MacBook Pro gets smokin’ fast Vega GPUs, and Apple’s super-secret return and exchange program, on The CultCast

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CultCast 363 MacBook Pro
If you're mad Apple released new GPUs after your 2018 MacBook Pro purchase, you may have an option you haven't considered.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: Did you know about Apple’s super-secret special return and exchange policy? We’ll tell you what it is, and how to use it if you’re unhappy with your Apple purchase but outside your 14-day return window. Plus: A quest to trade up — the stories of three MacBook Pro owners trying to get Apple to trade in their newly purchased 2018 MacBook Pros for models with the brand new, smoking-fast Vega 20 GPUs. And finally, and most importantly: Happy Thanksgiving!

Our thanks to Gantri for supporting this episode. Gantri’s 3D-printed lights are both beautiful and affordable. Check them out in AR at gantri.com/cultcast, and use code CultCast at checkout for $20 off.

2018 iPad Pro runs faster than some MacBook Pros

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One of these computers is faster than the other. Which it is will surprise you.
One of these computers is faster than the other. Which it is will surprise you.
Photo: Apple

Benchmark scores for the 2018 iPad Pro announced this week show that this tablet is faster than the 13-inch MacBook Pro released this summer.

Unfortunately, these same benchmark tests don’t clear up the some other mysteries about the new iPads.

5 things we didn’t get at Apple’s ‘More in the Making’ event

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The new iPads and Macs that have been in so many rumors will apparently be unveiled in less than two weeks.
While the Apple's October press event wasn't disappointing, not everything people had hoped for showed up.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s press event this morning was jam packed with new devices, including redesigned iPad Pros, an updated MacBook Air, and a faster Mac mini. But we still didn’t get everything we were expecting.

There were some notable absences from the ‘More in the Making’ event, and at least one glaring omission.

Mac sales declined in Q3, despite new MacBook Pros

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2018 MacBook Pro
Even the shiny new 2018 MacBook Pro models couldn't save Mac sales last quarter.
Photo: Apple

The third quarter of this year wasn’t a particularly good one for Apple, with Mac sales dropping a significant amount. That doesn’t say positive things about sales of the 2018 MacBook Pro models that debuted this summer.

Still, the company held onto its place as the world’s fourth-largest PC maker.

2018 MacBook Pro owners complain of crackling speakers

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Apple MacBook Pro keyboard
How’s the sound on your 2018 MacBook Pro?
Photo: Apple

Apple’s latest MacBook Pro lineup has bigger and better speakers than previous machines, but some users haven’t been enjoying improved sound.

Instead, they hear crackling when they play music or watch videos. The issue appears to be affecting both 13- and 15-inch devices, and it’s not yet clear what’s causing it.

Journey to a trillion, and a look at Apple’s troubled history, on The CultCast

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CultCast MacBook Pro
Apple's the most valuable company on earth, but it almost wasn't.

This week on The CultCast: The journey to a trillion! How did Apple become the most valuable company on earth? We discuss, and remember the company’s troubled history. Plus: Is the i9 MacBook Pro a total ripoff? One YouTube reviewer says yes, and his tests are convincing. We’ll fill you in. And stay tuned for the sad decline of MoviePass. Is the troubled movie service still worth it?

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2018 MacBook Pro performance, after the patch, on The CultCast

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CultCast MacBook Pro
Just how good is the 2018 MacBook Pro after Apple's patch?
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: Apple has issued a patch that significantly increases performance for all 2018 MacBook Pros, but there’s one glaring problem it doesn’t fix…. We talk benchmarks and real-world performance. Plus, we take a peek at the new HomePod features from iOS 12 beta, and we wrap up with your emails!

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% off your first hosting plan or domain.

Apple T2 chip might crash iMac Pro, MacBook Pro

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The Apple T2 chip could be the source of mysterious crashes afflicting two of Apple's newest computers.
The Apple T2 chip could be the source of mysterious crashes afflicting two of Apple's newest computers.
Photo: IFIXIT

Some iMac Pro units are subject to occasional hard crashes. The reasons are hard to pin down, but fingers are starting to point at the Apple T2 chip inside this computer. 

There’s also one in the 2018 MacBook Pro, and this new device is seemingly prone to the same problem.   

Apple issues thermal throttling fix for 2018 MacBook Pros

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2018 MacBook Pro
Apple just released a fix that will speed up every 2018 MacBook Pro, no matter the processor or screen size.
Photo: Apple

Ever since the debut of the 2018 MacBook Pro, there’s been controversy about the top-tier version suffering thermal throttling. Apple today apologized for this problem, and released a fix.

It also seems every version of the new Apple laptop will down-clock itself to prevent overheating. The slowdowns occur even when it’s not totally necessary to stop the machines from being damaged.

These 2018 MacBook Pro models are the best values

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2018 MacBook Pro
Figuring out which 2018 MacBook Pro is fastest or cheapest is easy. We puzzled out which offers the most bang for the buck.
Photo: Apple

You need a 2018 MacBook Pro, but there are a bunch of configurations to choose from, with the top model more than twice as expensive as the base one. Of course, Apple is asking you to pay extra for a faster processor, but is the additional cost worth it?

We took benchmarking scores for all the variations of the newest macOS laptop and divided them by the cost of each. The results might well surprise you.