What to expect from 2017 MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by chriscrk, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. chriscrk, Jan 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017

    chriscrk macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2011
    Today I was offered a new, 2016 Macbook Pro 15" as a birthday gift (in a couple of weeks), but I passed due to all the negative criticism I've heard about it; in turn, I was told I could get it as a gift the following year.

    So I'm wondering what we could expect from a 2017 MBP. Would it have any big processor changes? Maybe fixed battery life issues? Maybe just being a safer build in general being a second generation of the re-design?

    I currently own an early 2011 MBP with 8GB, HDD, AMD Radeon 6490M, my work related usage is for architecture (AutoCAD, Photoshop, 3D modeling programs, etc.), and I don't use any of the connectivity slots other than the USB ports either to connect hard drives or a mouse.

    I feel like even if I just upgraded to the new 2016 model, it'd be a huge and worthy upgrade (retina screen, 16GB ram, better graphics card, far better hardware design, etc.). But maybe I should wait for the 2017 model and see if it fixes all the problems people have experienced with this first generation?
  2. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    If you're not in a hurry, the later model will always be better (as true for the 2018, 2019, etc). What complaints about the 15" model are you concerned about? Most owners of the 15" are very pleased with it.
  3. therealseebs macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    I dunno about "most". I know some people are very pleased. A fair number returned them. The people I know who still have them are mostly not what I'd call "very pleased".

    What I'd expect from 2017: Probably nothing, because Apple's product life cycles are a lot slower than they used to be. Why would they release a new model? They've just had all the die-hard fans commit firmly to a claim that no one needs or wants 32GB of memory, so releasing a machine with 32GB of memory would be upsetting to a lot of the fans now. New CPU? Not really that big an upgrade on the table right now. (Unless Zen turns out to be really amazing and Apple decides to step away from their Intel-Only policy.)

    I'd expect it'll be a while, and when a new machine shows up, it'll be as thin or thinner, won't have a headphone jack, and... I'm sorta thinking Apple is about ready to take the keyboard out and make it an optional extra, because they're pretty aggressively pushing the idea that keyboards aren't that important, keys aren't that important, and so on. We'll see, I guess?
  4. chriscrk thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2011
    I've seen many people complaining about battery life issues as well as graphic card problems (and as someone who went through RadeonGate with my 2011 MBP, I'd hate to have that experience again with a brand new MBP).

    Edit: Also speakers blowing up when installing Windows on Bootcamp, which I intend to do.

    Other than that, many people just saying the price is too high for what you're getting. So I guess if the 2017 models had a bit of a price cut or remain at the same price but with spec bumps, maybe it's best to wait a bit more?
  5. Sanpete, Jan 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017

    Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    Most user reviews are quite positive. I don't know about the people you know, of course.

    The OP might not recognize that you're venting and just making stuff up. The limit on the RAM is in fact not due to any belief that people can't use more. Apple has clearly explained that it's due to the unavailability of low-power RAM for laptop CPUs. That will remain the case through 2017, it appears, as Kaby Lake doesn't accept LPDDR4 either.

    Apple is of course not pushing the idea that keyboards don't matter. It's evident there has been significant work put into improving their low-travel keyboard, which most find better than the earlier version. I quite like it myself, as do many others.
  6. ThisBougieLife macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2016
    SF Bay Area, California
    -Kaby Lake CPUs - not a significant processor upgrade from what I've heard
    -Memory still limited to 16 GB
    -Rebranded AMD Radeon Pro
    -Possible removal of headphone jack
    -IGZO panel? This would improve screen quality and save battery power.
    -Terraced battery? This would fix the battery issues.

    The chassis will probably not change (i.e. it won't be any thinner or smaller). This is probably going to be the design for at least the next three years.
  7. Sanpete, Jan 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017

    Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    Waiting isn't a bad idea for sure, as long as you're good with what you have. The price usually comes down a couple hundred bucks or so eventually, and glitches are addressed. I don't think it's overpriced, though. There are a lot of improvements over the 2015 model, which originally opened at $100 more for the comparable specs. (It's harder to compare to Windows machines, but I think the Macs have advantages worth paying for.) Just posted the comparison below elsewhere to show the 2016 has improved, but it can also be used to get an idea of whether the price is right.

