15" Macbook Pro (2015) vs. 15" Macbook Pro (2018)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Tech_Mac_Man, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Tech_Mac_Man, Dec 18, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018

    Tech_Mac_Man macrumors newbie

    Tech_Mac_Man

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2018
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #1
    Hey Ladies/Gents,

    Long time reader First time poster to MacRumors. I just need some of your real first had opinions and suggestions on this before I go ahead and buy one....Before somebody ask what will I be using it for? To answer that question it will be for mainly Video/Photo Editing and yes very light gaming (maybe)...So right now I have a chance to buy my very first 15" Macbook Pro...Currently I am using a Laptop from year (2006) 15" Acer with Windows XP LOL don't ask but I am...I need to know which one to go with?

    15" MacBook Pro - i7 -4980HQ - 2.8ghz - 16GB - 1TB - AMD Radeon R9 M370X (2 GB) - Mid-2015

    or

    15" MacBook Pro - i9-8950HK - 2.9ghz - 32GB - 1TB - Radeon Pro Vega 20 (4GB) - 2018

    So I have watched many YouTube videos and read many forums about how the Top Spec'd Out 2015 Macbook is the one to get over the 2018 Spec'd Out one. They state how it still has all the ports, the magsafe, keyboard is better, screen is only slighter brighter on the 2018, there is only 20% performance boost...Most rave how the 2015 was the best built "PRO" laptop ever!! Most will say why would I want a 4-5 year old technology from Apple? Why not get the latest and greatest?

    This is where I need YOUR HELP has anyone gone from the 2.8ghz spec'd out Macbook Pro to the 2018 Macbook Pro? If so do you see any differences? Performance wise, Screen wise, day to day use or does it feel the same? Or I should just buy the 2015 one because there is no BIG difference...? Please let me know which is a better one 2015 or 2018...?

    Thank you!
     
  2. unglued macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2016
    #2
    My vote is for the 2018 MBP, can’t complain better Vega 20 graphics with more and faster 4GB HBM2 VRAM.

    I upgraded from a Late-2013 MBP to a 2018 Vega 20. What I like most is the quick response everything is fast and smooth. I can finally get some work done, put it to sleep, and go do other things. RIP 2006 Acer.
     
  3. Tech_Mac_Man thread starter macrumors newbie

    Tech_Mac_Man

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2018
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #3
    Thanks for your feedback much appreciated...So you would say that the 2018 is alot faster, smoother and snapper when it comes to Video and Photo applications compared to the 2015? I read that you can't really tell in a real world situation with the 2015 and 2018..how true is that?
     
  4. theapplehead macrumors regular

    theapplehead

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2018
    #4
    From all the research I have done, I would recommend the 2015 MBP, primarily because of all the issues with the 2018 MBP. The reason being that the 2018 model has a butterfly keyboard which is noted for its uncomfortable typing. Also, the 2018 model does not offer MagSafe, usb 3.0, or many other features native to the older model. Another reason is because the gpu on the 2018 model was not updated from the 2017 model. The greatest reason, however, is that the intel i9 processor version of the MacBook Pro had a severe, major bug that caused the processor to be throttled. Apple attempted to resolve this issue with a software update, but I am still not convinced that the issue was completely resolved. If I were in your position, I would wait (if possible) for the 2019 model, it has the potential to have new features introduced that would make it worth waiting for.
     
  5. Tech_Mac_Man thread starter macrumors newbie

    Tech_Mac_Man

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2018
    Location:
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    #5
    Hi there...thank you for taking the time to let me know about the issues...When is the next refresh for the Macbook Pro is it in June or July of 2019? New feature you mean Intel's NEW Sunny Cove processor that Apple will go with...?
     
  6. ilikewhey macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Location:
    nyc upper east
    #6
    it really depends on how much you type and how much you edit videos and photos,

    if you type ALOT like i do, definitely get the 2015, i get finger fatigue way quicker on my butterfly keyboard mbp than my 2015. some say you get used to it. but i never got used to it, YMMV.

    but if you barely type and just mainly edit videos, thn the 2018 will beat out the 2015 by a noticeable margin.

    also there is the price, you can get a used 2015 off ebay for around 1 grand now i believe, the model your looking for is a bit more since its specced out. so lets say 2k. but the 2018 model your looking at is at least 4k after tax.
     
  7. treekram macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #7
    For the keyboard, you should go try out the new vs. the old. That would be a subjective decision, as would be the question of whether you find the port situation acceptable or not. There's a .1% chance that Apple will add back either Magsafe or USB-A ports in the next MBP iteration, IMO.

    What's is unknown (except to Apple) is how prevalent the keyboard and T2 problems are. You have to make a decision there based on uncertainty. But, of course, the 2015 models don't have the same issues.

