Ask DN: MacBook Pro 13" 2015 Opinions

over 8 years ago from , User Experience Designer

Has anyone bought the new 13" MacBook Pro? If so, how has it held up with your daily work routine? Anything you wish you would have added to it?

I'm considering going from a 15" MBP to a 13" for portability. Typical day involves Photoshop / Illustrator / InDesign / light dev / lots of chrome / rdio.


  • David DarnesDavid Darnes, over 8 years ago

    Could someone peel off this query into a recommended spec? I'm also looking at the 13" MacBook Pro and I'd be really interested in the most common / highly recommended spec for it, taking into account price and performance.

    3 points
    • Mike Wilson, over 8 years ago

      Go 16gb on memory. #1 thing you can do to keep it running fast if you like having 20 browser tabs open along with photoshop at the same time. CPU upgrades will offer only marginally better performance unless you are doing something CPU intensive (photoshop/sketch/safari aren't).

      0 points
      • David DarnesDavid Darnes, over 8 years ago

        Interesting, would this be the same if I was going to be doing video editing as well? It won't be Michael Bay stuff, but it'd be nice if it didn't jitter while I'm scrubbing. Recommended GHz?

        Thanks for your help!

        0 points
  • Stephen MeszarosStephen Meszaros, over 8 years ago

    While I cannot comment on the 2015 model I can say that the previous version—without the Force Touch trackpad—has performed flawlessly for me. That said, I can only assume that the new model would be even better.

    The only time I've had a hiccup of any sort has been when working in QC/Origami (my CPU goes insane, they're aware), or sometimes a bit sluggish when exporting videos from AE. Though it seems like those won't be problems for you.

    Hope this helps, just wanted to pass on general 13" MacBook experience.

    3 points
    • Ben Koca, over 8 years ago

      Thanks! Yeah, I most likely wouldn't be doing much in AE but I presumed that since it doesn't have a dedicated video card that the heavy stuff would slow it down.

      Did you put 8gb or 16gb RAM in yours?

      0 points
    • Sergey LiSergey Li, over 8 years ago

      Can it power a 4k (3840 x 2160) external display at 60 fps?

      0 points
  • Aaron StanushAaron Stanush, over 8 years ago

    The 15" MBP just got a spec-bump and Force Touch, so you might hold out for the 13" to also get a bump.

    Apple added the Force Touch trackpad to the 13-inch MacBook Pros after announcing it for the new MacBook in March, so it's been expected to arrive in these models alongside a spec bump.


    0 points
  • Mario Uher, over 8 years ago

    Also: http://txfx.net/2015/04/16/the-2015-13-inch-retina-macbook-pro/

    0 points
  • Mario Uher, over 8 years ago

    Yep, switched from a Mac Mini Late 2012 to it, and it really screams! The SSD is super fast, I also maxed out the CPU (i7) and RAM (16GB) to be future proof (at least the next 2 years). Force Touch is really awesome, and I bet you don't want to go back to one without it.

    Weight and screen size is perfect for travel, though I use a Thunderbolt Display at home/work for web-design. Graphics performance got a little better, however the Intel onboard solution still can't keep up with a dedicated GC. If possible you should test Photoshop on it, I haven't it installed in years.

    Best, -Mario

    0 points
  • Ragnar VorelRagnar Vorel, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    Just last Thursday I bought the new 13" rMBP (2.9Ghz i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD) and while I haven't really used it all too much during the time, it's been pretty flawless so far.

    Being a designer + coder, I've been running Sketch and Atom + iTerm 2 and well… no complaints really. Haven't ran Photoshop on it yet as I don't use it for personal work but will have to do it at some point for client work. But I doubt it'll have any problems.

    It's an immense upgrade for me, coming from a 2009 15" MBP, which has been an absolute warrior for the past 6 years, but has finally started to show its age. No other inferior laptop would've lasted 6 years, like my MBP did. The only reason I upgraded was cause the CPU can't handle running a Vagrant VBox very well.

    So basically - it's more than enough for what your needs are. And it'll be like this for years to come. You might want to upgrade your RAM to 16GB but I personally thought 8GB is more than enough for the time being. I might do it in a few years.

    0 points
  • Adrian ThomasAdrian Thomas, over 8 years ago

    I went from a 15" 2012 rMBP to the 13" 2015 rMBP and really like it. The lower screen size can be compensated somewhat by switching to a lower scaled resolution if you really need some space and performance is great. On paper it's slightly slower at multi-core tasks, but I haven't noticed any slowdowns yet.

    0 points
  • Joe Blau, over 8 years ago

    I have the rMPB 13" 2014 for work and the rMBP 15" 2012 for personal and I enjoy the 15" a lot more. It all comes down to personal preference with the screen size, but you're going to get a solid quality product either way. All I would suggest is that you max out on RAM and get as many CPU's as you can afford.

    0 points
  • Nathaniel PeralesNathaniel Perales, over 8 years ago

    I have the 2014 13" model with 16GB of RAM and I have never had any issues with it until this past week. I was working on these panels for NAB and they were like 7ft by 3ft — so huge huge huge Photoshop files. I was bringing in large JPG 300DPI files and increasing their size to span over 3 7ft by 3ft panels horizontally. Each time I would work on them it would take like 3-5 minutes to process/save.

    Honestly, I never ever do work like that. I mostly do Web Design — Coda, Photoshop, Sketch, AI, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Parallels for testing in IE and Rdio as well. I also do all of my photography work on it (http://nathanielperales.com). So I'll scan in images from an Epson v700 and use Photoshop and Aperture to process and edit them. This type of work I've never had to wait on the processor. It handles all of my work really really smoothly. I can only imagine that the 2015 model is better and faster. :)

    I personally don't have a big enough bag for the 15" and wouldn't want to carry around such a bulky computer. I definitely love this 13" and wouldn't even trade it for the 12" Macbook.

    Hope that helps.

    0 points