2015 13.3" (Broadwell 2-core) or 2015 15" (Haswell 4-core)? First Mac. Need Help!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vercimber, May 19, 2015.

  1. vercimber macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2015
    Hello, everyone. Thanks for providing lots of information in these helpful forums.

    I've been working on a Lenovo Y580 since 2012, a 15" screen at 1920 x 1080, and, given that I've invested in an iPad Air and an iPhone 6 and love them both, I'm very tempted to purchase a rMBP.

    My question is this: I work mainly in Adobe InDesign and nothing else--and almost ALL of that work is text-based (no visual design at all). I also have to have MS Word on the computer. My question:

    1. Should I go with a "new" 15" rMBP with the older Haswell processor and that's it


    2. The new Broadwell 13.3" rMBP + (eventually) a high-end external display like the Dell Ultrasharp 25" U2515H IPS?

    It's a really difficult decision for me, as I need a little power under the hood, but $2000 vs $1600 or so (after display) is a big enough gulf for me to come here for advice.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I am sure that a dual-core CPU will be enough for you, so why not save some money and get it?
  3. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    If text based then a dual core with integrated graphics is hardly going to be overworked.

    Get the dual core and with the money saved get the monitor
  4. vercimber thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2015
    Thanks for your reply.

    I guess my only concern are the times I need to work on the 13.3" exclusively. Does it have enough "real estate" for productivity? I work a lot (a LOT) with text. Forgive my ignorance; I simply have no experience with the Mac, but I have seen real-world comparisons in the screen sizes, and they're pretty dramatic.
  5. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    I would agree, I work with InDesign and would definitely pick the 15 inch screen size over the 13.3, but that is with the work I do. I recommend you go in store and just try both models out.

    I remember when I went to buy a MacBook Pro retina (ended up getting an iMac instead) and was originally looking at the 13 inch, but the second I saw the 15 inch it was no contest for the work I do (Web Design, Photo and Video Editing, Music creation, Animation, Digtal Publishing...).


    Do you need portability? This can really help towards the 13vs15 question, but do you think you could live with a desktop for a lower price? For example, for the same price as the 15 inch MacBook Pro retina entry, you can now get a 27inch 5K iMac.

    Just throwing the idea out there, with features such as Handoff, you can take your iPad everywhere and word in a word document, presentation... Then when you get home have it instantly on your Mac.
  6. vercimber thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2015
    As alluring as the iMac is (it's so beautiful), I do need portability.
  7. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    I think that even 15" is small for reading academic papers in PDF at left while I make a presentation on LibreOffice at right. I think that 17" would be the sweet spot. If you need working with two documents at once, I would look for a 17" (although difficult to find a lightweight one) laptop. The rMBP 15" is pretty usable, though.
  8. MartinAppleGuy macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2013
    As a Designer, In agree completely with your statement. A 17 inch would be great if Apple still made it, but the 15 inch offers a good screen real estate anyway, just the 13.3 inch can feel just ever so slightly cramped when working with graphics.
  9. vercimber thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2015
    So the consensus seems split down the middle. Any other suggestions for a 13.3" rMBP (2015) vs the new 15" -- I'm just stuck on the whole dual-core vs quad-core.

    It's either 13.3" with external monitor or just the 15".

    Or should I just swallow my consumerist rabidness and wait for the next refreshes (I don't know if I can).
  10. colonel179 macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2014
    I can say that Office 2016 for Mac is amazing. I normally use iWork, but I installed the beta for Office 2016 and it is very well done. I liked it a lot.

    Whether you choose the 13" or 15", I would go for the 13.
  11. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Unless it's changed in the last couple of years, InDesign doesn't take advantage of multiple cores very well. My guess is that your whole CPU concern is a non-issue. The display size is probably a bigger concern.
  12. Kissmyne macrumors 6502


    Apr 21, 2015
    I would also say that screen size would seem to be a bigger concern then CPU in your usage scenario.

    However if you are hung up on the CPU still, my question for you would be, Do you foresee your usage scenario changing or increasing over time? If so, the 15" quad core models might be a better fit in the long term. But it really depends on if and what those usage scenarios end up being. A quad core Haswell will beat a dual core Broadwell in sheer performance and multitasking.

    Battery life on the other hand will go to the 13" typically, so if you see a lot of situations where battery usage/life will take precedence, the 13" will last longer.
  13. xjt macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2015
    I have had a Powerbook 12", MacBook Pro 13', and now Macbook Pro 15"... I could never go back to the smaller screen sizes now. The 15" weighs about the same as the 12" Powerbook did 10 years ago, but I can run it in 2880 x 1800 so that I basically never need an external monitor. If I don't need the extra space I just put it in a smaller res, but if you get the 13" it will be harder to see.

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