    The new MBP 15" is clearly better than the 2015 model in:

    -- Screen
    -- dGPU
    -- SSD speed
    -- External monitor support
    -- Heat
    -- Quietude
    -- Speakers
    -- Touch ID
    -- Touch bar
    -- Size/weight

    It's also mostly better in regard to:

    -- Battery life (for normal use)


    -- Ports (the new machine has by far the more powerful and flexible ports, but the 2015 has by far the more convenient ones for most people not yet living in the future)
    -- Keyboard and trackpad (the new ones get mixed reviews compared to the old)

    The one area in which the 2015 model has a clear, unmixed advantage is:

    -- Replaceable/upgradable SSD (and if the motherboard fails, you won't need Apple's help to recover your data)

    I think it's a good value to pay about the same as what the 2015 of similar specs went for when it came out.

    The speaker issue with Bootcamp was fixed weeks ago, a software problem. There were some graphics card issues early on too that were fixed with software updates. Haven't been hearing about such things lately, though I'm sure there are still glitches, as there are after every software or hardware update.

    The battery life for the 15" is good for most people, over ten hours for normal use for me, and the professional reviews back that up. Most of the battery complaints have been about the 13". Some few have also had trouble with the 15", for reasons that are unclear. Some have found that their dGPU is drawing power when not in use, almost certainly another software glitch of some kind, though not one most people are having trouble with.
  8. chriscrk thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2011
    I should have said yes to the offer!!! Haha

    But you're right, it does have many advantages and they're highly pushed up when considering it'd be an upgrade from a 2011 model!

    And the disadvantage of the ports was never a big issue for me, considering I don't use any of the current ones I have, and I'd prefer to have a Bluetooth mouse + game controller, so in the future I'd only use an adapter to use my External Hard drives.

    Oh well, maybe I'll just wait anyway as I'm not in a hurry I guess, and prices could go down or it could have a few spec bumps in late 2017 so either way it's good.
  9. leman macrumors 604

    Oct 14, 2008
    If there are technical defects with your computer, they are covered by the warranty. As to the battery problems, I am fairly sure that this has to do with some buggy software. I've only had my 15" for a few days now, but the battery life so far has been better than any laptop of this performance class. I was taking notes of battery life yesterday: I started at 6.40 with 90% battery and then run without charger until 14:00, at which point I had 35% battery left. There was an 1.5 hour break for transportation and lunch. Basically, this means that my laptop lost 55% charge in around 5.5 hours of mixed light/heavy usage. If that is not an excellent result, I don't know what is. And frankly, I refuse to believe that I have the only non-broken MBP in the world. The reported battery issues are either due to a bug in OS X (which will be fixed if has not been already) or because some people run buggy third-party software.

    That has been fixed ages ago.

    As to the topic: I don't expect much of an 2017 update, tbh, unless Apple decides to move to Ryzen. The most obvious update would be to Kaby Lake/Polaris refresh, none of which will be game-changing. The 2016 model brought some very significant performance increases to the table, and the 2017 update will most likely be a small incremental refresh with few things fixed here and there and few % more performance overall.
  10. Chrolm macrumors newbie


    Dec 21, 2016
    The next model will always be better. And the next model etc. It's been like that since the first PC. It's an endless game of waiting if you keep looking down the road. The only time to wait is if a model change/upgrade is announced. Look at how many people waited for ages and was disappointed - just get what you need/want now, and swap it later down the road. There will always be something better coming.
  11. tubeexperience macrumors 68030

    Feb 17, 2016
    It's so thin that you can use it to shave your armpits (or mustaches for Men).
  12. WhiteWhaleHolyGrail macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2016
    I don't understand the logic of forever waiting for 'that upgrade'. Get a computer if you need one when you need one, unless of course you know a significant upgrade is imminent that is critical to you.

    No one here can be sure that Apple will upgrade much if anything at all in March. Given how slow Apple are to upgrade these days I wouldn't bank on much happening - slighter faster CPUs perhaps, but RAM is unlikely to budge due to the emphasis on power management. I think the chassis will remain as it is for the foreseeable future given the recent refresh after a 3 year wait.
  13. maerz001 macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2010
    Terraced battery only makes sense in the wedge shape of the MacBook and Air. But in the body of the Pro with a rectangular cross section u get the best capacity with a rectangular battery.
  14. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    The only reason to wait will be the option for low power ddr4 on Kabylake if you need 32gb of ram. Doesn't sound like that's the case so I would get the one you have been offered and have this year with a great computer instead of carrying on with what you have.

