MacBook Pro Buying Guide 2018: Which MacBook Pro Should You Buy?

MacBook Pro Buying Guide 2018: Which MacBook Pro Should You Buy?

Last month, Apple unveiled its mid-2018 MacBook Pro lineup featuring faster 8th generation Intel Core processors, oodles of RAM and storage, and other improvements. While the initial launch of the lineup was riddled with thermal controversy, Apple was able to solve them with a software update.

With all such issues now behind it, Apple’s 2018 MacBook Pro lineup is now definitely an attractive proposition for power users.

Apple now offers up to 32GB RAM, 4TB storage, and a 6-core i9 processor which makes the 2018 MacBook Pro lineup perfect for power users. However, not everyone needs that much power. While the top-of-the-line 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro packs a lot of power, it is definitely not meant for the average user.

If you are confused about which MacBook Pro to buy — the 13-inch or 15-inch variant, read our guide below which should help solve this dilemma of yours.

Read: MacBook Pro 2018 vs MacBook Pro 2017: What’s Changed?

Who Should Buy the 13-inch MacBook Pro with TouchBar

The 13-inch MacBook Pro now comes with a quad-core processor which is a huge step up from the dual-core processor which previous generations of the laptop shipped with. This switch alone ensures that the 2018 13-inch MacBook Pro offers a 100 percent performance improvement in most cases.

Unlike the 15-inch MacBook Pro though, the 13-inch MacBook Pro only comes with up to 16GB RAM and 1TB of storage. It also only comes with Intel’s Iris GPU and one cannot upgrade it to a dedicated AMD GPU. This effectively rules out the laptop for power users who are into heavy video and photo editing.

For pro-students and users with light video and photo editing requirements though, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is going to be just fine. The smaller size also means the laptop is going to be more portable to carry around than its 15-inch sibling.

Professional users with light photo/video editing requirements should consider upgrading their variant with 16GB RAM first. And post the RAM upgrade, if the budget permits, they should look to upgrade to a faster CPU. For students, the base variant with 8GB RAM is going to be just fine, though if they plan to keep the laptop around for at least 4-5 years, they should also consider bumping the RAM to 16GB.

Who Should Buy the 15-inch MacBook Pro with TouchBar

Even the base variant of the 15-inch MacBook Pro now comes with a 6-core Core i7 processor. The two additional cores compared to previous generations of the 15-inch MacBook Pro means the 2018 variant is going to be anywhere between 50-70 percent faster in most tasks. Along with a dedicated AMD GPU and up to 32GB RAM, the 15-inch MacBook Pro is perfect for professionals with heavy video and photo editing requirements.

For most heavy users, the base variant with the Core i7 processor is going to be enough. However, if you are in the production or film industry or if every minute saved while rendering videos counts for you, the high-end variant with the Core i9 CPU and a more powerful AMD GPU is the variant you should look at buying. Such users are also strongly recommended to upgrade the RAM on their model to 32GB for optimum performance.

The upgrade to a 4TB storage on the 15-inch MacBook Pro variant is exorbitantly expensive and not meant for everyone. Nonetheless, if you want a MacBook Pro with that much storage but are constrained by your budget, you can simply buy an external SSD. With read/write speeds of up to 500MB/s, an external SSD might be slower than the internal PCIe SSD used by Apple on its 2018 MacBook Pro lineup but the performance hit is not going to be severe.

Avoid Buying the non-TouchBar MacBook Pro

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Despite the heavy hype from Apple when it first introduced TouchBar with the 2016 MacBook Pro, there’s no denying the fact that the tech has failed to take off. Nonetheless, Apple has not updated its 13-inch non-TouchBar model this time around which means it still ships with an older 7th generation Kaby Lake dual-core processor. This means buying it is a strict no-no as it offers pretty poor value for money. If you are tight on budget though and the non-TouchBar variant is the one that suits your needs, you should consider waiting until Apple’s iPhone event in September where it might possibly unveil a $1,200 MacBook featuring Intel’s Kaby Lake processors.

This low-cost MacBook is expected sport a Retina Display and it will be a spiritual successor to the MacBook Air which continues to remain popular among young students due to its price, form factor, and performance.


Which MacBook Pro do you think is right for you? 13-inch or the 15-inch variant? Drop a comment and let us know below.