The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
New Macbook Pro
Old 8th January 2016
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Squidy's Avatar
 

New Macbook Pro

So, I'll be buying a new MacBook Pro in a few days. My budget is $3K and that means the 13 inch with 256gb drive.

However, I can afford one upgrade. I can afford to upgrade the ram to 16gb from 8gb or I can afford to upgrade the processor to I7 from I5.

I mainly do music in Reason and Studio one with Battery and Vanguard. I'm not a pro by any means and just tinker.

So, I guess my question is, which upgrade do you think would be the most beneficial?
Old 8th January 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I suggest the baseline 15-inch for nearly double the power vs the top of the line 13-inch.

If you're going to pay that much the 15-inch is a better value.

Old 8th January 2016
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I'd go for a refurb i7 15" with 16 gB and 512GB for $2k. I've got a 2014 one of these and it's a great portable music machine.

-Brian
Old 8th January 2016
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
Squidy's Avatar
 

I was thinking about that however I walk/use public transport and the 15 inch wouldn't fit in my camera bag unfortunately so I was hoping to get the 13

Is the battery life good on the 15? And is it really near double the power?

Just curious because the base line 15 inch is about $800 more than the 256gb 13 inch (I'm in Australia and we get charged through the nose)

Last edited by Squidy; 8th January 2016 at 10:00 PM..
Old 8th January 2016
  #5
Gear Addict
 
Jake's Avatar
 

Not to sound like a broken record, but I'd definitely see if you can get a 15" MB Pro. It comes with 16GB RAM standard and even the baseline quad i7 will be an improvement over the upgraded dual i7 in the 13".

I assume that you are not talking US $, as your $3k budget will take you well into 15" MacBook Pro territory.

If you just have to choose between 16GB RAM and a CPU upgrade, it's hard to know which upgrade will give you more bang for the buck as it depends so much on what your projects are like. If your projects use a lot of samples and have large track counts -- I'd go for more RAM first. If, on the other hand, you use more virtual instruments and effects, the CPU upgrade may make more sense. Since all the MB Pros have SS Hard Drives, that also mitigates some of the need for more RAM as well.
Old 8th January 2016
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Squidy's Avatar
 

Well, I can get the mac 13 with one of the upgrades for around $2500 or so, the very base level 15 mac is $3100 so I'm just trying to weigh up if it's worth it.

Most my "songs" are merely song sketches and I just write drum patterns with a few synths here and there. 15 would be great but I'm just worried about justifying the price difference... Although the 15 inch seems to have a better video card if I did video editing

I've heard the 15 inch has a much lower battery than the 13 but not sure if thats true
Old 8th January 2016
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Jake's Avatar
 

Sorry didn't see your last post.

Battery life is a touch longer on the 13" but not enough to make a big difference in my opinion. It's obviously smaller as well, but again the slightly smaller form factor of the 13" wouldn't dissuade me from getting a 15" (budget allowing of course).

The 64 bit multi-core benchmarks (from geekbench) shows a pretty significant jump from the top of the line 13" (with the upgraded 2.9 ghz dual core i7) to the baseline 15" (with the base 2.2 ghz quad core i7) --- 7353 (13") to 12969 (15"). Of course that's just a benchmark not a real world test, but that's still a pretty big leap up in multi-core processing power.

I would also note that the same benchmarks did not show much of an increase in power by upgrading the dual core i5 (benchmark score 7250) to the dual core i7 (benchmark score 7353).

Personally, if I couldn't afford a 15" MB Pro, I would get an upgraded 13" MacBook Air over the 13" MB Pro. You trade a relatively small decrease in power and one less TB2 port for greatly improved battery life and portability.

Good luck on a tough decision!
Old 8th January 2016
  #8
Lives for gear
 

I guess it depends what you what you're going to use it for. If it's for working on songs and with a reasonable amount of VIs or plugins the 13" pro or air should be fine - if you're going to push it really hard with processor intensive instruments or a lot of plugins it's going to need to be plugged in after an hour or two and you're really going to want 4 cores (doubling cores almost doubles the power). I used the 4 core i7 retina for a while as a mix machine and it worked well on all but the biggest mixes so I swapped it for an 8 core mac pro.

