(long post) rMBP 2018 (13"/16/512/i5) = bye bye to Hack

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by navaira, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #1
    I bought the rMBP four days ago. Transferring data from my rMB over USB-C cable took two hours. Been using it ever since for most of the day(s).

    Setup


    Hackintosh: GA-Z91N-WIFI, i7-4770s, 16 GB RAM, four internal drives (1 TB SSD + 3 HDDs totalling 10 GB), GTX 960 2 GB
    rMBP: 2018 2.3 GHz i5 Touch Bar model, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, ****** Intel GPU

    The Hack is dead, long live the rMBP


    High Sierra worked beautifully on my Hackintosh until 10.13.3, at which point a small security update broke EVERYTHING. I spent hours trying to figure out what was was broken at all, because all I got were kernel panics. I gave up and resolved to be stuck on 10.13.3 forever. Yesterday, however, I decided to sell the Hack, and install macOS 10.13.6 on the internal SSD to advertise it as "macOS compatible". To put it mildly, this didn't go well. Four hours in I gave up. It is now an Ubuntu machine waiting to be sold. The final drop, though, was Backblaze telling me I haven't backed it up for 17 days. This made me realise how much I was NOT using the Hackintosh.

    By the way, once you make a Hack work, it works, it's stable, has no problems at all. Until a security update ruins it, and then I hope you love fighting with drivers, and have more time. Still, when I bought the computer I had no problems with Yosemite, El Cap, Sierra, and High Sierra until the post .3 update.

    Extras I have to pay for :(

    I had four internal drives in the Hack, which now will be four internal drives in a case.

    [​IMG]
    I have a separate tiny pink USB-C enclosure for just one SSD that has all the stuff I couldn't fit on the 512 GB – one gets easily spoiled with 11 GB of storage. In particular, my iTunes library is 270 GB, photo library 100 GB, and I keep mastered AIFF files of every song I ever recorded – that will be a few TB of data. So the pink SSD will be a separate drive for the iTunes library, photos, patch, sample, loop libraries for Reason, etc. But I managed to install everything else I use on the 512 GB Pro, and I will only use music software when in desktop mode. And FOUR Thunderbold 3 slots are, er, better than one on the 12" Macbook.
    [​IMG]

    We haven't decided yet which laptop to sell – rMB or rMBP 2015. There's a website in the Netherlands where they just buy things second-hand at fixed price. (We don't have eBay, we have a stupid website called Marktplaats where people don't log in, don't leave their credentials, and as a result they often don't show up. We had offers of €25 on €400 items, then when we responded with "no, thank you" we received insults, and in one case threats.) So either the rMB goes for €820, or 2015 rMBP for €770. (Note: I am shocked that a 2015 computer with minimum specs sells for almost as much as a rMB with m5/512.) Once I also sell two displays I won't use anymore AND my Hackintosh, now rebranded to "mid-range gaming PC running Linux, no Windows license" I should only need to add 200-400 euro to pay off the Pro. Well, I really wanted 1 TB in the rMBP, but I already ran out of kidneys to sell on eBay. So financially it sounds good. Right? Practically free once I sell all this stuff...!

    Er. Not quite. Not done here yet.

    Dongle life

    Enclosure for four drives = €121. That's cheap for what it is. Separate pink USB-C enclosure for the one SSD with extra data which I intend to use a lot of time when I am on the move = €29. The 4xUSB-A hub I bought for things that are and will forever remain USB-A, like a hardware key for my music software, my soundcard, printer, etc. = 29 euro. Luckily my Acer display already does passthrough charging, plus comes with extra two USB slots, one of which is occupied by a...dongle for Microsoft Sculpt keyboard. Also, if husband switches to rMB, we will need... tadah... a dongle with passthrough charging and USB-As. Because, no matter what people have to say about futureproofing, all our machines at home didn't predict they will need to be futureproven. I don't mind lack of SD slot, which was super necessary on 2015 Pro with 128 GB storage, but not so much now that I have 512 GB like I did on rMB.

