Macbook Pro 13'' 2015, is it a keeper......

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Smeaton1724, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. Smeaton1724 macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #1
    Back in April 2015 at what seemed like the final refresh we would be getting of what was a tried and trusted design I purchased the 'new' Macbook Pro 13'', 2.9 i5, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD. I use the SD slot occasionally but not the USB ports that much, back then I just thought that I didn't want to lose the option. Now my predicament is that the machine is great, but I've largely stopped using it and I don't use the ports, i.e USB-A or HDMI.

    My iPad Pro has taken over daily routine tasks like email, image tweaking, web, light gaming and I store documents in iCloud, music on Google Music and other things on Google Drive! Home media is served by Raspberry Pi with Plex. Aside to that my work machine blows it out of the water in terms of rendering 3D environments (Some UE4, VRay, Sketchup and Revit) , building modelling (Revit, 3DS Max) etc - all down to Quad Core, 32GB RAM, dGPU etc. I've been trying to fit personal projects in whilst at work to take account of the power of the machine. To complicate matters I'm also in the early stages of learning to code and not having a main mac means I miss out on XCode, obviously I need a new-ish Mac to develop on, an iPad only gets you so far with notes and tutorials before you need to delve in.

    I'm based in the UK and pricing has surged with the Brexit vote, as such I purchased at £1350, the machine still has warranty due to Applecare, so I think I would recover most of the purchase price.

    So my thought process has been to move it on, but for what -
    - Should I just keep the machine and treat it as a 'base machine' storing photos, music, documents off the web and continue to take advantage of the machine at work?
    - Will this years Quad Core 15'' Macbook Pro or a refurbished last years model be good enough to start using for things like UE4, Unity or Blender? Then at a later date get a dGPU enclosure via TB3?
    - Keep this machine but invest in a dGPU TB2 enclosure?
    - Sell it whilst sentiment for the older design is still high and decide over the next few months before the typical spec bump in October?
     
  2. Merackon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    #2
    I have just bumped up from a 13" 2015 to a 15" 2017 due to the 13" just not meeting my power requirements - architecture student using the same suites as you - whilst also wanting the portability and not being reliant on sitting in front of a computer desk.

    This year's and refurbished last years will almost certainly be 'good enough' for the sorts of work you are doing, but at the same time, what you want in terms of 'good enough' is dependant on what you are looking for. Do you want the software to be super smooth whilst doing intensive actions?

    Relying on the TB3 option for performance enhancement is a bit risky due to the hamstringed gains due to the interface speed of TB3 vs PCIe. Sure it will enhance the performance, but you will be spending a lot of money in the process to get performance that really makes it worth having over the components in the computer potentially. The same goes for the TB2 solution, there are a couple of videos out there showing how the performance gains from a dGPU enclosure do not really equate to the amount of money put into the expansion system.

    Selling is always an option, and you could likely get a very decent price considering the enhanced RAM and the AppleCare, having the original packaging (assuming yes) will also help your chances. I personally would not rely upon the refresh being this year. If they update in October, it would go against their usual update spacing of 200-300 days, and it would be unlikely given Intel have delayed the release of Coffee Lake (apparently) until Q1 2018. I have finished for the Summer, but was in a quandry as to whether I should wait until the later upgrade or get this one now, and decided to just commit now rather than regretting the decision later. IF you wait then you are going to be more and more uncertain, as always, in your decision because you may be over 50% of the way to the next update, making an investment potentially inefficient. And, ultimately, waiting may not actually be that useful, if the performance upgrades aren't as significant as you had hoped for.
     
  3. Smeaton1724 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #3
    Your probably the best person that could have responded - thank you. Revit Structural model sizes can be quite large at 300MB but with imported architectural, services, 3D Topo etc they go quite a way higher. I plan on Boot camping this weekend a new Windows 10 install and trying out a project I have in Revit 2014 - it is legacy and full of all manner of hacked up families, textures and Sketchup models imported in!

    Overall I do think a 15'' is the way to go but I'm really trying to hold out for when 32GB RAM becomes a thing.
     
  4. Spudlicious macrumors 6502

    Spudlicious

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, England
    #4
    I may be a bit dumb, but why are you missing out on XCode? I run it on my 13" 2015 Pro with my iPad propped up showing the Apple Swift tutorial. I really need tutoring. Also, I'm dubious about getting most of your money back on a two year old computer, you sure about that? It's an excellent, beautiful, and highly portable machine for basic purposes, and one you can take pride in, I think that's important. Keep it.

    When I read your thought of running an external graphics box I think, no man, don't do it, it's a hideous solution. If you need high-end graphics you need them built-in, I'm sure of that.
     
  5. Smeaton1724 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #5
    I meant if I get rid of the Macbook Pro altogether then I can't use my work machine for Xcode as it is windows based. In theory everything else I want to use could be done on a custom built windows desktop, I just don't want to fill my house with huge windows towers when I really enjoy Apple hardware. Ultimately if I went to a desktop I'd go for a 27'' iMac but I'm really trying not to lose portability.

    I got the machine for £1250 over 14 months before Brexit, as such resale prices are still at £1000-1200. The main issue being new macs are 20% more expensive, even refurb pricing to go the 15'' route it's a £900 upgrade at least!
     
  6. Merackon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    #6
    Yeah, the 32GB RAM is something I really wish I could have taken advantage of now. Tends not to be a major issue for me, I just make the argument to myself that if I am doing anything more than ACAD, Revit, SketchUp and general Creative Suite, then I can just use my desktop. But not being able to do much of even the lighter versions of that on the move was what forced me down the 15" route.

    Haha, sounds exactly like something that would drive our tutors to chewing on the carpets.
     

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