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Apple Mac

A Couple of Mac Updates

The week before a World Wide Developer Conference can sometimes have new items become known. The release for these is because the items will not be discussed at the WWDC keynote. This year there are two hardware updates and a service update.

16-inch MacBook Pro Graphics

The first update is for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. There is a new graphics option available. You can now configure a 16-inch MacBook Pro with an AMD Radeon 5600M with 8GB of HBM2 memory. The other options available are all GDDR6 memory. The difference with the HBM2 memory is that it has more bandwidth available and ideally suited for Artificial Intelligence and advanced computing, like Machine Learning. Typically, HBM2 is more expensive than GDDR6 and this new option will cost you $800 to add to a 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Mac Pro SSD Kit

If you are using the high-end of the high-end, the Mac Pro, there is a new kit for you, the SSD Kit. The SSD Kit for the Mac Pro will allow you to swap out the internal storage on your Mac Pro. The SSD Kit comes in 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, or 8TB kits. Once you have purchased your SSD Kit you can see how to install the new SSD with Apple’s support article.

Apple Card Payments

When you want to go and purchase that new 16-inch MacBook Pro, you may want to be able to use your Apple Card and finance it. Previously you could finance an iPhone over 24 months, but now you can finance other products as well. You can finance a HomePod, AirPods, and the Apple TV for six months, or an iPad or Mac for 12 months. When you do this, you get the Apple Pay Cash right up front.

Closing Thoughts

The inclusion of the new hardware options will be great for pro users who can benefit from the options and can significantly enhance their productivity. For those who may not be able to utilize the hardware, you can use the monthly payments option on your purchase of a Mac, iPad, HomePod, or AirPods, in addition to an iPhone.

Source: TechCrunch

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Apple blog MacBook Pro

Apple Updates 13-inch MacBook Pro

Today Apple released a refreshed 13.3-inch MacBook Pro. Amongst the changes are a new keyboard, increased base storage, and new processors. Let us look at these in detail.

Across the Board Changes

There are four different configurations that Apple presents on their page. There are the two lower-end models and two higher-end models. A majority of the changes only apply to the higher-end models. However, there are changes that have occurred across the board.

The first change is that the keyboard mechanism has gone from the butterfly mechanism back to a scissor switch mechanism. As you might expect, Apple has decided to name these keyboards “Magic Keyboards”. The Magic Keyboard is the same type introduced with the 16-inch MacBook Pro. This means that it has 1mm of travel, an inverted-T arrow configuration and a physical escape key.

With the 13-inch MacBook Pro getting a new keyboard, there are no current products that have the Butterfly keyboard mechanism in them. The 13-inch MacBook Pro was the last model to still have the butterfly keyboard.

The second change that is across the line is the base storage. The lower-end models have gone from 128GB and 256GB respectively, to 256GB and 512GB respectively. The higher end model similarly gone from 256GB and 512GB to 512GB and 1TB respectively.

Those are all of the changes that have occurred across the board. The higher-end models have seen some additional changes. Let us look at those now.

Higher-end Model Changes

In addition to the base storage and keyboard changes, the higher-end 13.3-inch MacBook Pros have seen additional changes, including memory speed and processor changes.

The processors available for the higher-end MacBook Pros are the 10th generation Intel processors. Both models come with a 2.0GHz quad-core processor that can go up to 3.8GHz with turbo boost. These can be configured with a 2.3GHz 10th generation Core i7 that can go up to 4.1GHz with Turbo Boost.

With the processor update, the speed, and type, of memory has changed. These higher-end models now have LPDDR4X memory that runs at 3733Mhz.

The faster memory in conjunction with the processor upgrades will allow, according to Apple, “ up to 80 percent faster performance over the previous generation 13-inch MacBook Pro for 4K video editing, faster rendering, and smoother gameplay.

The last big change with the graphics is that you can connect it to a Pro Display XDR for full 6k resolution, which will be good for those who have a Pro Display XDR monitor and would like to connect a MacBook Pro to it for displaying something.

Closing Thoughts

The updated 13-inch MacBook Pro are available to order today and start at $1299 for the base model with 256GB of storage and the 1.4GHz Quad-Core 8th-generation processors. If you are a student, you can get a discount and the price starts at $1199 for the base model. They will begin shipping this week.

If you were holding off on purchasing a new MacBook Pro until Apple refreshed them, then now is the time to buy.

Source: Apple.com

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Apple Mac MacBook Pro

Apple Announces the 16-inch MacBook Pro

Yesterday Apple unveiled a replacement for the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro, the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The 16-inch MacBook Pro takes form factor of the 15.4-inch model and enhances it. The 16-inch MacBook Pro still comes with a Touch Bar.

There is a change that cannot be expressed in words. To quote from Apple’s press release,

The 16-inch MacBook Pro introduces a completely redesigned six-speaker, high-fidelity sound system designed to bring musicians, podcasters and video editors the most advanced audio experience ever in a notebook. New Apple-patented force-canceling woofers use dual opposed speaker drivers to reduce unwanted vibrations that distort sound. As a result, music sounds more clear and natural than ever before, and the bass can go half an octave deeper. An upgraded high-performance mic array delivers a 40 percent reduction in hiss and an improved signal-to-noise ratio that rivals that of popular professional-grade digital microphones, delivering super-clean recordings that capture even the quietest details.

One of the biggest, and most needed, changes is the keyboard. The old style keyboard which was introduced in 2016 has been replaced with a Magic Keyboard. The mechanism that you type on was previously a butterfly switches. This has been replaced with the traditional scissor switches. This change should reduce the overall issues that have affected the keyboards, but only time will be able to tell if that is really the case.

