Advice on Upgrading from a 2013 MBP

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Dec 7, 2005
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I currently have a MBP 2013 with a 2.3GHz I7, 16GB 1600 DD3 and an Iris Pro 1536 graphics. It's currently running Mac OS Mojave. I've got 512GB of memory with 90GB free (mostly photographs, surprise, surprise) and a 256GB outboard SSD for storing some of the past years images that I like to go back and work on.

Everything is working ok, except that any of the Topaz AI (particularly AI Sharpen) run from slow to agonizingly slow. Capture 1 is ok though at times I wish it was a touch more reponsive.

I've been thinking of upgrading just for speed and memory sake and have been trying to figure out if the newer systems are really any faster for these applications - it's not clear from the hardware descriptions although you'd think that 7 years of development might have made some significant improvements. I'm toying with the idea of moving to an iMac 21" and while I'd clearly gain a better display, it is not clear that the hardware would perform any better.

Have those of you who have made upgrades seen any significant improvements?

Any advice/suggestions would be appreciated.
Andrew
 
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Joined
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I just moved from an early 2012 13" MBP to the new 16" MBP. Fast and better in every way. ITB SSD
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80 NEFs from my Z6 download in mere seconds, instead of minutes. Affinty is fast, DxO is fast. Sound is incredible. Battery life great, screen is great.
 
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Ken St John
I still have my 15" MacBook Pro from 2015, plus a couple of years ago I added a 21" iMac Retina (2017). In almost every way, the MacBook outperforms the iMac. I'm convinced the reason is the drive ... the MacBook has an i7, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD; while the iMac has an i5, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB "Fusion" drive (combo small SSD with a larger spinner). With the obvious exception of the stunning iMac display, the day to day performance difference is noticeable, especially on tasks such as LR, and the MS Office apps. All are highly dependent on disk access and I think that's really the issue. I don't see any real evidence that it's RAM or processor as the bottleneck.

I was looking at the newly announced 27" as well because it still has the capability of a user installed RAM update at least. My 21" has no user upgrades (RAM or SSD) possible ... unless, of course, you want to take your chances with totally disassembling the whole unit ... which I would not attempt!!

Hope that helps!!

Ken
 
Back in 2018 I replaced my 15"2015 MBP with a 15" 2018 MBP because I was already thinking about updating my camera gear and realized that for image processing I would probably need a faster machine with larger drive than what I had, and also I wanted to make the move to USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. This i9 machine, with 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD and VEGA 20, is a speed demon and effortlessly handles everything I throw at it. When I eventually did get new gear I also found that I needed more powerful image editing software than I had been using, too, and was glad that I was prepared with my current setup. Topaz Sharpen AI runs just fine in here, and so does DXO PhotoLab 3 -- both are very quick and responsive. In general, I saw that there was a significant difference in speed between this machine and my 2015 one.

Apple is currently getting ready to release its first machines with their own silicon processors (ARM), so for a while -- at least another year or so -- they'll continue to make and sell their machines with Intel processors as they begin transitioning their entire lineup to their own processors. Very exciting times ahead! I am figuring that probably by the time (a couple of years from now) I am ready to replace my 2018 MBP that any glitches and hiccups that come along with these brand-new ARM-based machines will have been worked out and that my next machine will be an ARM-based one.
 
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everything is slow(er) because you're out of storage. Make sure you have 20-30gb left on your main drive or things will slow down.
 
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I have 90 Gb left on the main drive.
Your original post says 90mb but then again you were all over the place with your terminology so it was hard to understand.

So i'm assuming you have 512gb onboard storage with 90gb left, correct? And an external 256gb drive (you mentioned mb here too)?

I don't know what topaz AI is, but i'm assuming it's a photography plug in. I also see you're running Mojave and for all intents and purposes, Mojave wasn't good. Upgrade to Catalina and run software updates on all your stuff and I think you'll see an improvement.
 
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MN, USA
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Your original post says 90mb but then again you were all over the place with your terminology so it was hard to understand.

So i'm assuming you have 512gb onboard storage with 90gb left, correct? And an external 256gb drive (you mentioned mb here too)?

I don't know what topaz AI is, but i'm assuming it's a photography plug in. I also see you're running Mojave and for all intents and purposes, Mojave wasn't good. Upgrade to Catalina and run software updates on all your stuff and I think you'll see an improvement.
I did say mb, and that was an error. Thanks for pointing it out. I've corrected the original post.
I did run down the free memory to something like 20GB and yes the system did drastically slow down. I quickly realized the issue and that's when I got the 256GB outboard and cleaned things up.
 
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Southern Cal
I still have my 15" MacBook Pro from 2015, plus a couple of years ago I added a 21" iMac Retina (2017). In almost every way, the MacBook outperforms the iMac. I'm convinced the reason is the drive ... the MacBook has an i7, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD; while the iMac has an i5, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB "Fusion" drive (combo small SSD with a larger spinner). With the obvious exception of the stunning iMac display, the day to day performance difference is noticeable, especially on tasks such as LR, and the MS Office apps. All are highly dependent on disk access and I think that's really the issue. I don't see any real evidence that it's RAM or processor as the bottleneck.

I was looking at the newly announced 27" as well because it still has the capability of a user installed RAM update at least. My 21" has no user upgrades (RAM or SSD) possible ... unless, of course, you want to take your chances with totally disassembling the whole unit ... which I would not attempt!!

Hope that helps!!

Ken
I agree with Ken.
A 2015 is the way to go.
I am not a big fan of having nothing but Thunderbolt 3 ports and have to get outlets to support your USB and other features.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
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Try upgrading to catalina from Mojave first and see if you see any improvements. When I upgraded my 2012 MBP to Catalina I definitely saw a speed "jump".
 
Joined
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Messages
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It seems the same to me as far as speed.
I did have some hiccups on the first upgrade but it only involved my desktop screen popping up again after it had already shut down.
It did end up doing a final shutdown with no problems.
The symptom did go away after a couple of the updates.
All is well now.
 
I agree with Ken.
A 2015 is the way to go.
I am not a big fan of having nothing but Thunderbolt 3 ports and have to get outlets to support your USB and other features.
While, yes, when Apple first released the MBPs with USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports and no "legacy" ports, that was disconcerting to a lot of people and it took a little while for third-party manufacturers to start developing cables, adapters and peripherals that would ease the transition. That was back in 2016, though. Nowadays it seems that most external drives, either HDD or SSD, come with two cables, one with USB-A and one with USB-C so that the user can use both or one or the other, as needed. More and more peripherals (keyboards, mice, printers, etc.) are wireless (mainly BT) and/or are being made with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 cables and connections right off the bat, too.

I was fortunate in that my transition was fairly smooth as my first machine with USB-C was the 12" MacBook, and over time I got the adapters or cables that I needed. By the time I bought my 2018 MBP with its four USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 ports, I was good to go with all the cables and appropriate connectors that I needed.
 
Joined
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I'd updated to the newest model, faster, better and with a longer life ahead of it. Nothing about the Thundebolt3/USB-3 ports is a a pain—a couple of adaptors and all is great! It's great to be able to plug in the power cable on either side. Keyboard on the new 16" is so much better than what existed earlier.
 

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