MacBook Pro vs. Razer 15" vs. Dell XPS 15

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by maflynn, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #1
    I've been doing a lot of research on what 15" laptop best suits my needs. At this point, I've narrowed down my list to three contenders.

    Here's some of the details of the three, I tried configuring them as similar as possible.

    The MBP has some definite pluses; size/weight (brighter display as well)
    The Razer wins out on display, performance and design (see below)
    The Dell wins at price and battery, though I believe the MBP will last longer as its better at power consumption

    MBPvsRazervsDell.jpg

    Other metrics:
    Design: Tbh, I think the MBP and Razer designs are tied, I love the look of both. The XPS is decent, not sexy, just ok

    Ports: Dell, Razer and then MBP. I get more ports with the Dell and both the Dell and Razer put the MBP to shame with what I can easily do, i.e., HDMI, USB 3.1 TB3, etc etc.

    Customer support Apple, Dell then Razer. Apple's customer support is definitely #1, but from my research Dell's #2

    Quality: All three come have a mix bag of concerns. The biggest concern is the fact that of Apple's keyboard and given Apple's silence this means Apple Care is a must and with that, the over all price jumps to 2900 with the inclusion of the non plus apple care.

    Upgradeable: Both the Razer and Dell are, the MBP is virtuall sealed

    Software
    A computer is designed to run programs and while my list above doesn't mention the OS or apps, let me just touch base briefly.

    First, almost coincidently, as I was working in excel on this matrix, my Mac crashed, and crashed hard, it rebooted itself after 5 minutes of being frozen. This sadly is a common experience though, however its gotten better thanks to the last macOS update. The issue is related to Safari, and if I'm doing a lot of work and have safari open, boom it can crash. I can't tell you the last time I had a BSOD in windows and I use it daily. Other then Safari taking my iMac down, macOS has been fairly stable.

    On the plus apple side I don't have driver issues with macOS like I would with Windows. Restoring or recovering in macOS is dead stupid easy.

    Conclusion:
    Its hard to justify spending so much money on the Mac with its last generate processor, anemic GPU. (compared to the Razer) and the huge question mark about the reliability of the keyboard. Still, the MBP is on my short list and with the exception of the keyboard and if Apple were to update it to coffee lake, I'd be pretty happy with it.

    Razer I think is my overall choice especially if we don't see anything come from apple.

    Dell appears to be a safe bet it does have some nice features but I thin MBP or Razor may be what I opt for.
     
  2. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #2
    I have a 2012 XPS 15 and the only thing that bugs me is the trackpad. It may be user error but I seem to have issues with double clicking, regardless of OS. Other than that, it is still a solid performer today.
     
  3. dumastudetto macrumors 68030

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    #3
    Dell has had a lot of problems with bad batteries in recent years. Just Google XPS 13 swollen battery trackpad / XPS 15 swollen battery trackpad. Basically the battery swells and pushes the trackpad out rendering it useless, usually one to a few months after the standard warranty has expired. Dell did do a limited replacement program for one generation of XPS 15, but have ignored the problem across all XPS 13 and most XPS 15.

    With Apple you know you will get world class customer care if something goes wrong. You are on your own with Dell.
     
  4. borgranta macrumors 6502

    borgranta

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    #4
    I read about customer service being horrible with Razer. If found a link to the best gaming laptops of 2018
    https://www.techradar.com/news/mobi...ptops-top-5-gaming-notebooks-reviewed-1258471
     
  5. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #5
    I disagree, I have first hand knowlege of Dell's customer support and they're rated number two so I think you're wrong about being on your own regarding Dell.
    2018-06-04_05-58-19.png

    As for the swollen battery, I've not heard of that, and I'll dig into it a bit more.

