Apple Releases New MacBook Pros: Up to Six Cores, 32 GB RAM, 4 TB SSD

Today, Apple announced a hefty refresh of the MacBook Pro. The top end now comes with up to six cores, 32 GB of RAM, and up to 4 TB of SSD storage. The price of that storage might make you fall over, but these are updates for which power users have been waiting for for far too long.

To be clear, it's the 15-inch model that will offer the highest-end specifications, as it historically always has. In addition to a 2.9 GHz (4.8 GHz with Turbo Boost) i9 six-core processor, increased maximum RAM, double the storage, and a standard 4 GB GDDR5 discrete graphics, the entire lineup has some additional updates, including a True Tone display that automatically adjusts color based on ambient light (technology first introduced in the iPad), a T2 security chip with a secure enclave for "Hey, Siri," enhanced system-wide security (first introduced in the iMac Pro), and a third-generation, quieter keyboard.

The previous versions of the keyboard have been a pain-point for customers and Apple for their lack of reliability since the switch to the newer, thinner butterfly keys, about which there are now multiple lawsuits. So, an upgrade here will be welcome for many and might include tweaks to fix the issues that have plagued earlier generations of butterfly keyboards. However, as reported by The Verge, Apple claims the updated keyboard design only enables quieter typing and is not intended to solve any of the previously reported issues. Apple maintains that the keyboard issues have affected a very small portion of customers and stands by its keyboard design with an extended, four-year replacement program should something go wrong.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro now tops out at 2 TB of SSD storage, a 2.7 GHz (4.8 GHz with Turbo Boost) i7 quad-core processor, and 16 GB of RAM. This model still relies on integrated graphics and starts at $1,299, going up to $3,699 fully loaded.

This all comes at a cost, however, the most notable of which is seen with a fully loaded 15-inch MacBook Pro, which now reaches well over $7,000 after taxes thanks to the $2,000 upgrade to a 4 TB SSD over the $1,200 2 TB option. Other pricey upgrades include the 32 GB RAM and processor upgrades, although they are all six-core options on the 15-inch model. If you opt for the base model 15-inch MacBook Pro with just 256 GB of SSD storage, expect to shell out at least $2,399. But be aware that upgrading the base model is very cost-ineffective compared to starting with the higher-end configuration to begin with.

Apple also released new leather sleeves for its MacBook lineup. The 12-inch, 13-inch, and 15-inch sleeves sell for $149, $179, and $199, respectively.

All new models are available to order today online and will be at Apple retail stores later this week.

Update: Pre-orders are now available at B&H for some configurations.

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Samten Norbù's picture

7959€ for a full loaded macbook pro 15" !!!!

What a joke !!!!

The 101 of "how to take customers for stupid cows milk" :s

Adam Ottke's picture

I understand why the margins on some of the SSD upgrades are there, but that step to 4 TB is rather ludicrous for 2018, 2017, and probably even 2016.

Matt Williams's picture

Their upgrade prices have always been insane. Back in the day when you could upgrade yourself, they would want to charge $300 for a RAM upgrade when it costs you $75 to buy it yourself. It's almost like they don't take into account that say, from 16GB to 32GB is only an additional 16GB for them, but they charge as if it's for the entire 32.

Biggest thing I hate about the new Macbooks and iMacs - can't upgrade anything yourself.

Ben Deckert's picture

Their pricing is crazy high, but I was surprised when I compared the new high end 15" with i7, 32GB Ram and 2TB SSD and found it to be only $100 more than a similarly specked iMac.... I thought there would be a larger price gap between the two.

Matt Williams's picture

As far as I can remember, similarly spec'ed iMac's and Macbook Pro's have always been (roughly) similar in price. The iMac's have a bigger display, sometimes a better GPU, so you get that - but the laptops trade that for portability... probably isn't easy jamming all that tech into these laptops.

I'm actually very impressed how cool my iMac and Macbook Pro stay, given all the crap that's inside them and how they seem to have very little venting and I rarely hear a fan. Every PC laptop or desktop I've ever had gets WAY hotter, and that's with tons of vents and audible fans running.

Ronnie Dai's picture

Well, are you gonna buy a Mac with 4tb option? If the answer is hell no then why you complaining?

