Did apple accidentally make nTB *too* good?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thadoggfather, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. thadoggfather, Dec 8, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016

    thadoggfather macrumors G3

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #1
    disclaimer- I hope regardless of which 2016 you get if you do, nTB, 13/15" TB, you enjoy your purchase and if you aren't having problems, don't be bummed by this or second guessing...

    So OK hear me out but if you dont--

    (tl;dr bolded)
    Battery life is a huge deal for portables. Enough to make some users not care about the other sacrifices.

    perhaps another way to conceptualize what I'm getting at with this thread, and reason for creating it would be to rephrase the thread "Did Apple skimp/forego on some minor but consequential details for upgraded models?" but that comes across as a bit too sensational for my preference, and maybe also suggesting I am validating having nTB, (when in reality, I think TB is kinda cool/has potential but doesn't address pain points of traditional computing for me and I don't have a stake, don't care if people use Windows PC's, Macs, hackintoshes, Linux distros, or simply nothing at all-- but as a sidenote, I'm not torn up about 13" TB as I wasn't in market for Tb, it would just make my decision a tough one, I love that the laptop right in front of me is performing great battery wise my biggest concern especially since battery life tanked on my rMB 2015 on Sierra vs el cap hence restoring to 10.11-- it's just if It were me with a 13" TB in front of me, I'd wondering if I made the right move or should of waited or wonder why I spent the extra $300 if it was really all around worth it) just not for me I'd go bonkers with a virtual ESC key and certainly not now.

    ...also adding this edit since its added confusion to the discussion, I am purely comparing 13" nTB with 13" TB, and users who opt for 13"TB primarily for performance reasons (rather than the also perfectly OK reasons of wanting TB, touchID, 4 ports
    albeit 2 at half bandwidth just for disclosure on right side but still fine and obviously preferable to simply 2 on nTB.. it's just conceptually meh even if some rational engineering reason and not just greed, on parity with like not including an extension cable for users who have always used them even if thats a minority and doesn't make financial sense-- no matter the reason, can rub people a bit odd, same with Imo as with everything in this thread, TB models 13/15 having speakers fire from sides and bottom and can be blocked and muddied vs. nTB having them underneath the grills, even if acoustics are the same conceptually I prefer speakers under the grill not some engineering voodoo )

    15" for what its worth thrown in this discussion muddies it, and I think is a separate discussion to have (users need it for dGPU, real estate preference or need that can in no way be reproduced on a physically smaller screen, 4 full bandwidth ports exclusivity or quad core exclusivity -- that and dGPU, "performance exclusivity" lets bundle it as with a separate tier of workload in mind like heavily virtualized, editor, etc. Not a professional facebooker is what I mean)

    [​IMG]

    ULV, or ultra low voltage, proc (Air calibre power consumption proc vs Pro, essentially) and 54w battery in nTB

    vs. not a ULV proc, and reduced 49w battery while powering OLED touchbar, and touchID secure enclave/A-some'n chip to control TB (afaik), and 4- TB3 ports vs 2 potentially requires more power to regulate 2x (though I wish I had 4, and may not be significant not going to put some spin on that, I'll "deal" though :D)

    the 54w is roughly 9.7% more capacity, lets just say 10%

    ..comes as no surprise to me, some users are experiencing disappointment on the 13" TB apple can't overcome "battery physics," and raw numbers, after all. I'm hearing similar with 15" and in some cases exacerbated compared to 13" TB which may be chalked up to inefficient graphics drivers, or a power hungry dGPU, who knows. But numbers wise, the odds are against these 13"TB models. It's not like a touchbar can forcibly make the machine, a non-ULV, run more efficiently and off a smaller gas tank, somehow. That's nice in theory though, a regulator intermediary to make wondrous leaps in battery life for TB edition. haha.