    Yup, I'll not make any execuses for Razer's poor reputation regarding customer service, but they do seem to be changing. I forget where I read it/watch it, but they switched call centers and turn around times for calls have improved and so far on their forum people seem pleased with the attention they're getting from support. One person was able to get a replacement laptop within a couple of days and the process was seemingly painless. To be sure, I'll be rolling dice on that aspect if I do opt for Razer.
     
  6. c0ppo macrumors 65816

    c0ppo

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    #6
    I'm in the same dilemma. And I think that I'm going for Razer. Since I don't live in the US, it's hard to purchase something that expensive with no warranty. That is why if I do purchase one, I will go thru amazon.com

    In my experience, amazon is great with customers, so if something does go wrong, they can handle it.
    As far as MBP goes, only reason I want one is macOS. Nothing more. In hardware apple is so far behind that it's becoming a joke of some kind :(
     
  7. lcseds macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    In the US, if you are a Costco member, a 2017 XPS 15 (Intel Gen 7), with i7, 1TB SSD, GTX 1050 with 4GB and 32GB Ram is $1999. And Costco provides free second year warranty. Use their credit card to buy and warranty is extended to 4 years with no additional charge. When I look at a Macbook Pro with similar specs and Applecare, ouch.

    So you have to decide if Apple's support is worth a $1000+ premium. You're paying 33-35% more and may never need support.
     
  8. BigMcGuire, Jun 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018

    BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #8
    https://www.costco.com/Dell-XPS-15-...---4GB-NVIDIA-Graphics.product.100336318.html --- link for reference only - this is what we gave our company when we said we wanted a new development laptop.

    My office just got a $2500? Dell XPS 15 with the latest CPU and 32GB of ram and 1TB SSD ... was able to actually use it Friday. I'm impressed, but I don't think it is better than my MBP 13' 2017 TB. The carbon fiber looks nice but it is very plasticy and wow it is heavy. Keyboard feels fairly nice but not as sturdy as my past dell laptops. The keyboard on my Dell Latitude 3480 looks like crap after just 6 months of light usage (wearing terribly).

    The lack of ports is astounding on a 15' but I may be bias with my 4 USB C ports. The screen, while nice and huge on the XPS, just doesn't seem as sharp or bright as my 13' MBP - and text readability on Windows is something I complain about a lot. You have to lower the DPI to get the true resolution and it makes font difficult to read on Windows.

    I know I paid $3k for my MBP 13' 2017 TB. (16GB ram, 1TB SSD, the mid option CPU). The XPS was $2500? I think from Dell's website - you can get it for a lot cheaper from Costco.

    My office also paid for a MBP 15' 2017 TB decked out ($4500) 2 weeks ago. The 15 just feels like a wider, more unused spaced 13 - the screen is nice but it feels way too big.

    Like you said I've had really good experience with Dell Support but we use Dell Small Business next day support (maxed out). My brother's XPS 13' came smashed in the mail and it took him almost a month to get a replacement from Dell. He could barely communicate with the support people who barely spoke English.

    All depends on what you use - I know Windows 600x better than Mac because I've spent my life with it (and continue to do so (C# Programmer)). I like Mac OS because of my Apple devices - the readability of it - AppleCare+ and the fact that it requires less maintenance than Windows.


    If I didn't have an iPhone, AirPods, and an Apple Watch? I'd probably go XPS. But having my watch unlock my MBP instantly, AirPods seamlessly play audio from my Watch, MBP, and iPhone, iMessages, etc... I'm not regretting my MBP purchase at all - I've had it for a month since yesterday - loving it, the keyboard, everything about it. No complaints.
     
  9. Queen6 macrumors 604

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    #9
    I'd opt for the 1080p Razor with GTX 1060, although they get bad press on support, like as not the majority of their hardware has no issues.

    GTX 1070 is a powerful GPU, and can generate a lot of heat so I'd be a little concerned of the noise intrusion in such a small chassis.