    [​IMG]

    I already have a double plug Sandisk 128 GB stick. It's awesome, because you can switch it between USB-A and USB-C. Very useful for copying stuff from Not Yet Futureproof Computers.

    Clamshell, cooling, temps

    In clamshell mode the laptop keeps lovely low temperature... or rather did until Google Drive began to synchronise 4000 files. (I was not aware I even had 4000 files...) Fan went up to helicopter speed until Google Drive finished. Dropbox didn't cause any such issues. Exporting a 24/96 file from Reason went fast, causing no issues or even fan to kick in. Same with opening 20 large images in Photoshop, then applying Intensify Pro filters. Fan stayed at 0 rpm. (This is magical. Same as rMB, I don't hear this laptop at all, and worried the fans were actually broken until the lovely Google Drive got busy. How does Google Drive use more CPU than exporting big audio files while live-mixing 24 tracks?!) I might buy one of those cooling mats for when I use it in clamshell. Obviously, I lose the Touch Bar then. Which is...sad, because I like a lot so far!

    Touch Bar

    Here is my current layout:

    Touch Bar Shot 2018-07-29 at 09.50.14.png

    From left: duh, esc; Spotify/iTunes controls; separate volume keys for Spotify (I haven't found a way to control Sonos volume directly); now playing on Spotify (this is shockingly useful when listening to music I don't know yet); launch key for Sonos app; brightness; mute; system volume; weather. With Command pressed I can't screenshot it, but I have Esc, my next appointment in iCal, HD free space, now playing on YouTube (if anything is playing), keyboard brightness, screen brightness, and weather. This is obviously achieved with BetterTouchTool, which I couldn't recommend more if you want the TB to actually be useful. I don't use any app-specific settings, because that's what I have keyboard shortcuts I learned for years for. I prefer Command-B to looking down from the screen to figure out where [ B ] it is on the Touch Bar.

    The 3rd gen keyboard

    It is definitely softer and with more travel than the rMB 2016. And...I am not sure I like that – yet. Because I've written two novels (as in literally) on the rMB and got used to the feeling of tapping on the table. This seems too much like old Apple keyboards! Softer, MUCH quieter, and by Gods, I hope this one is really dustproof.

    SSD

    Blackmagic pleased me:

    Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 10.00.10.png

    Trackpad

    The larger trackpad is surprisingly not a problem at all. I worried. But it appears I rest my wrists away from the trackpad. No need to check how palm rejection works, because I don't ever have my palms on the trackpad. I don't need to look at the keyboard while typing either, and I'm a very fast typist. So this, other than keys feeling oddly soft, poses only one problem: Escape key. I didn't realise I actually use Esc a lot until I, er, lost it. It is displayed on the Touch Bar of course, but when I reach for it I have a feeling I must have missed the key – there's no travel, of course, no feedback of any sort, it just feels very odd. And I hate the fact I can't extend it fully to the left. That extra blank square on the left just looks ugly and I don't care what Ive thinks. IT DOES. Go away, Ive. Or whoever else designed this.

    Speeds

    Hackintosh: 3567/13113
    Macbook Pro: 4486/16455

    I haven't tried any games yet. I remember Sims 4 turning the 2015 Pro into a helicopter ON LOWEST SETTINGS. We will see if 2018 does better once I get to installing Sims 4 again, which might be never, because I don't play games unless I've got a cold.

    Speakers

    In comparison to rMB, those have awesome stereo separation, As in they have it at all. Sound-wise I am not 100% pleased though. There is way too much treble. I'll be looking for an EQ app of some sort. Someone elsewhere mentioned the speakers sound "cheap" and because of that excessive treble they do a bit. Loud, stereo, cheap sounding.

    Battery

    Battery life seems the same or better than rMB, as far as I can tell at least (I mostly use it connected to a charger). And the rMB started from 96% straight out of the box, with 6 cycles. This is on 100% with two cycles, which somehow makes me feel better, although I know I should just stop checking :p

    Screen

    I can't tell I notice any difference between rMB and this one to be honest. I suppose it is better, because I've been told by reviewers it is, but I don't notice that so far. It's good enough – that's all compliments I can muster, really. Oh, and it's larger than 12", duh.

