Apple MacBook Pro: just a little bit faster

Oct

31

2015

Overall,

The 2015 version of the 15 “-MacBook Pro received slightly faster hardware and a longer battery life, but for the most part remained the same as its predecessor. That makes it still a fast and robust laptop, which is a good screen provided. Given the high resolution and the hardware used is a battery life of eight hours and a half excellent. There you also pay for upgrades and most are expensive.
Pluses

Good screen
Long battery life
Solid housing

Negatives

Expensive upgrades
Profit rate compared to previous generation

Final Verdict
Tweakers says: 8.5
Price at time of publication: € 2610, –
Available from: € 2,019.57
Tested version: Apple MacBook Pro 15.4 “Retina (2015) 2.2GHz 256GB

In the spring of 2015, Apple released its 15 “-MacBook Pro a small hardware upgrade. The basic model was thereby equipped with 16GB of memory and the more expensive model got a new video card, the Nvidia GPU was interspersed by AMD. As the number changes is small, other reviews gone for completeness and to use benchmark results for future reviews, we summarize the changes together in this short review We focus primarily on the changes:.. the video card, the ssd and longer battery life.

Apple MacBook pro 15.4 & quot; (mid. 2015)
Appearance

From outside, the MacBook Pro 15 virtually unchanged since its introduction in 2012. The laptop is, especially given the rapid hardware that’s in it, quite thin and weighs just over two kilograms. Thanks to the metal housing feels solid on the laptop.

At first glance, all 15 “with Retina display -MacBooks same, but the differences are in the details. In this model of the last generation is mounted another touchpad, which supports Force Touch. The new AMD graphics card can be Now also two 4k displays at 60Hz connected via mini display port. In the previous generation of Nvidia GPU could also be connected to two 4K screens, but then the maximum refresh rate 30Hz or 60Hz on a single screen.

Apple MacBook Pro 15.4 “(mid. 2015)
Apple MacBook Pro 15.4 “(mid. 2015)

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboard of the MacBook Pro is unchanged compared to the previous generation. Typing is pleasant, with clear feedback and fairly deep travel of the keys. The keys are backlit which is set in sixteen steps, although you can also automatically select the brightness of the built-in light sensor.

Apple MacBook pro 15.4 & quot; (mid. 2015) What is new on the 15 “-MacBook is the touchpad. Like the early 2015 introduced 13” -MacBook Pro version now includes a large touchpad with Force Touch. Moreover, it simply said means that a vibrating motor in the touchpad will make it seem like you’re pushing down the surface, which does not happen in reality. You push harder, you make a Force Touch-click, where it feels like you have the touchpad deeper pressed.

We were first introduced to Touch Force during the reviewing of the 13 “Pro -MacBook and when we were not entirely convinced of the functionality. It was, in short, a useful addition, but no functionality we really would miss. However, Apple meanwhile remains quiet on his new trackpad keys. With the advent of OS X El Capitan is therefore possible to switch on ‘silent Clicking’, making up for the touch of the touchpad “click” feel alone, but do not hear .

Pages Apple has also added in an update of its office software Force Touch support for moving images. Drag an image into a document to the middle of the page, you will feel a brief tap on the touchpad to indicate that the picture exactly at the middle state, while a yellow line shows the same on screen. On laptops that do not support Force Touch displayed the same yellow line, but feel obviously not touch the touchpad. Force Touch is still not indispensable, but it is more convenient.
Hardware: same CPU, new GPU and SSD

In October 2013, the 15 “version of the MacBook Pro was provided with a processor from Intel’s Haswell generation. Though successor Broadwell too gain since the summer of 2015, Apple has not made the move to the new processor generation. That is not illogical, as the successor to Broadwell, Skylake, meanwhile, is already available and in all probability the new MacBooks are also equipped with that processor.

