macbook pro recommendation

bs0604

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 19, 2014
33
0
I currently have a macbook pro 17 inch that is 7 1/2 years old and still running fine, if a bit slow. I plan on buying one of the new MacBooks pros that recently came out. While I am fortunate in being able to afford any machine I want, I grew up of modest means so would prefer not to purchase stuff that I don't need. I would like to get a macbook pro which is relatively future protected so I can use it for years (like I have my 17 inch). I don't necessarily need a 15 inch screen as I plan on getting the 27 inch LG monitor listed on the apple site. I don't need to worry about it being small (13 inch) to travel as I won't be traveling much with it.
I don't play games on it, I don't do video editing but I do use photoshop on occasion to tweak my pictures. Recommendations? Would my needs be met with a 13" 2.9 GHZ core i5, or at the other end of the spectrum the 15 inch 2.9GhZ core i7 or something in between? If the 15 inch, should I opt for the graphics card upgrade to the Radeon Pro 460?
 

Bart Kela

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Oct 12, 2016
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I don't think it really matters that much for your proposed usage case. You claim light, occasional Photoshop usage as the heaviest task you will put the computer through.

Since you are plugging this into a large external monitor, the form factor isn't an issue either, nor is the Touch Bar.

If I were you, I'd pick the 13" model, max out the CPU, memory, and onboard SSD options, that'll future proof you as much as possible. Don't worry about the graphics card, your use is going to be light.
 
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shaunp

Cancelled
Nov 5, 2010
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If you want to future proof the hardware - i.e. be able to upgrade the storage and RAM as you need to in future - and you only use Photoshop why do you need a Mac? I'm not saying the PC is better than the Mac, or visa-versa just looking at your requirements. If you have no specific need for MacOS, just Photoshop, look at the Dell XPS 13 or 15 (or the Precision 5510 if you want more configuration options - it's the same as the XPS 15), and look at the Dell 4k or 5K screens. Also consider the Lenovo X1 Carbon.

I have two Dell 2714Q 4K screens and work as a photographer. The colour accuracy is good enough for me (I'm not doing high-end product work, that would require an EIZO monitor), and the price is very good. They are in the UK less than £500 each, and I don't feel like I need the extra expense of 5K screens. Also the LG display has been getting some very bad reviews. These Dell monitors work fine on a Mac Pro too as I used them on one before switching back to a PC.

I have an XPS 15 and it's a very nice machine. I put a second SSD in there myself and I upgraded the RAM to 32GB. You might not need this (I need it for virtual machines), but if you do then you can do it at a time that suits you rather than at time of purchase. The XPS 15 also has Thunderbolt 3 and an SD card slot.

And If you need a 17" screen and want something that will last look at the Lenovo P70 or the Dell Precision 7710. Both are full-sized workstation class machines, but you can configure them as you like and expand them later.

As I say look at your requirements and see which will best suit them.
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,062
335
You aren't going to push it, so I suggest maxing out the RAM and SSD, but NOT the CPU or graphics. Incrementally faster CPU's and GPU's generate more heat which can affect life. If you don't need the 10 or 15 percent improvement that the faster CPU will get you, don't get it. On the other hand, future software is likely to need more memory, and storage always expects to fill the space available! (In addition, SSD's don't really like to be full or close to full.)

I personally prefer the 15 inch because my eyesight isn't getting any better, and I like the extra screen space. Screen size is very much of an individual preference and I suggest you try to see both if at all possible, before buying.
 

SuperCachetes

macrumors 6502a
Nov 28, 2010
893
310
Away from you
I'm still rocking a 2009 MBP (albeit only 13") but it's been upgraded to its max of 8GB memory and it has an SSD. It still does everything I want it to (except run the latest MacOS). Nonetheless, at 7 1/2 years old like yours, I'll probably replace it with a Kaby Lake MBP this year.

I've priced the current MBPs a few times (even had the dang BTO in my cart) but just can't justify it... yet. When I pull the trigger, I'll echo the suggestion earlier of maxing out everything, on a new 13" WITHOUT Touch Bar. That will be another 7-year machine, easily. If I were going to get a 15", I wouldn't bother with the graphics.
 

lobo1978

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2011
393
258
I don't play games on it, I don't do video editing but I do use photoshop on occasion to tweak my pictures. Recommendations? Would my needs be met with a 13" 2.9 GHZ core i5, or at the other end of the spectrum the 15 inch 2.9GhZ core i7 or something in between? If the 15 inch, should I opt for the graphics card upgrade to the Radeon Pro 460?
Looking at your requirements - in my opinion - base MacBook Pro 13" nTB + maybe 512 GB SSD (if you need it) will do the job. You don't need touchbar as you want to connect it to external monitor. Base i5 and 8GB RAM is more than enough for your requirements - it will lift occasional Photoshop + 4K monitor easily.

I'm more than sure than 15" will be overkill for you.

I will not recommend changing operating system to Windows - I don't think you are willing to. MacOS is waaaayy more effective and hardware even in base setup is always optimised for regular user with enough room to be future proof.
This way you can't compare specs of PC and Mac machine. PC will need more CPU and RAM to even keep up with MacOS after 1 year.

I was PC guy for long time and I will never go back. Mac is a professional and reliable machine for me. I had no problems so far - I cannot tell it about PCs I owned (IBM/Lenovo, HP).
 
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merkinmuffley

macrumors 6502a
Dec 3, 2010
615
581
I run the CC versions PS and will soon be using LR due to a plugin issue with PS CC. This is about the only app I run on my macs. I tried a new 13 inch MBP with the touchbar - while I liked the size for carrying I didn't care for the performance. Returned it and picked up a 15 inch I7, 16gb 15 inch MBP, the GPU seems to matter for what I'm doing in PS. It runs PS very fast , it's fast enough that I'm considering selling my 2015 IMac and picking up a monitor to plug into it. I'm told the USB-C ports are all fast on the 15 inch MBP's, I don't think that was the case with the 13 inch, it might help down the road - right now it's not important.
Carrying it - it's not much bigger than the 13 inch was.
 

bs0604

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 19, 2014
33
0
I decided to pass on the iMac and ordered a MacBook Pro 15 inch which is to be delivered in a couple of days. The LG 27 inch 5k monitor came yesterday. Thanks for all the suggestions.
 
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