MacBook Pro 15" 2.5ghz or 2.8 ghz

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Roel VW, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Roel VW macrumors newbie

    Roel VW

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2017
    #1
    I am currently looking to buy a "new" Macbook pro 15", because the very new model doesn't have USB3 and an SD-card reader, (witch i use a lot) i would go for the previous model.
    the only thing i don't know is witch processor to take, 2.5 or 2.8 quatcore?
    i like to buy a laptop for the next 7-8 years. my previous MacBook Pro is mid 2010. and it is running still fine.
    what experience do you guys have?
     
  2. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    Utah
  3. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

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    #3
    In my humble opinion, the 2016 models will do everything you need currently with the minor inconvenience of a couple of adapters or hub. If you truly want to keep your next laptop for 8 years, USB-C will definitely rain supreme in that time period. Your post seems to indicate that is your primary goal. You should consider what kind of peripherals you'll need in that time period, the ones you use today may or may not be the ones you use 5 years from now. Carrying an SD card reader to me isn't a big deal. I always have one in my bag anyway.

    Also consider that the processor in the 15" 2015 models were first sold in the 15" 2014 models. At this point in time, you're buying more or less 3 year old technology for nearly the cost of the latest generation. The biggest bummer is Apple no longer sells the 2015 with the dGPU option. And for that reason alone, I'm out.

    Bear in mind, everyone here is going to have a different opinion. The point really needs to be, what can you afford and will you be happy with it as a tool for your use? That's all there is to it. If your 2010 was working fine for you, certainly any of the models selling today will fit your needs.
     
  4. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    Jan 23, 2017
    #4
    Which CPU is best could depend on what you plan to use the computer for. Both the 2.5 and 2.8 are capable CPUs, and mostly comparable (and slightly favorable in some areas) to the CPUs used on the current 2016 generation (obviously, the 2016 has other aspects in its favor, such as a better GPU upgrade option, faster SSD, better cooling, and faster RAM.) As you plan to keep this system a long time, if it were me personally I would be inclined to lean towards the 2.8.

    Are you considering the model with the discrete GPU (the R9 M370X) or the one with the integrated GPU only (Iris Pro?) Further, how important is graphics performance to your needs?
     
  5. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

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    Aug 7, 2015
    #5
    As I stated, Apple is no longer selling the model with dGPU as 'new' online. You'd have to try and pick it up refurb or from a third party seller if that option was important to OP.
     
  6. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    #6
    I mistook the OP's quotations around "new" to imply refurbished.
     
  7. Toutou macrumors 6502a

    Toutou

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    Prague, Czech Republic
    #7
    The difference won't be that big — most of the time the CPU is not the weakest link.
     
  8. kbk75 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    #8
    Coming from a mid 2010 MBP either the 2.5 or the 2.8 will be a massive improvement in performance. The difference between the 2.5 and 2.8 will be around 6-8% at best, in performance terms. Depending on your usage scenario and how much more the 2.8 will cost you, that may or may not be worth it.

    I'd also strongly consider the 2016 model if you're planning on keeping it for 6 or more years. I somehow doubt most people will be using USB-A accessories in 2023, though if you use a card reader a lot, having to use an external may become tiresome.
     
  9. Roel VW thread starter macrumors newbie

    Roel VW

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    Feb 19, 2017
    #9
    What would be the weakest link than?

    the purpose of the macbook is general, from amateur photoshop to data analyzing for work. even games, .... a good multifunctional laptop.

    i appreciate all your inputs, it gives me a look from other opinions, for me it is an expensive but necessary purchase.
     
  10. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

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    Aug 7, 2015
    #10
    If you plan to game, even lightly, you'll want the dGPU which Apple no longer sells in the 2015 configuration. You may be in for a wait if you're hoping for your dream config to pop up with dGPU in the Refurb store.

    Good news: You can still find them sporadically from resellers, though I understand they've become harder to find as people have been nabbing them up while supplies last. At quick check, B&H still has the 2015 2.5/R9 M370X 15" (sold out of 2.8 with R9). Cost is $2,499 for the older model or pay $300 more to jump up to the mid-tier 2016 2.7/R455. Really depends on what direction you want to go like I said earlier. If you really truly plan to keep it for the life cycle of the device (3-8 years), USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 may be your best ally down the road.
     
