2017 13" ntbMBP vs tbMNP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by peonies, Oct 3, 2017.

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ntbMBP vs tbMBP vs MB 2017

  1. 2017 13" ntbMBP i5, 16gb, 256gb ($1699)

  2. 2017 13" tbMBP i5, 8gb, 256gb ($1799)

  3. 2017 12" Macbook i7, 16gb, 256gb ($1749)

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  1. peonies macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    #1
    I currently have a 12" Macbook 2015 (base model, 1.1 GHz Intel Core M, 8gb, 256gb).
    Since it got very slow, I was thinking of upgrading it to 12" Macbook 2017 (i7, 16gb, 256gb).

    Although I am not a heavy user, I was advised to get 13" Macbook Pro, instead.
    I read a lot of science-related journals and articles (both online and pdf files offline) and use a lot of MS softwares (especially, Word, PowerPoint and Excel) for work. I need to finish off my doctoral thesis by the end of this year. And, YouTube, Netflix, web-browsing on Safari and Chrome for leisure.

    If maxed out 2017 12" MB can handle much better than my current base model 2015 12" MB.
    I really want to go for it. I like how it is fanless and light-weight.

    Personally, I do not like touch bar models. However, I am still considering it because it has better CPU and better fan system when compared base model MBPs.

    Both base model MBPs have i5 processor:
    2.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
    3.1GHz Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz

    What do the numbers mean? Both has i5 processor but different GHz......?


    And, most importantly, what should I choose ? :S

    1. 2017 13" ntbMBP i5, 16gb, 256gb ($1699)
    2. 2017 13" tbMBP i5, 8gb, 256gb ($1799)
    3. 2017 12" Macbook i7, 16gb, 256gb ($1749)
     
  2. mcpix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    #2
    Although not on your list, the 2017 13" tbMBP i5 is often on the refurbished store for about $270 less ($1529). That's what I have and I love it. I bought mine through Best Buy when they were having a sale and I had $350 of gift cards to use (my net price $1299!). I had originally picked up a 2016 Macbook. Although I loved the size, I decided to return it and get a 13" tbMBP. The 13" tbMBP wasn't that much bigger and it was a much more powerful computer. Plus, I didn't like the idea of only one USB-C port.

    As far as the touch bar goes, there are a lot of programs that don't use the touchbar effectively. However, if you watch a lot of Youtube videos I love the fact that in full screen mode you can see the progress bar in the touch bar area and easily move forward or backward without having to bring the controls back onto the screen. Plus there is an icon to easily shrink the video back down.
     
  3. peonies thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    #3
    Thanks for your reply. However, which model I decide to get, I will get it from refurb store.
    How is battery life on tbMBP?
     
  4. Jamalogo10 macrumors member

    Jamalogo10

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    #4
    If you can find a refurb'd 2017 MBP with at least 256ssd and 16gb of ram I'd go for that regardless of it being a touchbar or not. The 2017's received a big upgrade is performance so I'd probably stick with that year over the dated 2016's Skylake. The 8gb versus 16gb dilemma has been hammered into the ground time and time again on this forum, so I'll keep things simple. Get the 16 because it'll help you in the long run much more than increasing the ram to 512 or the cpu to i7. The SSD's and CPUs are already plenty powerful and will likely never bottleneck your machine.

    I would avoid the rMB just because of the single usb-c port. That's a deal breaker for me, the i7 in the rMB is also kind of a gimmick because it can't sustain that power without a fan. I have a 2017 nTB (check my sig) and I have nothing but praise for this machine. Problems are just starting to surface with the TouchBar models. Save yourself the headache, and get the nTB and enjoy the longer battery. The differences in dGPU and the extra two ports don't seem to be on your radar and therefore aren't necessities. Hope this helps!
     
  5. green86 macrumors 6502a

    green86

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #5
    I'm sorry, but do you have a *single* source backing this up?
     
  6. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #6
    While I love my 2017 retina MacBook, I think you are making the right choice with the Pro, especially considering this will be your main computer. I would not have completed my thesis without having a MacBook Pro that could drive multiple displays simultaneously!!! I know you like the fanless design of the rMB, but when doing things like light browsing, MS Office, etc., you are not going to have any fan noise from the MBP either (since it will not be running or running at such a low RPM it's near inaudible.)

