Hardware comparison time...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by therealseebs, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. therealseebs macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    So, I have one of the new MBPs on order, because I pretty much need Mac OS X, but I am not super pleased with the hardware. And I also have a Windows laptop, for gaming reasons, and that one was about four years old, so I got a newer one, and I want to compare the specs on the machines, because I think this is a really good example of a machine which I would think of as a "pro" model. I recognize that not all pros need/want the same things.

    The machine's an ASUS GL502VS-DB71.

    Size: 4.8 pounds, 0.94 inches thick. Absolutely quite a bit larger. It's a largeish 15" laptop, and that's fine by me. I've carried around much heavier machines and not minded, and I like the resulting improvement in cooling.

    CPU: Some quad-core i7. "6700HQ". Base frequency 2.6GHz. Slightly slower Skylake CPU.
    GPU: GeForce 1070, 8GB memory
    RAM: 16GB, upgradeable to 32. (Two DIMM slots, one populated with a 16GB DIMM)

    CPU/GPU wise... GPU's clearly gonna run rings around my MBP, CPU's going to be slightly slower. Extra memory would be a really nice thing; if I were running Unix on it, I'd get the memory. Nice thing is, I have the option of doing it later. So if two years from now, 16GB is feeling cramped, I can upgrade.

    Weight: 4.8 pounds
    Thickness: 0.94 inches

    MBP's definitely ahead on this. I don't care, personally. This is definitely a lot smaller than the machine it's replacing (a G55).

    Display: 1920x1080 anti-glare IPS panel

    So, for me, this is mostly better than the MBP display. I hate the fuzziness I get if I do 1920x resolutions on my current rMBP (admittedly a 13"). 1920x1080 isn't ideal -- I'd rather have x1200 -- but it's basically exactly the resolution I want to run the machine at. Text is beautiful and clear. It's not quite as perfectly sharp as rMBP text, but it's identical to what I get on my 30" 2560x1600 display, just less real estate. And anti-glare is a HUGE win for me compared to the glossy screens, which give me headaches.

    I wouldn't blame other people for preferring the Retina display, but if Apple offered this as an option, I'd have taken it instead of Retina.

    Keyboard: Full keyboard (including number pad) with reasonably normal scissor keys. For me, this is way better; it's more comfortable to type on. I'd be fine without the keypad, but some people love them. I don't know whether I'll miss the touch bar once I've gotten used to it, but I know that I'll be glad to have the full function key row.

    Power: Rated at 180W. Yes, 180. Over twice the power draw of the MBP. I don't care much.
    Battery life: I have no idea, and don't care much. I don't use machines off of power very often or for very long. A major consideration for some people, but not for me.

    Storage: PCIe SSD slot and 2.5" HDD slot. Comes with 256GB SSD, 1TB moving-parts drive. Both are user-replaceable. (I swapped in a 512GB SSD which cost me $130.) This is one of the areas where the ASUS absolutely dominates Apple's offerings for my purposes.

    Ports: Here's where ASUS wins hugely. The biggest weakness this machine had compared to previous MBPs was MagSafe. Now that Apple's dropped MagSafe, that's no longer an advantage for Apple.

    This machine has HDMI, MiniDisplayPort, gigabit Ethernet, one USB Type-C port, 4 USB Type-A ports, and an SD card reader. (Both have headphone jacks.)

    The new MBP has 4 type-C USB ports. If I don't use hubs or adapters, my upper limit on devices plugged in is three total devices. It's arguably convenient that the ports are all interchangeable, but there's simply not enough of them, and they don't match my existing devices. To use my MBP with an external monitor, I need an adapter. To connect it to Ethernet, I need an adapter. To connect it to any wired keyboard or mouse I own, I need an adapter. To connect it to any wireless keyboard or mouse I own which uses a USB dongle, I need an adapter. And if I want to use keyboard, mouse, ethernet, display, and power... That's five things, and now I need at least one adapter that's providing multiple ports or something.

