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2018 Apple MacBook Pro Refresh: Most Powerful Specs To Date, But Is It Worth It?

2018 Apple MacBook Pro refresh is finally here and it seems that Apple has been listening to the users, at least partly. The new 2018 Apple MacBook Pro refresh features the most powerful laptops that Apple has brought to the table so far. Here we are going to look into the good, the bad and the ugly of the new 2018 Apple MacBook Pro Refresh and what these laptops have to offer.

2018 Apple MacBook Pro Refresh Worth It?

It has been a while since the Apple MacBook Pro got a refresh but we finally have an announcement and updates regarding what we are going to get. It is a good thing that people are getting a 2018 Apple MacBook Pro Refresh, but everything is not as good as it seems. Let’s look into what the 2018 Apple MacBook Pro Refresh has to offer and whether or not we can recommend these products to you.

Intel 8th Gen CPUs With Up To 6 Cores

A major highlight of the 2018 Apple MacBook Pro Refresh is that the new laptops now come with the latest Intel 8th generation CPUs. The MacBooks now feature up to 6 cores. There are two versions to choose from, the smaller 13-inch model with Touch Bar comes with up to a 4 core i7 CPU with up to 2.7 GHz base and up to 4.5 GHz boost clock.

This is very impressive indeed and the extra cores will come in handy if you are someone that deals with content creation and need to render videos or edit pictures on the go. The 15-inch model with touch bar comes with up to core i9 chip that has 6 cores and a base clock of up to 2.9 GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.8 GHz.

The base model 13-inch MacBook with Touch Bar that has a core i5 quad core CPU with 2.3GHz and 3.8 GHz boost clock, along with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 starts at $1,799. The price is pretty high if you ask me but then again this is Apple.

Again, this is very impressive and if you find that 4 cores are not cutting it then this is something worth looking into. This is Apple and the additional performance comes at a premium which is something to keep in mind if you are interested in buying this MacBook. The base model of the 15-inch model starts at $2,399. For the money what you are getting is a 6-core Intel 8th generation i7 CPU what has a base clock of 2.2 GHz and can boost to 4.1 GHz.

If 4.1 GHz boost is still not enough and you want nothing but the best and that fastest that Apple has to offer then you can go with the Intel Core i9 chip. While the processor still has 6 cores, it can boost to 4,8 GHz. Keep in mind that you will be paying an additional $300 to upgrade from the i7 to the i9.

Support For 32 GB RAM

For a long time now RAM has been limited to 16 GB and people wanted more. You have that option now, at least for the 15-inch model. With the 13-inch model 16 GB is still the limit and if you look at the 15-inch model, Apple is demanding that you pay an additional $400 if you want to switch from 16 GB to 32 GB of RAM. The RAM in question is DDR4 2400 MHz. While this is indeed a very expensive upgrade, the option is there if you want it and can afford it.

Fast But Expensive Storage

You will be glad to know that with the 2018 Apple MacBook Pro Refresh, Apple is offering up to 4 TB of fast SSD storage. While this option is there, you are expected to pay $3200 for the 4 TB SSD. If you are not looking for that much storage then there are cheaper options to consider but then again they are still very expensive if you compare them to market pricing.

2018 Apple MacBook Pro Refresh

Expensive RAM upgrade is something that I can understand as RAM is getting very expensive and during the past 12 months or so we have seen RAM prices double. The thing with SSDs is that they have become relatively cheaper with the passage of time, so this makes little sense to me.

One thing to note here is that the storage that Apple is offering is very fast indeed. If you opt to get an external storage you might be able to save some money but even the fastest of external SSDs will be pretty slow as compared to the storage that is being used for the 2018 Apple MacBook Pro Refresh. Plus having to plug in an external drive might seem like to much work for plenty of people. Having ample storage on your computer is much better.

Design Refresh

While the 2018 Apple MacBook Pro refresh has been announced from the looks of things it seems that the design is pretty much the same. This is 2018 and the bezels are getting smaller on laptops, it is unfortunate that Apple is not taking the same route. The bezels are still there especially on the top and the bottom. While the hardware upgrade is appreciated, a design refresh would have been appreciated as well.

