2015 15" MBP or 2017 13" nTB?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Flord, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Flord macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    #1
    Hi all,

    I would like your thoughts on an issue I'm currently having. I'm on the market for a new MBP but am torn between the 2017 13" nTB and the 2015 15".

    First, I was considering the 2017 13". I'm a student, but I record with Logic as a hobby. My audio interface is Firewire-based. So although the newest MBPs are Thunderbolt 3, I'm actually not too hard pressed to enter the world of dongles.

    What worries me, however, are the concerns over the keyboards on the 2016s and presumably the 2017s.

    This is where the 2015 15" comes in. On the refurbished store (Canada), the 15" (2.2Ghz quad-core i7, 16GB, 256SSD, Iris Pro/no discrete graphics) is ~$50 cheaper than a comparable 2017 13" (2.3Ghz dual-core, 16GB, 256SSD, Iris plus 650).

    The 15", from what I read, is great. It's robust. It is has the ports I need. It has MagSafe. It even has the light-up Apple on the lid. Haha!

    What do you guys think? Are the keyboards more robust on the 2015 models than the 2017s? And how do the processing power/graphics capabilities compare? Would the 13" nTB be a better option given the future of TB3?

    I would love to know your thoughts.

    Thank you so much,
    J
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    Honestly buy whichever you like for logic the biggest thing will be how much ram you have anyway you will want 16gb for all your instruments and plug ins.

    What I will say is there is a massive difference in portability between the 2 the 2017 13 inch is tiny and light and will be perfect for class, the 2015 15 inch is a far bigger machine to carry around fit on desks etc.

    It doesn’t sound like you need any real gpu power so I would be looking at refurb 13 inchers if I was you.

    https://www.apple.com/ca/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_pro/13

    https://www.apple.com/ca/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_pro/15
     
  3. DarkSel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #3
    I would try picking up a used/refurb 15" Late-2013 to Mid-2015. You can get them for <$1000 if you find a good deal on Craigslist. They are much better value and have almost equivalent CPU performance (for music production) to the new MBPs.
     
  4. Jamalogo10 macrumors member

    Jamalogo10

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    #4
    I'd go with a 2017 refurb'd 13 nTB with 16/256. It's a pretty common configuration. If the size doesn't bother you I'd go 2015 15in over the 16/17 all day. They're similarly powerful but ones significantly cheaper. And it won't feel outdated for a couple more years.
     
  5. Flord thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    #5
    Yeah, what you say about portability makes sense. I'll mention that I'm open to the idea of trying out the 15". What are your feelings on the durability of the current 2017s. You think the problems here on MacRumors are blown out of proportion?

    I wish I could. Because of my circumstances, I'm limited to just the Apple Store and Refurb Store.

    I wish there were more on the Canadian site. I haven't managed to find a 16/256 nTB.

    You think the lack of TB3 on the 2015 detrimental for the future? Why do you favour the 2015 over the 2016/17s?

    Thanks so much, everyone for the replies!
     
  6. Naimfan Suspended

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #6
    The 2015 models appear to have fewer problems than the 2016/17 models. The 2015s don't have keyboard issues, dongle issues, still have magsafe, don't have an absurdly over-sized trackpad, and are almost as fast as the 2017 models (save graphics, where the 2016/17 models are clearly substantially faster).

    TB3 is a non-issue - there are not many peripherals yet, and as others have noted even TB and TB2 gear is not exactly thick on the ground. And with what you're doing you'll never notice, or need, the potential speed.

    Having owned a variety of 2013/14/15/16, and now 2017, I'd run with the 2015.
     
  7. kahkityoong macrumors 6502

    kahkityoong

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
    The 13in 2016/2017 is not similarly powerful compared to a 2014-2015 15in. The 15in is quadcore, much more powerful than any of the 13in. I have a fully loaded 2014 15in and it’s much much faster than my 2017 fully loaded 13in with touchbar.
     
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #8
    I think that the problems are blown out of all proportion on any forum site as many people only go to them with problems, hell there was the exploding iphone plus issue that exploded on the media worldwide, there were 2 or 3 of them total. the internet is great but has a tendency to blow things out of proportion in the little bubbles it creates. Apple sold millions of macs this year (somewhere between 15 and 20 million since the new MBP's were launched in 2016) its just not that serious a problem.

    A lot of people on here favour the 2015 because they use the F keys for shortcuts, I only know 2 people who do that personally but fair enough or they have a lot of peripherals that they refuse to buy new cables for, or they really like huge chunky keyboards with a lot of travel and have been moaning about the keyboard thinning on all machines for the last decade.

