This is one of 5 articles dedicated to Apple’s Macbooks:

1. How you can choose the ideal Macbook 12″
2. How to choose the best Macbook Air 11.6″
3. How to choose the best Macbook Air 13.3″
4. How to choose the best Macbook Pro 13.3″
5. How to choose the best Apple 15.4″ Macbook Pro (this article)

Who is the 15.4″ Apple Macbook Pro ideal for?

Anyone who wants a laptop that’s solid, powerful, with an excellent battery life, great backlit keyboard and trackpad and the highest CPU performance available in an Apple Macbook.

The 15.4″ Macbook Pro, Retina display, solid, reliable, .7″ thick and 4.46lbs.

What is the 15.4″ Apple Macbook Pro good for?

  • Web browsing
  • Office work (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.)
  • Emails
  • Listening to music
  • Watching TV/movies from local files or streaming. The HDMI port allows you to connect your HDTV to it.
  • Audio/photo/video editing. Are you a pro working with heavy video files? I recommend the 15.4″ Macbook Pro with the dedicated AMD Radeon R9 370X 2GB.

Why do you want the Apple 15.4″ Macbook Pro: Pros

  • Outstanding display: 2880 x 1800 15.4″ Retina display, with an IPS panel for accurate colors and great viewing angles.
  • 16GB of RAM memory.
  • Best performance of all the Macbook: High frequency quad-core CPUs, 16GB of RAM and high-performance PCI-Express flash storage
  • Good amount of ports: 2x USB 3.0, two ThunderBolt 2 (Mini DisplayPort via Thunderbolt port), 1x HDMI, SDXC card reader and a combo audio jack.
  • Dedicated video card (AMD Radeon R9 M370X) available on some higher-end models.
  • It’s an Apple computer: Mac OS X, Time Machine backup (automatically backs up system data to an external hard drive), many built-in apps, highly reliable, excellent customer service
  • Excellent keyboard, great for typing
  • Backlit keyboard
  • High-end performance storage makes your computer feel more responsive.
  • Very quiet: The fan is hardly audible, unless you push the CPU to 100% for a long time.
  • Long battery life: Up to 10 hours of web browsing
  • Solid chassis: All-aluminum unibody
  • Solid screen hinge
  • Excellent Force Touch trackpad, with great multi-touch support
  • MagSafe power connector which automatically detaches from your laptop if you pull on it, preventing your Macbook from accidentally falling if you trip on the power cord.
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Latest generation 802.11ac WiFi
  • The SSD storage can be upgraded if you have the right tool, don’t mind following a guide to disassemble your Macbook Pro and a guide to copy your data.

Why you might not want the Apple 15.4″ Macbook Pro: Cons

  • Expensive: Starting at $1799.99; the Macbook Pro 13.3″, the Macbook Air and the Macbook are more affordable.
  • Not as light and as thin as the Macbook and Macbook Air: 4.46 lbs and 0.7″ thick. Still fairly lightweight for laptop that offers that much performance and is made out of metal.
  • No LAN port. You can a USB adapter for 10/100 speed, or a Thunderbolt adapter for Gigabit speed.
  • No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
  • No Numpad

How to Choose your Apple 15.4″ Macbook Pro

What you need to know:

All mid 2015 models have this in common:

Dimensions: Height: 0.7″/ 1.8cm, Width: 14.1″/35.8cm, Depth: 9.7″/24.6cm
Weight: 4.46 lbs (2.02kg)
RAM (Memory): 16GB DDR3L 1600MHz
Screen: 2880 x 1800 15.4″ Retina display, with an IPS panel for accurate colors and great viewing angles.
Storage: High performance PCI-Express based SSDs (Solid State Drive) storage. This offers you a better computer experience because it responds to your inputs much more quickly. Programs launch far more quickly, the Operating System starts in seconds and resumes from sleep instantaneously. No noise, no vibration, higher reliability and higher resistance to shocks. See the SSD FAQ for more details on SSDs.
Ports: 2x USB3.0 (A), 2x ThunderBolt 2 (Mini DisplayPort via Thunderbolt port), 1x HDMI, SDXC card reader, 3.5mm combo jack
Networking: 802.11ac 2×2:2, Bluetooth 4.0
Battery: Up to 10 hours
OS: Mac OS X Yosemite or El Capitan: free upgrade to macOS Sierra, with many built-in apps. Windows through Bootcamp, if needed.

The 3 differences between all the models:

1. Choose between three levels of CPU performance:

From the lowest to highest performance:
– Intel Core i7-4770HQ Crystalwell, Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.2-3.4GHz
– Intel Core i7-4870HQ Crystalwell, Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.5-3.7GHz
– Intel Core i7-4980HQ Crystalwell, Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-4.0GHz

The difference is in the base and Turbo clock frequencies (speed). Higher frequencies (GHz) mean higher performance.

2. Three storage capacities:
256GB, 512GB or 1TB (1024GB)

Unsure about how whether you want 256GB, 512GB or 1TB (1024GB) of storage?