    Because you like quiet operation, the touchbar model may be a better match for you. Do you plan to use external displays? If so, and especially if you are thinking about multiple displays, I would lean towards the 2017 touchbar because of its ability hold a sustained CPU AND GPU load better than the nTB, and its quieter operation under more GPU usage (as external displays increase the GPU activity, and, consequently, heat production.) They currently have it in stock as a refurb for a good bit less than new
     
  7. peonies thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    #7
    Thank you for your reply.

    I do not use external display for work. I only use it to watch Netflix.

    If there is no battery problem, I would go for tbMBP.
    I wish they had dual fan system in ntbMBP, too.
     
  8. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #8
    He’s right. Since 2015, the rMBs have relied on throttling for cooling after the passive cooling becomes too inefficient - ie. during sustained loads. This is very common knowledge now.

    Here’s a source specific to the 2017 models, but the same applies to every model since launch:

    https://www.notebookcheck.net/Apple-MacBook-12-2017-Laptop-Review.230656.0.html
     
  9. Jamalogo10, Oct 4, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017

    Jamalogo10 macrumors member

    Jamalogo10

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    #9
    This year the i7 in the Macbook jumped up to 3.6 GHz at maximum turbo boost while Apple lists the computer at 1.4 Ghz. There is a reason they did this. It's because under intensive workloads the computer will need to protect itself and throttle back the GHz. Easy tasks will be extremely quick, while demanding tasks will be it's achilles heal. I would never touch a fanless computer that states a turbo boost double its quoted clock speed. It's the same concept within a car. A 1.8l engine with a huge turbo and the lack of an intercooler will likely overwork itself. Macbooks will come to a stand still unlike the MBPs that use sophisticated cooling techniques to help combat throttling. Cooling is needed in order to do time-intensive, rigorous, (pro) tasks.

    here's a link to a review:
    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17...macbook-boasts-incremental-speed-improvements

    here's a quote:
    "Since the 12-inch Macbooks are fanless, it becomes increasingly difficult to dissipate heat while executing CPU-heavy tasks for extended periods of time. The only way to reduce heat is to throttle down the processor, which results in lowered performance. We tested thermal efficiency by continually looping the Cinebench R15 CPU benchmark and witnessed a decrease in scores of around 8 percent for the new Macbook, and 12 percent for the previous model.
    Buyers should be aware that Apple's ultraportable, while capable of performing everyday tasks, is not a performance machine."

    I suspect the i7's throttle percentage will be even greater than the m3's because of it's ludicrous turbo speeds. And the battery life will worsen too... All for what? A couple milliseconds? It then becomes an easy up-sell to the single fan nTB.
    If you don't see yourself doing intensive tasks for prolonged periods of time (15+ minutes) the m3 macbook is a decent option.
     
  10. ZapNZs, Oct 4, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #10
    The concern I have is that I have repeated their R15 test with continuous loops and my results are nothing like this with huge drops in performance (perhaps another system process was running during those very low results?) Additionally, several other members on this forum have too, and been unable to reproduce this result. Further, monitoring performance under real-world conditions that produce a moderately sustained CPU load, I have not observed this either - my m3 can hold 2.5 to 2.6 GHz indefinitely - although heavy sustained CPU and GPU loads reduce the turbo frequency to close to 2.2 Ghz.

    Obviously, the MacBook Pro is the better choice for sustained CPU and GPU loads, and for the OP I think the MBP makes the most sense. But what this specific testing has me wondering is, provided the methodology is sound, how much variability there is between individual rMB units? Are some of the binned m3 chips that much more efficient than others? Bare with me as my understanding of CPUs is far less than other posters in this thread.


    For example,





    https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...ing-sustained-cpu-load.2073415/#post-25143785
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Jamalogo10 macrumors member

    Jamalogo10

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    #11
    I doubt some m3 chips throttle less than others. My guess would be the environment in which the testers were running their tests had some level of variation. How long did you run your tests? Were there any pauses? (even 10 seconds in between running the next test) There must be factors we aren't accounting for because I trust notebookcheck and appleinsider.
     
