15" macbook pro-maxed out, processor matter?

tigres

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 31, 2007
4,126
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Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
I am grabbing a 15" from the refurb store for my son.
He is a 2nd year college student, and it's time to upgrade his 13" (2011) MBP.

Questions:
Does the processor matter all that much?
the 2015's are all available.

Looking at a 1tb, with the dedicated graphic card.

He is:
A computer science major/music double major. Video production as well.
Will be using for:
Adobe suites
Final cut pro x
Logic Pro x
Ableton suite

He will be rendering film, 4k, and using external drives for media.

Can anyone advise on what would be my best option?
Appreciate the assistance!
 

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Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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Even encoding 4k videos, you would need to sit there with a stopwatch to even notice the difference between those two i7 CPUs. I would just save the money and get the cheaper one.
 

ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,130
662
United States
I am grabbing a 15" from the refurb store for my son.
He is a 2nd year college student, and it's time to upgrade his 13" (2011) MBP.

Questions:
Does the processor matter all that much?
the 2015's are all available.

Looking at a 1tb, with the dedicated graphic card.

He is:
A computer science major/music double major. Video production as well.
Will be using for:
Adobe suites
Final cut pro x
Logic Pro x
Ableton suite

He will be rendering film, 4k, and using external drives for media.

Can anyone advise on what would be my best option?
Appreciate the assistance!
I'd definitely get the faster CPU, especially for his usage. You're already spending $2.5K, $170 more is not going to break the bank. But either spec is still a great computer.
 
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T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
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Denmark
For video and audio work, you'll want as much bang for the buck you can afford. The processor is at the core of what makes video rendering and handling audio tracks fast.
 
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Weaselboy

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Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,711
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Having a 4 GHz turbo speed on a macbook
The 2.5 is 3.7Ghz in turbo boost. These are both i7 CPUs. There is no way in the world you would be able to tell the difference between the two without a stopwatch.

Sure... buy top of the line everything is money is no object, but that is not the question. The question was does it matter much and the answer to that is no.
 

austinpike

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2008
313
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Agreed you won't really notice the difference, but given what you are already spending I would just max it out. 4.0 turbo sounds nice.
 

throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
6,730
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Perth, Western Australia
Unless you are a professional getting paid by the hour going for top spec CPU on things these days is a very dubious value proposition. And even then...

I'd go for the middle tier CPU, spend any additional money burning a hole in your pocket on storage, applecare and once you've got that put it in the bank for the next machine, software, etc.
 

ixxx69

macrumors 65816
Jul 31, 2009
1,130
662
United States
Sure... buy top of the line everything is money is no object, but that is not the question. The question was does it matter much and the answer to that is no.
But it does matter... whether you need a stop watch or not to tell the difference. Otherwise why even offer a choice of CPUs?

If the OP is asking whether it's a big mistake to go with the lower spec, then I think most would agree it's not... the difference isn't that huge.

If the OP is asking whether for the usage, a faster CPU is beneficial, the answer is clearly yes... that kind of usage is why they offer the faster CPUs.

If the OP is asking whether it's worth the extra $170, that depends on how much the $170 will be missed, and only the OP can answer that given the answers of the first two questions.
 

tigres

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 31, 2007
4,126
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Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
I took weaselboy's advise, and ordered up the MidTear processor (1 down from the max). Sure, we can always spend more, hell I can wait for Skylake- but he needs it now.

I agree with most posters herein. However, I was not clear on the actual processor difference as/to price. Basically I see there really is none. Also, with that new SSD pci 2.0 speed bump, that should really assist him as well.
 

throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
6,730
4,368
Perth, Western Australia
Well lets put it in real terms.

The top spec has < 10% increased max turbo speed, which it may not sustain due to thermal constraints.

This will only make a difference when you are 100% CPU bound in your application and only WHILE 100% CPU bound.

In general use, you will not notice it at all, as most of the time your CPU is pretty idle.

While flat out rendering, and 100% cpu bound, you may see up to a 10% speed improvement. Most likely less as the CPU will probably not maintain 4 Ghz for very long. So you MAY see up to 10% performance improvement for the couple of minutes the CPU can maintain at 4 Ghz. Not much.
 

tigres

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 31, 2007
4,126
1,117
Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
Well lets put it in real terms.

The top spec has < 10% increased max turbo speed, which it may not sustain due to thermal constraints.