    An extra year with a massive upgrade is far better than some future possibility that won't be all that different to what's available now.
  15. chriscrk thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2011
    More than anything it's because I've seen reviews where the 2016 MBP does the same or in some cases worse than the 2015 MBP in benchmark tests.

    So it made me think that maybe they'd add some processing power that make it better than a model that'll be almost two years old.

    I know they just had a major redesign and it'll only be incremental upgrades for a few years now. I guess I was just very turned off by the reviews to the point where I was even thinking maybe getting a 2015 model would have been better.
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Feb 20, 2009
    Get a 2015 model instead.
    Will save the "gift giver" some $$$.
    Then, you're all set until 2019 or 2020!
  17. aevan macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2015
    True, but most of the people displeased with this model will feel the same about the 2017. one too.

    It will have the exact same port situation, design, etc.

    With that in mind, here's what will change:

    Very likely:

    Kaby Lake Quad Core - no speed increase, better battery for low-demanding tasks and standby

    Same or better AMD GPUs - knowing AMD, rebranded old tech with slightly faster clock speeds - but we'll see

    Same design


    IGZO screens with lower power requirements

    Kaby Lake + IGZO could result in better battery life. A bigger battery would even add to this, of course, but I'm not so certain it will come with a larger battery. We'll see.

    "Who knows":

    The rumored new battery design that will add 25% more battery. A lot of people think this is certain, but I have my doubts.

    32Gb RAM - the limitations that prevented 32Gb RAM are present in Kaby Lake too. 2018. Coffee Lake will allow 32Gb RAM. But who knows? There was so much criticism, maybe Apple finds a way.

    Price drop - doubt it will happen before 2018, but - again - who knows?

    I am expecting battery improvements and minor speed improvements for the 2017. I still think that if you like where MBP is heading, this is a great year to jump in, and if you're not - 2017. won't change your mind.

    But sure, if you can wait, it will be better. And 2018. one will be even better than the 2017 MBP.
  18. Naimfan macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    The RAM limit is only because Apple used LPDDR RAM - Kaby Lake supports 32 GB RAM, vide the various Windows machines that offer 32 GB using KL.

    KL should offer improvements in efficiency, which *should* let the smaller battery last longer.

    The battery will continue to be abysmal if you do anything on it beyond watching an iTunes movie or running safari with 1 tab open, per Apple's stated battery testing process. It's MUCH shorter if you try to do much beyond that.
  19. aevan macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2015
    Don't expect miracles. Kaby Lake is almost identical to Skylake - a small upgrade even for Intel standards. The good news is that even Haswell is still crazy fast for most things. Biggest improvement in Kaby Lake will come in battery optimization for low demanding tasks (not so much for intensive stuff) and a better GPU (not important for 15")
  20. jerryk macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    The 2016 model would be a huge upgrade from a 2011 model. But, as with any redesign there are some issues that need to be worked out. The question is are you willing to deal with these issues.
  21. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    Funny to see someone complain about both not using more power-hungry RAM and poor battery life in one post. Apple uses LPDDR3, which can only be used in up to 16 GB, to improve battery life. The Windows machines that use 32 GB use more power-hungry DDR4. And people really complain about their battery life.

    Just to make sure everyone knows you're only kidding about the battery life, by the way, I tested mine with 16 Safari tabs open and used, and included 4 hours of HD streaming video and some iTunes streaming, and got over 11 hours.
  22. jerryk macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    16GB LPDD4 modules running much faster than current DDR4 chips started rolling out in fall. By Fall 2017 it will be in systems.
  23. Seed101 macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2015
    If you're getting by on the 2011, you probably don't need the 2016...buy when you need to :)
  24. kmac007 macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2016
    I expect to see;

    -Better screen using those new panels.
    - Longer battery life
    - Updated keyboard that doesn't make loud noise
    - No headphone jack (Sad but could be a possbility)
    - Updated touch bar with faster sign in/ more features
    - Better processor/ More RAM
  25. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Nov 17, 2016
    Possibly. We really don't know, though.

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