The 2018 MacBook Pro - is it really Pro yet?

 New is not so exciting.  2018 MacBook Pro

New is not so exciting.  2018 MacBook Pro

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN UPDATED FOLLOWING MORE RESEARCH AND TO CORRECT A TYPO

Apple has just announced updated MacBook Pros. Readers will recall that I called the now previous version anything but Pro.

The new announcement can now take up to 32GB of RAM and up to 4TB of SSB storage. It has a barely competent Radeon 560X graphics card. I just priced one out in Canada, with 32GB RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. Just under $4700 CAD. My Lenovo P70 that I bought to do training for Windows clients has 64GB of RAM, a super hot nVidia GPU and 1TB of storage. It cost about half that, and the newer models are about the same. Yes it runs Windows 10 as it's core OS and yes I had to work to strip out all the cruft. Yes I still prefer macOS but less with each iteration as Apple continues to tell me what I can and cannot do. Apple has also dropped sales of the 2015 MacBook Pro, the last vaguely Pro machine that they made. It's still got the user hated butterfly keyboard. Looks like more form over function, at an ever increasing price for less and less value. I have not used one, and have no compelling reason to do so, but this announcement looks like an old bowl of tapioca pudding with a few raisins thrown on.

Since all the applications that I depend on are available on both Windows and macOS, where is the incentive to spend more for less? Colour me underwhelmed. Again.

I'll be sticking with my 2015 MBP and cylinder Mac Pro.  Nothing in Mojave is screaming at me that I need it and for the first time in years, I haven't even installed the beta.  Most of my machines that work every day cannot run it anyways because they are locked out of doing so by Apple.  Trying to force a hardware upgrade?  Bite me.

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What is possibly interesting is the new eGPU from Blackmagic Design, a company that can actually make excellent hardware at reasonable prices. Sadly it will only be sold through Apple stores so that means you'll pay full MSRP and the store staff will know only enough to point it out based on the skillsets that I have sadly discovered in general in recent years.  I guess when dimwits buy anything that you make, product knowledge is irrelevant.  That's not just Apple, I see it in large camera chains as well, hiring sales people who know nothing about cameras or photography and then not providing them any training.  Bunch of idiots.

Anyway.  The eGPU is both an external GPU and basically a Thunderbolt hub.  At $899 CAD it's rather pricey considering it is really a Radeon 580x in a box and if you could change your GPU in a Mac (hahaha -since Steve died, user control of devices has died too) a full on 580x card would cost about $375 CAD and almost keeps up to an nVidia 1060, which as any PC builder knows has half the performance of the 1080 from a year and change ago.  So while it's good, it's only good and certainly not state of the art in GPU design.

Apple's product page does not specify which Macs this device works with, or what other requirements it has, only that it's an eGPU for MacBook Pros.  If it only works with the 2016 and later MBPs, mark this one down as already dead, since no serious video or photo editor likes the 2016 or later devices, and many have gone back to their older 2015 MBPs because they do not have to live in dongle hell or deal with that truly sh*tty butterfly keyboard.  While Apple has not responded to the query, others have and advise that this rather lame eGPU only works with the 2017 and 2018 MacBook Pros.  Isn't that like admitting they are underpowered graphically?

Apple innovation died when Steve Jobs became ill.  Now its a pretty design company and even then, alternatives are delivering as good looking and outperforming products for less.  As an Apple customer since the original Macintosh, I am so disappointed.