Stuck between 13" TBMBP or 15" TBMBP

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by NiKeZz, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. NiKeZz macrumors 6502

    NiKeZz

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Location:
    Topeka, Kansas
    #1
    As titled, stuck between deciding on the 13" or the 15". I will be using the computer for a multitude of tasks. These include but are not limited to:

    • Work
      • Office Suite, Several internet browsers, potential VM with windows.
      • Adobe Creative Suite
    • School
      • Mostly research, document creation, typical student use
    • Play
      • Lightroom and Adobe Suite heavily used for photography
      • GoPro videos, so want something that can handle these files at 2/4K
      • Multimedia use.. streaming, plex, etc while doing any of the above functions
    I'm not an incredible power user, especially in the gaming department, but I'm upgrading from a 2010 MacBook pro that just died on me and I want to ensure with the money I've saved I get a computer that will satisfy these needs for the next few years as I graduate and transition into the workforce. I have a budget of $2500 and would like to get an external monitor as well to help my workflow.

    Any suggestions are welcome.

    TLDR; $2500 budget. Best bang for buck between 13" MBPtb and 15" MBPtb, give me your suggestion.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    15" quad core process and dGPU, also larger screen real estate for adobe products.
    13" Less powerful but more mobile.

    I think it comes down to whether you want something that easier to carry around (but smaller), or a more powerful machine. I've personally go back and forth on this. I've purchased both 13" and 15" laptops over the years. I'm currently on a 13" form factor, but I wouldn't mind the larger screen the 15" provides.
     
  3. smirking, Jan 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017

    smirking macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #3
    I think your budget makes the decision for you. If $2500 is your limit, your choice is between a modestly upgraded 13" with 512GB and a low end external monitor or the base model 15" and no external monitor.

    I would prefer the base model 15" if I were in your position, but the small storage space is going to be a problem. 256GB of storage is nothing if you plan on doing video editing and managing a photo library. Perhaps you'll be able to scrape by on that amount of storage for a while and buy external storage as it becomes necessary, but I really think you need 512GB of storage to give you some runway for the future.

    If you're going to do much work with video or be serious with your photography, you're always going to need more storage so there's no amount that's truly futureproof, but you can have a level of storage that allows you to choose when you want to put in the time to cull your rejected takes and archive stuff you don't need on hand.

    If you can scratch up some additional funds, go for a 15" with 512GB. The ATI video card will come in handy for the video editing you want to do. You're still likely going to need more storage before its lifespan is through, but with 512GB you should have enough breathing room that you're not going to have to constantly spend time managing your filesystem across a collection of external storage devices.

    I went with 2TB myself because I know what it's like to work with large media files and constantly be in danger of exceeding your available space. Been there and done that... I was spending a ridiculous amount of time (and usually when I was racing against a deadline) freeing up space. To make matters worse, because I was under pressure, I sometimes accidentally deleted stuff I wanted to keep and that sets off a flurry of trying to find backups of stuff I lost. It all adds up to hours and hours lost running in circles.
     
  4. 62tele macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    #4
    By the time you upgrade to 16 GB RAM, processor etc, it's almost a no brainer to go with the 15".
    I love my 13" nTB and I am satisfied but I had planned to buy an iMac after the refresh occurs this year. I am so satisfied that I will probably not buy the iMac. If I had it to do over again I would buy the base 15" model.
     
  5. NiKeZz thread starter macrumors 6502

    NiKeZz

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Location:
    Topeka, Kansas
    #5
    Went the route of the 15" base model. I appreciate your suggestions, unfortunately the extra hard drive space internally wasn't in my price range. I have three external drives already that I typically run whenever I'm utilizing media files, sadly they're all FW800 so I'm gonna have to do some playing around to get those up and running with this new setup.
     
  6. svendobbelaere macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    Belgium
    #6
    Just as an alternative, what I did with my external drives is get a 4-bay USB external chassis, crack open the externals and put them in the 4-bay chassis. I didn't set up any raid or anything, the disks just function as externals, but they're all in one enclosure and connected via a single cable.

    Note, I did this with 3 older USB-2 external drives, and USB 3.1 is so much faster that having the three drives on a single cable is not slower than before. Not sure this will be the case with the firewire drives.

