March 13, 2017 at 5:17AM

5

Should I buy a used 2013 MacBook Pro 15"?

Hi,
I am thinking about buying a used 15" MacBook Pro (Intel Core i7 2,6Ghz; 16GB RAM; 256GB SSD; Nvidia GT 750M) for my video production work. I'm working in Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve, with footage up to 4K. The deal I found sounds very promising. How do you feel about this? Is the 2013 MBP still powerful enough or should I invest in something more beefy?

11 Comments

i was still using a 2012 macbook i7 as a field editor up until I sold it last month. I use FCPx and it hummed for most things. Premiere on the other hand had a lot of slowdown especially when rendering.

March 14, 2017 at 12:05AM

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Michael Militscher
Director / Commercial Producer
2786

I'd be wary of using that setup for much if any Resolve work. I had 2012 MacPro tower with 32 gigs of ram and an Nvidia Quadro FX 4800 that totally choked on Resolve, and that was for HD footage.

March 15, 2017 at 11:27PM

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David Summers
VFX Supervisor/Artist and Filmmaker
187

The problem with Mac is that if it dies then you are pretty much out of luck... I would invest whatever you are trying speed on a mac and invest in a PC, that when one part fails it can be replaced with a new/better part. The PC ecosystem is much more sustainable in the longterm.

March 16, 2017 at 12:00AM

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Derek Hanson
Director / DP
63

Fortunately Macs don't usually die.

Michael Militscher

March 16, 2017 at 11:02PM

In my 22 years of experience of using both, I've seen no difference between Mac and PC reliability.

David Summers

March 17, 2017 at 8:24PM

This is very easy to answer. The Nvidia GT 750M offers 2GB of VRAM, the new macbook pro can be configured with 4GB of VRAM. For Resolve and 4k nothing but the maximum will satisfy you.

March 16, 2017 at 5:09AM

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Lutz Leonhardt
Filmproducer
241

I doubt you'll enjoy it...... dont waste your money to save money.

March 20, 2017 at 10:03AM

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Torben Greve
Cinematographer
493

Something I found out the hard way, with the Adobe CC update in early 2016, they dropped support for NVIDIA GPUs. I had to replace my laptop, which otherwise had great specs (2014 Macbook Pro, 16GB, 750GB SSD, i7), because of this. All of a sudden, my render times increased by a factor of 10, all because somebody at Adobe thought my NVIDIA was a "legacy" product. Make sure you get something with an AMD GPU.

March 20, 2017 at 10:09AM

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Bruce Hyer
DP/Writer
50

I've been cutting 4.5K RAW footage on my 2013 13" MacBook Pro with 8 GB RAM without any issues at 1/4 resolution playback.

March 22, 2017 at 8:25PM

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KC
79

It up to you. I have the 2014 model (bought new in 2015) with the same specs (except 500GB SSD) and I work with HD and 4K mostly in Avid and sometimes Premiere with no problems.
Buying a 2015 or 2016 model will give you extra room for longevity, but Macs last a lifetime and keep their resale value so you could get the 2013 model, resell and get something newer without too much of a loss.

March 24, 2017 at 7:15PM, Edited March 24, 7:17PM

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There was an Oscar nominated short this year shot with 5.5k RED footage and edited on a 2008 MacBook Pro. Though admittedly they used FCPX which is super optimised for Macs compared to Premiere. The info mentioned about Premiere dropping support for Nvidia is interesting, I didn't know that. Thanks.

March 24, 2017 at 11:54PM, Edited March 24, 11:54PM

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Cole Black
Filmmaker
437

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