This is one of 4 articles dedicated to Apple’s Macbooks:

1. How you can choose the best Macbook 12″
2. How to choose the best Macbook Air
3. How to choose the best Macbook Pro 13
4. How to choose the best Macbook Pro 15 (this article)

Who is the Apple Macbook Pro 15 ideal for?

1. Do you want one of the most powerful and most reliable laptops available on the market?
2. Do you want the most powerful Apple Macbook laptop currently available?
3. Do you want a laptop that’s excellent all around?

That’s the Apple Macbook Pro 15 for you.

It’s a laptop that’s solid, reliable, powerful, with an excellent battery life, an outstanding 15.4″ display, surprisingly powerful and accurate speakers, a great backlit keyboard and a top of its class trackpad.

What can the Apple Macbook Pro 15 do for you?

– Web browsing
– Office work (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.)
– Emails
– Listening to music
– Watching TV/movies from local files or streaming.
– Audio/photo/video/3D editing.
– Connecting multiple external 4K/5K monitors.
– Pretty much anything that you can think of.

Why choose the Apple Macbook Pro 15?

– Best CPU performance: The only Macbook with high frequency Intel Core i7 and i9, 8th gen Coffee Lake, Six-core CPUs.
– Dedicated video card in all models, boosting performance in apps with GPU acceleration.
– Secure: Touch ID reader: Unlocking the computer with your fingerprint.
– 2880 x 1800 display, maximum brightness of 500 nits, excellent color accuracy and viewing angles.
– True Tone display technology automatically adjusts white balance to match the color temperature of the surround light. Can be disabled.
– 16GB or 32GB of high-performance DDR4 2400MHz RAM memory.
– High-performance PCIe SSD storage makes your computer feel more responsive, boot and resume fast.
– It’s an Apple PC: mac OS, Siri, iCloud, many built-in apps, highly reliable, excellent customer service
– Excellent backlit keyboard with minimal light bleeding, great for typing
– The trackpad is outstanding, features a has a large surface area, with great multi-touch support
– Quiet: The fan is hardly audible, unless you push the CPU to 100% for a long time.
– Speakers can go surprisingly loud and actually offers a decent dynamic range, considering their size.
– Touch bar
– Touch ID sensor
– Long battery life: Up to 10 hours of web browsing
– Solid and great looking aluminum unibody chassis
– Solid screen hinge
– Bluetooth 5.0
– Latest generation 802.11ac WiFi
– 4x Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C ports: Integrates data transfer, charging, and video output in a single reversible connector, delivering up to 40 Gbps of throughput.
– Allows you to plug two 5K monitors, charge your Macbook from any port, reversible, compatible with existing devices using an adapter.
– 90 Days of Free Telephone Support from Apple
– Although Apple makes some odd choices sometimes, their customer service is excellent in the vast majority of cases.

Why you might not want the Apple Macbook Pro 15: Cons

– Most expensive Macbook: the Macbook Pro 13, the Macbook (12″, smallest) and Macbook Air are more affordable.
– You cannot add RAM, it’s soldered.
– You can’t upgrade the storage.
– Not as light and as thin as the lighter but less powerful Macbook Pro 13, Macbook and Macbook Air. Weighting in at 4 lbs and measuring 0.6″ thick, it’s still wonderfully lightweight for a laptop with a 15.4″ display that offers that much performance and is made out of metal.
– No card reader
– Adapters required for: USB Type-A ports, HDMI or LAN RJ-45. Consider a dock.
– No optical drive. You can get an external USB powered optical drive, if you want to.
– No Numpad
– 1 year warranty is surprisingly short for such a premium product.
– Getting used to macOS if you’ve never used it before.

How to Choose your Apple Macbook Pro 15

What you need to know:

What has changed on the Macbook Pro 15 Mid 2018 compared to the Macbook Pro 15 Mid 2017?

