Logic user/part-time gamer: Should I get a new MBP or the previous Retina one?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dapork, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. dapork macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2016
    I might be able to get an idea of the answer I'm looking for by reading all the recent threads. I plan to actually (slowly). I think that would take a long time, so I hope you guys will be patient with someone who's not too tech savvy.

    I've had a used Macbook 13" (late 2009) for 5 years or so. I lived under a rock for a while, and so when I saw the most recent MB Pros over the winter I decided I needed to upgrade.

    I mainly use my laptop to run Logic Pro X. I'm an aspiring professional, but I record at home and some projects end up being compositions with lots of tracks. The more there are, the more frequently it stalls, due to being weak in terms of CPU or RAM. That's how I knew I needed to upgrade. I also need to get a 15", since those 2 extra inches would make a big difference.

    I gave up playing games after Bioshock I and Dragon Age II because my little Macbook has been subpar since those games. But I'd like to play Bioshock Infinite and any other games available to Mac.

    Anyway, I've been waiting months since I heard Apple was preparing to launch a new MB Pro, and now that they're out I'm kind of conflicted.

    I would basically be using up all my extra cash, because I can't settle for less than a 15" model, and anything less than 512 GB of space wouldn't be ideal. I'm assuming I'd also have to go for the other upgrades if I want to be able to play the more recent Mac games. I would have to buy a new wireless mouse and adaptors. On top of it all, I live in Europe (Greece no less), so I'm expecting a pretty heavy tax.

    On the other hand, I think I could get the previous 15" MBP for something like 2K with nearly similar specs. So I'd be saving a lot of money.

    Although I'd need adaptors, the USB-C doesn't bother me cause I figure it's the future. The Touch Bar I can certainly see coming in handy when Logic releases a supporting update (how could they not?).

    So my question goes to experienced Mac users, particularly if there's anyone who uses Logic or plays games. I definitely want to buy the new machine, but given the criteria I mentioned, do you think it's a good buy or a stupid one? I'd shell out the money if it's a good investment, I'm just not entirely qualified to make this judgment call without some help.
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    2015 15" rMBP is still a stonkingly good machine. I'd save some cash and stick with that. Keep those delicious legacy ports as well.

    The newer ones are quite expensive and will go down in time, much like when the Retina model was first introduced.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Do you use an audio interface?
    If so, what connection method does it use to the Mac? (firewire, USB, thunderbolt?)

    If I'm not mistaken, it now takes -2- adapters to connect a firewire interface to a 2016 MBPro:
    - firewire-to-thunderbolt (old)
    - old thunderbolt to USB-c.
    I could be wrong. Perhaps others will jump in and correct me.

    Also, I believe I read (just this morning) that the headphone output on the 2016 MacBook Pros is "analog only" (unlike the combined analog/digital output on the 2015 MacBook Pros).

    The 2015 MBPro remains a good machine with legacy ports.
    I'm going to -guess- that Apple will keep this in their product lineup for a while.
    It's also become a "decent buy", price-wise.
  4. lambertjohn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2012
    I agree with this. Last year's 15" is still a beast, and the Apple outlet store sells them for $300 less, fully warranted.
  5. xb2003 macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2016
    I would assume a USB C to B cable will work just fine for an audio interface, but someone might be able to confirm or deny that.

    Personally, if you don't need a dGPU, I'd steer clear. Apple track record with dedicated graphics is not good. I use my MacBook for live performance, and so the less that could go wrong, the better. We have a 2011 15 that had a dGPU failure a few minutes before a show. Bad deal.

    I wouldnt buy the new MacBook for the touchbar. It could be months before LPX is updated for it.
  6. evec macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2016
    For budget, 2015 mbpr 15 256GB no-dedicated display card version meet for your need.
    The 2015 mbpr 15 internal graphic card can run game at low graphic setting,
    even you paid additional fee for dedicated display the machine can not handle very complex 3D game because of internal TDP heat issue, the graphic card will slow down.

    You only need is buy a external 2.5" hard disk or SSD, because even 512GB is not enough for all data.
  7. dapork thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2016
    Thanks for the input guys. I use a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface with USB, and when I get the settings right I don't experience any latency. Obviously USB-C would be even more efficient, but then I would need the adapter (which I don't know if that can cause issues?), or I'd need to buy the equivalent Clarett interface, which I think costs $400. All in all I'd be breaking my bank for minimal improvements. The new MBP just came out on the Greek market (for order), so I'm guessing that means if I'm to buy a souped up 2015 model, now I can do it. I think I'm just gonna go for it. I should have the rest of the money I need within the week and I just order one straight to my home.

    I just wanna confirm that these are the maximum specs for the old MBP. If you guys can help me with this I'd appreciate so I can avoid a f up:

    The original price and base model is:

    Macbook Pro 15-inch: 2.2GHz w/ Retina Display / 256GB
    for €2469 (that's due to the €600 VAT tax...)

    Then there was the option of:
    • Intel Quad Core i7 2.5Ghz +132,68 €
    • Intel Quad Core i7 2.8Ghz +396,80 €
    I went with the second one. It's worth it right?
    • 512 GB Flash storage +264,12 €
    • 1 TB Flash storage +793,60 €
    I went with 512 because that maxes me out.

    And so I end up with:
    • 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
    • 16GB στα 1600 ΜΗz DDR3L
    • Flash Storage 512GB
    • Intel Iris Pro graphics
    Total Price: 3.129,92 €

    Sound good? Shame I'm only missing 100 or so Euros in my account, otherwise I'd order this sucker now.

    Then again, there do seem to be some used ones around. For example I found a 2.5 GHz one for 1800, but I'm waiting for a reply. I'd have to go see it in person of course. Maybe it's worth paying the price for a new one though, seeing I use my computer for everything, including work.
  8. R3k macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2011
    Sep 7, 2011
    I bet there will be some interesting Logic implementations of the touchbar. Smart controls for instance.
  9. dapork thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2016
    Then again, I could get this one for €150 more:

    • Intel Core i7 quad-core a 2,6GHz (Turbo Boost until 3,5GHz)
    • 16GB di memoria a 2133MHz
    • Unità SSD PCIe da 512GB
    • Radeon Pro 460 con 4GB di memoria
    • Tastiera retroilluminata (inglese USA) e manuale utente (inglese)
    • Quattro porte Thunderbolt 3
    • Touch Bar e Touch ID
    (That's from the Italian Apple site cause you can't actually buy them in Greece yet).

    Could someone tell me if it's worth my paying €150 more for those updated specs? It's not the most souped up 2016 model, and it would have only 2,6GHz as opposed to the older MPB with 2,8. Then of of course I've have to buy 2 USB adaptors and a new mouse. Would it be better for gaming than the old MBP? Would the GHz be upgradeable later?

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8 November 1, 2016