MBP 2016 Baseline vs MBP 2015 Spec'd out - For Music Production

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by danrell, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. danrell macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2017
    Hey, so yeah.. Need a macbook 15" and been comparing these two over the past couple of days. Seems to me that i get as much, if not more power out of a spec'd out (processor-wise) 2015 model than a baseline 2016 model.

    Which one, in terms of performance would be best suited for music production?
  2. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    Think of what other gear you have and what you need to plug into.

    The broad range of needs of "music production" means that some people could do it all on an iPhone; others want a Mac Pro and four displays.
  3. danrell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2017
    I use all four USB ports on my current iMac, but i could make it work with adapters if i got the 2016 model. I'm mainly asking about performance (running big music projects with multiple plug-ins etc.). Thanks for the answer though!
  4. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    By all accounts I've read of real-world usage, the 2016 models are pretty darned fast. The upgrades to SSDs and RAM help a lot. If you can plug in what you need, you'll be fine.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'd recommend the 2015 model, especially if you're going to need to connect to any firewire devices.
    The 2016 models require TWO dongle/adapters for a firewire connection, ganged in succession.
    With the 2015, all you'll need is the "thunderbolt2-to-firewire800" adapter.

    Also, you may find the "legacy ports" quite useful.
    And, a lower price!
  6. danrell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2017
    Yeah exactly that's what was leaning towards. I was still thinking if the improved performance on the new models would make it worth the hassle.
  7. danrell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2017
    Do anyone else have some more substantial info which one's best suited for my needs? I really have a hard time deciding.
  8. halfbad macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2014
    Processor wise its' a wash, look at the other factors to help your decision. If you don't want to deal with the ports go 2015, but it's a close race, I believe the 2015 also still has the optical out in the 3.5mm jack if that matters at all.

    If your saving decent amount on the 2015 I'd go with that, else you'll fine either way. The 2016 will be lighter and have the touchbar so if you using applications that can take advantage of that then maybe go that way.

    Both are fine your looking at small differences between the two, but don't use the processor as decision maker in this case imho.
  9. DanDilla, Jan 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017

    DanDilla macrumors member


    Nov 15, 2016
    Lüneburg, Germany
    I upgraded from a early 2011 and went for the new one.

    Processing power is very suitable witg the 2.7 for big projects, it will definetly handle everything in like every studio ive seen where you don't have dedicated workstations. ;)

    I think USB-C is future proof, i like the possibility to travel with a 29w charger and i need anywas - just like you - a hub when i the studio, with both devices.

    The situation for small usb-c "docks"/multiport adapters is very nice, and it's a very fresh market.

    So maybe go for a multiport adapter with displayport, passthrough charging, a few usb-ports and hook a 60w charger on it and you will be fine.
    when not running 30 channels with plugins all the time you can go for a 29w- at least without draining the battery.
    I do this mostly, not a quick one but i charges over the day.

    hope there will come powerful, small chargers (got the ugreen 29w forfrom 16€ amazon) in the near future.
    wanted a cheap one for the time until usb pd settles.
    The apple charger is at home, for a quick charge every time i'm out of power.

    For the interface i would use a direct cable, or dongles, if you got a fw-exclusive one. Just hold the number of plugs between the card and your macbook to a minimum.

    IMO design and keyboard / trackpad are much nicer and you definetly will be lucky about every gram if you travel a lot with it.

    Touchbar is nice but useless at this point for audio work.
    I see some potential though.

    I really like the 2016 machine and would definetly go for it again, especially for worklows where you need more ports than you got anyways.

    Edit: if you're producing music on a reasonable way (not having 100 plugins or 30 channels active all the time) you should have more than enough power.
    And there souldnt be a big difference in performance on these both.
  10. danrell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2017
    Thanks for the thorough answer Dan. The part you wrote about multiport adapters and stuff gave me anxiety i have to admit haha. As you said, the 2016 is nice for travel as it's lighter, but you have to carry around a couple of dongles with you at all times which in the end will add up and also make it a lot less convenient to travel with.

    I've read that people are very pleased with the performance of the 2016 model, though it's not jaw-dropping compared to 2015. But as you said, 2016 is future proof and it might just be worth going through the transition-phase-hassle now and get rewarded down the line as all product developers start rolling out usb-c compatible hardware. I'll drop in to the apple store this week and will compare the two, will see what i end up leaving with.

    Thanks for the answers y'all!
  11. DanDilla macrumors member


    Nov 15, 2016
    Lüneburg, Germany
    As I always had to carry a dock, or, at least, carried one nearly all the time with me it's

    A) a lot lighter with the small charger and slow chsrging / staying on batterie level (depending on tasks)
    B) the same with the apple charger and a multiport adapter

    In the future: a lot lighter with a lighter, powerful charger and one adapter,
    but i hope to see some multiport hubs with integrated chargers in the size of the iVoler 75w or the Apple 81W.
    Basically the iVoler 75w with HUB functionality and maybe a usb-c/thunderbolt daisy-chain or dp
    I think theres a lot potential in this.

    Just choose one which fits all your needs so you can go with just that one - i'm sure shortly after ces you will find one if not already there.
    If youre willing to handle 3 cables on you MBP you can go even without passthrough charging ;)
  12. danrell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2017
    Done some more research and i'll probably order the 2016 model tomorrow. If it sucks i'm blaming nobody but you DanDilla (highly doubt it will though). ;)
  13. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
    new ones are faster

    and smaller, lighter, cooler, and critically for music production, quieter

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