    I just have to remember to select all three of them when ejecting.
     
  7. NiKeZz thread starter macrumors 6502

    NiKeZz

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Location:
    Topeka, Kansas
    #7
    I have to be honest, I am not sure how these drives work when cracked open. Is it just a take them apart and put them in a multi-bay chassis and plug them in? I have 5 years of school work and 7 years of photography work and family videos that I do not want to potentially risk losing, but I would love to find an alternative to having them run how they are now, or have to buy new external drives.
     
  8. smirking macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #8
    Unless you've got some bizarre contraption that I've never seen before, it'll work just the same as an internal hard drive. It's just a hard drive that's encased in plastic and metal. I've done this a few times myself. Once because the hard drive died and I wanted to reuse the case for a new internal drive and once because I wanted the hard drive in the enclosure.

    Of course something could always go wrong, so you should have a backup. You should have those backed up regardless of if you're going to extract the drives or not. Just because they're encased, doesn't mean they're safe.

    If you're squeamish about extracting the drive, just go buy some new bare drives. They're not that expensive and you can get one of those hard drive docks that look like tiny toasters that let you plug in a single hard drive at a time and swap them out without any fuss.
     
  9. Beachguy macrumors 6502a

    Beachguy

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #9
    I hope this doesn't come across as rude, but can't we back off the long abbreviations for things? It's getting hard to figure out what the heck people are talking about at times. My IBMICMBPWORSANDSIGO.

    And don't ask me what that stands for. I've already forgotten. TBMBP? WTF???????
     
  10. NiKeZz thread starter macrumors 6502

    NiKeZz

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Location:
    Topeka, Kansas
    #10
    Fair enough, thanks for your response. I'm a huge plug and play guy, I like simplicity so messing with things internally is not a forte of mine with exception of swapping ram out on older MacBooks. I'll look into this a little more in the coming weeks.
     
  11. bringbackjobs macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2016
  12. kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #12
    A complication to watch for: the drives in a FW enclosure may use something other than the current SATA interface (which a modern USB enclosure will certainly use). When connected to your Mac, do About This Mac and select the FW interface and see if it shows the drive mfg and model number. Then drop that into google and see if you can find a data sheet that provides the information.

    The better answer - and I realize I'm spending your money here - is that "FW" is an indication that these drives may be at or near the end of their expected service life. SMART Reporter or such may provide more information on that, too. So the right answer may be to get a newer drive.
     
  13. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #13
    have you considered going with Affinity Photo and Design ?
    My user group have mentioned that they are a more cost-effective way to do what Adobe Elements does for a fixed one off cost rather than a subscription.
    I would suggest Final Cut Pro X for 4k editing, particularly if you just plug in a reasonable 4k TV like a Sony Bravia.

    Your usage would suit a 15", with preferably 1/2 TB or larger SSD to fit the VM.

    I recommend that you carefully consider your storage needs, as the SSD is fixed and can't be upgraded.
     
  14. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #14
    If those drives are 7 years old, as the OP's post suggests, the right answer almost certainly is to get newer drives. I would replace 7 year old disk drives on principle. They might continue to run for years, but the odds are against it.
     
  15. NiKeZz thread starter macrumors 6502

    NiKeZz

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Location:
    Topeka, Kansas
    #15
    I have not considered Affinity, but I have read into it. I've been using Photoshop since 2007 and Lightroom since 2011, so any change in the software area would be a bit of an uncomfortable leap for me. How different is the software?
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #16
    Affinity is not a LR replacement, its just an image editor. There's no DAM capability AFAIK
     
  17. Moakesy macrumors regular

    Moakesy

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    There is a free trial, to try it out. As Maflynn said, it's only a Photoshop replacement, not a LR replacement. Many of the keyboard shortcuts are the same as PS.

    https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/signup/trial/photo/

    Good support and lots of videos too...

    https://affinity.serif.com/forum/index.php?/topic/10119-in-house-affinity-photo-video-tutorials/

    I use both LR and Affinity Photo. There were suggestions Affinity were working on a LR alternative, but things have gone quiet on that front as they concentrate on a iPad version of Photo. If (when) they do release their version of LightRoom, I'll drop my Adobe subscription.
     

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