  12. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #12
    My tests were continuous - 1 to 2 seconds after completion (as fast as I could click.) Like EugW's tests in the linked graph, R15 scores fell over time, but by run 10 they fell from 262 to 253 - which, while indicating minor throttling, is dramatically less than Notebookcheck (which I also trust - hence my confusion.)

    The surface the notebook was on was a glass desk, and the room it is in is reasonably well ventilated with an ambient temp of about 75F, and the system was not moved during the continuous runs (no additional apps were running other than R15). How much could that play into it?

    This is my base m3 and corresponds to an actual workload that is heavy CPU and light-medium GPU (creating some data visualization outputs in a Win 7 VM) - it can hold a pretty high turbo frequency continuously - which I find incredible given this same m3 chip in many non-Apple computers has terrible performance!
    Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 3.55.40 PM.png

    Based on my usage with a 2016, I expected it to throttle quite a bit. I was pretty shocked when the effect was minimal in regards to my own usage (I imagine tasks that peg the CPU and GPU both to near their full capacity would see much different results with a lower sustained turbo frequency?)
     
  13. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #13
    If there’s an overwhelmingly higher demand for the M3 chips, then I don’t see why they wouldn’t use chips originally binned for the i7. These will theoretically be more efficient than those originally binned for the M3.

    There’s no point in stock piling as this is exactly what ‘binning’ helps manufacturers avoid - waste!

    However, I doubt this ‘downgrading’ is very common. Years of experience should give Intel/Apple pretty solid forecasting. Combine this with yield rates for each bin and I imagine you’d get pretty efficient manufacturing.

    Interesting to see yours holding up under such loads for so long. I think it’s exciting for the future of handhelds that can do more than just Word and Facebook.
     
  14. peonies thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    #14

    I dont’t see any 16gb RAM on refurbished store. All I see that is with 16gb is TB MBP 2016 2.9GHz i5/512gb/16gb.

    Since it is still much cheaper than from regular store, I am now thinking ‘maybe, I should get 2016 model?!’

    Do you have any thoughts on getting 2016 model?

    Thanks !!
     
  15. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #15
    Their stock comes and goes - there may be a smaller supply of 16 GB models so they may be more sporadic in when they appear. If it were me, personally, I would play the waiting game to get a 2017. It seems like they are less prone to the keyboard issues than the 2016s, at least based on the relatively larger number of 2016s I've checked in with keyboard issues compared to very few 2017s.
     
  16. Jamalogo10 macrumors member

    Jamalogo10

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2017
    #16
    Skylake is too dated imo. I would never buy the first iteration of anything Apple either. The 2016 TBs are just starting to surface with problems.
    A dual core skylake computer just doesn't seem like the right move entering 2018.

    It's still a good computer but not worth the price.
     
  17. peonies thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    #17
    I listened to you and waited and,
    I finally got myself a new MacBook Pro from a refurb store.

    ntbMBP i5/16gb/256gb $1350 in total

    I would have gone for silver if there was a choice. But, I could not wait any longer.


    I am looking forward to picking it up!!


    Thanks everyone here !!!
     
  18. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #18
    They're really nice computers. I think you are going to be very pleased with your decision.
     
  19. peonies thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    #19
    Hi, I am back again with a new ntb MBP (2.3ghz i5, 16gb, 256gb)!
    I am not wondering if I should have gone for tb MBP?!
    When I was waiting for refurb MBP with 16gb RAM on it, I was like I will not mind whether it is tb or ntb.
    I even preferred ntb version because I like the physical function keys.
    However, it is not just about the presence of touch bar.
    It has better processors with 2 more ports and better fan system !
    And, now I keep seeing tbMBP (3.1Ghz i5, 16gb, 256gb) coming up on refurb store, I am like, should I go exchange....?!
    It is $230 more than I just paid.

    Can anyone tell me what to do?! lol
    Sorry for being very undecisive..... :S
     
  20. jkun macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    #20
    For what you said you are using it for, I doubt the extra power will make any difference at all.
     

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19 October 3, 2017