13" or 15" rmBP for photo work?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 18, 2015
Im going to buy a Macbook Pro shortly, but still can't decide between the 13" or the 15".

One of the main uses will be photo work (manipulation, Adobe Lightroom etc).

What would you suggest? Is the 13" too small for this kind of work?

Also, when is the dedicated graphics of the 15" model activated? Is it only when using an external screen, or when a certain type of program is selected?



macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
The dGPU in the 15" is normally activated with media production apps like Adobe CC (Photoshop, Premiere Pro), FCP X...etc. And external displays too.

For your needs, I'd stick with a baseline 15" rMBP if you're using it for personal purposes only.
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macrumors 6502a
Mar 5, 2009
Croxley, Herts
The new Lightroom CC now utilises your GPU, so I have gone for the dGPU version in order to get the most benefit.
For me, it was no-brainer as I also went for the 2.8CPU and 1TB drive so it was an extra £60 to get the dGPU model in case I need it either straight away or in a few year's time


macrumors 68040
May 15, 2005
Def get the 15" if you are going to be doing a lot, but if just casual you'd be fine with the latest 13" even the base model. We have both, and they both work fine, but for volume, lots of edits, batch jobs, no question the 15" with the dGPU rocks.

Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011

Whether or not the 13'' model is going to be too small for specific programs is kind of subjective, but most people would argue to go for screen real estate. Keep in mind that the 13'' will be slightly more portable, and while the screen is physically smaller it still scales well due to the high resolution and you can fit quite a bit on the screen.

If it's mainly going to be used at a desk, I would go with the 15''. The dedicated GPU is unnecessary for moderate photo editing.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2014
I'd put my vote in for the 15" simply based on screen real-estate alone. No matter how much you can fit on a screen because of resolution, physical size is still a big factor.

The 13" is easier to carry around though which if you're highly mobile might be preferable.


macrumors 68020
Nov 23, 2007
Take note that if you don't mind working in scaled mode, in terms of screen real estate the 13" can be similar to a 15" notebook
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