Why I'm upset with Apple over the 2016 MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by xxray, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. xxray macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    #1
    I'm actually a big fan of the new MBP. It's my favorite laptop on the market today, and I would prefer it over anything else. It's small and light while being powerful, has a beautiful display, amazing speakers, and phenomenal build quality. However, I'm upset with Apple over their choices, but not the ones you're probably thinking of. Most complain about the dongles/lack of connectivity, the trackpad, or the touchbar, but I'm really upset over the pricing. It's not that I can't afford a MBP, but it's the fact that I feel like I'm getting ripped off. For example:

    XPS 15
    • Kaby Lake 2.8GHz i7 quad-core
    • 512GB SSD
    • 4GB Graphics
    • $1750
    MBP 15"
    • Skylake 2.6GHz i7 quad-core
    • 512GB SSD
    • 4GB Graphics
    • $2800
    $1050 more for the MBP for comparable specs (once Apple updates to Kaby Lake). I realize Apple has always come at a premium, and for good reason. The MBP has better speakers, is lighter, smaller, more solidly built imo, has much quieter fans, better support, and better quality control. But is all that worth $1050? I could buy a MacBook Air with the extra money I saved from the XPS.

    It's really frustrating, because I really love the MBP. I don't like Windows. I love Apple ecosystems and I think the MBP is superior hardware wise, besides specs, to all other laptops. I'm willing to pay a premium for that, but a $1050 premium is excessive.

    I really, really hope Apple lowers the price on the Kaby Lake models, and makes the Touch Bar optional. I realize it needs developer support to flourish, and forcing people to get the touch bar pretty much forces developers to update their apps for it. However, I personally have no use for it, it actually is more cumbersome at times for me (I tried the MBP out for a week, but couldn't justify the price), and I'd much rather save the $300 and have longer battery life. I realize some people love it, but please give people the option not to buy it, so we can save money, battery life, and functionality for our uses.

    Apple: PLEASE lower the prices and make the touchbar optional.
     
  2. teksurv macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    #2
    I get what you are saying, and in your above example, I would not pay $1050.00 extra. I'd choose (actually have chosen) another path. In my case I purchased an Alienware 13 R3 for graphically intensive purposes and portability (GTX 1060 6gb) <-- blows away the MBP hardware, but sucks at the little things like trackpad scrolling, and I bought a new 12" Macbook base for web browsing, etc.

    In my use case, I've found that if I want power, I use the Alien, if I want relaxing use/ability for other things, the MacBook is amazing. I do wish Apple would do more with the MBP, but I adapt either way.
     
  3. TheOkeland macrumors member

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    Apr 4, 2017
    Location:
    Aachen, Germany
    #3
    The MBP has 4x TB3 Ports and you can use two of them with full bandwidth, one at each side.
    Show me another device capable of this.
    CPUs won't get huge specs bumps the next years. The CPU in the MBP 15" will be just fine minimum the next five years I suppose. Furthermore you would be apple to add two Desktops-GPUs. I am not sure how complicated it is to get this performance connected with the CPU, but there has to be a reason that the TB3 Port on the Dell XPS is only connected with two PICe-lanes.

    I agree the MBP prices are quite high, maybe $300 to $500 lower would be a better price spot.
     
  4. jerryk macrumors 68030

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    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #4
    It is hard to see the value proposition, unless your really want to run OSX. I find it more difficult even if the price was the same because I can open up a XPS 15 and upgrade the memory, or the M.2 NVMe SSD, with off the shelf parts.
     
  5. GizmoDVD macrumors 65816

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    Oct 11, 2008
    Location:
    SoCal
  6. Ries macrumors 68000

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    Apr 21, 2007
    #6
    And you're connecting what to those TB3 ports? Other than eGPU (which isn't officially supported by Apple), there is nothing a standard USB-C port can't handle that a normal user wants. For 95%+ of the Macbook Pro owners, no-one will even by a TB3 device (other than adapters to compensate for the missing ports).
     
  7. teksurv macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    #7
    I agree to a point. If you consider portability (I went from a 2014 MBP to the above noted setup) then Thunderbolt external GPUs become more complicated. I agree on the CPU, but if you need good GPU power on the go, I think Apple could do a bit better. And by a bit, I'm being sarcastic, given the prices required here.

