Get MacBook Pro now or wait for Coffee Lake?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by rajsharma714, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. rajsharma714 macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2017

    I'm using a 2013 13" rMBP, i5 with 8GB RAM. I use it for basic office stuff like Word, E-Mail, Messages, Web with always multiple tabs open, etc. But also for light Photoshop, and also use Parallels for a Windows only program that I use for work, and WordPress.

    My current laptop just runs too slow, especially when I have Parallels is open with Windows running with the program I need. I was going to get the 15" MBP because it has quad-core i7 CPU, with 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD. I would prefer to get the 13", but by the time I add the highest i7 with 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD, it's only $200 less to get the 15" with quad-core CPU, which I think is worth to send the extra $200 to get quad-core CPU.

    However, I was reading that Coffee Lake will be available this year, and 8th gen CPU will bring quad-core that could be used in a 13" MBP. What are the changes Apple will actually update this year to the 8th gen CPU? And will Apple actually put in a quad-core in a 13"?

    Now I understand I can wait forever to keep getting the most updates, and it's not realistic since technology will always improve, but if Apple will update this year, I can wait a few months, but if it's most likely not going to happen until next year Spring or something, then I'll most likely just pull the trigger and get it around the time iPhone 8 announced.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    Intel's delivery on CPUs has not been very consistent, and several delays in recent time have occurred.

    If your current machine is not meeting your needs, if it were me personally I would upgrade now, given: 1) Intel may delay Coffee Lake again and they may not even be available until early 2018, 2) Apple is not very consistent in their upgrade cycle, so even when Coffee Lake is released there is no guarantee that Apple will rapidly adopt it, and 3) Even if/when Apple does adopt Coffee Lake, the 13-inch may continue to be a dual core by Apple's choice (to keep a division between the 13/15 models.) There are just so many conditional factors that I think it is easy to wait a long time only to regret waiting for something that didn't come, all the while had you upgraded earlier your workflow (and potentially productivity-->income) could have benefitted.

    Worst case scenario if you buy now and in early-mid 2018 Apple actually releases a Coffee Lake MBP13 with a quad core is you could sell the current machine, recoup a huge amount of the initial investment, and put that money towards a newer model.

    The 2017 13-inch has made significant performance gains - if you like the 13-inch size, perhaps it might be worth first trying a 13-inch (perhaps a nTB with 16GB and a 512 SSD?), seeing how well it works with your needs, and then returning it within the 14-day period for a 15-inch if it fails to impress?
  3. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    I agree with ZapNZs - just because Intel makes it doesn't mean that Apple will put it in a product. And we're not even sure when Intel will actually deliver. Also, Apple continues to refine the new MBP. They updated the keyboard mechanism over last year's model. So if what you have works, you may want to consider waiting.
    When you do buy a new MBP, consider Apple Care. My daughter's 2016 TB MBP had a key go bad - they had to replace the entire top case, as the keyboard is integrated and not separate.
  4. rajsharma714 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2017
    @ZapNZs sound advise. I might just make the jump to 15" and get the quad-core. If I were to upgrade, I rather not take the time to setup my laptop to test it to see if it fits my needs. And I don't feel 14 days in enough time to make a proper judgment. Regardless of which Mac I get, it will be with 16GB and 512 SSD, it just comes down to the CPU really. And using Safari, Chrome, Messages, Photoshop, Parallels, I might be better off with the 3.5GHz i7. Any additional thoughts?
  5. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    If you are going with the 15-inch, the options you have for CPUs are IIRC 2.8, 2.9, and 3.1 GHz quad core i7s. If pricing is an issue, the base CPU is more than enough IMO because the differences among the 3 quad core CPU performance capability is rather small, where as the CPU upgrade price is rather large. (With the 13-inch there appears to be a bigger performance difference between the nTB's base i5 and upgraded i7.) So, if you went with the 15, I would personally put the extra $100 towards upgrading to the Radeon Pro 560 GPU, as it is a significant upgrade over the base Radeon Pro 555, and as time goes forward I expect GPUs on the Mac are going to increasingly be used to perform more tasks once designated to the CPU-only (and so the 560 could benefit the system's overall speed quite a bit even in areas not typically thought to benefit from a more powerful GPU.)

    FWIW, I run VMs on my 2016 13-inch MBP with the base 2.0 GHz i5 dual core (8 RAM) and my 2014 MBP with the 2.5 GHz i7 quad core (16 RAM, discrete GPU). The base model MBP 13 nTB does a great job running a single VM at one time, and the CPU in that model is a lot weaker than what is in the 2017s. The area I notice the biggest difference is when I try to run multiple VMs, where the 15-inch is very strongly favored. I use my 13-inch as my portable machine, where as my 15-inch is my workstation connected to dual displays. Where as I can run Win 7 on one display, Win 10 on a second display, and Ubuntu on the built-in display simultaneously on my 15-inch and all three VMs be completely usable, the 13-inch simply can't handle t. With all my VMs I disable most of the UI animation as I find these greatly hog resources (especially in Win 8.1 and 10) and the VM is more responsive overall once these (functionally-useless) animations are stripped away.
  6. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    The quad core processor is unlikely to make any discernable difference for your use. I would choose which device you want based on preferred form factor (which you will notice every time you use the laptop) as opposed to a theoretical advantage in CPU that you may never notice.
  7. rajsharma714 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2017
    Thanks for the advice. I'll pull the trigger on the 15" MBP with only 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports with a upgraded CPU. Like you said, if Apple does release a 13" version with quad-core for Coffee Lake, I'll resell my 15" and put the money towards getting the new one.

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