Craig A. Hunter reviews Apple’s 2018 MacBook Pro: Improvements emphasize the ‘Pro’ in MacBook Pro

“I’ve been using Mac laptops for a long time, going back to the very first portable Apple ever made, so I was really excited when Apple sent me a new MacBook Pro to test and review,” Craig A. Hunter blogs via Hunter Research & Technology. “This 15” space gray MacBook Pro looks just like the 2016 model I purchased about 18 months ago, but on the inside, it has some big changes. My test unit came equipped with a 2.9 GHz Intel i9 processor with 6-cores (a Core i9-8950HK to be specific, part of Intel’s Coffee Lake family), 32 GB of 2400 MHz DDR4 memory, an AMD Radeon Pro 560X discrete GPU with 4096 MB (low power graphics are handled by an Intel UHD 630 integrated GPU with 1536 MB), and a 4TB SSD. The 2.9 GHz CPU can turbo boost to 3.6 GHz, and if that’s not enough for you, it can also “thermal velocity boost” to as high as 4.8 GHz, load and temperature permitting.”

“The display on the new MacBook Pro is a 15.4” Retina display with 2880×1800 resolution, just like my old model, but the new MacBook Pro has a True Tone adaptive display (controlled by a new Apple T2 chip, which also handles chores like encrypted storage and booting, Hey Siri, and all the duties of the old T1 chip),” Hunter writes. “The difference is quite stunning and may be reason enough to upgrade to this new model.”

“There is a lot to like about the 2018 MacBook Pro. It has made great strides in performance and runs alongside the iMac Pro for the single-core and 2- to 5-core computations I benchmarked in this review,” Hunter writes. “The increase in memory to 32GB makes it a truly viable machine for my CFD [computational fluid dynamics] workflows. The keyboard is more precise and quieter, and the new True Tone display is a standout feature that my eyes appreciated every time I looked at it. Overall this 2018 model is a very solid evolution, with improvements that emphasize the ‘Pro’ in MacBook Pro.

Much more, including benchmark results, in the full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sound like a beast of a notebook – the fastest and most-advanced Mac notebooks ever – and the keyboard is sounding like it’s noticeably more precise (and quieter) than previous iterations. Coupled with the ability to spec the 15-inch model out to ridiculous levels and Apple’s got another winner!

SEE ALSO:
Two things seem obvious about Apple’s MacBook Pro keyboard – July 13, 2018
Apple’s revised MacBook Pro butterfly keyboard: Quieter may not be enough – July 13, 2018
Apple says new MacBook Pro keyboard won’t fix sticky key issue – July 12, 2018
The 5 biggest changes in Apple’s new MacBook Pro – July 12, 2018
With Apple’s leap to 8th-generation Intel processors, the MacBook Pro just got a whole lot faster – July 12, 2018
Apple begins exclusively selling ‘Blackmagic eGPU’ for $699 alongside new MacBook Pros – July 12, 2018
Apple’s new 2018 MacBook Pro models now available with revised butterfly keyboards, much faster performance possible – July 12, 2018
MacBook Pro (2018): First look, listen, and feel! – July 12, 2018
What power users say about Apple’s new 2018 MacBook Pros – July 12, 2018
Apple unveils new MacBook Pro models with faster performance and new features for pros – July 12, 2018

7 Comments

  1. That configuration is $6699 in US, $7641 in Canada, and £6209 in UK; so, one of Apple’s most expensive laptop configurations ever. If you need that power for your profession (or have money to burn), a great choice.

    1. I get your point but I don’t understand your numbers.

      $3,499.00 for a top MBP 15 including the top 6-core and memory option.

      Add $700 more for the Black Magic option, and around $1200 for a 27 LG display. It will be a $5400 total. Still very expensive but at least there is a top mobile option. If you work on a desk all day the iMac Pro will be a much better option.

      1. You’ve got to work on your arithmetic skills and pay attention to what was actually reviewed…

        Base 15″ model: $2,799
        Add $300 for the i9: $3,099
        Add $400 for the 32 GB memory: $3,499
        Add $3,200 for the 4 TB SSD: $6,699

        This is the configuration reviewed. This is the amount to which solafide referred. If you want to drop back to the most basic 512 GB SSD, then you back to your $3,499 version, but extremely few, if any, pro users are going to go with such a small drive.

  2. Apple may be listening to power users as they included a larger battery to compensate for the higher 32 DDR4 memory consumption on the top 15 MBP. The 6-core inclusion is mandatory in this generation but also very good. And the better monitor accuracy is what we should always expect on an Apple computer with a “Pro” name in it.

    The Black Magic external GPU box mitigates the need for higher graphics demand, but an AMD 580 is not a top option for professional graphic work. Could a top Nvidia or AMD GPU be supported?

    Now, I expect the regular iMac to receive a six-core CPU and the next iMac Pro to use a dual 6-core processor as the price of a top 6-core is close to the 4-core of previous generation. 4-cores CPUs are not top anymore even on consumer computers.

  3. Mr. Hunter, if you are doing CFD on that MacBook Pro then your models are smaller than anything I, or my associates, do for the past couple of years. Either that or you’re not getting into any models where the boundary conditions are interesting.

    Laminar, or near laminar, flow conditions can easily be done in this new, maxed out, MacBook Pro. However, don’t try to convince those of us who want to do real modeling with turbulent conditions over moderate to large volumes and with significant mesh fineness that it can realistically be done in this MacBook Pro.

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