2015 Macbook Pro vs 2016 Macbook Pro without Touch ID?

Which laptop should I buy?


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    28

scotantmac

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 28, 2016
6
0
Hello,

I am wondering which laptop I should buy out of the 2015 Macbook Pro 256GB hard drive, 8GB RAM, 2.7GHz, versus the 2016 Macbook Pro 256GB hard drive, 8GB RAM, 2.0Ghz processing speed. I am slightly annoyed, as I waited out Apple's release of the new pro expecting a similar pricing structure to the previous models but the cost of the new line-up seems quite outrageous. I couldn't justify spending £1,750 on a new laptop, so I have restricted myself to the 2015 Macbook Pro and the entry level 2016 Macbook Pro without Touch ID/ OLED display. But I'm wondering - which is the better laptop?

I'm slightly confused - the 2015 Macbook Pro has a better processing speed than the 2016 2.0Ghz model. Does this mean it is more powerful? Will it be faster? I want my computer for amateur photo and video editing, writing documents and internet browsing, but I also would prefer a more powerful machine if possible as I'd like my laptop to last me at least 5 years. But it seems strange to me that Apple has almost "downgraded" its previous version of the Macbook Pro for a more expensive, yet seemingly worse spec replacement.

However, I have also read that processing speed isn't that important as you progress to better chips. Is this true? Is 2.0GHz with Skylake as good as 2.7GHz with the processor in the 2015 Macbook Pro?

I really need some advice as I've been holding out to replace my 2009 Macbook for ages and it's gotten to quite an urgent stage. If someone could explain to me which of these laptops is faster/ more powerful/ will last longer then I'd be thoroughly grateful.

Thank you!

Anthony
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,901
2,158
They both burst up to 3.1GHz. The 2.0GHz means it'll suck less power (easier on the battery) when it's not working hard, but it'll ramp up when it needs to. It's a 15W CPU though, so if you're hammering it then it will likely throttle back more frequently and for longer than the 2.7GHz. So yes, it'll be slower overall in terms of CPU power.

But then the iGPU is far superior on the 2016.

And the SSD is faster, potentially twice as fast if it can max out the bandwidth available to it.

Finally, even if they're the same price you then need to factor in all the dongles for the 2016.

For my money, the 2015 is the better buy since I fairly regularly use the USB, HDMI and SD interfaces. Although the 2015 is likely to be faster in terms of CPU I don't think that's going to make a material difference. And although the 2016 SSD is going to be far faster I don't think that'll matter much either.

If you're a hardcore power user, then perhaps neither, go for a 15".

Magsafe is a wash to me. I like it, but I've never ever tripped over a power cable and sent my laptop crashing to the floor lol. Maybe I'm just incredibly smart or incredibly lucky.
 
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zone23

macrumors 68000
May 10, 2012
1,970
748
Wasn't the speed of SSD increased in the 2015 models? I though back when the 2015s came out they boasted fast speeds then say the 2013 models. I think my Macbook Air (2013) does like 500mbs wont the 2015s do like 800mbs or something?
 

scotantmac

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 28, 2016
6
0
They both burst up to 3.1GHz. The 2.0GHz means it'll suck less power (easier on the battery) when it's not working hard, but it'll ramp up when it needs to. It's a 15W CPU though, so if you're hammering it then it will likely throttle back more frequently and for longer than the 2.7GHz. So yes, it'll be slower overall in terms of CPU power.

But then the iGPU is far superior on the 2016.

And the SSD is faster, potentially twice as fast if it can max out the bandwidth available to it.

Finally, even if they're the same price you then need to factor in all the dongles for the 2016.

For my money, the 2015 is the better buy since I fairly regularly use the USB, HDMI and SD interfaces. Although the 2015 is likely to be faster in terms of CPU I don't think that's going to make a material difference. And although the 2016 SSD is going to be far faster I don't think that'll matter much either.

If you're a hardcore power user, then perhaps neither, go for a 15".

Magsafe is a wash to me. I like it, but I've never ever tripped over a power cable and sent my laptop crashing to the floor lol. Maybe I'm just incredibly smart or incredibly lucky.
I'm sure the 2016 Macbook Pro only ramps up to 2.9GHz or something (it's still close, but less).

Also apologies - I'm not too clued up on computer terms - what is iGPU/ CPU/ SSD? Which matter? And what would the overall speed be? (My use isn't hardcore at all - some video editing and general browsing, but I'd still want the more powerful.)

Thank you :)
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,901
2,158
Nope, they're both 3.1 :)

iGPU = Integrated GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) (dGPU = discrete (or dedicated GPU)). iGPU has typically been the far slower cousin of dGPU.
CPU = Central Processing Unit = the brain for the heavy thinking (though some of that thinking it outsourced to the GPU.
SSD = Solid State Drive. Old hard drives (HDDs) had a spinning metal platter where the head mechanically moved. Like a CD player or record player. New drives are just solid state memory and FAR faster than mechanical hard drives.

GPU is more for displaying stuff on the screen (photos, movies, games).
CPU does the heavy thinking.

