2017 ntb vs tb

Which configuration should i get?

  • 13" TB 3.1Ghz i5 512GB 8GB RAM (SGD $3226)

    Votes: 17 21.5%
  • 13" nTB 2.3Ghz i5 512GB 16GB RAM (SGD $3106)

    Votes: 46 58.2%
  • 13" nTB 2.3Ghz i5 512GB 8GB RAM (SGD $2536)

    Votes: 16 20.3%

  • Total voters
    79

Ilzx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 16, 2016
11
0
Hi guys,

I need some advice on which mbp i should get. I previously bought a 13" tb 512GB with 8GB RAM but returned it due to it having only a few hours of battery life. I reckon that it will be a good time to get another mbp again now that the battery situation has sort of stabilized.

I will be using my laptop mainly for schoolwork, excel, word and sorts. I usually will have plenty of tabs open in safari/chrome, about 50+ (mostly journal articles) so i hope to get a configuration that can handle that kind of stress. Having photography as a hobby, I do edit in lightroom too. I also do some music recording/editing with Garageband from time to time.

So far, I have narrowed my choices to these few:

1. 13" TB 3.1Ghz i5 512GB 8GB RAM (SGD $3226)
2. 13" nTB 2.3Ghz i5 512GB 16GB RAM (SGD $3106)
3. 13" nTB 2.3Ghz i5 512GB 8GB RAM (SGD $2536)

Which configuration will be best suited to my needs and for future proofing? The touchbar is pretty much a gimmick to me but the TouchID, dual fans and slightly better processor makes the TB seem like a good choice. Or is trading those off for a 16GB RAM a better choice? Or is 8GB RAM enough?

Would appreciate any input!! Thanks!
 

makzr

macrumors newbie
Nov 29, 2016
15
9
Germany
I'm interested in this topic as well. I don't want the Touch Bar but I would appreciate the slightly stronger CPU and the dual fan system. I'm worried that the nTB version will get hot/loud when under stress.
 
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ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,150
It is a little early to say for sure, but I feel the nTB's i7 with 16GB RAM might be justifiable (even though dual core CPU updates have historically not been financially-justifiable.) Again, I may be wrong here given how early it is and how a specs difference doesn't always mean a performance difference in real-life!
 
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HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
5,805
1,702
Western US
I just went with #2 myself. I wouldn't buy a machine with 8 GB RAM today, right now it's fine but in a couple years it could be problematic. And if you start swapping RAM out to disk (even fast SSD), you'll more than negate any gains you had by going with a faster CPU.
 

FineFuturity

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2012
101
65
TX, United States
I actually had ordered #3 at first. Then I thought about it a little more and said "I'm getting a laptop which needs to last several years and I'm already spending a lot to get this computer, I may as well future proof it."

Cancelled my #3 order and ordered the #2 config instead. Actually felt relieved doing that.

My opinion, OP? If you think you'll at all regret not adding more RAM and/or more storage in the future, go ahead and get the extra RAM and storage. With the kind of money being spent here, I think you owe it to yourself to bump up the specs as much as your budget will allow. Because imo, it'll be better to have the extras and not need them, than to need the extras and then not have them.
 

HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
5,805
1,702
Western US
I'm interested in this topic as well. I don't want the Touch Bar but I would appreciate the slightly stronger CPU and the dual fan system. I'm worried that the nTB version will get hot/loud when under stress.
Could be but you're talking about a 15w TDP part in the 2.3 vs. a 28w TDP part in the 3.1, 3.3, and 3.5 touch bar machines. So theoretically you only need to remove ~1/2 the heat and move ~1/2 the air under moderately high load, thus 1/2 the fans should be roughly equivalent. Plus the NTB model puts that space to use for a larger battery (about 10% larger).
 

OzyOly

macrumors 6502a
Jun 3, 2009
775
133
Melbourne, AU
Could be but you're talking about a 15w TDP part in the 2.3 vs. a 28w TDP part in the 3.1, 3.3, and 3.5 touch bar machines. So theoretically you only need to remove ~1/2 the heat and move ~1/2 the air under moderately high load, thus 1/2 the fans should be roughly equivalent. Plus the NTB model puts that space to use for a larger battery (about 10% larger).
The lower TDP does limit the performance of the i7 in the nTB mac though. It does make me wonder if the i7 upgrade is worth it for this model.
 

ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,150
The lower TDP does limit the performance of the i7 in the nTB mac though. It does make me wonder if the i7 upgrade is worth it for this model.
How much does the TDP directly affect performance? I noticed the nTB's i7 still can turbo to 4.0 GHz, which is higher than any of the i5's in the nTB and TB 13-inch models?
 