Up to 70% higher CPU performance, improved graphics, higher maximum RAM and storage capacity, True Tone, Apple T2 co-processor, more quiet and dust resistant keyboard

1. Massively higher performance CPU: You get the newer, higher performance, 8th generation Intel Core CPU architecture, Coffee Lake. With a move from a quad-core to a six-core CPU, Apple says that it offers a up to 70% performance improvement, thanks to having 50% more cores and higher boost frequencies – the top-end i9-8950HK goes up to 4.8GHz! So performance should be improved in all cases, even in those that can’t take advantage of the additional cores.
2. Upgraded Graphics: While the Mid 2017 model included either an AMD Radeon Pro 555 or 560 dedicated GPU, the Mid 2018 models comes with the newer AMD Radeon Pro 555X or 560X GPU. The biggest difference is that the Radeon Pro 555X comes with 4GB of dedicated memory, as opposed to 2GB for the Radeon Pro 555 non-X. Otherwise, the 555X and 560X are similar to the 555 and 560. You also get the Intel UHD Graphics 630, integrated in the CPU. The MacBook Pro is able to switch in between integrated and dedicated graphics, depending on what type of task is executed, to maximize battery life and performance based on your current usage.
3. Updated Bluetooth: You now get Bluetooth 5.0 instead of 4.2
4. True Tone: True Tone display technology automatically adjusts white balance to match the color temperature of the surround light. This can be disabled.
5. Updated coprocessor chip: Apple’s T2 brings support for “Hey Siri” which will allow you to invoke the digital assistant by speaking instead of hitting a specific key combo.
The T2 is also Apple’s SSD controller, so this means that the MBP 15 Mid-2018 is getting a SSD upgrade and it also means that said storage is now always encrypted.
6. A quieter and more dust resistant keyboard, protected by a thin silicone layer, as discovered by iFixit. According to them, “dust largely stays around the exterior of the new silicone shield, but particles can make their way past the barrier over time.” Keycaps are changed, making them easier to remove without breaking the mechanism.
MacRumors has leaked an internal document from Apple Authorized Service Providers confirming that the purpose of the keyboard membrane is to “prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism.” Note that Apple now offers a 4 years warranty on the keyboard of all Macbooks equipped with the older buttlerfly keyboard without that membrane.
7. You can now get up to 32GB of RAM.
8. You can now get up to 4TB of storage.
9. Support for the Blackmagic eGPU standalone external graphic unit. It comes with a Radeon Pro 580 graphics card with 8GB of video memory, with two Thunderbolt 3 and one HDMI output, allowing you to connect two external displays. It’s also a USB hub with four USB-A 3.1 ports and a charger with 85 watts of power delivery. It’s available directly from Apple.

The 5 differences between all the Macbook Pro Mid 2018:

1. Choose between three levels of CPU performance:

From the lowest to highest performance:
– Intel Core i7-8750H: Six-Core / 12 threads 2.2-4.1GHz
– Intel Core i7-8850H: Six-Core / 12 threads 2.6-4.3GHz
– Intel Core i9-8950HK: Six-Core / 12 threads 2.9-4.8GHz

Higher base and Turbo frequencies (GHz) mean higher performance.

2. Choose between four levels of graphic card performance

All models come with a dedicated AMD Radeon Pro graphic card.

There are four options available to you, in order of performance, from slowest to fastest:
1. AMD Radeon Pro 555X 4GB: 768 SPs, 12 compute units
2. AMD Radeon Pro 560X 4GB: 1024 SPs, 16 compute units
3. AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16 4GB: 1024 SPs, 16 compute units. Newer architecture, resulting in higher performance.
4. AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 4GB: 1280 SPs, 20 compute units. Newer architecture, resulting in higher performance.

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

On the other hand, if you do a lot of video editing, render 3D or play video games, higher-end models will give you better performance.

3. Choose between 16GB or 32GB of memory (RAM)

4GB_RAM_macbook_airYou have the choice between 16GB and 32GB of memory.