Adam Ottke's picture

Ha. We're all complaining because we would if it weren't so expensive! ;-) But at that price, probably not...

darrell miller's picture

if you price out a similar dell (i just did) its roughly the same price but 2 pds heavier. they dont have anything but a 1tb option, and its not even remotely as fast as the apple option. The prices seem high.. but Apple isnt stupid, they are comparing to simular configurations from dell, hp and lenovo. Dell also doesnt offer an i9 processor yet. These are impressive machines.. spec for spec they are comparable to anything else out there. you can buy a much cheaper system.. even from apple (macbook) there are plenty of options

Adam Ottke's picture

I actually will clarify and add that I'm not bummed out about pricing for the lower-mid tiers. And no, you can't find anything similar at the higher end with that screaming 4 TB PCIe drive. But even so, that part is a bit pricey. It would just have been nice for them to stay a bit more reasonable there. But hey, then we'll just have to settle for the 1-2 TB options ;-) I'll be okay...hopefully. Haha.

Rayann Elzein's picture

I don't understand how you calculate. Dell's newest XPS 15 with 4K touchscreen, 32Gb RAM, 1To SSD and the i9 processor costs here in Europe 3k€ (actually 2.55k€ with the current 15% discount on all laptops, and those discounts are almost always available). Similarly speced MBP 15" costs 4.6k€, so 50% more if you just look at the non-discounted Dell. It's not "roughly the same" at all!

Spy Black's picture

It's OK, they'll have 10 years to save up for their next laptop update...

Rob Davis's picture

I just want a good Mac Mini.

Mike Kelley's picture

"it's not the computer you want, or the computer you need, but here it is"

-jony ive, probably

michael andrew's picture

Must be a lot of student loan checks being handed out this time of year... load up kids.

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

Charging & data transfer in any thunderbolt port. ANY one (left or right ones). Why hasn't anybody done that already?

Zoli Tarnavölgyi's picture

Ridiculous pricing. Like always. :-( And also, 6 core in a laptop? Okay, but what about the cooling system? Or it goes down to 2 GHz again immediately, as you start a program, what needs power? haha

Alex Armitage's picture

Not increasing the ram for the 13inch model really sucks. I don't understand it either, it doesn't take up more room to had larger chips with current technology.

Also very curious how true tone is going to work when editing photos

Jay Jay's picture

It's called pricing strategy, i.e. making you want to purchase the (much) more expensive 15" model by hobbling the specs just enough :/

Adam Ottke's picture

To their defense on that point, they did have to increase the battery capacity in the 15-inch to accommodate the power hungry RAM. So maybe they didn't want to justify that in the 13-inch... They'll get there eventually once LPDDR4 is actually available. I'd love to see them put that in the next 15-inch in a refresh next year while keeping the battery bump!

Jon Kellett's picture

"once LPDDR4 is actually available" - It's been in mobile devices since 2015.

New to laptops though, since a (very) few only been coming with it since early this year.

Adam Ottke's picture

Well yes. Intel's processors have to support it...and I guess those just didn't come in time, and Apple was under pressure to go the full 32 GB. I guess current rumors say LPDDR4 in laptops is slated for 2019...we'll see.

Anthony Cayetano's picture

Would have been nice if they added Pencil support on the trackpad.

Ryan Cooper's picture

All they had to do was support 32gb of ram on the smaller laptops and I'd be on my way to the store... but no, in order to get 32gb of ram you need to get a giant 15" machine that is $3k+.

Samten Norbù's picture

I still use the 17" as a secondary computer and still hope that they'll redo this line of product ... you know, also with a LOT of ports, a great BIG screen, and solid construction ... ( witch cost me, at the time, with all the HIGHEST spec : 3200€ ! )

But I guess I'll stick to my desktop hackintosh for a while ....

Jeff McCollough's picture

More lame overpriced Apple garbage. Where's the innovation?

darrell miller's picture

is dell, hp, or lenovo innovating more? microsoft with their surface books? what are you wanting?

innovation is happening.. its just more on the ios/ipad side of things.. but what cant you do that you want to do ? what is innovation to you?