    Flux and TrueTone in the late evening don't like each other at all. With Flux set to really warm yellow and TrueTone working, black colour became very blinding cyan. In fact I thought something was broken. Once I switch one of the two off, problem disappears. Once I turn Flux down somewhat, problem disappears as well. Problem fixed to my satisfaction.

    Brightness – I might go blind if I used it on max brightness. Loving it, of course.

    Other stuff

    I love the fact I can finally charge from either side. I used to put a nice flat piece of cardboard to give the rMB more "breathing space". This laptop doesn't require one. I can actually keep it in my lap at angle that fits me, and because I don't use the cardboard it feels like it is the same thickness as rMB.

    What other differences do I notice? Well, obviously, speed. And Touch Bar. But mostly the weight. I remember when I bought the rMB I was switching from 2015 Pro. First thought was "this can't even be a computer, it weighs nothing". Second – "this can't even be a computer, it's too thin". Third was – ten minutes since I started restoring the rMB from backup – "how could I ever have used this super heavy brick with mushy keys!" That was 10 minutes since the rMB arrived. Suddenly the 2015 Pro felt like I was at the gym doing heavy lifts ;) The 2018 rMBP is, of course, way lighter than 2015, BUT not quite like the rMB.

    Good:
    • TouchID. Dayum. Love it. I had no idea how much I wanted it until I got it.
    • Sleep on my Hack was the only thing that had problems. Obviously it's not a problem anymore.
    • Silence. I am SHOOK by the 0 rpm fans.
    • Temperature. See above.
    • SSD speeds are insane, and I hope it will make the thing even faster in heavier use.
    • Actual stereo speakers.
    • Four Thunderbolt 3 slots instead of one.
    • Larger trackpad.
    • Touch Bar being fully customisable. I don't think I would ever use it otherwise.
    • The rMB sometimes added extra spaces for no reason whatsoever. I failed to reproduce that, which is why I didn't take it to Apple Store – I don't know when or why this happened at all.
    • NO CANNED AIR. I hope. It hasn't been long enough yet.
    • Charging is possible from both sides. Which is surprisingly handy.
    • Better FaceTime camera, although I think iPod Touch has a better one and iPods haven't been updated since 1984.
    Not so good:
    • I don't know whether I like this keyboard just yet. Getting used to rMB took me literally ten minutes. This, so far, has been four days and I am not quite convinced yet that I love it. But it should be easy enough to get used to, I already stopped making typos. Almost.
    • Dongle life, of course, but then switching from desktop to laptop meant I would need an enclosure for my hard drives anyway.
    • PRICES OMG APPLE YOU MUST BE KIDDING WITH THAT 1 TB SSD GO HOME APPLE YOU'RE DRUNK.
    • I hate not getting the "bong" sound on startup, because of course this laptop doesn't in any way show whether it is on or off unless I am already using it (like now). Dark Boot works on every Mac I had, but not on this one, hope for an update. Now I have a very weird gray Apple logo on white background on black screen, and boot progress bar doesn't appear until it's near ready.
    • I need an EQ app for the internal speakers.
    • This GPU is hardly impressive, and I am not investing in that new Apple one only to play The Sims
    • Heftier than rMB (but I am really scratching bottom of the barrel here to come up with anything).
    • Does not come in pink, and I love confusing people, since I worked as a blacksmith for years, look like a Viking (my well-earned nickname), have more tattoos than Kat Von D, and a pink laptop would definitely fit my image. ;)
    Overall

    It's been four days, as mentioned, but I am very happy with it. Will probably invest in AppleCare, but I have more than 11 months, so I don't have to spend all the money immediately. And I will save tons of time not having to dig for drivers with a cryptic kernel panic messages that apparently nobody else in Hackintosh community ever had.