    Lack of TB3 could cause you issues if in the future you needed an e GPU or wanted to run a 5K screen. Lack of USB C could make some newer tech unavailable to you later on but I doubt it and you can always use dongles, :rolleyes:
     
  9. Jamalogo10 macrumors member

    Jamalogo10

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    #9
    Thank you for jumping the gun and not reading my comment. No way... is the 15in MBP a quad core?!

    My words: "If the size doesn't bother you I'd go 2015 15in over the 16/17 all day. They're similarly powerful but ones significantly cheaper." Referring the the 2015 being much cheaper than the 2016/2017 15in models.

    In my comment I was stating the 16/17's are similarly powerful to the 2015 15in. How would a 16/17 15in be cheaper than a 13 nTB? This is the most basic knowledge.
     
  10. kahkityoong macrumors 6502

    kahkityoong

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #10
    I didn’t mention price at all. Just saying that any 15in MBP is going to be much faster than any 13in MBP in the 2014-2017 era. Of course all the 15in quad core during these years. You seem to state that the 15in and 13in are similar in performance; they’re not. If you meant otherwise, your wording leaves a lot to be desired. Additionally you weren’t the only one in the thread to make this incorrect observation so don’t think I’m singling your comment out. I just don’t want the original poster to expect a 15in to be comparable to any 13in.
     
  11. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #11
    I assume you meant that the 2016 and 2017 15-inch models are similarly powerful to the 2015 15-inch? If so, I think that is where the confusion lies, as it sounds like you were saying the 2016/2017 13-inch was comparable to the 2015 15-inch, which obviously would not be the case at all for anything other than in regards to single-threaded Apps that are not exerting a sustained load.
     
  12. Flord thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    #12
    I just looked up the GeekBench 4 scores for the 2.2Ghz 2015 15" vs. the 2017 baseline 13". Looks like what you're saying is accurate.

    Single Core/Multi Core Scores:

    2.2Ghz 2015 15" MBP = 3759/12746
    2.3Ghz 2017 13" nTB = 4311/9148

    https://browser.geekbench.com/macs/414

    How would this translate to real-world activities? Also, what qualitative difference is there between the RAM sets. I believe the 2015s have 1600Mhz DDR3 and the 2017s have 2133Mhz LPDDR3?

    Thanks so much again, everyone.
     
  13. jerryk macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #13
    Geekbench is a lot of little tests. And the later processor clock up quicker so run short tasks faster. However, they get hotter sooner so have to clock down sooner. So if you workload has long running tasks, streaming video, gaming, video exports, encoding, etc. Geekbench is not a very good measure. But if you doing smaller/shorter things it model pretty well.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    The "2015 design" is older, but it's also more "durable".
    Less chance of failures over the life of the machine.
    The keyboard is particularly vulnerable on the 2016/2017's. Just look at the number of posts here about failures and repairs. And these machines aren't even "old" yet!
     
  15. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #15
    From what I have noticed, it depends entirely on the usage and the Apps being used. If we are talking about multithreaded Apps and sustained heavy CPU loads, the Geekbench scores probably imply a severe underestimation of the real world performance implications of how much the 15-inch is favored. My 2014 15-inch MacBook Pro with the 2.5 GHz i7 absolutely ran circles around my former 2.0 GHz i5 in a 2016 nTB with certain tasks, and had no discernible differences with others.

    I can't speak to RAM speeds specifically, but the speed of VMs waking up from suspend was noticeably faster with the 2016 nTB than it is with the 2014 MBP - my assumption has always been that this is primarily due to the nTB's much faster SSD given, to my limited understanding of computers, what happens is the VM is being transferred, from being cached to the HD upon going to suspend, back into the RAM when waking up - and, obviously, secondary storage is much slower than primary, so the RAM wouldn't be the bottleneck on either system.
     
  16. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #16
    OP wrote:
    "First, I was considering the 2017 13". I'm a student, but I record with Logic as a hobby. My audio interface is Firewire-based. So although the newest MBPs are Thunderbolt 3, I'm actually not too hard pressed to enter the world of dongles."

    Be aware that to use a firewire-based interface with a 2016/17 MBPro will required a daisy-chained "double-dongle" setup:
    1. Thunderbolt3-to-thunderbolt2 adapter,
    and
    2. Thunderbolt2-to-firewire adapter.
    Hopefully, the interface will still work.

    With a 2015, all you need is #2 above.
     
  17. turbineseaplane macrumors 601

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #17
    lmao!

    Beware the "double dongle"!

    It just sounds bad!
     
  18. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #18
    It still beats a double dong...
     

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17 November 7, 2017