    On 10.12.0, shipping OS, but I made a carbon copy in case any point releases screw up the efficiency and butteriness of this machine, since software quality control is a loose cannon, (10.11.6 is remaining OS for my 12" 2015 rMB base battery life is significantly better on it than os Sierra, and smoother in scrolling and less beach balling in day to day. El cap on 2015 Core M seems like the sweet spot)

    anyways its odd to me strategically that the "cheapest" 2016 is the one that some people say is less prone to battery life issues as indicated by the raw specs and thinking about it, and arguably less experimental/more of a safe bet since TB is an early adopter trial run (but has potential, just not something I thought I needed and heavily dependent on dev's to pitch in, I understand there's OS baked in functionality but for it to really shine..) and gen1, not to mention it has functional speaker grills projecting sound from underneath the grills unlike 13/15" TB that has sound emitting from bottom and sides and supposedly if that area is blocked laying on your lap or something, it hinders sound (duh)

    This reminds me of apple making SE *too* good, at a significant discount MSRP compared to premium models and its similar but supposed superior 6s that gets objectively inferior battery life but is the more premium model otherwise with gen 2 touchID, 3D Touch, a much higher quality screen, and SE even has merits against 7/7+ too.


    Not too mention, it still has a headphone jack but of course thats a whole other debate. I have SE jailbroken and 7+, and I like 7+ a lot, but I'm not personally benefiting from not having it as an option, vs. a cosmetic speaker grill that actually doesn't even sound like its outputting anything... but again, I can deal. IF it were a deal breaker I wouldn't be buying it and then also complaining how its ruining my day, I would have just returned it.

    A9 efficiency+low res screen = plus like battery life, and then some in some cases, I have a feeling as a side note SE will hold value better than 7/7+ which will get the massive dump in resell around 7s/8 release time next year, even though I'll be holding onto my SE as a secondary/backup

    The "cheap" end models are becoming niche, and attaining cult-like status within the apple cult itself! oh man! demographic fragmentation! undermining and cannabalizing the premium end. the horrors!
     
  2. alex0002 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 19, 2013
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #2
    The 2016 nTB is great for people that value battery life and those of us that prefer 'real' function keys. You could also see it as the retina MBA that people always wanted, except not at that price and the MBA has more ports.
     
  3. MarcBou macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    #3
    I don't see why. The nTB priorices battery life and portability, it's better for it, but since I need a computer for heavy stuff (4k video editing, etc.), the only way to go for me is the 15" TB model. And some people would go for the 13" TB because need portability but.more power than the one you get with the nTB.

    Simple as that.
     
  4. Ma2k5 macrumors 65816

    Ma2k5

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    London
    #4
    I find the problem being that, there isn't much of a performance difference between the 13" tb and 13" non-touch bar unless both the CPU and GPU are simultaneously stressed. But even so, you now end up with another problem where, under stress, the 13" tb will probably have a run time of only 3 hours max (you'll be using 15-30wh power in these circumstances, if not more, in some cases it could be flat within a couple of hours). If people need power, I would choose the 15" or a different solution altogether.
     
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #5
    No they have a bottom rung pro that is an excellent machine, they always sell more of the cheapest in a line than any other model so this will do nothing other than make even more people happy.
     
  6. vipergts2207 macrumors 68000

    vipergts2207

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    #6
    It pretty much comes down to, do you need or want the power? If someone does, they'll probably opt for one of the TB models. If not, they'll probably opt for the nTB because its cheaper and has a little more battery life. That's pretty much all it comes down to. A caveat may be some people who are polarized about the touch bar one way or the other and those who perhaps who value a lot of screen real estate in the 15" model.
     
  7. Macalway macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2013
    #7
    Having two more of these awesome ports is nice though. And the touch bar is really nice also. You have to use it for a while to warm to it. Thing is, there were a lot of people complaining about the TB, but i'm thinking you get used to it, so that eventually most people will like it (could be wrong)

    Then there's the more heavy cpu arrangement, which is perhaps more of a power user choice (maybe).

    I just like these ports a lot.
     
  8. thadoggfather thread starter macrumors G3

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #8
    How much better is TB13" when taxed vs nTB13" quantitatively in benchmarks and perhaps in real world use of encoding times, etc?