But most stuff is a joint effort. A game is a heavy user of both CPU and GPU, for example.
[doublepost=1477684564][/doublepost]
Wasn't the speed of SSD increased in the 2015 models? I though back when the 2015s came out they boasted fast speeds then say the 2013 models. I think my Macbook Air (2013) does like 500mbs wont the 2015s do like 800mbs or something?
Yeah I think it was, and it's increased again.
The 2015 is PCIe 2.0. The 2016 is PCIe 3.0.

So from CRAZY fast to LUDICROUSLY fast.
 
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scotantmac

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 28, 2016
6
0
Nope, they're both 3.1 :)

iGPU = Integrated GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) (dGPU = discrete (or dedicated GPU)). iGPU has typically been the far slower cousin of dGPU.
CPU = Central Processing Unit = the brain for the heavy thinking (though some of that thinking it outsourced to the GPU.
SSD = Solid State Drive. Old hard drives (HDDs) had a spinning metal platter where the head mechanically moved. Like a CD player or record player. New drives are just solid state memory and FAR faster than mechanical hard drives.

GPU is more for displaying stuff on the screen (photos, movies, games).
CPU does the heavy thinking.

But most stuff is a joint effort. A game is a heavy user of both CPU and GPU, for example.
[doublepost=1477684564][/doublepost]

Yeah I think it was, and it's increased again.
The 2015 is PCIe 2.0. The 2016 is PCIe 3.0.

So from CRAZY fast to LUDICROUSLY fast.
Is the new Skylake processor something that will really benefit me in a laptop? :)

So from what you've said, the 2016 has better graphics, the 2015 has a faster processor normally, but both can rev up to 3.1GHz anyway. The 2015 has ports that the 2016 doesn't. Are there any other significant considerations? Will the 2016 last me longer for updates etc since it's newer? :)
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,901
2,158
Is the new Skylake processor something that will really benefit me in a laptop? :)

So from what you've said, the 2016 has better graphics, the 2015 has a faster processor normally, but both can rev up to 3.1GHz anyway. The 2015 has ports that the 2016 doesn't. Are there any other significant considerations? Will the 2016 last me longer for updates etc since it's newer? :)
The key differences for me personally are the price and the ports. I think the overall performance will be similar. I wouldn't pay more money so that I can pay more money again for dongles.

The geeky specs are less relevant than how I would use the device each day.

If I didn't use HDMI, SD, or USB I'd likely be less concerned and perhaps consider the newer one if the price difference was modest.
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,711
1,871
192.168.1.1
Unless I was buying the highest performing model CTO of the 13" MBP, I'd probably opt for the 2015 models simply because of price if USB-C or TB3 weren't mission critical.

I presently have a 13" late 2013 MBP (8GB RAM, 2.4GHz i5, 256GB SSD) and probably wouldn't otherwise bother to replace it if I were considering another 13" model, but I'm leaning strongly towards the new quad-core 15" model.
 

scotantmac

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 28, 2016
6
0
The key differences for me personally are the price and the ports. I think the overall performance will be similar. I wouldn't pay more money so that I can pay more money again for dongles.

The geeky specs are less relevant than how I would use the device each day.

If I didn't use HDMI, SD, or USB I'd likely be less concerned and perhaps consider the newer one if the price difference was modest.
That's a helpful consideration for me actually. I'm a student, so I get the 90% Apple discount. That means the 2016 model would cost me around £1,300, and the external retailer I would buy the 2015 model from is doing a deal of 3 years free Applecare for £1,150 (although at least in the UK, extended Applecare is slightly redundant since we have an entitlement to free repairs within 5 years of purchase anyway).
 

maka344

macrumors 65816
Nov 4, 2009
1,494
658
London, UK
That's a helpful consideration for me actually. I'm a student, so I get the 90% Apple discount. That means the 2016 model would cost me around £1,300, and the external retailer I would buy the 2015 model from is doing a deal of 3 years free Applecare for £1,150 (although at least in the UK, extended Applecare is slightly redundant since we have an entitlement to free repairs within 5 years of purchase anyway).
Hey buddy. Which retailer are you using to get the student discount?

Also, do you mean 10% off, not 90%?

Thanks.
 

scotantmac

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 28, 2016
6
0
Hey buddy. Which retailer are you using to get the student discount?

Also, do you mean 10% off, not 90%?

Thanks.
Yes - 10% off (that's what happens when I post hungover!)

Apple does the student discount of 10% on Macs. You need to use your university intranet if buying online to access the deal, or present a student card at an Apple store if buying in person. If you aren't a student, it would definitely be handy finding one to make the purchase for you!

The £1,150 2015 Macbook Pro isn't a student deal, and is sold by John Lewis both in-store and online.
 

scotantmac

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 28, 2016
6
0
I'd go with the 2015 model. It sounds like it'll do everything you need it to do.
Thanks! I'm increasingly realising that the convenience of the extra ports will probably be quite significant to me.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,103
2,098
Oregon
That was huge for me when I was trying to decide between the 2015 rMB and the 2015 rMBP. It ended up being a few things including the ports and the keyboard feel that pushed me to the 2015 rMBP. It's an awesome computer.
 
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