2018 MacBook Pro Line Offers High End Performance At A High End Price

Apple this week updated its MacBook Pro to deliver significantly faster performance, offering up to 6-processor cores, speeds up to 4.8GHz, 32GB of memory and SSD performance that’s an order of magnitude better than most current laptops.

According to the company, the new 13″ MacBook Pro offers up to twice the performance of the previous generation, while the 15″ MacBook Pro is up to 70% faster.

15-Inch MacBook Pro Highlights:

  • 6-core Intel Core i7 and Core i9 processors up to 2.9 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.8 GHz
  • Up to 32GB of DDR4 memory
  • Powerful Radeon Pro discrete graphics with 4GB of video memory in every configuration
  • Up to 4TB of SSD storage2
  • True Tone display technology
  • Apple T2 Chip
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID

13-Inch MacBook Pro Highlights:

  • Quad-core Intel Core i5 and i7 processors up to 2.7 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.5 GHz and double the eDRAM
  • Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics 655 with 128MB of eDRAM
  • Up to 2TB of SSD storage2
  • True Tone display technology
  • Apple T2 Chip
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID

The Achilles Heel of the 2018 MacBook Pro line is its graphics/gaming performance.

Early benchmark tests show the new MacBook Pros handily beating the CPU performance of comparably priced laptops and offering file copy times that are close to 10 times what most laptops deliver:

SSD Speed (File Copy Test)
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 2,519 MB/s
Dell XPS 13 (Core i7) 399.4 MB/s
HP Spectre 13 339.3 MB/s
Huawei MateBook X Pro 282.7 MB/s
Asus ZenBook 13 203.6 MB/s
Microsoft Surface Book 2 203.6 MB/s
Category Average 279.3 MB/s

But in a head-to-head comparison of the MacBook Pro 13″ against comparable laptops, the MacBook Pro’s frames-per-second performance was about 40% lower. For people that need high-end graphics performance, Apple recommends pairing the laptops with a $700 Thunderbolt 3 external GPU, to get desktop-class performance.

Performance Improvements In Logic Pro X

Musicians should be able to expect close to double the performance with music apps that are multi-core optimized, compared to the MacBook Pro generation. According to Apple, the new 13″ MacBook Pro can run twice as many Alchemy tracks in Logic Pro X, while the 15″ 6-core can deliver about 70% higher track count.

Pricing and Availability

The updated Touch Bar MacBook Pro models are available now, with the following baseline configurations:

13″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID, 2.3GHz Processor, 256GB Storage

2.3GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
256GB SSD storage1
Retina display with True Tone
Touch Bar and Touch ID
Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

$1,799.00

15″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID, 2.2GHz Processor, 256GB Storage

2.2GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor
Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz
Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory
16GB 2400MHz DDR4 memory
256GB SSD storage1
Retina display with True Tone
Touch Bar and Touch ID
Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

$2,399.00

Maxing out the high-end 15″ MacBook Pro with a 2.9Ghz 6-core processor, 32GB 2400MHz DDR4 memory and 4 TB SSD pushes the top price up to $6,699.

Details are available at the Apple site.

36 thoughts on “2018 MacBook Pro Line Offers High End Performance At A High End Price

  1. My company bought me their last high end laptop model. It constantly overheated, like hot to the touch and the fans were on constantly. So hopefully they found some way to keep it cool otherwise it’l be running with the performance of half its specs when its hot.

  2. Does anybody really need that level of performance in a laptop for music?

    My 2011 MBP is chugging along fine still.

    1. Depends on how you use your laptop. I think lots of users want live processing with effects, which really eat juice.

    1. It looks like Steve Jobs was right about touchscreen laptops – vertical touchscreens suck, because your arm gets tired if you use it very long, and nobody wants to stare at a smudgy screen all day.

      Microsoft’s Surface laptops haven’t taken off, even after five years, and that’s even with Microsoft dropping the prices on them.

      Not sure if that proves that Jobs was right on it, but nobody’s proved him wrong yet.

      1. but for audio stuff, a surface/lenovo yoga can be real’ neat, if you just fold the keyboard behind the back you’re left with what’s basically a tablet that runs desktop audio software with decent performance

    1. iPads are the de facto choice for remotes now.

      Mist people just aren’t that interested in tablet/computer hybrids. They end up being sucky computers and sucky tablets, so everybody gets an iPad instead.

      The only reason Apple doesn’t sell more iPads is that the last forever. My iPad 1 is still going strong and even still lasts 8 hours on a charge. It’s dirt slow by today’s standards, but just won’t die.

