Advice on new hardware for a theatrical designer

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by anthony13, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. anthony13 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    #1
    hey everyone,

    I'm looking at all these threads and seeing some pretty strong negativity for the new mbp's. I'm in the market for a new laptop. I try to base the purchase on my current use and longevity. The programs I use for my job as a lighting designer (theatre/concert/festivals) are primarily vectorworks, autocad, photoshop, esp vision, lightwright, QLab and Netflix (gotta have something in the background :p).

    My current machine is a first gen rMBP 15' 2.6mhz 16gb.

    I want a 15' and a good GPU because QLab ofteb drives multiple projectors and they recommend discreet graphics. 16gb of ram is also a must for the heavy multi tasking I do (some of these programs work together with data exchange).

    i don't know enough about GPU's or processors though to know how far I should upgrade. Any users out there use any of these programs and have suggestions?
     
  2. fs454, Jan 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017

    fs454 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #2
    Nothing wrong inherently with the 2016 MBPs - if you've got the 2012 rMBP there's something like a 170% increase in GPU performance from that one to a new 2016 with the Radeon Pro 460, although I'm having trouble at finding the amazing thread on here where the in-depth comparisons were done. Intel CPUs have not advanced nearly as much, but I think if your uses are of heavy GPU bound pro apps like autocad and QLab, the 2016 with the Pro 460 is the really worthy option if it's affordable. The M370X in the 2015 model was a little anemic for its 50w power draw and runs very hot when stressed, so while it's an acceptable GPU, I wouldn't invest in it if you're mainly looking for GPU horsepower. The Pro 460 is a screamer that runs for hours pegged at 100% GPU usage at ~72C and 35 watts.

    I've gotta say they're still in the teething stage - I'm on my third 2016 MBP after the first one was replaced due to a faulty driver in boot camp blowing the speakers, and I had an intermittent "N" key on my second. GPU was run hard (OpenCL premiere / AE exports, and lots of Battlefield 1 in Windows :p) on all three models and it's been dead on reliable. I absolutely love it - the build quality is nuts, the keyboard is a joy, the touch bar is an added convenience benefit that helps, the display is beautifully colorful and contrasty, etc. My Late 2013 rMBP isn't slowing down, but when you consider the whole notebook, the 2016 is a whole different beast.
     
  3. anthony13 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    #3

    Thanks this was helpful. I'm now looking at getting the 2.9, 1TB, 460 GPU. Seems like the area I should definitely not skimp on is the GPU, and then the processor upgrade just isnt all that much more money so it seems like 'why not?'. I'm still teetering on the 512GB vs 1TB (strictly because of price, and I have an external lacie 512 Solid state, but of course it's thunderbolt).
     
  4. fs454 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #4

    If it helps, the 2.6 vs the 2.9 is a tiny difference, nowhere near the increases you get between the Pro 450/455/460 - use that money to reassure your 1TB decision if you need to!

    ...I can't talk, though. I said "why not" as well and have the 2.9/1TB/460, haha.
     

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