nTB vs TB 13" Advice for Graphic Designer

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dillonbradley4, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. dillonbradley4 macrumors newbie

    dillonbradley4

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    Dec 3, 2016
    #1
    I'm a soon to graduate graphic designer looking for some advice on my replacement for my Mid 2010 13"MBP. Before I explain the options let me give you a bit of background of my general usage: I use the Adobe suite (mostly photoshop, illustrator, indesign and a little bit of after effects) on a daily basis. Plus the normal web surfing, video & music streaming and some word processing. I have also recently started to experiment with Cinema 4D and may start to use this more in the future.

    I am torn between the nTB 13" upgraded to 16gb RAM vs TB 13" upgraded to 16gb RAM. I am personally not fussed about the TouchBar, only reason for the dillema is the difference in processor speed. I'm interested in how much a difference I would experience in my day to day design work?

    Thanks for your help :)
     
  2. /V\acpower macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #2
    Performance wise, it will be hardly noticeable. (it will be roughly equivalent to the difference between the turbo boost speed, in %)

    Touchbar or not Touchbar, this is the question.

    To add an argument in favor of Touchbar, is that it can also (in theory) let you have more screen space. If an app can go full screen and move important functions to the touchbar, it mean more space on screen for your work.

    The question is how much you want to pay for this.

    Also, the nTB have better battery life, if that is important to you.
     
  3. dillonbradley4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    dillonbradley4

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    Dec 3, 2016
    #3
    Yes, it is has been a big internal debate for me. I am personally not too fussed by the TB and have never experienced feeling limited by screen size. Only when using After Effect, and for those times I can connect to a second screen.

    I believe the better battery life is probably more important for me.
     
  4. k2743 macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2016
    #4
    Same position. ps Is RAM upgrade definitely worth it?
     
  5. Qwe9203 macrumors member

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    Nov 18, 2014
    #5
    It depends for what its used for. If you have the $$$$ do it.
     
  6. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #6
    If you are going to do any rendering with 13" MacBook, get the TB model. After effect will be slow with 13" MacBook anyway.

    Check this vid (around 13min)

    And get 16gb for it.

    This is when I have just launched Adobe Photoshop elements (not the photoshop) and premiere and added couple of vids (around 1,5min together) taken with iPhone, safari open with couple of tabs, mail and WhatsApp:

    Untitled.png
     
  7. k2743 macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2016
    #7
    Hi, we are talking about the Macbook Pro without touch bar, not the 12 inch Macbook (which is in the video you just linked). The Macbook Pro without touch bar has a 2.0GHz i5 processor, or can be upgraded to 2.4GHz i7 processor. I am currently deciding between upgrading the processor and leaving it at 2.0GHz i5. I think I will probably get 16GB memory though.

    I am not interested in the touch bar model.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 29, 2016 ---
    Which processor are you leaning towards? I'm still unsure whether to upgrade it or not.
     
  8. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #8
    IF you check the link about the vid - it has several different computers benchmarked although the title says "MacBook" - because the MacBook is compared to other computers. And it was just something to think about when buying MacBook Pro for this kind of stuff. The vid gives you a little bit more perspective what you get and what to expect, imo.
     
  9. dillonbradley4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    dillonbradley4

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    Dec 3, 2016
    #9
    Interesting video - thanks for posting.

    I assume your are recommending the TB over the nTB due to the consumption wattage of the processor? Just read that for the MacBook m3 proccessor apple have configured to to allow up to 13w's. In comparison the non touch bar MBP has a 15W so you would expect similar performance in rendering? This is a bit of a concerning for me, as I do want to be able to use AfterEffects on the system, I use Illustrator and Photoshop much more heavily, but do at times need to use AfterEffects and may do more in the future.

    I felt sure of the nTB vs the TB, especially because of the battery life advantages.. but now I'm not so sure. Big dilemmas..
     
  10. BlueGoldAce macrumors 68000

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    Oct 11, 2011
    #10
    I use the 13 in touchbar model, 8gb ram. I do a lot of photoshop, illustrator work. It is plenty powerful, and I am never left wanting for processing power. It isn't as powerful as my i7-6700k desktop, paired with 16gb of ram and 1070 gtx...but there isn't a laptop that is. The 13in touchbar does every thing I need, even on my more intense days. Oddly enough, the performance is faster and more consistent than my recently sold Dell ops 15 9550 (which had specs comparable to the 15in mbp with touchbar). I chalk this up to the faster ssd, macOS, ample power, and dells inability to optimize that particular model.

