MacBook Pro vs. Dell XPS 15

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by davidhunternyc, Mar 24, 2017.


Apple MacBook Pro vs. Dell XPS 15

  1. Apple MacBook Pro 15 inch

    13 vote(s)
  2. Dell XPS 15

    14 vote(s)
  1. davidhunternyc, Mar 24, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017

    davidhunternyc macrumors member

    Dec 26, 2011
    My entire life I have only used Apple Products. I have only owned MacBook Pro laptops and iPhones. As an artist and designer, I am anal about details and it's the reason why I chose Apple to begin with. Apple products continue to be simply gorgeous to look at. All of my software is Mac specific. And yet, I am thinking about switching. Apple's lack of innovation, lack of ports, and Apple's insistence on barring third party repair shops to fix broken and dated computers is abhorrent to me. Really, gluing down hard drives, batteries, and other internals that can not be upgraded or fixed is a calculated move by Apple to force consumers to upgrade to new computers. Don't believe me? Check out Louis Rossman on YouTube. Then there's the dongles, those bloody dongles. Yes, Apple. Yes, Christopher Ive. I get it. I too hate all of those different connectors and all of these cords which tangle and overflow in my drawers, but really, you give us dongles instead? So recently I have been contemplated my next move. When I do a Google search comparing your Mac Book Pro to the Dell XPS 15, Apple loses. To the readers of this thread, thank you. Do you have the same frustrations or am I but a fish caught in the net of an empty wind?
  2. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    I think you've already made your move, so I don't see much point in taking up the many controversial points you take for granted, all much discussed here already. Hope the XPS serves you well.
  3. davidhunternyc thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 26, 2011
    No. I have not made my move. I am on the fence. I am trepidatious about switching to a platform totally foreign to me. I know and I am comfortable with the Apple ecosystem. This is why I started this thread. Nothing controversial. Just asking.
  4. pudge74 macrumors newbie


    Mar 24, 2017
    Downers Grove, IL
    I am very on the fence as Costco has the 2017 Dell XPS 15" with 32 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD with a 1050 GTX video card for $1,999 and if you buy with your Costco video card they include a 4-year warranty with it (granted you need to send it in).

    Anyway, I'm on the fence either way as I have MBP already being sent (15", Touchbar, 460 AMD with 4 GB, and 512 GB SSD, and 16 GB RAM.

    The problem is have you started looking at some of the new ads in the Microsoft Windows 10 OS like in Windows Explorer. To me that is a very bad sign in my opinion... I have bought iPhones so I don't have to deal with that type of stuff... MBP always have higher resale and my last two have lasted 5 years each and my son uses my old 17" MBP from even further back. They just run. I have to admit spec wise I'm really saving nearly probably $900 by getting a Dell XPS 15" over this custom MBP. I'm just not sure if I look 3 years down the road and look at Windows 10 (or whatever with many updates) that it is going to be as a good experience as the MBP. I like to do some gaming and the MBP probably isn't it but I'm not playing FPS games... I'm playing war games/strategy (Civ 6).... I'm also looking to learn to be a Certified Ethical Hacker and figured learning the shell would be better on the MAC though I do understand the new Linux subsystem for Windows 10 is pretty good too.

    I'm on the fence like I said... my family is like the Macs just last.... and I agree... but is it worth the $900 over the 3-4 years? Not so sure.... Tough choice as Dell has made a decent laptop. Granted, the MBP to me seems way lighter/mobile than the Dell XPS... and I already saw one keyboard at Best Buy warn down on the Dell (spacebar was super soft)... I never see that in Macs.... I still think Apple makes just fantastic HW.... Dell is close and the HP Spectre x360 is closer (but comes with older video card).

    I'll be watching this thread that's for sure!


  5. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    Most of your post doesn't ask anything. Rather it asserts or implies things that are at best controversial.

    To answer your only question, yes, there are others who have the same frustrations, whether well founded or not. And yes, you are a fish caught in a net of empty wind, namely the groundless or exaggerated assertions you take for granted.
  6. Deacon-Blues, Mar 24, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2017

    Deacon-Blues macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2012
    I will now speak authoritatively as I have a 2016 Dell XPS 15 and a 2016 MacBook Pro 15 Touch Bar. It is my opinion that the XPS handily beats the MBP when it comes to connectivity. I mean there's just no two ways about it, the XPS is replete with ports. The XPS also features excellent build quality and solid components. It is very compact, and the bezelless design is very appealing. Unfortunately it runs Windows. Also, a word about the touch pad: it sucks hard. It sucks like a singularity. It is just dreadful.

    Then you have the MacBook Pro. This notebook computer is so thin, and it runs so cool, it is truly an engineering marvel in my opinion. The build quality is outstanding, easily a step above the XPS. It's true with the MBP you are in dongle country, and that is a pain in the ass, that's a fact. I think they made the switch a generation too soon, but oh well. The screen is amazing, the touch bar is an added benefit but not worth buying the MBP for alone. It's greatest advantage is it runs Mac OS.

