MacBook Pro 15 (speced vs. Dell XPS 15

shockedimpy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 29, 2015
20
1
Im on the fence between a MacBook Pro 15 nearly speced out vs. a Dell XPS 15. The Dell seesm to be significantly cheaper and far more powerful? Has anyone owned/owns both?
 

Audit13

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2017
5,082
1,286
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I recommend getting the machine that meets your requirements. Although specifications are important, they mean nothing if the machine can't or won't do what you need it to do.
 
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ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,155
I work at a place that sells both. Buyers of both are generally very happy with their purchases provided they purchased the product that is best matched to their needs.
  • What do you plan on using the machine for? (number crunching/CAD/VR/gaming/video editing/machine learning/etc.)
  • What characteristics are most important to you? (battery vs processing vs form factor vs display vs memory vs graphics vs display vs IO/expansion capability)
  • Do you have a preference for Windows 10 or macOS?
  • Do you prefer a touch bar or touch screen?
  • Which keyboard/touchpad do you like more? (they are very different)
  • Do you plan to use extremely high-def monitor(s), PCIe/NVME SSDs, and/or external graphics cards? (the Dell IIRC is only one port of 20 Gbps which one extremely high speed external SSD can completely saturate)
 
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shockedimpy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 29, 2015
20
1
Well, I currently have a 2015 MacBook Pro 13inch w/ 8gb ram 256gb SSD. I've used it for college (BS in BA) and it served me well. Its currently my everyday laptop/computer used for web browsing & light school work (Word, Excel).

I am reenrolling to college for a COMPUTER SCIENCE certificate, then plan on getting a masters in CS. I do NOT know anything about this field, so im hoping to spec out a laptop and use it for the next 3years.

It looks like the Dell is significantly more powerful for FAR Less. But the MacBook gives you a free $300 pair of Beats as well...What do you think?
 

lobo1978

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2011
372
248
Unless you are not spec collector. One word - MacOS. When you choose this ecosystem you will never look back. Forget about specs, unless you work for NASA Macbook Pro will be more than plenty for your needs. Even base config is smooth in all tasks you can throw at it and it is not matter of specs! Specs comparisons are Windows game, not Mac.

If you choose Windows machine I will go with max config though. You will need it in two-three months when Windows will accumulate some "updates"...

DO NOT compare specs of Windows machine with Mac. It is just worthless. Compare overall smoothness of system, reliability, included software, customer support, residual/resale value etc.

------------
From my experience this specific kind of comparison (specs only) usually happens when:
0. You do not know where to start.
1. You do not use laptop or intend to buy anything - just some pub-bragging about specs.
2. Your intention is to flame/troll and create useless "trending" thread -- benefiting only www.Macrumors.com owners and GoogleAd
3. You work for Dell. Apple is getting too much attention due to upcoming iPhone 8 and you want to show how cheap Dell is (forgetting how Windows is a crap).
 
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KGB7

Suspended
Jun 15, 2017
925
749
Rockville, MD
Well, I currently have a 2015 MacBook Pro 13inch w/ 8gb ram 256gb SSD. I've used it for college (BS in BA) and it served me well. Its currently my everyday laptop/computer used for web browsing & light school work (Word, Excel).

I am reenrolling to college for a COMPUTER SCIENCE certificate, then plan on getting a masters in CS. I do NOT know anything about this field, so im hoping to spec out a laptop and use it for the next 3years.

It looks like the Dell is significantly more powerful for FAR Less. But the MacBook gives you a free $300 pair of Beats as well...What do you think?
Your current Mac will get the job done the first year unless there is a software/s that are required by a professor/s that only works in Windows or OSX environment.

So don't buy anything yet until you know 100% sure which machine you will need.

Having that said. Your current Mac, will run Windows and OSX.
 

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
5,683
2,841
SF Bay Area
We have both. And either will get the job done. Depending up where you go in CS you may need to know Windows pretty well and/or Linux.

Large companies tend to have a lot of Windows clients. And IT operations is done on Linux these days.

If you are planning on building apps, a Mac is the way to go.

If you planning on doing something like Machine Learning/AI then Linux on the Dell are probably a better choice.
 
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shockedimpy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 29, 2015
20
1
The first semester looks like CS110 - Introduction to Computing then CS210 Computing w/ Data Structures. Im not sure how powerful of a machine I require for that. But I want something thatll last me several years so I do not have to worry about potential power issues
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,774
1,996
The first semester looks like CS110 - Introduction to Computing then CS210 Computing w/ Data Structures. Im not sure how powerful of a machine I require for that. But I want something thatll last me several years so I do not have to worry about potential power issues
I did those classes with my Titanium PBG4. You aren't going to be building anything in your first CS courses that strain your computer. The programs you write probably wouldn't strain a pocket calculator.

Data structures will be building linked lists, different trees, learning about bubble sort, heap sort, that kind of stuff. Still nowhere near taxing for a computer.

The only way you'd tax your computer is if you wrote a recursion routine and forgot to set your base case, meaning it would run until it ran out of stack space. Or if you were to accidentally program an infinite loop.
 

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
5,683
2,841
SF Bay Area
The first semester looks like CS110 - Introduction to Computing then CS210 Computing w/ Data Structures. Im not sure how powerful of a machine I require for that. But I want something thatll last me several years so I do not have to worry about potential power issues
Any old computer should handle those types of classes. Basic stuff with queues, lists, etc.
 

alpi123

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2014
1,245
1,221
I'm using Dell my whole life and please don't make that mistake. Also, their tech support is awful.
 

Patcell

macrumors 6502
Aug 8, 2016
465
202
Bergen County, NJ
It waa
I'm using Dell my whole life and please don't make that mistake. Also, their tech support is awful.
It was actually my terrible experince with Dell technical support in college that pushed me to get my first Mac. It was a 2008 Black plastic MacBook. Loved that thing... I gave it to my brother-in-law in 2011 and he still uses it to this day.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,461
4,964
In a nutshell:

Dell XPS 15 compared to the MBP: pros - significantly cheaper, around 20-30% faster GPU, good build quality (although arguably still under Apple's), very bad battery life if specced, legacy ports (is it a pro or a con though)?; cons - only base quad core CPU config, vastly inferior battery life if specced with the higher-end screen, heavier, slower WiFi, fairly cut-down thunderbolt if you need that fast external connectivity, and of course Dell's legendary support.
 
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