MacBook Pro 2016 vs Retina 2015

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kthemacguy, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. kthemacguy macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2017
    Hi guys,

    I'm looking to buy a new MacBook. I'm in college and I'm studying Comp. Sci. I need something that'll be able to handle my future needs as a Computer Scientist, probably doing some heavy programming/app creation/artificial intelligence stuff. The reason I'm mentioning this is because I've heard reports of the Early 2016 MacBooks hanging when run with moderate load, and I can't have that happen. So I need advice on which MacBook Pro to buy.

    I'm looking at the MBP WITHOUT Touch Bar that came out late 2016, and the retina MBP that was updated in mid-2015 I think. Here are the things I want to know:

    My main concern is processor clock speed. The 2015 retina lists a 2.7 GHz processor, but according to its processor is a 5th-generation Broadwell processor. The late-2016 non-touchbar MBP lists a 2.0 GHz processor, and says it's a 6th-generation Skylake. So I'm not very knowledged about processor speeds -- will there by noticeable change between the 2.7 GHz one and the 2.0 GHz one? Will that difference by mitigated at all by the fact that the 2.0 is a generation beyond the 2.7 one?

    With hard-drive customization, the price for these two options comes to be the same, so I can buy either. I need assurance from someone (or a warning to the opposite effect) that if I buy the late-2016 non-touchbar MBP, the 2.0 GHz won't hang on the programming tasks I'll want to do in the future. Or, if someone can confirm that it will hang whereas the 2.7 GHz mid-2015 MBP won't hang.

    Any help and discussion will be appreciated in helping me make this decision. All this is based on numerous reports on various forums and websites that say that their 1.6 GHz early-2016 MacBook hangs frequently, so I want to be sure I'm getting a good-enough processor.

    Thanks in advance...
  2. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    You are getting MacBook pros and Macbooks mixed up here, the MacBook has a 5W core M processor and passive cooling only. It really is an ultra light relatively low performance machine for road warriors needing minimal performance for their workload.

    The MBPs have the non touchbar model with the 15 w CPU and good cooling fantastic battery life it benches higher than the 2015 and has far better graphics, unless you need quad core and a dGPU its an absolute beast for a highly portable machine, not quite up to the standards of the touch bar versions but very close.
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008

    First of all, please make it more clear that you are spending about the 13" model. As to your question, the CPU in the 2016 non-touch-bar model is a lower-tier component designed for energy efficiency. Its the same class of CPU as what was used for the MacBook Air. The CPU in the 2015 model and the CPU in the touch-bar models are a higher-tier model that will have better performance in prolonged intensive workflows.

    To make it simpler: for normal everyday tasks you won't see any difference between the 2015 and 2016 non-touchbar CPU performance. Both are very fast for those purposes. If you want to run intensive tasks such as video conversion etc. for prolonged periods of time, the 2015 might pull ahead slightly.
  5. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    The 2.0 in the 2016 could be a significant upgrade from the 2.7 in the 2015 for your usage, not necessarily because of the slightly faster CPU speed, but because of the integrated graphics, which have made considerable advancements (i.e., the integrated graphics in the 2016 nTB are on par with the dedicated graphics of many laptops just two years earlier, which is an insane leap in tech.) The faster SSD could also be of benefit for some extremely large files that might be associated with certain tasks involving AI research/development?

    Ultimately, it sounds like you may eventually find yourself needing a workstation, but both the 2015 and 2016 13-inch MacBook Pros are capable of meeting a wide range of higher performance needs while offering exceptional portability, design, and practicality. If you are going to be working with graphics-intensive Apps, I think the 2016 is probably worth the extra couple hundred bucks, personally.
  6. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    I agree with Zap above. The 2016 model is worth the extra money. If cost is an issue, the 2015 model will do you fine. I've had both models, they both are good machines for your purposes.

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