This blog post is going to be part of a series of blog posts outlining the tech I use in my day-to-day life. It wont be exciting, sorry if that’s your expectation!, but it will let you know what use to create my blog and how I spend my spare time. This blog post looks at my Macbook Pro.
What is a Macbook Pro?
The Macbook Pro is a laptop designed by Apple. Apple has a range of laptops (currently* The Macbook, The Macbook Air and the Macbook Pro) and the ‘Pro’ label identifies it as the most powerful of the offerings.
The Macbook Pro is available in multiple processor configurations and 2 screen sizes.
My Macbook Pro
I got my Macbook Pro in 2016 so is now 3 years old. When it was released it was the most powerful Macbook Pro that Apple offered. You can easily display an ‘about this mac’ page on any Apple Computer. Mine looks like this;-
The Spec of the mac
- 15 Inch Screen
- Retina Display
- 2.5Ghz Quad Core i7 Processor
- 16GB Ram
- Dedicated GT750M 2GB Graphics Card
- 500GB SSD Hard Drive
Why Did I Get A Macbook Pro?
This is easy. Many years ago I traded in a load of old tech with CEX and got a Mac Mini. From then on I was hooked. I loved how the Mac Mini worked with little effort. How it complemented my iPhone for getting music and photos backed up or transferred across. Finally, I also loved how it was less susceptible to viruses.
When I replaced the Mac Mini with newer Mac Mini about 5 years later I knew that I would replace that newer Mac Mini with a Mac Laptop. When the time came I really looked forward to getting my first new Apple Computer – all the Mac Minis had been 2nd hand machines.
How I Made My Choice
I started by comparing my Mac Mini with the ‘current’ spec Macbook Air and Macbook Pro.
As you can see my 2 core MacMini had a score 5 times worst than the MBP which had twice the cores in MultiCore testing (MC) but only half as bad in the single core. Against the Macbook Air it was roughly half the performance. Both of these seemed like I’d be paying a lot and for money reasons I was leaning towards to the MBAir as £1000 was more palatable than £2000!
Then I found out about a website which was offering the previous gen macbook pro for £1300. I went straight to check out the performance.
The Macbook Pro the website was offering is on the left, with the current spec on the right and the Macbook Air in the middle. What surprised me was that the previous generation Macbook Pro beat the current version in all the Geekbench tests except 1! Obviously that doesn’t tell the full story but seeing as I would be getting a great Macbook Pro that was pretty much equal to the latest one, for a 40% saving, I was very happy with the spec.
I ordered via Paypal so if there was an issue it would be dealt with quickly and painlessly and waited for the laptop to arrive.
It took 2 weeks to arrive but with the bank holiday weekend it was more like 3. And when it arrived there was a dent in the lid! It had obviously taken a knock in transit.
I was so annoyed as I’d been waiting ages to get it.
To cut a long story short, they allowed me to fully test the machine, and once I confirmed it was all working ok, they knocked £250 of the price said I could keep it. How could I say ‘no’? I All still brand new and full apple warranty. I ended up paying just over £1000 for a laptop that should have been £2200! RESULT!
Life with the Macbook
To start with, the practical things. Its a bit heavier than perhaps you’d want and the fact it has a 15″ screen means it is a big old beast. My work laptop is 13″ but probably weighs about the same. Most of the time my laptop is on my workstation in my study. It is plugged into the mains 24/7 (I know thats not good for it!) so the weight is not such an issue. Size wise, it does fit into the laptop section of my camera bag and I find this is useful if I’m taking my camera somewhere and know people will want to see the pictures.
I can connect my Apple Airpods (read more about why I have Airpods over other headphones here) and it has an HDMI socket so it is easy to connect to a television or another screen. A big benefit of having an Apple computer as well as Apple phones is that you can air-drop images between devices making sharing photos a breeze.
What Have I Done With It?
What HAVEN’T I done more like?!! To start with, this blog is mainly written on it. The truth is that I could write my blog on almost any device. My Macbook Pro is main storage for all my photos, music, videos and documents. I do have back-ups of them but the first place a copy of everything goes to is my Macbook Pro.
I have produced videos using my Macbook Pro. This includes my video of the trip to New York and seeing pelicans in St James’ Park. The great thing about the Macbook Pro is that I can feed it 4k video and it never complains. The fans do ramp up but that is what it is there for.
I have also used the Macbook Pro to run OBS. This piece of software allows you to do some online broadcasting a little better than the standard Twitch/Youtube interfaces. I have done a couple of streams from my PS4 to through this so it is very labour intensive for a computer and the Macbook Pro does it with no issues.
The only thing I don’t really do on my Macbook Pro is play games. I’ve been a console gamer most of my life so I don’t feel the need to use my computer for gaming. I’m pretty sure that my Macbook Pro would handle most games, maybe not on the highest settings but the 16 GB of ram, quad core i7 processor and 2GB graphics card must help.
The Next Steps
While the Macbook Pro is still going strong I don’t plan on replaceing it. If, at any point, it stops working then I will get another Macbook of some sort. While I have an iPad Pro and keyboard the requirement to have a laptop isn’t so great however there is a benefit to having a laptop in general. Would I buy another Macbook Pro? If the price was right I would, but I’ve found I probably don’t need all that raw processing power.
I’d love a Mac Pro (the ‘headless’ Apple Desktop) but really only because they are total beasts of power and last for years. My Macbook Pro is officially 5 years old now (even though I’ve only had it 3 years, from new!) and I hope I can get another 2 or 3 years out of it before the processing power starts lagging behind. If I had purchased a macbook air then I probably would have found it started to under-perform power wise.