Which 2017 MBP 13 ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by project_2501, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. project_2501 macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2017

    I was never a Mac person until I saved up for a 2015 rMBP 13" with 16GB RAM 512 GB SSD and 2.9GHz i5 upgrades.

    I am a developer, author and digital artist and some of the tasks really pushed that machine. But was was impressed by the quality trackpad (pure joy), solid display, great keyboard and battery life.

    The only thing I didn't like was the poor GPU which did drive a 4K NEC professional display over displayport at 60Hz but some video really struggles and stutters at that display scale. iPlayer and YouTube for example work fine on the laptop but struggle on the external 4K display.

    I didn't get the i7 as reports sugested it shortened the battery life.

    The 15" form factor is just too big for me so discrete GPUs are out.

    I am intestinal in 2017 MBP 13.

    I need some advice.
    • Is the i5 better for battery life than the i7 ?
    • Does the i7 run hotter and need constant throttling?
    • Is the Intel Iris 650 genuine better than the 640? The specs suggest they're the same except for a slightly higher base frequency. The internal edram and compute cores are the same.
    • Is the 650's higher thermal envelope meaningless because it'll be throttled down anyway?
    • The iris 640 and 650 are advertised as both being able to do hardware HEVC h265 .. that's right?
    • My 2015 macbook pro has. 2.9ghz i5. The 2017 comes with 2.3 and 2.6Ghz options .. are these actually faster due to the newer architecture of kaby lake?
    • Will I get used to the keyboard? I didn't like it in the shops but it wasn't as bad as typing on glass or a 1980s rubber keyboard.

    I'd love your views on this.
  2. project_2501 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2017
    doing more research really suggests

    • the Iris Plus 640 and 650 are almost identical with only the frequency difference - there are no additional capabilities or different architecture
    • there is no architectural difference between the i5 and i7 except for frequency .. no additional L3 cache, etc

    would love your thoughts. as before, my priorities are:

    • long battery life
    • not getting hot / fans
    • ability to drove a 4k monitor at 60hz and play media from player, youtube, Netflix without stuttering and skipping
    • I was happy enough with the 2015 rMBP 13 for computation for things like rendering, photo editing, code (neural nets etc)
  3. project_2501 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2017
  4. muratura macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2017
    'intestinal'?? :) what's that?

    You can buy and test and of the new models 13" for 14 days in the US. I would recommend the 13" nTB

    The lower spec Wifi in the nTB is pretty powerful. You do not need 3x3
  5. lobo1978 macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2011
    1. Why you are worried about battery when you are pro using professional external monitor? You have to plug it in to use with external monitor in clamshell mode. Productivity should be your goal - you are making money with this tool.
    2. There is a minimum throttling in macOS. But again - why you are worried. MacBook will be tied up to external monitor in clamshell mode.
    3. Why bother? Macs are best in managing heat. It is not Dell or Asus.
    4. Yes. Kaby Lake is optimized to H.265.
    5. Honestly, you will NOT notice much difference...Maybe you can shave off some seconds from SSD operations. It is stupid Intel market game - that's why Apple is tempted to develop its own CPUs. I am sure they'll switch in next two years tops. The same story will be with GPU. When Apple will start making laptop CPU it will be basically killer for any competitors. They already own smartphone hardware... A10X is a monster.
    6. Yes. Totally. Don't listen to haters from competition (very popular on this forum - they are very active after new product is introduced by Apple) and "wise" youtubers copying one from another.
  6. project_2501 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2017
    Thanks for the reply. I would like a 3x3 as I'm mobile often. Is it true that the nTB has a 2x2? Source?
    --- Post Merged, Jul 2, 2017 ---

    Thanks for the reply. I worry about battery as I'm working mobile often. Not always docked to power and external monitor.
  7. lobo1978, Jul 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017

    lobo1978 macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2011
    I will consider 15" version. I have been for 13" for long time (but always have fully-spec iMac for serious stuff). Next month I am moving abroad for a 2 year contract and switched to 2017 15". Love this machine - I still have 13 (16 GB i5, 512 SSD) in home so I can compare them head to head. Screen estate is enormous. Mobility is limited though. Battery life is tad better. Doing heavy stuff will deplete battery in 5-6 hrs.

