Chart of $1.2k-$1.6k rMB, MBA, ntbMBP differences

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by oneMadRssn, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. oneMadRssn, Oct 30, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018

    oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #1
    The new "low" to "mid" Apple laptop lineup has become very confusing now. I've tried putting together a chart of the notable differences between the models ranging from $1200 to $1600.

    The similarities aren't that important - they all have 8GB of RAM configurable to 16GB; they all have configurable SSDs; they all have higher CPU configurations. All for more money.

    I left off the TBMBP intentionally. The differences there are easy to identify - 25W quad-core CPUs, more ports, etc. There is no confusing a choice to get those if processing power is what you want.

    I also left off the last-gen MBA intentionally. The differences there are also easy to identify - USB-A ports, magsafe, low-res screen, old keyboard, old trackpad. It's a great machine and a super value, but there is no confusion in selecting it.

    Adapt a copy of the chart in Google Docs for your own use!

    upload_2018-10-31_14-55-16.png
    Sources:
    https://www.apple.com/macbook/specs/
    https://www.apple.com/macbook-air/specs/
    https://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/specs/
    And users helping me out below.

    How the heck is someone supposed to choose a model? The differences are pretty minor, and there is no one obvious best model, or best bang for buck model. For example, if a college student asked me which Mac to get for normal classroom stuff with a budget of $1300 - I wouldn't really know which to recommend.

    EDIT:
    Taking a look, I think the differences between the 3 models are as follows:

    The nTB MBP should really be called the MBPjr in my opinion. That isn't meant as a dig, I just don't think it's really a "Pro" Mac like the other quad-core models with the truly powerful CPUs. It is for those that want a bit more processing power and particularly for those working with visual arts due to the better screen. For example, light photography manipulation or video editing. Also, it might be a better choice for those that run light matlab sims, compile code, etc. These are tasks where the higher power CPU will be a benefit. Thus, the MBPjr is the better choice for a STEM college student.

    The rMB is actually not such a bad deal considering the base SSDs are larger. Compare the 256GB rMB with the 256GB MBA - the rMB is $100 cheaper, but has a slightly lesser CPU. Also, it has less ports, a worse webcam, a last-gen keyboard, and a slightly smaller screen. If portability is at the top of a priority list, the rMB is the better choice though. I wouldn't recommend the rMB to a college student.

    That leaves the new MBA - who is it for? It is for people that don't plan on doing anything that might need sustained CPU power, but want an additional port, an extra inch of screen, a better webcam, a slightly better keyboard, and the slightly better battery life. The new MBA might be the best choice for a non-STEM college student.
     
  2. vistokid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    #2
    So bizarre. I don't get it. I have a 2017 NTB and I was thinking of selling it and getting the new MBA... I don't think that would be wise now.
     
  3. PhoenixDown macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    #3
    I did a similar comparison based on a certain spec.... it seems the only real differences between the Mac Book Pro and the new Mac Book Air is the graphics card and Quad Core vs Dual Core with slightly lower clock speed. The uplift from the MAc Book Air to the Mac Book Pro is $400.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    You should update the chart with the series of processors they use. The Macbook And Macbook Air use slower Y series processors (what was formerly called Core M), while the Pros use U series processors.
     
  5. oneMadRssn, Oct 30, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018

    oneMadRssn thread starter macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    Sep 8, 2011
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    New England
    #5
    Good idea, will do.

    EDIT: Updated chart above.
     
  6. Lunfai macrumors 65816

    Lunfai

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    Sheffield
    #6
    The pricing hurts my head if I was an average consumer I would be even more confused.
     
  7. Ma2k5 macrumors 68020

    Ma2k5

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    Dec 21, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #7
    Can you add the nits of the displays - I think that’s a huge factor.

    2016 nTB have 500 nits while the new Airs have 300....
     
  8. vistokid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
  9. applesith macrumors 68030

    applesith

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #9
    The lineup is such a mess.

    Why offer a 13" Pro without Touch ID when the Air has Touch ID?
    Why offer a $1300 12" without Touch ID when the $1200 Air has Touch ID?

    The pricing, size, model nor suffix offer a clear indication of how they are different.
     
  10. redheeler macrumors 604

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #10
    This lineup is extremely confusing, very much like something out of 90's Apple. I don't often use the phrase "Steve would have never allowed this," but it certainly applies here.
     
  11. gpat macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    Italy
    #11
    The 13" MBP definitely isn't using 8259u CPU which would be a quad-core chip.
     
  12. redheeler macrumors 604

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #12
    Looks like he confused the non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar MacBook Pro.
     
  13. AppleHaterLover macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2018
    #13
    Yeah that’s an i5-7360U.

    Nevertheless the nTB MBP now seems like a heck of a deal now that Apple has shown us their vision for a $1200 laptop (i.e. bargain basement CPU and GPU). I think the nTB will not live long
     
  14. oneMadRssn thread starter macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
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    New England
    #14
    Will do.


    You're right, my bad! Updated!
    --- Post Merged, Oct 30, 2018 ---
    You're right. Looking at this chart now, it looks like for only $100 more you get a materially better CPU and graphics, screen with wider color (and maybe brighter too). The only downsides are no Touch ID and a quarter pound heavier.
     
