Need help buying new MBP

Arkanok

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2007
541
110
Ok guys, I need some opinions here. I don't visit these forums as much as I used to so I've sorta fallen behind in my Mac knowledge.

So I have an older MacBook Pro, a mid 2007 to be exact. It's starting to show signs of just being too old so I was thinking of upgrading soon. Now I know Apple released updated retina 13 and 15" MacBook pros, so it caused me to start seriously thinking about buying a new model but I'm not entirely sure which of the 15" models to look into.

I like to play games but not so much on computers but it would be nice to have the option to do so. Otherwise I do all the usual stuff on a computer plus a bit of photo/video editing.

So my question is, should I grab the low end 15" or the higher one? I know the low one doesn't include discreet graphics but I'm not sure if what I need it for would really matter. Plus I don't know how the higher model's discreet graphics set performs so I don't know if it's worth spending the extra money on. Plus, I keep hearing that new Intel chips are just around the corner.

Should I buy now on just wait for a future model?
 

Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011
2,614
478
Hi,

I'll try my best to help you select a model. In terms of games (and other graphically intensive tasks), it depends on what you are referring to specifically. The Iris Pro can handle some older, yet still modern games but for anything else you're going to want the R9 M370X, which will still struggle on AAA titles. It is a mid ranged dedicated GPU. Use the search function on NotebookCheck in order to see benchmarks for specific titles on each of these GPUs. Just select the magnifying glass image on the menu bar and type in the name of each GPU separately, and the first link of the results provides the statistics. This will allow you to gauge which GPU you need. It is wise to keep in mind too, that the M370X is only offered in the higher end 15''.

Once you have the GPU selected (use NotebookCheck) the rest is negligible. .3GHz clock speed and double to storage isn't worth the price difference, in my opinion, if you won't be utilizing the dedicated GPU.

Unless you don't want to play a specific game that shows poor results on the benchmarks of the Iris Pro, I would grab the baseline model. It is more than enough to handle photo and video editing.

I hope this helps.
 

Arkanok

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2007
541
110
Hi,

I'll try my best to help you select a model. In terms of games (and other graphically intensive tasks), it depends on what you are referring to specifically. The Iris Pro can handle some older, yet still modern games but for anything else you're going to want the R9 M370X, which will still struggle on AAA titles. It is a mid ranged dedicated GPU. Use the search function on NotebookCheck in order to see benchmarks for specific titles on each of these GPUs. Just select the magnifying glass image on the menu bar and type in the name of each GPU separately, and the first link of the results provides the statistics. This will allow you to gauge which GPU you need. It is wise to keep in mind too, that the M370X is only offered in the higher end 15''.

Once you have the GPU selected (use NotebookCheck) the rest is negligible. .3GHz clock speed and double to storage isn't worth the price difference, in my opinion, if you won't be utilizing the dedicated GPU.

Unless you don't want to play a specific game that shows poor results on the benchmarks of the Iris Pro, I would grab the baseline model. It is more than enough to handle photo and video editing.

I hope this helps.
It helps a lot thanks! I'll check out that link you gave me. But is it worth buying now or should I wait for this skylake cpu I keep hearing about?
 

Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011
2,614
478
It helps a lot thanks! I'll check out that link you gave me. But is it worth buying now or should I wait for this skylake cpu I keep hearing about?
If you can wait, I suppose you should. However, there isn't much beyond speculation for Skylake. I tend to be impatient personally, even though it would make more sense to wait if you don't necessarily need the computer right away.

It could be quite some time though so it is up to you to decide. I wouldn't worry too much about things like that. On paper, it may seem foolish to get anything before a pending refresh, but it could work out in your favor. Who knows, the next batch could be riddled with issues. I have a MacBook Pro that I purchased in 2010 when I was first trying to learn about OS X - I had no idea what I was doing, and turns out it was refreshed a few months later. It turned out well though and was one of the best purchases I had ever made.
 

Sully

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2007
150
108
I have the same computer you do. The issue most people who actually have an issue with the refresh to the 15 in rMBP have is that Apple used a three year old Haswell processor.

For 2,500 bucks, a lot of buyers, me included, want the latest available technology which, as of a week ago for the 15 in rMBP , is the Broadwell processor. Since this chip can easily be added to the current 15 in, speculation here has been that Apple could quietly begin adding Broadwell chips to the current generation 15's as this new chip becomes available.