    I would imagine day to day and casually there's no perceivable difference whatsoever

    For example this SSD reads and writes at 3000MB/s and renders black magic useless since it taps out at 2000MB/s and id imagine there will be an update but.. dragging chrome from dmg to applications folder takes a few seconds. I don't care but it also takes a few seconds on my gen 1 rMB albeit slower but not painfully so. I would imagine even a maxed out 15" takes a slight amount of time to transfer chrome. Not that that's the pinnacle of computing achievement but for a <200mb application to transfer from its respective installer, it boggles the mind
     
  9. raqball macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    #9
    I had the nTB for a week then changed it for the TB.. The TB to me is pretty useless at this point and so far, it's a gimmick that's not very practical or useful...

    The nTB is a stellar machine if you can live with 2 ports, one of which will be in use for charging.. That is going to leave you with one port! No thanks and it's why mine was exchanged for the TB version (more ports)..
     
  10. Zenithal macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #10
    Is that random or sequential? I'd imagine it's like using Windows and a M.2 NVMe SSD. It's fast as heck, but when you're writing to the drive in the form of an install, it's not as fast as writing files to it. There's a lot more involved then dragging a file.
     
  11. thadoggfather, Dec 9, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016

    thadoggfather thread starter macrumors G3

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #11
    Not sure
    And Of course it is doing more than just dragging the file. But I use that as my point that in day to day I don't think there will be any perceivable difference. And perhaps thinking with TB youll get way better performance is valid, but I don't think the results are representative of that Train of thought.

    I've heard multiple times people don't perceive a difference in performance from nTB to TB they did it for TB, Touch ID, or more ports mostly as this guy above me just mentioned, things that are obvious changes.

    (Going from rMB to 2016 nTB even tho I'm likely keeping the rMB too, I absolutely feel the difference in performance-- again, of course i should)

    It comes at a compromise. Less battery life and less of a gas tank capacity period on top of more internal stuff needing power. It may not be a compromise some will care about at all, but in light of battery problems , I think it's worth the consideration to skip the headaches and go nTB if other considerations don't matter as much and save some money while still indulging while happily waiting out the evolution of the new line up

    Returns/gains from top end models are always diminishing too. I guess I'm comparing 13" nTB with 13" TB. 15" can be a different logic as that size simply cannot be substituted in 13" form if 15" is what one is set on for power reasons since quad core has been exclusive to this size (same with 4 ports at full bandwidth vs half thunderbolt bandwidth which is still blazing but conceptually disappointing on TB13" or added screen real estate or use of dGPU (duh)

    Not specific to 2016s but intel at large. Architecture makes more of a difference than a mild clock bump for 200 bucks (what has historically been the case, not saying that that's here since one is ULV and other is not. 2.9 "sounds like" a good leap from 2.0 too but a Kaby lake jump would matter more efficiency and compute wise as an example than a bump in sky lake)
     
  12. Zenithal macrumors 603

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    Sep 10, 2009
    #12
    They shouldn't. At some speed, your mind loses its ability to differentiate how fast things are going. Obviously SATAIII SSD to M.2 NVMe is incredibly different. I used to think my SSD got slow until I sat in front of a regular spin driven computer a couple weeks ago and it took ages doing things.
     
  13. thadoggfather, Dec 9, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016

    thadoggfather thread starter macrumors G3

    thadoggfather

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    Oct 1, 2007
    #13
    Right but that further validates that an actual Tangible need for more horse power may not be the case. Louis ck said he edited all of Louie on his 13" MacBook Pro. This was a season prior to retina, and I think when it was still consistency c2d and not even i5. Not saying let's all be Louie and can make a show and comedy and produce. Or that Louie is the greatest comedian ever. But craving a badass rig is different than perceiving or believing to "need" it

    For example staring at phone benchmarks doesn't do it for me. It's a nice touch when my phone already feels blazing to validate it more.

    But there are plenty of androids that bench well but suck in day to day or exhibit choppiness beyond iOS 10 gripes. And slow down after a few months of use. Etc. it's not the full story.