      1. I’ll second that, still have and use my first generation iPad and even after two weeks it still had a 54% charge both my iPad Pro’s don’t even last two days if turned off. Did a second test of the iPad 1 and after almost 2.5 weeks of not turning it on it still had a 46% charge.

        Still using my old MBPro and feel no need to upgrade. It does what I need and along with my iPads running tons of apps I’ll probably be dead before I use everything I have to its full potential lol.

        But I may add Bitwig on the laptop. JM $0.02

          1. I use mine as a real-time editor for my DSI Mopho. Lots of hardware synth editors for iPad now, and many of them are very lightweight and very backward compatible with the old ipads.

          2. Juan –
            FunkBox
            Sunrizer
            Impaktor
            Garage Band
            Drum Jam
            Addictive Synth
            Bebot
            Crystal Synth

            These are just a few, but overall I think I still have like 30-35 music apps I still use but favs are FunkBox, Sunrizer and DrumJam, these 3 alone make the 1st gen iPad still well worth using.
            JMO of course.

      2. I can position the screen so I can read it easily. No stand required and I don’t have to hold it, so both hands are free. The laptop touchscreen configuration works great for me. Cheers!

  3. If one can miss the money or need a fast laptop with Thunderbolt 3 for study or work, then why not buying one of these beauties? OSX is preferable for developers above Windows.

      1. Not having an escape key or having relatively quick access to F1-F12 is quite an intrusion if you are a software engineer IMHO. Yes, there are symbol emulations on the TouchBar display, but there are also emoticons.. and I detest the kidification of hardware, and that seems to be the direction that Apple are going in. I would like a MacBook Pro, and not a MacBook “Plus” where system access is not “special” but “normal”. Am considering the risk of buying a professional hackintosh for a standalone audio production box, and keeping my 2013 and 2015 in good nick until the option to buy a mac without a TouchBar exists. Which probably won’t happen. Meh.

  4. Cool, and waiting for the next hardware / OS update to come. For these prices (should the money be available), whether Mac or Windows, I’d rather invest in rock steady, stable and awesome hardware synths. OK, when you have a system in this grade and matching DAW there are very cool soft synths (Hi Rob P. and Arturia!) available and this might be the best studio workflow. Only ensure you don’t connect to the internet and never upgrade / update any hard or software (and why should you, when you have a fine working system).
    Personally, I’ve totally had it with DAWs, regular desk or laptop computers and all associated trouble.

  5. Overheating anyone? MBP 2017 constantly overheats . Sorry, not recommended for some serious work.
    Even worse is that nobody wants to talk about it.

  6. Overheating anyone? MBP 2017 constantly overheats . Sorry, not recommended for some serious work.
    Even worse is that nobody wants to talk about it.

    1. Ya, its bizarre. My 2015 laptop would heat up so much when I used After Effects that when you touched it, you would be afraid that it would explode like a vape mod. No one ever mentions it, people in my office thought I was laying to get a new laptop but it was as hot as boiled water in a ceramic cup. So.. Its just me and you.

      1. … maybe not. Similar story here with the 2015. Only using Logic Pro X or even just Atom (mild use), and the fans start. Seriously concerned about temperature, touched it. Hot is an understatement. Worried if the glue behind the screen would melt, had to unplug, quit all apps, then let it cool. Activity monitor shows kernel_task going crazy (+900% usage). It began after the last update to Sierra 10.12.6. What OS are you using?

  7. > According to Apple, the new 13? MacBook Pro can run twice as many Alchemy tracks in Logic Pro X, while the 15? 6-core can deliver about 70% higher track count.

    13″
    10 tracks becomes 20 tracks

    15″
    10 tracks becomes 17 tracks.

    Thick.

        1. It is brilliant value if you compare to what you get and can do for the money and compare to other manufacturer similar models

  8. i want a new macbook. what’s the best way to connect all of my usb controllers and my usb audio interface (which doesn’t work when using a hub on my 2012 macbook pro)? do you guys think, there will be something like the “linedock” for those new models where i could also install a 4tb ssd for 1000€ instead of 4000€ that apple charges?

      1. thanks! these look great. do you know if there is something similar for a usb 3.0 type b connection on my audio interface? i found something cheap on amazon but maybe you guys can recommend something for audio?

  9. damn, i really don’t want to moan because these look fantastic. but it’s just hard to accept the fact that a 6 year old macbook can have 8tb of ssd inside for half the price than the 4tb option.

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