2015 M 1.3Ghz VS 2016 M3

fraxool

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 18, 2016
15
1
Hello,

I am really interested in the 12" Macbook and would like your opinion. I have a budget of around 1000€ for a used one, and I'm hesitating between those two :

- Macbook 12" 2015 M 1,3Ghz with 8Gb RAM and 256Gb SSD
- Macbook 12" 2016 M3 1,1Ghz with 8Gb RAM and 256Gb SSD

I'm a professional freelance developer and I work from home. So this one would be used quite often, but mainly for :

- Web development (Coda 2, Atom)
- App development (mainly with Ionic 2) - but no emulators
- and normal use like web browsing etc.

But I already have a powerful 2014 Macbook Pro 15" i7 for the biggest tasks. However, I would like to buy this Macbook to use it when I am not on the desk (for example, at the end of the day, to continue to work on the couch without a big machine on me) and also when I am travelling. Because of the size of my 15", it's really difficult to use it on my train or plane trips (and I move a lot).

What Macbook will be the most powerful for my use? The 2016 M3 or the M 1,3Ghz 2015?

Thanks!
Axel
 

svendobbelaere

macrumors member
Jul 27, 2012
98
41
Belgium
- Macbook 12" 2015 M 1,3Ghz with 8Gb RAM and 256Gb SSD
- Macbook 12" 2016 M3 1,1Ghz with 8Gb RAM and 256Gb SSD
Of those two, I would go for the 2016 one, mainly because the graphics are improved.

For reference, I use a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 with 4 GB RAM and a Core M processor, the same one M3-6Y30 as in the 2016 MacBook, and I have no real complaints about its performance.

I choose the M3 because I wanted a fanless machine, and taking into account the restrictions this puts on the device, I think the M3/5/7 are quite good.

Personally, I'm waiting to see what the refresh brings in a few months.
 

c0ppo

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2013
1,652
2,938
I would also go for the 2016 version. Not just the graphics, but also the battery.
For your type of development, and your requirements of mb12, I really think it is a no brainer.
 

fraxool

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 18, 2016
15
1
Thanks guys!

I will continue to check, but I have seen that the 1.3Ghz is slightly more powerful according to the benchmarks. Is it relevant or not?

But I agree with you about the updated graphic processor.

So I am still opened to your opinions, in case there are more :)
 

realpras

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2013
170
49
Thanks guys!

I will continue to check, but I have seen that the 1.3Ghz is slightly more powerful according to the benchmarks. Is it relevant or not?

But I agree with you about the updated graphic processor.

So I am still opened to your opinions, in case there are more :)
I think I'd choose the 2016 version too, aside from better battery and graphic performance, the SSD is double the speed too. And I heard the battery degrades pretty fast in 2015 and not 2016 one, but don't quote me on this.
 

mbradyrn

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2009
43
6
Hello,

I am really interested in the 12" Macbook and would like your opinion. I have a budget of around 1000€ for a used one, and I'm hesitating between those two :

- Macbook 12" 2015 M 1,3Ghz with 8Gb RAM and 256Gb SSD
- Macbook 12" 2016 M3 1,1Ghz with 8Gb RAM and 256Gb SSD

I'm a professional freelance developer and I work from home. So this one would be used quite often, but mainly for :

- Web development (Coda 2, Atom)
- App development (mainly with Ionic 2) - but no emulators
- and normal use like web browsing etc.

But I already have a powerful 2014 Macbook Pro 15" i7 for the biggest tasks. However, I would like to buy this Macbook to use it when I am not on the desk (for example, at the end of the day, to continue to work on the couch without a big machine on me) and also when I am travelling. Because of the size of my 15", it's really difficult to use it on my train or plane trips (and I move a lot).

What Macbook will be the most powerful for my use? The 2016 M3 or the M 1,3Ghz 2015?

Thanks!
Axel
Keep
Hello,

I am really interested in the 12" Macbook and would like your opinion. I have a budget of around 1000€ for a used one, and I'm hesitating between those two :

- Macbook 12" 2015 M 1,3Ghz with 8Gb RAM and 256Gb SSD
- Macbook 12" 2016 M3 1,1Ghz with 8Gb RAM and 256Gb SSD

I'm a professional freelance developer and I work from home. So this one would be used quite often, but mainly for :

- Web development (Coda 2, Atom)
- App development (mainly with Ionic 2) - but no emulators
- and normal use like web browsing etc.

But I already have a powerful 2014 Macbook Pro 15" i7 for the biggest tasks. However, I would like to buy this Macbook to use it when I am not on the desk (for example, at the end of the day, to continue to work on the couch without a big machine on me) and also when I am travelling. Because of the size of my 15", it's really difficult to use it on my train or plane trips (and I move a lot).