    Q-6
     
  10. BenTrovato macrumors 68030

    BenTrovato

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    #10
    Still have to give it to the MBP for looks and physical feel (keyboard / casing). But Jeez that price for components is absurd. I know I know... other reasons why you can justify Apple's higher price tag. I would be tempted to go for the 4k Razer. I like their new aluminum shell over the older black one.
     
  11. Euro_Guy macrumors newbie

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    Oct 16, 2016
    #11
    I jumped ship when the MBP 2016 was announce. Lack of ports, etc etc; no need to repeat what has been mentioned repeteadly.

    I got a Dell XPS 15, and I'm quite satisfied with it. I haven't had any hardware issues, no coil whine (that I can hear, in a quiet room with my ear to the laptop), the keyboard is doing fine after almost two years, etc. In short, the laptop has performed just as expected.

    I've had 1 (one) driver compatibility issue: After the Windows Fall Creator's update, the screen would flicker (once) each 5 minutes or so. Not a big issue, but of course annoying. After two days, the driver was updated and problem was solved.

    I've had 0 (zero) crashes. No BSOS, no sudden restarts, no loss of data. Which is a much, much better track record than my previous MBP.

    Regarding the screen: My wife has the MBP 13, and I don't think I can agree that the screen on the MBP is sharper. In my opinion, the 4k screen on the XPS is incredibly sharp. One thing which the OP didn't mention is the color rendition of the XPS, being 100% Adobe RGB.

    Drawbacks: The "nostril camera", obviously. I don't use the touch screen, to be honest. And yes, the XPS is heavier than the MBP 15, not least because of the much bigger battery.

    The laptop is a beast; by far the most powerful laptop I've owned. I love it :), but of course battery life is down to 1-2 hours when you I intensive work like video rendering etc.

    I still haven't become used to being outside the Apple garden, which is probably why I still follow Macrumors. I guess I would like to have a MBP again one day, if they produce a computer catered to my needs instead of thinness.
     
  12. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    With the third class action suit being filed against apple on the keyboard issue, the lack of any hardware, I think its time to cross the MBP off my list :( I don't think we'll see any updates that addresses the keyboard until 2019

    Yeah, that's pretty much my choice but I will be going to the microsoft store today at lunch hour. I believe they have Dell XPS on display. It would be nice to see Razers there as well but I'm not holding out hope.

    Yeah, I forgot to mention that in my OP, and its a concern. I had a powerbook that had some sort of coil whine (lack of a better term), for the model I had, it was a common issue and apple didn't really address or acknowledge it

    Same here for my windows machines at home or at work.

    I'll be perfectly frank, I absolutely hate that I use the camera enough that its an issue that makes me wonder if I should pass on the Dell.

    That's the thing once you move away from the MBP, you see many models that have a more robust configuration. For me though is longevity, how long will it last. I have a 2012 MBP, will I get 6 years out of a Dell or a Razer? Tbh, I feel I may have better luck on longevity with the Dell, just because the Razer has higher themals, i.e., runs at 70c

    Yeah, I know what you mean, but I do have an iMac so I'll not be leaving the fold, though this laptop may become more of my main machine
     
  13. c0ppo macrumors 65816

    c0ppo

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    #13
    I'm waiting for some reviews on Razer Blade 15. I want to see more about thermals, heat and especially noise.
    If they work great, then it's an easy choice for me. But if not, I have no idea what to buy at the moment. Lenovo P52s doesn't look as great as I expected, I'm not a fan of XPS lineup...

    Well, now all I have to do is wait for some reviews, and hope for the best :)
     
  14. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #14
    There's not many reviews but I watched these and David Lee (I really like him) had his temps while gaming in the 70s. I can live with that and for some instances you can undervolt and get even better results.



    That 70c mark seems fairly consistent with what people are reporting in Razer's forum as well.