  15. AppleHaterLover macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2018
    #15
    Here's what I posted on the MBP forums on a thread I opened re. my surprise that the MBP was not discontinued. I think the nTB MBP is ahead both in peak performance and sustained performance, and very clearly ahead in GPU performanvce (plus I'd guess the display might be better, but have no facts to prove it). The small price difference might signal that it might be discontinued soon.

    "(My guess that the nTB MBP is faster) It's a guesstimation based on how the CPU on this is the bottom of the barrel 8th gen and how the one on the nTB wasn't in the 2017 line.

    But anyway let's talk numbers (and I may stand corrected on this one):

    CPU performance:

    nTB MBP has the i5-7360U with Intel Iris Pro 640. It's a standard Intel SKU, 15W TDP.

    On Geekbench the upper portion of scores for the nTB MBP 2017 hovers around 4500 single core/9500 multi-core.

    There isn't an SKU on Intel's website for a dual-core i5 with 1.6 GHz. Much less one with the Intel UHD 617. Go figure, this may be custom-made for Apple.

    The closest one is the Core i5-8200Y - that's a 1.3 base/3.9 Turbo Boost chip with 2 cores and the UHD 615. I don't doubt that what Apple has done here was just play around with the clock speeds for that SKU.

    Anyway: the only device on Geekbench using that processor is the Google Nocturne (an unreleased tablet! Again, go figure). I know, it's a tablet, but peak performance should be the same. That scores 3900 single-core / 8164 multi-core.

    That's a 15% difference. I know Apple's chip will be different - but keep in mind Apple's won't Turbo Boost as high, so peak performance should be the in the same ballpark (maybe a bit lower than the Nocturne?). And I imagine that thing will get heat soaked more quickly than the MBP, and sustained performance won't be anywhere close.

    As for the GPU, I think we can agree the one on the MBP should be far better, right?"
     
  16. Ma2k5 macrumors 68020

    Ma2k5

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    #16



    FYI re brightness:

    upload_2018-10-30_22-56-4.jpeg
     
  17. Rob9874 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    #17
    I'm upgrading from an early-2011 MBP. I'm considering the new Air, with 16GB ram and 512 MB hdd, but at $1691 I'm wondering if the MBP with same upgrades would be a better bet at $1785. Thoughts, pros, cons?
     
  18. Ma2k5 macrumors 68020

    Ma2k5

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #18
    Let’s start with cons of the MBP compared to the Air:

    1) Lower battery life. Maybe 8 hours or so realistically at best.
    2) Touch Bar isn’t liked by many
    3) Isn’t tapered and slightly heavier (height/width the same, thickness is a tad thinner compared to the Airs most thickest point)

    Pro’s:

    1) Superior 500 nit P3 screen with TrueTone. Air has an SRGB 300 nit screen, weaker than even the 2015 nTB
    2) 28W CPU vs 5W CPU, huge performance difference
    3) HD 655 vs HD 617 iGPU. Again, a big performance difference especially when considering the 5W envelope of the Air is for both CPU and the iGPU combined
    4) 4 ports vs 2 ports
     
  19. Rob9874 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    #19
    Sorry, nTB MBP. Does that sway the needle to the Air? 2 ports for both.
     
  20. Ma2k5 macrumors 68020

    Ma2k5

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #20
    I wouldn’t consider the nTB to be honest as it hasn’t been updated, it still has 7th gen CPU but more importantly, gen 2 keyboard instead of gen 3, which for me is a deal breaker (I actually returned a nTB due to faulty keyboard back in 2016). It does have the better screen though and even the 7th gen CPU/iGPU will be more powerful than the Air.
     
  21. cannono macrumors 6502

    cannono

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    #21
    Adding rows for RAM options and number of cores would help please
     
  22. Howard2k macrumors 68020

    Howard2k

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    #22
    Need to add Wifi to the chart too. There is some differentiation between the models.
     
  23. turbineseaplane macrumors 601

    turbineseaplane

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    #23
    Great chart work OP..

    Good lord what an f'in mess.

    Maybe Tim's goal is just to confuse and frustrate you enough at the store to the point of "ok, just give me ANY of these laptops so I can leave the store and move on with my life and end this frustrating and confusing shopping experience".

    Honestly - this feels like Apple has people internally fighting about direction of the company and the various lineups and what markets they should target and how.

    This is way way too many laptops.
     
  24. AppleHaterLover macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2018
    #24

    The worst thing is I've been seeing the same form factor in conferences and Starbucks around the world at least since 2011. And they're going to keep making the same freaking laptop. How's that for innovation? A 10-year laptop and a brand new one being exactly the same??
     
  25. oneMadRssn thread starter macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #25
    They’re all dual core and they’re all 8gb ram configureable to 16gb. The point of this chart was to identify the differences, but that is something they all have in common.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 30, 2018 ---
    Are there? Aren’t they all 802.11ac 2x2? Or are the MBP 3x3?
    --- Post Merged, Oct 30, 2018 ---
    Thanks. I’ll update the table tomorrow. Where did you find that info?
     

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47 October 30, 2018