This will only make a difference when you are 100% CPU bound in your application and only WHILE 100% CPU bound.

In general use, you will not notice it at all, as most of the time your CPU is pretty idle.

While flat out rendering, and 100% cpu bound, you may see up to a 10% speed improvement. Most likely less as the CPU will probably not maintain 4 Ghz for very long. So you MAY see up to 10% performance improvement for the couple of minutes the CPU can maintain at 4 Ghz. Not much.
Thanks for the thoughtful response.

If I may derail this a bit. My son is considering with his college (study abroad), Perth next year. His fellow students say it's hot over there. Is that a good city for a 4-6 month study in your biased opinion. :)
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,123
Thanks for the thoughtful response.

If I may derail this a bit. My son is considering with his college (study abroad), Perth next year. His fellow students say it's hot over there. Is that a good city for a 4-6 month study in your biased opinion. :)
Never been there myself, but friends who have emigrated absolutely love it there.
 

throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
6,730
4,368
Perth, Western Australia
Thanks for the thoughtful response.

If I may derail this a bit. My son is considering with his college (study abroad), Perth next year. His fellow students say it's hot over there. Is that a good city for a 4-6 month study in your biased opinion. :)
Just saw this bit...

Been living in Perth most of my life, to give you an idea of climate...

winter days = 10-15C. winter nights... 5-10C. sometimes gets down to 0C or maybe just below at night, but not often. doesn't snow.
summer days = 35-45C (40+ is rare)
humidity isn't normally too bad

Perth has nice beaches, is quite clean, etc. But it is a small city with small town, nanny state thinking.

There are worse places to spend time, and plenty of people who visit love it. Most of the negatives probably won't be much of a hassle if you're only spending a few months here.

If that seems a bit negative, well don't read too much into it. I'm in my late 30s and haven't felt compelled to leave or anything, and i've traveled through europe, eastern states of australia, and elsewhere.

If i was to move anywhere it would be Vancouver based on the week or two i spent there.
 

ckWTB

macrumors member
Aug 24, 2014
33
13
Portland, OR
As noted by other responses, the listed applications and workloads are demanding enough that they could benefit from a top-end processor configuration. As others have noted once again, the faster a processor (more cores, higher base speed, and higher Turbo Boost speed), then the more power is used, and more power generates more heat. Depending on conditions, this heat builds up in a system and leads to processor throttling under heavy and sustained workloads. Throttling prevents your laptop from achieving it’s peak performance potential. Providing significant supplemental cooling directly onto the processors will help to reduce or eliminate throttling so you can get the most out of your laptop.
 

xiwong

macrumors member
Dec 9, 2013
60
3
Well lets put it in real terms.

The top spec has < 10% increased max turbo speed, which it may not sustain due to thermal constraints.

This will only make a difference when you are 100% CPU bound in your application and only WHILE 100% CPU bound.

In general use, you will not notice it at all, as most of the time your CPU is pretty idle.

While flat out rendering, and 100% cpu bound, you may see up to a 10% speed improvement. Most likely less as the CPU will probably not maintain 4 Ghz for very long. So you MAY see up to 10% performance improvement for the couple of minutes the CPU can maintain at 4 Ghz. Not much.
Exactly what I was thinking. If you check the NotebookCheck review on the 2015 (http://www.notebookcheck.net/Apple-MacBook-Pro-Retina-15-Mid-2015-Review.144402.0.html), in the processor section it states that the mid-level processor (3.7GHz turbo) will only maintain 2.8-3GHz on load. It also goes forth to say that the faster CPUs aren't worth anything during long projects as they will always throttle.

One additional thing to consider is that all of the stated apps will force the dGPU to run. I've found generally a 10C increase in idle temp with the dGPU, and you will have increased power draw. I doubt it will even hold 2.8GHz on long encodes, as both thermal and TDP constraints will be kicking in.

I think the $2549 model is the best bet, and you can invest the savings into a monitor or something else.
 

tigres

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 31, 2007
4,126
1,117
Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
uPdate....

Well the mid machine came and went, had a display issue. Ended up going into the apple store, and pulled in a favor they owed me from a debacle from last year. Got the maxed out version for a considerable discount; so all is well that ends well. He's up and running and working on a documentary short with FCP. Says the machine is like butter, and loves it.
Should keep him well for many years to come.

Thanks for all the feedback guys, appreciate it.
 
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