Apple’s New MacBook Pros Go Up to Core i9, 32GB of RAM

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has listened to its users. The company today announced new MacBook Pros. While the 13-incher is a step up, real professionals will be wowed by the 15-incher.

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Row 0 - Cell 0 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
CPU8th Gen Intel Core i5 and Core i7 (quad-core)8th Gen Intel Core i7 and Core i9 (hexa-core)
GPUIntel Iris Plus 655AMD Radeon Pro 555X or 560X (4GB GDDR5)
RAMUp to 16GBUp to 32GB
StorageUp to 2TBUp to 4TB
PortsThunderbolt 3 (4x)Thunderbolt 3 (4x)
eGPU  CompatibleYesYes
Display13.3-inch, 2560 x 160015.4-inch, 2880 x 1800
Size   12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches13.8 x 9.5 x 0.6 inches
Weight3.02 pounds4.02 pounds
Starting Price$1,799$2,399

The 15-inch MacBook Pro will start at a hefty $2,399 and use either a hexa-core Intel Core i7 or Core i9 processor going up to 2.9 GHz with Turbo Boost running up to 4.8GHz. Unlike the last generation of  MacBook Pros, these will go up to 32GB of DDR4 memory and will feature Radeon Pro discrete graphics with 4GB of VRAM. It will support up to 4TB of SSD storage. The display will use Apple’s True Tone technology, which changes color temperature based on your environment. And yes, the Touch Bar and Touch  ID are back, this time powered by Apple’s T2 chips. This is the model pros doing 3D rendering, video editing, running virtual machines or other workstation tasks will want.

The 13-inch version starts at $1,799 and uses either quad-core Core i5 or Core i7 processors up uto 2.7 GHz (4.5 GHz on Turbo Boost). It will use Intel Iris Plus 655 integrated graphics and allow up to 2TB of SSD storage. Like the 15-inch version, the 13-incher will use True Tone, the Touch Bar, Touch ID and the T2 co-processor. The T2 processor also allows for "Hey, Siri" compatibility, making these the first MacBooks that don't need a keyboard shortcut to activate the digital assistant.

Additionally, Apple has updated the keyboard on the MacBook Pro. This one should make typing quieter, though there doesn’t seem to be any claims about increased reliability despite the recent repair program the company announced for switches going back to 2015.

Both laptops still use Thunderbolt 3 for data transfer, so you’ll have to deal with dongles. Despite complaints for pros, there are no USB Type-A ports, SD card slots, DisplayPort or HDMI outputs.

Both machines are eligible for Apple’s new back-to-school promotion, beginning today, which includes a pair of Beats headphones with eligible MacBook Pros for college students. These laptops only replace the most expensive models, though, so the cheaper options still use 7th Gen Intel Core i processors (including the popular 13-inch model without the Touch Bar).

Professionals were vocal about the last generation of MacBook Pros, lamenting that Apple wasn’t offering enough power. This year, we’ll see if Apple can win them back. Apple is also at work on a new, modular Mac Pro that is scheduled for a 2019 release.

We’re looking forward to getting these new MacBooks on our test bench to see just how much more powerful they are in person.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon

  • kaoboykong
  • kaoboykong
    Allow me to better rephrase my previous comment: Coming from a professional 3d animator and a Multimedia Artist background, this laptop is a big LOL.
  • AgentLozen
    I don't have a multimedia artist background and I don't have any experience in 3D animation so could you explain what makes this laptop LOL worthy?
  • Rdslw
    and you will still have 500$ for lightweight small 10' inch to work from afar, while keeping the heat and battery drain away.
  • Rakanyshu
    I guess he means he can get another laptop with better graphics and more ram for the same money or a little less. maybe a razer blade pro or similar.
  • chrisITguy
    AgentLozaen, to add some clarity here.

    The reason these laptops are LOL worthy are due to the internal components are already marked up with a hefty premium just to purely being in a Apple product. If we look at the specs, it's even more LOL. For example, they mention "The 13-inch version starts at $1,799 and uses either quad-core Core i5 or Core i7 processors up uto 2.7 GHz (4.5 GHz on Turbo Boost)." 2.7 GHZ is across all cores where as 4.5 Turbo is ONE CORE. That's just thermal limitation working. Also, 2.7 GHZ is extremely slow.

    For content creators, this is a big no. As you want more cores working as fast as possible. The desktop (full size CPU) of the 8th gen i7 is 6 cores(hexacore) as opposed to the scaled down 4 here. The desktop also sports a base frequency roughly 1GHZ faster than the *up to* speed in this laptop.

    Basically, paying more for Apple + mobility add on. Content creators really need something better.
  • milkod2001
    The biggest issue is that you don't have MacOS compatibility with your apps right? Because 6 core i9, 32 GB ram, fast m2. SSD should move anything quite well.
  • caustin582
    At first I was scratching my head over the "8th gen 6-core i9" CPU in the 15 inch version, seeing as how 1) all the i9 CPUs I've ever heard of had at least 10 cores, and 2) Coffee Lake doesn't even have an i9 in its current lineup. But apparently Intel made one mobile 8-series i9, the 8950HK, although its stats mostly line up with the desktop 8700 (non-K).
  • michael.tuffli
    Lort, at those prices they should *include* a solid eGPU unit.
  • kaoboykong
    For content creators, you could get better performance on a laptop with a gtx 1060, compared to the radeon pro 560x. Props to their engineering capabilities for squeezing in a i9 with 32gb ram capabilities, but for the price tag of $2,400 it is not worth it.