Need Help from Experienced MBP Users

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MarketingGuy, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. MarketingGuy macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    Hillsborough, NJ
    Hi everyone -- I need some help with my work setup. I own a marketing agency and spend my days using a variety of programs, including:
    • Mail
    • Various web browsers to review websites and make changes via the CMS
    • MS Office (Word, Excel & PowerPoint)
    • InDesign
    • Photoshop
    • Illustrator
    • Dreamweaver
    • Acrobat (annotating documents for clients and my employees)
    • Final Cut Pro
    • Parallels to run certain windows programs
    My current setup is a fully-loaded 2012 27" iMac (i7 @ 3.4GHz, 32GB RAM, 768 GB SSD, GTX 680MX video card) and just about fully-loaded 2012 Retina 15" MBP (i7 @ 2.7GHz, 16GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, GT 650M video card).

    I very much prefer working in a desktop setup (large screen, keyboard and Magic Trackpad on my keyboard tray, etc.), but need a laptop because I travel to visit clients one or two days a week, and I work on the sofa at night and while visiting family.

    My desire to upgrade my setup is driven by:
    1. Upgrading to a large Retina display (I find it easier on the eyes to work on the MBP, but the screen is too small and looking down kills my neck after a while)
    2. Moving to dual monitors (I used to have dual monitors on my 2006 Mac Pro and miss it, but I also can't stand having different monitors and it bothered me to use the 27" Thunderbolt Display with the iMac because they were different enough)
    3. Performance improvements would be great (especially on the desktop, where I am often running several programs at once)
    So, that brings me to my question. Who here has migrated from a desktop plus laptop setup to just a laptop with external displays? What was your experience? Do you believe that a fully loaded 2016 15" MBP with two of the 27" LG UltraFine 5K displays would work well to replace both of my existing computers or should I just wait for the 2017 Mac desktops? I worry about fan noise during heavy use and overall speed, but it would be nice not have to have to buy a new desktop and laptop (although my current MBP could probably go another year or two).
  2. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
    You'll have to wait a month, as the only people experienced with this rig right now have the last names Cook, Schiller, and Ives.

    No one outside Apple knows right now !
  3. MarketingGuy thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    Hillsborough, NJ
    I appreciate the response and you are totally right. I was hoping someone made the leap earlier this year or last year to the 2015 MBP with some external displays and could let me know how it worked out. Or, if the specs of the new machine are simply insufficient. I'm most worried about the 16GB of RAM (offset somewhat by the ultra fast SSD making page outs less of a performance hit).
  4. papa8706 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2010
    I think it really depends on how important portability is, as well as budget. The laptop setup would likely work for your needs, but it wouldn't be as capable as a new iMac or Mac Pro in terms of performance and upgradability. Fan noise and other issues are also yet to be seen.

    You seem to prefer the desktop setup for your needs, and rightly so. By the time you max out a a 15" and buy a couple of 5k monitors, you could have assembled a legit iMac or Mac Pro setup.

    If portability isn't your top priority, I'd wait for the new desktop solutions. If you're looking for portability and killing two birds with one stone, it would likely work, but I think you'd compromise some some future proofing in terms of performance. Sounds like it'll be a great setup either way though, best of luck!
  5. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
    I don't think it's worth paying too much attention to reviews from 2015 models because the new computers are so radically different in so many ways that it's pointless to compare. Different form means different noise and heat, and the GPUs are twice as powerful, with twice as much vRAM, so very different, particularly for anything video-related. Also new processors have different heat profiles.

    FWIW I'm making the same leap (maxed 27" + decent lappy ---> just a maxed MBP 15" with dock screens etc), and already ordered my gear.

    But yah, it's a leap of faith at this point. And there's always return policies if the specs and benchmarks out there end up being way off for some unknown reason, or it's an unusually hot&noisy machine for a mac.
  6. jeremiah256 macrumors 65816


    Aug 2, 2008
    Southern California
    Agree with the above statements to wait if possible.

    You currently have a very nice setup. It may be a year before you get to see all you options (new desktops, 2017 MBPs with 32GBs). The new MBPs plus a all-in-one hub for home, some dongles for travel, and two monitors would seem to be able to replace most of what have, except if you do use 16GBs on VMs.
  7. MarketingGuy thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    Hillsborough, NJ
    Thank you, everyone for the advice! I think I'll wait on the sidelines to see how everyone else does with the new MBP and external displays. My ideal setup would be a new Mac Pro with dual monitors and hold onto the MBP for a few more years, but who knows if they will actually update the Mac Pro and whether I want to part with that much money.

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6 November 2, 2016