Is 16GB of RAM enough for you or do you want 32GB?

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

If you only use your MacBook to run a few basic programs at once, like email, some Excel, Word, a web browser, one heavy program and iTunes, 16GB is plenty of memory.

On the other hand, if you run multiple heavier programs (audio/photo/video/3D) at once, work with virtual machines, very large data files, like to multitask and have no time to lose, 32 GB is the wiser option.

If you intend on keeping your Macbook for many years, going with 32GB is a good idea, seeing as memory usage keeps increasing, with newer versions of programs using more and more memory.

Keep in mind that the memory is soldered in the Macbook computer, so you cannot add memory to upgrade your computer.

4. Five storage capacities:
256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB or 4TB

Unsure about how whether you want 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB or 4TB of storage?

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

Leave a comment at the end of this article if you have any questions.

5. Choose the color

The Apple Macbook Pro 15 is available either in Silver or Space Grey.

Apple Macbook Pro 15 Mid 2018

18 recommended CPU/RAM/GPU configurations:

From the least powerful to the most powerful model:

1. Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2-4.1GHz / 16GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro 555X 4GB:

Base-level CPU, 16GB RAM, with the base-level graphic card option

256GB storage: $2,199.00 at B&H
– 512GB
storage: $2,449.00 at B&H
– 1TB 
storage: $2,849.00 at B&H
– 2TB 
storage: $3,799.00 at B&H
– 4TB 
storage: $5,799.00 at B&H

Is it safe to buy a Mac from B&H Photo Video instead of the Apple Store? 

B&H Photo Video is an Authorized Apple Reseller. That means B&H has received authorization from Apple to sell Macs, iPods, etc. This is great for you because B&H prices are generally much lower than the Apple Store. Items ship promptly and you receive the same warranty as if you had made the purchase at the Apple Store. In fact, you still receive all the benefits of the Apple Store (classes, Genius Bar access, etc.) when you buy from B&H Photo Video. So really, the only difference between buying from B&H and the Apple Store is that with B&H you will probably save a lot of money!

2. Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2-4.1GHz / 16GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro 560X 4GB

Base-level CPU, 16GB RAM, with the 3rd best graphic card option

– 256GB storage: $2,499.00 at B&H See #5 below, you get twice the storage and a more powerful CPU.
– 512GB storage: $2,699.00 at B&H See #5 below, it’s less expensive and it has a more powerful CPU.
– 1TB storage:  $3,099.00 at B&H See #5 below, it’s less expensive and it has a more powerful CPU.
– 2TB
 storage: $3,899.00 at B&H
– 4TB
 storage: $5,899.00 at B&H

3. Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2-4.1GHz / 32GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro 555X 4GB:

Base-level CPU, 32GB RAM, with the base-level graphic card option

– 256GB storage: $2,799.00 at B&H
– 512GB
storage: $2,849.00 at B&H
– 1TB
storage: $3,249.00 at B&H
– 2TB 
storage: $4,199.00 at B&H
– 4TB 
storage: $6,199.00 at B&H

4. Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2-4.1GHz / 32GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro 560X 4GB

Base-level CPU, 32GB RAM, with the 3rd best graphic card option

– 256GB storage: $2,899.00 at B&H
– 512GB storage: $3,099.00 at B&H See #8 below, it’s less expensive and it has a more powerful CPU.
– 1TB storage:  $3,499.00 at B&H See #8 below, it’s less expensive and it has a more powerful CPU.
– 2TB storage: $4,299.00 at B&H See #8 below, it’s less expensive and it has a more powerful CPU.
– 4TB
 storage: $6,299.00 at B&H

5. Intel Core i7-8850H 2.6-4.3GHz / 16GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro 560X 4GB:

Mid-level CPU, 16GB RAM, with the 3rd best graphic card option

– 512GB storage: $2,499.00 at B&H
– 1TB 
storage: $3,049.00 at B&H
– 2TB 
storage: $3,999.00 at B&H
– 4TB 
storage: $5,999.00 at B&H

