How fast are the “Mid-2017” MacBook Pro models compared to one another? How fast are they compared to the models replaced? How fast are they compared to the non-Pro MacBook?
Please note that all 13-Inch and 15-Inch “Mid-2017” MacBook Pro models have been discontinued. However, this Q&A is up-to-date and can be helpful to anyone considering one of these models on the used market.
In the company press release for the “Mid-2017” MacBook Pro models – which is mostly focused on the iMac – Apple mentions MacBook Pro performance three times, but only quantifies that the SSD is “up to 50 percent faster” than its predecessor.
Photo Credit: Apple, Inc. (Touch Bar MacBook Pro)
The “Mid-2017” Touch Bar MacBook Pro lineup boasts a new, more advanced processor and architecture, so it would be a reasonable assumption that the overall performance is faster as well, but just how much faster requires benchmarks and real-world testing.
Independent testing also can be useful for objectivity separated from the hype of any company’s marketing department.
General Performance Overview
For a general overview of overall performance between the “Mid-2017” MacBook Pro models and earlier notebooks, EveryMac.com’s own Ultimate Mac Comparison makes it quick to compare side-by-side 32-bit and 64-bit Geekbench benchmark averages with all other G3 and later Macs for thousands of possible performance comparisons.
For example, Geekbench 4.0 shows that the “Mid-2017” MacBook Pro models are much faster than the non-Pro “Mid-2017” MacBook line. The entry-level MacBook – the MacBook “Core m3″ 1.2 12” (Mid-2017) – is a substantial 18%-26% slower than the entry-level 13-Inch MacBook Pro – the MacBook Pro “Core i5″ 2.3 13” (Mid-2017) – and a massive 18%-53% slower than the standard 15-Inch MacBook Pro – the MacBook Pro “Core i7″ 2.8 15” Touch/Mid-2017.
For the “Mid-2017” MacBook Pro models compared to one another, the Geekbench 4.0 benchmark shows that the standard 15-Inch MacBook Pro – the MacBook Pro “Core i7″ 2.8 15” Touch/Mid-2017 – is a modest 3% faster in single core tasks and a massive 61% faster in multicore tasks than the standard MacBook Pro “Core i5″ 3.1 13” Touch/Mid-2017. The 15-Inch models have four cores rather than two which explains the huge multicore performance difference.
For those interested in the ultimate in performance from this line, Geekbench 4.0 shows that the custom-configured MacBook Pro “Core i7″ 3.1 15” Touch/Mid-2017, which is a US$300 processor upgrade for the standard MacBook Pro “Core i7″ 2.8 15” Touch/Mid-2017, is 6% faster in single core tasks and 8% faster in multicore tasks. Because it costs 12.5% more, it does not represent a great price-to-performance value, but it still may be of interest if time is more important to you than money.
The Geekbench 4.0 benchmark shows that the “Mid-2017” MacBook Pro models are faster across the board compared to the “Late 2016” models replaced:
Late 2016 MBP Mid-2017 MBP Percent Faster “Core i5″ 2.0 13” “Core i5″ 2.3 13” 20%-32% “Core i7″ 2.4 13” “Core i7″ 2.5 13” 25%-30% “Core i5″ 2.9 13” Touch “Core i5″ 3.1 13” Touch 14%-21% “Core i5″ 3.1 13” Touch “Core i5″ 3.3 13” Touch 15%-22% “Core i7″ 3.3 13” Touch “Core i7″ 3.5 13” Touch 15%-21% “Core i7″ 2.6 15” Touch “Core i7″ 2.8 15” Touch 10%-20% “Core i7″ 2.7 15” Touch “Core i7″ 2.9 15” Touch 10%-19% “Core i7″ 2.9 15” Touch “Core i7″ 3.1 15” Touch 9%-17%
Certainly in terms of benchmarks, the performance increase between these models and their predecessors is significant.
Other Benchmarks & Real-World Test Results
Geekbench benchmarks provide a solid overview of overall performance, but other benchmarks and real-world tests also can be useful for perspective, particularly for graphics and disk-related tasks.
Apple Insider put the 13-Inch non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro through its paces and found graphics performance better than its predecessor, but found that disk performance actually is worse:
Macworld evaluated the 15-Inch model and reported nearly identical graphics performance in some benchmarks and notably better graphics performance in others:
Finally, in detailed tests, MacPerformanceGuide reported “jaw dropping performance” for the SSD in the 15-Inch “Mid-2017” MacBook Pro, but also found the notebook to be about “9% slower” than the 2015 model in some Photoshop tasks.
Even worse, the site reported:
The site speculates that this performance decrease over time is because of GPU throttling to prevent the thin notebook from overheating.
It is clear that the “Mid-2017” MacBook Pro models provide an overall boost in performance compared to their predecessors in many tasks, but this overall increase in speed is not always apparent in real-world use.
Ultimately, the “Mid-2017” MacBook Pro models provide a welcomed speed boost compared to their predecessors – particularly for SSD performance – but the models replaced, and even earlier models, remain quite competitive in many aspects.