Maxed 13in vs 15in

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mathias Denichi, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. Mathias Denichi macrumors 6502

    Mathias Denichi

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    #1
    I currently have a 13in TB-MBP/512 8GB, after returning my nonTouchbar rMBP and my surface book. However, I want a bit more longevity out of my 13in, so I am thinking about maxing it out with 16gb and 1tb SSD.

    I love the form factor of the 13in, and the integrated iris graphics, but my issue is that I also have a iPad Pro 12.9in.

    The 15 in with 512gb/16gb 460 seems like the next logical choice, but I feel it will be over kill since I own a gaming computer and a 5k iMac.

    My use case will be web coding CSS/HTML PHP, XCODE, Photoshop and Magazine design. Light gaming, mostly on unreal 3 (although ark ran on iris 550).

    Should I stick with an upgraded 13in or migrate to the 15in?
     
  2. PaulWog Suspended

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #2
    Why not save the money, resell, and buy when it's not working out for you any more? Sounds like you're wasting a ton of money and time, and wasting a lot of other people's time with so many returns. Like, holy crap.
     
  3. Pbrutto macrumors 6502a

    Pbrutto

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Location:
    Allentown, PA
    #3
    If you have the IPP 12.9 and 5k iMac, do you really need the laptop for travel? Or can you push the more intensive stuff to the iMac while using to MacBook Pro on the road for other things? How concerned are you about the cash? By this time I built my 13" and looked at the 15" it seemed like a no brained to step up to 15". I have a dgpu (just in case) same 16gig ram, quad instead of dual core, and 512 figuring if I need storage later TB3 will get the job done. Personally I don't do anything taxing on my computer to begin with (may be doing some final cut stuff in the future), but I plan on keeping it for around 5 yrs so keeping it close to max should help it to not feel ancient in a few yrs.

    I say if you need portability but not the power 13"

    If you think you might ever need the power, then 15" all the way
     
  4. Mathias Denichi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mathias Denichi

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    #4
    The money has broken even because of the returns. I don't feel comfortable dropping 2-3k without trying a device. I tried the surface book out, and while its awesome its a touch screen, it couldn't replace my iPad Pro and it left me out of my iPhones eco system.
    The iMac 5k is Technically leased to my company, and in my house, but may have to go back to the office at any time. I currently can't do photoshop or indesign on the iPad Pro, or id seriously think of making that my main machine on the go.

    Thats kind of why I am where I am with the MacBook Pro. I tried going iPad Pro as my only device for a year now, it just doesn't cut it.

    I thought the same as you about the 15in, and I could probably do with the 512gb of SSD over the 1tb on the 13in, but I typically boot camp, so it may be nice to have that headroom for Mac OS and windows 10.
     
  5. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #5
    Yeah, I'm in similar boat as you, my situation will be:
    13" TB w/ 16GB RAM
    or
    15" w/ Radeon 460

    Obviously the 15" will be better in performance but the 13" will be more portable. Though both specs is already expensive and probably I should go for 15" and live with it being slightly less portable then the 13"? I read somewhere that the new 15" Pro is 2cm wider then last gen 13"?
     
  6. Mathias Denichi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mathias Denichi

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    #6
    I really like the idea of the iris 550, and would have been a no brainer if they had made the 15in with a iris 580. I've been having a much smoother experience if the new integrated graphics over dgpu when it comes to battery life.

    The 13in form factor I feel is perfect, but value to performance says the 15in may be a better bet.
     
  7. Pbrutto macrumors 6502a

    Pbrutto

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
    Location:
    Allentown, PA
    #7
    I think if you might have the 5k disappear at any moment that makes the decision easier, 15" for the win
     
  8. Mathias Denichi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mathias Denichi

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    #8
    I guess thats true. I could always use my windows rig, but then I have to not game on it instead of doing work.
     
  9. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #9
    Thanks, I wonder will the dual core (13") vs quad core (15") CPU makes any difference when it comes to programming.

    Only reason why if I get the 15" w Radeon460 is cause I do use Fusion360 (3D CAD) for my work as well, but on the other hand, I already have a Base Late 2013 MacPro at work :/

    Also, if I work in scaled resolution with the 13", wouldn't it give me the same real estate as a 15"?
     
  10. unagimiyagi macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #10
    I would not max out the computer at these prices. You would be better off buying just what you need for this one year. Then selling it and buying again next year. The money would be near the same and you'd be getting a better computer. Actually, scratch that. It's no longer clear that what Apple will put out next year will be an improvement. It will largely be the same computer as this year's.
     
  11. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #11
    Yeah, I doubt we'll see any noticeable gains for the 15" version, only the 13" will get a boost which makes it worthwhile to wait or buy now. Though you have a point, will Apple straight away update to KabyLake once it's available (hopefully by March) or let it be till October 2017 to update?
     
  12. Ender17 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    #12
    Keep what you have. Sounds like you change hardware often so you'll probably be upgrading next generation anyway.
     
  13. TazmoStarkana macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2016
    #13
    I do the exact same work as you and had this exact same dilemma. I had a 2014 15-inch MBP and upgraded to the 13-inch MBP /w TB (i5, 8GB, 512GB). The form factor, as you said, is perfect. I absolutely love it. Not only the portability but the overall design of it. I am not a fan of that super huge trackpad on the 15-inch and the massive speaker grills and the space above they touch bar. The 13-in is perfect. Period.

