2019 13” MacBook Pro showdown- 1.4GHz vs. 2.4GHz

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by RossMacca, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. RossMacca macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2009
    I’ve read so many conflicting thoughts and analysis of the new “base” 1.4GHz MacBook Pro when compared to the more expensive, few weeks old, 2.4GHz model.

    My hope is that this thread can give a comprehensive list of the pros and cons of each, and offer advice for which one suits a given person.

    I’ve had the 2016 non-touch bar “Pro” for about 2 and a half years now and I must admit I’m a bit disappointed with how it performs now. I’m looking to purchase a new Pro that will last me 5 years (like my 2011 Air did so well!). My main uses are light photo editing and some data analysis (matlab and python), and Xcode for iOS development, something I hope to do more of the over the next few years.

    My only certainties are that I want 256GB of storage (as that seems to be fine for me now) and 16GB of RAM (because I want to future proof a little bit and 8 is already getting sluggish sometimes).

    Can anyone list one way or the other why I should chose the 1.4GHz model?
  2. Howard2k macrumors 68020


    Mar 10, 2016
    We’re still waiting for a proper review, but initial indications are that the 2.4 comes with faster SSD, Wifi, graphics, and CPU obviously.

    The 1.4 is a good entry point.
  3. TheBigApple2006 macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2006
    As mentioned elsewhere the key difference (CPU, SSD, etc notwithstanding, which in my view are not deal breakers), is the number of ports. USBC machines are whole different ballgames, as you are well aware from your 2016. I don't think current hubs are the way to go if you intend to plug in multiple devices constantly - just get the 4-port, use appropriate cables, and be done. Otherwise, 2-port machines can be find for your use. I would certainly get 16GB, have the new Mac Mini with stock 8GB Ram and am waiting for even more price crashes before I update to 32GB. In the meantime have to deal with memory pressure through the roof on account of the sheer amount of RAM MS Office software eats up. Truly bulimic!
  4. jgorman macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2019
    I had the 1.4GHz i5 model briefly.

    To give you an idea of the sustained CPU performance, I want to tell you about how well it encoded video. I used OBS Studio to stream video at 720p and 30fps. This is very CPU intensive. The 1.4GHz model was able to maintain the video stream for about 32 minutes with CPU core temperatures steady in the high 70s and low 80s (degrees Celsius).

    After 32 minutes, the heat started to overwhelm the cooling capabilities of the chassis, even with the fan at maximum speed, and CPU temperatures started to rise. I stopped when CPU temperatures reached 87 degrees Celsius. I have no doubt that the CPU cores would sustain performance until they reached 100 degrees. Then, they would probably reduce their clock speed to reduce heat output.

    If you are interested in longer, sustained CPU performance, I do not recommend the 1.4GHz model.
  5. ghanwani macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    Also better speakers and 2 additional TB ports.
  6. track14 macrumors newbie


    Apr 19, 2019
    having a hard time deciding between these two. Wish there was a way to compare the two in Logic Pro X
  7. lJoSquaredl macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2012

    Altho I would argue streaming has never been easy for MacBook Pros. Honestly OBS may be the only time I even hear my MBP fans as loud as they get and within 30 seconds. It's actually worrisome how loud it gets to be, idk if OBS is just coded somewhat poorly in MacOS or what but it's way worse than exporting video from FCPX or gaming. The fact that you even went 30 mins in the high 70s to low 80s is mind blowing to me lol

    Having said that, when doing stuff like streaming or gaming an eGPU comes in handy and with the price/build of this laptop it almost seems perfect for that now. I almost want Apple to release an 8 core 1.4ghz i9 model in their 15 inch models now lol, seems way more efficient than 2.3 or over imo. I'm just looking for the cores and low fan noise, this seems like a good baseline for any of their laptops.
  8. galactic orange macrumors member

    galactic orange

    Feb 20, 2018
    I'm also a Logic Pro X user and I'd go for the 2.4 at least for the better speakers, faster SSD, and more ports.
  9. jgorman macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2019
    There is a slight problem with using an eGPU with OBS Studio in MacOS right now.

    OBS Studio cannot use either AMD VCE or Nvidia NVENC for video encoding via an eGPU in MacOS.

    It does not work in Parallels or Boot Camp either.
  10. kp98077 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2010

    I think this is a pretty fair comparison… I have both and honestly barely notice a difference except for the speakers of course...so is about 5-8% increased performance worth $300-500? for me? Not really... I figure in a year or two the whole new gen will be out... but I do feel apple is up to something - consolidating their lineup, getting ready for the 16" I don't think all of these models will be around for that long....
  11. lJoSquaredl macrumors 6502

    Mar 26, 2012
    Yeah I noticed I used to be able to use AMD dGPU for recording in bootcamp but not anymore. I've tried the other x264 option that uses lower CPU resources but just seems to delay the fan/heat problem at a slightly slower pace for gigantic files.
  12. rustyosaurus macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2009
    I have an 1.4 on order but was wondering if I should have just gone for the 2.4. This video really helped me feel better about my initial decision!
  13. track14, Jul 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019

    track14 macrumors newbie


    Apr 19, 2019
    Have a question about the fan noise on the new base model vs the $1799 model with 2 fans. This video
    shows how loud the base model fan can get. However the comparison video I saw says the fans kicked in louder on the 1799 model. Before I buy I wanted to know if there is a difference. Thanks
  14. ghanwani macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    I haven't used a base model so I can't compare, but fan noise is not bad on the 4TB model.

