Will base 15 inch be enough?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Teuthos, May 11, 2014.

  1. Teuthos macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2014
    I'm considering the low-end 15-inch Macbook Pro (2.0 GHz, Iris Pro, 256 GB SSD) as my next computer. My needs are as follows:

    -Digital art. (Photoshop, Sketchbook Pro, etc.) Note that this does not include photo editing with filters or anything like that, so shouldn't be processor intensive.
    -3D software. I'm expecting to be able to handle a very high poly-count without lag.
    -Basic browsing, Pages, Scrivener, other normal stuff.
    -Moderate gaming: Kerbal Space Program, Minecraft (with loads of mods), turn-based strategy games, perhaps a FPS. I'm not expecting to run at 1920 x 1200; more like 750-900 p. I'd like to play with decent quality but as long as whatever I want runs at the 16:10 equivalent of 1366 x 738 at low/med for the next 3 years, I'll be fine.

    Will the computer be enough? I really do not want to spend 2599€ (the price of the computer in my country, about 3600 dollars) on the 2,3GHz/750M/512 GB model, unless the low-end is simply not enough or will quickly be outdated. I have considered shipping proxies but the import tax together with the fee charged by the shipping agency brings the price back up to what it would be if I bought it here.

    Also, is there any sign on the next iteration of Iris Pro graphics and will it be coming before Broadwell? Perhaps with the Haswell refresh?
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I don't think the Iris Pro will be able to do this, unless the 3D rendering software is heavily OpenCL optimized.

    Most rendering software is CUDA-assisted (like the RUINS plugin for Maya, or AfterEffects-especially the ray-traced 3D renderer), which means operations would be greatly speeded up with the presence of an NVIDIA GPU.
  3. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    This alone is probably going to require a dedicated graphics card. What software are you using? Have you looked at the recommended configurations from the 3D software maker?
  4. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    I don't think the base model 15 is going to cut it but I have an idea for you.

    Why don't you buy the base and try out all the stuff you want on it, the 3D stuff etc.

    If you find it's not enough, you have 14 days to exchange it out in the USA.

    Just get the 2.3 GHz 15" model then.
  5. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
  6. Teuthos thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2014
    I should have been more specific. What I mean is 3D modelling software; basically, I just don't want to worry about the stutter I have on my current computer after passing certain polycounts with larger models.

    Stuff like Sculptris (for simple stuff), Zbrush (for more complex stuff) and maybe Mudbox at some point in the future. I'm looking at Vue right now for environment renderings too. I'm slightly reassured by the fact that Zbrush's requirements page does not even mention the GPU.

    Also, while browsing on Steam for more games, I found one that requires 1024 MB of VRAM (no, it wasn't RAM - RAM had a different requirement). Does that mean that Iris (I believe it has 256 MB or something) cannot run the game?
  7. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Just because they never mention GPU requirements doesn't mean they don't take advantage of the GPU.

    To be safe, go for the model with 750M. That way, you can't be wrong and don't have to worry :)

    Iris has 128MB of eDRAM, and shares memory from the main system DDR3. It won't play BF4 at over 30 fps.
  8. Teuthos thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2014
    I would, but unfortunately even taking into account buying it tax-free on a trip it will cost 3200 dollars (with Applecare) in Europe, which is more than I feel comfortable with paying for a computer (that might be severely outdated in a year by Maxwell & Broadwell).

    The game in question is Europa Universalis, by the way.
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I am over and over amazed how people tend to overestimate their needs. Of course the base 15" model will be more than enough for all these tasks and then some more. A MacBook Air will be able to handle all of this without any issues. OP is talking about low-poly modelling, why in the world would you try to sell him a Mac Pro??? Its like getting a tank for transporting light groceries!

    I was doing simple modelling in 3DS MAX 10 years ago without any GPU whatsoever, with software rendering. Never had an issue. And where does the OP mention rendering at all?


    That game looks like a (more simpler) Civilization clone, it should fly on Iris Pro.
  10. Teuthos thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2014
    I have to say that I was a bit amazed that someone suggested a Mac Pro for that ...

    However, I very much doubt that a Macbook Air will play modern games at 30+ fps on Medium at 900p.

    It looks like the 2.0 GHz model is the one to get.
  11. iKrivetko macrumors 6502a

    May 28, 2010
    I'm quite sure that the Mac Pro suggestion wasn't sarcastic either.
  12. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    If it's games like Minecraft and Civilization 5, sure ;)
  13. mcarling macrumors 65816

    Oct 22, 2009
    What is your current computer that is stuttering? How much faster can the base 15" MBP compute 3D models?