6. Intel Core i7-8850H 2.6-4.3GHz / 16GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16 4GB:

Mid-level CPU, 16GB RAM, with the 2nd best graphic card option

– 512GB storage: $3,049.00 at B&H
– 1TB storage: $3,449.00 at B&H
– 2TB storage: $4,249.00 at B&H
– 4TB storage: $6,249.00 at B&H

7. Intel Core i7-8850H 2.6-4.3GHz / 16GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 4GB:

Mid-level CPU, 16GB RAM, with the best graphic card option

– 512GB storage:$3,149.00 at B&H
– 1TB storage: $3,549.00 at B&H
– 2TB storage: $4,349.00 at B&H
– 4TB storage: $6,349.00 at B&H

8. Intel Core i7-8850H 2.6-4.3GHz / 32GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro 560X 4GB:

Mid-level CPU, 32GB RAM, with the 3rd best graphic card option

– 512GB storage: $3,049.00 at B&H
– 1TB
storage: $3,449.00 at B&H
– 2TB 
storage: $4,249.00 at B&H
– 4TB 
storage: $6,399.00 at B&H

9. Intel Core i7-8850H 2.6-4.3GHz / 32GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16 4GB:

Mid-level CPU, 32GB RAM, with the 2nd best graphic card option

– 512GB storage: $3,449.00 at B&H
– 1TB
storage: $3,849.00 at B&H
– 2TB 
storage: $4,649.00 at B&H
– 4TB 
storage: $6,649.00 at B&H

10. Intel Core i7-8850H 2.6-4.3GHz / 32GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 4GB:

Mid-level CPU, 32GB RAM, with the best graphic card option

– 512GB storage: $3,549.00 at B&H
– 1TB
storage: $3,949.00 at B&H
– 2TB 
storage: $4,749.00 at B&H
– 4TB 
storage: $6,749.00 at B&H

11. Intel Core i9-8950HK 2.9-4.8GHz / 16GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro 555X 4GB

Best CPU, 16GB RAM, with the base-level graphic card option

– 256GB storage: $2,799.00 at B&H
– 512GB storage: $2,999.00 at B&H See #8 below, it’s less expensive and it has more powerful graphics.
– 1TB storage:  $3,399.00 at B&H See #8 below, it’s less expensive and it has more powerful graphics.
– 2TB
 storage: $4,199.00 at B&H
– 4TB
 storage: $6,199.00 at B&H

12. Intel Core i9-8950HK 2.9-4.8GHz / 16GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro 560X 4GB

Best CPU, 16GB RAM, with the 3rd best graphic card option

– 256GB storage: $2,899.00 at B&H
– 512GB
storage: $2,949.00 at B&H
– 1TB
storage:  $3,349.00 at B&H
– 2TB
 storage: $4,299.00 at B&H
– 4TB
 storage: $6,299.00 at B&H

13. Intel Core i9-8950HK 2.9-4.8GHz / 16GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16 4GB

Best CPU, 16GB RAM, with the 2nd best graphic card option

– 512GB storage: $3,349.00 at B&H
– 1TB
storage:  $3,749.00 at B&H
– 2TB
 storage: $4,549.00 at B&H
– 4TB
 storage: $6,549.00 at B&H

14. Intel Core i9-8950HK 2.9-4.8GHz / 16GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 4GB

Best CPU, 16GB RAM, with the best graphic card option

– 512GB storage: $3,449.00 at B&H
– 1TB storage:  $3,849.00 at B&H
– 2TB
 storage: $4,649.00 at B&H
– 4TB
 storage: $6,649.00 at B&H

15. Intel Core i9-8950HK 2.9-4.8GHz / 32GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro 555X 4GB:

Best CPU, 32GB RAM, with the base-level graphic card option

256GB storage: $2,899.00 at B&H
– 512GB
storage: $3,399.00 at B&H
– 1TB 
storage: $3,649.00 at B&H
– 2TB 
storage: $4,599.00 at B&H
– 4TB 
storage: $6,599.00 at B&H