    Mind you this MacBook costed me a ridiculous amount of money for what it is, but I see the value to me. I think the average MBP buyer will as well, hence why we are here.
     
  8. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #8
    Yes, the price difference exists (and its the same as last year btw). The XPS is probably among the best priced laptops out there when you consider what it brings to the table.

    Personally, however, I'd pay the difference every time simply to get the better mobility, battery battery life, better ergonomy (keyboard/trackpad), faster connectivity and faster CPU options of the MBP. Furthermore, I did have the XPS in my hands and I did not have the impression that its build quality is comparable to the MBP. Also, I really dislike the air vents on the bottom of that laptop.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    I think you answered your own question. While I may not be a fan of the 2016 MBP model, the components that apple uses are better and they do come at a price. They also have the best customer support in the industry, that sort of thing doesn't come cheap.

    It all boils down to whether you feel you're getting value for your money, and tbh, I've wrestled over this myself. I think the XPS offers a very good value for your money, where as (for my needs), I'm not sure if the MBP does.
     
  10. MrGuder macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    #10
    Does the XPS screen compare to the retina display on the 2016? It's hard to believe anything could beat the beautiful display on the 2016.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #11
    The Dell XPS has a 4k display which I believe is better then the MBP, though the MBP offers a wider color gamut.
     
  12. TheOkeland macrumors member

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    Apr 4, 2017
    Location:
    Aachen, Germany
    #12
    Considering the MBP is a PRO machine and everyone is complaining it would not be Pro enough, there are some use-cases.
    For example now it is possible to connect to a 10gbps network at full speed. Also Pros can use eGPU to improve performance at their workplaces, but on the go, in my opinion the Performance of the MBP is enough.
    Yes Apple does not support eGPUs officially at the moment, but maybe the next OS supports eGPUs.

    At the moment the MBP is the only machine capable of replacing a Desktop-Computer. If you need better graphics, you are able to use Desktop-GPUs. If you want to connect for example 8k-cameras, yes you need an adapter, but it is possible to transfer any kind of data at full speed. At the same time you can connect to a 10gbps network and move data in a way it was never possible before.

    Yes TB3 is not used much at the moment, but this is because there aren't much TB3-devices at the moment, neither peripherals nor PCs/Laptops.

    So in my opinion the MBP is a quite capable Pro-machine. On the go, the performance is really good, considering that the battery is the limiting factor. At a workplace we have the capability to do whatever we want. If you really need that much more performance than a MBP with eGPU, you are using a server anyway.
    More power in a Laptop and a good battery life is not possible, as far I know.
    Graphics cards as the 1060/70/80 draw to much power to get 10h battery lifetime with a quad-core CPU.
     
  13. jerryk macrumors 68030

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    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #13
    FWIW, to me the MBP 15's display gets brighter. So if working outside in sunlight is important, that is a factor.
     
  14. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #14
    Well, the problem is that once you want to connect a couple of high-speed RAID enclosures (something I have to do occasionally) and then have a pair of 4K displays connected at the same time, you will probably of run into issues with the single TB3 port on the XPS.

    Not to mention that the TB3 on the XPS is only connected to 2 PCI-E lanes and can't deliver full TB3 performance (its similar to the restriction that exists on one right-hand side ports of the 13" MBP). The reason for that is very simple: the controller is cheaper ;)
     
  15. jerryk macrumors 68030

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    Nov 3, 2011
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    SF Bay Area
    #15
    Depends what Pro means. I do AI and Machine Learning. We use GPUs to offload the CPUs. Our models can take an hour or so to train with the GPU and CPU near 100%. Unfortunately, AMD GPUs are not supported by many tools. nVIDIA's CUDA is required. And training can take 3 to 4 times as long without GPU support.
     
  16. TheOkeland macrumors member

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    Apr 4, 2017
    Location:
    Aachen, Germany
    #16
    Not necessarily the controller, it is more about the connection itself. Connecting to the PCH or directly to the CPU makes the difference no matter which TB-controller you use.
     
  17. teksurv macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    #17
    Simply wanting to play the Devil's advocate here, I think you might need to consider the user base of the Dell Precision line. Pros in their field. And hardware that puts some desktops to shame. Use cases are different. We're here mostly because we enjoy MacOS, I know I do.


