December 30, 2015 at 5:20AM, Edited January 3, 3:13AM

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13" or 15" MacBook Pro for Premiere Pro use

Hi guys,

i'm trying to decide if I need a 15" MacBook for good use of Adobe Premiere Pro, or if i can be satisfied with a 13"?
Anyone with this kind of experience? Not looking at specs, just the large of the screen.

Thanks!

25 Comments

I use a 2011 13in. Works fine for small projects.

December 30, 2015 at 3:46PM

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Jacob Floyd
Writer / Videographer
1338

I have a 13 inch but I also have a 24 inch TV i usually connect for more work space. It can feel kind of crammed when editing without an external display to move things to, but I doubt 15 inches is going to feel like much more.

December 30, 2015 at 4:14PM

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Derek Armitage
Filmmaker & Vlogger
579

If that is your main work horse and you don't have a external monitor get the 15".
If you have a external and you are just getting that for portability to work outside 13" should be fine.

Go check it out at the apple store how big 13" inch is and like Jacob said it's probably good for small projects.

December 30, 2015 at 6:15PM

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Keith Kim
Photographer
1307

I have to agree with all the above, 13" with a 2nd monitor. Though I'd say even the 15'' alone would be to small depending on how much and what you will be doing.

December 31, 2015 at 5:57PM

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Michael Militscher
Director / Commercial Producer
2554

For me 13" is way too small for editing/grading. If you can, it's better to buy 15".

January 1, 2016 at 3:42PM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1525

I've been editing 4-6k resolution RED projects in Premiere Pro on my maxed out 15" MBP Retina since I got it in 2012. It handles the work I do in PP fine if I lower the playback resolution (1/4 or 1/8) and it handles what I need to do in After Effects. It's great to have on set and on the road, but I get most of the serious editing done with the MBP on an external monitor at my desk. My MBP getting close to needing to be replaced though and I'm hoping to move to a much beefier MacPro for the office and the new 13" MBP for on set and travel once it's released.

January 2, 2016 at 9:56AM

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the top tier 15" macbook pro is the only macbook to have a discrete graphics card and not an integrated intel graphics.

January 2, 2016 at 2:19PM

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Jamie Sergeant
Selfshooting Filmmaker, Writer
210

Get the 15" and connect it to your TV, edit your timeline using CPU.. *unplug from TV while rendering out using GPU. Strongly suggest useing this site to colibrate your TV http://tft.vanity.dk/

January 3, 2016 at 3:50AM, Edited January 3, 3:53AM

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Ramy Daniel
Cinematographer
311

I have the stock 13" 2015 retina, and it is fantastic, but bear in mind that it is my traveling setup, as I use my big rig where I can. I don't think you can use the MBP as a main workhorse unless you spend the extra 1-1.5k on additional hardware. I love the portability of the 13", and I use the CC suite on a daily basis. For me, using Premiere, AE and Photoshop, I couldn't justify the cost for just an extra 2"

January 3, 2016 at 4:23AM, Edited January 3, 4:27AM

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Liam Kelly
Still Learning
86

Adobe product manly use cuda over opencl , on a mac fcpx will outperform premiere pro.

I got a 15"/i7/256/16gigs mac book pro, from Paris I bought this in Canada 1000€ off, that 1000€ will go in an external pciexpress + gtx980ti.

January 3, 2016 at 5:05AM

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If we're talking about the size and not the hardware, definitely go for a 15"! 13" is fine if you want a laptop just for using the web or document type of stuff. For edit or design work it is way too small! I'm using a 15" macbook pro for like 5 years now and never thought it was to small for me while i'm on the go. In my opinion: 13" way too small, 15" perfect! 17" (if they're still out there?) the best option but way to big for on the go usage.

January 3, 2016 at 5:10AM

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Marck Schoenmaker
Director of Photography
100

Firstly, in editing timeline display size of 13 inch will become really tight might wanna invest in monitor then, but then is a MacBook really what you want for premiere pro? You could probably go with a windows based workstation for less rate and still may have something for a monitor too if you interested. Asus has great line of products for heavy editing and rendering work flow in their not book line up. Check out their ROG G series, I'm personally using an Asus ROG G751 which is quite powerful for such task.

January 3, 2016 at 5:42AM, Edited January 3, 5:45AM

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I am using a Dell Precision mobile workstation with Windows 8.1, which is way more expensive then the most expensive Macbook pro. This machine is 15.6" and has everything you need in a workstation, really a powerful machine. The only thing lacking that is the Mac OSX which comes with native PRORES support. So, for editing & design don't compromise on size and a mac. I recommend Macbook pro 15" probably with a quad core, Core i7 processor, which is also a perfect workstation.

