Hardware advice for an artist and 2D animator

Jul 8, 2024
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Hello there,

I'm a digital artist and 2D animator who loves using a Macbook Pro laptop, but mine is starting to get old and I'm wanting to upgrade to one of the latest models that will last me hopefully another 8-10 years.

My old / current one is:

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)
Processor: 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
Memory: 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Graphics: Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB
15.4-inch Retina Display (2880x1800)
500.07 GB storage.

I want to use programs such as Clip Studio Paint and ToonBoom Premium, (so mostly powerful 2D softwares) - But I may go on to use more powerful softwares capable of 3D rendering such as Blender. I want a 16 inch screen rather than a 14 inch as the extra screen real estate is important for visual work (and I may invest in a more portable extra monitor...)

I'm not much of a hardware person, so could somebody help recommend me what specs I should be looking at when picking a new laptop, or which of Apple's new laptop offers may be best for me? RAM I know is very important for running these programs quickly and smoothly, and having a lot of memory is of course important for saving big files. Thankfully many of the projects I work on are saved in art and animation studios' online databases rather than on to my own system, but it's still great to have memory for my personal works or those times I need to work offline.

I'm looking to spend a maximum of £3000 if possible.

My OLD laptop can run ToonBoom Premium, so I'm thinking I really do not need the most powerful Macbook Pro out there (I've heard the M1 chip made a great difference to speeds) - I just want something that's going to stay reliable and powerful for many years to come.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you lots in advance and have a great day!
May 7, 2023
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When looking for longevity in a MacBook Pro then I would recommend getting the latest and fastest, which currently is the M3Max with the 16core CPU. I would also recommend 64GB of RAM.

I know that you mentioned the M1, but if you buy anything other than the latest then you are already buying a computer that has is several years old.

If your current MacBook Pro can handle the work that you are doing right now, it may be to your advantage to save some more funds until you can afford a new MacBook Pro that is a current model.

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