Which 2016 Macbook Pro is right for me?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by theactor19, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. theactor19 macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2012
    I have decided to buy a 2016 Macbook Pro w/ Touch Bar, but am struggling with which one to buy.

    I would be using this computer for 3 primary uses:

    1) Music recording and mixing in Logic Pro X. Will be recording my EP on this computer.
    2) Daily Photoshop usage
    3) Planning to get a GoPro5 so would be nice to edit in 4k now and again, but not that often

    I love the size of the 13 inch especially because I travel a lot as well, but then the 15 inch seems to have much better specs such as being quad core. Basically I want the option that allows me to smoothly do the above 3 things, but also doesn't break the bank.

    Here are the two options I was considering:

    13" Base Model with Touch bar - 8 gig ram, 256gig SSD, 2.9GHz dual core i5, Intel Iris Graphics 550. Would upgrade to 16 gigs of ram. Price would be $2000+tax


    15" Base Model with Touch bar - 16 gig ram, 256gig SSD, 2.6GHz quad core i7, Radeon Pro 450 graphics card. Would not do any upgrades. Price would be $2400+tax
  2. PaulWog, Nov 6, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016

    PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011
    Based on your needs, get the 15" and upgrade the graphics to the 460. Not getting the graphics upgrade would be a dumb mistake. Relative to the cost of the machine, it's a small price for a huge bump in performance.

    The new models are thinner and lighter, so the 15" should be more portable. The screen size is important. The performance realistically is more than double that of the 13" with the 460 graphics.
  3. theactor19 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2012
    Are you sure the graphics upgrade is really neccessary? I think the 15 inch would be fast as is, and with the high price tag, not sure if its justifiable. I think upgrading the SSD would be a better upgrade as its only 256gigs stock.
  4. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    See below. I don't know about logic. Photoshop benefits a lot from ram. It's not as cpu bound as it used to be. You should get some feedback from other logic users when they place their orders.

    What makes the gpu upgrade worthwhile for him? I don't think he would see any difference between 15" models. 13" and 15" might be more noticeable. The bolded portion is potentially very bad advice.

    Logic Pro X doesn't mention metal acceleration (or OpenCL for that matter).

    Photoshop benefits very minimally outside of benchmarking, which doesn't reflect real use. Most of the gpu stuff used to run on CPU. Any modern gpu is good enough for it.

    Editing in 4K isn't meaningful. You might get better performance if you're editing in something which has gpu accelerated playback or something of that sort.

    Overall I think it's a bad idea to suggest spending more on something that lacks a clear benefit. Unfortunately a lot of people suggest this stuff anyway. Sure it's less than 10%, but that doesn't make it useful.
  5. theactor19 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2012
    Hey thekev, do you think it would be a good idea for me to go with the 15 inch versus the 13 inch?
  6. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Sep 3, 2009
    I believe you have 14 days to return. Buy one and try it, and if you want to change it out, return it.
  7. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Well Photoshop will run on anything. The gpu concerns that people bring up are mostly nonsense in terms of real world use. I actually preferred the integrated only iris pro models, because it meant one less failure prone component.

    I'm not entirely sure, but logic seems like your most demanding application. 4K has a lot of pixels, but you didn't really indicate 4K uncompressed, like you're importing raw footage or anything. If they were marked down further, I would say that last year's 15" is a less risky match. As it is I think you should ask people how their 2015 13" macbook pros hold up using logic. 2015 to 2016 won't be much of a change there. There's enough difference between the two that the real question is whether the 13" provides good results. Intel doesn't typically bridge the difference between dual and quad core models within a generation or two.

    Typically you'll want to think a year to a year and a half out in terms of requirements. Beyond that they're harder to forecast, and you can spend a lot of extra money without really obtaining extra longevity.
  8. Beer Wig Suspended

    Beer Wig

    Nov 6, 2016
    There's no point in considering a 13" if you plan to do video. A dual core processor is a joke as is the 8gb of soldered ram that can't be upgraded. The 13" line is a complete waste of money for any intensive applications (btw audio apps usually stress CPU and with a dual core...).

    Thus a 15" with a quad core processor 16gb of ram and yes the upgrade on the video card is worth it as it's a relatively minimal cost for the value over the life of the machine. Maybe you don't need it today - tomorrow you will. SSD's and storage can be upgraded down the road.

    If you plan to own the machine for more than 3yrs (presumably 4-5) there's no question there's better value in the quad core processor/ram/vram etc.

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