Help me decide on Entry 13 Inch or Touch Bar Version

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BuntaFujiwaraaa, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. BuntaFujiwaraaa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    #1
    I hate how Apple price and sort of mess with consumer. I must say there are really good at pricing each tier of the Macbook Pro.

    The difference between the Entry and Touchbar is around USD$282 (converted from my currency to usd)

    I absolutely don't really care about the Touchbar, if I can, i would get the non touch bar. But I'm more concerned about the spec, does the price difference justify the spec bump between those two?

    For USD $282, you get a upgrade of Processor 2.0 Ghz to 2.9 Ghz. a ram of 1866 Mhz to 2133 Mhz, upgraded gfx card and most importantly 2 more ports.

    I can also choose to up the Entry level to a 16gb but will the 2.0 Ghz processor take advantage of that. I've heard that processor speed and ram are somewhat related, like getting alot of rams but if your processor can't handle it, makes no difference.

    I'm doing web design and development on my Macbook. Some applications i use are Sketch, Photoshop, Sublime Text, probably with Browsers opening and some build tools running.

    I'm not very savvy in terms of hardware, so I'm kind of in a crossroad. I tried to google around but can't seems to find a spec comparision post between this two.
     
  2. kwandrews macrumors 6502

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    #2
  3. coopercoop macrumors member

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    Nov 14, 2016
    #3
    Like yourself im more interested in how much of a spec bump we get with the touchbar version, from the benchmark results that came out there doesnt seem to be much of a difference. Although what really matters if how they fair against each other during practical use. What is for certain is that the nontouchbar version seems to have better battery life compared to the touchbar version.
     
  4. kwandrews macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I don't put much stock in benchmarks. See how it runs in actual use. The same with specs. Real world use is the ONLY thing that counts, all else is an exercise in measurements and theory.
     
  5. deepdishstar, Nov 14, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016

    deepdishstar macrumors newbie

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    #5
    That is not true. The RAM will be useful regardless of the CPU.

    Also in practice it's only a difference of 200 Hz on the CPU, 3.1 vs 3.3 GHz.

    In terms of performance they are within 10% of each other. Check the reviews that are already out.
     
  6. coopercoop macrumors member

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    Nov 14, 2016
    #6
    When you say 3.1 vs 3.3 are you referring to the turboboost? Not exactly sure how this works, is the turboboost just the max it can reach, for example if you were rendering out a video it would turboboost to x amount?
     
  7. deepdishstar, Nov 14, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016

    deepdishstar macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Yes, these CPUs are capable of changing their speed depending on what is being asked of them. This reduces power consumption and heat generation because most of the time people are just browsing the web posting on macrumors and you don't need a fast processor for that... :D

    When you run a benchmark for instance, the actual speeds will be 3.1 and 3.3 GHz. That's why the benchmark results are so similar.
     
  8. coopercoop macrumors member

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    Nov 14, 2016
    #8
    Interesting, why do they advertise the base speed on the nontouchbar so low... seems like a marketing strategy to get people to buy the touchbar version.
     
  9. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Well, it's not just marketing; the CPU really does have a lower base clock speed. The idea is that the base speed can be maintained indefinitely at any load, so naturally the lower-TDP CPUs have a lower base speed.

    However, the reality is that CPU clock speed is constantly varied both above and below the base speed depending on the application demands and the CPU temperature. For many people, you can find that the actual speed both both 2.0 and 2.9GHz CPUs might be very similar for much of the time. Intel Power Gadget can show you the CPU clock speed and power usage over time - it is quite educational!

    Unless you know that your applications will require lengthy periods of high CPU usage (i.e. more than 5 minutes), then you may not see any significant real-world difference between the two CPUs. In the ArsTechnica review, they found the 15W and 28W CPUs (2.0/2.9GHz) were able to keep at their turbo boost speeds (3.1 & 3.3GHz) for 30 minutes, which is impressive. The 15W CPU only throttled when a GPU load was applied.
     
