Why Should You Not Upgrade to the MacBook Pro Right Now [Its Not the High Price]


Apple initially wanted to use Intel’s 7th-gen Kaby Lake processors in the new MacBook Pro series it launched in 2016, but sadly, the chip manufacturer had not readied them for use in these notebooks. While these CPUs can readily be found in these powerful and portable machines now, it is not a good idea to invest in one at this current time.

Lots of consumers will jump to the conclusion that the reason I’m saying this is because the MacBook Pro notebooks are generally overpriced right? Well, no, that’s not it, but I will be highlighting a few reasons why you should not purchase one right now, but wait for a while, let’s say during the third quarter of this year because the wait will definitely be worth it. Are you ready to find out those reasons? Then read on.

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MacBook Pro Models for This Year Will Come More Cores for Your Daily Use

Aside from the rumored MacBook Air, which you can read all about the preliminary specifications and rumors here, Apple is expected to refresh the MacBook Pro lineup this year. We will be talking about both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models. What I feel is that Apple would see no point of releasing a MacBook Pro sporting a row of function keys and will instead release devices that ship with the Touch Bar only.

That will drive up the price but we also feel that the specifications these notebooks will come with drive that price, or more specifically, the processors. For example, let us talk about the 13-inch model for now. As most of you know, Intel has finally shifted away from dual-core offerings and has allowed manufacturers to pack in additional performance thanks to the 8th-generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 families.

MacBook Pro 13-Inch Model Upgrade

Upgrading from the dual-core 7th-generation Kaby Lake processors, the 13-inch MacBook Pro might not feature a Core i3 chip since Apple never used it in the previous-generation of notebooks. Instead, the base model should feature a Core i5-8250U chip with a base clock frequency of 1.60GHz and Max Turbo Frequency of 3.40GHz. This processor will be equipped with a total of 4 cores, and 8 threads and surprisingly will be functioning within the 15W TDP parameters.

Obviously, the customer will have a choice to upgrade the internals, with the option of a Core i7-8650U also available, if they are willing to pay that premium. Sadly, we don’t believe that a Core i5-8305G processor with Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics combo will be offered to the masses simply because of the 65W TDP. The MacBook Pro’s biggest selling is going to be its prodigious battery life and adding this chip will give the user added performance but at the cost of significantly severed battery endurance.

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Also, since you’re getting multiple Thunderbolt 3 ports, you also have an option to attach an eGPU solution, so we honestly do not see Apple choosing a processor paired with Radeon graphics at all. Unfortunately, none of the upcoming MacBook Pro models are going to feature support up to 32GB of RAM, simply because Intel’s 10nm Cannonlake chips will provide support for LPDDR4 memory, and the new iteration of silicon is going to be available starting 2019.

The newest chips do support DDR4 memory, but Apple’s focus on battery life means that it will continue sticking to LPDDR3 modules, which will be limited on 16GB on this platform. So if you believe that you can get through a day with 16GB of RAM, you should definitely pick up one of the upcoming models.

MacBook Pro 15-Inch Model Upgrade

Coming to the 15-inch MacBook Pro, these models are going to be packing a lot of horsepower. Instead of quad-core packages, these notebooks are going to use Intel’s 6-core processors belonging to the Core i7 series. The base model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro will come with a Core i7-8750H, which features a total of six cores running at 2.20GHz, with a Max Turbo Frequency of 4.10GHz. It also sports 12 threads, so several applications that are optimized for using multiple threads will be able to take advantage of them.

Lots of OEMs have started to introduce 6-core gaming machines, which in terms of raw computing performance, neither the 13-inch or the 15-inch MacBook Pro models can compete with at this stage. Additionally, the added cores will give the user a lot of flexibility to tackle additional tasks at the same time. Creative professionals and content creators will definitely be happy to see the additional cores in action, though they might not be too pleased to see that these machines will still be limited to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM.

Also, before we forget, the 15-inch MacBook Pro will not ship with the Intel Core i9-8950HK CPU since there would honestly be no point. Apple does not allow overclocking to take place on its devices, so it is intended for Windows 10-notebooks instead. Even users who will end up installing Windows 10 through Boot Camp will be displeased to see that Apple did not include an ‘HK’ processor simply because it wants consumers to experience macOS Mojave rather than installing its competitor’s OS.

If you’re checking out Intel’s processor lineup for notebooks, you’ll also notice some chips featuring Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics. Once again, this is going to be a ‘no-go’ for Apple because battery life optimization is going to be the key selling point for the 15-inch MacBook Pro, and one of the company’s most paramount features to market these devices.

To remind you, where the Core i5 series of processors paired with Radeon RX Vega graphics featured a TDP of 65W, these Core i7 models feature a TDP of 100W. Keep in mind that the i7-8750H possesses a 45W TDP, so it will be pointless from a battery life perspective to incorporate a processor with a 100W TDP. Even if it was possible, Apple would have to either compromise the sleekness of the MacBook Pro lineup or aggressively throttle these processors under intense load, both of which would end up displeasing customers.

However, you will certainly experience far better graphical performance as in contrast to Intel’s onboard iGPU, but because Apple’s priority will be centered around battery life rather than your thirst for that performance, it is unlikely that we’ll be seeing these variants of processors.

At the same time, readers will be wondering that won’t it make more sense to use a chip such as the Intel Core i7-8706G processor with Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics; two separate components on the same die rather than incorporate a discrete GPU on the 15-inch MacBook Pro? That could have been a possibility, if not for one small problem; if you visit the product sheet webpage right now, you will notice that none of Intel’s processors paired Radeon graphics feature more than four cores.

At this stage, Apple might also give more preference to core count, so it will result in better computing performance for these notebooks. After all, a 4-core processor and a 100W TDP; that certainly sounds like a bad deal for the tech giant.

Cheaper Previous-Generation MacBook Pro Models

Apple might not be stocking newer models of the MacBook Pro 2016 and MacBook Pro 2017 series (you might be able to find them on the refurbished section of the Apple Store), but third-party online retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, B&H and others will continue to provide you with numerous offers that you would love to get your hands on. Often times, I see these retailers providing discounts up to $1,200 on a 15-inch MacBook Pro, making it a terrific upgrade for those with some cash that want to experience the macOS ecosystem on a powerful machine.

Keep in mind that Apple will need to use a better thermal design for these updated processors, and that will certainly come out of the customers’ wallet as they will be looking to hog over a premium for these powerful machines. Placing a 6-core processor in a machine that’s known for a slim form factor will require some thermal engineering marvel and Apple will certainly every penny from you guys.

If by chance you’re looking for a MacBook Pro and because Apple’s asking price is way too for you to swallow, you can also check out the countless deals being offered by third-party online stores. Apple is often criticized for charging a hefty sum for its notebooks.

While that is true, other notebook manufacturers that incorporate the same internals are charging more or less for the same configured devices. However, those who want to experience macOS Mojave as well as macOS-exclusive programs and have the money to pay for these will certainly not mind paying.

Do you think upgrading to a MacBook Pro right now will be a waste of money? Tell us down in the comments.