Przemek Lodej's picture

I will never ever buy anything from Apple. Price to performance ratio is outrageous. I could never justify spending that much on a lower spec machine when compared to PC.

darrell miller's picture

if you price out a similar dell (i just did) its roughly the same price but 2 pds heavier. they dont have anything but a 1tb option, and its not even remotely as fast as the apple option. The prices seem high.. but Apple isnt stupid, they are comparing to simular configurations from dell, hp and lenovo. Dell also doesnt offer an i9 processor yet. These are impressive machines.. spec for spec they are comparable to anything else out there. you can buy a much cheaper system.. but you cant buy a cheaper system with this kind of power in this small of a frame

Emmanuel Moka-Moliki's picture

I think you might want to take a look at the Razer lineup. They currently just came out with a new 15" blade that's pretty insane. I own the 14" Blade from last year and this thing is a monster for such a small form factor. I think what the issue is with Apple is that with their systems you really don't seeing the value of it until you completely spec it out. At that point your basically paying the same price for a used car. Especially considering the fact that Adobe generally works better with PC systems (even more so running the Ryzen processors which I run on my built PC).

Are they bad computers, no I don't think anybody can really say that. Are they a bit behind on innovation/pricing compared to the PC competition, I think so. With most of us investing small fortunes into buy our gear, putting up another 6, 7, 8 or 9K for a laptop just really doesn't seem like a good idea. One last think the iMac pro isn't really doing too well on sales right now either.

darrell miller's picture

i'm looking right here:

Their 4k monitor version is not out yet or priced yet.. but i compared a blade 15 current configuration (what i can buy today) to a macbook pro 15 which i can order today.. 200.00 price difference.. what am i missing?

Windows 10 | OS X
8th gen i7-8750H 6 cores | 8th gen i7-8750H 6 cores
16gb ram | 16 gb ram
15inch 1920x1080 | Retina Display 2560-by-1600
Nvidia GTX 1070 8gb GDDR5 | Radeon Pro 560x w/4gb GDDR5
512gb NVMe | 512gb NVMe
1 thunderbolt, 3 usb 3.1 | 4 thunderbolt
2599.00 | 2799.00

i can do the same with a Dell XPS 15.. and the price will be about 200-300.00 more of the Apple.

we can scream ITS SO EXPENSIVE.. but... is it really? i think the blade laptops are pretty nice.. but you get more resolution on the apple, less video ram, a store i can walk into if i have a hardware issue.. for 200.00 more. i'll also say the build quality of an apple laptop will be better than a blade. you have an all metal design.. and mac laptops also seem to last longer. i easily get 4 yrs out of an apple.. the dells i've had and the 3 yr mark are pretty rough around the edges.

Razor Blade 15 will come out with a new version with a 4k display soon.. but will it be any cheaper than their current offerings? nope.. so.. it'll fall right in line with apples and dells options..

sure you can buy a cheap laptop.. but when you throw the specs next to each other.. the price differences arent that much at all.

Emmanuel Moka-Moliki's picture

I get what your saying but your overlooking one major aspect and that is how well hardware can be utilized by software. For example PC are typically better optimized for Adobe. Meaning you should get slightly better performance out of it. Also as mentioned before the Ryzen processors right now are making Intel look retarded and they are significantly cheaper. Which makes the gap even bigger between PC and Mac.

Many people tend to overlook the importance of the graphics card, especially for creatives that's one of the most important pieces of hardware we need. Leading into the next thing, more resolution doesn't always mean a better output of work. You can tend to overedit your work because you can see so much (which at the end of the day will be viewed 9/10 on a HD monitor or a screen size of 5")

Also blade laptops are actually metal as well, non of them have a plastic housing and honestly mine is just as solid as the MacBook I used to have. The design is basically identical to be honest. The New 15" Blade will actually be around $2,800 so we still aren't even at half of the new MacBooks.

Any way tools are tools but I'm just simply saying that Apple for the past 2-3 years have been giving us incredibly over priced computers that sound nice on a piece of paper. For actual use however they have a hard time making their case with some PC alternatives.

If it works for you then hey go head, I just rather have more money to use on other stuff and not sacrifice performance.

darrell miller's picture

Emmanual, the price i listed above IS the new 2018 macbook.. and it is priced just like the blade.. within 200.00.. only when you add a 4tb SSD or 32gb of ram (neither of which Blade offers) does the price go super high.. those options arent needed but for a very small niche community.

