2015 13" MBP vs. refurbed 2014 15" MBP for photoshop illustrating and light gaming

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jlagory, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Jlagory macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2015
    I knew I was in need of a laptop soon, but my need is very sudden as of yesterday. I'm trying to decide between the models listed in the title, And with specs listed here: http://store.apple.com/us/buy-mac/macbook-pro. In both cases, I would get the baseline models. For the 15", Id wait for a refurbished 2014 to pop up. Im on a tight budget, since I'm using this computer for making art and writing lesson plans, both of which don't pay very well. My decision hinges on whether the extra $500-600 is worth it for my needs.

    My needs:
    I make illustrations on photoshop, with data heavy layers for textures, etc. I use an external display, so more screen size would be nice, but not essential. (This is where I notice a big slowdown with my current hp laptop, which runs on only an integrated gpu from 2010 and 4 gb ram and now overheats after five minutes.) Id also like to run some games, specifically those I purchased but was unable to run on my hp (bioshock infinite, arkham city, starcraft 2) and some light weight indie games (ftl, minecraft)

    Reviews on the new 13.3" MBP model are in, but I tend not to understand benchmarks without a firm anecdote attached. I'm wondering if this can meet my needs for now, and for years to come. I especially worry about that iris gpu, which I've heard has improved this generation, but still causes the system to sputter from time to time.

    With the 15", im getting a bigger ssd and twice the ram, a better gpu, and I imagine last year's quadcore haswell can still overpower this year's broadwell. However, it's a lot bigger and heavier, and obviously much more expensive. If that's what it takes to get the job done, I could shell out the extra cash for it. There are others in the refurbished store that are cheaper, but are also more than two years old at this point.

    Unfortunately, I need my computer for work and can't afford to wait for broadwell to show up in the 15".
  2. unclejamaal macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2010
    I'd save yourself the $500-600 and get the 13" model . Yes the bigger screen is better and easier on the eye but honestly, if youre not used to 15 inch screens now you wont notice any difference unless you have been using a 15 inch screen for the past few months.
  3. Jlagory thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2015
    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, honestly anything will feel tiny when it's not hooked up to my 24" monitor. Likely 2" won't really change that. I'm more concerned about the power and speed that may be lacking in the 13", especially when I'm pushing it with custom brushes and many-layered files. If I did spring for the 15", it would be for the gpu and ram, not the screen.
  4. Jlagory thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2015
    Update: I went to my local third party Apple retailer and fell in love with the new 13" MBP. I felt that the 15", while gorgeous, was a bit bulky. I'm also into the vastly lower price point, but that obviously carries some sacrifices in terms of power.

    I just need to know if it can handle my usage needs in the long run before I make the purchase.
  5. andrew8404 macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2009
    Loma Linda, Ca
    I would go for a 15 if you like light gaming. I just purchased a late 2013 macbook pro 15 with 512gb ssd with retina display and 16gb of ram for 1650 plus two years of apple care. I would go on eBay and look for something similar. No point in wasting money on a 13 that doesn't have as much memory or ram and no dedicated graphics card.
  6. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    Go for the base 15". You'd be surprised at how much bigger the screen is and how much more usable the computer is as a result. Plus it has better graphics, quad-core instead of dual-core, etc.

    $1799 with no tax at B&H Photo.

    And if it is needed for work you can probably deduct it on your taxes.

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