16. Intel Core i9-8950HK 2.9-4.8GHz / 32GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro 560X 4GB:

Best CPU, 32GB RAM, with the 3rd best graphic card option

– 256GB storage: $3,299.00 at B&H
– 512GB
storage: $3,349.00 at B&H
– 1TB
storage: $3,699.00 at B&H
– 2TB 
storage: $4,549.00 at B&H
– 4TB 
storage: $6,549.00 at B&H

17. Intel Core i9-8950HK 2.9-4.8GHz / 32GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16 4GB:

Best CPU, 32GB RAM, with the 2nd best graphic card option

– 512GB storage: $3,749.00 at B&H
– 1TB
storage: $4,149.00 at B&H
– 2TB 
storage: $4,949.00 at B&H
– 4TB 
storage: $6,949.00 at B&H

18. Intel Core i9-8950HK 2.9-4.8GHz / 32GB RAM / AMD Radeon Pro 560X 4GB:

Best CPU, 32GB RAM, with the best graphic card option

– 512GB storage: $3,849.00 at B&H
– 1TB
storage: $4,249.00 at B&H
– 2TB 
storage: $5,049.00 at B&H
– 4TB 
storage: $7,049.00 at B&H

What’s better on the Mid 2017 models compared to the Late 2016 models?

Faster CPU, improved integrated graphics, much faster storage

Upgraded CPU: You get the higher performance, 7th generation Intel Core CPU architecture, Kaby Lake.
Expect 10 to 20% more performance compared to the older models, depending on the specific CPU.
Upgraded Graphics: While the 2016 model included either an AMD Radeon Pro 450, 455 or 460 dedicated GPU, the 2017 model comes with the newer AMD Radeon Pro 555 or 560 GPU. While the 555 and 560 are pretty much a rebrand of the 455 and 460, at least the base models gets higher-end graphic performance.

You also get the Intel HD Graphics 630, integrated in the CPU. The MacBook Pro is able to switch in between integrated and dedicated graphics, depending on what type of task is executed, to maximize battery life and performance based on your current usage. Also new is hardware support for 10-bit 4K HEVC and 4K VP9 video, resulting in higher performance for 4K video and power savings with macOS High Sierra.

The 4 differences between all the Mid 2017 models:

1. Choose between three levels of CPU performance:

From the lowest to highest performance:
– Intel Core i7-7700HQ: Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.8-3.8GHz
– Intel Core i7-7820HQ: Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 2.9-3.9GHz
– Intel Core i7-7920HQ: Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading 3.1-4.1GHz

Higher base and Turbo frequencies (GHz) mean higher performance.

2. Choose between two levels of graphic card performance

All models come with a dedicated AMD Radeon Pro graphic card.

There are two options available to you:
1. Radeon Pro 555 2GB: 768 SPs, 12 compute units, peak performance of 1.3 Teraflop
2. Radeon Pro 560 4GB: 1024 SPs, 16 compute units, peak performance of 1.9 Teraflop

All two GPUs offer the same memory bandwidth of 81GB/s, though the top of the range Radeon Pro 560 offer twice the memory, at 4GB compared to 2GB for the Radeon Pro 555.

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

On the other hand, if you do a lot of video editing, render 3D or play video games, the higher-end 4GB Radeon Pro 560 will give you better performance.

With higher resolution footage (4K vs 1080p), you definitely want the 4GB Radeon Pro 560.

Also, if you plan on keeping your Macbook for many years, the 4GB Radeon Pro 560 is definitely more future-proof.

3. Four storage capacities:
256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB

Unsure about how whether you want 256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB of storage?

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

Leave a comment at the end of this article if you have any questions.

4. Choose the color

The Apple Macbook Pro 15 is available either in Silver or Space Grey.