    The 20% CPU performance difference you cite looks like single-core performance. On the multi-core benchmarks, the difference would be more like 60% from the benchmarks I see (between the models you're thinking about). In video editing, the rendering of a video file for the most used video editing software does take advantage of multiple cores. In other video editing tasks, in the software I use, Premiere Elements (not a pro-level editor here) seems to use multiple cores when I have to scroll through the timeline (the fan noise level is audible on my desktop computer when multiple cores are used for any period of time). But for other editing tasks that don't involve scrolling through multiple frames at a time, you probably won't notice a difference between the two machines.

    To be clear, the Pro Vega 20 is a new GPU option for the 2018 MBP (introduced in November) with supposedly much better performance than the standard GPU's. On one benchmark site, the Vega 20 is 3X faster than M370X. Obviously that should help with gaming. For specialized video editing tasks, it can also help.

    For me, I was looking at the base-level 15" 2015 vs. 2018 models. I just thought the pricing of the 2015 models (used, open-box, refurbished and new) were not low enough compared to the 2018 model when there was a sale.
     
  8. unglued macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2016
    #8
    Yes video/photo editing and gaming no hesitation with the 2018 like cutting through butter with a hot knife. And external monitors perform smooth at high res.. I think it’s a combined overall improvement of hardware and a well designed package. Having only USB-C can be challenging but it’s either now or later.

    Sorry I can’t speak for the 2015 I imagine it’s a very capable MBP but times are moving on to improved hardware/security T2, etc.. I do miss the MagSafe on the older models but they’re coming out with USB-C low-profile quick release adapters like MagSafe but may only allow power pass-through for now.
     
  9. PROFESS0R macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2017
    #9
    Several here have mentioned the keyboard on the 2018, but I actually like the feel... as a professor, I type a great deal and the keyboard on the 2018 is screaming fast for me.
     
  10. sunapple macrumors 68000

    sunapple

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #10
    What's the price difference and where are you getting that 2015 model? Is it used? Degraded battery? For me, those things would be very important, maybe not to you so much (because you didn't mention it before).

    My dad was looking to buy a new 15" and had to chose between the base models of 2015 and 2018. The price difference was a few hundred euros and he was looking to use the machine for as many years as possible (previous laptop lasted 8 years). You could nitpick about ports, keyboard and how useful Touch Bar would be, but he just chose the 2018 because it's the latest and greatest and will last the longest.

    Don't make it too complicated.
     
  11. theapplehead macrumors regular

    theapplehead

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2018
    #11
    As of now, Apple has not yet disclosed when the next MacBook Pro will be released, but based on past trends, we can assume a release in the summer of 2019. And as far as new features, yes Apple will update the processor, but they will also hopefully improve the keyboard as well as the easy damaging of the MacBook Pro screens from opening and closing them. And most importantly update the gpu. But at this moment we do not know if they will do any of this for their 2019 models.
     
  12. jinnyman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, IL
    #12
    As much as I like 2015's keyboard and dislike Touch Bar & butterfly keyboard, 2015 is a long time ago.
    Only scenario I'd consider it really is when you really need Apple and you are a programmer always using the laptop keyboard. Other than that, I wouldn't buy 2015 unless you get a very sweet deal.
     
  13. Mythos99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    #13
    I have a MBP 15 2015, and got myself also the new MBP 15 2018 with everything you mentionend except Vega. I mean, it depends, i myself go all the time back to 2015er version. I don't like the Keyboard, the TB is stupid, and you have to be really careful with with the newer version, cause it seems to be more fragile, i got very easy scratches (i recommned, if, get yourself some skin).

    Some are happy, others arent, but i myself have neer been this unhappy with an Apple product before. It looks great although, the screen is really good, and those speakers are awesome, but i don't think it's that much for a work, as it's to be looked at imo.
     
  14. Tech_Mac_Man, Dec 19, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018

    Tech_Mac_Man thread starter macrumors newbie

    Tech_Mac_Man

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2018
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #14
    To be honest I wouldn't be typing alot on it..Will be using a Bluetooth or Wireless mouse for Photo and Video Editing. The 2015 Spec'd out one here in Canada is about $2200-$2400 they seem to all go for that price here in Toronto.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 19, 2018 ---
    I have tired both the 2015 and 2018 keyboard and I am really not sure why ppl complain about the 2018 one as both of them seem fine for me when I typed up a full page on a word document...I do love the MagSage on the 2015 but it's not a deal breaker as I plan to keep the Macbook for years to come...As you can see I keep my laptops for a very very long time (RIP 2006 15" Acer) lol...Yes I heard the Vega 20 was introduced in Nov 14 of this year and I figured it will crush the M370X graphic card...When it comes to pricing I am looking at $2400 CAD vs $5400 CAD...But I plan to keep it forever and never sell it...
    --- Post Merged, Dec 19, 2018 ---

