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MacBook Pro 15 vs. MacBook Pro 13: a choice beyond the size

The MacBook Pro is an attractive and powerful computer. But with all its alternatives and levels of customization, choosing the best option can be a complex decision. As this is a decision that goes beyond size, we compare the MacBook Pro 15 vs. MacBook Pro 13 and we will tell you what you should choose according to your needs. In the past, it was a simpler decision. If you didn't like the Touch Bar, your alternative was the 13-inch model. However, now that Apple incorporated this touch bar in both models, other factors come into play, such as the processor, graphics and, of course, the price. In this guide we will review all the differences of MacBook Pro 15 vs. MacBook Pro 13 for you to make the best decision.


In terms of design there are no major differences in the analysis of MacBook Pro 15 vs.. MacBook Pro 13.

In terms of design, there are not many differences. Both models look identical, with the classic aluminum design that Apple has used for years. And since the Touch Bar is on all MacBook Pro, they are practically identical. The touch bar provides direct access to certain applications. His debut had a disparate reception, although it is a tool with a lot of potential. It also has the Touch ID button to confirm purchases and log in. This feature is also available on the MacBook Air, which does not have the Touch Bar. In addition, both have the questioned butterfly keyboard.

The most obvious difference is the size of the screen and the chassis. The MacBook Pro 15 comes with a 15.4-inch panel and a body 13.75 inches wide and 9.48 inches deep, weighing 4.02 pounds. The 13, meanwhile, has a 13.3-inch one, its chassis measures 11.97 inches wide and 8.36 inches deep, and weighs 3.02 pounds. If you need portability, it is something you should consider.

In addition to the dimensions, there are other differences on the Retina screen. The 13-inch laptop comes with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600, with a density of 227 pixels per inch. The 15 has 2,880 x 1,800 and 220 pixels per inch. That is, although the resolution is higher at 15 inches, they will look similar. According to Apple, both reach 500 nits of brightness and are equipped with a wide range of P3 colors and True Tone technology, which adjusts the white balance according to the ambient light. Both have excellent color accuracy.

The two computers incorporate Thunderbolt 3 ports, but while all versions of the MacBook Pro 15 have four, the basic options of the 13-inch computer offer two ports and only the high-end ones come with four. In terms of audio, both come with powerful speakers and, if you need them, with a 3.5mm headphone jack.


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It is in performance that the differences in the MacBook Pro 15 vs. comparison begin to appear. MacBook Pro 13. In early 2019, Apple equipped its 15-inch models with Intel Core i9 eight-core processors, a significant advancement of the Core i7 four-core from the best 13-inch offer.

What does this mean? The Intel Core i9 scored an impressive score of 5,423 points for a single core and 29,708 for several cores in our Geekbench tests. The 13-inch model is not far behind with its four-core i7 chip with Turbo Boost up to 4.7GHz. This implies that the 15-inch computer is aimed at those who need real power and can afford it. The 13-inch one is more appropriate if you don't need a laptop that handles high intensity processes.

To greatly increase the graphical performance of the MacBook Pro, the two models allow a great graphic boost to be obtained by connecting an external GPU (eGPU), thanks to the transfer speeds of 40Gb / s of Thunderbolt 3. Segn Apple, with a Blackmagic eGPU you increase by 3.2 times the performance of the 13-inch model in Final Cut Pro X and 4.7 times that of the 15-inch model in Maxon Cinema 4D.

Of course, this has a cost. Blackmagic eGPUs start at $ 699 dollars, including the graphics card. You can get a Razer Core X for $ 299 dollars, but that doesn't include a graphics card. In short, great power implies great expense. But if you are evaluating an eGPU, you better save that money and choose the 15-inch model, which is already equipped with a powerful graphics card.


Side view of the Macbook Pro 15.

Performance should be the deciding factor when facing MacBook Pro 15 vs. MacBook Pro 13. Unless you need it to edit 4K videos or for video games, you probably don't need the extra power of the larger computer.

With a price ranging between $ 1,299 dollars and $ 1,999 dollars, the 13-inch Pro offers four configurations, each of which can be further customized. The base model comes with an Intel i5 octave four-core 1.4GHz processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz. It has 8 GB of memory, an SSD of 128 GB and Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645. This can be customized to reach an Intel i7 chip of eighth generation of four cores at 1.7 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.5 GHz, 16 GB of memory and Up to 2 TB of SSD storage.

If you want something more powerful, you should opt for the $ 1,999 version. It has a 2.4GHz quad-core Intel i5 quad-core processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz, 8GB of memory, a 512GB SSD and Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655. If you want more, you can upgrade it with an Intel i7 quad processor – Core of eighth generation 2.8GHz, 16GB of memory and up to 2TB of SSD storage.

While this shows that the 13-inch MacBook Pro has a lot of room for maneuver, it has limitations. For example, you cannot update the graphics card or exceed 16 GB of memory. The reason? It is aimed more at general users than at graphic professionals.

If you need more power, you should look for a 15-inch configuration. It has two basic variants: one of six cores at 2.6GHz from $ 2,399 dollars and one of eight cores at 2.3GHz from $ 2,799 dollars. It is in the additional cores where the true strength of the MacBook Pro resides.