2013 rMBP to 2017 MBP 2-port non-TB or wait?

laz232

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 4, 2016
416
634
At a café near you
Currently 8GB late-2013 13" rMBP

Uses:
work and heavy web research (lots of tabs)
multiple documents, lots of PDFs open
Adobe Lightroom
Windows 7 in VM for engineering SW (including some heavier simulations)


Other:
Don't like the lack of USB-A ports, but that ship has sailed.
I take the machine with me from my office to clients every day, so 13" is maximum.
Battery life is important, so leaning towards 2-port Kaby Lake, as this seems to have better performance and better battery than the 4-port - and there is a significant price difference.

1. Is Coffee Lake likely to come to the MBP 2-port soon (say 6 months)?
2. Considering battery life and CPU performance, is the 2-port MBP better than the 4-port?
3. According to Geekbench, the 2-port MBP is faster (by 30-40%) compared to the late 2013 13" rMBP - anyone have experience if that's true in real-world (e.g. Lightroom)?
 

Elcompa

macrumors member
Oct 31, 2016
60
26
NC, USA
OP -
My use is similar to yours except the VM. I do loads of research, documents, powerpoints, excel spreadsheets, streaming, pdf's and leave tabs open all the time. I'm on a 2016 ntb MBP. Works, great, no complaints. Had to use canned air a couple of times in the years that I have had it...no big deal. And as far as not having a USB A, I got over it. I don't use a lot of ports often, but when I know I need to give a brief, I bring along a dongle. when I give a presentation, I need to bring a briefcase anyway so it is effortless. Just some small thing that sits in my bag until I need it. USB C is the future, so I simply decided to get over it and move on with my work. I like the size and weight of the 13 in over the 12-inch rMB and the ntb MBP seems to have plenty of battery life for me. The 12 inch simply felt too small for someone who spends tons of time glued to their machine. and I had a 2012 rMBP 15 inch before this one. Just became too big and heavy to drag along all the time. I hope this helps!

The 2015 is a great answer if you NEED the USB A and other ports. However, something simply sticks in my throat by paying so much for tech that will be outmoded 2-3 years before my current laptop. And I only ever keep my laptops for 4 years anyway...so that would bother me.
 

laz232

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 4, 2016
416
634
At a café near you
keep an eye out for 2015 refurbs as they've been hitting the online store in the past week
No refurbs in my my country (and a 2015 won't give me a meaningful CPU / battery gain - only RAM).

OP -f
My use is similar to yours except the VM. I do loads of research, documents, powerpoints, excel spreadsheets, streaming, pdf's and leave tabs open all the time. I'm on a 2016 ntb MBP. Works, great, no complaints. Had to use canned air a couple of times in the years that I have had it...no big deal. And as far as not having a USB A, I got over it. I don't use a lot of ports often, but when I know I need to give a brief, I bring along a dongle. when I give a presentation, I need to bring a briefcase anyway so it is effortless. Just some small thing that sits in my bag until I need it. USB C is the future, so I simply decided to get over it and move on with my work. I like the size and weight of the 13 in over the 12-inch rMB and the ntb MBP seems to have plenty of battery life for me. The 12 inch simply felt too small for someone who spends tons of time glued to their machine. and I had a 2012 rMBP 15 inch before this one. Just became too big and heavy to drag along all the time. I hope this helps!

The 2015 is a great answer if you NEED the USB A and other ports. However, something simply sticks in my throat by paying so much for tech that will be outmoded 2-3 years before my current laptop. And I only ever keep my laptops for 4 years anyway...so that would bother me.
Thank you - I'm work with test equipment in my lab (which is 10x the price of the Macbook - so that's not getting updated to USB-C any time soon), so the USB-C - and their close spacing on the 2-port - is very annoying. More so considering Apple's markup on the adapters is horrendous price gouging and they don't offer the combinations that I need.

But it's clear that USB-C only is Tim Cook and Ive collusion, so I have to make my peace with it.

Wondering if I should wait a few months if Coffee Lake is likely in that timeframe? I see that the CL are not a simple drop-in replacement (new pinning, same socket) and new RAM. Therefore it will be a internal re-design to implement, as well as the lineup requiring both the 2-port and the 4-port CPUs (15 & 30W TDP) to be released, to prevent the 2-port non-Touchbar from becoming better than the Touchbar model (Apple upsell strategy) - AFAIK only the 15W CPUs have been released.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,190
5,542
If the 2013 is doing ok for you right now, stick with it.