    I had a 2017 nTB before that and didn't find the fan noise too bad there either.

    So I don't think fan noise needs to be a consideration or deal breaker. I think the real considerations are how much you need the extras (additional 2 TB ports, better processor/graphics, better speakers, better wifi, etc.).
  15. kp98077 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2010
    yeah I haven't had any fan issues on my 1.4 model yet....
  16. rustyosaurus, Jul 21, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019

    rustyosaurus macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2009
    I have a 1.4 16/512 on order from apple but I just realized that I can get the 2.4 16/512 for only $100 more from Adorama because I wouldn't pay tax and there is an apple insider promo code. For $100 more is there any reason not to do this?
  17. kp98077 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2010
    First, make sure you really need the 16gb, that's a lot more than most realize :) I have 8gb and push it and just fine...
    I had the 1.4 for a few days, while having the 2.4 at the same time and ended up keeping the 2.4 mainly because the speakers are better on the 2.4, and the build quality to me seemed better on the 2.4 although there is hardly any mention of any difference so who in the heck nows! lol... but I swear there is (maybe one less fan?) and screen on the 2.4 is usually LG or Samsung, on the 1.4 its smoother manufacture no one seems to be able to figure out .....if I was in your situation, I should go for the 2.4.....
  18. ghanwani, Jul 21, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019

    ghanwani macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008

    I have been driving myself nuts thinking I should return the 2.4 and get the 1.4 instead because it might have better screen (hoping no PWM) and possibly better battery life, and I'm also not a big fan of the slits at the bottom. I use the laptop away from a desk quite a lot and the slits just feel weird every time I slide my hand under.

    But after reading the discussions about the less premium feel of the 1.4/2TB model, I'm leaning towards sticking with the 2.4/4TB model. I had an nTB before this and it felt very nice and speakers were more then adequate, but it looks like they have really done some "cutting corners" on the base model. Which really doesn't make any sense, because by the time you upgrade the processor & storage on the 2TB model, the price is the same as the base 4TB model, yet you have a questionable improvement in processor (is 1.7GHz i7 better than 2.4 GHz i5?), 2 fewer TB ports, worse speed on the hard drive, and worse fit & finish (not sure about the last one, since aside from anecdotes haven't seen any professional reviewers mention this).

    Why would one ever upgrade the processor on the 2TB model instead of just going with the base 4TB model?

    Some things in this line up are not making sense.
  19. psychedelia macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2009
    I would go for the 2.4 16/512 (I did) both for the reasons stated in a couple of threads here, but also for resale value and future proofing.
  20. BLBL macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2018
    I doubt that screen in 1.4 is not better than in 2.4 because latter ones are using big brand panels like LG and Samsung (they still use Samsung in 2.4 too?) but in 1.4 it is from unknown brand based on what ioreg command lists for manufacturer. I have yet to see real reviews with complete measurements made and compared 1.4 to 2.4 screen but I bet they will show it being inferior in cheaper model compared to 2.4.

    I'm not saying the screen in 1.4 is bad but obviously it is not as high contrast and colorful as LG or Samsung panels. I have compared my 1.4 to Air 2018 panel with 400 nits update installed and it was brighter in 1.4 and surely it was able to show difference in P3 color test (webkit website) but I feel it is not as colorful as I remember seeing local shop demo models of 2.4 and other Pro's. But again I have not compared my 1.4 side by side to better Pro models, so I could be wrong but for some reason demo models I saw at shop and compared there Air 2018 and 2.4 or older Pro models had very noticeable better screens.

    Regarding PWM I cannot say if it has it or not but obviously it is atleast high enough to pass "hand waving" test but a little different looking than when comparing to my desktop screen without PWM, so I bet it has PWM, just don't know for sure what frequency it is but probably quite high.
  21. keiji11 macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2018
    the compare should be 2018 2.3ghz vs 2019 1.4ghz since they hv similar price tag
  22. ghanwani macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    Today I looked the the 1.4 and 2.4 machines side by side at the store and I did not find any difference in build quality. In terms of display, they did look different, it was slightly less "blue light white" on the 1.4 model and just generally it felt easier on my eyes. I don't know if that was a calibration thing. I thought the keyboard on the 2.4 did feel a bit better but it would be splitting hairs, because I had to really be looking for it to notice it.
  23. RossMacca thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2009
    I took the plunge and ordered the 2.4/16/512 model on Thursday, I just feel those extra ports and the extra fan are going to come in handy at some stage and I didn’t want buyers remorse in two years time.

    So excited for it to arrive, but since Friday I’ve had “shipment information received” on my dhl tracking, saying it’s in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Any idea why it’s taking so long to move on from there?
  24. alias99 macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2010
    The keyboard difference could also be the fact the 2.4 model has been sat a display machine for longer and the keyboard has ben worn in a bit? I'd agree with you that there isn't any real difference in build quality. Just people nit picking and some who don't even have both models side by side.
  25. ghanwani macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    @kp98077 reported owning both for a brief time and reported differences in the build quality and the keyboard. It may just be I am not as perceptive. I don't know.

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