    Of course I love that conceptually my SSD r/w at 3k MB/s that's Nuts. My rMB is like 600MB or so if I recall correctly maybe more on read side
     
  14. Zenithal macrumors 603

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    Sep 10, 2009
    #14
    Of course there has to be a use for it. You make it sound as if I'm inclined to tell people to buy a... or build a 22 core Xeon workstation to play that colorful blocky game kids like these days. I think you misunderstood what I asked, which was a general inquiry and not some hostile attack on what you said.

    Regardless, it's the same way with people wanting the MBP to have the next generation high end i7 in mobile format. Who cares if the IPC and general performance different is less than 1%, they want something newer and the ability to have hardware HEVC decode. The person who can live with their MBP and use it for 3-4 years before upgrading gets better value for their money in the long run.

    It's why I've always said benchmarks are useless when discussing real world use.
     
  15. thadoggfather, Dec 9, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016

    thadoggfather thread starter macrumors G3

    thadoggfather

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    Oct 1, 2007
    #15
    I'm not hostile at all. Just trying to understand the logic. I've always gotten base models though provided it meets my
    Memory and storage needs and compute feels adequate. Saved quite a bit of coin over the years doing so. Instead of a typical 0.2ghz bump to put pricing in a different league and a loss in resell since people don't value it as much as I paid for it (again not the case with 2016s on paper but seemingly not as much of a bump as it seems you should be getting)

    In my case, price difference aside, because I do not feel or perceive a difference in compute, AND battery life is arguably way better and a safer bet, I feel I've made a better purchase than splurging and shooting myself in the foot As an early adopter of jack of all trades, master of fewer.

    Another example as mentioned before but to make a comparable observation that's harder to see as
    There's other considerations for SE vs 6s, but price differences aside again, I have a phone that even feels faster because of low res screen than 6s, but for arguments sake let's say on parity performance wise to where it's a wash, But more importantly better battery, if I could forego the other considerations for this example like design screen Touch ID generation difference and 3D Touch omission, in my day to day less time tethered to a wall means a happier camper. One can't argue that charging more often is a perk or even moot. It may not be a deal breaker but it's worth noting as reviewers have.
     
  16. Zenithal macrumors 603

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    #16
    That's understandable. I'm not arguing against that or by saying everyone should get the best model. Get what you can budget for and see yourself using for a few years.
     
  17. thadoggfather, Dec 9, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016

    thadoggfather thread starter macrumors G3

    thadoggfather

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    #17
    My main point is that if apple gave the 13"TB a big enough battery (and well beyond 54w that's in the nTB) to offset TB,TouchID,maybe addition of ports, more powerful proc (all perfectly valid reasons to want the TB model) so that battery life was at least on parity to nTB, it would be a no brainer for anyone in the market for those features. And this thread and peoples distaste for battery life of TB (of course more is always better battery wise and we can always be disgruntled but these reports of 2-4 paltry hours) would be relatively moot.

    With a smaller gas tank and an incremental boost on performance, not so sure. It presents itself with a fork in the road for which route to take as a consumer, when historically throwing more money at the problem nearly guarantees a better experience universally, even if incremental, for apple stuff.

    It's like for performance purposes of upgrading sake- if there was a civic, 2016 model. One gets 10 percent better engine performance and horsepower but at the expense of a 20 percent smaller gas tank with same overall car body, and a price tag of a few grand more or proportionate to whatever 1500 to 1800 translates to in car world/finance, and assuming I was in stop and go religiously on the 405 and never felt any of that 10 percent touted boost ever and hang out at the gas station more often or always wondering when I do need to fill up if I woulda gone a day longer with the bigger tank and will also get hosed on trade in as the upgrade turned out to be a sunk cost, I might re evaluate the logic behind my purchase decision Moving forward with the next purchase . You live and you learn.
     
  18. Zenithal macrumors 603

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    #18
    Yes, but then you play engineer and have to figure out how to evenly distribute weight and use space efficiently.
     