OzyOly

macrumors 6502a
Jun 3, 2009
775
133
Melbourne, AU
How much does the TDP directly affect performance? I noticed the nTB's i7 still can turbo to 4.0 GHz, which is higher than any of the i5's in the nTB and TB 13-inch models?
Well it all depends on how hot the processor gets. Theoretically, it can reach 4.0GHz, but if its TDP is reached it will clock back down to keep within its design parameters.
The processors on the TB models have higher TDP which alleviates this issue allowing them to reach a higher frequency without heat becoming much of an issue.
 

epca12

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2017
244
67
UK
I haven't seen enough 2017 Macbook videos, maybe because they seemed small during the presentation. Would be really interested to see nTB vs TB models and how each i7 performs. Its a hard choice to make right now
 

OzyOly

macrumors 6502a
Jun 3, 2009
775
133
Melbourne, AU
I haven't seen enough 2017 Macbook videos, maybe because they seemed small during the presentation. Would be really interested to see nTB vs TB models and how each i7 performs. Its a hard choice to make right now
I'm just looking on the geekbench browser.

MacBook Pro 13" 2017 TB i7@3.5GHz 4658/9784

No nTB i7 yet though...

Edit - for what it's worth the i5 in the nTB model outperformed the i5 in the TB model. Shows how misleading user run benchmarks can be. ;)

MacBook Pro 13" 2017 TB i5@3.1GHz 4204/8934
MacBook Pro 13" 2017 nTB i5@2.3GHz 4279/9423
 
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epca12

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2017
244
67
UK
I'm just looking on the geekbench browser.

MacBook Pro 13" 2017 TB i7@3.5GHz 4658/9784

No nTB i7 yet though...

Edit - for what it's worth the i5 in the nTB model outperformed the i5 in the TB model. Shows how misleading user run benchmarks can be. ;)

MacBook Pro 13" 2017 TB i5@3.1GHz 4204/8934
MacBook Pro 13" 2017 nTB i5@2.3GHz 4279/9423
Wow yeah, they are great improvements over last year. I guess the nTB i5 with 16GB RAM would be the best option in terms of value. But with no touch bar and only 2 Thunderbolt ports it also comes down to preference
 

HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
5,805
1,702
Western US
I'm just looking on the geekbench browser.

MacBook Pro 13" 2017 TB i7@3.5GHz 4658/9784

No nTB i7 yet though...

Edit - for what it's worth the i5 in the nTB model outperformed the i5 in the TB model. Shows how misleading user run benchmarks can be. ;)

MacBook Pro 13" 2017 TB i5@3.1GHz 4204/8934
MacBook Pro 13" 2017 nTB i5@2.3GHz 4279/9423
I think it's just a case of small sample size, there's not a lot of them out there yet, especially in non-base configurations. FWIW, AppleInsider ran the 2.3 i5 NTB and got 4463/9322, pretty similar to that number.

https://www.google.com/amp/appleinsider.com/articles/17/06/10/review-apples-new-kaby-lake-13-macbook-pro-without-touch-bar-unexpectedly-speedy-vs-2016-model/amp/

Would be interesting to see longer benchmarks under load to see how bad the throttling is, AnandTech usually does those, for one.
 

alias99

macrumors 6502
Nov 3, 2010
253
39
The nTB model i5 2.3 boosts up to 3.6 where ares the TB model i5 3.1 boosts to 3.5

The 100 Mhz difference might but whats causing the nTB model to score higher??

As mentioned in here it will be interesting to see longer tests to see which throttles.


I think it's just a case of small sample size, there's not a lot of them out there yet, especially in non-base configurations. FWIW, AppleInsider ran the 2.3 i5 NTB and got 4463/9322, pretty similar to that number.

https://www.google.com/amp/appleinsider.com/articles/17/06/10/review-apples-new-kaby-lake-13-macbook-pro-without-touch-bar-unexpectedly-speedy-vs-2016-model/amp/

Would be interesting to see longer benchmarks under load to see how bad the throttling is, AnandTech usually does those, for one.
 

jrasero

macrumors regular
Feb 26, 2011
114
9
NYC
I just went with #2 myself. I wouldn't buy a machine with 8 GB RAM today, right now it's fine but in a couple years it could be problematic. And if you start swapping RAM out to disk (even fast SSD), you'll more than negate any gains you had by going with a faster CPU.
just got a 2017 NTB MBP 13" i7 16GB 128GB. 16GB was a must since 8GB in standard now but future proofing it a tad. The i7's turbo up to 4.0Ghz is pretty impressive for a low wattage chip so went with that. I compromised on the HD, since I don't really store anything on my laptops.
 

Ilzx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 16, 2016
11
0
Hi all.

Firstly, apologies for replying this late. I have been pretty swamped this month.

