2015 vs 2017 13" Macbook Pro - Photo/Video Editing and Music Production

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Svndays, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. Svndays macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2017
    Hi all,

    My current early-2011 13" Macbook Pro (already upgraded to 8GB RAM and a 256 Samsung SSD) is just about on its last legs. I'm looking to upgrade soon, but am at a bit of a loss on what newer model to go for.

    I currently use the machine for every day use, including photo editing and graphic design (Photoshop, Illustrator), video editing (Final Cut Pro X), and music production (Ableton Live 9). Only recently has my current machine had some difficulties with Final Cut Pro X editing (1080 video, have only recently discovered proxy media... d'oh) and with loading up Ableton files with loads of tracks and effects.

    I understand that a 15" Macbook Pro (either 2015 or 2017) would be better suited for these tasks overall, however I am concerned about the portability and price, and have gotten used to the 13" over the past 6 years. Therefore, I'm currently looking at a new 13" based on the following:

    + Same keyboard as the 2011 version
    + No need for port adapters
    + Slightly cheaper
    - Need to buy used
    - Two years old

    + Faster processor
    - Expensive
    - Don't care for the touchbar
    - Don't care for the new keyboard
    - Need to buy USB-C adapters (not that big of a concern)

    I'm looking at having at least 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD; I don't think it makes that much sense to upgrade the processor for the price, and the TB MPBs seem to have a better processor than the nTB MBPs.

    Does anyone have any experience between these two machines, and their use for photo/video editing, and music production? Is it best just to buy the newest machine in terms of futureproofing and for the better processor?

    Many thanks in advance.
  2. PBz macrumors 68020


    Nov 3, 2005
    PVB, Florida
    I have been 'testing' a 2015 13" 2.7 16/512 while my 2016 was being repaired. I use Lightroom & Photoshop but am not a professional. I don't work on more than a few images at a time. With that, the '15 is running really well. Sliders move quickly. Changes occur fast. I would say the experience is very positive. I think as a test I exported about 150 images and it pretty quick. Overall, I think it's up to the task. It worked as well or better than my 2016 with 8GB of RAM.

    If you're patient and monitor the Apple refurb site you will see them pop up. It can be different variants of 2015 13" so be patient. The 2.7 16/512 I bought refurbished was $1,500 with tax and is flawless. I kind of want to keep it.

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