Macbook pro or this

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Danando1993, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Danando1993 macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2010
    I'll try to keep this as short and to the point as possible.

    I need a new laptop, I don't necessarily need a mac but I do prefer the OS and MacBook form factor, I already own an ipad and an iphone so it would be helpful to stick with apple.

    I'm about to start a postgraduate (part 2) course in architecture, I want something that's powerful and will easily stand up to pressure I put it under. Programmes include photoshop, autocad, sketchup, revit (parallels with a mac), 3DS max, vray and possibly more.

    I really want the new MacBook pro if they ever announce it, but its getting close to the start of term and I may have to bite the bullet and buy an existing MacBook pro or windows laptop.

    Now the two 15" retina MacBook pro's are £1600 and £2000 I think off the top of my head (apple website down) both i7, 128GB and 256GB memory or maybe 512GB in one? with 16GB of RAM again I cant remember of the top of my head.

    Whilst waiting for the release of the new MacBook and looking at the current generation I have browsed for windows alternatives and I've come across this

    A 15.6" Dell Inspiron quad core i7 16GB RAM, 1 TB Plus 128 GB SSD - you can see the rest of the specs for yourself. For a little less than £1000

    Can somebody tell me, how this matches up to the top of the range retina MacBook pros and if its worth spending the extra £600 for a mac over this Dell laptop? I'm not clued up on specs or generations of processors etc, I love apple laptops and I've used them forever but the specs in this windows laptop seem fine and its much cheaper.

    If they announced the new MacBook today and released it in the next month I would probably wait but time is against me with a new term starting in a few weeks.

  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    The processor's not that much more powerful than my 2012 15" cMBP. RAM is the same as the 15" rMBP. The current gen 15" rMBP starts with a 256GB SSD.

    Regardless the DELL has much better graphics than anything Apple currently, or likely will, offer.

    It's worth bearing in mind that DELL can throw in those sort of specs because it's a much thicker and heavier machine. Objectively as a daily driver, and if price were no object, I can't see why anybody would go for the bulkier plastic option. Plus the Apple support, build quality, battery life... these all add up to a much, much nicer machine to use, in my opinion. Not just for today, but for the next year, and the years after that.

    The current gen 15" rMBP, even though there's an update due, is still a gloriously powerful workhorse, and is guaranteed to handle anything you can throw at it. And Apple have never just been all about the hardware specs. It's about the whole package.

    What you need to consider is whether you'd feel it's worth the extra £600 for the 15" rMBP. For me, personally, it would be worth the extra. However many other people here would disagree.
  3. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    Beyond that....there's the OS issue. While Windows 10 is still better than Windows 8, it's still Windows. Still buggy. Still way more vulnerable to hacking than OS X. Then there's the Windows App Store - a mess
  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Your use case needs a dedicated GPU, so only the top end MacBook Pro is really for you (it's 512gb and 16gb RAM plus an AMD 370 dGPU).

    The dell you linked has a pretty mediocre screen other than that it has a fairly slow SSD and a small one at that, it does have better graphics though and for an extra £30 you can get it with a 4 k screen.

    It's all about OS X vs Windows, and big fat plastic nastiness vs slim light aluminium chassis, and the battery life will be not great on the Windows machine, if previous experience is to go by. But if you want the best performance price balance its the way to go.

    A new MacBook Pro is due but it could be October it could be next year, it'll have better graphics better screen and thunderbolt 3/USB C,
  5. Danando1993, Sep 7, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016

    Danando1993 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2010
    How would a top end MacBook pro handle parallels in order to use something like revit? I really don't want to pay a large amount and be frustrated with performance.
  6. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I don't know what revit is, but I run parallels on my 2015 rMBP 15 with dGPU and 512 GB and it is just OK. It really eats up a lot more CPU than just running Windows via bootcamp. The fans are constantly spinning. The application I often run is Visual Studio and it is slower than it runs on a similar speced windows machine. It feels a bit laggy and things like recognizing function calls as you type are slower.

    Then there is the whole issue with having to buy a Parallels subscription and pay yearly, or rebuy the next version every year or so.

    On the Dell, the UHD screen is very nice. It is actually a bit better than the retina on my 2015 rMBP 15 with dGPU and 512 GB.

    The bottom line to me is do you want/need to run windows or OSX? If there is a critical application that is only available on windows than buy a windows system. If there is a critical application only available on OSX, buy a Mac. Neither operating system is superior. They have 2 different interfaces and people that are used to one interface find the other interface frustrating and confusing. I switch back and forth all day and still some days have issues.

    In terms of value, the Dell is far superior. In terms of style the rMBP is superior.

    BTW, there are similar recent threads to this available. One specifically asked about CAD and other programs for school and some felt the Dell workstation class machines were the way to go.

    Best of luck on your decision.
  7. BrettApple macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2010
    Heart of the midwest
    For CAD applications you really should be looking at at PC workstation, probably with a Quadro/FirePro GPU as well. Eg. Dell Precision.

    If you must have a MacBook the top end Pro with the dedicated GPU is the best option and you will really need to run Windows 10 in Boot Camp so it's running natively. Negates OS X a bit but you can still use macOS for everything else not CAD related and boot into Windows when needed. It would give Windows direct access to the full CPU and GPU power, much more so than Parallels.