    The 2018 update seems really substantial, finally, and the Touch Bar looks useful once customised. I can connect my Magic Mouse, obviously, and Sculpt keyboard for desktop use. I have a pinkish Acer monitor with near-zero bezels. Once I connect the rMBP to the Acer monitor the laptop charging, external keyboard Just Works, the extra USB in the monitor can serve as a place to conveniently hide away whatever it is I want to hide (i.e. one of the many dongles).
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Exactly, Hackintoshes can work great, once you get them working, but then you risk spending way too much time (usually at the most inopportune time in dealing with a dead hackintosh due to an update/upgrade. I tried the hackintosh route years ago for giggles, and it can work for some, but I felt it wasn't worth the effort - ymmv.

    My fans are never at 0 rpm, I'm not sure that's right. Maybe its a 13" thing, but I see my fans spinning at least 2k
     
  3. buran-energia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2017
    #3
    Yep, even on my 13 2015, fans don't spin during light-moderate usage. On all 15, they work all the time.
     
  4. navaira thread starter macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #4
    According to other reviews 0 rpm on 13" is normal. (Yay!) But I just had Google Drive sync ONE large file and fans went on. They are definitely working...
     
  5. frou macrumors 6502

    frou

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    #5
    Informative write-up!

    Now that the 13" has real quad-core, I think the exact overall configuration you went with is an absolute winner. Will most likely go down as one of the best pound-for-pound MBPs ever.
     
  6. prh8 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2014
    #6
    I have one of those Sandisk flash drives too. I love it, it's such a brilliant design. Bought it a year ago, and got my first USB-C MBP last week. Best thing is they aren't even more expensive than normal ones! (At least when I got mine)
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    Wow, that's amazing and yet at the same time scary :eek:
     
  8. navaira thread starter macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #8
    Right? I was looking at the previous generation Pros and 2017 rMB and thinking "I can't possibly justify spending money on this". And then they suddenly give Pro this huge update and... here I am typing on it :)
     
  9. dannyar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    #9
    Is there a reason you went with that 13 config which is only $100 less than the base 15" with the same ram, faster i7 and discrete graphics. Bigger screen also if needed.
     
  10. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #10
    I've always thought Apple stuff works best when you're combining their hardware and software together... sure it limits choices, but damn does it make for a nice product. Enjoy it! :)
     
  11. bwintx macrumors 6502

    bwintx

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #11
    I am considering this exact config of 2018 MBP for long-form creative writing, using both Scrivener and Ulysses as the mood suits me. Only qualm at this point is the 13-inch-vs.-15-inch question. I guess you’re saying you had no problem with a 12-in. rMB, so you’d recommend the 13-inch for writing, or have you had a chance to try that on it yet? Of course, your eyes may be a lot younger than mine, too. :)
     
  12. dannyar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    #12
    I was in this dilemma and just exchanged my 13 for 15. Nearly same price you get more computer with the 15 .Not only the i7 but discrete graphics and larger display . No brainer for me .
     
  13. bwintx macrumors 6502

    bwintx

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #13
    Agreed, but just can’t decide whether I really need the added horsepower for my use case. I may end up deciding based on what makes better resale value later, which almost certainly would be the big boy. The added heat and weight of the MBP 15 wouldn’t bother me. I just got done selling a loaded Dell XPS 15 to help pay for the MBP, and have been lugging it around for some time; no prob. However, I also have a little Chromebook with the exact same display size and almost same weight as the MBP 13 and — ah, it’s tempting. :)
     
  14. mikethebigo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 25, 2009
    #14
    Best of both worlds - the portability of the 13" plus a 27" 4K external monitor for when you're on your desk.
     
  15. bwintx macrumors 6502

    bwintx

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #15
    Well, I already have an iMac, so the desktop-computing-at-home part is taken care of. The MBP will just be for the carry-the-Mac-goodness-to-work part.

    (However, a 27" 4K monitor is how I used the Dell XPS 15 when at home. Am now trying to sell that monitor, too; can’t see the point of having two desktop setups side-by-side, as if I were a YouTuber or something like that.)
     