What Macbook will be the most powerful for my use? The 2016 M3 or the M 1,3Ghz 2015?

Thanks!
Axel
keep in mind that the price difference will be at least a couple of hundred dollars. That said, the 2016 model is better.
 
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bill-p

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2011
1,932
435
I just picked up a 2016 m7 (1.3GHz) w/ 256GB storage model for $900 on eBay. The same 1.3GHz 256GB configuration from 2015 is only $100 - $150 cheaper.

So the difference is not "at least a couple of hundred dollars" anymore. I'm guessing it's likely in anticipation of the inevitable refresh in April.

That said, my usage is about the same as yours: web and app development (Coda 2, Atom, Xcode, Eclipse, no simulator/emulator but VirtualBox is used on a daily basis), plus photography (Lightroom, Photoshop), plus general web browsing.

And I have had the 2015 model before. The other posters are right: the difference between the 2015 and 2016 models in terms of performance alone is very big and obvious. If it's within your budget, go with 2016.
 

fraxool

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 18, 2016
15
1
Ok, so that's definitely what I will do !

That said, my usage is about the same as yours: web and app development (Coda 2, Atom, Xcode, Eclipse, no simulator/emulator but VirtualBox is used on a daily basis), plus photography (Lightroom, Photoshop), plus general web browsing.
Does everything work smoothly with your development apps? Xcode etc?
 

mbradyrn

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2009
43
6
I just picked up a 2016 m7 (1.3GHz) w/ 256GB storage model for $900 on eBay. The same 1.3GHz 256GB configuration from 2015 is only $100 - $150 cheaper.

So the difference is not "at least a couple of hundred dollars" anymore. I'm guessing it's likely in anticipation of the inevitable refresh in April.

That said, my usage is about the same as yours: web and app development (Coda 2, Atom, Xcode, Eclipse, no simulator/emulator but VirtualBox is used on a daily basis), plus photography (Lightroom, Photoshop), plus general web browsing.

And I have had the 2015 model before. The other posters are right: the difference between the 2015 and 2016 models in terms of performance alone is very big and obvious. If it's within your budget, go with 2016.
My $ estimate was based on the Apple store refurbished site. I stand by my estimate. Craiglist averages agree with me, but testimonials are worth less than the paper they are printed on.
 

bill-p

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2011
1,932
435
Does everything work smoothly with your development apps? Xcode etc?
For typing texts, yes.

Simulators run over twice as slow as my 15" rMBP. iOS is bordering on unusable save for the odd interface-only stuffs, whereas Android emulator was unusable on the 15" rMBP to begin with. Best to test on target devices directly.

Website and other kinds of development work are much more tolerable, and they are somewhat on par with my 15" rMBP, even when running inside virtual machines.

I have also had some odd stutters when viewing large technical PDF docs that contain big images, so I'd say those are also going to be troublesome.

Bottom line is that I think you should have this as a secondary/backup/spare device if your work demands more than those tasks. Otherwise, I think it's a decent computer overall. Probably better than the MacBook I had in 2010, and seriously, I was able to get a lot of work done on that thing.
 
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maerz001

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2010
1,486
1,124
I was waiting for the refresh of the MB but now my 13" 2012 Airs display died last week. Running now via hdmi on an external display. But I can't work for weeks like this...

So what i am doing is every few days simple CAD design via virtualbox and little photoshop and indesign apart from the usual stuff like email etc. on my 256GB ssd there is only about 30GB left.

I have an offer for a 2015 MB 512gb M7 for 950€ or the 2016 with 512 M5 for 1400€.

As I expect the prices to fall in April after the refresh I don't won't to burn my money now. I think I could also live with a 2016 M3 256gb (which goes for 1000€) for a few months and then check what the update will bring. Or till the prices of the new MPB come down.

What do u think?
 

fraxool

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 18, 2016
15
1
I have an offer for a 2015 MB 512gb M7 for 950€ or the 2016 with 512 M5 for 1400€.
So we are in the same boat. I also have these two choices, but I think I will still go for the M5 personally. I plan to keep this Macbook for a few years as a second computer. Most of the reviewers think that the 2016 one is still a nice improvement on the 2015. It's also a second generation, which fixes the main issues of the first one. So I am still thinking about it, but I guess I will go for the 2016 M5 personally (or MAYBE the 2016 M3).
 

bill-p

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2011
1,932
435
I was waiting for the refresh of the MB but now my 13" 2012 Airs display died last week. Running now via hdmi on an external display. But I can't work for weeks like this...

