Should I wait for Haswell Refresh, Broadwell or Skylake for programming & photoshop?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DevAndy, Jul 9, 2014.


Which would work flawlessly for my needs?

  1. Haswell refresh Q3/4 2014

    13 vote(s)
  2. Broadwell refresh Q1/2 2015

    1 vote(s)
  3. Skylake Q4 2015

    8 vote(s)
  1. DevAndy, Jul 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2014

    DevAndy macrumors member


    Jul 4, 2014
    When I eventually plunge into a new rMBP, here are my specs:
    15' i7 dual core
    8GB RAM (do I need 16GB?)
    2.3Ghz (do I need 2.6?)
    256GB SSD (how much faster is 512GB?)

    I usually have these programs open:
    Sublime Text - a text editor
    Apache Server running 24/7
    Nodejs running 24/7
    1080p YouTube running 24/7
    Photoshop - 50MB files
    Chrome - 10 tabs

    The verdict with Haswell is the 7hr battery life, which will see a 30% improvement in the Broadwell relesae Q2 2015. Not to mention the 7% performance increase and (possibility) of a thinner hardware design.

    Skylake is the "tock" that will apparently set industry standards.

    School starts in September, but I'm willing to wait a few months (will be painful) if the programs I run above are flawless. The question is which I should wait for?
    Any spec suggestions are also greatly appreciated.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Isn't this your third thread on the same issue?

    Can you not decide?

    And the 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display only comes with a quad core CPU.
    The 2.6 GHz will not get you any significant performance increase over the 2.3 GHz for your stated needs.
    16 GB RAM would probably be better, but 8 GB RAM will suffice.
    No need for the dedicated GPU model.
    The 256 GB SSD is as fast as the 512 GB model, as far as I have seen.
  3. DevAndy thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 4, 2014
    Now that Broadwell has been delayed further, I'm having a difficult choice on plunging in $2400+, since there seems to be mixed judgment on Broadwell vs going with the Haswell refresh Q3/ Q4 2014. I felt it was better if I gave a more accurate description this time.
  4. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    max the RAM it can't be upgraded.

    you don't need the highest speed it won't make much of a difference unless you're a tech junky and care about numbers. I recommend getting the most storage you can afford.

  5. DevAndy thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 4, 2014
    I thought the entirety of MBs can't be upgraded? Looks like I'm leaning towards Haswell/ Broadwell 16GB RAM/ 25GB SSD, Broadwell mainly for the batterylife + chance of redesign, but it seems Haswell is already good performance wise.
  6. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    Why don't you just get a current Haswell refurb and save yourself some money?
  7. DevAndy thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 4, 2014
    I usually upgrade laptops every 3 years, so the refurbs might have less resale value. Also, the battery improvements on Broadwell is a plus (2013 is the earliest I'd consider refurb). Might be best to wait until the refresh for refurbs to drop even lower.
  8. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    Redesign won't happen until skylake. Skylake gets thunderbolt 3 which uses an entirely different port. That is going to require a redesign.

    With 3-4 processors refreshes coming between now and Q4 2015 I doubt you'll see more than 1 redesign.

  9. DevAndy thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 4, 2014
    Question: are there noticable differences between the Feb 2013 vs Oct 2013 models? Seems like only the chip is different, not sure if there's a big improvement between a:

    Feb 2013 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD 15' vs
    Late 2013 same specs
    vs 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD Broadwell

    I'm seriously considering refurb, if there's a 21% off deal I could get higher specs but a more dated CPU.
  10. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    The late 2013 has PCIe storage which will be faster. We appear to be a ways away from Broadwell.
  11. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    Shouldn't it be more about what you need it to do? Not what's in it?

    Trust me you start going into convulsions thinking to deep into this stuff. You won't notice the difference regardless of what you get unless it doesn't do what you need it to.

    There's different levels of hardware need right?

    You got your 300 dollar dell that will turn on 4 times in it's life time, run 11 chrome tabs, and email. That'll have a celeron or pentium processor, 2-4GB of RAM, and 300GB hard drive.