As for Adobe being optimized for windows/pc.. i have no evidence of that either. for gaming, yes, graphics cards make a difference.. but again, i can find no evidence that in the photography world, throwing a 1080i in a box will out perform whatever is in an imac or apple laptop.

i'm not just going by forums.. i'm going by personal experience too. i have a pc desktop at home i built two weeks ago. intel 8700K processor, 32gb of ram, 1080 graphics card, 1tb Nvme hdd. I built this bc apple doesnt have a desktop that does what i need in the price range i want. So i spent around 1700.00.

i informally benchmarked my laptop (macbook pro 16gb of ram) vs my new windows desktop.. the time to import and make smart previews of my 2018 catalog (~100,000 images) was about the same. It doesnt matter how powerful the system is if the software isnt optimized to use it.

From what i've read the Adobe products are not optimized for Ryzen processors yet, you get about a 8% performance hit bc the code isnt optimized for it.

it isnt a drastic difference, but intel edges out at the moment.

These apple laptops (maxed out) and the imac pros were never designed for photographers. Flat out they werent. For people that do 4k or higher video, most definitely. For major research, most definitely. There is absolutely no reason for a photographer to own a 4000.00-6000.00 computer of any kind. 32gb of ram will help lightroom in some situations.. but thats about it. The blade laptop you reference dont offer a 32gb option.. if they did it would up the price too.

During the day i work with a research group that uses everything from over the counter laptops to super computer clusters and fiber networks. You pick the right tool for the right job. I've got an 8000.00 dell workstation on my desk at work. i loaded up lightroom and photoshop on it when i initially got it. i could see almost no difference in performance compared to my 2500.00 2 yr old macbook pro. Importing, making smart previews and editing.. no noticible difference in day to day performance.

For the research I do for my day job, it makes an absolutely HUGE difference in the work. (processing is cut down to a matter of hours compared to days) .. you pick the right tool for the right job.

In my research world, iMac Pros are very well respected and are cost effective.. they are priced very equivalently to dell and HP's models. we're crunching absolutely HUGE data sets.. and doing analysis. Apple never planned on selling huge amounts of them, they are for a very niche but loyal market of audio, video and research professionals.

Emmanuel Moka-Moliki's picture

Interesting I've had a completely opposite experience with my PC build. The biggest difference is that I'm not running Intel but a Ryzen 1700x which in my experience is pretty different in encoding compared to the Intel equivalent.

It's also no secret that Premiere simply renders faster on PC because of CUDA and the GPU harmony. So I guess optimized may be the wrong word but there is a reason Final Cut exists, just saying.

Again my argument isn't that Mac is incapable of performing well but I'm simply saying they are often overpriced for what your getting. I guess it really just comes down to preference, if it works for you hey bruh go head with it.

darrell miller's picture

final cut and premiere are different animals than photoshop and lightroom. They take much more advantage of multiple cores and GPU's. it just goes to show that it takes the developers to optimize the software for the chips. I'm sure Adobe focused much more on the video stuff than the stills for optimization. They have limited resources and the gains would be much more noticeable and crucial in the video world. i'm sure over time they will do more with photoshop and lightroom.

I'm just a stills guy.

I stand by my you pick the right tool for the right job. whatever works for you.

Rayann Elzein's picture

Why do you repeat this lie all over the comments? I will repeat then my earlier answer:

Dell's newest XPS 15 with 4K touchscreen, 32Gb RAM, 1To SSD and the i9 processor costs here in Europe 3k€ (actually 2.55k€ with the current 15% discount on all laptops, and those discounts are almost always available). Similarly speced MBP 15" costs 4.6k€, so 50% more if you just look at the non-discounted Dell. It's not "roughly the same" at all!

darrell miller's picture

Rayann Elzein, not lies. When i was talking to Emmanuel he mentioned the Razor Laptops, so i compared what Razor had compared to what Apple had, part for part. I then went to Dells website and compared the equivalent Dell laptop with 16gb of ram to keep things fair. To be honest, i didnt even look at the 32gb options on apple or dell.

You're right a quick glance of the laptop you mentioned wiht 32gb of ram and 1tb solid state drive is about 1000.00 cheaper by dell. so you win and i stand corrected. <waves a white flag>.. At the 32gb options dell is the clear winner. You're paying a huge premium for apple on the 32gb of ram option. at the 16gb models are much closer in price ~200.00 difference.

Jim Cutler's picture

I'm glad to see 32 of mem.

Pieter Batenburg's picture

And still, there will be enough devotees of the iCult who will pay gladly.

Ariel Martini's picture

13" with quad core, finally