    Anyway, if I were you, and you wanted to make this purchase as viable for as long as you can, I would go with the touchbar model. The touchbar model (correct me if I am wrong, and I apologize if I am) has the 28w processor compared to the 15w in the non-touchbar model. This will be very noticeable (I know based on experience) when you are doing demanding work for an extended period of time. The increase power and thermal headroom will allow the 28w processor to stay at higher frequencies for a longer period of time, and it won't throttle nearly as quickly. The extra power from the intel iris 550 may very well be noticeable in graphically demanding apps. To put that in perspective, for benchmarks that deal directly with the type of graphical processing you would need, the iris 550 is close to the 2015 surface book's dGPU power. This should be more than ample for any of your needs.

    I honestly don't know if you will need the 16 gbs of ram. If you do, it will be do to an os or adobe update. I am able to hold 10+ images in photoshop, several graphical figures in illustrator, about 20 .nd2 files (Nikon confocal microscope image viewer; processor and ram intensive, with large files), and your typical web pages, messages, and office files without seeing a slow down. When I check, the machine still had 1.89 gbs free ram. The above is at the extreme of what I would need. Having 16gbs is great for peace of mind, and just "knowing" you have it, but 8gbs is the standard for most laptops and desktops; even when you get into the gaming realm. I enjoy the 16gbs on my custom desktop at home, but I don't really notice the difference, its more useful for gaming AND broadcast said gaming stream at 1080p.

    Anyway, I mention the above for this reason: B&H photo is offering $100 off of the i5, 8gb ram, 256gb 13in mbp with touchbar; and there is no tax outside of New York. This adds up to a pretty hefty discount. They don't have the upgraded 16 gb model available at the moment, but they do have some the 13in mbp non-touchbar model for around $1349 or so (again, no tax). Both are great options if you are looking to save money.

    I do a lot of graphically intense work, and I build desktop PCs in my spare time (for graphical and gaming purposes). I am not an expert, but I know enough to make my own informed decisions. Its quite possible by the time the 8gb becomes limiting you, you will want a new laptop. The 16gbs might get you an extra year, but with that extra year you loose resale value on your current laptop. Combine that with the cost of the upgrade (you won't get that back selling it second hand), and it might not be worth it. Other may think it is, and they may very well be right!

    Sorry for the long post!
     
  11. k2743 macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2016
    #11
    Sorry, assumed you were referring to MacBook.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 29, 2016 ---
    Not OP, but I am really really not keen on the touch bar so personally only considering nTB model, which has the 2.0GHz i5 processor and can be upgraded to 2.4GHz i7, but I'm unsure whether I would need to upgrade it or not.

    8GB RAM might be fine now but been told that 16GB would be noticeable a few years down the line.
     
  12. BlueGoldAce macrumors 68000

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    Oct 11, 2011
    #12
    You will always be told you "need more ram". 16gb is the new 8gb, and it used to be 4gb vs 8gb. There are still people powering through photoshop related work with their 4gb equipped MBPs (source: reddit). I did a lot of researching before I bought the 8gb ram model. This forum is a great resource, but you have to keep in mind the type of person on this forum. Based on the sample size I have seen on this forum, the majority of people are buying high-end to maxed out 15in MBPtb. It depends on what you need.

    You will notice the ram upgrade before you will notice the upgrade to the i7. With the 15w skylake models, there is consistently a 10% increase in performance (source: surface book, dell xps 13 reviews and ownership), but this is quickly limited by the tendency for the chip to throttle. In some case, if I recall correctly, the i7 throttles even more quickly than the i5. I personally don't think the i5 to i7 upgrade is worth the extra cost, and this applies to laptops in general. Even with a gaming desktop, the i5 to i7 upgrade has more to do with future overclocking, etc than immediate gains (the i5 is often recommended over the i7 based on price to performance, when building your own desktop).

    Again the ram would be more noticeable, but I don't think it will be immediately noticeable based on today's demands. I can't remember the source, but an apple centric website put out a performance review (2014, so a few years old), comparing adobe and related performance in 4gb, 8gb, and 16gb models. The jump from 4gb to 8gb resulted in large performance gains, but the jump from 8gb to 16gb results in a very small jump (not noticeable).

    The 16gb would be necessary for things like 4k video encoding, but at that point you need a dGPU, and the new 15MBPtbs even struggle with this in adobe (but do fine in final cut).

    I could be wrong, I admit that. But a few years from now, I don't see 8gb rendering your laptop useless. It will still run very, very well. Maybe 2,3, or 4 years from now a 16 gb model will run something noticeably faster, but at that point I would rather take the money saved, and the money earned from selling the MBP, and upgrade. If you are trying to make your MBP last as long as possible, then by all means max it out. Get the i7, and get the 16gbs ram; but at that point you are better getting the 15in MBP, and are already in the same price range. I don't think portability is a big enough differentiator, at that price, to sacrifice that much performance.

