Costco XPS 15 sale vs MBP15


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 20, 2006
Costco is about to drop the price on the new 9560 Dell XPS 15. Down to $1999 with 32GB ram, 1TB SSD, 4K Ultra HD display, nVidia GTX 1050, etc

Any takers? I love my 2013 MBP 15 but this deal is really, really tempting. I think the only thing holding me back really is the trackpad. I have not used one on a windows machine lately but I know they drove me crazy in the past. But that's big for me as the is the most used item. Any other reasons this might not be a good idea?

The edu Apple refurb store has the new TB MBP with 16GB and 512 SSD for $2379 so there is still a great pricing delta between the Dell and MBP.


Jan 15, 2003
What won't your 2013 do? Why not wait until Kaby Lake comes out in the MBP, and see if Apple has corrected the teething problems with the 2016 design?


macrumors newbie
Dec 15, 2014
The trackpad on the 9650 is actually really nice. But with Dell laptops come technical issues and if you go on Dell's subreddit, a lot of people are less than happy with their customer service.


macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
I'd definitely pay the $400 difference to upgrade to the Mac. Thinner, lighter, better battery life, better support, better trackpad, better cooling system. Just generally better to live with.

Whilst the DELL XPSs are great value for a Windows computer, you're looking to buy on paper specs, which is always dangerous. The actual experience isn't anywhere near as refined as you'd get on a Mac and you really won't notice the extra hardware grunt unless you're doing something properly resource intensive.

In a lot of cases, mainly with the super-thin Razer laptops, they actually perform worse with better specs. This is because the cooling systems are horrendously designed and the hardware throttles like nothing else just to keep it under boiling temperature. Put any thin Razer laptop under stress with Prime 95/Intel Burn and it will immediately hit 95C. Immediately. So the Mac ironically runs circles around it.

Granted, the DELLs are a lot better for their cooling systems than Razer. But I really don't think you're getting more for your money with the DELL. There's a lot, lot more to a computer than just raw hardware. After a while you'll just wish you stuck with Apple. There's a reason they redesign every 4-5 years, because of their intensive in-house testing before release.


Aug 28, 2005
You can't compare the two laptops on marketing specs. At, we have been testing different Thunderbolt 3 laptops to find the best eGPU host (computer). The further we look into the architecture of each laptop, the more impressive the Late 2016 15" MacBook Pro becomes.

Not to bore everyone to death with technical details, the 15" MacBook Pro is the only we found so far to have its Thunderbolt 3 controller wired straight to the CPU; the discrete Radeon Pro GPU attaches the same way. This allows it to drive two 5K Thunderbolt 3 displays and have plenty of headroom for other data connections.

An average Thunderbolt 3 laptop (Late 13" MacBook Pro included) has its Thunderbolt 3 PCIe controller wired to the PCH which is shared with USB and other PCIe components such as the PCIe flash storage and wireless card. In most usage situation, you won't notice any performance drop. However, driving a 5K display while using other external peripherals will not be ideal.

The Dell XPS lineup in particular has been found guilty of using a 2x PCIe lane instead of 4x. The 2x PCIe lane effectively makes Dell Thunderbolt 3 XPS machines no faster than Thunderbolt 2 ones.

I don't like the new MacBook Pro but Apple's engineering integrity is commendable.


macrumors 68030
Nov 17, 2016
If you're on a budget and really need the additional RAM or processor speed, the Dell is just the thing. Reports are that it's fairly well built, and despite some real complaints, it's usable to get some value out of the extra power. If you want to find out more, go to the Dell forums (including reddit) and look for (or ask about) things that you might do with your machine.

Some things to consider:

The economic advantages of the Dell also extend to upgrades and repairs. More easily replaceable parts.

The Dell is much better for most gaming, which is optimized for Windows and can use the faster dGPU.

The Dell UHD screen is very nice, but not nicer than the new MBP screens for almost any practical purpose. The extra resolution is impossible to see unless you're fogging the screen with your nose. The new MBP screen actually has 20-50% better brightness and contrast (measurements vary), which is more noticeable. The Dell UHD aims at the Adobe RBG color space, used in some photography, while the new MBP aims at the P3, used in some video.

The new MBP has better speakers.

The new MBP gets better battery life for light to moderate use, probably two or three hours better for browsing of streaming video.

As noted above, the Thunderbolt 3 port on the Dell is hobbled to half-speed. According to reports, you can't run a 4K monitor at 60 Hz without a dock. The new MBP has much more powerful external monitor support.

The Dell is a little bigger and heavier.

The Dell probably runs hotter and noisier under load, though I haven't seen a solid review on that yet.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.