    Price: As-configured, $1700. I spent $130 extra on a 512GB SSD upgrade. If I wanted to mail-order, I could get a 1TB using the standard M.2 SSD drive spec. B&H will sell me a SanDisk 1TB for $289.95. The 1TB upgrade from Apple is $400, and that's an upgrade; it doesn't give me a spare SSD I can repurpose or sell.

    So, my shiny new MBP with 1TB of disk runs something like $3,499 with 2GHz processor and 1TB disk upgrades, and a 4GB Radeon 460. This machine, with the 1TB drive upgrade, would be a bit under $1,999. It would have a slightly slower processor. It would have more storage, be user-upgradeable to even more storage or 32GB of memory at any point in the future. Better keyboard, much better ports, display that fits my needs better, and so on. It is unequivocally completely superior, for me personally.

    If I bought this machine, and then bought a $2,000 Mac OS X license, I would be spending $500 more than I am on my MBP... And I would be happier.

    That is why people are complaining about the state of Apple's hardware. The only thing the rMBP has that I want is Mac OS X. That's it. The other "advantages" it has are not things I need or want, while it has crippling disadvantages that make it a pain to deal with. And I'm not even factoring in the cost of dongles, docks, or whatever. Since I don't know what the final cost will be, since the products I'd need aren't actually available yet.

    EDIT: Also the gaming laptop was $300 off, putting it at $1400 instead of $1700. Which also helps.
  2. Marshall73, Nov 11, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016

    Marshall73 macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2015
  3. yillbs macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2015
    Any reason you didn't take into account the superior operating system that runs considerably better / faster with the harware it' matched with ? I have an alienware with a top of the line I7, and a 1TB SSD ( x2 ), as well as a 980M with 8GB of ram... this , by all accounts, should be a beast. It runs windows fast, it's decent... but it's not as fast as my late 2013 Quad core I7 with a 750M ( 2GB ram )Macbook pro. Windows requires more resources, and overall is a more " long term " issue with getting things to load better. Comparing hardware on something that runs macOS to hardware on something that runs Windows 10 is not something you can just do. do some speed tests with standard equipment on windows, and mac. Hell.. boot times alone are nice on a mac. Load up 100 tabs on chrome then load up 100 windows on a mac with safari.. find out which crashes, and burns hard first. I get what you're doing, but you're doing it with failed logic.
  4. therealseebs thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    I haven't loaded up this machine yet, but my older ASUS gaming laptop, the fan noise was much quieter than my recent MBPs. Because, while there's a lot more heat to deal with, they also have about 20x the heat sink surface area to do it with. The MBP's gotta push its air through a tiny little vent, and has no space for larger fins. So the MBP makes a high-pitched whine under heavy load, and the gaming machine makes a relatively quiet whoosh.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 11, 2016 ---
    There's no reason I didn't do that, because I did do it. That's the entire point of my observation that I would happily have spent $1,500 on a Mac OS license to run on the superior hardware.

    There is no special "matching" going on. MacOS X isn't only good on tiny notebooks. It would run amazingly well on the gaming laptop. If they supported it.

    Talk to people who run Hackintosh. MacOS X is an amazing operating system.

    I am aware of this, although people who pay more attention to Windows tell me it's not as severe now as it was in Windows 7.

    Okay, so there's two possibilities here.

    One is that you think MacOS would somehow become worse on that hardware. The other is that you have entirely missed the point of my post.

    My point is: MacOS is amazing, it's worth a ton of money to me, and I would absolutely love to be able to run MacOS on higher-end hardware. Yes, I agree, MacOS works better than Windows on comparable hardware. But that doesn't mean "therefore, I should be permanently restricted to lower-end hardware to keep MacOS from being too amazing". It means "it really sucks that the hardware gap is so very large".

    And I'm not remotely kidding. If it were an option, I would spend $1,500 on a MacOS license for that gaming laptop. I'd prefer that to the laptop running Windows, for reasons I think you can probably imagine. I would also prefer it to any machine Apple is currently willing to sell me.