  10. NickPhamUK macrumors 6502

    NickPhamUK

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    May 6, 2013
    #11
    TheVerge tested the Touch Bar and said they're not impressed with it, productivity went down.

    Less battery as well, he seemed to get 7.5 - 8.5h of battery, vs. 10-11h as reported here on this forum.

    540 to 550 is 5-10% of speed bump at most.

    Same thing for CPU, but 15W will throttle more.

    2 vs 4 ports, tbh I don't use these ports, 2 is enough for me.

    The non-TB is a better buy on the basis of performance/price, unless you find the use for the TB. I don't, so I ordered the non-TB.
     
  11. coopercoop macrumors member

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    Nov 14, 2016
    #12
    Ah this makes sense, ill mainly be using my MBP for school work and music production. Considering music production doesn't require much GPU it looks like the nontouchbar version might be a better option. Although the CPU might be under-load for extended periods in some cases.

    I think investing in the 16GB ram will benefit me more in terms of music production. I have considered the 15' but its a bit out of my price range and I think I would prefer the portability of the 13'.
     
  12. yillbs macrumors 6502

    yillbs

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Location:
    Texas
    #13
    Interesting. For 300 bucks you get

    Touch ID
    Touch bar
    Higher tdp CPU
    Higher clock frequency in both turbo and non
    You get four USB c
    You get faster ram
    You get more bus speed through the ports
    You get more l2/3 cache
    You get a 10% increase on integrated gpu
    You get faster bus speed with the gpu

    I'm sorry but for three hundred bucks, you literally won't find a better upgrade anywhere lol.
    You're trying to justify to yourself why you didn't spend the three hundred bucks. Seeing as how nobody told you yet, you made a bad call. You can talk about real world performance for you all day long, but performance per dollar you made a horrible decision.
     
  13. justinf77 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    #14
    The vast majority of your list consists of performance specs that most people would never notice in real world day to day usage. So then the decision is mostly about determining how much you value the Touch ID / Touch Bar vs a potential 25% boost in battery life and $300 price savings.

    I'm still weighing this decision out myself because I value battery life very highly and I'm not yet convinced that the touch bar will be all that useful, especially at first.

    I have both on order and will keep the TB one if the battery life turns out not to be as bad as it's been reported so far.
     
  14. Brandon Hobart macrumors member

    Brandon Hobart

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    Oct 25, 2016
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #15
    One of my friends ordered the 13" MBP for the sake of price but he kept on regretting his decision whenever he sees a touch bar anywhere. The problem with him was that he was really confused upon both. So, I suggest you have a complete detailed insight of the features of both Entry 13" and touch bar so that you can decide correctly what you want and won't regret it in any way.
    http://www.techtimes.com/articles/1...uch-bar-which-apple-laptop-should-you-buy.htm
     
  15. coopercoop macrumors member

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    Nov 14, 2016
    #16
    Would be nice to see some comparison between the two when rendering a video or something.
     
  16. eye.surgeon macrumors 6502

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    California
    #17
    i chose the non touchbar one, and I can afford any laptop I want. A bigger battery and longer battery life is worth more to me than some little novelty touch bar optimized for software I never use. Nice to have choices.
     
  17. yillbs macrumors 6502

    yillbs

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    Texas
    #18
    Uhh he said performance to cost , he was trying to justify to himself is wasn't worth the money, when it clearly is. You can't call a duck a chicken... it is what it is. Everything listed does indeed come into play, every day. Faster ram gives you less lag, and better performance, even in chrome :)
    The l2 cache will help with CPU intensive tasks, say... 20+ tabs in chrome for instance. Having even more ports gives you future proofing. Everything listed serves its purpose. Has nothing to do with how much money you have, its completely based on usability. For instance, my index finger opens my work desktop , my thumb opens my games and what not, my pinky opens my sons desktop to play abc mouse.. ironically, the faster CPU will play a huge role in that.

    So from a price to value ratio it's a great deal!
     
  18. borgusio macrumors regular

    borgusio

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    #19
    One thing is missing in the equation:
    The 2.0 will throttle much earlier than the 2.9 version under heavy GPU usage.

    The question is how fast. Given that 2.0 can dissipate round about half of the heat as compared to the 2.9 (15W vs 28W), the 2.0 may start throttling much earlier than the 2.9 with heavy GPU load.
    That means, that any software relying on GPU acceleration on the 2.0 would be as fast on the 2.9 just for a few minutes. As soon as the 2.0 starts throttling, the difference would become evident.

    Since I use FCPX, which relies on the GPU, I will wait for a clear comparison between the two machines under real usage in order to take my decision.

    If the throttling gap is significant, the upgrade will be definitely worth the 300 bucks alone.
     
  19. NickPhamUK, Nov 14, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016

    NickPhamUK macrumors 6502

    NickPhamUK

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    #20
    TheVerge gives the non-TB the score of 8.6/10, and the TB the score of 7.6.

    I would trust those guys over someone who said that a dual core on the 2016 MBP 13" is faster than the quad core on the 2015 MBP 15" because the CPU is newer and because 2.9 is bigger than 2.2 (LOL). (please don't delete that post)

    No offense.

    (And I actually saved that €300 to spend toward the GTX 1070 and i7-6700K for my desktop later on)

    Edit: my actual advice to OP
    - Do you already have a powerful desktop at home and need a portable laptop on the go with more battery? Get the base.
    - Do you have much money to spend around? Get the TB.
    - Are you tight with money? Get the base.
    - Do you need the Touch ID/Touch Bar? Get the TB.
    - Do you wanna be cool and show that you have the latest MacBook Pro? Get the TB.
    - Are you a light user? Get either.
    - Are you a pro user? You wouldn't have created this thread.
     
  20. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

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    I come from a land down-under...
    #21
    I think this would be right choice in your case. Music apps often require more RAM for samples, effects plug-ins and ensuring you have a large enough RAM buffer to for smooth multi-track recording & editing. I have a 15" rMBP and have had an MBA in the past, and also now prefer the smaller form factor (often with an external display when at a desk). They didn't make the MBA with 16GB RAM, so I went with the rMBP 15, but if making the same choice today, I would get the MBP 13 + 16GB RAM (plus a larger desktop workstation for heavy duty work).
     
  21. coopercoop macrumors member

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    Nov 14, 2016
    #22
    Yea completely agree, im currently using a decked out windows desktop PC for production but looking for something so that I can create on the go. Also might come in handy for live performance stuff in the future.
     
  22. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 24, 2011
    #23
    Whether or not it is worth the money is a personal preference. If one person's preference is as much power as possible in a 13" Mac, then yes the touch bar model is worth the money for that person. If another person values things like battery life and a dedicated function key row more, then the base model is a better value for that person. I don't think there is one size that fits all when it comes to something being worth the cost. It depends on what a person values and what is worth it to them.

    I purposefully got the non touch bar model with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD because I don't need any more CPU/GPU speed for my use and I use my Mac in clamshell mode most of the time, making the touch bar basically useless to me.

    I also was worried about the battery life, and from what I have seen in early reviews then non TB model has a nice boost in battery life compared to the other models.

    My choice is worth the money to me because I would rather spend the same amount of money I would have spent by going to the TB model on the RAM and SSD sizes I need instead, and at the same time get better battery life and a removable SSD.

    It probably wouldn't be worth it to you, which is fine, because we all value worth in different ways.
     
  23. bjet767 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 2, 2010
    #24
    Can some one point to the real tests of battery life. I've been following these discussions and haven't seen a real test and comparison yet.
     
  24. BuntaFujiwaraaa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    #25
    I guess my original post is more of a technical question than a personal preferences as such.

    Maybe I should rephrase it like this

    Should i get the base 13inch model with 16gb ram or the 13inch Touch bar model with 2.9 Ghz and 8gb ram and a better gfx card. If i were to choose, which would better for the work I'm doing (opening browsers with sublime text, as well as photoshop and sketch)

    I only have a slight preference (60-40) towards the standard Function keys as opposed to Touchbar.
     

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