Apple MacBook Pro (2016) vs. MacBook Pro (2015): What's the difference? - somethingcreativ
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Apple MacBook Pro (2016) vs. MacBook Pro (2015): What’s the difference?

MacBook Pro

10 Mar Apple MacBook Pro (2016) vs. MacBook Pro (2015): What’s the difference?

So it’s time for an upgrade to kit in the studio, as a designer, the MacBook Pro is core to my business. It’s the tool with which I create all my work on, aided by Adobe Creative Suite software. Therefore I’ll be comparing the top spec models to replace our current MacBook Pro 15-inch Retina Intel Core i7 2.6GHz/8GB/512GB (2012).


I’ll be looking at the comparisons of the NewMacBook Pro 15-inch Retina Quad i7 2.7GHz/16GB/512GB (2016) verses the MacBook Pro 15-inch Retina Quad i7 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB (2015) before making our purchase (you can also configure both these Mac’s to use a faster processor and larger a hard drive).


The older model doesn’t come with the OLED touch strip, so if you’re on a budget, then not upgrading to the latest version could be in your favour. However, the MacBook Pro (2016) also brings better graphics and streamlined connections.



Both are made from aluminium, which is milled, drilled using CNC machining, laser pierced and then anodized to create beautifully finished product. The 2016 version comes in a choice of colours, Silver or Space Grey (we’re personally liking the Space Grey as a change after using Silver MackBooks for the past 12 years).


The other key differences over the previous model are the Touch Bar with an integrated Touch ID sensor. It’s an OLED strip that sits at the top of the keyboard, where the standard function keys normally go and the larger track pad. It also weighs 0.21kg less and is slightly smaller in all dimensions.



Both models offer same resolution, 15.4-inch LED-backlit IPS display with 2880 x 1800-pixel resolution (220ppi). Although with the MacBook Pro (2016) being brighter with better contrast and colour, plus is apparently more power efficient.



Both models and sizes claim to offer 10 hours of web play.

The MacBook Pro (2016) 15-inch offers a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM, Radeon Pro 450 with 2GB of GDD55 memory and Intel HD Graphics 530, and built-in 76.0Wh battery compared to the MacBook Pro (2015) 15-inch offering a 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM, Intel Iris Pro Graphics, and built-in 99.5Wh battery.

Therefore, the MacBook Pro (2016) offers much-improved graphics capabilities, so it’s no surprise that the 2016 models will outperform the 2015 models.


Connections and ports

This is where a lot has been written, on the MacBook Pro (2016) Apple have ditched all the old ports in favour of Thunderbolt 3 ports and there’s not even an SD card slot anymore. The new model now has four Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C design) ports, which can handle charging, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.1. Whereas the MacBook Pro (2015) as my current model comes with MagSafe 2 for power, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, two USB 3 ports, an HDMI port, and SD card slot. Both models also have a 3.5mm headphone jack.


Therefore the MacBook Pro (2016) has streamlined everything and this could be off putting, or as I’m now looking at it, is buying a few adapters so much hassle to keep up to date? I remember a similar thing happened last time I upgraded, there was no internal DVD player, so I had to go and buy one to take on trips. Then more recently when the iPhone and iPad Charger changed some complained, but now it’s the norm. The Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter is £29.00 and the USB-C to USB adapter is £9.00. So if plugging in an SD card matters to you, and you don’t like USB Type-C, stick with the MacBook Pro (2015). Alternatively I looked at a Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station as an option so you don’t have all the wires going into your Mac like before and looks better on your desk, but it is the more costly option.



The NewMacBook Pro 15-inch Retina Quad i7 2.7GHz/16GB/512GB (2016) with Touch Bar is £2,699. The MacBook Pro 15-inch Retina Quad i7 2.5GHz/16GB/512GB (2015) is £2169.00. It’s worth adding on the additional AppleCare Protection Plan, but this will bump up the price further too!



After looking at all the options, I’ve decided to go with the New model, there is a price difference but we think it’s worth it and watch this space to see if it lives up to the expectations!