We also have no refresh for the models that do not have a Touch Bar. So if you want more memory or want to take advantage of the added cores then you will need to get used to the Touch Bar as well. While it is a cool feature to look at, actually using it is another story entirely and there are people that miss the physical escape key.

Comparison With Windows Laptops

There are plenty of high-end Windows laptops on the market that offers better specs for the money and here we are going to compare the 2018 Apple MacBook Pro Refresh with some of them. We are taking into consideration the MSI GT75 TITAN Pro Extreme and the AORUS X5 v8-CL4D Enthusiast in order to see how they stack up against the 15-inch 2018 Apple MacBook to in terms of price to hardware. 

2018 Apple MacBook Pro Refresh

MSI GT75 TITAN-094 Pro Extreme has the following specifications:

  • Display: 17.3″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare Wide View Angle 120 Hz 3ms Display
  • NVIDIA G-Sync
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X (VR Ready)
  • 8th Generation Intel Coffee Lake Core i9-8950HK Six Core (2.9GHz-4.8GHz)
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz
  • 2TB (2x 1TB) Samsung 970 PRO NVMe SSD
  • 1TB 7200RPM HDD
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Professional (64-bit)

The hardware specifications of the AORUS X5 v8-CL4D Enthusiast are as follows:

  • 15.6″ IPS FHD (1920 x 1080) 144 Hz Anti-Glare Display (X-Rite Pantone Certified) 
  • NVIDIA G-Sync
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 (VR Ready)
  • 8th Gen Intel Coffee Lake Core i7-8850H Six Core (2.6GHz-4.3GHz)
  • 16GB (2x 8GB) DDR4 2666MHz
  • 2TB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD
  • 1TB 7200RPM HDD
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit) 

We configured a similar spec Apple MacBook Pro 2018 and the following is the result that we got:

15‑inch MacBook Pro 2018

 

MSI GT75 TITAN

 

AORUS X5

 

CPU Core i9 4.8 GHz Boost i9-8950HK Unlocked 4.8 GHz Boost i7-8850H 4.3GHz
RAM 16 GB DDR4 2400 MHz 16GB DDR4 2666 MHz 16GB (2x 8GB) DDR4 2666MHz
Storage 2 TB SSD 2x 1TB NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD

 

2TB NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD

 

GPU Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB

 

NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB

 

Price $4,299 $4,375 $3,469

If you compare the 15‑inch MacBook Pro 2018 with the MSI GT75 TITAN we see that the MSI GT75 TITAN still costs more but look closer and you see that while both laptops feature an Intel Core i9 chip, the one inside the MSI GT75 TITAN can be overclocked. Other than that the MSI GT75 TITAN comes with faster RAM and it has a GTX 1080 that has double the VRAM.

There is no comparison between the RX 560X and GTX 1080 when it comes to performance. Looking at storage, both laptops have 2 TB of SSD storage but the MSI GT75 TITAN offers an additional TB of HDD storage as well. While you are paying a bit more for the MSI GT75 TITAN you are getting a lot more performance as well.

Now, lets compared the 15‑inch MacBook Pro 2018 with the AORUS X5. While the AORUS X5 costs much less, it does have a core i7 CPU with a lower clock speed. Other than that the AORUS X5 offers faster RAM an additional TB of HDD storage and a GTX 1070 graphics card with double the VRAM.

2018 Apple MacBook Pro Refresh Worth The Upgrade?

If you look at the specs and the pricing then surely you are better off with other options but one thing that Apple is known for is design and the company is hard to beat in that department. If you want a beautiful machine that is powerful and slim then you will need to pay the Apple premium. The MSI GT75 TITAN is a beast when it comes to performance and hardware but it is very bulky as compared to the 15‑inch MacBook Pro 2018.

The AORUS X5 is a bit slimmer but is nothing like the 15‑inch MacBook Pro 2018 when it comes to being lightweight and slim. This is something that you will need to consider if you are interested in the 2018 Apple MacBook Pro refresh. While you will get much more for the price if you consider other options, you won’t be getting the same design.

If you do want a Windows laptop that is thin and light then you can check out the New Dell XPS 15. This is a laptop that has been praised by the industry for its design.

Let us know what you think about the 2018 Apple MacBook Pro refresh and whether or not you are interested in getting one of these MacBooks when they come out.