My 6 unexpected conclusions about the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017

I’ve been looking at a large MacBook Pro for a long time. Which is the newest, with a thin case and keyboard.

The display was beckoning, but it was even more like the increased performance. Anyway, 13-inch “proshki” are weak on the graphics side, and for the main laptop this is a bad feature.

Do not grasp the head further. Because last week I made a trade-in and changed my 13-inch MacBook Pro 2017 to a basic 15-inch model. I could not resist and paid in addition to try the long-awaited device.

But I did not consider one.

13-inch “proshki” has always been more popular than a large model. The first are studied by the world to each cog. All their jambs have been discussed (and condemned) millions of times, including on our website. But the big Pro is bought much less often. Owners are not so much, and their voices are drowning in the groans of the crowd.

It turned out that the 15-inch MacBook Pro has problems . Not so serious as to abandon its purchase or regret that very trade-in. But the problems are still there .

I want you to know. Whether it is not enough.

The battery does not hold very long. 6-8 hours is real

Perhaps you have read the reviews and tests of major Western publications, in which the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017 works stunned 11 or even 13 hours.

Perhaps you looked at the capacity of the battery in a 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017, which is actually 2 times larger than the 13-inch model with the Touch Bar.

And, probably, you and I thought that the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017 will work one and a half to two times longer than the 13-inch model. And such all on a positive went to the store.

No, it almost never will work longer.

15-inch “proshka” 2017 runs on battery less than what you expect of it . I have a garbage-free system, practically nothing works in the background, such as “antiviruses” and all sorts of cleaners.

But I’ve never squeezed out of this laptop for more than 8 hours.

Yes, it’s about 1-2 hours longer than my former 13-inch Pro with Touch Bar gave out. But that model itself is known for a ridiculous battery and the desire to cut down as early as possible. For some reason I was expecting that I could really squeeze 10 hours out of the battery, which is 2 times larger in capacity and size.

In reality, we get approximately the following results:

  • I use Safari and a couple of messengers: 8 hours
  • using Chrome and messengers: 6 hours
  • I use Chrome and 5-7 programs like MS Office: 5 hours
  • I use more than 10 programs, including Photoshop: 4 hours

Not in vain has allocated Chrome, because of all Internet browsers it is he who differs incredible gluttony and disrespect to the batteries of any MacBook. But I have a job tied up on it, and there’s no Safari on Windows, which means that there is no cross-platform as such. I have to put up with it.

It’s not so much in Chrome, as in the most autonomous work of the laptop. I want to warn you about the danger of overstated expectations .

Many Western publications use automated tests of autonomous work, which include similar tasks. Either the browser is open, or the video is played, or the code is loaded, which loads all the cores of the processor.

In reality, working on a laptop means jumps of loads and a cloud of applications whose behavior in relation to the resources of the laptop does not predict any test. The 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017 is an excellent example.

I’m not going to change habits in order to make my big “beech” work much longer. And I do not know what to do 10 hours in Safari alone with minimal brightness – and call it work. I know one thing: expect from a 15-inch MacBook Pro 5-7 hours of operation. Not more.

And maybe fewer times. Because…

A discrete graphics card kills autonomy. An hour and a half. Yes.

One of the reasons to buy it is the 15-inch Pro 2017 – a separate (discrete) graphics card inside, which is several times more powerful than Intel’s built-in video chip. The users of any 13-inch “proshka” are forced to be satisfied with the latter.

The base model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017 is equipped with an Intel HD Graphics 630chip and a Radeon Pro 555 video card with 2 GB of memory . It actually doubles if it does not triple the graphics performance of the laptop – and not only in games, but also in the operating system macOS itself.

In this case, macOS itself determines which graphics subsystem it should use. If the tasks on the computer do not require high performance, then the built-in Intel HD Graphics works. As soon as it becomes difficult, Radeon Pro 555 is launched.

So, activation of a discrete video card instantly reduces battery life. Several times.

While Radeon is running, your 15-inch MacBook will only live 1.5 hours . Yes, I’m not kidding. One and a half hours of battery life, at best two and a half.

This fact puts a cross in the prospects of using a laptop as a powerful machine for 4K-video editing on a long journey or when working with demanding 3D-applications like MAYA or AutoCAD. This also applies to games.

It’s very strange that macOS does not allow you to manually choose which graphic subsystem should be used at a particular moment. In the system settings (Energy Saving), you can turn off the “Automatic Graphics Switching” option, but it simply turns off Intel HD Graphics and forces Radeon to always work. Then you can forget about autonomous work.

The only way to regain control of this parameter is to download the gfxCardStatus program . It is free, safe, open source, it was checked by millions of Pro-laptop owners.

