2018 MacBook Pro: the good, the great, the ugly — this week on The CultCast

By

CultCast 2018 MacBook Pro
The new MacBook Pros are shockingly fast.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: The 2018 MacBook Pro is both a beauty and a beast. In fact, it’s one of the most exciting MBP refreshes in years. We’ll tell you why.

Then: A popular tech reviewer warns that the 15-inch MacBook Pro’s i9 processor upgrade suffers a major flaw; Apple quietly updates MacBook Pro’s keyboard to be more reliable; and we pitch you our favorite new gear and gadgets in an all-new Under Review!

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. It’s simple to accept Apple Pay and sell your wares with your very own Squarespace website. Enter offer code CultCast at checkout to get 10 percent off your first hosting plan or domain.

Episode

CultCast #345 – 2018 MacBook Pro: The good, the great, the UGLY.

Subscribe on iTunes

Our Twitters, if you please:
@erfon / @lewiswallace / @lkahney

2018 MacBook Pro performance shows dramatic improvement

  • The 15- and 13-inch MacBook Pro models launching this week boast significantly faster processors. Tests with the Geekbench benchmarking tool show speed increases as high as 86 percent.
  • The improvements come from faster Turbo Burst frequencies and more processor cores.
  • “For the 15-inch models, single-core performance is up 12-15%, and multi-core performance is up 39-46%
  • “For the 13-inch models, single-core performance is up 3%-11%, and multi-core performance is up 81%-86%

2018 MacBook Pro review roundup: Apple unleashes a speed demon

  • Majorly faster CPU
  • Much faster SSDs
  • Faster DD4 RAM
  • CPU:
    • John Poole from Geekbench: “The 2018 MacBook Pro is the most substantial upgrade (at least regarding performance) since the introduction of the quad-core processors in 2011 MacBook Pro,”
    • Photography Austin Mann did to covert a 4K Mavic Pro video file to 1080p H.265 (HEVC) using QuickTime Player.
    • 2013 MBP with 16GB RAM = 33 minutes
    • Maxed out 2016 MBP = 99 seconds
    • Maxed out 2018 MBP = 24 seconds
  • SSD
    • Laptop Mag: “It’s rare that I don’t believe the results coming out of our lab, but in this case I had to do a double take,” explains Mark. It took the system just 2 seconds to duplicate 4.97GB worth of files, which translates to 2,519 megabytes per second
  • TrueTone:
    • TechCrunch: “I have two 15-inch MacBooks in front of me right now (that’s just how I roll), and it’s like night and day. You’ve got no idea how blue the screen you’ve been staring at is until you see it up against another True Tone-enabled display.”
  • The most expensive laps Apple’s ever made.

Teardown reveals MacBook Pro keyboard is redesigned to prevent keys sticking

  • Apple made potential buyers of the new MacBook Pro models very nervous when it said no effort had been made to fix the problems plaguing the keyboards in earlier versions.
  • They even told the Verge that, though it made the Keyboard quieter, the keyboard was constructed to address the myriad issues they say are affecting only “a tiny” fraction of users.
  • But, IFIXIT took apart they keyboard of the new 2018 MacBook Pro, and discovered “Apple has cocooned their butterfly switches in a thin, silicone barrier”
  • And as it turns out, Apple has a patent for just this kind of debris cover…

Beware serious thermal throttling with new Core i9 MacBook Pro

  • No good deed goes unpunished
  • Early tests have revealed that the i9 chip in Apple’s new MBP suffers severe thermal throttling under heavy loads, which dramatically reduces its clock speed and performance.
  • Dave Lee from Youtube has tests illustrating the issue.
  • He did a render in Adobe Premiere that took the MBP 39 minutes to complete. In that test he monitored the CPU speed temp and saw that the chip was being throttled to BELOW base clock speed just to stay cool.
  • In his tests, Lee found that it averaged at around 2.2GHz with a temperature of 90°C.
  • So he tried the test again, this time with his MacBook Pro in… the freezer.
  • This time, the same test, which took 39 minutes before, took only 27 minutes. That’s a 44% improvement…
  • Not just Apple’s fault
  • There are other laptops on the market that use this chip, and they snuggle to keep the chip cooled as well. But most of these machines are beefier with better ventilation.

Apple won’t give your older MacBook an improved keyboard

  • Unfortunately for existing MacBook and MacBook Pro owners, Apple won’t fit its newer 3rd gen butterfly keyboard into older machines — not even if yours is in need of repair.
  • Earlier machines will be repaired with the same keyboard components they originally shipped with. Apple does not offer the option to upgrade for a fee, either. Only the 2018 MacBook Pro will get the new design if a repair is required.

Apple: Recall MacBook Pro w/ Defective Keyboard, Replace with DIFFERENT Working Keyboard

Under Review!

Nanoleaf Remote

Camelbak Chute