    That's the thing I do plan to keep my Macbook Pro for a very very very long time and that is why I am leaning towards the 2018/2019 as some ppl have said that Apple will stop repairs and support as of 2022/2023 which would suck for me if something did come up and then Apple employee would simply say sorry this Mac is now "vintage" we can not support it anymore...
    --- Post Merged, Dec 19, 2018 ---
    Used 2015 Spec'd out one is $2200 - $2400 CAD here in Canada the battery cycle count is between 45-100 cycles...The New 2018 would be $5400 CAD with taxes included of course from Apple...See just like your dad I do plan to keep the Mac for a very very long time I am never the one to resell it especially after spending $5k on it and then getting it sold for $3k CAD....I know Macs just works and last a very long time and Apple has such a good customer service where you can walk in and they resolve it or fix it under warranty...
    --- Post Merged, Dec 19, 2018 ---
    Question why did you get the 2018 one if you were happy with the 2015 one? Any reason why you bought if you are not fond of the new features on the 2018? Did you get Space Gray or Silver? I heard the Silver is better as it does not scratch that easily as the Space Gray one...So you are saying just go with the 2015 Macbook then....?
     
  15. e1me5 macrumors regular

    e1me5

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Location:
    Cyprus
    #15
    -Keyboard. Subjective to taste: I prefer the 2018 than the previous, some people like the opposite, OP since has not previous experience with a Macbook might not find this so relevant.
    -Magsafe, USB 3, etc: Yes the 2018 lost the Magsafe and the USB ports but it gained 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports. Basically they are like PCI slots on a tower, you can connect to them, from a mouse and keyboard to high resolution monitors, big disk arrays with multiple terabytes and external GPUs. Thunderbolt 3 supports the USB 3 protocol so you can connect all your usb peripherals, although you need a cheap adaptor or just replace the cables with a USB C end.
    -GPU: VEGA 20, the GPU the OP has as an option is at least 80-90% faster than last year's top spec GPU, and miles ahead from the 2015 model. In a situation like video editing, the GPU plays an important role. Also as mentioned before, you can also plug an external GPU to the 2018 MBP and make it even stronger GPU wise, while with the 2015 model you simply can't (unless you know how to mess with system scripts and again you won't get max performance)
    -i9: There is no bug in the processor, it adjust itself accordingly to the load and how the software utilise it. Ive had it to run constantly in 3.10ghz with all the cores pegged for 3 hours with no problems at all. Don't get fixed to the frequency of the CPU, low Ghz don't mean your system is underperforming, especially with software that uses the GPU for the heavier tasks or other parts of the CPU that don't affect the frequency so much. And the extra 2 cores of the 2018 model compared to the 2015 make the difference when encoding video with Compressor as it can compress 3 streams of video instead of 2 reducing the time needed to complete the task.
    -Screen is also miles ahead, its brighter, it supports a wider color space than the 2015 model and the 2018 model has the Touch Bar, which is something again subjective to taste, some people hate it, some people love it, I agree with the later.
    -TL;DR: 2018 is miles better than the 2015 as it is newer, faster, stronger and will be supported for much longer. As the OP comes from a PC world won't find themselves comparing between the two machines. I use mine for video editing and some gaming and it hasn't let me down.
     
  16. Tech_Mac_Man thread starter macrumors newbie

    Tech_Mac_Man

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2018
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #16
    So many mixed reviews about the 2015 and 2018...Some say go for the 2015 some say go for 2018 as it is the latest and greatest from Apple....Didn't think it would be this hard to decide...mmm
     
  17. Mythos99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    #17
    Cause i got it quite cheap actually, friend of mine sold it to me for 3.3k, and it's the i9, 1TB SSD, 32RAM, with AppleCare. It's actually a good machine, if you like the keyboard, the TB and put some skin on it, and use sleeve to transport it all the time, but it's just not that good for me.

    I make too many mistakes typing on it, always somehow touch something on the TB, have to always look down when i want to press ESC, but its a pretty machine ^^.

    I will try it for another 2-3 weeks and then just sell it probably, cause my 2015 15 is still quite good for what i need it.
     
  18. Tech_Mac_Man thread starter macrumors newbie

    Tech_Mac_Man

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2018
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #18
    Thank you for this very nice to read and know...I do see that you have the i9 2018 15" Macbook Pro and the fact you are first hand user for video editing gives me confidence that you know what you are talking about... =) Like you I will be doing alot of video editing nothing intense or crazy...but once in awhile I will edit 4K videos from travel, weddings, and special event parties...Not sure why some ppl are saying you can't notice too much of a difference from 2015 and 2018 when you don't heavy intense editing....
     
  19. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Location:
    Rialto, CA
    #19
    If money isn’t a concern, the performance of the Vega 20 would be enough for me to go to the 2018 model alone.
     
