Seeking Advice for MacBook Pro for Graphics/Architect

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Wjk, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. Wjk macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2016
    Good morning, first post here and new member, really looking for advice.

    I am an architect and business owner looking for advice for a new MacBook Pro. I am torn between a
    • MacBook Pro 15, 2.9ghz AMD Radeon Pro 460 (on order from B&H for about 6 weeks now) and a
    • 2.7ghz AMD Radeon 455 version I could pick up today.
    I don't want to make the wrong decision and get the machine available today, and regret it in a month.

    I currently work on a combination of a MacBook 2015 13" and a Dell 2014 M3800. The first serves me at home and on the road, and the second when I have a graphics intensive task to take on. But at this point, both are stuttering to keep up with my workflow, and I hope a quad core MacBook with dedicated graphics is going to be a single machine that can get it done. I can also be on the road or on site for 8 hours, and while the MacBook 13" I have is slower than the Dell, I can count on the battery (the Dell only reaches about 2-1/2 hours, and I don't trust an XPS 15 to do any better).

    Currently, every couple of days, I am working at 4AM for a 9AM presentation or pitch, and something freezes (it can happen in Illustrator, Autocad, PowerPoint, on either machine). I'm dead in the water, resetting and hoping work is saved, then racing to complete.

    My typical day utilizes:
    • Autocad (A lot, and with numerous XREFs and arrayed complex blocks)
    • Excel (Large pricing leveling sheets)
    • Large PowerPoint files (200+ megabytes for presentations, even after compressing images)
    • Adobe Illustrator (files with many many vectors)
    • Adobe Photoshop
    • Adobe Acrobat (large drawing packages that can make Acrobat move very slowly)
    • Sketchup
    • Future: Revit, if and when I can find time to acclimate and push our firm in that direction.
    Less frequently, I use Sketchup Podium for rendering under tight timetables, both complex interior scenes and site plan/urban massing models. Please note that I know full well this is a non-optimized and completely crappy software for 3D architectural rendering. We have staff that can do more complex work generally working in Rhino/Vray or Revit, but on a random night we will have a tight deadline, and when staff fail to reach the goal, I end up jumping into renderings to push out visuals for client meetings the next morning.

    I know full well that some of the software above is not ideal, but I can't change it at the moment. PowerPoint is so slow for large files, but due to other partners who won't switch, I'm stuck. As for Sketchup and Podium, I've got way too much on my plate to spend time learning 3Ds Max or re-learning Rhino and VRay from years ago. I'm never rendering except in a pinch, and most of my time is spent managing staff teams and coordinating projects - I truly appreciate any advice, but advice on better software is something I truly understand, but I won't be able to change in the near term.

    I really appreciate any advice, and I know that's so much information above from a first time poster, so thank you all. Best,
  2. an3s macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2016
    Dont know about the sofware but my reasoning is like this. If i buy a laptop for multiple years (5 or so) i buy a fast (almost maxed out) version. So its still fast after a few years.

    If you rather change every 3 or 3 years i would buy a regular one. Since the regular in 3 years will be faster then the maxed out you could buy now.
  3. linguist macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2009
    your workload seems to be pushing CPU a lot, even best desktop nowadays would be on it's knees. unoptimised application would benefit from fast single core performance, and RAM amount and fast SSD, if your usage right now maxed out the RAM, it would swap a lot and stutter.

    It is best you test first if your workload if really benefit from quadcore, try with latest fast SSD with 16 GB ram and expect 20-30% lower speed from laptop, maybe try in on an iMac with 4K display and SSD. Adding more core doesn't always benefit every usage scenario.

    bottom line you need to find the bottleneck and see if it is RAM, SSD swapping speed or if more core can actually help, significant improvement in CPU single core performance has been stagnant for past 8 years.
  4. curmudgeonette macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2016
    Rumor has it that many Apple stores have 2.9/460/1TB models in stock. This may be the correct model for you: You're already considering the 2.9/460. Plus, you're making money using your computer. So - by visiting an Apple store or three, you could get the model you want/need, and have it today!

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