PCWorld Puts Latest 15 in. Macbook Pro Against XPS 15

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by peglegjack, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. NiCk- macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2007
    When the Macbook loses even in the trackpad category you know something is wrong .. But obviously, there is no denying that the new XPS 15 is an excellent buy and arguably a much better one for someone who is not interested in MacOS ..
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Boy I almost forgot how much PC World really hate Macs.

    Man alive, that's a brutal article. They gave the keyboard to the XPS... small, plasticky, feels cheap... even if you hate the new MBP keyboard, surely one stands out as 'quality' over the other – and you absolutely can say that objectively if you personally loathe it. They gave the trackpad score to the XPS too.

    I ain't even mad, just bewildered. Their writers really do seem petty. :confused:
  3. xxray, Apr 27, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
  4. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    It is PC World, so any article is going to be using their standard OS, Windows 10 against and other OS. And also be comparing the hardware. And if you are a heavy Windows users, there a number of things about MacOS that seem strange, like not being able to do file operation from any file dialog anywhere.
  5. MacInTO macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2005
    Canada, eh!
    Such a biased article. They're comparing Apples to oranges. :eek::p
  6. duffyanneal macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2008
    I had both machines in my hot little hands last week for a multi-day side by side comparison. Based on my needs and impressions I chose the MBP. This is coming from a mostly Windows (as of the past couple of years) user. I say they are both really good machines, but they both have their issues as well.
  7. Miltz macrumors 6502a

    Sep 6, 2013
    New York
  8. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 23, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Macs are PCs too. Even if you get rid of the subjective stuff (which a LOT of people would agree with based on what I've seen here and elsewhere), the MBP is weaker in nearly every measurable performance metric. Sure it has faster Thunderbolt 3, but since that's all it has you have to carry around dongles to do anything with it. The CPU is slower and older, it can't handle as much memory, it has a terrible graphics card, an old processor and it has less storage. It's smaller and lighter at the expense of repairability and upgradability.

    I'm not saying the Dell is perfect... i'm saying this iteration of the MBP is a weak effort put out by an arrogant company that doesn't have a hell of a lot of respect for it's users. I remember when the MBP was so good that PC publications were saying it was a better Windows notebook than anything else on the market.
  9. aevan, Apr 28, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017

    aevan macrumors 68030


    Feb 5, 2015
    When they say that MacBook looses in trackpad category it means they are baiting or have no ****ing clue. That's just it.

    I disagree with almost everything in that article - and, yes, it comes down to personal opinions - but that's all their article is too - their opinions. I didn't use the new XPS but I have used the previous gen XPS and I believe this new one has the same trackpad and keyboard.

    For me, the XPS looses out on almost everything: that keyboard sucks compared to MBP, trackpad is not even close, ports are worse (slower TB port, just one, cannot be used for charging) - and the CPU speed improvements are mostly due to newer Kaby Lake and wouldn't be noticed in real world scenarios. It also has a worse build, a worse battery life according to real-world tests and it runs Windows.

    It's cheaper and it's good for the money. But I would never choose it over the MBP - even if both ran the same OS.

    Better trackpad? For F sake.... The things I'll read online.

    Edit: just re-read that part, they don't claim the trackpad is better on the XPS, instead, they think the inputs are better, because it has a touch screen. Yup, these are PC folks with their PC taste and PC notions of quality, nothing to see here.
  10. JMacHack macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2017
    More like comparing Apples to lemons.
  11. leman, Apr 28, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017

    leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Funny how you can make these claims so authoritatively, lets look at it in more detail shall we?

    Sure, the CPU is one gen older (big deal, you get what, 200Mhz faster configs with Kaby Lake?), but the XPS only comes with the low-end quad-core — my configured 2016 Skylake MBP is faster. Given that Kaby Lake, which has been available for two and half months, is nothing more but a minor refresh, calling Skylake "old" at this point is just nonsensical. The GPU in the XPS is 20-25% faster in gaming applications, sure, but its also 20-25% hotter and does not support multiple 4K monitors like the MBP does. Not to mention that the MBP GPU is designed for stability, hence reduced clocks (you will find exactly the same pattern on Nvidia Quadro GPUs). And finally, XPS comes with a gaming GPU that has been artificially tampered with in order to limit its performance in scientific applications. As to RAM — need 32GB? Sure, then the MBP is not for you. But then probably no laptop with dual-challen RAM controllers is. Other 99% of the user base will still find 16GB to be plenty. Not to mention that by going 32GB on the XPS you are shaving another hour of your battery life. Add in all the other little relevant facts, like faster WiFi on the MBP, faster SSDs, better battery life, better vent design (the XPS with its half open bottom side is an invitation for dust) and the picture becomes much less obvious!