For you and me, coming from 2007 models, there wouldn't be a discernible difference. However, emotionally I know I'd feel cheated if I bought a Haswell rMBP and 3 months later Apple started shipping them with Broadwells. So, I've decided to hold off for a few months to see what happens.

Skylake is a completely different discussion since no one knows how this new architecture will impact the design of the MBP. I can hold out until Fall to see what happens. If there's more information by then, I will wait. But, if Apple does another refresh to the current rMBP in conjunction with the new OS, I'll bite. It's a terrific computer.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,121
if you need it now because your old mac is not performing as you need it to then buy a new one, if it still does the job hold off.
 

Vermifuge

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2009
1,992
1,492
I like to play games but not so much on computers but it would be nice to have the option to do so. Otherwise I do all the usual stuff on a computer plus a bit of photo/video editing.

Should I buy now on just wait for a future model?
I'll just say this... Don't buy a Macbook Pro for games. Macbook Pros are fine tuned for everything but games... I'm sure people with go back and forth on this. But I just picked up a 2015 rMBP /w 16GB 1TB and the AMD Radeon R9 M370X dGPU.

I set up boot camp thinking I'll be able to play a few games... Sure anything thats 2 - 3 years old plays fine. However, a modern game like the Old Blood lags on anything but the most mediocre of settings... I even tried using it lid closed with a 1080p display. Just forget about playing anything like Star Citizen. The m370x is pretty much a joke when it comes to serious modern games.

If you don't have any other reason for the GPU horsepower i would say skip the high end rMBP.

For you and me, coming from 2007 models, there wouldn't be a discernible difference. However, emotionally I know I'd feel cheated if I bought a Haswell rMBP and 3 months later Apple started shipping them with Broadwells. So, I've decided to hold off for a few months to see what happens.
I have to disagree on this one. I'm coming from a fully loaded 2011 MBP I upgraded to 16 GB of RAM to the current top of the line. Over all everything is a lot faster when it comes to every day tasks like booting or waking up, loading a web page ETC. For my needs (work) my virtual machines load and operate with much less lag. It's saving me a lot of time each day.

Now I don't deal with big media files like music movies or photoshop. these tasks may be not see much improvement.
 
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Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,121
Now I don't deal with big media files like music movies or photoshop. these tasks may be not see much improvement.
Actually the hugely increased SSD speeds are a massive boost for this sort of work, as is the CPU architecture much better GPU's (dedicated or integrated they have both seen massive boosts in the last 7 years) and the massive amounts of RAM as standard.
 

Sully

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2007
150
108
I have to disagree on this one. I'm coming from a fully loaded 2011 MBP I upgraded to 16 GB of RAM to the current top of the line. Over all everything is a lot faster when it comes to every day tasks like booting or waking up, loading a web page ETC. For my needs (work) my virtual machines load and operate with much less lag. It's saving me a lot of time each day.

Now I don't deal with big media files like music movies or photoshop. these tasks may be not see much improvement.

I may have been unclear. I meant to say that coming from an 07 model, the difference between the current line up and a potential Broadwell upgrade would not be discernible as both the current Haswell configuration and any potential Broadwell upgrade are so far above the performance of our 07 machines. In short, we 07 owners would be happy with either a Haswell or a Broadwell and not notice the difference between the two.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,428
6,724
Old saying applies:
If you absolutely "need now", then buy now.

If the old MacBook is still getting the job done (albeit a little more slowly than when new), you might consider holding off for the next MacBook Pro release.

I sense that we're going to see a significant jump in features (thunderbolt, USB3.1 perhaps, better graphics, etc.) in this upcoming model...
 

Arkanok

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 13, 2007
541
110
I'll just say this... Don't but a Mac for games. Macs are fine tuned for everything but... I'm sure people with go back and forth on this. But I just picked up a 2015 rMBP /w 16GB 1TB and the AMD Radeon R9 M370X dGPU.

I set up boot camp thinking I'll be able to play a few games... Sure anything thats 2 - 3 years old plays fine. However, a modern game like the Old Blood lags on anything but the most mediocre of settings... I even tried using it lid closed with a 1080p display. Just forget about playing anything like Star Citizen. The m370x is pretty much a joke when it comes to gaming.