Peek over on geekbench for the machines you're looking for and you can get a pretty good sense of the audio processing power of each machine. I've found a doubled score is roughly double the plugins in my mix sessions:
https://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

-Brian
Old 8th January 2016
  #9
Lives for gear
 

This may be moot because you need the gear immediately, but just the usual reminder that there hasn't been a refresh for longer than usual and an upgrade is near - Mac Rumours have one of their "don't buy now" recommendations up. With this in mind and given the fact that you don't need anything immensely powerful but want a smaller, lighter form factor with good battery life, the next matchbook airs might have all you need (they are probably dropping the very smallest screen) if you're willing to wait a little time and the next matchbook pros will definitely be better and the current models will drop in price. Just a thought.

Last edited by dr_Jezz; 9th January 2016 at 05:21 AM.. Reason: fear -> gear doh!
Old 9th January 2016
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
Squidy's Avatar
 

I read they may not be released until June so I was hoping to get one sooner. The last few Macbook Pro updates have been minimal so I'm thinking the next one will be also... However if not and it ends up being a significant upgrade I'll likely cry
Old 9th January 2016
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squidy View Post
Well, I can get the mac 13 with one of the upgrades for around $2500 or so, the very base level 15 mac is $3100 so I'm just trying to weigh up if it's worth it.

Most my "songs" are merely song sketches and I just write drum patterns with a few synths here and there. 15 would be great but I'm just worried about justifying the price difference... Although the 15 inch seems to have a better video card if I did video editing

I've heard the 15 inch has a much lower battery than the 13 but not sure if thats true
What country are you in? I have two Macbook Pro's, both 15 inches, Both 16GB of ram, 512 SSD, dual video cards, one has retina display, one doesn't. The retina one has an i7 2.3ghz, it was 2799 I believe. The non Retina one has an 17 2.6Ghz, it was also 2799, I bought it new, 2012 one, and late 2013 retina one.

You want the one with dual video cards if you plan on ever using an external monitor. I use a 27 inch apple cinema display and was using another monitor too, it's powerful enough to do that. Now I run the 27 inch and the iPad pro which is 13 inches as a second monitor, with an app that lets iPad run as a monitor.

I can record music, load tons of plug ins, edit 4k video, anything, and it always still has plenty of power left.

13 inches isn't too big unless you plan on hooking up an external. My iPad pro is 13 inches and I wouldn't want to run Logic on something that small. I do run logic on it but it's a second window, just the mixer.

I don't even like running it on the 15 inch version, that's why I have the 27 inch monitor. Even 15 inch is crammed. I'm a photographer as well, I never edit my photos on my laptop, I wait until I get home to plug it in the monitor.

My friend has a 13 inch, brand new, I don't know if it has dual video cards, but it runs his 27 inch monitor good, he edits 4k video, we both use photoshop, lightroom, final cut, premiere.

Get the best you can afford. I'd also throw in a keyboard, magic track pad desktop version, and a 27 inch monitor. I believe Dell has some thunderbolt 27 inch monitors for 500 dollars.

I have a lot of apps, as well as all the logic instruments, a bunch of photos etc, and I still have 270GB left with the 512GB SSD. But this is because my raw photo files go to an external and I only put the really good ones as .jpeg on my computer. I don't record audio to the internal hard drive either, if I do, I move the project to the external.

So, you possibly could not have to have the 512GB hard drive. Although it's nice to have.

Western digital has a portable 3TB drive for like 120 bucks. The only thing you really need on your internal drive are the programs and maybe some main pictures and music. Then put everything else on your 3TB portable, like movies.
Old 9th January 2016
  #12
Lives for gear
 

If you are just a tinkler then a new MBP is massive overkill if you just want 10 tracks.

