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Does my usage require the 15" rMBP's i7 and dedicated graphic card?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 15, 2012
I'm very undetermined to which new rMBP I should choose, and I'm constantly changing attitude to what to choose. Let me explain:

Currently sitting with my 15" mid-2010 MBP, connected to a Dell U2715h (1440p), with following specs:
  • i5-520M @ 2.40 GHz (dual core)
  • 8 GB PC3-8500 DDR 1066MHz RAM
  • GeForce GT330M 512 MB dedicated graphic card
  • 320 GB HDD + 120GB OWC 3G
    • 320 GB = Files
    • 120 GB = OS and apps

I use for a wide range of things, which varies from normal user usage to heavy load usage.
  • Everyday usage (Web, mail, documents, streaming)
  • DJ'ing (iTunes, Rekordbox and Traktor)
  • Music production (Logic Pro, Ableton Live)
  • Photography (Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere Pro)
  • Digital designer (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop)
I don't do gaming, 3D visualization or more than one external monitor.

The 15" mid-2010 MBP struggles with high temperatures and high CPU loads, and very time consuming photo and video renderings, which is why I'm on the lookout for a new rMBP.

Obviously I'm very interested in the upcoming new rMBPs, but I'm unsure if the 13" will fulfill my need and expectations. The mobility factor is not that important for me as I'm already used to the size and weight of the 15" MBP and as the laptop is mainly located on my work desk, connected to monitor, external HDD, USB hub, MIDI keyboard, etc.. The price although, is also a valid factor in this decision process, as I would expect a proportional better machine, giving the price difference - I'm not looking for "the best of the best", but more like looking for at decent match to my needs and expectations.

What I'm sure I need as minimum:

- 16 GB RAM
- 256 GB SSD

This can delivered in the 13", so what I'm unsure of is CPU and graphic card, which leads to the ultimate questions:

Is the i5 dual core enough? or do I need the i7 quad core?
Is the Intel Iris Pro graphics enough? or do I need the dedicated graphic card? (i.e. AMD Radeon R9 M370X - giving the current available 15")

Thank you!



Aug 25, 2015
The i7 quad is literally twice as fast. If you need more power down the road, you'll regret not having the king of Apple's laptop range.

The 15" is a way more powerful machine.


macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
A 13 inch will do what you want to do mostly quicker quieter and cooler than what you have now but it won't be a huge performance jump, the15 inch will be a big performance jump.


Staff member
May 3, 2009
Split the difference and the 15" MBP that has the iGPU and forgo the dGPU.

I think the 13" overall, will provide all the horsepower you need, but I think the larger screen will be a benefit.


Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
15" will definitely be faster in rendering due to its quad core CPU, so I would definitely recommend it over the 13". The base 15" should be fine as dGPU won't provide much benefit for you, but if you can you should wait until the refresh (likely at WWDC in a few weeks) and get an updated model.
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