2016 MBP 13" w/ touch bar or 15" for Computer Forensics student?

Which one should I get?

  • 1) 13", 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 16GB RAM, 512 SSD, Intel Iris Graphics 550

    Votes: 4 22.2%
  • 2) 15", 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512 SSD, Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB memory

    Votes: 14 77.8%

  • Total voters
    18

spikionion

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 8, 2017
15
8
Hello everyone,


I would love to get your feedback on which MBP I should get. I am a freshman of the computer forensic/ information security track, and I am planning to buy an MBP late 2016, but I am not sure if I should get the 13" with touch bar or the 15". Here are my options:

1) 13", 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 16GB RAM, 512 SSD, Intel Iris Graphics 550
2) 15", 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512 SSD, Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB memory

I will mainly use it to run VMs (Windows, Ubuntu) for now, then deal with hacking tools and replicate attacks on protocols, etc... down the road (I don't know how those software work yet). Also, I will use Adobe Suite (mainly Premier and Photoshop) for some light video and photo editing, but I am not gonna use it for gaming at all. My last MBP lasted 6 years (just died couple days ago :( so I want this one to last around 5 years or so. There is a $600 difference in price between the two, and I really want to get some feedbacks before making the purchase.
Thank you so much in advance!


Tri.
 

spikionion

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 8, 2017
15
8
15", definitely. Much more power with the quad-core CPU and dedicated graphics card. This will be vastly beneficial if you're looking to run virtual machines.
Thank you @keysofanxiety! I would love to get the 15" for sure but I can't afford it yet (maybe 2 or 3 more months), that's why I am considering the 13"
 

Ma2k5

macrumors 68020
Dec 21, 2012
2,471
2,405
London
For your use, I don't actually think you need quad core or a dGPU - just make sure to get 16GB ram and the 13" should be more than sufficient for everything you need to do.

From what it sounds like, you are willing to wait a couple of months. There is a kabylake revision due to come out, I don't know when, but it may be worth the wait as it may also include a small price cut. If they also implement the battery tech they were speculated to wanted to originally but didn't manage to cut it in, you'd see a nice boost to battery life too.
 
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RockstarSR

macrumors member
Mar 19, 2011
59
33
Why do you need 460? I would say get the BTO 450 with 512 SSD or 455 with 512 SSD. 460 is overkill for what you are doing..
 
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spikionion

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 8, 2017
15
8
For your use, I don't actually think you need quad core or a dGPU - just make sure to get 16GB ram and the 13" should be more than sufficient for everything you need to do.

From what it sounds like, you are willing to wait a couple of months. There is a kabylake revision due to come out, I don't know when, but it may be worth the wait as it may also include a small price cut. If they also implement the battery tech they were speculated to wanted to originally but didn't manage to cut it in, you'd see a nice boost to battery life too.
Thank you so much for your response, Ma2k5! Yeah, I wanted to wait for the Kabylake upgrade but I doubt that Apple is going to do that soon. I might have to wait until Sep-Oct for that upgrade and I don't think I can wait that long. I need a new computer to do my homework and lab works for my next class in April and I want to get it before then. So I guess I can wait for the next month or two to get more info about when the Kabylake upgrade will happen.
[doublepost=1486572277][/doublepost]
Why do you need 460? I would say get the BTO 450 with 512 SSD or 455 with 512 SSD. 460 is overkill for what you are doing..
Thank you for your reply, RockstarSR! I don't need the Radeon Pro 460 right now but I might need it in the future (i.e 4K video editing and stuff). Plus, I am not planning to buy another computer for another 5 years, so I think i could spend another $200 for that graphic card. What do you think?
 

spikionion

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 8, 2017
15
8
If you're going to run Premiere, you'll want the quad core and 460. It barely runs on the 13".
Hi Sanpete, thanks for the info! Do you have the new 2016 MBP 13" right now? I heard that Premiere would run fine with the 13" if you are not doing the 4k video editing. Is it not?
 

Sanpete

macrumors 68030
Nov 17, 2016
2,596
1,054
Utah
Hi Sanpete, thanks for the info! Do you have the new 2016 MBP 13" right now? I heard that Premiere would run fine with the 13" if you are not doing the 4k video editing. Is it not?
Sorry, I was referring to 4K and should have said that. I haven't heard about HD with Premiere on the 13", that might be fine. I don't have the 13", I'm only going on what those who have it have reported.
 