The CPU upgrade to the 15 “Pro -MacBook was in the summer of 2015, therefore, is not impressive and delivers a 200MHz higher clock speed on. The model we tested was a i7-4870HQ Core processor along, where the base model has to do with a Core i7-4770HQ. The most interesting upgrade under the hood of the GPU, the Nvidia GT 750M was replaced by AMD’s R9 M370X. This new GPU is otherwise not get into the basic model that the on-board Intel Iris 5200 GPU to do.

Apple MacBook Pro (2015)

Apple seems both AMD and Nvidia also wanting to be friends and have regular exchanges of supplier for GPUs in their computers. However, the choice for AMD remarkable because although the name does not suggest the GPU used is already an oldie. The M370X is called M270 already appeared in several laptops and first appeared in 2012 in desktop graphics cards under the name HD 7770. It is therefore a GPU with 640 stream processors, based on AMD’s GCN 1.0 architecture.

3DMark Cloud Gate
System Name Processor GPU In points, higher is better
MSI GE62 2QC-600NL Core i7-5700HQ GTX 960m
*******
15 752
Asus Zenbook UX501 Pro Core i7-4720HQ GTX 960m
******
14 332
Asus N751JK Core i7-4710HQ GTX 850M
******
13 587
Apple MBP 15 “W10 (mid. 2015) Core i7-4870HQ R9 M370X
*****
12 057
Apple MBP 15 “, naj. 2013, W8.1 Core i7-4850HQ GT 750M
*****
10 289
Toshiba P50t-B-108 Core i7-4700HQ R9 M265X
****
10 049
Apple MBP 13 “, 2015, W8.1 Core i5-5257U Iris 6100
***
6216

The results in 3DMark let one hand, that the switch from Nvidia to AMD has produced a faster GPU. The M370X is clearly faster than the 750M, but not as fast as the Nvidia GPUs Maxwell of the current generation, as the GTX 960m.

Sleeping Dogs – 1920×1080 – Med
System Name Processor GPU Minimum / average frame rate in fps, higher is better
Asus Zenbook UX501 Pro Core i7-4720HQ GTX 960m
****
+
***
53.3 / 91.1
Apple MBP 15 “W10 (mid. 2015) Core i7-4870HQ R9 M370X
****
+
**
54.5 / 75.9
Apple MBP 15 “, naj. 2013, W8.1 Core i7-4850HQ GT 750M
**
+
**
32.7 / 56.5
Dell Inspiron 15-7537 Core i7-4500U GT 750M
**
+
*
33.2 / 47.6
Apple MBP 15 “, naj. 2013, W8.1 Core i7-4750HQ Intel Iris Pro 5200
**
+
*
23.4 / 35.8

In Sleeping Dogs shows the M370X it, as in 3DMark, to take against the GTX 960m, but to be faster than the GT 750M. In Grid 2, the M370X faster than the competition from Nvidia. The limited GPU benchmarks we run on laptops, at least we can conclude that the M370X a progress as compared to the GT 750M, but that Apple might have been done faster with a GTX 960m. Video cards are however not only used for games nowadays, but increasingly as acceleration of other tasks through example OpenCL. Good OpenCL-supporting AMD may also have been a reason to choose a GPU from AMD.

AS-SSD – Sequential read transfer rate
System Name HDD / SSD Throughput in MB / s, higher is better
Apple MBP 15 “W10 (mid. 2015) Apple SM0512G
*******
1699.00
Apple MBP 13 “, 2015, W8.1 Apple SM0128G
*****
1272.00
Apple MBA 13 “vj. 2015, W10 Apple SM0256G
*****
1133.00
BTO 17CL63 Samsung MZHPU256HCGL
*****
1110.45
Apple MBP 13 “, naj. 2013, W8.1 Apple SM0512F
***
692.39
Apple MBA 13 “, 2014, W8.1 Apple SD0256F
***
683.00
Apple MBP 15 “, naj. 2013, W8.1 Apple SM0512F
***
677.00
Apple MacBook, 2015, W8.1 Apple AP0256
***
673.00
MSI GS70 2QE THNSNJ128GMCU / 1TB
**
496.09

Although the video card the biggest change to the new 15 “is -MacBook, the SSD upgrade should not go unmentioned. The 13” -MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air got in early 2015 already available this new SSD, which is identified to the G-suffix. Our test MacBook was equipped with the 500GB copy of this new generation. A larger 1TB SSD is also available, but the additional cost of six hundred euro is little relation to the cost of the more expensive hardware.

