15in MacBook Pro (2018)

Tech Advisor - - Contents - Price: £4,409 inc VAT from fave.co/2MoZx7o

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

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