    I don't do a lot of gaming, but I do like to play World of Warcraft, and my MBP with the Radeon Pro 455 actually outperforms my XPS with the GeForce 960M in real world play, which makes no sense to me at all.

    I have both, and the XPS has been collecting dust since I got my MBP. So I'd have to say my vote goes to Apple. Also one more thing to consider: you can walk into an Apple Store and talk to a genius, but to get service from Dell you are going to have to call someone who barely speaks English and set up a ticket to mail your computer back in.

    I forgot to mention, I paid $1516 for my XPS and $2840 for my MBP.
  7. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Depends a bit on what you need to do with it. If you must have software that only runs on Apple, then that might be an important factor.

    The MacBook Pro 15" has a better trackpad, and the 16:10 aspect ratio is more useful IMO.

    I think the XPS 15 is a better value and can be better equipped. The 4K touchscreen is exceptional, though I really like that they offer a very good 1080p IPS panel as well (costs less and returns longer battery life). Additional ports is also nice, as is the more traditional keyboard IMO.

    Based on specs alone, and the stamp of approval from the reviewers I trust most (such as Dave2D and MobileTechReviews), I'd get the XPS.

    Depending on what you need to do with it, you may find a Samsung Note 9 15" 2017 model to be nice, at 2.7 lbs with discrete graphics and reasonable price.

    I'm not crazy with the direction Apple is taking with MacOS or the hardware lineup.

    I don't think you can really go wrong either way and it will come down to your usage needs and personal preferences.

    Also, based Louis is the man.
  8. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    Depends on what matters to you. The 2016 XPS model you have (which came out in 2015) requires a dock to drive a 4K monitor, for example. The bandwidth of the XPS ports isn't even half that of the MBP.

    That has undoubtedly changed a little with the new XPS, but from what I've read, the Thunderbolt 3 port is only half-speed, so you still need a dock to run a 4K monitor at 60 Hz. The new MBP will drive four directly, though I haven't seen that done yet. Three 4Ks is the most I've read of in practice so far.

    The new XPS has a nicer dGPU now, one that will easily beat the MBP's 460. And since it's Windows, most games run better anyway.

    Seems I've heard the XPS trackpad works better now. Don't know if it's true. People really complained about the earlier one.

    Yeah, great screen. The extra resolution isn't really noticeable, though, and the MBP screen has significantly better brightness and contrast, which is noticeable. The XPS aims at the Adobe RGB color space used in some photography. The MBP aims at the P3 color space used in some video.

    What direction is that?
  9. MrX8503, Mar 24, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2017

    MrX8503 macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2010
    I doubt that if you're considering the Dell. As much as the media praises the XPS line, it doesn't hold a candle next to the MBP in terms of precision and engineering.

    One only needs to look at how the internals are designed. The inside of the MBP looks better than the outside of the Dell.

    The 15" MBP can drive 4X 4K or 2X 5K monitors. It's able to drive more pixels than any other laptop. That's what "limited" ports can do for you.
  10. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    The ports and the AMD graphics card.
  11. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    This has already been discussed a number of times, why open another thread? As to the topic, the XPS is cheaper, bulkier, and has less in terms of high-speed connectivity and battery life. In return, it has a 25% faster GPU. I find it somewhat surprising (and hilarious) that OP criticises Apple for lack of innovation and at the same time praises XPS 15. The only thing even remotely innovative about the XPS its its 4K display, which is barely suitable for use in mobile segment because of its very high power requirements.
  12. Winterfibre macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2016
    I've owned both and they are both good, the track pad on the macbook sells it quite frankly. Unless you use a mouse then its all the same. Windows 10 for me has been stable and easy to use, the os on mac is a delight to have it sync with the iphone the way it does.
  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'm in the same boat as you, and the points you raise are similar to mine. I'm leaning towards the XPS, but I think I'll be waiting till WWDC to see how the next iteration of macOS is.

    That's contrary to what I've read. Perhaps there's a configuration issue, driver issue or some other issue with the XPS that is hampering gaming.

    I've read this and agree. Apple is a cut above in terms of design, and premium feel. The build quality does feel better, but I will throw out a caveat. Time will tell if that is truly the case. Not to throw cold water on the idea, but Apple's track record from 2011 to 2015 hasn't been the best.

    I wish I could have both, I don't have the money to buy both and let one collect dust. This does bring me to another point that was not fully touched on but spoken about a bit. Value for your money.

    Does the MBP at a 1,000 more equate to a better use of your money then the Dell?

    For me its hard to justify close to 3k on a laptop, no matter how beautiful it may look. The XPS is winning the battle, because it represents a computer that is fast, a beautiful screen, running the latest chipset, Great build quality. Basically its more then up to the task and it saves me 1,000
  14. ninja2000 macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2010
    I own a MacBook pro 13 TB and have owned plenty of XPS in the past (1080p and 4k version).

