Choosing my new MBP, advice inquiry for power-users

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When I bought my current MBP I went for all the specs as I was going into architecture school at the time. I knew I would be rendering a lot, and I wanted the discreet graphics as a priority. My current specs have been good to me, but I'm retiring my MBP to my parents and looking for a new computer. My current specs are:

Mid-2009 MBP, 15.4"
  • 3.06ghz core 2 duo
  • 512gb Crucial SSD (recently upgraded)
  • 15.4" display with NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT 512 MB
  • 8 GB 1067 MHz DDR3

Now that the discreet graphics have disappeared on the new rMBP base computer I have to determine if the iris pro integrated graphics will foot the bill, or if I should bite the bullet on the discreet graphics. I just started grad school in Urban Planning, and am working part-time, often using my own computer to complete projects. My needs now will include:

  • 3D rendering detailed city aerials
  • Dual Booting and/or running windows in VMware Fusion
  • running ArcGIS, AutoCad, and essentialy all Adobe CS6 to render maps, images, etc.

Based on other users that use these programs often on the rMBP, do the iris pro integrated graphics fit your needs, or do you recommend going for the discreet graphics?
 

pigoo3

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Just so we're clear. Are you thinking of getting another 15" MBP or a 13"?

- Nick
 
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milessthomas
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Definitely another 15" with the 512gb ssd and 16gb ram. The dilemma is whether with advances in the intel iris pro integrated graphics is worth forgoing the discreet graphics card from nvidia. I've always had a discreet card for rendering, but not sure if its necessary or not anymore even if im still doing heavy rendering tasks.

*Note: the base model of the 15" MBP no longer comes standard with both integrated and dedicated graphics. You must upgrade to the 2.5ghz model at a minimum to get the nvidia chipset.

1419555195728.jpg
 

chscag

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I'm not sure there's much of a decision to make from what you stated? The $2500 machine has double the Flash drive capacity and a very fast discreet GPU in addition to the Intel Iris Pro. Go for it.
 

pigoo3

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Definitely another 15" with the 512gb ssd and 16gb ram.

If you were to get the base model 15" rMBP (Iris graphics only)…and upgrade it to 512gig of storage…the price jumps to $2299. The higher end 15" rMBP (with 512gig of storage & discreet GPU) costs $2499.

So for only $200 extra…you get the discreet GPU and a faster CPU (2.2ghz vs. 2.5ghz).

If you're already spending this much cash…what's an extra $200 for the "big-kahuna"??;)

- Nick
 
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Just the software you use costs like double the price of a new Mac. I'm not sure why you're even asking.
 

Slydude

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Just the software you use costs like double the price of a new Mac. I'm not sure why you're even asking.

I thought it was a perfectly legit question. Let's assume that the additional cost is not a major hurdle for the OP (would be for some), additional cost/specs do not always translate into significant performance improvement.
 
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milessthomas
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Thanks Nick, that's a good point. The difference is small when making the upgrades to the base unit.

To the other response; I pay for my computer on my limited budget savings, the university and work pay for my software. Condescension wasn't necessary, but I won't bother asking anymore questions.

Thank you all for your advice.
 
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milessthomas
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I thought it was a perfectly legit question. Let's assume that the additional cost is not a major hurdle for the OP (would be for some), additional cost/specs do not always translate into significant performance improvement.


Yes! Thank you. It was more a question of whether the iris pro integrated is now capable of doing what I need to do, or if it's still recommended to have the upgraded discreet graphics.
 

Slydude

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Yes! Thank you. It was more a question of whether the iris pro integrated is now capable of doing what I need to do, or if it's still recommended to have the upgraded discreet graphics.

I'd have asked a similar question if I were buying a new Mac now. There have been numerous examples where something which should lead to increased performance might not do so depending on individual needs. The best example would be multi-core processing . Ads would have you believe that the more cores the better the computer performs but that only applies if the software one uses most often makes use of the additional cores.
 
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chas_m

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The Iris Pro is pretty impressive, and that's the reason Apple has made it a default for most users. But for your stated software uses I would continue to recommend a discreet GPU option, if only to save very significant time in the rendering.
 
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nMP 6-core/32Gb/D700/512Gb: rMBP 15" 2.3GHz/16Gb/512Gb: iPhone 6 128Gb: iPad Air 2 128Gb: NEC PA322U
I run AutoCAD LT 2015 (for Mac) and the full Adobe CC suite along with other graphic/photography apps.

The GT750M w/2Gb VRAM isn't actually all that great. It worked fine on my old 30" Dell monitor (2560x1560px) but on a 4K monitor it is a complete dog.

I can't run iTunes in the background and open 12 4MP photos in Ps without it stopping the music and refusing to replay it. Only apps open being iTunes and Photoshop with no significant CPU or RAM usage the graphics card is the issue.

My specs are:
i7 2.3GHz quad, 16GB RAM, 512Gb PCIe SSD, 750GTm 2Gb and IrisPro (disabled), running an external monitor only.

I'd actually recommend an HP zBook 15 over the MBP and I wish I went that way as it has a lot more grunt. Downside is its a Windows/Linux machine but most apps you've listed are optimised for Windows anyway - specifically AutoCAD.

EDIT: The zBook also has a workstation class GPU which is certified by Autodesk and Adobe unlike the lower end consumer GPU in the MBP.
 

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