January 3, 2016 at 6:09AM

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Muhammad Anil Babur
Film Producer/Director/Editor
209

I am using the 13" of 2014. No problem working with Full HD - 6K ProRes, h264 or RED RAW footage. Like the others already said, I need to play it as well in 1/4 or 1/8 resolution if the videofile has a higher codec or resolution.

January 3, 2016 at 6:09AM

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Sandeep Abraham
Director, DoP, Editor
269

well what can I say... the bigger the better :)

January 3, 2016 at 6:16AM

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Definitely go for 13" and external monitor. Had experience with both and 15" just isn't that much of a difference in terms of screen size for the cost. Processing power, definitely 15 as a work station, but 13" seems to run just as well as a 15" with Premiere CC.

January 3, 2016 at 6:52AM

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Joe Luk
Director
93

Instead of paying tons of money to mac and getting minimum performance, get a gaming laptop with IPS screen and get 10 times much performance. I had to buy a mac because it was a requirement for my college, but now I regret it because as the time passes, the gear I use improves and my laptop can't keep up with it. Macbook Pro 15'' Mid 2014 is the model I have and I paid 2300+ CAD$, and it doesn't even have nvidia or amd gpu. Instead I could've got a gaming laptop that has gtx 970 or 980 gpu; to process and render much faster.

January 3, 2016 at 7:33AM

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Okyanus Askin
Videographer
106

A GPU will do very little for video rendering.
CPU and RAM matter much more.

Timothy John Foster

January 3, 2016 at 11:53AM

I would say neither if you're an editor because they're not powerful enough and you can get an imac 5k for the same price as a 15". There are too many sacrifices for mobility when it comes to MacBooks and I would recommend the Asus ROG platform for mobility, which outperforms my 13" retina by miles when it comes to video editing but if you must have a MacBook just wait to March because intel skylake processors will increase macbooks performance speeds. Just be smart because clients don't care about computer brands, they care about speed.

January 3, 2016 at 9:41AM

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Richard Robinson
Editor
86

I might be a little late to the game here, but I thought I'd chime in anyways. I own and use both. Bought a 13" in 2010 right after high school because I wanted to save space (and money) and have used it for five years now. I've edited a ton of videos on it, but it's definitely tricky. There just isn't enough real estate. I bought a 21" monitor and that helped a lot. Utilize the big screen when I'm at my desk and the small when I'm traveling. This summer I upgraded to the 15" MacBook Pro, and, while it still feels small at times (I got used to using two 27" screens at work), it's much more condusive for Premiere. If you're going MacBook Pro, I definitely recommend spending the money for the larger model.

January 3, 2016 at 11:01AM

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Ryan Brisco
Cinematographer / Editor
74

I'm on a souped up 15" solid state 2015 Retina and couldn't be happier. Rendering results in more fan noise, but the computer is fast fast fast. I use the laptop as my program monitor and use a 27" external monitor for timeline editing. It's great.

On the road, anything smaller than 15" is just too damn small.

January 3, 2016 at 11:22AM

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Ben McGinley
Producer / Shooter / Editor
302

I had the same question when trying to decide. I decided to go with the 13' screen and purchase Apple TV (around 70 bucks) to mirror or extend my display to my TV. I'm really happy with the set-up. Hope this helps!

January 3, 2016 at 2:24PM

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Nikki McIntosh
Director / DP / Editor
86

I have a late 2014 13" Macbook Pro with solid state memory. It has worked great for me. Some codecs really bog the system down, but nothing that hasn't been solved by transcoding to ProRes. I'm in college, so the priority for me was something light but powerful while not breaking the bank. $1200 refurbished from Apple. Couldn't be happier with it after a year of heavy use. As long as you're not editing a feature film, you'll be just fine, and have money left to burn. You just have to consider what kind of work you'll be doing and where you will be usually doing it.

January 3, 2016 at 8:37PM

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If this is your only machine get the best one you can. If this is just a portable computer for you to use on the go Vincent Laforet actually swears by the new Macbook (the 12 inch one.)

January 4, 2016 at 9:11AM

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Sean Sims
Wannabe DOP
57

Thanks everybody for the advice, I think I'm going for a 13", it's compact.
I love making little movies but if I think I make maybe 3 projects the year, so it's not my main hobby.

So, I know which size to buy. But I like to have your thought about the following:

- 128GB or 256GB PCIe-flash (I have a external 1TB disk)
- 2,7-GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost 3,1 GHz or 2,9-GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost 3,3 GHz
- 8 GB DDR3 or 16 GB DDR3

I know.. the bigger, the better. But for my kind of use and budget, and it must be nice to work with if I work on a project. But I don't want to pay for anything that I don't use.

I know I buy a Apple but I never want to buy anything others, everything I have is so easy to use and it stays fast over the years.

Thanks! This is very helpfull!

January 5, 2016 at 7:29AM, Edited January 5, 7:37AM

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