MacBook Pro 13" vs. 15"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jogley, May 20, 2014.

  1. jogley macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2011
    I am looking to purchase a new Macbook Pro in the near future and would like some advice on performance vs. price.

    My design needs are as follows: Photoshop, Illustrator, light Maya, Mudbox, and Zbrush work. Gaming is not critical, but I would like a decent enough machine to handle things like Borderlands 2 (Unreal engine) and the like.

    Will the Iris, and Iris Pro cards handle that? Or would I need to get the 15" pro with the integrated and dedicated NVidia card? Any advice would be helpful, thanks!
  2. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    If you are working on smaller/ single files the Iris should be able to handle business. However since you mentioned that you will mainly be working with media, it may make sense to buy the larger screen size. Even if you hook up an external display, the extra real estate helps on the go.
  3. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    Go with the higher end 15" rMBP with 16gigs of RAM, dedicated nVidia video and the 512gb HD. Photoshop's 3D and Maya will benefit from the dedicated video.
  4. zI INFINITY Iz macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2013
    At the end of January, I bought my 15" rMBP base model (special deal, down from 1999 to 1650). I was considering spending between 1500 and 1800 for a 13" rMBP, but the base 15" at that price won me over. The Quad Core i7 and Iris Pro seemed like a big step up in power.

    Anyway, what I can tell you is this. I've been using almost everything from Adobe CC on my base 15" rMBP. This means Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Muse, Lightroom and also Premiere and After Effects. They all work, and they work great.

    It's important to note that I'm comparing it the following:

    • A (very old) desktop from my internship, which already ran Ps, Ai and Id (CS5) pretty much great. Don't exactly remember the specs, but as far as I know it had a single core CPU, 6GB of RAM (slow RAM), and an older NVIDIA Quadro GPU.
    • My previous Dell XPS 13 ultrabook, which was sometimes faster then the desktop, sometimes slower (Dual Core i5, 8GB RAM, Intel HD4000)
    • Other Windows laptops/older MacBook Pro's/Air's.

    So compared to what I used in the past, and all the laptops I see from fellow students, the base 15" rMBP blows everything away. It's really fast and smooth. I've had some problems in the months I've been using the device (not a lot though), mainly when working with multiple of these Adobe programs at the same time. I think that would be the 8GB of RAM and it's the only point of the base 15" rMBP that's not "really great", but just ok.

    Some other notes: I have Windows 7 installed and tested Skyrim, which works nicely. I also use Solidworks (CAD) and that works perfectly.

    And I'm extremely happy I have been using a 15" display instead of a 13" for the past months. Except for the few times I actually want to work in the bus, the 15" is so much nicer to work on then the (now small looking) 13" display.
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Adobe CS6 and CC apps run faster on Iris Pro than on NVIDIA because these apps are now heavily OpenCL-optimized. I tested this on my rMBP with 750M.

    The only thing that pisses me off is that I can't use the Iris with an external monitor because the iGPU isn't physically connected to the TB ports for display output.

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