    XPS is a great laptop and certainly Dells best machine yet. Some of their design decisions, like disallowing CPU upgrades or using a very power-hungry screen (even though its stunning from technical viewpoint) are questionable, but its certainly a very fine and extremely well priced laptop. But at the same time it is still very obvious that Dell tries to impress with pure specs (like impressive screen and 32Gb RAM at the cost of battery life), while sacrificing some aspect of utility that would be important to professional users (battery life? multiple pro-level monitors? Full TB3 bandwidth? Fast WiFi?). And BTW, if you want to have more accurate comparisons, you should compare the MBP to the Precision line, which offers Xeon-level CPUs (improved stability), but sacrifice the GPU.

    The bottomline is that XPS is cheaper and offer better gaming performance (and obviously a better Windows experience). Thats about it. For my daily driver, I'll take the MBP any time of the day despite the price difference — the difference in mobility, battery life, build quality and actual usability is more then worth it.

    P.S. About the article itself... its obviously the author was bored and just wanted to get something out quick. Just look at his musings about the keyboard, totally ignoring the fact that most MBP owners actually prefer the new keyboard. Or the stuff like "oh, you know, Apple's ports are faster and more flexible, but duh, I'll give this one to the Dell". Where are SSD speeds? And — comparing gaming performance between OS X and Windows, really? Not to mention Cinebench/Geekbench etc., which are not comparable across different operating systems (no matter what the devs claim, they are not). If you are already going the "well, I'm comparing the system as it ships" route, then do some FCP vs. Premiere or whatever real work comparisons and look at the result. ****** journalism, another rushed clickbait article, irrelevant opinion.

    P.P.S. Instead of playing the "what is better" game, would make sense to look at what which machine does better. There are things that XPS does better (mostly in regards to base specs + price) and there are things that the MPB does better. Only than one can claim at least some degree of "objectivity".
  12. smelly cat macrumors regular

    smelly cat

    Apr 17, 2010
    Let's not forget that that article was not just published by PC World, but it was written by Gordon Mah Ung, who used to write for Maximum PC. I've known him to biased against Macs for years. This article comes as no surprise, heh!
  13. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 23, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Wow, you took an astonishingly long time to write that and yet didn't refute a single point I made. You really like to hear yourself talk, don't you? The fact is that out of all the objective performance tests he ran, the XPS was faster in the vast majority. As for your other points, the it's made out of carbon fiber and aluminum. You don't get more high end than that. Plus, the beauty of the Dell is the options they offer.

    You need to run professional 3D apps? You don't buy the XPS 15. You buy the otherwise identical Precision 5520 which can be had with up to a Xeon E3 processor and a Nvidia Quadro M1200. You can even get it with a spinning HD to save money if you want to. You are not forced to into any direction. OPTIONS. Amazing how relatively small Dell can offer their customers options and the most valuable company in the world can't figure out how to. This is the same attitude that produced the Mac Pro.
  14. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    I sell both machines. Both are spectacular and people who buy them tend to love them. The reason(s) someone may prefer one over the other are personal and subjective.
  15. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

    Dec 4, 2003
    That Gordon guy at PCWorld absolutely hates Macs. That said, there are a lot of valid points. This new generation of MacBook Pro's won't truly be great until probably Rev D. First, they need to back track, go back to the previous scissor style keyboard, restore Mag Safe, bigger battery, use the latest CPUs like the rest of the industry (we are not in Power PC days anymore), restore ports that professionals use, not what cult users and Steve Jobs grave worshippers will accept whatever Jony puts out. The only change Apple should have made was add two USB C ports and get rid of the old thunderbolt ports. Thats all, really.
  16. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Objective tests? You must be jesting. When I run Geekbench 4.1 on my machine, I consistently get 5-10% lesses scores on the OS X compared to Windows — this is using the same hardware. Is that because OS X is slower? No, its because Geekbench uses different compilers, different code configurations and also most likely different code altogether across the platforms. Same goes for Cinebench. What else is objective? The gaming benchmark? Why doesn't he run Windows vs. Windows to make sure that the graphics driver playing field is level? He is lumping tons of factors (OS, hardware, compiler, benchmark code) together. Its a typical oh-I'm-on-a-coffee-break-let's-write-up-an-article "journalism".

