Is it even worth it?

GoodCusion

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 25, 2018
5
0
Leeds
Hiya guys, LONG time lurker.

Have finally signed up because I'm lost. Im rocking a fairly old(2015) 13: macbook pro 8gb ram core 2.7 i5 256gb disk.

We do everything together. I sit on this machine all day, do all my web work, print design, graphic design and dabble with video for fun. It does the job fine, sure rendering is a little slow but thats fine, hd video doesn't playback with decent FPS in premiere but thats fine.

Opening apps has become slow, FILE>NEW in photoshop is starting to grate at me, im also thinking the 8gb is holding me back, I work like a manic beast jumping from app to app.

Looking at the macbook pro of course - I'm thinking I need 16gb - will I see a perfmance boost going from 8 to 16gb?

Working on a 15" screen would be nice but im thinking just not portable enough despite how I would adore the screen - I work from a lot of different places.

Not sure I'll see a benefit (aside form rendering) on a new processor - maybe going with a 16gb macbook air and a new funky ipad would suit me - using ipad for video

I'm just thinking getting an upgrade just wont give me enough of a performance boost to warrant £2k

Really lost guys, would appreciate any advice or thoughts. Ive worked to save up and need some kind of treat
 

techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,110
395
Colorado
Smaller screen for portability is nice, the 13" MBP is quite powerful and can sport 16GB RAM and should have the horsepower to do your tasks well.

If you have a 24-27" 5k or 4k external monitor, and a $20 USB-C > HDMI adapter or cable, you can get big screen while working at home to enhance your intense work, then use the 13" screen for adjustments on the road. Or, if sites you frequent have monitors you can use, plug in there too. There are also USB-C mini docks with multiple ports that can allow you to connect USB-A, HDMI, Power, and SD card readers in one dongle, nice for portable photo-pros.

Consider going the refurbished route. Apple.com refurbs are quite good, come with the same 1 yr warranty, and are eligible for Apple Care. Most are returns in the first week or two when buyers decide they need something a bit different, or have a minor issue. Apple Refurbish process inspects, repairs and tests more thorough than new because they don't want them coming back again. I just bought a 15" MBP for a relative and configured it today, looks and acts like brand new. We saved about $300 going this route, so for the same money you might spend on new, you can afford to get a more powerful rig. They currently have quite a few 13" and 15" models in the refurb store, including 2018 models.

From the Apple.com site, scroll all the way to the bottom and you will find a link to Refurbished and Clearance in the Apple Store column.
 
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Starfia

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2011
607
315
Second on refurbished if you buy from Apple directly – they do that well and back their products with a full warranty. (Other companies can use "refurbished" to mean practically anything, so be wary.)

8GB versus 16GB memory – that starts to matter once you start using several intensive apps at once. Many apps use far less than 1GB of memory when they're actively running; exceptions might be things like Photoshop and Premiere to keep all that media ready to juggle and modify for you, and they have to take quick moments when you switch between them to quickly store what they're using or pull it back out when free memory becomes sparser.

I couldn't do without my iMac and its 27" display – the desk is where two of us do everything together. ^ ^

But if you're thinking about creative options, you could always go with a smaller, modern laptop and a carefully-chosen larger display, which are pretty affordable and easy to connect for a lot of extra, beautiful screen space when you are at a desk.
 
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Ruggy

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2017
250
154
Just wanted to comment on your idea of going with a Macbook air. The graphics card in the Air is really poor. With all the intensive graphics work you do I think that would be a mistake and I'm pretty sure you've got much better graphics performance in the machine you've got. (You can check in passmark but from memory it's about 750 which is pretty poor)
I don't know if it's worth the upgrade but I do believe more RAM would help, and if you go for the 15" then getting one of the ones with a dedicated graphics card would also make a difference.
I've been in the process of buying a machine recently for my son and agonising about whether he needs 8 or 16 so I've been checking what i use on my 13" pro with 16gb ram which is late 2016 but might be little different from yours (You can check in activity monitor by the way to see what RAM you are using.)
So yesterday I had a couple of apps open-mail and Safari and an interior design program because we are doing some remodelling, then my daughter opened a big .docx file for her homework and I noticed we were using about 13.5gb.
So for me, it's 16gb all the way.
Good graphics card, lots of RAM. I hope that helps.
 
