Help: 15" Macbook Pro (2015 Broadwell) vs. 13" Macbook Pro (2017 Kaby Lake)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by soveet, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. soveet macrumors newbie


    Feb 22, 2009
    Hello there

    I need some expert advice on which Mac to go for keeping in view my usage and machine configuration.

    I'm having trouble deciding which of the two laptops would be a better choice from the point of view of Performance and Longevity (at least 4 years). Both are being sold by Apple as part of their current lineup.

    15" Macbook Pro - 2015 edition
    2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 5th Gen processor
    Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz
    16GB 1600MHz memory
    Intel Iris Pro Graphics

    13" Macbook Pro - 2017 edition

    2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 7th Gen processor
    Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory (I don't mind paying for an upgrade to 16 gigs)
    Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640

    I'm a fairly heavy user. At peak I would be running about 20-25 tabs on Safari across two windows, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Excel, Airmail, Apple Notes & Wunderlist.
    At mid level the number of tabs would come down to 15, No Adobe apps, the rest remain the same. Maybe add Microsoft Word to the list.

    My current machine is an early 2014 Macbook Air - 1.4 GHz, 4 GB RAM, which is sluggish at best. My current conclusion is that the 15" inch Broadwell machine would be good enough to handle things today but might slow down sooner as compared to the newest 13" Kaby Lake machine, which impacts longevity (maybe I'm wrong). I don't want to spend a bomb only to regret 2 years later.

    The quad core 15" does seem appealing to me but I'm not sure if it is a good idea to purchase a 3 generation old processor.

    Some help please?
  2. rajsharma714 macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2017
    I can't speak for technical specs and benchmark wise, but I upgraded from a Late 13" MacBook Pro to the current 15" MacBook Pro because it has quad-core CPU because it was running slow when I was running Parallels, Chrome, and Safari with multiple tabs open.

    I can't only imagine a CPU from 5th gen isn't going to be as great as 7th. And if you're talking about not having regrets in 2yrs, you might be better off getting the latest.

  3. alembic macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2005
    13" MBP was a dual core i5 2015 model? How much RAM did it have?
  4. rajsharma714 macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2017
    All 13" are dual-core. And mine had 8GB of RAM. Sure, 16GB of RAM would have helped, but I think having a quad-core 7th gen is the biggest help. Again, IMO.
  5. alembic macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2005
    @rajsharma714, yes, all 13" machines are dual core but you did not specify the model year nor the RAM size. I'm in the middle of determining whether a 13" 2015 dual core machine with 16GB RAM would suffice to host a Windows 7 VM; or will I have to go for a 15" 2015 quad core i7? I don't want USB-C ports (not yet anyway) and TouchBar doesn't interest me at all so 2016 and 2017 models are not being considered. As a reference my 2011 15" MBP with quad core i7 and 8GB RAM runs my VM just fine.
  6. malikkamran macrumors 6502


    Oct 6, 2016
    stay with 2011 hardly any difference except the screen
  7. alembic macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2005
    Unfortunately my MBP's USB ports have failed, and more importantly the dGPU was on the verge of failing so I disabled it to force-use the integrated graphics chip. I can't connect an external monitor anymore. Thus I'm shopping for a replacement.

    I think benchmarks would indicate that a 2015 with newer generation CPU, faster RAM, and PCIe vs SATA IO for the SSD is considerably faster than my 2011 model?
  8. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2014
    I think OP would definitely get a useful 4 years out of the 2015 15 incher, and I don't know that the slightly slower CPU would be a big deal. That i7 can run 8 threads, if I'm not mistaken, which might help vs the i5's 2 core / 4 threads.

    If you go for the 2017, I would urge getting 16 Gb RAM, given the kind of loads you put on it.

    I run a late 2013 15" 2.0 Ghz i7, which I think is the same generation chip as the 2015 but a notch slower, and with 16 Gb RAM it runs a pretty significant load easily (compilations, linux VM's).

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