    Then you got your Macbook Pro/HP Elitebook class notebooks. Designed for professional work such as illustrator, photoshop, xcode, visual studio, management software like vmware client, HP CMC, and stuff like that. It's your worker class laptops.

    Then you get into your high end stuff such as the Mac Pro and the Dell Precision line up. That's your heavy duty 3d modeling, CAD, autodesk, etc - this stuff you'll see in manufacturing design, making 3d movies, etc.

    It's all about what you do. No one but you knows what you do. All I can say is what I'd do.

    My advice I give most people is get what you think you'll do plus 1. Meaning get what you'll need but add one extra thing. Rather that's more RAM, more disk space, better processor, something plus 1.

  12. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    Besides for the Photoshop with 50MB files, you have a pretty good machine. I wouldn't upgrade anything. Perhaps RAM if you deal with a lot of layers and batch processing. The truth is, how much your system benchmarks at geekbench? 10000 on multicore? Haswell will give something like 14000. Is it really worth upgrading? A 40% speed increase? I would at least wait Broadwell hoping to get something that adds a substantial improvement, like >100%.
  13. Starfyre macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2010
    I can run Photoshop, Eclipse, and VMWare all on my Haswell without a sweat. No need to wait for Broadwell or Skylake.
  14. zseck macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2014
    I've been working with Adobe and CAD programs on a mid 2010 MBP for a number of years. I've been astounded by how much of a leech Adobe products are (seriously, rendering suites out perform Adobe apps), but that being said they're totally do-able. Typically I've got Photoshop CC 2014, InDesign CC 2014, and Illustrator CC 2014 running. It's not ideal, but Haswell will for-sure handle the load for a while.

    Personally, after reading about the Broadwell delays today, I would update now and wait until Skylake or after for a refresh.
  15. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    1. Refurbs won't get any lower 2. They will have the same resale price because its the same laptop.

    And 3. It really does not matter what you get. For programming, at least. I assume you do web frontend/backend programming. You probably won't even notice any difference between a MacBook Air and a Mac Pro in this scenario. Photoshop is a different thing, but if you are not using it too much/no super-complex layers/no 4K resolutions, then you will be fine with a base 15" or even 13" model.
  16. Sifinity macrumors 6502


    Jun 11, 2014
    According to a MacRumors recent article broadwell for 15" macbook pro won't be out till july 2015 , so with that in mind , skylake won't be out till 2016 , and unless you have the guts and patience to wait a year :cool:, i would just pull the trigger soon
  17. Naimfan macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2003
    You will never notice the difference in the CPU for your usage.

    You *might* notice a slight difference in the storage speed of the Late 2013 compared to a Mid-2012 or an Early 2013.

    Hence, get the least expensive model that has the storage you think you'll need. Time to get up or go home.
  18. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    I think this is highly misleading. Lets say Intel really cuts the power consumption of the CPU by 30%. For light use (which is where you get the 7 hours), the power used by the screen and other laptop components is at least as important for battery life as the CPU. So assuming that the power savings of the CPU happen as advertised, an increase in battery life in the 10%-20% range seems more realistic.
    Maybe it will also help with load power consumption (and heat), which would be nice.

    Honestly I don't think you should wait at all. Q2-2015 could be 11 months away. If you wait until October/November for a minor speed bump you will be even less compelled to buy, since then the Broadwell/Skylake updates will seem "soon."

    Btw, the easiest way to get an extra hour of battery life is to use Safari instead of Chrome (and not install flash). Also with some of that stuff you intend to run 24/7, 4 hours of battery are probably more realistic.
  19. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    Is this a spoof post?

    Buy a computer now, and close some browser tabs. There's these things called bookmarks, and Pocket.

    Otherwise, you might as well ask if its worth waiting for a Jetsons Jetpack to hit the market before you buy your bike
  20. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2012
    Just get the current model. Something new is always around the corner and there's no point in constantly waiting. Especially for what you want to do. Max out the ram and call it good and stop overthinking things.

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