16-inch MacBook Pro vs 15-inch MacBook Pro Specs, Features, Design, & Pricing Compared


With the introduction of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple has discontinued the 15-inch MacBook Pro, suggesting that the 16-inch display size will be the new standard for the company moving forward. Naturally, with the 15-inch variant no longer offered through Apple’s website, third-party retailers should be providing sizable discounts in the near future now that the newer model is here. The question is, should you upgrade to Apple’s latest and greatest iteration? Check out our in-depth 16-inch MacBook Pro vs 15-inch MacBook Pro comparison to find out more.

16-inch MacBook Pro vs 15-inch MacBook Pro Specs

Just like the 15-inch model, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is armed with Intel’s 9th-generation 45W CPUs, starting with the i7-9750H (6 cores, 12 threads, 2.60GHz base clock speed, 4.50GHz boost clock speed) and going up to a Core i9-9980HK (8 cores, 16 threads, 2.40GHz base clock speed, 5.00GHz boost clock speed). Both models also start with 16GB of DDR4 RAM (the 16-inch MacBook Pro’s RAM is running at 2666MHz, while the one in the 15-inch version is running at a lower 2400MHz), but the 16-inch MacBook Pro can be configured up to 64GB, while the previous model is limited to 32GB.

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The same upgrades can be had with the storage. The 15-inch MacBook Pro could be upgraded to 4TB of PCIe SSD storage, while the 16-inch MacBook Pro can be upgraded to 8TB of the same lightning-fast storage. The 16-inch Retina display features a 3092 x 1920 resolution with a 226 pixel-per-inch density. The 15.4-inch model from earlier this year had a 2880 x 1800 resolution at a 220 pixel-per-inch density. The higher resolution also means Apple incorporates a 100WHr battery in the latest product and it’s charged using a new 96-watt USB-C power brick. The previous-gen notebook had an 83.6-watt cell that got juiced using a smaller 87-watt charger.

The new 16-inch MacBook Pro also has better speakers and mic configuration compared to its predecessor, so plenty of changes to go around.

16-inch MacBook Pro vs 15-inch MacBook Pro Features

One of the biggest changes is Apple adding a new scissor keyboard to its 16-inch MacBook Pro and it calls it the Magic Keyboard. Of course, this change would often be seen by some as a necessity because of the myriad of problems encountered by countless customers who owned MacBook models featuring the butterfly keyboard, including the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Hopefully, customers won’t have to encounter keyboard-related issues any longer.

Another welcome change is an upgrade in the thermal design. Lots of reviewers claimed that while the 15-inch MacBook Pro packs serious hardware, Apple’s notebook couldn’t take advantage of that power because the slim chassis and thermal design limited those internals. Apple’s engineers would have taken this into consideration because now, the new advanced thermal design boasts up to 28 percent improved airflow thanks to a heatsink that’s also 35 percent larger.

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In short, it means that the processor running in the new 16-inch MacBook Pro should be able to run well above its base clock speeds for much longer periods. It’s also possible that like most notebook makers, Apple could have undervolted the CPU as well as applied better quality thermal paste. These two additional changes would contribute greatly to keeping the CPU temperatures down. We’ll have to see just how advanced this advanced thermal solution is in the future, so stay tuned for that.

16-inch MacBook Pro vs 15-inch MacBook Pro Design

This is a minor difference here. Apple has slightly increased the display size of the latest model by decreasing the bezels so it fits in the same footprint as the 15-inch MacBook Pro chassis. Apart from that, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is offered in the same finishes as its predecessor; Silver and Space Gray. As for the keyboard layout, the new notebook brings back the physical ESC key that’s present on the left, while there’s an option to toggle the ESC key on the Touch Bar of the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Both models have a Touch ID sensor present on the top right corner, but the 16-inch MacBook Pro features arrow keys in the inverted-T arrangement.

16-inch MacBook Pro vs 15-inch MacBook Pro Pricing

Both the 16-inch MacBook Pro and 15-inch MacBook Pro’s base price was $2,399 but with the newer version, you’re getting a new GPU and 512GB of PCIe SSD storage. With the 15-inch model, you got a measly 256GB memory, along with a poor-performing Radeon Pro 555X. For the same price, you’re getting double the storage and a better Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6 video memory.

If you take up that configuration to a Core i9, 64GB of DDR4 memory, a whopping 8TB of PCIe SSD storage and a Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of GDDR6 video memory, you better be ready to be cash-strapped because the machine will set you back by eye-watering $6,099. That’s more than the price of two base model 16-inch MacBook Pro units.

While there are plenty of minor differences that you’ve been wanting to know, if you want a thorough breakdown of all the technical details between the two models, you can look at the image chart below to help you out with your future purchase.

Did this 16-inch MacBook Pro vs 15-inch MacBook Pro comparison help you out in any way? Do let us know down in the comments.