If you don't have any other reason for the GPU horsepower i would say skip the high end rMBP.



I have to disagree on this one. I'm coming from a fully loaded 2011 MBP I upgraded to 16 GB of RAM to the current top of the line. Over all everything is a lot faster when it comes to every day tasks like booting or waking up, loading a web page ETC. For my needs (work) my virtual machines load and operate with much less lag. It's saving me a lot of time each day.

Now I don't deal with big media files like music movies or photoshop. these tasks may be not see much improvement.
Thing is, I'm not buying the Mac for games, I just like the ability to play a few here and there.

I'm disappointed to hear you say that the graphics set in the new MacBook Pro are horrible for games though, I don't know anything about graphics cards these days but I was hoping it would be able to hold up a bit.

Maybe I'll just wait for the time being and see what the skylake update brings to the table. My current MacBook Pro still works but a lot of things run slower. Even watching YouTube at 720p chugs now.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,121
Thing is, I'm not buying the Mac for games, I just like the ability to play a few here and there.

I'm disappointed to hear you say that the graphics set in the new MacBook Pro are horrible for games though, I don't know anything about graphics cards these days but I was hoping it would be able to hold up a bit.

Maybe I'll just wait for the time being and see what the skylake update brings to the table. My current MacBook Pro still works but a lot of things run slower. Even watching YouTube at 720p chugs now.
Don't listen to them. Even integrated graphics will play most games at 720p or 1080p at medium settings with decent frame rates.

Any modern mac will be leaps and bounds ahead of your 2007, and I just read a thread in the MacBook section with the lowest specs of any modern mac) and they were running batman arkham city on it (720p medium settings)!!!! Casual gaming will be fine on the Iris Pro, and pretty awesome on the M370X.

If your 2007 still runs all your apps well enough to use then the differences between haswell and skylake will be minimal for you.

I would rather have 6-10 months of great computing on newer hardware, than struggle on for that time needlessly waiting for something that will seemingly be not much better in your use case.

If you were waiting for thunderbolt 3 for 5K screens or a few other little changes I'd say wait but from what you have said the current 15 inch machines are spot on for you.
 

Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011
2,614
478
Don't listen to them. Even integrated graphics will play most games at 720p or 1080p at medium settings with decent frame rates.
I agree to a certain extent. If you mean older titles, sure, but modern AAA - not at all.

The M370X chokes on AAA as well - it's mid ranged.
 

Vermifuge

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2009
1,992
1,492
I may have been unclear. I meant to say that coming from an 07 model, the difference between the current line up and a potential Broadwell upgrade would not be discernible as both the current Haswell configuration and any potential Broadwell upgrade are so far above the performance of our 07 machines. In short, we 07 owners would be happy with either a Haswell or a Broadwell and not notice the difference between the two.
Ah! I'm sorry i did misread what you were saying.
 

Vermifuge

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2009
1,992
1,492
I agree to a certain extent. If you mean older titles, sure, but modern AAA - not at all.

The M370X chokes on AAA as well - it's mid ranged.
This is pretty much all I'm saying... If you're just a casual gamer I think the integrated graphics are fine for older games. It's not worth the money for the performance one would see for gaming out of the M370X. and modern AAA games are just not an option for either configuration.
 
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DocStone

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2006
184
4
Republic of Texas
Just my two cents - but every time I go with a lower model, I always kick myself afterwards. Get what you want and pay the extra $$ now. You will be happier in the long run. I got a 15" MBPr with 16g ram and maxed it out. Yes, it cost me some money and I had to save up for it but I am happy with it for everyday tasks and the occasional game. I am not photo crazy like Apple is nor do I do 'heavy lifting' with my computer but I love the speed, flow and freedom of knowing I can do just about anything with it.

Had I gone with a cheaper model, I am sure I would have found a hundred things I would have wanted to do with a faster model and been kicking myself. You only live once (if you believe in that kind of thing) so get what makes you happy.
 

motime

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2015
292
161
You have waited so long already (since 07), just hold out a few months more and find out whats in store for the next refresh with Skylake, could be quite an upgrade.
 
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