The keyboard has two additional features that many users have been asking for. The first is a physical escape key. Many developers will be glad to see this key return, as they are constantly using it. The second keyboard feature that many users have wanted is the “inverted t” arrangement for the arrow keys. The return of inverted-t arrangement will allow users to easily identify which key they are pressing.

One thing that has changed, but may be more of a subtle change is the new screen. The screen is larger than the previous model and has a P3 Color Gamut, still 500 nits of brightness, but it does have a resolution of 3072 by 1920. The screen will also now support a wider range of refresh rates. The supported rates are 47.95Hz, 48.00Hz, 50.00Hz, 59.94Hz, and 60.00Hz.

There are two models of 16-inch MacBook Pro. The first comes with a 2.6GHz 6‑core Intel Core i7 processor and the AMD Radeon 5300M graphics card, 512GB of SSD storage. The second model comes with a 2.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor and the AMD Radeon 5500M graphics card with 4GB of memory and 1TB of storage.

These are configurable to a 2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor and an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with either 4GB or 8GB of memory. The possibilities for upgrading the storage have increased as well. You now have the options of a1TB, 2TB, 4TB, or 8TB SSD.

There have been some reviews of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro. Most notably from Marco Arment, John Gruber, and Rene Ritchie. There is one last thing, Jonathan Morrison was able to sit down with Apple’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Phil Schiller to discuss the MacBook Pro.

As mentioned earlier, the 16-inch MacBook Pro model replaces the 15.4-inch model. The new line-up consists of the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is available for order today starting at $2399. The second model starts at $2799.

It is good to see Apple providing the features that their professional users want in devices. Hopefully, this is just the first step in making their laptops even better.

I am not sure if I will end up getting one at some point or not. My early-2015 MacBook Pro is still working, but is limited in terms of storage space, time will tell. If I do end up getting one, I will be sure to review it.

Source: Apple

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Apple Mac macOS

2018 MacBook Pro Thermal Bug

I did not write about this last week when it happened, because it appears as though there is a barrage of negative stories about Apple and with everything going on the world, who needs additional stories to get riled up about. Last week Dave Lee posted a video that showed that the Core i9 model of the 2018 MacBook Pro was throttling down its CPU under heavy loads. If you were to buy one of these computers, you would expect it to work really well, regardless of how much load the computer was under.

When the video was released many were skeptical that this was actually the case, and if it was indeed the case, that it was a design flaw with the MacBook Pro. It appears as though it is not a design flaw, but in fact it is a bug with the new 2018 MacBook Pros. Here is Apple’s statement:

Following extensive performance testing under numerous workloads, we’ve identified that there is a missing digital key in the firmware that impacts the thermal management system and could drive clock speeds down under heavy thermal loads on the new MacBook Pro. A bug fix is included in today’s macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update and is recommended. We apologize to any customer who has experienced less than optimal performance on their new systems. Customers can expect the new 15-inch MacBook Pro to be up to 70% faster, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to be up to 2X faster, as shown in the performance results on our website.

This means that it is not the hardware itself that was the issue, but in fact it is software related. It is good to see that Apple took this seriously and found the cause of the issue. This bug affects the 13-inch models as well as the Core i7 and Core i9 15-inch models. It is highly recommended that you get the supplemental update to fix the issue. You can download it via the Updates tab in the Mac App Store, or by downloading it directly from Apple’s support page.

Via Six Colors.

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Apple Mac

Apple Updates MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Today Apple refreshed the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar line. Both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros with Touch Bar have been updated. The 13-inch sports 2.3GHz quad-core 8th Generation Core i5 processors,Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 graphics, and 8GB of RAM. The 13-inch with Touch Bar is configurable with a 2.7GHz processor and up to 16GB of RAM. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar still starts at 256GB of storage and can be configured with 512GB, 1TB, or 2GB. The 13-inch model starts at $1799 and goes up to $3699, at the top end.

The 15-inch model has a bit beefier specs. The 15-inch sports a 2.2GHz 6-core 8th Generation Core i7 Processor, Radeon 555X with 4GB of video memory, 256G of storage, and 16GB of memory. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar can be configured with a 2.9GHz 6-core processor, 32GB of RAM, a Radeon Pro 560X, and up to 4TB of storage. Yes, 4TB. The price ranges from $2399 to $6699 for a fully loaded model.

All 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models come with four Thunderbolt 3 ports, a brand new T2 processor, which supports “Hey Siri”, and the Retina Displays are now True Tone displays. The biggest question is the keyboard. The 2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has a third-generation keyboard, which is quieter than previous models. It is presumed that the new keyboards will not experience the same issues as the previous models, but that is not known yet and only time will be able to tell us for sure whether or not they are improved.

These are the first True Tone displays on a MacBook Pro. True Tone is a screen technology that will look at the colors in the room and it will automatically adjust the color profile so it will look best in all lighting conditions. True Tone already exists on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, the 2nd Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the iPhone X. It is good to see True Tone come to the MacBook Pro line.

There are a couple of other things to note. The first is that the old 2015 MacBook Pro that Apple was selling, is no longer available. Similarly, 13-inch MacBook Pros without Touch Bar have not been updated. These are still the same as before. Similarly, there have not been any other laptop updates.

Along with the new MacBook Pros, there is also a new external graphical processing unit (eGPU), the BlackMagic eGPU. The BlackMagic eGPU has a Radeon Pro 580 graphics processor with 8GB of GDDR5 memory, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3 ports, and one HDMI 2.0 port. This is $699 and will work with any Mac that has a Thunderbolt 3 port.

It is good to see Apple update the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. The specs will definitely be welcome, in particular the 6-core processors in the 15-inch models. The ability to choose up to 4TB of storage and 32GB will be great for those users who need that much storage and memory. If you really need the external graphical processing, it is great to see new hardware for those users as well. You can order the 2018 MacBook Pros today.