    Speaking about objectivity: where are storage and WiFi benchmarks? Where are actual application benchmarks?

    Quadro M1200 is slower than the GTX 1050. In fact, its slower than the Pro 460 in the MBP. So what, if the Mac is using a stabiloity-optimized GPU with pro-level features, than its "mediocre performance", but if the Dell uses a slower stability-optimised GPU with pro-level features (btw, it still doesn't support multi 4K monitor output), then its "professional grade workstation".

    Why if I want to have a fast CPU and a fast GPU? Well, I can't. Dell doesn't let me upgrade the CPU on the XPS and they deliver slower GPU on the Precision. What about having fast WiFi? Or if I want to have a fast SSD? Good battery life? A laptop that doesn't choke thermally if I want to play a lightweight game while having it on my lap?

    Bottomline: nobody would argue agains the fact that XPS 15 comes with faster CPU (in the base model) and GPU. But these are only few pieces out of many and the total story is far from being as black and white as both the article and you claim it to be. So what does the story boil down to? XPS can play games better then the MBP? Sure, and MBP can play games better than Precision. What do we learn from this? Discussing merits of computers on this level is neither constructive nor is it helpful.

    BTW, if you want to see how a proper benchmark is done, read up the articles below. These people are true professionals who spend a lot of time and effort to cover as much points as possible.

  17. Shaunthesheep macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2017
    So biased that they pointing out all the faults on the MBP, but they don't mention the coil whining on the XPS 15?
  18. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    So when review/comparison is negative towards the MBP, then people call out the publication/author and dismiss it as biased. While I'll not agree with everything in the article, the facts are tough to dispute

    The XPS does offer more ports, no argument about dongles can change that fact

    I agree with the author 100% because we see that all the time here in MR, i.e., "You'll get used to it"
    I haven't tried the XPS, but I do think the MBP has a great trackpad, though it is enormous

    Nothing needs to be quoted from the article about Price and Upgradability because the XPS beats the MBP on those categories and I don't think there's much arguments since the price is black and white and the facts about upgrading ram/storage/battery is pretty much out there

    Battery Life
    This is where Apple does succeed, though they did stumble out of the gate
    The XPS has more ports, better keyboard, lower price, it is upgradeable, and better performance. The battery is weaker on the XPS but that's I think the only category PCWorld gave to the MBP
  19. NiCk-, Apr 29, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017

    NiCk- macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2007
    I love the design of my 13 tbMBP and most probably I would never choose an XPS over it too .. However, I find it really difficult justifying its price to people who are interested in buying it .. Macs were always second on a spec list but this is the first time in my opinion that the difference is so big (previous generation CPUs, worse GPUs, less RAM) and still at a much higher price !

    The other day, DELL uk had a promotion of 10% off from all computers . With the same amount of money that I paid to get my 13 tbMBP 16GB RAM/256 SSD I could have gotten a top of the line 3.5ghz i7 Kaby Lake, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD Dell XPS 13'' AND a 28'' Ultrasharp Dell monitor (!!!!)

    I keep coming back to that Steve Jobs quote lately :

    "What ruined Apple wasn’t growth … They got very greedy. Instead of following the original trajectory of the original vision, which was to make the thing an appliance and get this out there to as many people as possible, they went for profits. They made outlandish profits for about four years… What that cost them was their future. What they should have been doing is making rational profits and going for market share."

