Apple MacBook Pro 2017 : A Laptop for Professionals but not for Gamers

The 2017 lineup of Apple MacBook Pro’s was launched at WWDC and everyone was super excited but for me, this excitement soon faded away after checking the specifications out. Yeah, I know, bummer, right? As shown in Figure 1 given below, there are no physical changes in the new lineup but the internal hardware has been beefed up a bit. Anyway, let’s check the new specifications out.

MacBook Pro lineup.jpg

Figure 1 : Lineup of 2016/2017 Apple MacBook Pro’s [1]

Processor

The new MacBook Pro’s come with the 7th Generation Intel Kaby Lake Processors, which are said to have a boost in performance with greater clock speeds when compared to the previous generation (Skylake processors). The in-built GPU can handle encoding and decoding of HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) format, which means that 4K videos will be handled effortlessly.

7th-generaion-of-intel-core-processors

Figure 2 : 7th Generation of Intel Core Processors [2]

RAM

The RAM has not changed from the 2016 models even though a lot of people (including myself) thought that there would be a model with 32 GB of RAM for 2017. The 2017 models have LPDDR3 RAM with capacities of 8 GB and 16 GB with clock speeds of 2133 MHz. Even though the laptops manufactured by Apple’s competitors use DDR4 RAM, Apple had decided to stick to LPDDR3 due to low power consumption. Meh, you get 16 GB of RAM : That’s good enough for me.

Storage

The base model (13 inch) contains 128 GB of flash memory while this can be configured to 512 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB. I do not think that 128 GB of flash memory is enough for all files these days as there are now 4K video, which require a lot of space to be stored in the hard disk. One can argue that portable hard disk drives and cloud storage are now available for cheaper prices but what is the point of paying a huge sum of money only for a laptop with 128 GB !

Graphics

Alright. Here comes the moment that the gamers have been waiting for : Graphics. All MacBook Pro’s are equipped with Intel Iris Plus 600 series graphics. The 15 inch models consist of AMD Radeon Pro 555 and 560 graphics chips which have GDDR5 memories of 2 GB and 4 GB, respectively. These chips are good for gaming in 2012 but in 2017, people prefer getting higher frame rates to obtain a more realistic effect. They could have at least incorporated AMD Radeon 570 or 580 chips, which have greater capacities of video memory and higher memory bandwidths.

AMD Radeon Pro 500 series

Figure 3 : AMD Radeon Pro 500 Series Specifications [3]

 Check the video given below for the gaming performance on a MacBook Pro with Radeon Pro 560 graphics chip :

Gaming on the new MacBook Pro 15″ 2017 [4]

This is what I feel about the new MacBook Pro lineup. Feel free to comment on your views of the 2017 lineup.

 

 

References :

[1] Gizmodo Australia. 2017. Apple MacBook Pro (2017): Australian Review | Gizmodo Australia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/01/apple-macbook-pro-2017-australian-review/. [Accessed 25 June 2017].

[2] Redmond Pie. 2017. Intel Unveils New Kaby Lake 7th Gen Core Processors Destined For Future Macs | Redmond Pie. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.redmondpie.com/intel-unveils-new-kaby-lake-7th-gen-core-processors-destined-for-future-macs/. [Accessed 19 January 2017].

[3] VideoCardz.com. 2017. AMD announces Radeon Pro 500 series – VideoCardz.com . [ONLINE] Available at: https://videocardz.com/press-release/amd-announces-radeon-pro-500-series. [Accessed 27 June 2017].

[4] YouTube. 2017. Gaming on the new MacBook Pro 15″ 2017 – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzbuCI3tIJ0. [Accessed 27 June 2017].

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s