The 2.9 GHZ is actually $400 cheaper, but I'm worried about an SSD that is only 500GB, especially because you can't change it out for a larger one in the future. I have no experience with keeping all my documents, photos, music on an external drive.
It looks as if both will function well with Adobe Premiere, but any advice from user who may have been through this choice, or one like it, before?
How much internal storage do you need? Generally, apps will take about 100GB. If you have a bunch of personal docs, photos, and iTunes music, maybe another 250GB. I would strongly advise against storing edit media on the internal drive. 1TB would be nice, but I would opt for the faster machine. However, the i7 will work just fine and you can increase the RAM at the Apple Store.
Note that those both have Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports. These will not pass video to your display quite as simply as your current machine does. You'll need to get a Thunderbolt 3 dock or a specific TB3-to-DP/MDP/VGA/DVI adapter (whatever flavor you need) to connect your display. Sonnet makes some.
Well, the 1TB refurbished is already gone. And it looks as if all new MB Pros don't allow RAM upgrades. Only the i9 chip allows 32GB RAM and would need to be purchased that way, since RAM is soldered in place.
No, I too would never place media for editing on my OS computer.
I haven't done it but I'm guessing it's possible to place large files like photos and documents on an external drive. It feel liked I'd have a lot of work selectively transferring files back to a new SSD from my old 1TB HDD, but I'm told Carbon Copy Cloner is useful for that task.
And thanks for the heads up about connectors. Will work that into my budget (which is already exploded).