    Also Autodesk has a PDF on running Revit on a Mac with both Boot Camp and Parallels. Revit Mac FAQ 2015_FINAL.pdf

    Plus: System Requirements for Autodesk Revit
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Well if you are running a VM you'll have to assign resources to each OS so neither will be running on full performance. However when you laptop reboots in under twenty seconds into another's OS you may be better off using boot camp and running things in refit separately.

    Still 2 cores each and 8gb of ram each with blistering storage is a recipe for as fast as a laptop can be running parallels. Of course if you get a Windows machine then you will never have this issue, however you do have the Windows issue if it's not your thing.

    If I was looking at Windows alternatives I would be looking at razer blade laptops, or an msi ghost. Slim light and better build quality.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
  10. Shockwave78 macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2010
    If your getting a dell call Dell Outlet directly, they will give you on average 27-32% off anything in the outlet store. The outlet store has Dell XPS 15" 9550's throughout the day and you will be able to land one for around $1200-$1350( same price american that you are paying for that insiprion) with either 256gb or 512gb ssd along with 16gb of ram. They are refurb, but perform and look brand new(just like apples refurbs) Plus the dell 15" comes with a Nividia GTX 960M graphics card which torches any Macbook Pro.

    I would definitely get this over the inspirion.
  11. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    You should give the Dell XPS 15 a good look.
  12. mrex macrumors 68030


    Jul 16, 2014
    what bugs?

    you dont have to use windows appstore - i dont.
  13. buster84, Sep 7, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016

    buster84 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2013
    I have this computer and its light-years ahead of apple right now. I was going to buy two 15 mac pros with dedicated video cards and i waited for the new model, but eventually i got tired of waiting and ended up getting two of these instead and im very happy with my choice considering i saved 1k per computer and got an update computer with all the bells and whistles over an old 2015 outdated (not even 4k) slower computer that costs more! BTW the touchpad is almost identical to the mac pros, its alittle less sensitive but overall it feels really great. The only downfall of this computer is the speakers, ASUS screwed up and put the output of the speakers under the laptop. They still get plenty loud when on a hard surface, but they will be muffled/low if your legs are covering them.

    asus zenbook 4k 15

    • CPU: 6th Generation "Skylake" Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core Processor, 2.6-3.6 GHz
    • GPU: nVIDIA GeForceTM GTX 960M 128bit w/ 2GB GDDR5
    • 16GB DDR4 2133 MHz System Memory (1 x 8GB, 1 x 8GB Onboard)
    • Hard Drive: 512GB PCIe x4 SSD SM951
    • Ports - 1x Headphone-out & Audio-in Combo Jack; 1x HDMI; 1x USB3.1-Type C(Gen2) with Thunderbolt 3; 3x USB 3.0; 1x USB3.1 Type C (gen 2)
    • DISPLAY: 15.6" IPS 4K UHD Multitouch, OS: Windows 10 Home 64 bit
    • 1 year warranty and 1 year accidental warranty included (at least in the usa)
    • 720p Web Camera
    • Wireless AC With Bluetooth 4.0
    • White Backlit Keyboard - US English
    • High Capacity 6-cell Lithium Ion Battery
  14. Danando1993 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2010
    Thanks for the replies guys, some very helpful comments.

    With regards to OSX v Windows, I do prefer OSX much more. Windows has always felt a little more clunky and not as smooth added with the fact of needing anti virus software and thinking about the times when Norton or any other would pop up and start scanning and doing all its bits and bobs just makes me want to get a mac straight away.

    That being said I haven't owned a windows laptop for a good few years and I haven't tried Windows 10.

    Im stuck with these thoughts:

    1) Buy a current generation macbook pro £2000 to get the dedicated GPU version - be frustrated when apple release a new one relatively soon (seems almost stupid to buy knowing it will be outdated within weeks)

    2) Wait for the new macbook pro - Im going to need a new laptop within four weeks

    3) Buy a windows laptop, perhaps one of the ones suggested specifically the Dell xps 15 or asus zenbook which have greater specs than the mac, seem like very decent options and are fairly cheaper - Although I would have to deal with an operating system that I don't prefer as much

    Im probably being a bit picky but my budget of £2000 maximum, needs to get me a laptop that will really do the job for me and not be a pain to use.
  15. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I think you are letting some bad previous experiences color your judgement. I run both windows and mac systems and never see any viruses on either of them. I know they are viruses that attack both OSX and Windows, but I have not seen a virus on any system in 5 years.
  16. buster84 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2013
    What computer are you using now? If your currently using a mac, use bootcmap and install windows 10 as a trail and test it out for yourself. Honestly, ive hated windows ever since windows 8 but windows 10 really feels just like windows 7 does and ive yet to have any problems. I actually prefer it over osx now for my basic needs especially since i have alot more software i can use.

    Honestly, if it wasnt for the macbook pros being so outdated i would have stuck with OSX, but because tim cook decided to basically abandon the mac lineup (no announcements and really old tech on all lines, even the mac pro desktop is 3 years old!) i ended up going with windows and at first i was afraid that i wouldn't like it, but it turns out that Microsoft did very well with windows 10. I'd definitely suggest giving it a test run first.
  17. Danando1993 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2010
    Currently I'm using a 13" i5 rmbp from 2014, Im sure you are both right and that previous experiences have made me feel a certain way about Windows and that it probably is worth giving 10 a try.

    From what I've read it comes down to the top macbook pro v Dell xps 15 v Asus zenbook all with similar specs but varying design qualities and price. Now its time for me to pick one o_O

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