    Onet thing I ran into is Dell's thermal management. I just googled that and found a bunch of links so I think the design of the XPS may not be optimally designed to evacuate the heat
    https://www.notebookcheck.net/The-D...tling-issues-as-its-predecessor.302960.0.html
    https://www.ultrabookreview.com/14875-fix-throttling-xps-15/
     
  15. c0ppo macrumors 65816

    c0ppo

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    #15
    `I have a lot of XPS at my disposal in a company I work for. Granted all are 2015-2017 versions. I’m not impressed at all. They generate a lot of heat, and coil whine is a big no-go for me.

    But with all that said, I still haven’t seen a 2018 version at all. Maybe they fixed some issues, but I wouldn’t hold my breath :)
     
  16. Euro_Guy macrumors newbie

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    Oct 16, 2016
    #16
    I agree with you here. My previous MBP turned 6 years before I exchanged it. My XPS is as good as new, so maybe it will last just as long, but I don't count on it; I expect it to last 4-5 years. However, where I live a MBP 15 in the configuration of my XPS would be around 4000 USD (crazy but true), whereas I paid around 2300 USD. So if my XPS doesn't last quite as long, so be it.

    But honestly, with the keyboard problems of the MBP, I wouldn't be sure for a new MBP to last 5-6 years. The last year of my MBP was insane (kernel problem, out of warranty, no help from Apple), as it would shut down at random, leading to the loss of ALL unsaved documents. So much for Apple having premium quality.
     
  17. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    you should consider the Lenovo X1 carbon
     
  18. Queen6 macrumors 604

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    #18
    The new hex core 8750H looks to be different in operation to the likes of the 7700HQ, it will boost up to 3.9GHz on all six cores then it will roll back the CPU frequency, this should not be confused with thermal throttling as it's not. What I'm seeing and others reporting is power throttling with the 8750H ramping up to as much as 85W (90W limit) for PL-2, then rolling back to the PL-1 45W limit.

    Sounds harsh, equally under 100% load under Prime95 my own Asus S7BS (GL703GS) is sub 70C without any undervolt applied. With undervolt the temperature remains the same, however by dropping CPU Core & Cache voltage, current is also reduced allowing the CPU to hold over 3GHz on all core under the Prime95 Small FFT stress test. Like as not this is all hardwired in BIOS.

    Running Prime95 Small FFT now at >3GHz all core at 67C, ambient 24C, -152.3mV undervolt applied with ThrottleStop 8.60. Has to be said these new hex core CPU's are incredibly capable coupled with an SSD with over 3K reads makes for a startlingly fast solution for those on the go...

    Q-6
     
  19. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #19
    I've heard a lot of good about this laptop from my "tech" friends. Definitely should be something looked at.
     
  20. Queen6 macrumors 604

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    #20
    X1C is a superb Ultrabook, however not in the same class as the larger 15" notebooks with the 45W 8750H processor, which is what you need in comparison to the 15" MBP.

    Q-6
     
  21. hajime macrumors 601

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    #21
    Could you please check with your "tech friends" if those coating on the case still come off easily? The Thinkpad laptops are nice but at least 20 years ago, the coating came off very easily. The edges and corners became shinny. Have they also tried running eGPU with the X1C?
     
  22. Falhófnir macrumors 68030

    Falhófnir

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    #22
    Have you ruled out the surface book 15? I know it’s also on the pricy side (matching the MBP) but that and the processor being a 20W rather than a 45W seem to be the only real downsides?
     
  23. hajime macrumors 601

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    #23
    The LCD wobbles likes crazy. There are also thermal and power throttling issues.
     
  24. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    #24
    They've talked to me about running the eGPU but none of them have gotten it yet. I know one uses the X1C as a work laptop. I mentioned what you said and the response was: "if you wear on it enough it might become more shiny, yeah." "99% of the time, I'm using an external keyboard and mouse, so I'm not really touching my laptop every day."
     
  25. maflynn thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

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    #25
    Agreed, I wanted something with more power and 15" display. Th X1C has a lower class processor, its not coffee lake and iGPU only.
     

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