  20. e1me5 macrumors regular

    e1me5

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    Location:
    Cyprus
    #20
    You are welcome! Yes you won't notice a difference by simply cutting video on either machines, if you are using Final Cut Pro X. I haven't notice a difference editing 4k video on my old 2012 macbook pro and this new one as Apple optimises the computers to run efficiently when using Apple software. Other editing software are not as optimised thought so bigger iOS better for them in terms of hardware. BUT you will notice a massive difference on everything else in video post production like 3d titles, effects, color grading, stabilisation and in general all the things that are quite demanding, plus the 2018 has hardware support for h265 video that will slowly replace the current h264, so you got that covered. And also the 2018 is much more future proof, as you might find yourself in the future in situations that demand a stronger hardware and that computer has it.
     
  21. Flabasha, Dec 19, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018

    Flabasha macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #21
    I have a maxxed-out 2015. Two weeks ago, I bought a maxxed-out 2018 (i9, Vega 20). Ran TONS of tests...

    I just returned the 2018.

    For my editing, which is in ProRes 4K and 1080p RAW, the 2015 on it's own does great. The only time it choked is with ultra-high bitrate 400mbps 4K h.264 footage from the GH5. But that's it.

    Oh, and by the way, my 2015 has a BRIGHTER screen (?!), and I use the heck out of all the ports, especially the SD card slot, which I always keep a 256gb drive in to give me a ton more hard drive space.

    Bottom line, if my 2015 broke today, I'd buy a used 2015 to replace it, until the redesign in 2020.
     
  22. Tech_Mac_Man thread starter macrumors newbie

    Tech_Mac_Man

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2018
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #22
    Yes the Vega 20 is like the Nvidia's 1050i graphic chip. Vega 20 is 3X's more powerful than the 370X R9 that is another good reason to choose the 2018 model alone...
    --- Post Merged, Dec 19, 2018 ---

    It's funny I remember how some ppl here swore the 2012 Macbook Pro Retina was the best Macbook ever to be built then that got replaced with the 2015 Macbook Pro..lol I think by 2019/2020 ppl will say this is the best Macbook ever built lol....But reading your response on terms of video editing yes..color grading, effects, and stabilizing the video is pretty much what I do with all my videos...and that's good H265 will be the future for sure...It's so hard when ppl say just get the 2015 don't worry about the future....
    --- Post Merged, Dec 19, 2018 ---
    No way...you returned the 2018 and kept the 2015...that's crazy...Question how is the 2015 screen brighter on yours compared to the 2018? I seen both in person and the 2018 looks brighter and sharper..
     
  23. turbineseaplane macrumors 601

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #23
    The 2015's are actually reliable and durable...
    Those are features that are nearly priceless for some of us.
     
  24. smirking macrumors 68000

    smirking

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #24
    People are telling you to buy a 3 year old machine because it has legacy ports and not the butterfly keyboard. Sorry, that just sounds insane to me.

    What other people think of the keyboard shouldn't have anything to do with your decision. As a keyboard collector, I can definitely say there are a vast range of keyboards made to satisfy all sorts of typing experiences. The butterfly keyboard is just like every other specialty keyboard. It has big fans and big haters. You have no idea which group you belong to until you spend a solid week using it. If you detest the way it feels after a solid week using it, return the MBP and go get a 2015 or buy an external keyboard. For months I carried a Bluetooth keyboard because I hated the butterfly keys, but I eventually grew to like them.

    The 2015 has legacy ports... and for most people that means it has a whopping two USB-A ports and an SD card slot. I do miss having a built in SD card slot, but I'd rather have 4 USB-C ports than a measly two USB-A ports. $10 will get you all the USB-C to USB-A endcaps that will cover all of your input devices.
     
  25. Flabasha macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #25
    Yep, had them both turned up to the brightest setting, and had them next to each other because I was porting over the drive using Migration Assistant. I kind of couldn't believe my eyes. Tested on different web pages after I installed, and sure enough, the 2015 was brighter. Maybe I got a bad screen, and the difference was small, but distinct.

    2018 also had a LOT of fan noise. Now, granted, I got the i9 Vega 20, which runs the hottest of the lineup. But still, I figured it would be a much quieter computer because it would be taxed less on low-level applications like web-surfing, etc., but no, no, no. While the new chips are powerful, they run a lot hotter, so the fans are just as loud, if not louder than my 2015. I was not prepared for that.

    Host of other reasons, too... I have small kids, so losing MagSafe could be a very expensive proposition (I know there are aftermarket work-arounds, but nothing rock solid). Heck, one of my cats jumped on my lap while I was setting up the 2018, pulled on the cord and the computer moved two inches toward the edge of the table. Not good.

    I'll say this, it WAS a pretty computer. That space grey is sweet. But not $5K, lose-a-lot-of-features sweet.
     

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