Need help picking 2016/2017 MBP

wgr73

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 31, 2005
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Hey guys, so I've kind of fallen off with he latest USB-C MBP's. I have a couple questions that I've searched for but can't find.

1. With the 2015 MBP there was graphics switching. WELL...in Parallels/VMware graphics card switched to dedicated GPU even on battery (which KILLED battery life). Does this still happen?

2. Does the i7 processor in the 13" MBP waste more battery then the i5 counterpart, and if so is it noticeable?

3. 3.1GHz Touchbar version seems to cool the laptop better and not throttle as much due to having two fans vs. one fan, correct?

4. Seems like I can charge my laptop on the go with a power brick via USB-C?


1 and 2 are my biggest questions. Reason I ask is because I tune cars and battery life is VERY important to me. I dual boot when I'm in the car running both windows and Mac at the same time. Dongles isn't a big thing anymore as I need HASP keys and Air to fuel inputs via USB so dongles (hubs) are needed anyways.

Thanks guys. There are some pretty good deals going on right now. The 2016 deals are pretty insane so I may just jump on a 1TB 13" if question number is a YES.
 

New_Mac_Smell

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1. They all have automatic graphics switching when they have a dGPU, you can turn this off. Trying to VM on battery is always going to kill the battery...

2. Technically, but not really noticeable.

3. It's more down to being a higher wattage processor, the nTB model uses a 'lighter' variant and so struggles more top end, in effect pushing it more. Which results in more heat. Either are absolutely fine in the temperature department, neither is in danger of reaching meltdown levels.

4. Yes, as long as the power bank supports it, with enough amperage/voltage etc. Check the specifications on the battery and it'll say.

Both of these machines (2016/2017) are effectively the same, and these questions relate to either as it's a design thing.
 
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alias99

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Nov 3, 2010
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Hey guys, so I've kind of fallen off with he latest USB-C MBP's. I have a couple questions that I've searched for but can't find.

1. With the 2015 MBP there was graphics switching. WELL...in Parallels/VMware graphics card switched to dedicated GPU even on battery (which KILLED battery life). Does this still happen?

2. Does the i7 processor in the 13" MBP waste more battery then the i5 counterpart, and if so is it noticeable?

3. 3.1GHz Touchbar version seems to cool the laptop better and not throttle as much due to having two fans vs. one fan, correct?

4. Seems like I can charge my laptop on the go with a power brick via USB-C?


1 and 2 are my biggest questions. Reason I ask is because I tune cars and battery life is VERY important to me. I dual boot when I'm in the car running both windows and Mac at the same time. Dongles isn't a big thing anymore as I need HASP keys and Air to fuel inputs via USB so dongles (hubs) are needed anyways.

Thanks guys. There are some pretty good deals going on right now. The 2016 deals are pretty insane so I may just jump on a 1TB 13" if question number is a YES.
If you're looking at a 13in model then point one is irrelevant as there is no dGPU in any of the 13in models.
 
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PBG4 Dude

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Jul 6, 2007
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gfxstatus (gfx.io) can force all programs to use the integrated GPU. I had to install this because the Kindle program forces use of dGPU by default and I couldn't find any other way to disable this action.
 

wgr73

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 31, 2005
706
31
New Mexico
1. They all have automatic graphics switching when they have a dGPU, you can turn this off. Trying to VM on battery is always going to kill the battery...

2. Technically, but not really noticeable.

3. It's more down to being a higher wattage processor, the nTB model uses a 'lighter' variant and so struggles more top end, in effect pushing it more. Which results in more heat. Either are absolutely fine in the temperature department, neither is in danger of reaching meltdown levels.

4. Yes, as long as the power bank supports it, with enough amperage/voltage etc. Check the specifications on the battery and it'll say.

Both of these machines (2016/2017) are effectively the same, and these questions relate to either as it's a design thing.
Thank you! Very thorough. I was wondering if it was worth trying for the 15" but the dedicated gpu ALWAYS being on in VM was a big no no. Didn't know you could turn this off. It wasn't like that in 2015.

I'll look at the cheaper 2016 then

If you're looking at a 13in model then point one is irrelevant as there is no dGPU in any of the 13in models.
Still trying to decide. I'm leaning more towards the 13 though. Point 1 would've put the 15 out of the question if the answer was yes.

gfxstatus (gfx.io) can force all programs to use the integrated GPU. I had to install this because the Kindle program forces use of dGPU by default and I couldn't find any other way to disable this action.
Good to know!
 

New_Mac_Smell

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Thank you! Very thorough. I was wondering if it was worth trying for the 15" but the dedicated gpu ALWAYS being on in VM was a big no no. Didn't know you could turn this off. It wasn't like that in 2015.

I'll look at the cheaper 2016 then



Still trying to decide. I'm leaning more towards the 13 though. Point 1 would've put the 15 out of the question if the answer was yes.



Good to know!
If you're using VM stuff frequently it's probably more worth while getting a quad core CPU over a dual core, given the physical constraints it puts onto the system. You could always grab a new 2015 which don't have dGPU but are still quad core.

Why is it important that you can VM using the battery though? Given the nature of the application it's always going to drain the battery, as any high level piece of software would. It's not going to kill it immediately but is always going to be at a faster rate than something like Safari. So even with the dGPU switched off it's probably going to save 30-45 minutes, which isn't much of a gain to sacrifice a dGPU for (13").

Up to you but I'd question that a little.
 
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wgr73

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 31, 2005
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I use VM on my 2015 13" MBP and battery life is great (only need 4-5hrs). If I can get the same battery life out of a 15" dedicated GPU then I'll pull for that one.

