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2018 MacBook Pro ... Pros & Cons?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Jason Hollar, Dec 4, 2018.


  1. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar It Don’t Mean A Thing... Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    I need a new machine for work and music - but I've been reading bad reports on the Mac keyboard issues still not being resolved.

    Looking to run updated Logic X plus Final Cut Pro plus my regular business software.

    Opinions please from the Mac gurus. Buy before end of year for tax credit... or wait for 2019 model and hope for keyboard issues to be resolved?
     
  2. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    The Keyboards are absolute Junk. Some were covered under a class action suit but they didn't fix the problem. They did add some silly "Crumb-Guard" but the Keyboards are still failing.

    It's really a terrible shame! The only alternative is even worse.....changing to a Windows machine and giving up security, privacy and productivity.
     
    Goofball Jones and Jason Hollar like this.
  3. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Which specific model of MBP are you considering?
     
  4. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar It Don’t Mean A Thing... Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    I’m looking at the 2018 MB Pro ... without the Touch Bar.
     
  5. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar It Don’t Mean A Thing... Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    16m ram, 512 ssd,
     
  6. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Right, but that only narrows it down to one of two 13" models. Which processor?

    EDIT: If it's the 2.3ghz i5 it has a Geekbench single core score of 4,515, and a multi core score of 16,531. I suspect the i7 will do slightly better, but it isn't represented on Geekbench just yet. Generally speaking I can run Logic Pro X and Final Cut Pro on a machine that scores in the mid 11,000s. So with that in mind, I think you'd be fine either way.
     
  7. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar It Don’t Mean A Thing... Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    Thanks - yes - looking at the 2.3 GHz 7th gen i5.
     
  8. WhtMtnGrv

    WhtMtnGrv Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2015
    Los Angeles, CA
    Cons- N/A
     
  9. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar It Don’t Mean A Thing... Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    Again I’m not too worried about the performance - I’m not a power user obviously - just want Logic & Final Cut for some AV projects.

    Mostly worried about reports of keyboard failure and Apple not honoring warranty repair costs etc.
     
  10. MuttThud

    MuttThud

    Aug 31, 2017
    UK
    I have the very latest version of the MBP (with Touchbar). Supposedly Apple redesigned the keyboard mechanism for the whole MBP range ahead of the release of the most current version (I bought mine new in August this year). In typical Apple style, they rarely admit that there is a product defect, but then go away and quietly fix it in the next version. Lots of reviews and commentary on the interwebs about the new keyboard mechanism, and the sites I read said the summer 2018 redesign seems to have worked. But... I guess it’s quite early days. That said, FWIW my MacBook Pro keyboard works flawlessly so far. It is also an excellent laptop, best I’ve ever had. Incidentally, if you can find the extra cash, the Touchbar is worth it IMO... really helps with a bunch of different apps. I use it all the time.
     
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  11. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    The usb-c is cool but you have to get adapters if you want to hook anything not usb-c to your computer.
     
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  12. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Looking at the new new Mini, it appears that’s the direction Apple is going despite the need for adapters. I suspect third party manufacturers will start following suit to be compatible, but you’re absolutely right in pointing out that we’re not quite there yet.
     
  13. Common Tater

    Common Tater

    Jan 15, 2016
    Iowa
    I have the same or similar model. I like it very much and had no issues with it.

    I believe this is a minor issue that will resolve itself in time. I hate the USB-A ports that need to be flipped over 3 or 4 times before I can get it plugged in. The micro-B ports are terrible and I'm glad to see them essentially rendered obsolete. I suspect the USB-A port will be around for a while, not only because it's cheap to make but also because of the inertia behind it. The USB-C port is quite obviously where things are going. All but the cheapest cell phones have a USB-C port. Any new laptop or tablet computer will have at least one USB-C port. Even the new Apple tablets have USB-C instead of the Lightning port.

    When I bought my MacBook Pro I eventually bought a Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 (which uses the USB-C connector/port) adapter and a couple USB-C to USB-A adapters. Oh, and a magnetic breakaway charging cable from Griffin Technology, because I missed the MagSafe port on my old MacBook. That added about $100 to the price to make up for the switch to USB-C but in the end that's just the price of carrying old hardware into the future. Had I not had an investment in old USB-A and TB2 devices then I'd instead be buying new stuff.

    In my mind the USB-C ports are a "pro", not a "con".
     
    Jason Hollar likes this.
  14. Common Tater

    Common Tater

    Jan 15, 2016
    Iowa
    What adapters are needed? The new Mac Mini has HDMI, USB-A, RJ-45 network, 1/8" headphone jack, along with the USB-C/Thnuderbolt ports. If your display is relatively new then it's going to have HDMI, perhaps DVI, or maybe DisplayPort. Hooking that up might mean buying a new cable, not an "adapter". If you have VGA then you probably need a new display, not a new adapter. It's got Bluetooth and WiFi so no cables or adapter needed for a lot of new stuff.

    I have a couple Thunderbolt 2 devices, they needed an adapter for my new laptop. In hindsight I probably should have just bought new stuff instead of adapters for the old stuff. USB-C is in fact where Apple is going, as is just about everyone else.

    I'm thinking we are there now. It wasn't that long ago when finding a USB-C mouse was like searching for hen's teeth. Now USB-C mice and keyboards are available. Sure, they aren't quite the default yet but if you want device to do something for you then there is a USB-C device that will do it, and cost no more than the USB-A (or whatever) version.

