Which 2015 MacBook Pro for Photographer / Video Editor? Discrete GPU necessary?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lewis_cooper, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. lewis_cooper macrumors newbie

    lewis_cooper

    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    So, I've been priced out of the Touch Bar MacBook Pros so I'm looking to pick up a more economical 2015 bargain.

    I'm a Photographer who would like to use the MacBook Pro to replace my 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 as my primary mac. I want the portability of a laptop but will want to connect it to my 27" Dell U2713H (H not HM) monitor when in the studio.

    The Mac Pro is really showing its age now, despite adding SSDs, a 4GB graphics card and adding nearly 32GBs of RAM. Quite simply the processors are out of date and the there are too many bottlenecks.

    First and foremost, I want buttery smooth, responsive photo editing in Lightroom. That's the bare minimum for me as jittery sliders and delays while waiting for basic edits to display make me all too aware that I'm using a machine and takes my mind off the photo.

    I've also started to shoot a fair amount of video and I'd like to get in to this more. As you can imagine, if adjusting a single photo's exposure is slow, then video editing is a far more painful experience.

    So, not looking in to it too much I'm thinking that what I'm going to need is the 2015 15" Retina MacBook Pro, i7 processor and… discrete Radeon R9 m370x.

    According to all the benchmarks, this one seems to win out. But, in real world usage is this the MacBook pro that I need?

    They seem to range from £1,300 to £1,500 on eBay if I go for the 512gb drive, so still not cheap (considering they're second-hand). If I take the Radeon R9 out of the search term then things seem to get quite a lot cheaper.

    Does anyone have any positive real world experience with editing photographs and/or video on a MacBook Pro with only the Iris Pro GPU? Am I over-speccing for my requirements?

    I'd really appreciate your wisdom on this.

    Many thanks,
    Lewis
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #2
    I'm a video editor with Final Cut Pro X. I have the 2014 MacBook Pro with the i7 4770HQ and only Iris Pro.
    What I think about the Iris Pro is rather simple - it's brillant and surprising for what it is, but it still is an on-die GPU. If you plan on using FCPX or iMovie for the video editing, the Iris Pro will do you fine, I'd say, but if you want to use Premiere or something like that - I'd say you should bump up to the dedicated GPU. For photos, I think the Iris Pro will do just fine. If I had had the budget, I probably would have gone with a model with a dGPU when I bought my MacBook, but I bought it after I had another Book die on me, so I needed something there and then, and I already had an iMac to be my main machine. Without my iMac, I probably would be regretting not having a dGPU, but I am not now. Iris Pro works for me
     
  3. im_ashley macrumors newbie

    im_ashley

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    #3
    Hi Lewis. Can be better assessed if you could mention the GPU you used in 2008 Mac Pro.
     
  4. lewis_cooper thread starter macrumors newbie

    lewis_cooper

    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    Hi im_ashley, It's a non-fiashed 4GB GTX 960 that probably isn't reaching it's full potential thanks to PCIe limitations and a general lack of bandwidth. Also, from what I can tell it's the processors that are causing the delays, especially in Lightroom, not the GPU.
     
  5. lewis_cooper thread starter macrumors newbie

    lewis_cooper

    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    Thanks for the insight casperes1996. Yes, like I say this would ideally be my only machine. For portability but also to reclaim a significant amount of space taken up by the towering tower that is the Mac Pro.

    I know you have the iMac but have you ever hooked your laptop up to a large monitor such as the 27" monitor I intend to use. Does the iGPU have any trouble driving a display of that size?
     
  6. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #6
    I have not with my own MacBook, but I have a friend with a similar configuration, and at least with 2560x1440 Iris Pro runs just fine. And I mean, if you'll be using it in clamshell mode, consider that anything below 4k, is actually fewer pixels to run than the built-in display which is 2880x1800.
     
  7. im_ashley macrumors newbie

    im_ashley

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    #7
    Yeah. The GPU is powerful enough for your workflow as you mentioned PCIe limitations could be one of the reason also the CPU(Intel Xeon E5462 @ 2.80GHz) which is benchmarked at 3962 is a lot under powered than MBP CPU (Core i7-4770HQ @ 2.20GHz), which is benchmarked 8956.
     

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