With all the complaints about the 2016 and 2017 models (keyboard, battery, etc.), I'm wondering if Apple might re-design it for 2018, at least somewhat?
 

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
4,669
1,996
If the 2013 is doing ok for you right now, stick with it.

With all the complaints about the 2016 and 2017 models (keyboard, battery, etc.), I'm wondering if Apple might re-design it for 2018, at least somewhat?
We can but hope, however unlikely it might be.

Why Apple couldn't have simply stuck with the 2015 case and upgraded internals defies logic.
 

laz232

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 4, 2016
416
634
At a café near you
If the 2013 is doing ok for you right now, stick with it.

With all the complaints about the 2016 and 2017 models (keyboard, battery, etc.), I'm wondering if Apple might re-design it for 2018, at least somewhat?
From what I've heard they have quietly improved the keyboard in the 2017 models to reduce the failures

We can but hope, however unlikely it might be.

Why Apple couldn't have simply stuck with the 2015 case and upgraded internals defies logic.
Well, with the 2016 redesign they were able to raise prices significantly - they could not have done that if they kept the case. More and more

Thanks - 8GB RAM in my current machine is its main limitation at the moment, and of course a CPU and display improvement would be a nice addition. However, the uncertainty of the battery life (same-ish or slightly worse) and knowing that there is nothing more that Apple can mess up* with the 2018 model I guess I can wait - there are some tax benefits to buying this year, but coupled against the negatives, I guess I will wait it out.


*well, unless they go to an ARM CPU and kill Windows compatibility
 

sahnjuro

macrumors member
Jul 15, 2009
97
28
From what I've heard they have quietly improved the keyboard in the 2017 models to reduce the failures



Well, with the 2016 redesign they were able to raise prices significantly - they could not have done that if they kept the case. More and more

Thanks - 8GB RAM in my current machine is its main limitation at the moment, and of course a CPU and display improvement would be a nice addition. However, the uncertainty of the battery life (same-ish or slightly worse) and knowing that there is nothing more that Apple can mess up* with the 2018 model I guess I can wait - there are some tax benefits to buying this year, but coupled against the negatives, I guess I will wait it out.


*well, unless they go to an ARM CPU and kill Windows compatibility
I tested 2015 13" MPB, 2.9 and 3.1GHz and 2017 nTB 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz, all with 16GB RAM and 512GB memory. For the time being I decided to keep the 2015 2.9 and returned the rest. 2015 were nominally slower than 2017 but not by much. 2017 were lighter and smaller. Also 2017 2.5 was fastest and had the best screen. Two USB-C were too few and I would have to get a port expander not to mention new dongles. A key fact was that the 2017 MBP's are unreliable for giving presentations. Even had colleagues problems plugging into projectors. Not plug and play.

For now I keeping the 2015 2.9 since it had the second best screen, had the useful ports, and keyboards weren't as klicky as 2017's. 2017 were expensive for what it offered and spec-wise like wifi capability etc. No wonder why there are so much complaints by many pro users having to pay more for fewer features and inconvenienced by drastic reduction of ports. YMMV
 

laz232

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 4, 2016
416
634
At a café near you
I’m in a similar position and I’m waiting. There is a fair amount of disdain with the 16/17 MacBook Pro in the Mac community (https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/jason-snell-for-macworld-three-macbook-mistakes-will-apple-correct-course.2080602/). We might see a better laptop with the next MBP iteration.
Well, they're obviously not going to add USB A ports - I was exasperated that they removed them from a Pro device - and gave a lot of real world examples of why this is terrible for actual Pros in my use case. Hopefully battery life and CPU etc will be improved, and HW defects with the keyboard will probably be (quietly) updated, like they did with the image retention defects on iPad / iMac and rMBP...

Strategy-wise I think they will keep the entry level rMBP13 at 2 ports - to force an up sell to the otherwise uninteresting rMBP 4-port. The Touchbar is worse than useless for my Pro use cases, and the reduced battery life of the 4-port compared to the 2-port is another black mark against the former.

Based on the update cycles, they will keep the current design for at least another 2-3 years, with the same ports etc. The Touchbar will be kept, and ignored, by most users. Tim Cook will give some more BS about how much Pros love the new machines (hint: the port situation, with the reliance on unreliable 3rd part USB C dongles is a complete clusterf), so I guess I will hold out til 2018 and see if there is something worth going for in the lineup.
 
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