Struggling Between 2015 MacBook Pro13 vs 15

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PPPPajama, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. PPPPajama macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    Location:
    Big Apple
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I recently decided to purchase a 2015 model MacBook Pro. I want portability since I do lots of my work at school yet I also crave for performance. I'm having a hard time deciding which one to buy, 13 or 15.

    I like the 15 inch screen which gives more space and god the screen is fantastic. I don't play games and edit videos. May photoshop pictures from time to time. I know I'm not qualified as a heavy user but the extra 2 cores and more powerful GPU sound satisfying.

    I was looking at the old specs for 2015 models on Apple's website and for 15 inch model, I didn't see the dual video cards as an option listed which is not on the configuration page either. I was wondering if Apple has stopped providing dual video cards for 2015 15 inch model.

    I'd very appreciate any suggestion and also the clarification on the dGPU issue.

    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #2
    Apple no longer offers the 2015 new with a dGPU. They do occasionally offer refurbs that have it. That dGPU was probably discontinued because it ran too hot, caused throttling.

    As for your dilemma, you probably don't need the power of the 15", but it's a purely personal thing whether you like the screen more than the portability of the 13". (I prefer the larger screen myself, keep it crammed with stuff and watch video on it.)
     
  3. Beards macrumors 6502a

    Beards

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Location:
    Derbyshire UK
    #3
    I had a similar situation after returning my 2016 15" MacBook Pro.
    In the end I opted for a late 2015 13" MacBook Pro and I'm oh so very very happy.
    It's light, runs without any issues whatsoever (as in reliable) and kitted out with 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD. So will carry out my tasks fine and dandy.
    My Brother on the other hand at the same time bought the late 2015 15" also with 16GB RAM but a larger 1TB SSD and he too is exceptionally happy.
    In other words it's a personal thing but whichever you decide on you will not be disappointed.
     
  4. jerryk macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #4
    I have never experience have throttling with my 2015 15" rMBP. But, I don't game. I do run program like Premier Pro, Lightroom, and Photoshop.
     
  5. caramelpolice macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    #5
    If the most intensive thing you do is Photoshop, you likely wouldn't even notice the benefit of the dGPU. You will be fine without it.
     
  6. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #6
    How do you know it doesn't throttle? Do you mean it doesn't run hot? That would be good to know for prospective owners, as reviews do complain about it running hot and throttling when running Premiere and intensive tasks in other software.
     
  7. doitdada macrumors 6502a

    doitdada

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #7
    I benchmarked my 13" nTB 2.0GHz and it crushed the old Iris Pro 5200 in the 2015 MacBook Pro 15", by almost doubling OpenCL compute scores with over 27000 points.

    https://browser.primatelabs.com/opencl-benchmarks

    Intel(R) Iris(TM) Graphics 540
    26599

    Intel(R) Iris(TM) Pro Graphics 5200
    15798

    AMD Radeon Pro 450
    37614

    My rMBP 2015 with AMD dGPU loved to ramp up the fans.
     
  8. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #8
    Does the 2015 15" without dGPU use the same Iris Pro 5200? Apple doesn't say what it is, just calls it Iris Pro.

    Yeah, that's what seems typical.
     
  9. caramelpolice macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    #9
    Yes.
     
  10. Ovedius macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #10
    Bit of a digression, the M370X is bit of a mystery; it does in fact not get hot.
    If you use something like AMD Pro to "lock" the core clock at 800MHz (standard core clock in other words) the temperature stabilises at around 76 degrees Celsius under sustained maximum load. And that is not hot.
    So what exactly is the reason for the throttling? I have no idea.

    Alas I would probably not recommend anyone who wants a MacBook with a dGPU to go with the 2015 model.
    There's something iffy about the M370X, maybe it just can't handle heat very well. And if that's the case it might be prone to hardware failure down the line.
    Save up for a 2016 Pro if you want a dGPU, I say.



    But to give my two cents to PPPPajama:
    This isn't really a big concern, but if you like streaming films and series and don't own a tv (you said you were a student, so I'm thinking maybe you live in a dorm or somewhere where there might not be a lot of room for a tv) the extra screen real estate of the 15" really enhances the viewing experience.
    Not really important, though, but nice.
     
  11. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #11
    For your work, I think the better portability and lower pricing of the 13-inch is the best match to your needs, as the 13 is still a very capable computer. A 2014 or 2015 refurb, or a 2016 with or without the touchbar, should do great, and the standard 8GB RAM should work great for your needs. You can often find 2015 refurbs with both the entry and upgraded CPUs for very reasonable prices. The 2015 13-inch MacBook Air is also a great computer, and you can often find refurb ones with the i7 CPU, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD for under $1,100.
     
  12. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #12
    Yes, maybe better to say it has trouble with heat than that it gets too hot, considering throttling happens at relatively low temperatures. Notebook Check found that it throttled around 74 C. Maybe that was to help lessen CPU throttling, also a problem, by not heating up the machine as much. (Scroll down 60% of the way to Gaming Performance. Further below that, check out the Temperature section too.)

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Apple-MacBook-Pro-Retina-15-Mid-2015-Review.144402.0.html
     
  13. doitdada macrumors 6502a

    doitdada

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #13
  14. Ovedius macrumors 6502

    Ovedius

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Norway
    #14
    Yeah I've read that review a few times ;)
    I've tried disabling Turbo Boost on the cpu to keep cpu temperature as low as possible and the gpu still throttles (a lot, all the way down to 400MHz in some cases, and generally hovers around 650 if I recall correctly).

    But even with Turbo Boost enabled and the gpu "locked" at full speed (800MHz) the gpu never goes above 76 degrees.

    It really is a mystery, and I think the performance is very dissapointing.
    But you only notice this if you play games on your Macbook, which they are not tailored for anyway.
    (But I bought it second hand, very well aware of the issue, at a good price so I've learned to live with it)
     
  15. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #15
    That is very odd indeed.

    Probably also an issue with video editing, but the OP doesn't do either of these things, so probably not a problem.
     
  16. rutrack macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2017
    #16
    There is no magic here, 13" is a lot more portable, while 15" is easier to work with. I have both and really do not see the advantage of descrete card for what I do, if I had to choose one, it would probably be 13", it is very powerful, can handle two 4k monitors and runs quite as it has only one fan , that is if you push it
     

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