If you are going to sit for hours with a computer and try to make music then you need a bigger screen - 13" is not good. 15" or external monitor. Preferably both.
The i5 machines are not capable music workstations if you get into higher track counts, more synths, sample libraries.
I bought a2015 i7 rMBP 16gb 2.2 256ssd. I regret not getting the full 2.5 500gb. But then that's only because I sometimes max the CPU at 100 plus tracks.
But i can justify it as I also have to a bright shiny machine for the day job.
Really I want a big iMac, cylinder or 2012 MP or even a 2012 mini as well the rMBP...

Sounds more like you have Apple GAS. Remember - they glued the battery! They stuck the RAM! They lie about the USB3 ports! It is massively overpriced!
How long will it really last? My older MBP is now in its 9th year and still rocks, I am typing on it now, thanks to the 4th battery, 3rd power supply, RAM upgrade - and not having to update the OS. Apple are shortening the lifespan of these machines because they are the richest company on earth and they know we will suck it up. Will your new machine last 3 years, 4... 2...
Old 9th January 2016
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
Squidy's Avatar
 

Well, the MBP is mainly for travelling etc. I do a lot of photography and want to put it in my bag and travel and write music on the train. At work I can just plug it into my dual 27 inch monitors or my 29 inch monitor at home.

I think I might stick with 13inch and look at the ram upgrade maybe?

It's not GAS but I see where you're coming from. I currently don't have a laptop and travel 2 hours each way to work and want to do something instead of twiddling my thumbs
Old 9th January 2016
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mc_deli View Post
Remember - they glued the battery! They stuck the RAM! They lie about the USB3 ports! It is massively overpriced!
How long will it really last? My older MBP is now in its 9th year and still rocks, I am typing on it now, thanks to the 4th battery, 3rd power supply, RAM upgrade - and not having to update the OS. Apple are shortening the lifespan of these machines because they are the richest company on earth and they know we will suck it up. Will your new machine last 3 years, 4... 2...
Fair point well made, if very slightly off topic - my old MBP has had some of that plus a replacement upgraded GPU at my own cost. :(
Old 10th January 2016
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squidy View Post
Well, the MBP is mainly for travelling etc. I do a lot of photography and want to put it in my bag and travel and write music on the train. At work I can just plug it into my dual 27 inch monitors or my 29 inch monitor at home.

I think I might stick with 13inch and look at the ram upgrade maybe?

It's not GAS but I see where you're coming from. I currently don't have a laptop and travel 2 hours each way to work and want to do something instead of twiddling my thumbs
Pretty much any of the MacBooks will do it. I'm sure even the macbook air could run a lot of plugins on a good amount of tracks. Once you're done with a track there is always the, "freeze," option if it won't handle as much as you want.

I do all of my serious recordings on the Macbook Pro with Logic Pro X. But most of my ideas for songs I record into an iPad Pro. I can have 30 tracks going on that and it won't bother it.

With audio, nowadays most computers have plenty of power. It's the video guys that have to make sure they get enough power. At this point most computers will record audio in a way that most people are going to be recording, run photoshop, lightroom, etc. The only time I see people upgrading for performance reason is when they edit video, like 4k. Then there is the gamer crowd but I don't pay attention to that.
Old 30th January 2016
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Squidy's Avatar
 

Thanks all. I ended up getting the 13 inch with 256gb and use an external hard drive for samples. I'm surprised just how smooth this thing is. Thinking of buying a henge dock and replacing my Windows desktop
Old 6th January 2017
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.2GHz Quad-core Intel i7 with Retina Display - Apple



paid 600 non retina 2.2 quad I7
added SSD 250 bucks
16gb ram 100 bucks

total beast would never spend over a grand on a macbook probozo
Old 6th January 2017
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alphablast View Post
Refurbished 15.4-inch MacBook Pro 2.2GHz Quad-core Intel i7 with Retina Display - Apple



paid 600 non retina 2.2 quad I7
added SSD 250 bucks
16gb ram 100 bucks

total beast would never spend over a grand on a macbook probozo
Your a year late and I think it's safe to say the OP made his decision by now.
Old 14th January 2017
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
Squidy's Avatar
 

Hahaha 2 decisions, I sold the 13 and got the maxed out 15
Top Mentioned Products
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump