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applefan19

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2019
121
32
I've had a mid-2012, 13" (higher-end) MacBook Pro. Debating between the late 2019, 16" MacBook Pro (i9 model) and the 2020, M1 13" MacBook Pro. Any advice? Is the 16" screen worth it?
 

jiholl

macrumors regular
Feb 10, 2003
129
33
Like most things..it depends.I actually just ordered an i7 16 inch. I dont need anything "Intel" specific, but I have had 15 inch pros for many years. I do not use an external monitor so its a true desktop replacement for me. I would love the M1 but the 13 inch size is just too small for me. So screen size is #1 for me. My "plan" is to prob keep the 16 inch until the second gen of the M1x 16 comes out...so I avoid the teething pains of new model. Of course I'll prob be tempted for the 1st gen..so we shall see lol.
 
Last edited:

greenmeanie

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2005
1,347
505
AmigaWarez
Like most things..it depends.I actually just ordered an i7 16 inch. I dont need anything "Intel" specific, but I have had 15 inch pros for many years. I do not use an external monitor so its a true desktop replacement for me. I would love the M1 but the 13 inch size is just too small for me. So screen size is #1 for me. My "plan" is to prob keep the 16 inch until the second gen of the M1x 16 comes out...so I avoid the teething pains of new model. Of course I'll prob be tempted for the 1st gen..so we shall see lol.
I am having that problem reading the small TEXT on the 13 now. YES I could use reading glasses but rather not wear them.
 

applefan19

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2019
121
32
I think the biggest thing is FAN speed/noise and battery life.
It is difficult to compare the new M1 chip in the Pro model (base 8 GB RAM or upgrade at purchase to 16 GB RAM) to i9 (base 16 GB RAM) for me since they are 2 completely different systems... I don't know which is truly faster?
 

jiholl

macrumors regular
Feb 10, 2003
129
33
I am having that problem reading the small TEXT on the 13 now. YES I could use reading glasses but rather not wear them.
Yes thats my fear...I mean you can prob make the font bigger but then you lose so much screen real estate. Since the device is my one "window on the world" computer wise, I prefer the 16...Its a lot to pay just for the screen size for sure though.
 

bill-p

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2011
2,752
1,277
What apps do you use? I have both so I can try to compare a few apps for you.

Here are some quick things that I've observed myself. What M1 Pro 13" does better, and I'm sure you already know most of this:

1. Speed for single-threaded tasks, even under Rosetta 2.
2. Fan noise, heat.
3. Battery life.
4. Wake-up.
5. Webcam, despite the same resolution, is cleaner and sharper on the M1 Pro 13".

What the Pro 16" does better:

1. Screen size. Both screens show about the same text size at their native x2 scaled resolution (not the default ones). The 16" screen gives about 20 - 25% more screen real estate to my eyes.
2. Speakers on the 16" sound much better. It's not even close.
3. Compatibility with most apps is better, as is stability. M1 on 11.0.1 has some issues with Rosetta 2. I'm on 11.1 beta right now, and it's better, but still not perfect. Some apps still randomly crash/freeze up for me. Some other apps just don't work at all, and I have tried almost everything to get those to work. Even for open-source apps, it's not as easy as "just re-compile it" in a lot of cases. Support for most apps is probably at least 6 months away.
4. More Thunderbolt 3 ports, on both sides. I honestly just use only 1-2 ports at a time, but it's nice to have them on both sides, as opposed to just the left side.
5. This may be a weird one, but the bigger trackpad means I can be much more precise with mouse cursor movement.
6. Boot Camp is still fully supported, so I can very easily boot up native Windows if I need anything over there.
7. eGPU is still supported, so I'm not tied to the GPU in the machine.
8. GPU performance with the 16" MacBook is still in general 3-4x faster than whatever M1 can do. M1 is a nice chip, but it's just nice relative to integrated GPU.
9. My external monitor seems to be able to get more scaled resolutions (up to 8K) out of the 16" MacBook Pro than with M1. It seems Apple is hard-capping M1 to all resolutions under 6K. I don't think this is due to lacking GPU performance at all, since even my Pro 13" 2018 machine also got more scaled resolutions beyond 6K, and the M1 very easily beats that machine.

Both machines have their own pros and cons, but if you ask me, I'd keep the Pro 16" and return the M1 Pro 13" if this is my main working machine. After using the M1 Pro for a while, I think it's a nice and exciting device, but the software is still very much in "beta" phase. Maybe 6 months later, we'll have more native apps and much better stability, but at this point in time, if you get an M1 Pro, and your app doesn't work well (or at all), then you're potentially looking at 6-month or longer wait.
 

RayIshido

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2014
38
15
8. GPU performance with the 16" MacBook is still in general 3-4x faster than whatever M1 can do. M1 is a nice chip, but it's just nice relative to integrated GPU.

Are you sure about this point? I understood that the M1 was on par with the 560 in the 16 MBP in app like blender, FCP, Cinebench... If you are right it could really change my mind about purchasing a M1.
 

ght56

macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2020
839
810
  1. What do you use your system for?
  2. What apps do you use?
  3. Will you depend on this for your income?
  4. What type of graphics performance and/or external display capability are you seeking?
  5. How important is budget?
 

bill-p

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2011
2,752
1,277
Are you sure about this point? I understood that the M1 was on par with the 560 in the 16 MBP in app like blender, FCP, Cinebench... If you are right it could really change my mind about purchasing a M1.

I think you may be mistaken. The 560X is in the Pro 15" from 2 years ago. The Pro 16" has Navi GPUs (5300M, 5500M, 5600M) that are far faster.

Don't look at synthetic benchmarks. In real world use, I can't really play any game on the M1 at higher than 1080P, with many of the more intensive titles getting barely playable 30fps framerates at medium settings. With most of the games I have tried, I have to drop down to 1680x1050 for them to be playable.

On the other hand, the 5500M has no problem exceeding native resolution in the Pro 16", and they all run at much higher settings as well. 5600M is even faster than that by a good margin.
 

applefan19

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 26, 2019
121
32
  1. What do you use your system for?
  2. What apps do you use?
  3. Will you depend on this for your income?
  4. What type of graphics performance and/or external display capability are you seeking?
  5. How important is budget?
1. Relatively light use for job continuing education requirements. Considering grad school in the next couple years.
2. Web, Microsoft, PDFs, iTunes. Nothing too complex.
3. No.
4. Improvement overall compared to current device. The 16" display is tempting.
5. Moderately important. I have enough budget to go either way, but don't want to buy a new computer now & find it outdated for grad school in the next couple years. I was a heavy multitasker during undergrad.
EDIT: My current device has given me some occasional signs that the RAM may be failing slowly... Don't want to throw more $ at an 8-year-old device without software support if it comes down to it.
 

ght56

macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2020
839
810
1. Relatively light use for job continuing education requirements. Considering grad school in the next couple years.
2. Web, Microsoft, PDFs, iTunes. Nothing too complex.
3. No.
4. Improvement overall compared to current device. The 16" display is tempting.
5. Moderately important. I have enough budget to go either way, but don't want to buy a new computer now & find it outdated for grad school in the next couple years. I was a heavy multitasker during undergrad.

Here are my thoughts. If you said you depend on this for income, want to use it for Windows, or you need significant graphics performance, I'd say the 16-inch in a heartbeat. However, compared to a similarly-equipped MacBook Pro 13 (M1/16 RAM/512 SSD), it's $700 more to get the 16-inch (i7/16 RAM/512 SSD/5300M GPU -- note there is a $150 gift card promo with the 16), you would really want to upgrade to the i9 to get more 'comparable' CPU performance, and that little M1 MacBook is definitely an incredibly powerful computer for not much money.

For your usage case, the most major benefit you would get from the 16-inch IMO is screen size. There are other things, like better speakers and mic, more capable IO, more capability with external displays, better graphics performance, the ability to run Catalina instead of Big Sur should you wish, a bigger trackpad, etc., but it sounds like the biggest thing you will get is the screen (and, if you use the laptop speakers a lot, you will enjoy the 16's speakers very much.) I should also add, I friggin love the 16-inch screen size. Alternatively, the M1 MBP will have vastly better battery life, run much cooler, have a more fluid UI, and be quicker to do things such as waking up and launching programs.

The 16 inch is an established product and its quirks and flaws are known. The M1 Macs are new and their flaws are not yet as well understood because they are so new, plus there are and will continue to be some compatibility limitations as a result of the departure from x86 processors--that said, they seem to be great systems and owners rave about them. So there is certainly reasons one could justify going either way. Finally, sometime in the next year (when is anyone's guess), we will likely see an updated 16-inch, and sooner or later it will switch to the Mx platform and it will probably have blisteringly fast performance.

So, if the price premium of the 16-inch is not an issue, I think the big question is which one do you think will suit you better?
 

RayIshido

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2014
38
15
I think you may be mistaken. The 560X is in the Pro 15" from 2 years ago. The Pro 16" has Navi GPUs (5300M, 5500M, 5600M) that are far faster.
You are absolutely right! it was my mistake.
Thank you for your answer. Actually I was planning to change my MBP 2015 for the 16" but I got worried looking at some report of hardware issues with the GPU of the 16" 2019 (I previously own 2011 MBP...).
I use my MBP mainly for Photoshop, FCPX, and Blender so it can quickly become CPU/GPU intensive and as the benchmark of the M1 was looking great at a cooler temperature it looked like a good alternative. But, well, as you mention, benchmarks doesn't reflect real life experience...
 

FilmIndustryGuy

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2015
612
393
Manhattan Beach, CA
I have 16 and M1 and am constantly drawn to the 16 screen size. Also if you disable the integrated graphics in the 16 and only use the video card, the Mac is just as snappy as the M1 it seems. My 16 runs silent even with 2, 4k screens plugged in. If you use this 16 plugged in and not using high end apps id maybe get a used 16 for $1600 which is the same price as an M1 MBP. the 16 inch 2021 will be great for silence under load and battery life. maybe even better screen but then you have to spend $2,400 plus Tax to get not that which is $1,000 more than just getting a used current 16. I was using my 16 last night on battery for lighter stuff and got 7 hours on battery which isnt bad but I usually use this on a desk so not a big deal since its not a very portable Mac. Im debating if I should sell my base 16 since its so great and I know I won't buy an M1X 16 right away. I'll wait 6-12 months and buy it when its on sale or refurbished form apple since I dont believe paying so much is necessary unless I really need it at the time. people keep saying that they dumped their 16 for a 13 and haven't looked back but I dont know what they are talking about. the 16 in way better if you mainly sue a laptop on a desk. if your heart tells you that you really want a 16, id say buy the base model used for somehting like $1600-1700 in great condition. then wait until the 2022 version comes out and buy the 2021 version at $700 off if all your apps get updated to Apple silicone. if I dont sell my "like new condition with warranty 16" for $1800 I won't sell it and will return the M1 and wait until the 16 inch M1X drops in price new or used probably in 2022. So yea may update it in 1.5 years which is fine because this 16 has covered anything I threw at it and I didn't even care about the M Macs until people started bragging about video render times
 
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AVBeatMan

macrumors 601
Nov 10, 2010
4,865
2,800
I have a 16" MacBook Pro and today got the 13" MacBook with the M1. Love it so far and am considering selling my 16". The 13" is so much nicer to use on the lap and does not get hot at all. I've only been using it for a couple of hours but so far so good.

One thing I'm still undecided about it the memory. I go the 8Gb but wonder if I should go for the 16? I'm not a heavy user and don't do any photo editing or anything so deep down I thing the 8Gb will be fine but as always with these things you want to make sure you get the right choice. I did get the 512 SSD Storage but again wonder if I should go for the 1TB? Any advice appreciated.
 
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