    Basically, thought experiment for you: Take that 2013 i7 with the 750M, and run bootcamp on it, and run Windows on that. Now compare the 750M to the 980M. Compare the top of the line i7 to the three-year-old chip. Notice how much better it is.

    Now think about what would happen if you could get that same performance improvement on top of how well the 750M machine runs with MacOS.

    Wouldn't that be neat? Wouldn't that be an awesome machine?
  5. BBD90 macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2011
    These are not the same class of laptop. They target different populations.
  6. therealseebs thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    Yes, I'm aware of that.

    One of them targets a population willing to spend $1500 extra to get a weaker machine as long as it's thin and/or has MacOS.

    The MBP costs what it does because MacOS is good, not because the hardware would be worth that money without MacOS.
  7. brynsmith23 macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2007
    Weaker hardware... i don't know about that...

    The SSD is SATA3, whats the speed between this and the SSD in the new Mac?
    2.9 ghz i7 is available in the 15 inch Macbook Pro.
    This uses DDR4, the Macbook Pro uses laptop LLPDDR3, due to intel limitations on LLPDDR4
    The Video Card is good, 8Gb is great, but then again, a macbook pro wasn't designed for gaming.

    It's heavy for a laptop, if you compare it against the 2016 Macbook Pro.

    And its fine having top of the range items, but unlike Windows, you reduce the variables in a closed system and you can make it faster..

    So there is more to it than just faster hardware.

    The limitation of the RAM is imposed by Intel, if they had a Skylake CPU that could utilise LLPDDR4 ram... then we would have seen the option of 32gb in this release.

    As for the slots, i like the fact i don't have unnecessary slots....TB3 gives me the option to use whatever i want down the track.

    I don't think there really is a "Pro" laptop out there, its all in our heads.

    A laptop is a portable computer, it was never designed to fully replace a WorkStation, we you can have huge Video Card, heap of RAM.

    They can be used for a lot of things, and it does a lot of those things well, but sometimes we ask to much of what these machines can do.

    ASUS GL502VS-DB71

    Operating system: Windows 10 (64 bit)

    Display: 15.6" FHD (1920*1080) hardware G-SYNC 160° View-Angle

    Processor: Intel Quad-Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (Turbo to 3.5 GHz)

    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1070, 8GB GDDR5 G-SYNC

    Memory: 16GB DDR4

    Storage: 256GB M.2 SATA3 SSD + 1TB (7200 RPM)

    Optical storage: No Optical Drive

    Webcam1.2MP HD Camera

    Keyboard: Illuminated Chiclet

    Wireless Data Network: 802.11 ac 2x2;Bluetooth 4.1

    Side I/O Ports:

    - 3x USB 3.0,
    - 1x USB3.1 Type C (gen 2),
    - 1x Headphone-out & Audio-in Combo Jack,
    - 1x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert,
    - 1x HDMI,
    - 1x mini Display Port

    Card Reader: SD

    Battery: 62WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion Polymer Battery Pack

    Dimensions: 15.4" x 10.5" x 0.94"

    Weight: 4.8 lbs
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Again, you are comparing a mid-range truck to a sleek premium car. Yes, the truck can haul more. It's great that the truck is a good option for you. But the MBP uses much more expensive components and is technologically more advanced. So it makes perfect sense for it to be more expensive.
  9. brynsmith23 macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2007
    You pretty much nailed it....
  10. therealseebs thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    The SSD is not actually SATA3, the specs are clearly busted. It's an M.2 PCIe slot SSD. ASUS spec sheets are sometimes a bit cut-and-pasted. It is a tragic shortcoming.

    Yes, it's DDR4 instead of DDR3. I believe that's faster, and it's certainly not slower. LPDDR3 is power-efficient. That's it. It's not faster. If you want battery life no matter what it costs, LPDDR3 is better. But what if you would prefer higher performance? Then DDR4 is a better choice. And, in many cases, cheaper for comparable performance. The LPDDR3 supported by skylake is 1866MHz; DDR4 starts at 2133MHz. So the ASUS has noticably faster memory, and in benchmarks of memory-bound things, it does make a pretty measurable difference.