    Do you have an Apple Store nearby where you can test the software that's important to you?
  14. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, Apple offers a 14 days no questions asked return period specifically for people like you. You can buy the computer, test it out and if it does not perform up to your specifications, return it later. If you ask them, they might even extend your return window (they extended it for me up to a month once).
  15. Saint.Icon macrumors regular

    May 11, 2014
    The base 13" will handle everything but the high poly count 3D modeling. That's the only thing that will hold back the 15" as well.
  16. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Doesn't sound like the OP is in a country with that kind of return policy ;)
  17. librarian macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2011
    Mudbox uses only the gpu for rendering, painting and sculpting. You need at least 1 GB to work decently(mavericks + retina display already steal half of your vram by just staring the desktop, such good use of resources).
    Maya 2015 now uses GPU viewport as default, wich is much faster than classic software openGL viewport… if you have a decent gpu of course.
    Zbrush should be ok with Iris pro performance wise, but it will look like ass on retina display regardless of the model you choose.
  18. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Read his original post again, the OP clearly said high poly count modeling.
  19. Teuthos thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2014
    My current computer goes into thermal shutdown after 30 minutes of Civilization 5, and it's a 15-inch with crazy-loud fans. And how about games like Kerbal Space Program, plus possibly a FPS and some other games.

    My current computer is an HP Pavilion dv6. There's a ton of versions of the laptop - mine is the AMD-only version. Haven't found any spec sheets online for my specific version and in Device Manager under Windows it says "AMD 6600M and 6700M series" or something like that. Since the laptop does NOT have a dual GPU, I have no idea what that's supposed to mean. The processor is a 1,9 GHz 2011 AMD model. No SSD.

    Iris is not enough for my gaming needs, and a 13 inch screen is not big enough for digital art.

    You mean 1 GB VRAM? Mudbox isn't really a must, though I'm considering it for texturing or as a ZBrush alternative in the future. I won't be using any other Autodesk programs.

    I said LARGE models, which, if they're detailed, can have quite a lot of polys. Nothing ridiculously big or complex, but I just don't want to have to constantly worry about reducing my subdivision level.
  20. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, its a bit difficult to find clear info about your specs based on that, but I guess its a Liano platform. In that case rMBP would completely outclass it in ALL categories. Looking at graphical performance only, Iris Pro is around 4-5x faster (at least). Iris Pro can play Crysis 3 at 1600x900 with med settings while maintaining close to 30 FPS, now you need to know whether it is enough for you. Its clearly more then enough for less demanding games like Civ 5 and Kerbal Space Program. The 750M makes sense if you want to play current-gen shooters.
  21. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Well you can't go wrong by purchasing the Iris Pro + 750M model :)

    Besides, if you configure both Iris-only and Iris+750M models to 2.3GHz, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, they're both priced identically, so the 750M is a freebie.

    Some people will say it makes no sense to pay extra from the base model just for the 750M, but they forget that by paying extra from the base model, you're not just getting a better GPU; you're getting a better processor, double the RAM and double the SSD. It's also worth mentioning that a larger SSD is faster than a smaller one and can withstand more writes.
  22. Saint.Icon macrumors regular

    May 11, 2014
    My gaming needs are more intense than yours, and I'm a professional digital artist - both freelance, as well as with two large firms. The 13" is more than capable of both.

    That being said, I wasn't attempting to sway you to the 13" - I was more pointing out that even the base model 13" is capable of these things, so the base 15" should be more than capable. I opted for the 13" due to portability.

    Again, the only thing that I don't think either would handle all that well is the high poly count 3D modeling. That's some intensive work, and most, if not all, who work with 3D modeling would recommend something with a dedicated graphics card.
  23. whitedragon101 macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008
    Why not get a free holiday to America. Thats what I am going to do.

    It costs 2599eur for you to buy a rMBP at home and in the USA its 2599usd = 1896eur . Which is a 703eur saving. Which would pay for the trip :)
  24. Teuthos thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2014
    The problem is, 256 GB SSD is enough for me, 8 GB RAM is enough, 2.0 GHz Intel Core i7 4750HQ is enough, and Iris Pro is enough. No need to pay for more.
  25. powergainer macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2013
    in my opinion is mostly the same, i use the 15" non retina mid2012 also for gaming. i think the newer models are okay but not upgradeable.
    my 2,3Ghz runs perfectly with an samsung evo 1TB ssd and 16GB OZC Ram. don´t spend too much money in a model that is unuseless in about 2 years.

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