Apple today announced speed bumps to the 15" and 13" Touch Bar MacBook Pro models, including an 8 core model for the first time. The keyboards get an update as well, but the prices for the models remain the same. They have also announced extra repair cover for existing models with butterfly keyboard mechanisms.
We thought that Apple would invoke radio silence during the run up to WWDC in a few weeks. Not so. Maybe they are clearing the way for a spectacular new Mac Pro launch possibly, but these speed bumps for MacBook Pros caught us slightly off-guard. Apple updated the MBPs with Vega GPUs in October and there was a previous processor update back in July of last year. Not a bad refresh schedule.
Speed bumps are always welcome though and two things to point out before we progress, the GPU specs and the prices of the MacBook Pros haven't changed. Also the new models are available to order now and they should also start appearing in the stores later on this week.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro now features faster 6 and 8-core Intel Core processors, delivering Turbo Boost speeds up to 5.0 GHz, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar features faster quad-core processors with Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.7 GHz.
“Whether it’s college students mastering a course of study, developers building world-class apps or video editors creating feature films, we’re constantly amazed at what our customers do with their MacBook Pro,” said Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac Product Marketing. “Now with 8-core processors for an incredible performance boost, along with its stunning Retina display, fast storage, all-day battery life and running macOS, MacBook Pro continues to be the world’s best pro notebook and we can’t wait to get it into our customer’s hands to see what they do next.”
So what does that mean in real terms for us video editors?
As an example, the new MacBook Pro with 8-core processors is up to two times faster, so you'll be able to edit up to 11 simultaneous multi-cam streams of 4K video in Final Cut Pro X. If you were wondering, the previous 6-core model could only manage 9. You will need fast storage attached though!
Photoshop should run up to 75 percent faster. No benchmarks for the other Pro Apps from Apple or Adobe and we note that the tests were carried out with 32GB of RAM installed on the 15" and 16GB on the 13.
The butterfly keyboards on both models have also been improved to better the no-make and double-make problems some users have experienced.
Apple has also indicated that all machines with a butterfly keyboard whether in or out of warranty will now be covered under their repair program. They have also pledged to reduce the time needed for keyboards to be fixed in Apple Stores.
So a great update for pro users, you can never have enough speed, especially as a lot of editors are now editing exclusively in 4K.
We now wait for WWDC with anticipation. (Extra marks if you got the Frank N Furter pause in there.)