  16. poorcody macrumors 6502a

    poorcody

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    #16
    FYI, that blank square is actually an ESCape key! Even though nothing displays on that section and there is no button, it is still touch sensitive and always sends an ESC key when you press it. I actually delete the visual "esc" from the Touchbar and use that exclusively.
     
  17. dannyar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    #17
    All that does is add a bigger display. Doesn't give you spec bump from the graphics card and core i7 6 core vs 4 core .
    --- Post Merged, Jul 29, 2018 ---
    Also the screen on the 15 still isn't enough vs a 13 so with any model I would still get an external display for day to day use .
     
  18. navaira thread starter macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #18
    Weight and size, really. I connect it to a 27" screen if I need more space (or, say, making music/editing photos). 12" was ALMOST perfect size for Scrivener, 13" is just right. I never felt the need to have a really large laptop. And I don't need the speed bump for what I do. (Also, I am out of kidneys having sold both on eBay ;) )

    As above :) On the 12" Scrivener takes a BIT too much space for section/chapter titles and the right panel. Just a bit. Or, rather, I'd like to stretch the section/chapter titles and still have nice space for writing.

    I know, it's my graphic design training that irritates me really. I wish I could remove the padding completely from the button, make the background black, and...and I am going to try that.
     
  19. Wags macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    #19
    Am I seeing wrong?
    $2199 vs $2599 with 512 ssd. Also if by AppleCare $100 more for MBP 15.
     
  20. bwintx macrumors 6502

    bwintx

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #20
    Checks out . . .
    • 13" i5 2.3 GHz ($1799) + 512 GB SSD (extra $200) + upgrade to 16 GB RAM (extra $200) = $2199. AppleCare = $269.
    • 15" i7 2.2 GHz ($2399) + 512 GB SSD (extra $200) + standard 16 GB RAM (no extra) = $2599. AppleCare = $379.
     
  21. dannyar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    #21
    I wasn't factoring in the 512 upgrade for the 15". When you price the base model 15" vs the 16/512 13" then the price difference is only about $200, not $100 I apologize. I think having the discrete graphics, bigger screen and faster processor is worth more than the upgrade to 512ssd.
     
  22. bwintx macrumors 6502

    bwintx

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #22
    @dannyar in your experience, where would you see the difference in having a discrete graphics card? My primary use on this MBP will be MS Office for business purposes, Scrivener/Ulysses for personal writing, and the usual Apple apps that come with it—i.e., no video editing, major graphics editing, etc., since I’ll leave that level of work for my loaded iMac. So in that case am I just down to the comfort level of 13 vs. 15?
     
  23. dannyar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    #23
    Comfort is one thing, I don't find the 15"to be uncomfortably larger than the 13. I actually find it more comfortable on the lap since its wider and sits easier between both thighs. Having the discrete graphics not only helps with video editing but even light gaming. It also makes your iMac more expendable since the 15" could easily replace it like it did mine. I sold my 2014 iMac 5K and this 15" crushes it. Its more future proof with the i7 6 core. It also can handle light gaming if thats your thing.
     
  24. bwintx macrumors 6502

    bwintx

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    #24
    Thanks. By “comfort,” I actually meant visual comfort, but I didn’t make that clear, so I can certainly understand why you’d think I meant sitting-in-my-lap comfort. :)
     
  25. computerpro3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    #25
    I am replacing two high-end hackintoshes (6 core overclocked systems, multi terrabyte SSD, gtx 1080 ti, etc) with a maxed out 13in with eGPU and docking station because of exactly what you said. My hackintoshes have been dead stable until an update is needed, and I simply don't have the time like I used to to deal with fixing things updates break. It was a nightmare to deal on the rare occasion I tried to update because I relied on one of them for work; it would kill my productivity for the entire day. This last time I just gave up and stroked a check for the MBP.

    With this new config, I am losing CPU power for sure even with the i7 quad core, but I will really enjoy having a system that "just works" and having one computer that can do everything.
     

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