    I get the desire to get the more powerful laptop, but I bought a high end 2011 15in MBP, and the battery, followed by the logic board failed before the parts became outdated. The upgrade ended up be far more costly than the benefits reaped.

    Again, due to my desire to procrastinate, this post has gotten long winded again, so I apologize. In my experience, if you were to graph the cost of laptops and the upgrade version of said laptops vs time and resale price; you might find that you don't save money in the long run.

    Anyway, just my opinion. I could be wrong. Everyone's needs and views are unique in this matter.
     
  13. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    Jul 16, 2014
    Location:
    europe
    #13
    I don't recommend anything because I don't have a good experience of the ntb model, just played with it in a store.. and I felt sometimes laggy in my opinion. But something to consider it is that ntb is 2ghz/15W and achieve the same performance as the base tb (2.9ghz/28W) it has to run in a turbo mode and if you do a heavy task for a long time, tb model should be able to run longer without throttling (based on the specs). There is also two fans in the tb model to help it cooling if necessary.

    The consumption depends on the usage - the higher clock speed, the faster the task is done. Although it may consume more power at the time when doing the task, the task is done faster so the overall consumption probably doesn't be affected.

    I bought the model which is tb i5/3.1ghz/16gb and the current power consumption when writing this message is 4.5W/464mAh, 72% left - remaining (estimated) 7h23min - some software open (Skype, WhatsApp, mail, connected to the nas), been on battery 2h54 min. (screen is set (8 clicks from the bottom)). Those numbers are fluctuating anyway...
     
  14. BlueGoldAce macrumors 68000

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    Oct 11, 2011
    #14
    Agreed, though the throttling in the 15w models really does kick in quickly, and the i7 even quicker. The idea of sustained performance vs quick burst.

    Just read the reviews on the i5 vs i7 in in the surface book, dell ups 15, hp spectra, etc.

    The benefit from the jump to the 28w vs 15w is much greater than the upgrade from the i5 to i7 in either class.
     
  15. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #15
    yeah, i didn't see any benefit between these two cpu i5/i7 in current MacBooks (I was comparing 28W cpus). Earlier only i7 had hyper threading but now they both have it. I chose the middle cpu of these three and buying the i7 is waste of money, imo.
     
  16. BlueGoldAce macrumors 68000

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    Oct 11, 2011
    #16
    The benefit is present in overall power and sustained performance. The 13in MBPtb is likely the most powerful 13 in laptop you can buy (unless you get a quad core, but I am often only see that in 14-15in and up). That being said, you may not notice the difference.

    I never really noticed it when switching between windows laptop with the 15w processor and my 2015 13in mbp with the 28w processor. The superior ssd speeds and trackpad were far more noticeable.
     
  17. k2743 macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2016
    #17
    I have kept this laptop for 6.5 years and aim to keep the new one for 5+ years too. I am currently on 4GB of RAM, which was the standard when I got this laptop but now the standard is 8GB, and in 5 years time it might be 16GB.

    From your post I am gathering that actually I should upgrade to 16GB. I am not questioning the performance of the laptop today, I want it to still run well in 3/4/5 years time. But I'm not sure if the processor upgrade would be worth it and to just stick to the RAM upgrade.
     
  18. BlueGoldAce macrumors 68000

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    #18
    I'd stick with the ram upgrade, and save the money on the processor upgrade. I'd don't think slight uptick in performance is worth the cost. Even less so when power and thermal constraints are considered.
     
  19. k2743 macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2016
    #19
    Thanks, do you think 2.0GHz i5 would be sufficient then? (compared to, say, the touch bar model with 2.9GHz i5)
     
  20. BlueGoldAce macrumors 68000

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    Oct 11, 2011
    #20
    Well, if your looking to get the non touchbar model, is would look somewhere like aris technica, and read there review of the non touchbar model. That may give you a better idea. If there is an i5 that may be underpowered, it would be the 2.0GHz. I am sure there is someone reviewer who discussed the difference in power.
     
  21. manhattanboy macrumors 6502a

    manhattanboy

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    #21
    I rarely use the touchbar; mostly for stuff that I would have used the dedicated function keys for like the volume adjustments or screen brightness. However, I do use the fingerprint reader a LOT! I set up a hot corner for putting the display to sleep when I am not using the computer to save battery, and having the easy re-login via fingerprint is very useful.
     
