MacBook Pro 15" advice request

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by PeoTheOne1, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. PeoTheOne1 macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2015

    I've been looking at the buyers guide on the site for the new MB Pro 15" model. But I have a question regarding the model I should choose. I'm a student going for his master in Industrial engineering next year and I was wondering if it's really necessary for me to get the 2800€ model with the Radeon graphics card or not. The programs I mainly use are:
    2D Electronic design software:
    - Eagle
    - Multisim & Ultiboard
    - LabVIEW
    3D Software:
    - Autodesk Inventor
    - 3Ds Max
    And then some programming environments for C,C++, C#, VHDL,... But I doubt that programming environments will make a big difference.
    I read something a while ago about 3D software for design barely uses the graphics card for design and redering and that it's mainly the CPU that provides the real backbone for this process. However, I still doubt that the Intel Iris graphics could provide me with the same level of quality a dedicated card could provide.
    Any advice would be helpfull and much apreciated.

    EDIT: This is the first Mac I would buy and I do have a 4K 28" monitor I want to hook up to the laptop.

    PS for the Moderators: If this is posted in the wrong section of the forum, please accept my apology and feel free to relocate it if necessary.
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    In all honesty the 2015 15" Retina MacBook Pro is just a ridiculous powerhouse. It'll handle anything all of what you'll be throwing at it, and more. The SSD speeds are atrociously quick.

    In the interest of longevity I think most here would recommend buying the best specs you can afford. If you're buying it through your education discount you'll also save a pretty penny and get free 3-year warranty (essentially AppleCare but without the telephone support).
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Buy what you like they'll all do the job, your biggest consideration will probably be SSD size and it looks like you'll need more than 256GB, at which point it is usually best just to get the dGPU version.
  4. PeoTheOne1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2015
    I searched for a Windows laptop with better or equal specs and came up with the MSI PE60. It has a SSD combined with an HDD but a better CPU and equal graphics card. ( I know OSX will probably perform better in user experience but I just upgraded to Windows 10 on my desktop and I do like it. Is the UNIX based OS still better compared to the overhauled Windows base? And if so, why?

    EDIT: And btw. is there a decent programming environment (compared to Visual Studio) available on OSX to create C# programs or will I have to run a virtual windows for that?

    EDIT 2: The buyers guide here on the site also says that it is 'neutral' for the MB Pro retina 15", why is that? The update has only been since 78 days or so...
  5. hojx macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2014
    I'm liking my 15" rMBP for both the hardware and software. This is my first Mac and I'm an undergraduate in Industrial Design.

    The keyboard, trackpad and Retina Display are the best ones I have ever used. The long battery life allows me to go through lectures without desperately dimming my screen to the lowest setting and closing every other program like some of my non-Mac-using classmates. The build quality is excellent and it feels sturdy without shaky/unstable hinges. It is not excessively thick nor heavy either.

    Software-wise OS X has a great user interface and excellent performance (using the El Capitan beta, really smooth). AirDrop has been such a godsend for me to share files with my coursemates (>80% use Macs). I have an iPhone too and Continuity/Handoff has been a great bonus for me to pickup calls and receive messages on my Mac, as well as move between devices quickly.

    Overall it integrates very well in my life such that I can conveniently bring it to/around school daily. I'm starting my second year next week and over the past months my classmates have been switching one-by-one to Mac seeing how us Apple-users have a way more efficient workflow without worries of crashes/bugs/battery life.
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    OS is about preference, I hate windows all versions, I find them overly complicated - counter intuitive and so riddled with security holes that you need a core to run your antivirus. However if you like them go ahead and go for it you will certainly get better RAW specs on a windows machine and more customisability. That, for me, is not what the mac experience is about, it is about ease of use and top end design and hardware with rock solid software making for a smooth easy to use and pleasant computing experience.

    UNIX is just inherently better organised less prone to fragmentation and far more resistant to intrusion.

    Visual studio is available for OSX.

    The neutral rating is because the last update didn't receive broadwell processors they stuck with haswell as the broadwell hadn't been released. It is looking likely they will skip straight to skylake but as no one really knows what is going on it's a tough call. They could do a silent update to broadwell ( the sockets are the same) in the next month or so or we could get nothing until next year sometime, or anything in between.
  7. mediamentor, Aug 5, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015

    mediamentor macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2015
    PeoTheOne1, I own the 2014 15 inch MacBook Pro, 2.8ghz, 16gig, and 1TB SSD, NVidia GT 750m 2gb VRAM. I am a 3D Modeler, Animator, and VFX Artist. I do this professionally. My experience with the MacBook Pro has been excellent with the exception of the video card memory, however keeping in mind that your choice of laptop will depend of on your needs and software performance, Apple has always chosen mid range video cards for their mobile platforms due to price point, heat dissipation, and mainly power consumption because anytime you make a powerhouse workstation mobile you're not going to get 6 to 7 hours battery life with quiet fans. If you are going to use 3DS Max, I would say get a Windows Laptop instead because it's not available for Macs, you will probably save a few bucks on better hardware specs and have a better user experience. I have Windows 10 installed on Bootcamp on my MacBook Pro and it runs smoothly but given that it only has 2gigs of RAM on the video card I tend to run into issues with low VRAM when I'm working with a textured scene in Maya or 3DS Max and at the same time trying to use Photoshop or After Effects (By the way, I would not recommend Parallels to run intensive programs on Macs, it does not utilize the hardware natively). Another setback running Bootcamp on Macbooks is that not all applications are optimized for the Retina Display. They have scaling issues, i.e., big menus with tiny prints or vice versa, you can try to adjust it but if the application does not support it, you get what you get. If you don't care about weight and form factor, I think the MSI laptop you mentioned above will give you the most bang for the buck. I would stay away from the Intel Iris Pro cards and get a dedicated graphics card instead, AMD or NVidia, either way you can't go wrong. 3DS Max uses Direct3D 11 and will need a powerful video card to work with complex scenes (Poly count, Textures, and mechanical animation). You are correct when rendering, the computer will rely more on its CPU rather than GPU however other components contribute as well, GPU contributes to speeding up load times for 3D Scenes, file format compressions and decompressions, and animation playback. The SDD helps with playback speed and read and write file transfers ... So, depending on the video card you get, you will also need to decide on which is more important to you, OpenCL (AMD) or CUDA/OpenCL (Nvidia), some plugins and softwares are more optimized for Nvidia especially Autodesk and Adobe... This is why Apple is introducing its new technology called "Metal" for its GPU in the next OS X (El Capitan) to compete with the two but mainly DirectX.... I hope this helps..
  8. PeoTheOne1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2015
    Great! thanks for this extra bit of information! Do you believe that a silent update will come any time soon?

    Great! Thanks for your information. I think I will go for the Mac. Even tho Autodesk might be better supported on Windows, I still have a very good desktop that will probably outperform the mac when it gets to pure power and I believe that most of my modeling work will still be done on that one. 6 to 7 hours of battery time still sounds good to me. That's better than most of the laptops I've ever had.

    Thanks to everyone for your opinions and for taking the time to write the advice. I will probably get myself my first Mac (the one with the dedicated graphics card) next week when the Back 2 School campaign starts.
  9. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    I personally don't see a silent update for broadwell at all, I think we'll just get skylake early next year, but I've certainly been dead wrong before...
  10. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    Agreed - no chance. Top-end Skylake desktop CPUs launched yesterday, the big launch is the 18th IIRC.

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