
    - Office:Mac

    Weekly/Monthly use:
    - Autocad (CAD software)
    - Rhinoceros 3D (3D modelling software)
    - Vray (3D render software)
  2. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    You were told right. A high end 15" is the obvious way to go.
    You can get it down to 1900€ if you shop around.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    15" rMPB all the way, you need screen real estate and performance.
  4. TRC-WA macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2014
    I just got mine this week... and I use AutoCAD flawlessly with the 2.2 quad core i7 integrated GPU 15" base model.

    The performance and screen real estate is sexy.

    I got it at a great price... $1709.99 plus tax after $290 worth of discounts.
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    15 inch for those apps

    The screen real estate and quad core processor is a must for your use case. The 15 inch rMBP is still very thin and fairly light. The i7 in the 13 inch is still a dual core and so not worth the effort.
  6. Pjrufus macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2014
    Autocad and 3D software tools take up so much of the screen, there is not much left for the working windows on smaller screens. I have a 15" MBP, and it does the job when I need to take it somewhere, which I'm grateful for, but I generally can't wait to get it home and docked to my big monitor for heavy work. I can't imagine trying to do this on an even smaller screen.

    As far as processing power, you need as much as you can afford for your purposes. I don't think you'll regret the 15", but you may regret purchasing the 13".
  7. TRC-WA macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2014
    I know I would! I'm so glad I went with the 15"... when I got home I had it set up next to my 13" Air while I was transferring data and I was like...


  8. johnh57 macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2011
    I run autocad 2d on an older macbook pro (2010) with 2.4 ghz i5. I run in clamshell mode with a 32" WQHD external monitor.

    I tried for a while to run under parallels as opposed to rebooting via bootcamp. I got autocad lite 2009 to run under parallels but it was jerky and difficult to use. For any serious work I was better off to reboot into windows.

    I'm thinking about upgrading as well - but I haven't figured out if I want an I-mac or mac mini or new macbook pro.

    The graphics card on this machine is the NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M 256 MB. I really wish I could upgrade the graphics card.
  9. FRNKBTMN thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2015
    Thanks all for your fast replies. So basically what you recommend is to get the 15" basic model? This will get the job done for me (screen real estate wise)? Thanks!
  10. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    ^ Stepping up to the higher-end 15" with nVidia also gets you a 512GB internal drive. Assuming you are going to install Windows via Bootcamp (which will be the best way to run your PC apps) a 256GB drive can get a little tight.

    To get a base 15" w/512 you have to do a custom configuration, which limits your buying choices... it may be cheaper to get a stock nVidia/512 since there are more places to shop for it and thus a better chance of finding a "deal."

    Apple store refurbs are always a good option; the late 2013 model is identical to the mid 2014 apart from processor speed, so you may be able to find something there for less $ with nVidia/512.
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I'd recommend the high end model with the GT 750M.

    Besides, you'll get a 512GB SSD with it as well.

    CPU-wise, there's not much difference. But the 750M can really help with rendering.
  12. arelaxsound macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2014

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