The new SSDs excel in our tests with AS-SSD in sequential read and write but read at random and write 4k blocks seems to be no progress has been made. AS SSD, however, gives an indication of the performance of the SSD. More reliable are traces, but because of Apple’s proprietary connector can we SSD’s not in our SSD test system testing.
Screen and battery life: excellent

The screens and battery life in recent years has been strong points of the MacBook Pro laptops and does not change with this latest generation is not much to it. The 15 “-Pro has an IPS screen with a resolution of 2880×1800 pixels, resulting in a 16:10 format the maximum screen brightness amounts to 364cd / m², while the contrast of 964:. 1 comes out.

Apple MacBook Pro 15.4 “(mid. 2015)
Apple MacBook Pro 15.4 “(mid. 2015)

The screen has a glossy finish, which produces reflections, but Apple has quite managed to limit by laminating it. The display is calibrated particularly neat, with a? E value of less than 3, which means that the deviation of the sRGB reference is invisible to the human eye.

Battery test browsing 2013 (180cd / m²)
System Name Processor Resolution Battery Time, higher is better
Apple MBA 13 “vj. 2015, OS X Core i5-5250U 1440×900 54WH
*******
12u37m
Apple MBP 13 “, 2015, OS X Core i5-5257U 2560×1600 75Wh
******
11u23m
Apple MBP 13 “, naj. 2013, OS X Core i5-4288U 2560×1600 72Wh
*****
9u34m
Apple MacBook, 2015, OS X Core M 5Y31 2304×1440 40Wh
*****
9u2m
Apple MBP 15 “, mid. 2015, OS … Core i7-4870HQ 2880×1800 100Wh
*****
8u36m
Apple MBP 15 “, naj. 2013, OSX Core i7-4850HQ 2880×1800 95Wh
****
7u26m
Asus Zenbook UX501 Pro Core i7-4720HQ 3840×2160 96Wh
***
5u50m
Toshiba P50t-B-108 Core i7-4700HQ 3840×2160 44Wh
**
3u5m

The battery life of the 15 “-MacBook Pro comes when browsing from eight and a half hours, one hour more than the version that was released in October 2013. The cause of the prolonged battery life will lie not only in the modest increase in the battery capacity 95 to 99,5Wh, but also in the new version of OS X. In 2013 we tested still running OS X Mavericks, but in the meantime we have reached two generations later and OS X El Capitan, which again are necessary optimizations that the system more efficiently handle the hardware.

For a 15 “notebook with a high screen resolution and solid hardware that battery life is very good. You want an even longer battery life than Apple sells three other MacBooks last longer on a charge, but also have a smaller screen and less to be fast.
Conclusion

The cheapest 15 “-MacBook Pro will cost 2250 euros, and then you have the variant without AMD video card and a 256GB SSD. Compared to the previous generation, only the CPU and SSD become somewhat faster, although you will be in the practice soon see. So if you have a 15 “stand -MacBook Pro with Retina display, make the change so small that there is little reason to upgrade. That goes for the more expensive version we tested and equipped with a 500GB SSD and an AMD-R9 M370X graphics. Which video card is faster and offers the possibility to connect two 4k displays at 60Hz. Are you not going to make such screens, and you’re not the shy graphics speed, then there is little reason at this performance upgradeability.

Whether or not upgraded, a new MacBook Pro remains a major investment. For that you get a lot back, because the laptop is fast, sits firmly together and has a well calibrated screen with high resolution. There’s more, a long battery life of eight hours and a half in. However, be aware of the cost of upgrades, for it is high and afterwards the configuration is not adjustable.

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