Blog of Geof

Thursday, July 12th

New Macbooks Pro (2018)

Macbook Pro

Apple:

Apple today updated MacBook Pro with faster performance and new pro features, making it the most advanced Mac notebook ever. The new MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar feature 8th-generation Intel Core processors, with 6-core on the 15-inch model for up to 70 percent faster performance and quad-core on the 13-inch model for up to two times faster performance — ideal for manipulating large data sets, performing complex simulations, creating multi-track audio projects or doing advanced image processing or film editing.

I‘m really glad that Apple is getting into a (mostly) yearly update cycle for their Pro laptops. I'm also glad that this speed bump has decided to use the new Intel quad core i5/i7 for the 13" and the six core i9 for the 15" laptops.

Interestingly enough, the marketing page for these laptops also mentions an eGPU enclosure.

Apple:

Blackmagic Design has created an external GPU (eGPU) ideal for MacBook Pro.14 So you can have desktop-class graphics performance without giving up the portability of a notebook. Housed in an all‑in‑one aluminum enclosure, the Blackmagic eGPU is powerful yet quiet, charges your MacBook Pro using Thunderbolt 3, and has built-in I/O connections to drive both a Thunderbolt 3 display and VR accessories simultaneously. With the Blackmagic eGPU and MacBook Pro, you can accelerate pro apps, create VR content, and enjoy supersmooth gaming anywhere you roam.

The eGPU enclosure is made by Blackmagic. It features a Radeon Pro 580 GPU, 2x TB3 ports and 4x USB3 ports. It costs $699.

More interesting to me is the Razer Core X eGPU. It mostly is due to being given the choice of GPU that goes into the enclosure (is the Blackmagic case GPU removable?). Although with the Core X's base price of $250, after being paired with something like a Radeon Vega 64 (if you can even find one anywhere near MSRP) you will be well over the $699 price of the Blackmagic eGPU.

The Vega 64 seems to beat out the Radeon Pro 580 in most areas (except for price).

Daring Fireball:

Today’s updates are indisputably aimed at genuine “pro” users. Only the high-end machines with the Touch Bar have been updated — the non-Touch-Bar 13-inch MacBook Pro (a.k.a. the MacBook Escape) and the just-plain MacBook are unchanged.

Damn. I'm not really sold on Touch Bar. I don't think it has enough advantages to warrant replacing the Fn key row. I think it would be great to make an appearance above a standard Fn key row... but that's not what Apple is selling. I'd rather get the extra watt hours of battery life that the non-Touch Bar model gets.

This update is a step in the right direction. However, I'm curious to see what the next iMac refresh will see now that the 15" has a six core i9 in it…

More: LaptopMag Benchmarks