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ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,155
I strongly favor the 15. If you plan to run multiple VMs simultaneously on 2 hi-res displays (or 3, including the built-in display), the 15 really shines here. Given the price of the 460 is only like $200 over the 450, and the future for GPU utilization with cryptoanalytical work seems quite interesting, I'd personally opt for the capability of the 460. YMMV.
 
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spikionion

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 8, 2017
15
8
Sorry, I was referring to 4K and should have said that. I haven't heard about HD with Premiere on the 13", that might be fine. I don't have the 13", I'm only going on what those who have it have reported.
No need to apologize! Thank you for clarifying tho. I'm getting lots of great feedbacks from this thread and they really help me!
[doublepost=1486605543][/doublepost]
I strongly favor the 15. If you plan to run multiple VMs simultaneously on 2 hi-res displays (or 3, including the built-in display), the 15 really shines here. Given the price of the 460 is only like $200 over the 450, and the future for GPU utilization with cryptoanalytical work seems quite interesting, I'd personally opt for the capability of the 460. YMMV.
Thank you for your excellent feedback, ZapNZs! Yeah, I want to have the best GPU so I'll definitely go with the 460. I can't afford and not planning to have an extra display right now so the 15" would be better for me. Thanks gain!
 
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spikionion

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 8, 2017
15
8
Just a quick update! I just got the 2016 MBP 15" and I couldn't be happier. I LOVE this MacBook Pro so much! It's so light and thin, and I can carry it around all day with all my books and gear with ease. The keyboard is the feature that has surprised me the most. I didn't really like it at first, but after a week of using it, I love it so much. It's called butterfly for a reason because your fingers are literally flying around with this keyboard. You will definitely type faster with this keyboard, and the feeling is great. I cannot go back to my 2011 MBP keyboard or even the MBA keyboard anymore. The only downside about this new MBP is the battery life. Don't get me wrong, it still has good battery life, but not as good as it could have been. The new update does help the machine sustains better battery life, but they could have made the battery bigger. Oh well, the overall build, quality, speed, and performance outweigh it all. The speakers are PHENOMENAL. I don't think I've ever listened to the better speakers (in a laptop or MacBook) than this one. The screen is much brighter, which is really good for doing my works outdoor. The touch bar is cool, but I don't see it as a must-have feature you know. I love the emojis, of course, and I also like scrubbing video on this bar while watching youtube or QuickTime videos, and some nice and useful shortcuts when writing papers in Word or PowerPoint. I got my configs as follow:15", 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512 SSD, Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB memory for $2899 with no tax on B&H. It's a well worth investment for me and I'm so glad that I did.

Thanks again, to all of you, for giving me great advice!
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,776
33,722
Boston
I'm partial to the 15" model, you get more bang for your buck imo, though the 13" is probably a bit easier to carry around campus.
 
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ManuCH

macrumors 6502a
May 7, 2009
533
157
Switzerland
Just a quick update! I just got the 2016 MBP 15" and I couldn't be happier. I LOVE this MacBook Pro so much! It's so light and thin, and I can carry it around all day with all my books and gear with ease. The keyboard is the feature that has surprised me the most. I didn't really like it at first, but after a week of using it, I love it so much. It's called butterfly for a reason because your fingers are literally flying around with this keyboard. You will definitely type faster with this keyboard, and the feeling is great. I cannot go back to my 2011 MBP keyboard or even the MBA keyboard anymore. The only downside about this new MBP is the battery life. Don't get me wrong, it still has good battery life, but not as good as it could have been. The new update does help the machine sustains better battery life, but they could have made the battery bigger. Oh well, the overall build, quality, speed, and performance outweigh it all. The speakers are PHENOMENAL. I don't think I've ever listened to the better speakers (in a laptop or MacBook) than this one. The screen is much brighter, which is really good for doing my works outdoor. The touch bar is cool, but I don't see it as a must-have feature you know. I love the emojis, of course, and I also like scrubbing video on this bar while watching youtube or QuickTime videos, and some nice and useful shortcuts when writing papers in Word or PowerPoint. I got my configs as follow:15", 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512 SSD, Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB memory for $2899 with no tax on B&H. It's a well worth investment for me and I'm so glad that I did.

Thanks again, to all of you, for giving me great advice!
Glad you like it! I would also have recommended the 15", especially because of the VMs and Adobe. Good choice!
 
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spikionion

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 8, 2017
15
8
I'm partial to the 15" model, you get more bang for your buck imo, though the 13" is probably a bit easier to carry around campus.
Yeah you're right, the 13" might be a bit easier to carry around. But the 13" is too small for me (I'm used to have a 17") and it's only 1pound lighter than the 15" so you can't really feel the difference when it's in your backpack.
 
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