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What should a new MBP "really pro" be like? - all have 32 GB RAM

  • 15" with modest GPU improvement, under 5 lbs, current battery life

    Votes: 13 59.1%
  • 15" with better GPU, dual SSD, 6 lbs, thicker than the original pre-Retina Unibody, 7 hour battery

    Votes: 1 4.5%
  • 15" Max-Q design, very good GPU, under 5 lbs, but 2 hour battery

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 17" "Razer Blade Pro", 7 lbs, 4K (possibly better) display, dual SSD, good GPU

    Votes: 8 36.4%

  • Total voters


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 4, 2015
A slight modification to Ugru's idea about how to realign the portable line in the Waiting for the 2018 thread (I would have put this there, but couldn't add a poll without creating a thread - mods: if you want to move this there with the poll, it's fine with me)...

Rename the MB to MBA (or keep the name - but acknowledge that it is the low-power ultraportable)

Rename the 13" MBP to MB (or bring back the old iBook name)

Keep the 15" MBP as the low end of the MBP line, but bring in a machine above it...

I've put in a poll for what the machine above the current 15" might be - some of the options are things Apple won't consider - I suspect the only vaguely realistic ones are the 15" with a modest GPU improvement and the 17" Razer Blade Pro type machine. Both the inch-thick 6+ lb 15" and the machine with 2 hour battery life go against basic Apple design principles, but it will be interesting to see how popular they might be.

All options are assumed to come with 32 GB of RAM (either base or a $300-$400 option), plenty of TB3 ports and a touch bar. The CPU will be the best non-Xeon available from Intel on release day (and we can dream about Xeons - the iMac Pro is getting them, and HP has some in reasonable-looking notebook workstations).


macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2016
As you said, the only meaningful choices here are 1 and 4. No one would buy a MBP with a battery that lasts barely enough for a keynote presentation, and almost no one would want to see a MBP thicker than the old non-Retina models (I'm personally not crazy about the current race for thinness, but there's a limit on the other side as well...).

Also, some random remarks or info that could be added:

- Option 1 is essentially still a lightweight MBP, maybe slightly thicker, and keeping the current battery life with such a form factor and 32GB RAM might not be doable until LPDDR4 support becomes available. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but a slight increase in battery size might not be enough to compensate for 32GB of desktop-class RAM.
- What would the battery life for option 4 be? There is a 99Wh limit on battery capacity, a compromise would be inevitable if a "good GPU" means something similar to what is mounted on the Razer.
- How much more expensive would option 4 be compared to 1? The current maxed-out 15" already sells for 4k-5k depending on the country. Apple would ask an arm and a leg for a higher-end model, how many people would be really willing to drop, say, 5k-6k on this fabled machine?
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macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 4, 2015
I think a pretty good battery life (7+ hours) is is achievable by either Option 1 or 4 under the same light loads as Apple measures their 10 hour lives today. Of course, hitting this machine as hard as it's meant to be hit will result in much lower battery lives (a "10 hour" MBP lasts more like 2 hours in heavy Final Cut transcoding)! Lenovo and HP both claim over 7 hours for their 15" workstations with 32 GB, and Macs tend to last a little longer than similar Windows machines (highly integrated designs? MacOS a little more efficient?). Those aren't 99 WH batteries - they're in the same range as today's MBP. Razer claims 7+ hours on the Blade Pro, which IS a 99 WH machine, but it's also a 17" with a hungry GPU. I'd assume a 17" would have a 99 WH battery.

The 17" would probably start around $3500 to $4000 - I'd assume a 1 TB SSD would be standard. There's no real reason it should be more than a couple of hundred dollars more expensive than the top 15" model (which is $3400 in the US, with everything EXCEPT the hellishly expensive 2 TB storage upgrade, which I hope will go down in price soon). The top configuration could easily reach $5000 with an upgraded GPU and 2 TB SSD, and might hit $6000 if it took dual SSDs and someone actually ordered it with 2x2TB! Remember that 2TB PCI-e SSDs sell for about $1300 each at Newegg, so half the cost of that machine is the storage! I'd guess that the average price would be around $4000 (with 32 GB, a nice GPU and a 1 TB SSD - or maybe 2 TB if the price of SSDs falls). The Razer Blade Pro is right in that range, and Razer tends to be even MORE expensive than Apple.

I wonder what percentage of 15" MBPs actually sell with the 2 TB SSD? My guess is that it is so expensive that it's rare.


macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2007
16" less bessel.
Resolution bumbed to be 2*1680x1050.
OLED 120 Hz HDR.
4 Core cannonlake/icelake with lower power consumption.
VEGA gpu.
touch id but no touch bar.
512 GB Standard.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2007
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macrumors P6
Oct 14, 2008
The MBP is fine as it is. The GPU concerns are addressed with official support for eGPU. Sure that still might not work under Windows, but that's hardly Apple's fault.

P.s. I have nothing against Apple introducing an MBP extreme or whatever. But I don't think that it will have that many sales and I certainly don't want to subsidize it with my trusty 15" thin and light powerhouse model.


macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2016
I would like a realistically powerful laptop utilising currently available proven technology, with a decent all day battery life, highly portable with a great screen. So I brought a 2016 and it fits that bill nicely. I'll take 4K when it doesn't drain the battery in a matter of minutes, or when 4K content is streamable on an average connection. I'd like 32GB of RAM, but I'd rather have no RAM and a much faster SSD or more l2/l3 cache. I'm happy with the current processor, not quite sure how 5% turbo boost is really going to help me, but whatever is out when it's out.

I would like a 14"/16" version design with minimal bezel though. However I like to have a little bezel so the screen doesn't break on the slightest impact or anything. Who knows, wait till 2020 and we'll see.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2011
I'd say it would be exactly as-is. All the presented options are video gamer hobby machines and would be unsuitable for professional environments.
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macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 4, 2015
AMD vs. nVidia seems to be a Final Cut issue - Apple seems to have quite a few AMD-specific optimizations in Final Cut, and they are more concerned about making their own software run well than Adobe's.

In reference to jackoatmon's comment, how is the present MBP a pro machine, while the same thing with 32 GB of RAM and a modest GPU boost is a video gamer machine? It's not games that use a ton of RAM - it's the databases in photo library programs like Lightroom, and it's the compression threads in video editing. CAD and 3D modeling do too, but that mostly happens on Windows. Developers use a lot of RAM due to virtual machines... The request for RAM has come almost entirely from professional users.

The most gamer-focused pair of those four options have gotten no votes - nobody wants the thick 15" machine or the MaxQ machine with low battery life.
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macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2002
Caput Mundi
Not all the possible options are considered...

I would instantly buy:

15" Max-Q design, very good GPU, single SSD, 6 lbs, thicker than 2015 rMBP, 99Wh battery (5/6 hours).

And the misconception that nVidia GPU can be used only for games is what it is, a myth.
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macrumors member
Jul 9, 2015
London, UK
Ideally, a slightly thicker machine (2/3mm) to allow for a slightly larger battery, 32gb of ram, smaller bezels, smaller track pad, a gtx 1050 equivalent (or 1150 when it's released), and a similar cpu, with no touch bar, but retaining touch id


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 4, 2015
AMD vs. NVidia is not so much a gaming vs. pro apps dispute as it is an Apple vs. Adobe one. Adobe has put a lot of effort into CUDA acceleration, while Apple has really optimized Final Cut for AMD. I wouldn't put it past Apple to stick with AMD simply to assure that Final Cut runs faster than Premiere!!!
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