  11. Charlesje macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    #11
    This is really unfounded, the 2016 has a faster performing processor, confirmed by many tests and benchmarks. Are you basing your opinion on geekbench or passmark? Synthetic benchmarks are really bad predictors of the performance of mobile devices.

    The difference between the 2,5 and 2,8 will be noticed in burst performance. When pushed to their limits the 2,8 and 2,5 perform at a similar clock frequency due to the thermal constraints of the 2015 mbp. This has been covered in macrumors threads. So I don't think the 2,8 would be more future proof then the 2,5. And when comparing these machines to the 2016 in this perspecive, I think the lack of usb-c will probably be the only more or less important disadvantage.
     
  12. Sanpete, Feb 20, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017

    Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    Utah
    #12
    I doubt the SD cards used in a few years will be readable by the 2015's built-in card reader either, certainly not at full speed.

    As others have said, any recent model should do you well. The more recent, the more likely it is to still be useful years later. The USB-C ports that you may not find so useful now are likely to be standard later, while the USB-A will likely be a relic. The newer ports have advantages of speed and power, i.e. electricity.

    The keyboard and trackpad of the new models are controversial--loved and hated--so if you consider a 2016 you'll probably want to try those out first.

    The 2016's screen and speakers are nicer, if that matters. I put a bunch of info, more than most people want, comparing the 2015 and 2016 models in a customer review at Amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/review/R27MBWO99H5LZJ/
     
  13. rawweb macrumors 6502a

    rawweb

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    Aug 7, 2015
    #13
    Very nice job on the review, I echo a lot of your thoughts.

    I hope you kept your old 17" around for fun. I miss mine dearly! If Apple still made a 17" I would buy it in a heartbeat.
     
  14. Toutou macrumors 6502a

    Toutou

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    Jan 6, 2015
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    #14
    Generally, most of the time the CPU sits idle, underclocked and unused. And most of heavy-usage scenarios usually consist of CPU data crunching along with heavy RAM usage and often disk usage.
    A modern CPU is extremely complicated and consists of many separate units and different buses that transport data from one unit to another and different levels of memory (the registers, the caches, RAM) — you get the idea.
    So there are many factors that affect the "processing speed" and the clock frequency is just one of them.

    A ten percent increase of clock frequency won't necessarily bring you ten percent more speed, that's only the best case scenario.
     
  15. Roel VW thread starter macrumors newbie

    Roel VW

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    Feb 19, 2017
    #15
    Is there a reliability difference in the different processors?
     
  16. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    Nov 17, 2016
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    Utah
    #16
    Thanks. I keep all my old Macs. My 2011 is my backup now. I mostly use it beside my new one to watch streaming video. When it wasn't working properly recently, and before I got the new one, I used a 2004 17" and the 2011 in recovery mode, and managed to get most things done between them. (I have an iBook too, though I have no practical use for that one anymore.)
     
  17. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    Jan 23, 2017
    #17
    When I said "slightly favorable in some areas", I did not mean to imply it to speak to overall performance, and apologize if I gave that impression. For example, while I have found that the 2.5 can hold 3.5 GHz continuously, when the GPU is involved, that figure drops some due to heat. All tests I have seen indicate that the 2016 does a better job here dissipating heat, and overall performance is superior, because it can hold a higher continuous clock speed. But I thought that difference was mainly due to the better thermal design of the 2016 itself and not the CPU? Am I mistaken?
     
  18. Charlesje, Feb 21, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017

    Charlesje macrumors member

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    Nov 17, 2016
    #18
    In fact, its mainly due to the cpu design. The skylake cpu's draw less power and create less heat because of this. In te previous gens especially in heavy load settings with the turbo boost activated, the cpu created Much heat and drew a lot more power. Only some workstations (eg by MSI) designs could keep up with the required heat dissipation pf eg the 4980hq. But they where a lot bulkier and drew more power then the mbps.

    Your machine can hold the 3,5 ghz continiously, but I doubt it will keep up when putting more strain on the cpu. If you would run and rerun the cinebench cpu test, which doesnt tax the dgpu, you would see a drop in clock speed.

    So the 2016 has significant performance gains, but the difference isn't huge. The 2015 mbps (and the generations before) where a bit misguiding when looking at their max clockspeeds. It seems to me that the skylakes are a more mature cpu design for mobile systems.
     

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