     
  18. TheOkeland macrumors member

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    Apr 4, 2017
    Location:
    Aachen, Germany
    #18
    So where is the problem in connecting a Nvidia Titan Xp to the MBP? Or do you need CUDA-performance on the go? Than no laptop will give you good results, because with CPU and GPU at 100%, every battery will be empty in no time.
     
  19. teksurv macrumors regular

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    May 25, 2008
    #19
    I would argue that taking your notebook power cord to a client's site, vs. lugging an external box plus its associated cords, plus your power cord, are again, different use cases.
     
  20. jerryk macrumors 68030

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    Nov 3, 2011
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    SF Bay Area
    #20
    An eGPU setup is another $700 to $1000 (GTX 1080) on top of the MBP. And with questionable eGPU support.

    It would be nice to get reasonable times when I am sitting in my office or at home, plugged in. On the weekends and evenings I have to run on my office deskside system and vpn in.
     
  21. TheOkeland macrumors member

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    Apr 4, 2017
    Location:
    Aachen, Germany
    #21
    But why would you need that much GPU-power at a client's side? If you really need NVIDIAs CUDA performance, than the MBP is the wrong laptop, I totally agree, but we have to consider that Apple has limited the power usage to 90 watts with a good reason. As far as I know there is not mobile-NVIDIA-GPU using only 35 watts or less. Using more power would need a new power design.
    MagSafe provided only 90 watts too, so where should the extra power come from, not considering the thermal design problem?

    Maybe you should consider to only remote-connect to a server that has the power, if you are at a clients side.
     
  22. teksurv macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    #22
    I appreciate your point of view. I also realize the MBP is a great machine that has an intended audience. No argument there. That said, My Alienware has a 180 watt power supply and weighs an ungodly amount for just the reasons you stated. My MacBook is a breath of fresh air in comparison, but they both serve a purpose. Some of us just wish for a hair more thickness and a bit more power on the go.

     
  23. TheOkeland macrumors member

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    Apr 4, 2017
    Location:
    Aachen, Germany
    #23
    I agree, more power is always good, but I do not see how this should fit into a machine with this attributes.
    power consumption conflicts with battery life
    performance conflicts with heat management and power consumption

    As you said, to get more Performance we would have to live with much more weight and less battery lifetime.
    And let me suggest this: If Apple would bring up a model like that, there would be complaints again, as there always will be.

    A "Macbook (extra) Pro" with GTX 1070, a quad-core overclockable CPU and 4k Display would have a funny appearance.
    The battery life and weight would be anywhere near a Desktop PC o_O
     
  24. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #24
    The Mac lover's lament. It's always been this way, or pretty much. There have always been much cheaper Windows alternatives that have better primary specs. And it's worse than you make it seem, in a way. With the XPS you get a faster graphics card and the option to economically upgrade the RAM to 32 GB, and you can repair or upgrade the SSD and battery easily too.

    What's changed to some extent is that the quality of the competition has improved, so that the Dell for example is really a very nice computer, not a piece of junk with great specs.

    But the difference remains comparable in a rough way to that between a Lexus and Toyota. There are still some performance advantages for the Mac, some of which you mention, when using Final Cut Pro, driving multiple UHD monitors, battery life for light to moderate use, a brighter, higher-contrast screen, the speakers, the quietness, the size and weight, maybe the OS, maybe build quality, maybe service. Whether those differences are worth it depends on what you like and how much you value it.

    I doubt the touch bar will be made optional, but it may be improved.

    True, a 5K monitor would be one thing more and more people will want.

    The configuration the OP speaks of has an HD screen, but for $300 more you can get the 4K. If by better you mean the higher resolution, yes. But unless you're a couple inches from the screen you can't see the higher resolution, and the Mac screen has 50% higher contrast and brightness than the 4K Dell screen. They both offer a wide color gamut, the Apple is P3 and the Dell is Adobe RGB.
     
  25. teksurv macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    #25
    Oh, I think I may not have been clear. I'm not looking for the performance I have with my heavy PC notebook in a MBP, but a compromise or option. If the case of the MBP was 2-5mm thicker and A. did not use AMD (Pros use Cuda more often than not) and B. could accommodate say a GTX 1050 TI, I'd be thrilled. But that's just me.

     

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