    Also... Honestly, the "closed system" thing does not make much of a performance difference. Look at the Hackintosh users; OS X doesn't suddenly stop working well on slightly more diverse hardware, if you can find drivers at all. The closed system thing sort of works for console hardware where there's exactly one version of the hardware. Once you have as large a set as Apple does (AMD, Intel, and nVidia graphics hardware to support, for instance), the benefits are gone.

    I can see some appeal to not having "unnecessary" slots... But the tradeoff is that a system can only have "no unnecessary slots" for the lowest common denominator. If it's going to meet the needs of anyone else, it's going to have some slots that some people don't need.

    I can't usefully directly compare the CPUs, because Apple's specs don't give an actual part number. I can tell that the ASUS is using an i7 6700HQ. I don't know what part is in the MBP. (I'll find out in maybe two weeks.)
    --- Post Merged, Nov 11, 2016 ---
    Except... This isn't actually true. Not even a little. The components aren't "more expensive". The Intel CPUs are all from the exact same family the ASUS uses. The AMD 460 is a less expensive component than the nVidia 1070. I'll grant that the LPDDR3 memory may cost more than the DDR4 memory, but it's slower; it's expensive because it's low-power.

    In what way, exactly, is the MBP more "techonologically advanced"? It can't be the Intel Skylake CPUs which both of them use. It can't be the LPDDR3 memory, which is all standard. The closest we get is Thunderbolt 3, really. (I guess you could make a case for the display, maybe?)

    I think that's what frustrates me most about this; people trying to justify the prices by appealing to "better technology" when the entire point of Apple's shift to x86 was to get access to commodity hardware so they could build machines using 100% standard off-the-shelf components. Which is what they do for most of the guts of the system.

    The cooling and case are sorta fancy, but 100% of every technological advance there is going only into making the machine thinner, not into making it more powerful.

    If I were gonna do a car comparison, I'd compare this to contrasting the 2000-era Honda Insight with a sports car. The Insight was a really incredible bit of engineering, I had one and loved it, but... It couldn't pull a trailer, and if you wanted a feature other than 70mpg, it was not a good choice.

    Apple is only building laptops for one feature these days: Thin. That's it. If you want thin, these are amazing machines. If you want other things, even a little, Apple isn't really interested in selling you laptops anymore.

    And that's why I'm struggling to get used to Windows 10, even though I hate it; because I can't justify continuing to spend $1500+ extra on laptops just for MacOS. (... especially now that Windows has preliminary support for Unix utilities and such, which makes life a lot easier for me.)
  11. brynsmith23 macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2007
    The 15 Inch MBP 2016, uses LPDDR3 2133MHz, the 13 inch uses the 1866MHz....

    It just comes down to Battery life, Apple have focused on Portability, battery life and Form over brute performance...

    I should have my new 2.9ghz 15 inch next week, it'll be interesting what everyone thinks after they get to use it.
  12. lobo1978 macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2011
    Good for you bro!

    Have fun!

    You can compare specs if you are 12 years old but if you actually do something useful with laptop you should compare efficiency, reliability and residual value.
  13. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, almost everything about the MBP is more expensive. Screen, chassis, RAM, super-fast ports, super-fast storage, WiFi, trackpad, keyboard. Yes, CPU is identical. As to RAM: what are the exact specs of the RAM your gaming laptop uses? If its 2133 DDR4, its slower than the LPDDR3 2133 used in the MBP. And yes, it can be argued that LPDDR3 is more technologically advanced. GPU-wise, we don't know the true costs of the Pro 460. It may very well be more expensive than the 1070 to make. The 1070 is a cut down 'defective' GP104 chip, with 4 our of 20 cores disabled, while the 640 pro is a full Polaris 11 chip, that also undergoes some very advanced manufacturing steps to make it thinner and more energy-efficient.

