15-inch and no desktop, or 13-inch + desktop?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PaulWog, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. PaulWog, Nov 27, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016

    PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011
    The 2016 Macbook Pro is something I love, and I also love to hate it. So really, it's a love-love situation here. I most certainly feel the price is ridiculous, but at the same time, there is no other product I am willing to consider, and my desktop & camera gear will further deteriorate in resale value as time moves forward (those are what are funding in full the cost of the Macbook Pro). My frustrations with Apple's decisions are because I am inflexible... there are no other options. I feel like I'm voting between Trump (going to Windows), and Hillary (2016 Macbook), and Sanders doesn't sit in 2015. My intention is to downsize my camera equipment to a much much more basic kit.

    I am considering the 13-inch TB Macbook Pro, 8GB of RAM, on student discount. In Canadian dollars, it comes to about $2200 + tax. I could keep my desktop for other intense tasks (i7 2600k processor, 12GB of RAM, R9 380 4GB graphics).

    However, I could sell my desktop for $600 (current offer on Craigslist). The 15-inch Macbook Pro with the 460 graphics comes out to $3000 + tax. The sale of my desktop would cover $600, which is 3/4 of the cost increase of going with the 15-inch.

    The most intense game I play is Overwatch. I'm cutting back on gaming massively. I think the future of gaming for me will mostly be on console.

    What are your thoughts? Has anyone ditched their desktop to just go with one single Macbook Pro?
  2. ccglows macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2016
    15-inch with an eGPU basically satisfies (almost) everything a desktop can do, but makes it portable. That's what I plan on doing. Only issue is it makes it very expensive...

    Also means you can just get the base model 15 if you get a much more powerful eGPU (1070/1080). Also upgradeable to any graphics card in the future.
  3. fabytmHD macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2011
    I am in the exact same situation, except I currently use a 2011 27 inch iMac and a secondary display alongside it. I was set on buying the nonTB MBP model until yesterday, at which point I started looking more into the idea of selling my iMac and buying a 15" Macbook Pro.

    This way, I would upgrade my aging iMac and have a computer that could be plugged into my secondary display while at my desk, yet I could take it with me if I need to and have it still be fairly portable.

    I'm still torn, it's an expensive machine and the battery life reports are not encouraging.
  4. ManuCH macrumors 6502

    May 7, 2009
    I had the same thoughts going on. I am coming from a 2011 27" iMac which just recently died. I also have a 2015 12" rMB.

    My thought was to get a new 5K iMac and keep using my rMB on the road. Then I remembered what a fuss it is to have an iMac repaired if it dies (getting the car to reach an Apple Store is a pain in the rear side and the thing is heavy to lug around). Also, if it dies, you throw the screen away with the rest of the iMac.

    So after contemplating this a lot, I decided to get the 15" 2016 MBP, and I'll order the LG Ultrafine 5K display as soon as it becomes available. This will be my desktop setup. While on the road, I'll keep carrying my 12" rMB around.

    Hope this helps - even if financially it might not have been the wisest decision.
  5. newlifer macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2014
    macbooks are cheaper, I'm writting you from an early 2011 macbook pro (6 years old) running sierra, which means I'm covered for the next 3-4 years for updates, total 10-11 years, now if you divide the price, (low-end machine), well its 100 euros a year!...

    the macbook pro has completely replaced my desktop and the 6s plus plays the role of the laptop now when I'm out and does the job really well... the only time I'm missing a 27'' screen is when I create websites or designing stuff...
  6. kwandrews macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2012
    Colorado, USA
    You sound a lot like me. I'm prepping my 2012 mini i7 quad core, 16G and SSD for sale. My wife now has my old 2012 MBA 13" and I'm typing this on a new 2016 15" MBP base model and happy. I too am downsizing my photo gear to basics. My plan in action is to use the 15" as my Mac vs. having a laptop + desktop. It's easier to maintain one Mac, keep image libraries, etc. in sync and I've upgraded the 2012 mini. I'm going to be able to sell the mini for about $100 less than I paid for it in 2012 (minus my RAM and SSD upgrade) and I did sell my TB 27" monitor in favor of an eventual 27" 4/5k monitor. Even that I sold for only $270 less than I paid for it in 2012! I'm also parting with my 2016 MBr 12" m5. I picked up in August with the thought of a laptop (new little 12" replacing MBA 13") and keeping the mini. I needed more power and enjoy not being tied to my desk all the time. So, here I am at the 15". I tried a 13" non-touch 2016 but missed the quad core for editing.

    Good luck with whatever direction you go!
    --- Post Merged, Nov 27, 2016 ---
    YES! Been there with a 2008 iMac and a 27" Thunderbolt monitor....a pain to get there :) BTW, when my (forget year) old 20" Core 2 Duo iMac (white model) died, I took it apart and use the from bezel as a photo frame! Love it!
    --- Post Merged, Nov 27, 2016 ---
    This sounds like me too! REALLY want to keep the sweet little '16 12" m5, but finding it hard to justify financially when I can pull a good chunk of cash out of it.
  7. lympero macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2008
    Arta, Greece
    I used to have a 15 inch with no desktop because I was also thinking that it can combine everything. However my wife bought me a dell monitor and now I switched to 13" and I can tell you that this is the perfect combo!
    Want to use Xcode with multiple windows open - connect to dell.
    Want to create a small api while watching football - disconnect and straight to the couch

    I know that many say that 15" is portable as well but now I'm using my laptop all over the house much more easily.
  8. iizmoo macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2014
    The graphic card in the MBP 15" is fairly weak for games, it's good for things like video or graphics editing, but that's not the same as games. So the first thing is, get as much RAM as you can, it's worth getting the 16GB regardless of which one you go with. For hard gaming, there's a possibility of an external GPU, there's been a number of threads on it, and the Thunderbolt 3 at 40Gbps make that a very feasible possibility for you to get a desktop GPU and still use your mac for gaming.

    Keep in mind the dGPU in 15" have had a history of issues, and see the various threads on it for the current generation then decide if that's something you potentially want to deal with. The 15" is also something where AppleCare, another $249 is worth buying. All 13" have been rock solid, and I do not buy AppleCare on them, that's a saving of $183.

    You're obviously doing quite a bit of money shuffling to get this, the MBP is really for "Pros", as in people with a professional job and dependent on this as a work machine and has both the resources and need for it. If you're in college and money is an issue, might want to consider laying off the top of the line machine. In most scenario, the difference between the 13 and 15" is $1000+ to be a useful differentiation, you can get yourself a very nice Skylake or Kaby Lake desktop with a real GPU for gaming with that amount of money.
  9. mrex macrumors 68030


    Jul 16, 2014
    depends on what you do and edit with your machine. this sums it quite well:

    it is old but still valid.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    For a full desktop replacement, I think the 15" MBP is what you want, though I think you would want an external monitor for those times you're working at your desk and not traveling.

    I did that for years, used an external monitor and keyboard when home, and traveled with the 15" MBP. Now a days, I use an iMac and a 13" laptop for my travel needs.
  11. kwandrews macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2012
    Colorado, USA
    Yep....a monitor with a 13 or 15 is ideal for desk work :)

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