    From time to time I hook it up to external monitors: Dell 24" or 27" Apple monitor (only one at a time). No issues, silent in clamshell mode.

    If you worry about battery: from MacBook 13" 2016 I could get no more than 7-8 hrs doing normal work (not light work though). Good thing it was pretty consistent. On 15" variability is much higher due to discrete GPU kicking in. Some apps will lock discrete mode (Pixelmator, VM ware fusion).
  8. imaginex20 macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Sounds like you would need an external GPU unit. With the release of High Sierra OS this fall, Apple will support externals GPU's so you can invest in a Thubderbolt 2 enclosure or upgrade to the 2017 13". Either way from the sounds of it you will still need a dedicated GPU and if I was spending that kind of money I would get the 15".
  9. project_2501 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2017
    I've been reading a bit more and find:

    • The 3x3 mimo draws more power than the 2x2 but doesn't give give enough of a boost to WiFi except under very specific setups.
    • The non-TB has more battery capacity than the TB .. sigh ...
    • The TB has 3 microphones for helping cancel noise when talking online .. the non TB has 2
    • The MBP 15 with discrete graphics suffers battery drain as websites or apps turn it on and sometimes keep it on when you would prefer it not to.
    Kinda wish apple wasn't so confusing with its lineup.
  10. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Apple have the simplest device line up of any major player in the market what are you on about...

    Buy whatever you wish it will make little difference to you they are all much of a muchness performance and battery wise and pretty much the same as what you already have. The only real differences will be better 4K with the 2016/2017 but especially the kabylake in 2017 and that is what you are looking for anyway.
  11. lobo1978 macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2011
    google this: gfxCardStatus - if you are really concerned - problem solved -- set to show you banners every time GPU switch from integrated to discrete.

    TB will have less battery life, nTB is successor to MacBook Air (Retina for masses with apple prices). Do not compare.

    Call quality is excellent on Macs - whether you have 1, 2 or 3 mics - trust me -- it works.

    For the rest of your concerns - in my opinion you are overthinking a very simple task of buying an efficient work machine.
    Why you even bother 3x3 MIMO vs 2x2?

    Everybody serious with content creation, earning enough not to moan over and over about "apple tax", will buy Mac and use it with no issues (count me in). Buying Mac is not recommended for people tending to OCD over every single spot on a shiny new MacBook. I read so many threads here at Macrumors from people freaking over every imaginable "issue", "design flaw", "xyz-gate", "new MacBook damaged out of the box", you name it...

    Do not spend your last penny on this computer because your life will be hell as your expectations for "such expensive laptop" will go through the roof...
  12. pejx72 macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2017
    The wisest words I've read here for days...
  13. ZapNZs, Jul 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    The keyboard is a personal thing - if someone dislikes it, that doesn't make them a hater, and, if someone likes it, that doesn't make them a fanboy. I've adjusted. I can't say I feel it is an improvement over the prior design, personally, but others say the opposite. You'll notice some absolutely love it, some absolutely despise it, and some are mostly apathetic. I'm in the apathetic crowd. It types letters. It's long term durability is yet to be seen, and it is having more issues than the previous design - while these issues are arguably a very small portion compared to the total units sold without issues, I opted for AppleCare nonetheless.

    The 2.3 GHz i5 on the 2017 nTB is a significant upgrade over the 2.9 GHz i5 in your current MacBook Pro. The iGPU is a massive leap forward. I think you will be much happier with the 4k performance of the new machine. If you are doing CPU-intensive work, the i7 upgrade on the 13-nTB may be financially justifiable this time depending upon the work you do.

    With that said, it sounds like a 15-inch may be the best match for your needs, if the sizing is something you can live with. Especially if you think down the road you may want to drive multiple 4k or 5k displays combined with a heavier workload.

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