Macbook Pro - With our without touch bar

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by theaudiobully87, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. theaudiobully87 macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2013
    Hi guys,

    I'm going to be buying a 13inch macbook pro soon but can't decide whether to wether to get it with out without the touchbar.

    Is the additional cost justified or can I get by on the standard model?

    I'll mainly be using it for little bit of photo editing and general use - no video editing, music creating etc.

    Any advice from people who have either is appreciated.
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    It will make no real difference to you by the sounds of it buy whatever you wish.
  3. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    It's not just the touchbar that you get extra with the touchbar models: It has 2 more USB-C ports, faster memory, faster processors and faster graphics

    For me, the other upgrades were worth the money and the touchbar came as an added bonus, but only you can decide if it's worth it to you
  4. bartvk macrumors 6502


    Dec 29, 2016
    The Netherlands
    The Touchbar has TouchID. I don't really use the Touchbar, however the fingerprint reader is awesome. It's very, very convenient.
  5. theaudiobully87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2013
    Are these upgrades noticeable?
  6. ascender macrumors 68020

    Dec 8, 2005
    You get a spec bump, so some of your money is going there, but for me, TouchID is a brilliant feature and having two ports on each side might seem like a minor thing, but is really useful in the real world.
  7. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    The obvious one is the extra ports, and it depends on how much you want to plug into it. I wouldn't think the graphics are that much different and the memory speed won't be that noticeable either, but the processor is clocked almost 50% faster so is likely to be noticeable

    When I was speccing mine, the price difference between an upgraded non-TB and a similarly specced TB was hardly anything:

    For example, a non-TB with 16GB Ram, 1TB SSD and 2.4Ghz i7 is £2439. A TB with 2.9Ghz i5, 16GB Ram and 1TB SSD is £2489

    A 2.9 i5 is going to be more or less on par speed wise with the 2.4 i7 so basically, with that spec you're getting a touch bar and 2 more ports for an extra £50

    Even if you look at the base model of the TB it costs £1949 whereas a base model non-TB upgraded to the same 512GB SSD and the i7 processor is £1899 (again, £50 difference)

    For me, the non-TB version only makes sense if you're not going to add upgrades to it: As soon as you do, the gap to the TB reduces dramatically and at that point you may as well get the TB

    Whether the base model is fast enough is a question only you can answer: What's fast enough for one person might be unbearably slow for another!
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The nonTB version has better battery life. The TB version is faster (and when you do something graphically-intensive, significantly so) and has more ports. Thats about it.
  9. theaudiobully87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2013
    Thanks for the in-depth response. Some really good points you made.

    I won't be upgrading much. Maybe the RAM to 16GB but I have iCloud storage and use Spotify. Netflix etc for my media consumption, so having a big HD doesn't really appeal to me since I store most things in the cloud and stream everything.
  10. skids929 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 24, 2011
    I have the TB 13, love it, battery life is between 8-9 hours with light use. If you start to tax the machine in any way it cranks through the battery, also how high you put the screen brightness makes big difference too-like one notch too high and it impacts battery life. You learn how to manage battery as you own the machine within the settings. So my point is don't let the TB/nTB battery argument scare you from the TB. I am happy with mine, and if I do something intensive I just hook to power and don't think about it. But yes battery life reports on the nTB are better, so if thats a number one priority for you consider that one.

    I went for the TB model for all the reasons mentioned above. I don't use it every time I am on the machine, but I like having it and love the Touch ID. I just consider it part of the keyboard, nothing I would get gaga about and nothing I'd say that would drive a purchasing decision. I wanted more power so the machine lasts me more years with out slowing down.

    Both will make you happy, I'd say you have to ask yourself how you will use it and go from there.
  11. Mindinversion macrumors 6502


    Oct 9, 2008
    The touch bar is a lot like the Apple Watch: If you never had one you'll never miss it, maybe never even realize what the point is of having one.

    If you have one, you realize that it's not strictly speaking necessary. . . but it's DEFINITELY a nice convenience feature to have, depending on how much you do with it.

    And yes, the upgrades alone are well worth moving up to the TB. model [IMO, YMMV void where prohibited, taxes title license and dock fees may apply]
  12. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
    if you use Adobe CC with Photoshop definitely get the TouchBar. Ps CC has the best touchbar integration of any program – even better than the Apple native programs.

    Otherwise it's a bit of a wash. I personally like it for everything but I know not everyone's as into it.

    I will say – for the skeptics/unsure – personally I definitely use the touch bar more and more over time. Now after a couple months with the machine I'm really seeing my usage start to go way up. And the 'sliders' approach to brightness and volume rrrrrrealy grows on you.
  13. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    I have the nTB and am very happy with it. The only thing sometimes I'd like is one extra port. But it's not a deal breaker. The config I got - base CPU, 16GB of RAM, 512 SSD - was still $300 less than the same config of the touchbar model. It wasn't worth it to me because I use my Mac in clamshell desktop mode 70-80% of the time and I feel like the touchbar is going to get better with the next iteration.

    Kind of like the Apple Watch. The first version was good but missing some key features (like GPS) but the second version brings those feautures to make a better product. So personally I'm going to wait and see what Apple has in store for the next update. Also, if Apple makes an external keyboard with a touchbar that'll make my decision to upgrade easier because I can have the same user experience in desktop mode and when using my Mac out of the house.

    For now, I'm very happy with the performance of the nTB model and for your uses I think it would be fine. If the additional upgrades of the touchbar model are worth it to you it's a fantastic Mac.
  14. theaudiobully87 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2013
    Thanks for all of the advice guys. I think I'm decided on the TB version, but I'm going to go to my locap apple store and just try them both out.

    My main reason for asking was from a performance perspective really, the TB, as a lot of you have said, is really a preference thing.
  15. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Aug 31, 2009
    England, UK
    For your usage, why not just get the smaller, lighter, cheaper - and in my opinion, better-looking - MacBook? Your usage is exactly what they're intended for.
  16. Ndalby macrumors member


    Sep 9, 2014
    One thing which keeps me on the fence with the TB model is what happens when it fails? No escape key or functions, if under warranty brilliant but if not it would most likely be a higher repair cost than a new keyboard I would think?

    Seems like a kinda nice idea as an optional extra, outside of specs, rather than to have to have to get better specs i.e the 15" version...

Share This Page