    I used to have a 5K iMac but simply didn't like having two devices running independent OSes. So my current setup is a 15-in MBP connected to Dell's 4K display. But the setup I will have now is my 13-in MBP connected to the new LG 5K display. One cable from laptop to monitor and it charges it and acts as a hub, which is essential as I have a DAC/AMP connect via USB-C to the monitor (linking it to my laptop). This allows me to have a very clean and work desk with a 5K display and 2 speakers (KEF LS50) connected to my DAC/AMP (TEAC AI-501DA) connected to the hub (LG 5K).

    Then when I need to go, I just unplug the thunderbolt 3 from the laptop and roll, carrying all my current work and date with me.

    So now I have a small and mobile setup and large desktop setup all in one device. It's the ideal setup I've been looking for.

    The only thing I feel unsure about is if I should go with the i7 and 16GB. Large storage isn't necessary. I don't have that much stuff on my computer. But I am worried if I get the i7 it will drain my battery life faster. That would suck when being mobile but when working at the desk it would certainly power the large 5K display nicely.
     
  14. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #14
    Hmm, I do think the i7 upgrade isn't worthwhile, but the 16GB will definitely be worth it
     
  15. TazmoStarkana macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2016
    #15
    Could you elaborate? I've read mixed reviews. One said it gives you a 15% boost in performance and another said 5-8%. I'm also unsure if the additional 2 virtual cores will benefit me in the work I do (web dev/coding, graphic design - mainly photoshop sometimes illustrator)
     
  16. richinaus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    #16
    I have a 2014 2.5ghz 15" running on my thunderbolt display - this set up will get replaced with the new 27"iMac in March [or surface studio].
    I also have the 12" iPad but cannot work with it as a laptop replacement for so many reasons, so have got the 13" MBP maxed out for all my mobile needs. The iPad will remain desk bound for sketching and drawings etc and I may get the 10" pro in March for media consumption and in the bag device at all times.

    For me, this is a great set up as it gives me the power at the desk and also a good mobile solution for everywhere else. The 15" for me is not the computer you want in your bag around the city all day, and I have a bad shoulder. The 13" is a great compromise and is quite powerful

    I have the 13" now and had a play around with apps like Fusion 360 and seems quite nippy and able to work with the projects I need to on a mobile set up [not rendering or anything hardcore].

    It may be all a little excessive, but I have a no compromise philosophy these days, after previous poor choices.
    Each device has a purpose and I do make use of it all - probably over 15 hours a day is normal for me.
    Hope this helps :)
     
  17. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #17
    Hmm, well if you don't mind spending more money on it, then by all means go for it.

    Haha, yeah, that's why I'm taking a long hard look into deciding should I go a 13" w/ 16GB RAM or a 15" w/ 460. But I guess if one is to look specifically for bang for the buck, the 15" w/ 460 is a no contest?

    Since you've used the 15 and now own 13, how's the workspace area? Or the scaled 13" is able to match the 15" native workspace area?
     
  18. richinaus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    #18
    I would say just decide on portability - for me a notebook needs to be easily taken somewhere. I much prefer the 13" form factor for this. However, I wouldn't want to spend more than a couple of hours at a time modelling on a 13" screen [at max resolution]. I would scale the 15" up too so really no contest on the screen size - 15 always wins. My mobile use wont require a long time in front of the screen, so was quite an easy decision for me. I just wanted a fast super mobile system, and the 13" MBP wins.

    Bang for buck 15"
    Mobility 13"
    Screen size 15"
    Aesthetics 13"
    Power 15"

    Then you will have to decide silver or space grey. SG definitely on the 15" due to the expanse of aluminium, bit more tricky on the 13" as the silver looks way better in strong light and the SG better in darker situations. The SG seems to change colour depending on the light which is odd, and the trackpad is a different shade, which I find off putting.

    choices choices. It's a fun nightmare :)
     
  19. Mathias Denichi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mathias Denichi

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    #19
    I think you are right. I will most likely sell and replace with the better Kaby refresh. I can't see the 16gb of ram and 1tb storage really improving my QOL. They may even use an integrated graphics on both devices by then, and the iris 650 will probably be a 25-30% improvement.
    The CPU upgrade has never been worth it to me. I did it both with my 2013 rMBP and my 2016 rMB. It ended up losing me more money when I sold it in the end vs the performance gain.
     
  20. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #20
    Wow, thanks for clearing it all up for me!

    I should really make it a habit of writing down comparisons.

    You make a good point about portability as in my case, I don't travel that much, most of the time it'll be at home and probably be on the move on the weekends. Also, I don't plan to have another external monitor at home as there's just not enough space for that.

    And it seems I value bang for the buck more since the performance gain of a 15" w/ 460 vs 13 w/ 16GB is just a no comparison.

    Looks like I'll get the 15"!

    Between the SG and Silver, I'll definitely get the SG as I feel it looks cool and my previous pre-unibody MBP has been silver, so a change of color is welcomed :D
     
  21. littlepud macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #21
    I had the opportunity to play with both a maxed 13" (3.3/16/512) and a maxed 15" (2.9/1TB/460) for about a week. I ended up going with the 13 because of the price difference ($1500 CAD) and potential dGPU issues.
     
  22. richinaus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2014
    #22
    It does just come down to cost in the end of the day.

    The upgrades never pay off in re-sale however it depends what you use it for. If for a business, the hardware pays for itself very quickly, but for a personal purchase it is a different matter.

    Sounds like you have made the right choice :) SG 15" perfect - definitely no doubt SG for the 15.
     

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