15in MacBook Pro (2018)
Since its introduction in 2016, the MacBook Pro as we know it today has produced mixed reactions. People love the combination of size, weight, and performance. But there are issues that make people hesitate or even regret buying one: keyboard problems, the need to find ways to work with its Thunderbolt 3/ USB-C ports, a low RAM ceiling.
With the 2018 MacBook Pro, Apple has addressed some of those issues. And if you’re lamenting that I didn’t say all of those issues, well, there are some things that, in an effort to move towards a particular
technological ideal, Apple won’t change. But as a whole, the 2018 MacBook Pro is a better laptop than its 2017 predecessor, and a vast improvement over the 2016 model.
This review takes a look at the 15in MacBook Pro, with a 2.9GHz Core i9 processor, 32GB of memory, a 2TB SSD, and 4GB Radeon Pro 560X graphics. It’s a customized laptop that will set you back £4,409.
Coffee Lake, the star of the MacBook Pro
After much anticipation, it’s here, the eighth generation of Intel’s Core processors. Finally. Now, if you only pay attention to Macs, you may not know that Intel released these processors last April, and it was a mystery as to when they would appear in an Apple laptop. New PC
laptops with these processors (code-named Coffee Lake) appeared, and the performance numbers were impressive. So, for over three months – and over a year since the MacBook Pro was last updated – we’ve been left to imagine how Coffee Lake MacBooks would perform.
The major difference between the Core processor in the 2018 15in models and previous models is that it now has six processing cores, two more than before. Apps that can take advantage of multiple processing cores will benefit – professional-level apps, like highend video, audio, and photo editors. But even if all you use are productivity apps that use only one processing core (a spreadsheet, email, a browser), you’ll find a nice boost in this machine.
The high-end CPU that you can get in the 15in MacBook Pro (and the one in this review) is a 6-core 2.9GHz Core i9 with Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz and 12MB shared L3 cache. To get this processor, you need to customize the £2,699 standard-configuration model that has a 6-core 2.6GHz Core i7 CPU. (In addition to the £2,699 model, Apple offers a £2,349 standard configuration model with a 6-core 2.2GHz Core i7 processor.)
In another welcomed upgrade, Apple made the switch from DDR3 RAM in previous MacBook Pros to DDR4 RAM in the 2018 models. DDR4 is faster, but it demands more power, and to meet that demand, Apple increased the amount of battery in the 2018 MacBook Pro. That increase meets DDR4’s requirements, and thus, you won’t see an more battery life. There’s more good news about the memory: the maximum amount
you can have installed is now 32GB, double that of the previous 15in MacBook Pro. This is one change that users have been wanting for a while.
We ran a set of benchmark tests to measure the speed of the 15in 6-core 2.9GHz Core i9 MacBook Pro. We compared the results mainly to last year’s 2.9GHz quadcore 15in MacBook Pro, which has a seventh-generation Kaby Lake Core processor. Other older MacBook Pro models were included if their results were available. To get an idea of processing speed, we used Geekbench 4’s CPU test. The 2018 MacBook Pro posted a 64-bit Multi-Core CPU Test score of 23140, the highest score we’ve seen for a MacBook Pro in Geekbench. That’s a whopping 44 percent increase over the 2017 MacBook
Pro. The two additional processing cores in the new laptop make a big difference.
In the Geekbench 4 64-bit Single-Core CPU Test, the 2018 MacBook Pro’s score of 5619 is 19 percent faster than the 4731 score by last year’s model. That’s consistent with the increases we’ve seen in the past.
We also ran a set of graphics benchmarks to gauge the speed of the MacBook Pro’s graphics. In the Geekbench 4 OpenCL test, the 4GB Radeon Pro 560X
The 2018 15in MacBook Pro uses 6-core Coffee Lake Intel Core processors
Geekbench 4 64-bit Single-Core and Multi-Core CPU Test
Geekbench 4 OpenCL Test: Discrete graphics
Cinebench OpenGL Test