  19. thadoggfather, Dec 9, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016

    thadoggfather thread starter macrumors G3

    thadoggfather

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    #19
    I'm speaking as the consumer not the engineer.

    I understand why (albeit extremely high level and conceptually) they had to make it smaller, limitations of space

    99 percent of Apple consumers don't think in terms of being engineers. Including myself there. "It just works"

    I don't have any more points to make this thread is really just a mental excercise of apples fragmented and confusing and ever continuously bloated product line. And I'd prefer to hear from others as well (though you make good points too)

    Ive edited original post to hopefully keep the discussion more on point,
     
  20. kwandrews macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I agree, unless you need more power or ports, the nTB (escape edition) is a great choice! I had one, but needed a bit more processing power (4k editing, etc.). On the nTB, I was easily getting 8-11 hours of battery and day to day normal stuff was snappy.

    With the 13" TB (base), my battery sucks horribly. I have Mr Stopwatch running and I'm at 1:07, 50% brightness, backlight off only Safari running and I'm down to 68%. HORRIBLE. Sort of kills it for a laptop. I'm considering a BTO nTB but I can't return and be without a laptop for that long of a wait. Maybe they can tweak software/firmware, etc. to improve. So far, I'm getting 2-4 hours on avg. I miss the nTB battery!!!!
     
  21. raqball macrumors 68000

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    Sep 11, 2016
    #21
    I really wish the nTB had at least 3 ports.. If it did, I would have kept mine no question! I am not digging the TB and see zero point in it.. My battery life on the nTB was 9-10 hours at max brightness.. I am getting slightly better than you are on the TB but still lagging behind the nTB @ about 6-7 hours same brightness...
     
  22. thadoggfather thread starter macrumors G3

    thadoggfather

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    #22
    Yeah I agree, one port on the other side would be nice, even if 1/4th the full bandwidth for USB3 tasks :)

    or maybe even two on right, one on left.. yeah...

    Or even if just 2, one on each side.

    Maybe you've unraveled the mystery behind gen 2 nTB? :D
     
  23. jvfg macrumors newbie

    jvfg

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    Dec 9, 2016
    #23
    I'm not sure if the ntb is the best of the three but mine (so far) has been pretty great.

    On a side note, can we replace the battery in the 2016 ntb's?

    Just looking to the future. :)
     
  24. kwandrews macrumors 6502

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    #24
  25. mrex, Dec 10, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016

    mrex macrumors 68030

    mrex

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    #25
    They both run empty quite fast under the load 1:05-1:40 (where nTB runs the longer time though).

    [​IMG]
    (Source: notebookcheck.com)

    Geekbench etc are just scoring maximum scores.. not really uselful information for a real time usage. it would be more interesting see the real difference when you do a simple task - does nTB jump to the turbo mode more often than TB to achieve the same performance?

    The idle consumption is same for both models - abit lower for TB thought - but under the load, TB may consume 16W more than nTB (max 43W vs 59W). How often are you going to stress them to the max?

    [​IMG]
    (Source: notebookcheck.com)

    Some reviewer said that there was a difference e.g. using fcp and 4k video between nTB and TB. While it wasnt so nice with nTB, it was possible with TB (i7/16gb). "i can edit 4K videos in Final Cut Pro X in full resolution fairly smoothly. On the entry-level MacBook Pro, I was forced to use proxy files in order to edit and playback 4K video without hiccups. This is nice, because proxy media takes up storage space, and storage space comes at a premium in Apple world." (9to5mac.com)

    Been read these differences between these models. When the cpu doesnt jump to the turbo mode, the difference is still 0,9ghz between the base model nTB and TB - that is a huge difference. Under the heavy load when both are running in the turbo mode the speed difference is negligible. But it is not only the speed difference between cpus, but also possible throttling where TB model should be able to keep its speed longer than nTB model. But again, what are you doing to run it at its max speed and start seeing throttling?

    Before i ordered mine i was checking nTB more closely at the store. I think it felt sometimes abit slow.
     

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