I just want to thank all of you for your inputs, it really helped me in my decision making! In the end I went with #2 due to it having the most bang for my buck. But I have faced some problems so far. Right out of the box, I find myself having high pitched clicking sounds from my R T Y U I O P keys when the laptop gets warmed up, and is really quite annoying when I am trying to type in a library or quiet cafe. Also, I find that the fan throttles quite easily. Right now, I have Safari on with about 9 tabs open with Spotify playing and I can hear the fan going quite loud. According to activity monitor the CPU is at about 50-60% idle.

I just went with #2 myself. I wouldn't buy a machine with 8 GB RAM today, right now it's fine but in a couple years it could be problematic. And if you start swapping RAM out to disk (even fast SSD), you'll more than negate any gains you had by going with a faster CPU.
I actually had ordered #3 at first. Then I thought about it a little more and said "I'm getting a laptop which needs to last several years and I'm already spending a lot to get this computer, I may as well future proof it."

Cancelled my #3 order and ordered the #2 config instead. Actually felt relieved doing that.

My opinion, OP? If you think you'll at all regret not adding more RAM and/or more storage in the future, go ahead and get the extra RAM and storage. With the kind of money being spent here, I think you owe it to yourself to bump up the specs as much as your budget will allow. Because imo, it'll be better to have the extras and not need them, than to need the extras and then not have them.
I wonder if the both of you are facing the same thing as me? From what I remember, the 2016 TB that I returned last year did not throttle its fan this easily.

I spoke to Apple about the keys and they're sending me a replacement unit. Hope that works out. Will update.
 

dof250

macrumors regular
Jun 3, 2014
209
122
I now have a 13"nTB and a 13"TB besides me. Both base models with 256GB. They have the exact same speed, but the 13"nTB version has multiple high pitched keys on warmup! Especially H en L are noisy. I'm going to send the 13"nTB back and keep the TB version. I wanted the nTB version because off the better battery life and I can tell you it lasting around 20-30% longer than the TB version, but the high pitched keys are unbearable. Also the nTB spins the fans way faster AND louder then the TB edition. So all in all I'm happy that I had the opportunity to test both and make my choice. The 13" TB is a keeper for me.
 

supermars

macrumors newbie
Dec 1, 2015
23
12
I now have a 13"nTB and a 13"TB besides me. Both base models with 256GB. They have the exact same speed, but the 13"nTB version has multiple high pitched keys on warmup! Especially H en L are noisy. I'm going to send the 13"nTB back and keep the TB version. I wanted the nTB version because off the better battery life and I can tell you it lasting around 20-30% longer than the TB version, but the high pitched keys are unbearable. Also the nTB spins the fans way faster AND louder then the TB edition. So all in all I'm happy that I had the opportunity to test both and make my choice. The 13" TB is a keeper for me.
Thanks dof250 ! Can You tell how good, or bad, is battery life with TB version (usage, luminosity...) ?
 

FineFuturity

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2012
101
65
TX, United States
Hi all.

Firstly, apologies for replying this late. I have been pretty swamped this month.

I just want to thank all of you for your inputs, it really helped me in my decision making! In the end I went with #2 due to it having the most bang for my buck. But I have faced some problems so far. Right out of the box, I find myself having high pitched clicking sounds from my R T Y U I O P keys when the laptop gets warmed up, and is really quite annoying when I am trying to type in a library or quiet cafe. Also, I find that the fan throttles quite easily. Right now, I have Safari on with about 9 tabs open with Spotify playing and I can hear the fan going quite loud. According to activity monitor the CPU is at about 50-60% idle.




I wonder if the both of you are facing the same thing as me? From what I remember, the 2016 TB that I returned last year did not throttle its fan this easily.

I spoke to Apple about the keys and they're sending me a replacement unit. Hope that works out. Will update.
The fans on mine kick in only if it's doing resource-intensive stuff, like running a VM. If it's just normal usage -- web browsing w/ loads of Safari tabs open, a YT video playing in a PiP window, playing music with Spotify, just to name a few -- it gets a bit warm, but stays pretty quiet, otherwise. And while I know the high-pitched key thing is something others have dealt with, I myself have not had the issue. I haven't pushed the machine hard enough, and/or for long enough, to know.

Regardless, yours definitely sounds like it's a lemon. Good thing you opted for a replacement -- I know something like that would drive me crazy.

Do keep us posted! :)
 
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Jamalogo10

macrumors member
Jun 13, 2017
89
32
It is a little early to say for sure, but I feel the nTB's i7 with 16GB RAM might be justifiable (even though dual core CPU updates have historically not been financially-justifiable.) Again, I may be wrong here given how early it is and how a specs difference doesn't always mean a performance difference in real-life!
2017 nTB i7 16gb ram 512 ssd
https://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/3245525

vs.

2016 nTB i7
https://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/3271767

The gains from last year are ridiculous. I almost can't believe it. Granted this isn't the most accurate portrayal of power but the iPad Pro and 13in MBPs saw huge performance increases.
 
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