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Reader Question: Top-End 2018 MacBook Pro Screaming Deal?

See my in-depth review of the Apple 2018 MacBook Pro, the model discussed here and see also:

20198 MacBook Pro

Joe J writes:

Upgrading my 2012 MacBook Pro. Checking out a 2018 model

My photo software is Lightroom/Photoshop Classic -- stills, no video.

Do you recommend anything else? Will use your link for purchase.

DIGLLOYD: the $1699 2018 Apple MacBook Pro 2.9 GHz / 32GB / 2TB Radeon Pro 560X is a screaming deal at $1800 off and only $2699 (down from $4499, a huge value for the money. The value for the price relative to new models is outstanding.

View all deals on 2018 MacBook Pro 15-inch

View all 2019 MacBook Pro 15-inch

View all deals on MacBook Pro 13-inch

The 2019 MacBook Pro

Ignoring the cost for those who need every last bit of performance, the better choice is the 2019 Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch, which in summary:

  • 2019 16-inch model is better cooled (fans, airflow) so it can sustain a higher performance level for longer (because of better cooling, thermal throttling is much less of an issue). Performance is overall going to be up to 25% faster (more cores, less thermal throttling), but typically more like 10%, hardly noticeable. Thermal throttling (reduction of performance as clock speed is reduced) generally occurs after 30+ seconds of high CPU usage as on the graph.
  • 2019 16-inch model can be purchased with 64GB memory which may matter for some uses (really big files focus stacking, etc.
  • 2019 16-inch model has an improved keyboard (of no importance when used as desktop replacmennt).
  • 2019 16-inch model can be ordered with 8TB SSD
  • 2019 16-inch model with 8 core CPU is faster than 2018 model with 6-core CPU, but the difference is smaller than it seems due to clock speed.

In short, that 2019 MBP is a screaming deal so long as you don't need 10-15% better performance for sustained computation or 64GB memory or 8TB SSD.

Additions for all Thunderbolt 3 Macs

Recommended for the MacBook Pro models discussed above, as well as iMac 5K, iMac Pro, Mac mini.

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