15" MacBook Pro 2.2GHz Quad-core Intel i7 VS 13" MacBook Pro 2.9GHz Dual-core Intel i5


New member
Dec 10, 2016
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I'm looking to purchase a new laptop. I'm a graphic designer & photographer— so I primarily need it for downloading photos, retouching, and design work (on Adobe CC for websites, logos, flyers, etc [both digital & print files]). I've been trying to research this all day to figure out which is the better option and am left just as confused as when I started. Hoping someone in this panel can help me figure it out. I'm debating between the 2 computers mentioned above. Here are the rest of their specs:

15" MBP - retina display (2015 model)
2.2GHz Quad-core intel i7
16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory
256GB PCIe-based flash storage
Intel Iris Pro Graphics
13" MBP - retina display (2015 model)
2.9GHz Dual-core Intel i5
8GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory
512GB PCIe-based flash storage
Intel Iris Graphics 6100

I know the 15" is faster because of the Quad-core, but is it really necessary for the work I will be doing? Obviously I'd prefer to save money if it's not impactful (as I won't be doing any video or 3D rendering). I don't really want issues with speed of switching between programs (for ex: if I have Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign open). I need storage space for uploading high resolution photos from my camera that I will be retouching in Lightroom or Photoshop before transferring to a backup. But can the 13" model with dual-core i5 handle all of that easily?

Would really love some intel on this matter! Thank you in advance!!!


Active member
Oct 30, 2016
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I would consider the 15" MBP for the bigger display considering you are retouching photos and the greater RAM for working with multiple programs simultaneously.

The following explaines how you can improve your work with Lightroom and Photoshop:


This thread suggests RAM and a SSD are more important than an high-end GPU. Keep in mind though that this thread is 3 years old.


Well-known member
Dec 23, 2015
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Coming from a dual-core 2.66GHz MBP (2010) and now a quad-core 2.5GHz MBP (2015) and both 15", you will really appreciate the performance of the quad-core when using Lightroom/Photoshop. I know the former is an old machine but the concept is similar.

If you're doing more graphics stuffs as you mentioned, the 15" will be a better choice. More screen estate is still an advantage when applying small adjustments and is also more comfortable to your eyes.

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