    The market of course is not quite the same and Apple has always been about the high-end market but their laptops have never been so expensive and with the competition getting better by the day, Apple needs to step up their game AND lower their prices !
  20. xxray macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2013
    I jumped ship and ordered an XPS 15 yesterday for this reason. For a while, I thought I would just have to pay up the extra money for a Mac, because I didn't think there would be anyway I could be happy using a Windows laptop on a regular basis. But I sat at a local electronics store and tried out the XPS 15 for a solid half hour. I realized Windows is much better than it used to be, although I still prefer macOS, and the XPS 15 is a pretty high quality laptop. I tested out all my daily uses and figured out that I would be happy using an XPS 15 on a daily basis.

    I love the new MacBook Pros, and if price wasn't a factor, I'd choose it first any day. It has a better screen, better keyboard, better speakers, better build quality, better support, it's lighter, and I prefer macOS. However, the XPS seemed snappier/has better performance, and it already exceeded my expectations and needs for a new laptop. I wanted top specs, a larger screen, a better screen than my current laptop, long battery life, and it to be relatively light/not bulky. Well, the XPS is all of those things, and it's $1000+ cheaper than a MacBook Pro with comparable specs. While all the things that are better about the MacBook Pro are very nice, they're not worth $1000+ more to me, especially as a student. I also don't care for the touchbar and would prefer the normal physical keys, cheaper price, and longer battery life (and yes, I actually tried out the touchbar for a week).

    I'll probably switch back to MacBook Pros in a few years when my XPS has run it's course, when I'm making more money, and hopefully when they're more reasonably priced. But for now, I couldn't justify spending $1000+ more for a MacBook Pro mainly just for a better screen, better speakers, and better build quality, when the XPS, while not as great in those aspects, is still good enough in those aspects. Not to mention, I'd be spending $1000+ more for slower performance (CPU and graphics) and processors that are a generation behind if I had gone for the Mac. I never thought I'd be going back to Windows, but I'm now very excited to be getting a new laptop that fulfills all my needs, and for $1000 cheaper than the Mac equivalent.
  21. The Mercurian macrumors 68000

    Mar 17, 2012
    In this analogy which one is the apple and which one is the lemon ?
  22. MrGuder macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2012
    See this is not what Apple wants to read/hear of losing customers to other PC makers. However, like I mentioned before Apple is one of the few companies that can afford to lose customers because they are not hurting financially. Spaceship earth campus?
  23. CaptRB macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2016
    LA, California
    Adding up numbers and scores are only part of the user experience.

    The Dell in an inferior product. We just used them on a shoot and they were buggy and even crashing when using Premiere. The machines quite literally feel like toys compared to the MBP.

    And perhaps one of the CPU/SSD experts can explain why my base 15" TB MBP can handle RAW Nikon and canon files better than the Dell, which is high spec'd.

    So far as the keyboard, the writer is just full of it. Most owners agree that the new keyboard is the best yet. The new trackpad is actually large enough to allow proper photo and text handling (a first).

    But let's be fair: I can cherry pick a LOT of things about my dads Subaru to prove it's a better car than my Charger Hellcat. But that doesn't mean much! If I were a gamer...I'd get the Dell.

  24. NiCk- macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2007
    NO company can afford to lose customers ! Not even the mighty Apple ! Even though they have $250 billion in the bank they still have shareholders who expect more profits and they constantly push for more !

    Just have a look at their recent reaction with the Mac Pro. Even though the Mac Pro users only represent something like 5% (maybe even less) of their computer sales - which are way behind iPhone/iPad/digital in terms of revenue - they acknowledged that they did something wrong and come forward to reassure their customers that they are working for something that will really satisfy them. Why ?? Because they CAN'T afford to lose even them !

    On top of that, Apple owes a lot to its fanbase. When even the most die hard fans are not satisfied and look at other companies, then it won't be long before the quarterly numbers will start declining.

    Personally, I've been a Mac user since 2006. I loved my first 2006 Core Duo 15'' MBP, my 2012 15'' rMBP and I couldn't be happier with my 2016 13'' tbMBP. However, this is the first time that I hesitate before recommending my computer when other people ask me. The competition has really stepped up their game and there are some amazing laptops out there for half the price (literally !). Moreover the gap between MacOS and Windows is declining and Apple is responsible for that due the lack of innovation on MacOS. Disbanding the MacOS team has been a terrible mistake in my opinion and it shows.

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