Macbook pro advice for a designer

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by fannigraphic, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. fannigraphic macrumors newbie


    Feb 8, 2017

    I would like to buy a Macbook Pro but I do not really know which one I should.

    First of all it is a must for me to choose a Macbook Pro (with 15" display) as I travel a lot and I really love working on Mac & I do nor want to switch to Windows.

    I am mostly a ui/ux designer but I do any kind of graphic design and some HTML/CSS/Javascript coding too.
    I mainly use Sketch and Adobe Illustrator but sometimes I use them with InDesign and Photoshop at the same time.
    (Mostly my source files are not bigger than 1-2gb.)

    I read and heard many bad things about the new (2016) MBP with touch bar. (Faulty keyboard, display problems, etc.) So I worry a bit about buying one one of these.

    Can you help me? What do you reccomend me to buy? Is it worth buying the old (2015) one?

    Thanks a lot,

  2. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    There are advantages to both the 2015 and 2016. Both are good computers. The 2015 is a mature platform that I would argue has ironed out the bugs of the premiere models to make one of the most predictable User experiences in the history of the laptop. The 2016 introduces an absolutely awesome industrial design & really cool form factor, with some great graphics options, and while it is having some quirks (something I've noticed premiere models tend to have,) for most Users they have been minor. Both designs are capable of functioning as a desktop replacement and should provide a very long service life.

    But for the work you do though, I think you are either going to absolutely love or truly despise the touchbar, and that you might find this to be the make or break in terms of which computer you like more. Are you near an Apple Store or Retailer? Some people love the keyboard change & the touchbar where as others strongly prefer the traditional keyboard and function keys (especially the physical ESC key!!!)

    You might also find that you prefer the MagSafe + the SD slot/TB2-MDP/USB3-A/HDMI ports of the 2015, or the very capable USB-C/TB3 ports on the 2016 (but at the expense of MagSafe, SDXC slot, and other ports, and if you use SD cards a lot, you might prefer having a built-in SDXC card reader.)
  3. fannigraphic thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 8, 2017
    Thank you really much for the reply!
    I have tried the touchbar. I think I'd have problem with Esc button, but as long as I work from home 70% of my time on my external keyboard I think most of the time it would not bother me.

    The problem here in Hungary is that if you put some more ram or a better processor into the the old 2015 MBP it almost reaches the price of the new 2016 default model's price.

    Do you think that the default 2015 15" would be enough for this kind of work? Or the 2016 would be much better at this?
  4. ZapNZs, Feb 8, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    Does Apple have a direct refurb program in Hungary? (I assume it differs among countries, but in the States their refurbs often mean 15-25% off the price of new, plus they come with the same warranty as new machines.) If they do not, then you still may be able to find sales on the 2015 models as they become phased out of the system (likely within a few months we will see even bigger discounts.)

    The base 2015 15-inch differs from the base 2016 15-inch in that the base 2015 does NOT have a discrete GPU, where as the base 2016 DOES have a GPU, and that GPU is the Radeon 450. While it is the entry level GPU (with the 455 being the midline, and 460 being the flagship), it is a very capable GPU and seems to be comparable (somewhat favorably) to the R9-M370X GPU in the higher-level 2015s.

    Would the base 2015 be enough for your work? It comes standard with a very capable processor, 16 GB of RAM, a fast SSD, and very good integrated graphics. I think it will be, but one way to be certain is to buy from an Apple Retailer with the 14-day return policy, where you could install your Apps, try out your workload, and keep it if you are happy (or return it if you are not fully pleased with a large investment as such.)

    But depending on your specific usage, you might benefit from having a discrete GPU, and if the 2015s aren't on as good a sales as they are here, that might be reason to consider the base 2016. Alternatively, if you bought a base 2016, you could do the same tryout to see if you adapt to & like the keyboard/TB for extended usage, and if you do not, or are unhappy with anything else on the 2016, return it for a 2015.

    These two 2015 models are the ones with the discrete R9-M370X GPU
    (note that things get a little stranger in that Apple also made both of these models without discrete graphics)

    (all specs at
  5. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    The main performance advantage of the 2016 over the 2015 is in the dGPU. You don't mention video editing or anything that (as far as I can tell) draws much on the dGPU, so the 2015 might do just as well. The 2015 has more trouble with thermal throttling when heavily driven, but I don't know if that's as much of a problem in the version without dGPU, which is mostly what's being sold now.

    There are differences in the monitors that might matter to you. The 2016 has a larger DCI-P3 color space, the 2015 is sRGB. The new one is also significantly brighter and has better contrast.
  6. Morten_Hjort macrumors newbie


    Sep 11, 2016
    I do the same work as you (ditch Adobe and use Affinity Designer!) and bought the tMBP 13" with 16GB. Its a really nice computer, however I'm quite disappointed in the performance as its slightly slower than my old 2011 Macbook Pro. Of course it lacks the dedicated GPU and the quadcore but I had higher hopes of the technical development. Aaaand it has to be repaired because of 2 issues, but those aside I'd recommend you to buy a fully spec'ed 14' or 15' 15" MBP as its going to be fully sufficient for your use. Personally I hope my Mac can last 3-4 years and by then I'm switching to Windows (no high hopes for Apple in the future :l)

Share This Page

5 February 8, 2017