    If for some reason you have an older something-or-other that you need to plug in then there's USB-C cables to plug them in available at truck stops, drug stores, and such for about $8. You don't have to search high and low for these cables, they probably have them on the shelf at the grocery store between the alkaline batteries and chocolate bars. This is no different than looking for any other cable for connecting any other electronics together, except perhaps easier to find.
     
  15. callofcthulhu

    callofcthulhu

    Oct 16, 2012
    Yeah, except we've been "there now" before. Remember Firewire? Remember Thunderbolt 1/Mini DVI?

    I get it that at least this time the Consortium has finally gotten Apple to play by their rules, but I've been burned too many times before by "this is the future" for me to really believe it any more.

    I give it ~3 years before the next "last connector/port you'll ever need" pops up on the market.
     
  16. Common Tater

    Common Tater

    Jan 15, 2016
    Iowa
    I do remember FireWire, I still use it on occasion. Unless something changed recently there's still FireWire ports used on some high end audio/video gear. It's not dead yet, but I expect it to not hang on much longer.

    I'm pretty sure that ThunderBolt 1 and Mini-DVI are two different things. ThunderBolt 1 & 2 used the Mini-DP port, and DisplayPort is quite common in both the full sized and mini variants. The Mini-DVI port was a purely Apple invention that never caught on, and I don't recall too many people feeling "burned" by it since not even Apple hung on to it for long.

    If you believe USB-C is something that will fade away quickly then I think you should look around more. It's got quite the inertia already. I'm seeing history repeat with Apple leading the way on USB adoption. The USB-A port never really caught on until Apple did away with most every other port on the iMac two decades ago. Now Apple is leading again with USB-C adoption. I'm thinking you have this a bit backwards, but whatever, you are welcome to your interpretation of events. Whether Apple is doing the dragging or is being dragged (drugged?) into USB-C is no matter, the point is that it's quite plain that we are seeing USB-C replacing most everything else on our electronics.

    Sure, nothing lasts forever. If it's not USB-C that dominates for the next 3 years then what should people be looking for in their computers? Whether those computers take the form of a desktop, laptop, pocket sized, or tablet? We need something to plug in our stuff to charge up the batteries, hook up a display, or transfer data. That seems to be USB-C today for everything electronic, Apple or other brands.

    I read the electronics news regularly and there's talk of what form Thunderbolt 4 will take. The USB-C port tops out at about 45 Gbits/s data rate, which is great for ThunderBolt 3, DisplayPort, USB 3, and other protocols/standards that's adopted the port. ThunderBolt 4 will need a new port if it's going to be any faster than ThunderBolt 3.

    I'll put it this way, given all the options available today for Apple to put on their laptops there's not anything better than USB-C right now. It's "flippable", can carry 40+ Gbits/s data, carry up to 100 watts of power, and is easily adapted to other common ports (DisplayPort and USB-A being the most popular it seems) with a cheap and easy to find cable.

    In 3 years it's quite possible Apple will have the ThunderBolt 4 port on their laptops. In that case I'll probably have to buy another $100 of adapters to go with my $2000 laptop. I've done this enough times now that I simply expect to have to buy adapters for my new computer and budget for it.

    I'm still not seeing USB-C as anything other than a "pro" on a laptop, Apple or not.
     
  17. callofcthulhu

    callofcthulhu

    Oct 16, 2012
    USB 1.1/2.0 had a good ~20+ year run, though even that was plagued by all the mini/micro ********.

    By your own admission you need to budget for $100 of adapters and dongles and whatever else in the best case scenario. I’m not suggesting that anyone has any alternative, we’re all hostages on this ride. I’m just pointing out we’re not “there” and I doubt we ever will be.
     
  18. callofcthulhu

    callofcthulhu

    Oct 16, 2012
    Except anyone who bought a MBP in 2014.
    Travel back in time 5 years and replace USB-C with Thunderbolt and it’d be a verbatim endorsement from an “electronics news” outlet about the state of the industry. Yawn.
     
  19. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Semantics. Any USB-A devices will require a USB-A to USB-C cable, or a USB-A to USB-C adapter and a USB-A cable to use the USB-C ports. However you do it you’ll need to use a different connector on each end if you’ve used up the USB-A ports on other devices.
     
  20. Common Tater

    Common Tater

    Jan 15, 2016
    Iowa
    Complaining about USB-C when there's no better alternative does seem rather pointless, no?

    I believe my $100 investment in adapters and cables is either out of the norm or just the cost of admission for many. I have an investment in Thunderbolt 2 gear and so the adapter to carry that investment forward was pretty small. For others I can expect the purchase of a spare charger cable to be quite common, much like my investment in a magnetic breakaway charger cable. Especially given the wide variety of cables, docks, and so forth on the market. Laptop docks have been with us for a long time, I'm quite relieved that the industry agreed to adopt the USB-C port so that we can all expect our investment in a dock to last longer than just one laptop.

    If someone does come along with something better than USB-C in 3 or 5 years, as you expect they will, then who are we to complain? Better is better. DVI, USB 1.1, and their mini and micro variants, weren't all that great to begin with and I'm not sad to see them go. USB-C is pretty damned nice, and given how widely it's been adopted I see little risk in investing in it now.

    If a need to buy a $8 cable to plug your $2000 laptop into your $500 printer/scanner bothers you that much then I suggest a re-think on your perspective.
     

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