  22. halfbad macrumors member

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    Apr 20, 2014
    #22
    Creative pro here, Please read.

    I think we need to be wary on the RAM advice. I feel many people here don't do a lot of 3d/rendering/motion/high Rez print etc... It seems like it's always trying to pander down to a lower amount of ram. This is the last thing you should do.

    Clock speed, storage, you can work around to an extent. RAM is much more difficult when it comes to real work application.

    I see people saying 4gb enough...this is really only for the lightest of workloads, and isn't an option anymore with mbp.
    8GB will get you by on single applications but if your doing serious work and want to expand please go for the 16GB. It's possible to choke a MBP out on one high Rez print file on 8 GB. I don't use anything other than the 15" with 16gb, and if I could get more, I would in the mbp.

    I'm saying this knowing it's expensive but with RAM, it's a hard ceiling once you hit it there no going further. You cannot open your files and things like RAM preview in AE would be seriously hampered.

    Your processor speed these days will matter less, unless your are doing constant rendering, then it's cost effective to go for higher clock speed.

    My min spec these days for designers these days is any 15 rmbp with 16 ram, other options matter less.

    I get if your student the and going for the 13" that's cool, but that's even more reason to get the 16GB ram.
     
  23. BlueGoldAce macrumors 68000

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    Oct 11, 2011
    #23
    I think it has to come down to personal usage profiles. I do a lot of graphic work, but I don't do much, if any, video editing. My adobe suite usage centers around scientific work, and the editing and designing of figures using image files that can get really, really large (when dealing with a high quality, z-stack). The 8gb present in my 13in macbook pro is more than enough. If your needs are high enough to need the 16gb, you might be better suited spending a bit more and opting for the 15in macbook pro. Then you get the quad core, dGPU, etc that will allow you to appreciate the extra Ram.

    Apple's operating system is great, and I think it is the best approach to a productive work flow on a laptop (windows 10 isn't far behind). But, when it comes to a desktop, Windows 10 is the equal or better of the two. For the cost of maxing out a 13in MBP, or moving from the baseline 13in touchbar to the 15in touchbar, one can build a pretty damn good desktop; which will be the superior to any current Macbook pro.

    Of course, if you absolutely have to have all the power you can mange in a laptop form factor, then its a different story. At that point, though, is the extra $1000 plus worth it over a Windows 10 machine (there are some really good ones)? For me, the extra cost was worth it for the MBP 13, compared to a Windows 10, but this was very application specific, and said applications wouldn't apple to 99% of the public.
     
  24. halfbad, Dec 29, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016

    halfbad macrumors member

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    #24
    Here is some things consider when purchasing for creatives.

    15" or 13" Size : if you can, go for the 15", esp if you are do not have an external monitor setup. 15" also means quad core, which is double clock speed power. Managing window space is not fun and not effective for work.

    8 vs 16GB ram: will you use multiple files at once? high Rez? AE/FC/3D/PS medium to large print? 16 GB really try to go 16 if you can.

    Clock speed: Fairly secondary, unless your are not offloading your rendering, and rendering a lot. Then consider it, if your a freelancer or pro then do it since you'll make up the $$$ difference easily.

    Please remember between the 13 and 15 if you are rendering you can get twice the speed out of the 15, The multi core gains from and entry level quad are better than a top end dual core = I'll always go for the for the cheapest 15 inch compared to a top end 13" and get much more out of it.

    Storage Format: SSD a must, not really an option these days with mac but that's a good thing. Speed of SSD these days are all batting around 400-900 MB/s reads and writes so, this shouldn't need to be a consideration unless your a pro photographer and needs those thousands of thumbnails to show quickly, then you may want to look at the the SSD specs. but they are mostly unchangeable for mac portables.

    Storage amount: Personal choice of how much you want to manage, more is always better, but you can work around this with external drives and such. Since the SSD blades are soldered for some models this does leave some consideration for the future as you cannot expand internally.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 29, 2016 ---
    Agreed on usage, and I'm assuming a desktop is not an option for OP.

    He mentioned using C4D so that means 3D, motion, lighting and rendering. Add some SFX, few high Rez files with 30-100 layers with effects, motion graphics, you probably have illustrator, PS, C4D, AE, open maybe a few others. That's is going to get pretty heavy quickly. PS/AE/C4D/ will all eat as much ram and processor as you can throw at them.
     
  25. k2743 macrumors member

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    Dec 28, 2016
    #25
    All you are talking about is the present day though; when I got my MBP 15 inch with 4GB, at the time it was enough, but today it isn't.
     

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