So what i am doing is every few days simple CAD design via virtualbox and little photoshop and indesign apart from the usual stuff like email etc. on my 256GB ssd there is only about 30GB left.

I have an offer for a 2015 MB 512gb M7 for 950€ or the 2016 with 512 M5 for 1400€.

As I expect the prices to fall in April after the refresh I don't won't to burn my money now. I think I could also live with a 2016 M3 256gb (which goes for 1000€) for a few months and then check what the update will bring. Or till the prices of the new MPB come down.

What do u think?
Just as a note, VirtualBox runs dog slow and doesn't support graphics acceleration properly. I'd imagine that would be hard for CAD programs.

If you can, jump on the $16 Parallels 11 deal on Newegg.com right now, and then use that with your virtual machines. Parallels can convert VirtualBox machines over so you won't have to install everything all over again.

That said, both VMWare and Parallels run much faster than VirtualBox and supports full graphics acceleration on both Linux and Windows, on top of being much easier on battery and resources as well.

I'm running Parallels 12 now because I got a good deal out of it (free upgrade), but otherwise, Parallels 11 should be plenty good. Between VMWare and Parallels, I slightly prefer VMWare's interface, but otherwise both are light years ahead of VirtualBox in performance.
 

maerz001

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2010
1,486
1,124
Just as a note, VirtualBox runs dog slow and doesn't support graphics acceleration properly. I'd imagine that would be hard for CAD programs.

If you can, jump on the $16 Parallels 11 deal on Newegg.com right now, and then use that with your virtual machines. Parallels can convert VirtualBox machines over so you won't have to install everything all over again.

That said, both VMWare and Parallels run much faster than VirtualBox and supports full graphics acceleration on both Linux and Windows, on top of being much easier on battery and resources as well.

I'm running Parallels 12 now because I got a good deal out of it (free upgrade), but otherwise, Parallels 11 should be plenty good. Between VMWare and Parallels, I slightly prefer VMWare's interface, but otherwise both are light years ahead of VirtualBox in performance.
In virtualbox there is the option "3D acceleration" which does the trick. I just found it lately that it improves even textures in CAD handling quite well. There was once a problem in former versions with the option and didn't work.

But when I will run in performance problems I will try parallels. Thanks for the tip.

So I pulled the trigger on a 2016 M5 MB which I found on eBay for 1250€. I will report back how it works...
 
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bill-p

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2011
1,932
435
Parallels sale is only for this week, so I'd suggest you act fast.

VirtualBox's "3D acceleration" is still very poor in comparison to VMWare and Parallels. The other 2 support up to Direct3D 10 and some extensions for OpenGL 2.0 in virtual machines, whereas VirtualBox can barely do Direct3D 9 with some OpenGL 1.4 extensions. In actual performance, VMWare and Parallels are anywhere between 2x to 2.5x faster than VirtualBox when it comes to 3D graphics, and you can see this by running any of the graphics benchmarks on the market.

I guess if your CAD program isn't overly demanding, it should work to a certain extent, but having access to even faster graphics doesn't hurt.
 

lowkey

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2002
550
426
australia
Out of interest, what Cad software are you running on your MB?

In virtualbox there is the option "3D acceleration" which does the trick. I just found it lately that it improves even textures in CAD handling quite well. There was once a problem in former versions with the option and didn't work.

But when I will run in performance problems I will try parallels. Thanks for the tip.

So I pulled the trigger on a 2016 M5 MB which I found on eBay for 1250€. I will report back how it works...
 

maerz001

macrumors 65816
Nov 2, 2010
1,486
1,124
Parallels sale is only for this week, so I'd suggest you act fast.

VirtualBox's "3D acceleration" is still very poor in comparison to VMWare and Parallels. The other 2 support up to Direct3D 10 and some extensions for OpenGL 2.0 in virtual machines, whereas VirtualBox can barely do Direct3D 9 with some OpenGL 1.4 extensions. In actual performance, VMWare and Parallels are anywhere between 2x to 2.5x faster than VirtualBox when it comes to 3D graphics, and you can see this by running any of the graphics benchmarks on the market.

I guess if your CAD program isn't overly demanding, it should work to a certain extent, but having access to even faster graphics doesn't hurt.
U where right. I downloaded Parallels and it runs better. There where some areas i had problems in virtualbox. sometimes a texture was not shown at all and sometimes selection of some paths was poor. this seems to work now.
Thanks for the tip :)


Out of interest, what Cad software are you running on your MB?
I'm using Catia V5 R20.

I got my MB just today and was installing the backup the whole afternoon. Now finished I can't see any performance problems compared to my 2012 Air with the virtual machine and CAD. Actually the graphic card should be 40% faster on the MB...
 
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