Read our article on How to choose the right SSD storage capacity and pay less for your computer to figure it out.

3. Choose between an integrated or a dedicated video card

You have the choice between the integrated Intel Iris Pro 5200 or the dedicated AMD Radeon R9 M370X 2GB.

Do I need the dedicated AMD Radeon R9 M370X video card?

It depends on what you intend to do with your Macbook Pro.

If you only use your MacBook Pro to run basic programs, such as Office and/or image editing, the integrated video card is fine.

On the other hand, if you do some video editing or play video games, the dedicated AMD Radeon R9 M370X is the wiser option.

The Apple 15.4″ Macbook Pro:
The 9 recommended configurations

1. Intel Core i7-4770HQ 2.2-3.4GHz, Intel Iris Pro 5200, 256GB storage
Click here to see the price on Amazon
$1799.99 at B&H (International Shipping)
$1799.99 at Newegg

– Intel Core i7-4770HQ Crystalwell, Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.2-3.4GHz
– Intel Iris Pro 5200
– 256GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage

A good choice if you want a Macbook Pro 15 at the lowest price possible.

2. Intel Core i7-4870HQ 2.5-3.7GHz, Intel Iris Pro 5200, 256GB storage
$1999.00 at B&H (International Shipping)

– Intel Core i7-4870HQ Crystalwell, Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.5-3.7GHz
– Intel Iris Pro 5200
– 256GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage

Faster CPU than the base model.

3. Intel Core i7-4980HQ 2.8-4.0GHz, Intel Iris Pro 5200, 256GB storage
$2294.00 at B&H (International Shipping)

– Intel Core i7-4980HQ Crystalwell, Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-4.0GHz
– Intel Iris Pro 5200
– 256GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage

A good choice if you want the highest performance CPU at the lowest price possible.

4. Intel Core i7-4870HQ 2.5-3.7GHz, AMD Radeon R9 370X 2GB, 512GB storage
Click here to see the price on Amazon
$2299.00 at B&H (International Shipping)
$2289.00 at Newegg

– Intel Core i7-4870HQ Crystalwell, Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.5-3.7GHz
– AMD Radeon R9 M370X Graphics (2GB GDDR5)
– 512GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage

This is the least expensive Macbook Pro 15 with the AMD Radeon R9 370X 2GB dedicated video card.

5. Intel Core i7-4980HQ 2.8-4.0GHz, Intel Iris Pro 5200, 512GB storage
$2479.00 at B&H (International Shipping)

– Intel Core i7-4980HQ Crystalwell, Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-4.0GHz
– Intel Iris Pro 5200
– 512GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage

Compared to the model above, you get a faster CPU, but an integrated video card,

6. Intel Core i7-4980HQ 2.8-4.0GHz, AMD Radeon R9 370X 2GB, 512GB storage
$2694.00 at B&H (International Shipping)

– Intel Core i7-4980HQ Crystalwell, Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-4.0GHz
– AMD Radeon R9 M370X Graphics (2GB GDDR5)
– 512GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage

Compared to the model above, you get the same highest performance CPU available in any Macbook and the dedicated video card.

7. Intel Core i7-4870HQ 2.5-3.7GHz, Intel Iris Pro 5200, 1TB storage
$2849.00 at B&H (International Shipping)

– Intel Core i7-4870HQ Crystalwell, Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.5-3.7GHz
– Intel Iris Pro 5200
– 1TB PCIe-Based Flash Storage

This is the least expensive model with 1TB of storage. You get the second fastest CPU and an integrated video card.

8. Intel Core i7-4980HQ 2.8-4.0GHz, Intel Iris Pro 5200, 1TB storage
$2899.00 at B&H (International Shipping)

– Intel Core i7-4980HQ Crystalwell, Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-4.0GHz
– Intel Iris Pro 5200
– 1TB PCIe-Based Flash Storage

Compared to the model above, you get the highest performance CPU available in any Macbook, the Intel Core i7-4980HQ Crystalwell, Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-4.0GHz. Still integrated video card.

9. Intel Core i7-4980HQ 2.8-4.0GHz, Intel Iris Pro 5200, 1TB storage
$3194.00 at B&H (International Shipping)

– Intel Core i7-4980HQ Crystalwell, Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-4.0GHz
– AMD Radeon R9 M370X Graphics (2GB GDDR5)
– 1TB PCIe-Based Flash Storage

If you want nothing but the best, this is it. This is the highest-end configuration available for the Apple 15.4″ Macbook Pro, with the Intel Core i7-4980HQ Crystalwell, Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-4.0GHz CPU, the AMD Radeon R9 M370X Graphics (2GB GDDR5) dedicated video card and 1TB of PCIe-Based Flash Storage.

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article on how you can choose the ideal Apple 15.4″ Macbook Pro.

Do you have any feedback or any questions? Are you unsure which Apple 15.4″ Macbook Pro is the best one for you?

Please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.