Apple Macbook Pro 15 Mid 2017

2 recommended CPU/GPU configurations:

From the least powerful to the most powerful model:

1. Intel Core i7-7820HQ 2.9-3.9GHz / AMD Radeon Pro 560 4GB

Mid-level CPU with the best 4GB graphic card optionmacbook_pro_late_2016_article

– 512GB storage: $2,149.00 at B&H

2. Intel Core i7-7920HQ 3.1-4.1GHz / AMD Radeon Pro 560 4GB

Fastest CPU with the best 4GB graphic card option

– 1TB storage: $2,499.00 at B&H 
– 2TB storage: $2,999.00 at B&H

Apple Macbook Pro 15 Late 2016

Recommended configurations:macbook_pro_late_2016_article

256GB storage: Used: $1,494.95 at B&H
512GB storage: Used: $1,718.95 at B&H
2TB storage: Used: $2,238.95 at B&H

With CPU performance similar to the Mid 2017 entry-level Macbook Pro 15, along with 256GB, 512GB or 2TB of storage at a low price, this is a great deal if you want a modern Macbook at a low price.

Mid 2015 Apple Macbook Pro 15.4″ model:

Not a fan of the new models with USB Type-C ports only, or looking for a more affordable option? Then the Mid 2015 Macbook Pro is worth looking into.

I recommend one option, basically the most affordable one. If you need or want more performance or any of the features described below, get one of the newer models instead.
– Intel Core i7-4770HQ Quad-Core 2.2-3.4GHz: Refurbished or Used: – Click here to see the price on Amazon

Differences between the Late 2016 models and the Mid 2015 models:

  1. The late 2016 and newer models are definitely more portable than the mid 2015 models, as they are roughly half a pound lighter (4lbs vs 4.46lbs), 17% thinner (.6″ vs .7″), less wide by .3″ and less long by .2″.
  2. You get a much larger trackpad on the late 2016 and newer models, as well as the new 2nd-gen butterfly mechanism keyboard, similar to the ones on the Macbook 12″.
  3. Performance wise, they are equipped with 6th generation of Intel CPUs instead of the 4th generation, so at the same frequencies they are 10% faster, but you also get higher frequencies, so CPU performance is significantly higher on the new late 2016 Macbooks. Newer models are even faster, especially the Mid 2018 models with 6 cores CPUs!
  4. You get roughly 33% higher performance memory, with DDR3 2133MHz, compared to DDR3 1600MHz on the mid 2015 models.
  5. All late 2016 models come with new dedicated graphic cards, all of which are faster than the dedicated graphic card found in some mid 2015 models and definitely faster than integrated graphics on other mid 2015 models.
  6. Much brigther screen: The late 2016 screen can reach a much higher level of brightness, 500 nits, compared to 300 nits on the mid 2015 model.
  7. The new screen also get increased contrast ratio, delivering deeper blacks and brighter whites, as well as the P3 color gamut for more vivid colors!
  8. Despite the higher performance and brighter screen, you still get up to 10 hours of battery life, which is impressive from such an high performance laptop.
  9. Replacing the function keys in the top row of the keyboard, the Touch Bar places controls right at your fingertips and adapts to different apps to provide useful functions without having to navigate complex menus or memorize keyboard shortcuts.
  10. The power button has been upgraded to a TouchID sensor, allowing you to login with your fingerprint as well as make purchases with Touch ID using Apple Pay.
  11. Speakers: Twice the dynamic range and up to 58% more volume, with two and a half times louder bass.
  12. Ports: 4x ThunderBolt 3/USB Type-C ports on the late 2016 models, on the mid 2015 models you get a SDCX card reader, a HDMI output, 2x USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two ThunderBolt 2 ports and the MagSafe power connector.

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article on how you can choose the best Apple Macbook Pro 15 for your needs.

Do you have any feedback or any questions? Are you unsure which model is the best one for you?

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