    For me the MBP wins hands down. Obviously if cost is important that is a big plus for the XPS but for these reasons I have either returned or sold my XPS:

    Terrible speakers
    Dead feeling keyboard
    4k screen is like a mirror (why can't they use anti reflective coating like apple?)
    1080p had such bad ghosting it gave me headaches
    Every BIOS fixed one problem and created another
    Windows 10 scaling issues (how many years before MS can sort this? so many of my windows apps still look terrible on a high DPI screen)
    Coil whine

    I really wanted to like the XPS but there were so many nagging issues I returned back to a mbp.

    I am no apple fan boy and I use windows and OSX daily but if cost is no issue I always end up back on a mac. Fortunately I own my own business and can write off the machine I choose so cost does not come into it for me.
  15. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    Fully soldered/glued on everything.

    Outdated desktops.

    Bloated/slow MacOS.

    Turning everything into a service.

    Good luck recovering data when the SSD dies since it's soldered on. I suppose Apple will try to do it... for a fee. ;)

    Though I'd personally get a Samsung Note 9 15" (2017 remodel) over either since it's less money, much lighter, and powerful enough for what I need in a laptop.

    But if I wanted something more powerful, an XPS with quadcore i7, 32 GB RAM, and GTX1050, would do nicely.
  16. SteveJUAE, Mar 25, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    I agree external aesthetics and meaningless potential to many simply does not equate to a $1k difference in price for the tbMBP

    Whist those fortunate to be in the US may get better service out of Apple, elsewhere this support is not the same coverage and unlike some other OEM,s Apple hotline telephone support is only 90 days unless you buy AC.

    The current tbMBP are the worst and most costly to service to date due to construction methods and homogenous design and the least upgradable.

    The nMBP have had a significant increase in entry point, even though spec wise the difference is relatively minor you still had to find more to buy in.

    Although driving 4x4K monitors sounds impressive the reality is most simply cannot afford or need 4 monitors, stand etc. It's nice that the tbMBP 15" has this capability for some professionals that need the extra landscape but it's a selective minority IMO and 2 is generally seen as most productive. With the Dell for example your already on your way with cost savings for your 1st external monitor, docks, eDGU etc etc which has greater potential in other areas

    Whilst the Dell TP may not be as nice as the tbMBP or Surface Book it's no harder to accommodate than the difference with the new Apple short travel KB's for example or throw a mouse in to the equation and it's mute

    Similarly the tbMBP screen is very nice but in practice most are not running at 500nits and more like 200nits to get anywhere near battery endurance with a colour accuracy probably more suited to Video. The Dell infinity edge is something you would notice on or off let alone at 200nits. Then add touch screen in to the equation for far greater potential

    On paper the tbMBP looks more portable but like any laptop once your using the high end functionality its tied to low battery endurance and the wall socket like any other, IMO if you want 11hrs of email and web surfacing on the go then get any good M CPU 10 or 12" portable

    Now throw in Dells newer chipset, better dgpu and upgradable potential you have to wonder why buy a tbMBP outside of OS preference, 4 monitors for the few, 4 or 5 key pieces of software, looking pretty and can answer your IPnone

    I have always bought Apple hardware but not this current generation which IMO has come to the party a bit late with some smoke and mirrors appeal that is really wanting a 2nd gen upgrade now.
  17. ninja2000 macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2010
    I do agree it is annoying that everything is soldered on now but with the amount of services to back up your precious data you would have to be an idiot to actually loose any sensitive work (unless the machine dies in the middle of a project).
    I actually have all my data backed up to multiple locations as there is no way I would ever want to risk loosing anything.
  18. Deacon-Blues macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2012
    Apparently there is a flat rate repair service, so it may be possible to have the entire SSD/logic board replaced for $310.00. Giggity. I never knew about this but it seems to be a real thing.
  19. Queen6 macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2008
    Putting out the fire with gasoline...
    True, equally I strongly suspect the capacity of the SSD will now be a factor on the flat rate, as previously it was a separate module, just a look at Apple's SSD upgrades implies this alone...

  20. SteveJUAE, Mar 26, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    Only on some very old units and certainly not the new tbMBP with fixed SSD and RAM which are more likely to be in the upper tier or more

    Hers some old (pre tbMBP) approx upper and lower band/tier costs:
    ( Lower tier would not cover HDD/SSD or screens)

    11"-13", non-accidental damage: $280

    11"-13", accidental damage: $755

    15"-17", non-accidental damage: $310

    15"-17", accidental damage: $1,200
  21. jblagden macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2013
    If you really want ports, check out the Alienware 15. It has Ethernet, USB-A, Thunderbolt 3/USB-C, SDXC, HDMI 2.0 (instead of 1.4), an Alienware Graphics Amplifier port, a microphone jack, and a dedicated power port. The XPS 15 just has Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, and SDXC. But the weight is a concern. The XPS 15 weighs 4 pounds, while the Alienware 15 weighs 7.7 pounds. Ports or weight - tough choice.

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