How practical is it to use the base 13 model with 5K display? (looking for purchasing advice)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Nick.Xiao, Nov 2, 2016.

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What should I buy?

Poll closed Nov 12, 2016.
  1. Base Sans Touch Bar $1449 - 540 should pull it off (but isn't much of an big upgrade though)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Base Touch Bar/Touch ID $1699 - the whole package provides a better value coming from a 2013 13-inch

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Try spending more: Base 15-inch $2249 - bigger screen estate, better power (I don't mind the weight)

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  4. Try spending more: Base 15-inch with top GPU Pro 460 $2429 - more future proof

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  5. WAIT: potential 2017 price cut, just like original Air, Retina MacBook Pro, and 5K iMac

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Keep current laptop, 2015 5K iMac (maybe a refurb but I need 256G SSD) - economic choice

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Keep current laptop, WAIT FOR NEXT-GEN iMac (this better have Thunderbolt 3 and Target Display Mode)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Buy nothing - nothing's worth it from even the near-future lineup for the 2013 laptop

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Nick.Xiao macrumors newbie

    Nick.Xiao

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    #1
    The new base model of MacBook Pro, the one without Touch Bar, is theoretically capable of driving two 4k displays or one 5k display in addition to the internal one. My question is, with the Iris 540 GPU and a downgrade of CPU class (from a regular 13-inch Pro's 28/29W to Air's 15W), is it suitable for extended period of usage with a 5k display connected?

    This is the main reason I'm looking for a new MacBook, the ability to utilize a 5k display would be wonderful for editing photos with Lightroom, since my current 13-inch Pro (ME865) from just three years ago, October 2013, still runs perfectly well for all my day to day tasks. The thinner and lighter profile and the brighter P3 display are just really really nice added benefits that I'm not currently willing to drop 1.5 grand on (I've tried them all out, and I actually enjoyed the keyboard, a bit surprising given the fact that I disliked the one on MacBooks). I do hope it to be future proof for possible other tasks though.

    To further complicate the situation (sorry :-( ), the second reason I'm looking for an upgrade is the terrible screen estate of the 13-inch MBP. For me it's almost impractical to multitask at most times, since running two apps side by side gives them both pathetically little space to work with. I am aware of the new default resolution of the new 13-inch ones is 1440*900, but I've tried it extensively and found out that I didn't like it, it was too fuzzy and I had to set it back to 1280*800.

    But here's the sad truth: the price I can pay for this new Mac probably ends at 2 grands including tax (I'm in California, 8 PERCENT OF TAX), at least for 2016, so that effectively rules out buying the 15-inch model this year (I am a college student so I get standard discounts Apple provides). Hence I'm here looking for advice and I've put together a list of choices I think I have given all the present information in a poll. It would be great if you have some other ideas, thank you!

    Also, I'm not looking for any processor/SSD upgrades, since all the baselines and 256 gigs should be fine for me (unless the 15W TDP CPU on 13 w/o Touch Bar handles Lightroom worse than this 2.4 28W Haswell from 3 years ago).

    P.S. The price I put in the choices are student discount price before tax.
     
  2. NickPhamUK macrumors 6502

    NickPhamUK

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    #2
    Do you need portability?

    iMac > MacBook Pro 13" in terms of power. The iMac will probably come in March or April.
     
  3. Steve121178 macrumors 601

    Steve121178

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
  4. Nick.Xiao thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nick.Xiao

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    #4
  5. mwalter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    #5
    Reviving this thread, is there any reason to expect the performance on the 13" MBP TB (Iris 550) to be much better? I am similarly looking to drive a 5k monitor. I would go with the 27" iMac, but do like the portability option, even though I have a 12" MB.
     

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