    Again, its more technologically advanced in every single regard. It uses a much more advanced and expensive display assembly, precision-engineered chassis, it has fastest and most versatile external IO of any laptop currently on the market, fastest SSD, it has the touch bar, it has a massive, industry-best trackpad etc. etc. Its a precision-engineered high-end premium machine built to balance its internal components with its mobility and it uses best in-class components, respectively.

    Your gaming laptop instead is built around the sole purpose of cooling down that behemoth of a GPU, while also being light (which of course happens at the expense of battery) and uses otherwise standard, mid-range to low-end components (e.g. display). That's basically it. If you need a beefy GPU, great. But other than that, there is not much to it. If performance is the only metric you go by, so be it. Again, a truck can haul more than a sports car. Which means that if you need to carry more stuff, the truck will do it faster. But haul capacity ≠ price. There is a reason why a sports car is more expensive.
  14. tubeexperience macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2016
    Really? You can run Windows 10 on a Pentium 4 with 1GB DDR memory.

    macOS Sierra cannot do that.
  15. pika2000 macrumors 68040

    Jun 22, 2007
    In short: you want a gaming laptop.
    So... get a gaming laptop. I don't see why you would even bother looking at the Macbook Pro to begin with, other than to have an e-penis contest of spec list.
  16. UnluckyXIII macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2014
    This 100x
  17. lobo1978 macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2011
    This 1000x

  18. Mr.Blacky macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2016
    Can't stand these off-center keyboards and trackpads on a notebook! It' like driving a car while steering from the passenger seat! The Asus also looks like it has 3 times the volume of the MBP, also the SSD is much slower and the batterylife is half of the MBP. Only advantage the Asus has is the price and the graphics.
  19. shadow82x macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2012
    New Jersey
    Interesting that no one brought up build quality...If you're fine with a 90% plastic computer, Asus is the way to go.
  20. NickPhamUK macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2013
    Let me break it down for you fella:

    1. Your model isn't even good for gaming. Why? It's too thin, and lacks a good heat sink. Wonder why the premium gaming laptops like Asus ROG G752 or Alienware have bulky design? That's right, to prevent your precious GTX 1070/1080 from overheating and dying in 2 years. And those models are like 6lbs+ already.

    2. Most of us folks here are either working or studying in college. Would you bring a laptop that has a freaking REPUBLIC OF GAMERS logo into the office, shareholders' meeting room or library? No thanks.

    3. Any serious gamer will not buy a gaming laptop. You can build a more powerful PC for cheaper, and you can stop worrying about overheating too. If a component dies, or if you want to upgrade something, you can easily order it online and replace it.

    But yeah, the MacBook is weaker than a gaming laptop yada yada, for Christ's sake this is my 63736366th time hearing this, mostly from teenagers with their gaming obsession.
  21. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Plastic does not imply bad build quality.
  22. therealseebs thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    Did someone on macrumors seriously just tell me they can't imagine why anyone would want Mac OS X instead of Windows?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 12, 2016 ---
    This is an upgrade from my old G55, and yes, I looked at the cooling, and I think this one will do okay. I haven't been able to make it explode into flames yet, anyway. Looks like they put a lot more thought into heat sink behavior and cooling fans than they did in the model from four years ago.

    Sure I would. My coworkers are all techies. I point out "hey, this has a PCIe SSD slot and a 2.5" bay for a large storage drive", and they're sold.

    You can buy a more powerful PC, but you can't carry it over to a friend's house for gaming very easily.

    Yeah, I'm 44, I still play games sometimes, and I still use computers professionally. Not everyone fits nicely into one tiny little stereotype.
  23. Rkuda macrumors regular


    May 23, 2016
    What a silly comparison. Taking a gaming laptop which you use as a gaming desktop to wave away the advantages the smaller, lighter and much better battery life MBP.

    With TB3 on the MBP you could get a dock for the ports and an eGPU which will be able to handle a gpu much faster than the 1070 in the future.

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