New MacBook Pros...Finally!

Few things excite us more than new Apple products, and to our surprise, Thursday morning we all awoke to find our technological stockings packed with the introduction of a new MacBook Pro! While a number of improvements have been made across the board, let's focus on the key hardware upgrades that make everyday life and use significantly better.

UPGRADED MEMORY (RAM) - For the first time ever, Apple has introduced DDR4 rated memory into one of their laptop computers and pushed the maximum capacity in the 15" model even higher.

Memory, commonly called RAM represents your computer's ability to multi-task, and with the new DDR4 RAM upgradeable to 32GB in the 15" model (sorry 13" users, you're still limited to 16GB of DDR3), you can now multi-task harder than ever. Apple has been slow to equip their laptops with DDR4 due to Intel processor's lack of support for LPDDR4, a variant of DDR4 that consumes less power (hence the "LP" in the name). LPDDR4 means wonders for a device's battery life and is actually present in the iPhone already. While the new MacBook Pro is still not outfitted with LPDDR4, they include a standard DDR4 module and larger battery to compensate for the loss of battery life improvement typically available with an LPDDR4 module.

Practical Application (Why We Love It):

  • More RAM means more programs running simultaneously (greater productivity).
  • Web browsing with multiple tabs (looking at you Google Chrome...) becomes more efficient.
  • Large file types such as PowerPoint or Photoshop files will no longer compromise system performance as quickly.
  • Virtualized instances (virtual machines) now have even more memory available for dedicated allocation.

UPGRADED CPU - Another first, the new MacBook Pro introduces Intel's i7 and i9 6-core processor (yep, SIX CORES) where prior models capped at the i7 quad-core unit.

The CPU is the brain of the computer. There are several components that comprise a CPU’s overall power, namely clock speed and the number of cores. A processor with a slower clock speed can outperform a faster one if it has more cores, but not all applications are programmed to take advantage of those extra cores. Just as some people are able to multi-task extremely well while others prefer to focus on a single task at a time, not all software utilizes the CPU in the same way. These new 6-core processors offer blazing fast clock speeds and 50% more cores than their predecessors!

Practical Application (Why We Love It):

  • A faster CPU means faster rendering times for 3D modeling programs such Blender as well as faster encoding times for media formatting tools like Handbrake.
  • CPU intensive processing like compiling and rendering are far less cumbersome for your computer.
  • Database processes in use by programs such as FileMaker become much, much more efficient.
  • That ridiculously large and complex spreadsheet that you have filled with formulas and images now flows like a breeze (well, almost).

DEDICATED GPU - For geeks like us, the reintroduction of a dedicated GPU is a dream come true; in this case, AMD's discrete GPU.

While an iGPU (like the Iris from previous generations of MacBooks) is sufficient for watching Netflix and bringing bright, sharp images to your desktop, a discrete GPU goes a long way for anyone actually working in video, graphics, and 3D design. It’s also a prerequisite for many popular video games, so if you're a gamer, celebrate good times!

Practical Application (Why We Love It):

  • A discrete GPU means faster rendering times for 3D modeling programs such as AutoCAD and SolidWorks.
  • Working in programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom and the like becomes much less cumbersome on your computer as a whole.
  • Fun tasks such as gaming or even Bitcoin mining become even more possible with a discrete GPU.

Larger solid state hard drives, the installment of the Apple T2 chip, we could go on and on. All of this makes the new MacBook Pro easily the most impressive laptop Apple has made in recent memory (see what I did there?). Not sure which configuration is right for your business or workflow? We'd love to help spec one of these new workhorses out for you or your whole team! In the meantime, check out Apple's official product release here.

 

 

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Kenny Lange

    Great article! I'd like to know more of your thoughts on the introduction of the T2 chip and what that means for power users now and in the future.

  • Avatar
    Bryan Delerson

    Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed! The T2 chip is a pretty "under the hood" feature, most users won't think twice about it. It does, however, provide hardware accelerated encryption, which means you can use FileVault encryption without taking a big performance hit.

    It also may signal the end of the "hackintosh" since it's likely that all future macOS releases will require this chip to run.

  • Avatar
    Kenny Lange

    How do see the chip impacting the collaboration between macOS and iOS devices or does it even connect the ecosystem?

  • Avatar
    Bryan Delerson

    macOS/iOS connectivity is primarily a function of iCloud, so not much of an impact there!

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