After the installation in the status bar macOS will appear a menu where you can force macOS to use a specific graphics subsystem. And thereby decide what is more important to you: power or autonomous work.

However, keep in mind: Apple measures the autonomous operation of its laptops on an integrated, rather than a discrete video card. That’s why the official website does not say that the 15-inch MacBook Pro can work a miserable hour and a half.

4 ports in a 15-inch laptop – it’s pretty stupid

Despite the large diagonal, the new generation MacBook Pro has a smaller body size. It is only slightly larger than the old 13-inch models.

But on the side faces they still have a lot of space. From here, personally, I already had a logical question on the second day. And why is it so empty?

I can understand that Apple has few ports in small laptops. It’s just hard to get them out when the body volume is so small. But when in the 15-inch tank only 4 miserable USB-C – is how to understand?

Could put at least a card reader. Or another pair of USB-C ports, why not. Or an output for HDMI, at least its micro-version. It’s a flagship laptop. For serious tasks and the same people.

Alas, here are 4 ports. Located so close that some cables or docks just do not insert next . And let me have long loved the USB Type-C and switched to it virtually without adapters. But the bare boards in the laptop for 175 thousand rubles – it’s strange.

I thought that with the trade-in definitively I would refuse the home PC on Windows. But for a couple of years it’s better to have a 50-port omnivorous tank at home than to face the impossibility of connecting something once.

He gets very hot. Very much

I already mentioned that in a 15-inch MacBook Pro is a discrete graphics card that devours energy as not in itself. But even if it does not activate, with high processor loads, this Mac model starts to get very hot.

I can not measure the exact figures, but from the very deepened Western reviews I became convinced that I did not seem to.

The upper part of the lower half of the laptop is very hot. Just in the zone where the processor and video card on the motherboard are located. Together with them, the fan starts to make noise. It’s good that he is not very loud, and even at 100% load on everything he screams not so that it was impossible to work.

The heat creeps up from the top down the keyboard, and if the touchpad is almost always cold, then the half of the keyboard is warmed up be healthy. You can still print, but you can not put your hands on it.

Heat is blown from the ducts located almost on the bottom panel. One of them is well located along the far edge. You can easily guess where the first 80 degrees of heat rush.

Knees and legs are hot, hands are hot – in short, it’s better to torture this laptop on the table, otherwise you will not have children. But it will be good in the winter. I remembered straight away how my (and this infamous) MacBook Air of 2008 was bashfully heated.

But the 15-scale is powerful, it does not take away from it. Here either checkers, or go.

From a huge touchpad no more benefit than from the usual

The first thing you notice when you open the 15-shku – the touchpad is simply gigantic. I can put my whole hand on it horizontally.

It’s not because it really needs someone. Simply, Apple decided so, well, it looks more logical than a small platform in the old 15-inch MacBook Pro.

On the big touchpad, nothing new can be done, which would not have been possible on the 13-inch model. It’s good that the entire surface is pressed equally, because it would be uncomfortable to drag down from the keyboard.

By the way, about the clave. It tactile is no different from the 13-inch version. Therefore, I suspect that over time it will start to stupid, like everyone else. However, in general, I’m very pleased with the keys, I print much faster.

That’s just worth remembering that now because of the larger area of ​​the laptop the keyboard is far away from the hands. Beech has to move closer. Or stretch a little further. This is generally not a complaint, but only an observation.

But after the 15-inch model does not want a 13-inch Pro

A week has passed since I use this laptop. And, despite all the disadvantages, I’m very pleased.

Not because I was blinded by Apple, or pray for the portrait of Tim Cook in the morning. Simply, he is really more powerful than my “trinashki” in everything.

The animation and brake lags disappeared with a pile of tabs in the browser. I can actually do several tasks at once without any apparent performance damage: for example, batch processing 40 RAW-windows in Photoshop, listening to the YouTube background and sitting in Chrome in a heap of tabs.

I forgot to say that in 15-inch models are not dual-core Intel processors, but quad-core ones. And not Core i5, but Core i7. And 16 GB of RAM instead of 8.

On the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017 you can actually play games . Even the modern ones. Super graphics do not wait, but the normal number of frames is easy. I’m not a fan of games on the computer, but the idea warms my soul, and everything that did not go on my last “trinad” is played perfectly.

It’s a pity that now Windows can not normally be installed via Bootcamp, you have to format the disk and install the system from scratch. Here more.

And if you buy a similar Mac, you’d better pay for the model with 512 GB of memory. There will be a processor slightly more powerful (quite a bit), and the video card is much steeper (4 GB).

And it’s sad that you can not configure such a 15-shku without Touch Bar. That’s what nafig does not need. It would be better to stick a larger battery.

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