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GoodCusion

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 25, 2018
5
0
Leeds
Thanks all for the replies, really appreciate it! Sounds like the air would wind me up with its graphics card...I think I'll have to take the plunge for 16gb in some format. My way of working it quite messy and I juggle a lot of apps at once..going down to the apple store today to look at the 15" I'd love it, I spend a lot of time working on the road, from hotels and other people's houses so worry it will be a bit cumbersome, but the new design I believe is a bit smaller than my generation.

Will also defo go with refurb, they have some 15" 16gb models for around £1600
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,602
1,185
Georgia
Open Activity Monitor while doing your tasks. Look at CPU usage and Memory Pressure when things start lagging. If CPU is maxed out. Then you need a faster CPU. If Memory Pressure is in the yellow or red then you need more RAM. Although if you are hitting memory issues with 8GB. I wouldn't count on 16GB holding out more than a couple years before your workload swamps it too.
 
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GoodCusion

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 25, 2018
5
0
Leeds
Open Activity Monitor while doing your tasks. Look at CPU usage and Memory Pressure when things start lagging. If CPU is maxed out. Then you need a faster CPU. If Memory Pressure is in the yellow or red then you need more RAM. Although if you are hitting memory issues with 8GB. I wouldn't count on 16GB holding out more than a couple years before your workload swamps it too.
Thats a great idea, ill try it out this evening, I have a feeling its ram and possibly disk speed, I dont mind waiting for a render but opening a new file or saving is grinding me down
 

smallcoffee

macrumors 68000
Oct 15, 2014
1,575
1,963
North America
Thanks all for the replies, really appreciate it! Sounds like the air would wind me up with its graphics card...I think I'll have to take the plunge for 16gb in some format. My way of working it quite messy and I juggle a lot of apps at once..going down to the apple store today to look at the 15" I'd love it, I spend a lot of time working on the road, from hotels and other people's houses so worry it will be a bit cumbersome, but the new design I believe is a bit smaller than my generation.

Will also defo go with refurb, they have some 15" 16gb models for around £1600
I second the 15” it’s not really that much more work/bulk to carry around and you get more screen space plus a better gpu. With 16gb (or more of you can afford it) it’s probably the better laptop I think for your use case.
 
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GoodCusion

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 25, 2018
5
0
Leeds
I second the 15” it’s not really that much more work/bulk to carry around and you get more screen space plus a better gpu. With 16gb (or more of you can afford it) it’s probably the better laptop I think for your use case.
Thank you, really appreciate your thoughts, went to the apple store today and the new 15" seems a bit smaller with the design compared to my old design and seems to weigh about the same as my current 13"
I'd never really given much thought to the graphics cards but it seems based on what people are saying that it goes quite a long way
 

Charlie Croker

macrumors member
Jan 7, 2010
59
0
You may find it is your software or even a slowly failing hard drive rather than the computer. Photoshop shouldn't open slowly for you. I have a MacBook Pro 2010 with 8gb RAM, I replaced my hard drive with an SSD, currently £164 on Amazon for a Samsung Evo 1TB. Photoshop CS5 loads in 4 seconds and I can open a new document in 2 seconds.
 

smallcoffee

macrumors 68000
Oct 15, 2014
1,575
1,963
North America
Thank you, really appreciate your thoughts, went to the apple store today and the new 15" seems a bit smaller with the design compared to my old design and seems to weigh about the same as my current 13"
I'd never really given much thought to the graphics cards but it seems based on what people are saying that it goes quite a long way
Yea - the ram will be the most important thing for you, but the GPU will give you some extra nice horsepower.