Which MacBook Pro today and for the next 5 years?

Hi everyone,

I want to buy a new Macbook for my professional interior design activity, especially for:

  • SketchUp Pro, for plans and elevation modelling
  • V-Ray, for interior rendering

My MacBook Pro mid-2009 (2.53Ghz 2-core / 8Gb / 512 Gb SSD / NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 Mb) has been a very good fellow for ten years but its performances are no longer enough.

I’ve read a lot of topics here, you already answered many questions (thanks for that), but I still need some advice to help me to make a decision, and that could be summed up as:

Brand new Macbook vs. 2014/15 Macbook?
According to some of you, newest Macbooks performances are disappointing and the improvements compared to the older models aren’t worth it. And also particularly for V-Ray, because newest Macbooks without NVIDIA cards are slower.
But are 2014/15 Macbooks really enough for today use will they be so for the next 5 years?

After a glance at the second hand market, I am hesitating between 3 models:

  • the latest NVIDIA Macbook Pro 2014 / 4-core i7 2.8 Ghz (boost 4.0 Ghz) / 16Gb / 256 Gb SSD / NVIDIA GT750M
  • the first non-NVIDIA Macbook Pro 2015 / 4-core i7 2.8 Ghz (boost 4.0 Ghz) / 16Gb / 512 Gb PCIe / AMD Radeon R9 M370X 2Gb
  • a refurb brand new Macbook Pro 2019 / 6-core i7 2.6 Ghz (boost 4.5 Ghz) / 16Gb / 512 Gb SSD / AMD Radeon Pro 5300M 4Gb

Oh one more thing: I may consider a desktop computer later but today my priority is really a Apple laptop.


I am going through a similar process, I went from a 2013 MacBook Pro to a Hackintosh desktop a couple years ago and am now going back to a MacBook Pro. So I am looking at a 4-5 year investment (just like my 2013 MBP was). I wrote a post in some thinking last week, it might help…

I never go for a MacBook because they’re not essentially workstations. but you can check here for some recommendation.

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I am quite happy with the performance of my MacBook Pro retina (from mid 2014) with 16 GB, 2,5GHz i7. I use SketchUp Pro 2018, but do not do V-Ray renderings (and such) so I am quite happy. Maybe I will buy a second MacBook from 2015 as a backup.

If you need to do V-Ray renderings you should use one dedicated PC for that.

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Thanks all for your help! Really appreciate it.

May I ask you what kind of work you do in SketchUp?

Thanks, just read your post. So you definitely go for a next gen MacBook hoping it will get some surprises.

How is your 2013 MB doing by the way? (for SketchUp but also for V-Ray)

I use my Hackintosh day to day. My MBP Ive given to my partner.
I’ll get a new MBP soon and use with an eGPU. I almost bought one yesterday as Apple upgraded the GPU options yesterday.
My Hackintosh will become a PC to use as a separate render node.

You will have to work on a desk with a mouse anyways with Sketchup so why not get an iMac and with the money you save get an iPad if you have to show people models in the field. Sketchup is not friendly with trackpads and gestures and may never be… not sure why.

I use SketchUp on everything from large scale landscaping down to tiny houses. I bought some additional rendering software in the past because of all the hype, but found out that most people do not care and are happy to see normal sketchup renderings. Just using sketchup saves me a lot of time and computer power:)


Yes I think I’ll go for a old 2014/15 MacBook Pro for SketchUp. And if I need more CPU/GPU for renderings, I’ll rent cloud computing services.