2016 13" nTB vs 15" TB for Photographer

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rviyer, Jan 18, 2017.

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  1. rviyer macrumors newbie

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #1
    I'm going to buy a new Macbook Pro for my wife, whose 2011 15" Macbook Pro just died last week with a failed graphics chip (just 1 week past Apple's Extended Warranty Repair program - Doh!)

    She is an amateur photographer, now transitioning to some professional work, and has Lightroom, Photoshop and Illustrator open simultaneously.

    I'm considering the 2016 13" nTB, 512GB/16GB RAM vs. the 2016 15" TB, 512GB/16GB RAM. She will have an external monitor to plug into if she wants a bigger screen for editing photos. We're not considering the 13" TB model since we don't see much benefit to the TB now for the price jump.

    From the searches I've done, others appear to have commented that they are able to work fine with the 13" model with those types of programs. I know that sometimes on her old 2011 Macbook Pro my wife would sometimes feel that things would "slow down" when she had all her programs open simultaneously, and I don't know whether the quad-core CPU and/or graphics card of the 15" would help avoid that (both choices otherwise would have the same 512GB SSD/16GB RAM). Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Brett.F macrumors member

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    #2
    I would go for the 15 without a question. The quad processor will help those programs significantly. Unless she needs the portability of the 13, it seems like she is used to working with the screen real estate of the 15.
     
  3. jerryk, Jan 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017

    jerryk macrumors 68020

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    #3
  4. Keleko macrumors 68000

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    #4
    I am an amateur photographer, and I purchased the 2016 15" TB 1TB/16GB/460 model. I've done editing on my wife's 2013 13" MBP when on the go before this purchase, since my 2011 iMac isn't known for portability. My 2011 iMac died with what looks like a graphics card failure, too. I much prefer the new laptop 15" screen when I'm editing photos on the go with no access to an external monitor.

    Performance wise, the 13" was definitely better than my 2011 iMac, but that's not a surprise since that laptop has an SSD where the iMac does not. I have not done a direct comparison between the 2013 13" and the 2016 15", but I was happy with the 13" performance when I used it. So I don't think you'll notice much performance difference between the 2016 13" and 15". The real determination is the screen size and how often she's unable to use an external monitor.

    The TouchBar on the 15" does come into consideration because Adobe has added some TB functions to Photoshop. I mostly work in Lightroom, which doesn't currently have any TB functions, but I expect Adobe will be adding it at some point. That's a minor consideration compared to screen size, but it does factor into the decision.
     
  5. rviyer thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #5
    Thanks for the replies. My wife plans on using her external monitor whenever she is photo editing, so screen size is not an issue. We like the slightly better portability of the 13", and the lower price doesn't hurt. However, if the 13" would struggle while having all 3 of those programs open then we're fine with going with the 15" model.
     
  6. Richard Peters macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

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    Surrey, UK
    #6
    It will depend how heavy the editing your wife does. Lightroom is a notorious hog of resources and can run slow on even the fastest machines at times. My 2012 11" MacBook Air I can have both Lightroom and Photoshop open quite happily together for general light editing - although Lightroom tends to run slow after a while but as I say it does regardless of Photoshop being open. I use a fully loaded 2012 27" iMac as my main workhorse and under heavy load with big editing jobs in Lightroom, even that struggles eventually whereas Photoshop will show no slow down at all.

    I'd say if this is to be your main machine, get the 15". I'm awaiting delivery of a full loaded 13" tb but opted for that because portability is more important than overall power for my laptop requirements.
     
  7. Miltz macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Without question go with the 15 inch model. 2 years ago I got the 13" and I had to return it due to the fact that the screen was just too small for editing. I know you said that you're going to plug it into a external monitor for editing but lets be honest, will you external monitor look better than a 15" 2016 Retina display?
     
  8. rviyer thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    She did go to the Apple Store and played with both a 13" and a 15" side by side. She felt that for some minimal on-the-go editing the 13" would be fine, and she would be OK connecting to the external monitor at home. Our only hesitation with the 13" is the capability of handling Lightroom, Photoshop and Illustrator all at the same time. It sounds like there is some concern of the 13" to handle all 3 simultaneously.
     
  9. tcphoto1 macrumors regular

    tcphoto1

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    #9
    I shoot tethered to my Mid '15 MBP and 27" Cinema Display whether in the studio or location and would not consider a 13" MBP. It's underpowered, no quad core offered and the 13" display would drive me crazy.
     
  10. jerryk macrumors 68020

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    #10
    All of that at one time is a pretty good load. It will do it, but might be a bit pokey.
     
  11. XSharp macrumors newbie

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    Nov 24, 2016
    #11
    Go w/ the 15'', unless the weight is an issue. TouchBar might be more useful than you think, in the long term.
     
  12. sakabaro macrumors regular

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    Feb 24, 2015
    #12
    I wonder the same thing to do programming and occasional vector drawings.

    I am leaning towards the 13" nTB with a LG 21.5" maxed out in place od the 15" TB maxed out.

    I hope I won't miss too much having the quad core of the 15". But, I am also thinking the 13" is an actual portable option whereas rhe 15" you think twice before changing it from one room to another. Also, I would expect the TB and touch ID to be a bit a of drain on the CPU, GPU and Ram as the TB macbooks have to drive an extra screen with UI to compute and gestures to monitor. Might be false though as it'a shipping with an extra ARM cpu.

    Anyone has actual data on the CPU/Ram drain of the TB in real life?
     
  13. rviyer thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #13
    Thanks for all the input. The consensus seems to be a concern of the 13" to handle all those programs running at the same time. For marital harmony I'm going to err on the side of the 15" since there may be a risk of slowdowns with the 13". Thanks!
     
  14. Gaprofitt macrumors regular

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    Jul 30, 2009
    #14

    Are you open to non-mac? Dell XPS 9560 has a better GPU, newer CPU, overall better specs for a lot less money.. The battery is also better, sd card slot, etc. I used a 15% off coupon. $1900 shipped, 1TB ssd, 7th gen cpu, larger battery, 16gb ram.. 4k screen, the list goes on and on..
     
  15. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #15
    Again, it remains to be seen if that will mean better battery life. It wasn't very good before, so there's a lot of ground to make up. Nice machine, though, I'm sure.
     
  16. rviyer thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    The Dell XPS 9560 caught my eye due to its more recent CPU and Nvidia graphics card, and I would be open to a PC myself, but my wife is firmly in the Mac/iPhone camp and won't budge. Not that I haven't tried. But each time I get a look that says she'd rather switch to an abacus before a PC. So I'm limited to an Apple product for now at least.
     
  17. Gaprofitt macrumors regular

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    Jul 30, 2009
    #17
    Huh? I have both, the 9560 battery life is easily 40% better than the Mac..
    --- Post Merged, Jan 21, 2017 ---
    Divorce her, she sounds clueless.. :)
     
  18. macintoshmac macrumors 68000

    macintoshmac

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    May 13, 2010
    #18
    Having a TB 13 model with i5 2.9/8/256, this machine is plenty capable of taking those programs. I use Illustrator and LightRoom and InDesign, not three open simultaneously but heavy files in InDesign which my Late 2011 quad core i7 with 16GB and 256GB was "ok" to work with.. here it works much better.
     
  19. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #19
    Huh? You have the just-announced Dell 9560, with no reviews anywhere, and a 2016 15" MBP to compare to? Please share your carefully tested results. Doing 40% better than the MBP would imply the XPS has doubled its battery life. Quite a feat!
     

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