I like to be in MacOS while tuning cars in Windows. I can use iMessage and all of my other Mac stuff while on the Dyno or road (no power source). Personal preference really. So when I say good battery life I really only mean 4-5hrs

EDIT: Oh and when I VM the tuning software I use is not a CPU hog, so it's not very intensive. Mainly log and flash the car
 

New_Mac_Smell

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I use VM on my 2015 13" MBP and battery life is great (only need 4-5hrs). If I can get the same battery life out of a 15" dedicated GPU then I'll pull for that one.

I like to be in MacOS while tuning cars in Windows. I can use iMessage and all of my other Mac stuff while on the Dyno or road (no power source). Personal preference really. So when I say good battery life I really only mean 4-5hrs

EDIT: Oh and when I VM the tuning software I use is not a CPU hog, so it's not very intensive. Mainly log and flash the car
Ah... So you VM purely for Windows (Most people usually VM to do development work which eats battery life you see). Depending on what VM you're using, you can and should set them up properly by assigning specifications to it.

If you have a dual core computer, then it gets half your CPU and half the RAM by default normally (So 1 core HT + say 4GB RAM). And it's running effectively at that rate and drain on your overall system. If you got a 15" you can set those same specs, but it's now using 1 / 4 cores, and 4 / 16GB RAM, so the 15" is working less hard to support it. You can also set it to use whatever or however much GPU to use. So look for these settings in your VM, I believe you can even do it in the free VirtualBox.

Another thing to consider that you seem to have overlooked is that the new 2016/2017 computers are USB-C, meaning you can charge them a lot easier than you could the older models. You could get a power bank (Specific one mind you) and boost its battery considerably, or even easier why not just get an inverter for the car and plug it in, in-between tests?
 

wgr73

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 31, 2005
706
31
New Mexico
Ah... So you VM purely for Windows (Most people usually VM to do development work which eats battery life you see). Depending on what VM you're using, you can and should set them up properly by assigning specifications to it.

If you have a dual core computer, then it gets half your CPU and half the RAM by default normally (So 1 core HT + say 4GB RAM). And it's running effectively at that rate and drain on your overall system. If you got a 15" you can set those same specs, but it's now using 1 / 4 cores, and 4 / 16GB RAM, so the 15" is working less hard to support it. You can also set it to use whatever or however much GPU to use. So look for these settings in your VM, I believe you can even do it in the free VirtualBox.

Another thing to consider that you seem to have overlooked is that the new 2016/2017 computers are USB-C, meaning you can charge them a lot easier than you could the older models. You could get a power bank (Specific one mind you) and boost its battery considerably, or even easier why not just get an inverter for the car and plug it in, in-between tests?
Yep exactly. SO my final question....does the 15" get as good battery life as the 13"? I went to BB and looked at them and just told myself the 13 is convenient but don't mind the 15 either. If the 15 will last just as long with MROE power then the 13 I'll just do the 15".

Hahaha, I don't like carrying around that weight. The power bank is a great idea though. The invert can be cumbersome
 

New_Mac_Smell

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Yep exactly. SO my final question....does the 15" get as good battery life as the 13"? I went to BB and looked at them and just told myself the 13 is convenient but don't mind the 15 either. If the 15 will last just as long with MROE power then the 13 I'll just do the 15".

Hahaha, I don't like carrying around that weight. The power bank is a great idea though. The invert can be cumbersome
They both offer the same battery life. In theory, for the average user, the 15" is working less hard than the 13" to provide performance. However with other aspects such as larger screen etc., they work out more or less the same. 15" may be slightly better in one test, 13" the other.

15" is a lot more power, to 9000.
 

wgr73

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 31, 2005
706
31
New Mexico
They both offer the same battery life. In theory, for the average user, the 15" is working less hard than the 13" to provide performance. However with other aspects such as larger screen etc., they work out more or less the same. 15" may be slightly better in one test, 13" the other.

15" is a lot more power, to 9000.
I'll think about this. The 13" will be here tomorrow. Might buy the 15 too and return the one I don't like
 

New_Mac_Smell

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I'll think about this. The 13" will be here tomorrow. Might buy the 15 too and return the one I don't like
Just give it a good test, if it all works out then I'd stick with it. It'll just mean you aren't pushing the machine, so moving to a 15" you'd find no noticeable benefit and would probably end up in a cycle of returns...

If it works it works, stick and enjoy.
 
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wgr73

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 31, 2005
706
31
New Mexico
So I have been able to test the laptop in the field. Up key works ever 3-4 strokes. Can't live with this unfortunately (up key is crucial to navigation of customer maps) so I'll have to return/swap computers.

Maybe I'm going down a wrong path
 
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New_Mac_Smell

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So I have been able to test the laptop in the field. Up key works ever 3-4 strokes. Can't live with this unfortunately (up key is crucial to navigation of customer maps) so I'll have to return/swap computers.

Maybe I'm going down a wrong path
They can take a couple of days to settle in when new, seems to be very tight tolerances which cause them to appear 'sticky'. Also try blasting them with compressed air as Apple recommend you do.

Failing that you can obviously return/replace the unit. I just always think it's worth trying some really basic techniques to try clear it up before going through all the hassle. Seeing as most units suffer this when new, you can easily convince yourself it's a major defect and just get stressed... Just give it a little chance/help and see :)
 
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wgr73

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 31, 2005
706
31
New Mexico
They can take a couple of days to settle in when new, seems to be very tight tolerances which cause them to appear 'sticky'. Also try blasting them with compressed air as Apple recommend you do.

Failing that you can obviously return/replace the unit. I just always think it's worth trying some really basic techniques to try clear it up before going through all the hassle. Seeing as most units suffer this when new, you can easily convince yourself it's a major defect and just get stressed... Just give it a little chance/help and see :)

Very good idea. I'll do that!
 
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