13" Macbook Pro Retina (2015) or alternative for Web Design

ChoboBot

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Hi, I am looking to migrate from PC to laptop and was wondering if the 13" Macbook Pro Retina (2015) would be sufficient for web designing using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I will also be using After Effects casually, programming, streaming VOD and light gaming.

Based on the configuration on the Apple store, I will be upgrading the CPU to i7 and increasing the RAM to 16GB, however I am a little unsure about the CPU with it being a dual-core only and whether this makes a big difference to Adobe performance.

Another laptop I have been looking into is the Alienware 15 as this seems to be pretty powerful, but I would like to use OSX as it's used within the design industry and I can learn Sketch, however this is not a major issue for me as a current Windows user.

Any advice and/or recommendations will be helpful.
 

pasow

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as far as i can tell, its just clocking differences as the mobile duel core i5 is hyper threaded and the mobile i7 that Apple uses is a duel core that's hyper threaded.

edit, there is actually a decent difference between those processors in their integrated graphics performance. however the difference between the i5 and the i7 graphics wise when not gaming will me minimal.
 

pasow

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as far as i can tell, its just clocking differences as the mobile duel core i5 is hyper threaded and the mobile i7 that Apple uses is a duel core that's hyper threaded.

edit, there is actually a decent difference between those processors in their integrated graphics performance. however the difference between the i5 and the i7 graphics wise when not gaming will me minimal.
 
G

Guest

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The processors for mobile are different from the ones for desktop. The performance difference is almost the double - based in the benchmark performance. But you don't need to worry about the number of cores. A lot of professionals use laptops to work with design because of it portability.
I belive the Macbook will be great for you web designing tasks, althought I don't think you need a upgrade to Intel Core i7. Instead of this upgrade, you could buy a 15" Macbook, because a bigger screen is a huge shot for designers.
 

ChoboBot

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I will hooking up the laptop to an external monitor, so I will likely be designing on that. I was just worried that the dual core will be slightly slower for any light effects I use in PS or AI.

Also does digital painting affect the CPU performance in anyway?
 

andy_Man

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Yeah broadwell i5 vs i7 is not worth the upgrade right now, both are dual cores with HT.
You are going to pay a super premium price if you go apple or alienware.
There is also a premium price for being super thin laptops.
Reviews of the macbook pro say the battery life goes to hell as soon as you put a load on the machine. Which means you have to plug in to do any serious work.
Personally I just go with a thicker laptop with a descrete gpu and a real cpu, I would probably go with a last generation i7 that is a true quad core. Then you can really do some gaming and plug in and get stuff done.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834318434

<edited by mod for language.>
 
First advice is, post this at a Mac-specific forum, that's what they talk about all day.

But OK, I say if you prize portability, get the Mac. However if you are mostly desk-bound, and are doing this for a living and are often twitching your thumbs waiting for a compile to get through or waiting for photoshop to re-paint, a 4-core, albeit hotter running box maybe better for you.

But OK, I read "casual" and "learn" so Mac is just fine, hardware wise. Money wise, your benefactors if any may complaint. ^)
 

ChoboBot

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I am not a fan of Lenovo after the whole Superfish scandal, but I have been viewing the Alienware 15, i7-4710HQ and 970M GPU which seems decent for around £1,400.

I will be deskbound most of the time, so portability it not a major factor, more of a desktop replacement.



 
You can get away with a lot less money. You will also need to buy an adapter to be able to use Ethernet cable. If you use Wi-Fi then this won't be a problem, but you'll be sacrificing one of the USB ports if you do need to use ethernet. The 2.5k display is ridiculous and will drain battery life quickly. In my opinion the Macbooks are overpriced, I own the Macbook Pro 13" from 2012 and the Air, so I have plenty of experience with my computer completely freezing while trying to render a 10 min premiere pro video or multitask while using photoshop.

It's true that Mac's are great for creating content but you can do much better for the same money.
 
I missed that last part you wrote @OP. The design industry don't use Macs. Macs does not beat the PC's and they are using them because it's cool, nothing else. That used to be the case back in the day when schools bought Macs because at the time they were better compatible with said programs, today the PC destroys any mac across the board for less money.
 

ChoboBot

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As someone who is in the design industry and uses an iMac at work, I can tell you that the Apple hardware is the preferred tool for designing. It's not only to do with history of the shiny case it comes in, but the workflow and exclusive software like Final Cut Pro and Sketch which you unfortunately can only get on OSX.

I agree though that in terms of price-to-power for Apple's hardware, its not worth it. But for the OS, tools and development it is.

 
Yes and that's a fair point, I'm not trying to hate, I have plenty of experience with mac's however back when my school bought macs it only brought more problems than it solved, we had to multitask during class and that wasn't possible on 4 GB of RAM and a weak processor, the iMacs are different and I used that too. Not everyone uses WiFi which is a problem with macbooks because you will sacrifice a USB port, on my Macbook Pro 2012 this isn't an issue, but on later models it is, like the Air I had to buy an adapter... Which only makes me wonder what they were thinking. They are not powerful computers in terms of price to performance. Back in the day Macs made a lot of sense however Adobe programs is now fully compatible with PC and runs great if not better on Windows in my experience.

Final Cut is great and all, and iMovie which I personally learned video editing on, it's great, but once I moved on to Premiere or After effects, that's when all my problems started, unable to multitask is a huge downside especially trying to link premiere to after effects, ridiculous.

I read the reviews of this particular model and why would they add a 2.5k 13" display, and claim good battery life. I have so many complaints and I'm trying my best to not sound like a Windows fan boy, I started designing on a mac so I'm clearly not...
 

ChoboBot

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Thanks, I'm not sure we have that here in the UK, but we do have the custom laptop makers so I will check into that. The only issue I have with companies like those is the aftersales support if anything goes wrong.
 

velo3100

Splendid
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I have used both macs and pcs and a mac is a good choice for a beginner if portability is the main reason for buying it. An alternative would be an asus n series, especially the new that has been released that is supposed to rival the macbook 15 i think. The main advantage that macs have is the optimized software, but I really would stay away from final cut pro as when I used it in one of my modules on a mac pro, it seriously lagged.

The other option is to go with a workstation, which are heavy, but will do exactly what you want it to do.

I would make sure that the laptop has a quad core i7 as it will make a huge difference while rendering things in both after effects and premier pro as dual cores will lag and become slower the more you use it.
 
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