MacBook Pro facts for kids
MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
|Product family||MacBook family|
|System-on-chip used||Apple M1 (13-inch, M1, 2020) (current release)|
The MacBook Pro is a line of Macintosh portable computers introduced in January 2006 by Apple Inc. It is the higher-end model of the MacBook family, sitting above the consumer-focused MacBook Air, and is sold with 13- and 16-inch screens. 17-inch and 15-inch version were sold from April 2006 to June 2012 and January 2006 to January 2020, respectively.
The first generation MacBook Pro used the design of the PowerBook G4, but replaced the PowerPC G4 chips with Intel Core processors, added a webcam, and introduced the MagSafe power connector. The 15-inch model was introduced in January 2006; the 17-inch model in April. Later revisions added Intel Core 2 Duo processors and LED-backlit displays.
The second generation model debuted in October 2008 in 13- and 15-inch variants, with a 17-inch variant added in January 2009. Called the "unibody" model because its case was machined from a single piece of aluminum, it had a thinner flush display, a redesigned trackpad whose entire surface consisted of a single clickable button, and a redesigned keyboard. Updates brought Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and introduced Intel's Thunderbolt.
The third generation MacBook Pro was released in 2012: the 15-inch in June 2012, a 13-inch model in October. It is thinner than its predecessor, made solid-state storage (SSD) standard, added HDMI, and included a high-resolution Retina display. It eliminated Ethernet and FireWire ports and the optical drive.
The fourth generation MacBook Pro, released in October 2016, adopted USB-C for all data ports and power and included a shallower "butterfly"-mechanism keyboard. On all but the base model, the function keys were replaced with a touchscreen strip called the Touch Bar with a Touch ID sensor integrated into the power button.
The fifth generation MacBook Pro, released in November 2019, returned to a scissor-mechanism Magic Keyboard. The initial 16-inch model with a screen set in narrower bezels was followed by a 13-inch model in May 2020.
The sixth-generation MacBook Pro, released in November 2020, is the first MacBook Pro to feature an Apple-designed processor, the Apple M1.
- First generation (Aluminum)
- Second generation (Unibody)
- Third generation (Retina)
- Fourth generation (Touch Bar)
- Fifth generation (Magic Keyboard)
- Sixth generation (M1)
- Related pages
First generation (Aluminum)
The original 15-inch MacBook Pro was announced on January 10, 2006, by Steve Jobs at the Macworld Conference & Expo. The 17-inch model was unveiled on April 24, 2006. The first design was largely a carryover from the PowerBook G4, but uses Intel Core CPUs instead of PowerPC G4 chips. The 15-inch MacBook Pro weighs the same as the 15-inch aluminum PowerBook G4, but is 0.1 inches (0.25 cm) deeper, 0.4 inches (1.0 cm) wider, and 0.1 inches (0.25 cm) thinner. Other changes from the PowerBook include a built-in iSight webcam and the inclusion of MagSafe, a magnetic power connector designed to detach easily when yanked. These features were later brought over to the MacBook. The optical drive was reduced in size in order to fit into the slimmer MacBook Pro, hence it runs slower than the optical drive in the PowerBook G4 and cannot write to dual-layer DVDs.
Both the original 15- and 17-inch model MacBook Pro computers come with ExpressCard/34 slots, which replace the PC Card slots found in the PowerBook G4. All first-generation 15-inch models have two USB 2.0 ports and one FireWire 400 port, while the 17-inch models have three USB 2.0 ports as well as one FireWire 400 port. When first introduced, the MacBook Pro did not come with FireWire 800 or S-Video ports, although FireWire 800 was added in the next 15-inch model revision and is present in every version of the 17-inch design. S-Video capability can be attained through the use of a DVI to S-Video adapter. External displays with up to a 2560 × 1600 pixel resolution are supported through a dual-link DVI port. All models include a built-in Gigabit Ethernet port, Bluetooth 2.0, and 802.11a/b/g. Later models include support for the draft 2.0 specification of 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1.
Apple refreshed the entire MacBook Pro line on October 24, 2006, to include Intel Core 2 Duo processors which was the first MacBook Pro model to be 64 bit. Memory capacity was doubled for each model, to 1 GB on the low-end 15-inch and 2 GB for the high-end 15- and 17-inch models. FireWire 800 was added to the 15-inch models. Hard drive capacity was increased, although video card options stayed the same. The MacBook Pro line received a second update on June 5, 2007, with new Nvidia Geforce 8600M GT video cards and faster processor options. LED backlighting was added to the 15-inch model's screen, and its weight was reduced from 5.6 pounds (2.5 kg) to 5.4 pounds (2.4 kg). Furthermore, the speed of the front-side bus was increased from 667 MHz to 800 MHz. On November 1, 2007, Apple added the option of a 2.6 GHz Santa Rosa platform Core 2 Duo CPU as well as reconfigured hard drive options.
On February 26, 2008, the MacBook Pro line was updated once more. LED backlighting was added as an option for the 17-inch model. Processors were updated to "Penryn" cores, which are built on the 45 nanometer process (65 nanometer "Merom" cores were previously used), and hard drive and memory capacities were increased. Multi-touch capabilities, first introduced with the MacBook Air earlier that year, were brought over to the MacBook Pro's trackpad. When the 15-inch unibody MacBook Pro was introduced on October 14, 2008, the pre-unibody model with the same screen size was discontinued, while the 17-inch pre-unibody model continued to be sold. The original case design was discontinued on January 6, 2009, when the 17-inch MacBook Pro was also updated with unibody construction.
2007–2008 model GPU problems
Both 15" and 17" models of the MacBook Pro built from 2007-early 2008 (15") / late 2008 (17") using the 8600M GT chip exhibited severe GPU failures where the GPU die would reportedly detach from chip, or the chip detach from the logic board. The issue has been mitigated by some users by keeping the laptop cooler by means of less intensive use or alternative fan settings. Apple initially ignored reports, before admitting to the fault and replacing logic boards free of charge for up to 4 years after the purchase date. NVIDIA also confirmed the issue, and previously manufactured replacement GPUs, which some users have replaced themselves.
Second generation (Unibody)
On October 14, 2008, in a press event at company headquarters, Apple officials announced a new 15-inch MacBook Pro featuring a "precision aluminum unibody enclosure" and tapered sides similar to those of the MacBook Air. Designers shifted the MacBook Pro's ports to the left side of the case, and moved the optical disc drive slot from the front to the right side, similar to the MacBook. The new MacBook Pro computers had two video cards that the user could switch between: the Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT with either 256 or 512 MB of dedicated memory and a GeForce 9400M with 256 MB of shared system memory. Although the FireWire 400 port was removed, the FireWire 800 port remained. The DVI port was replaced with a Mini DisplayPort receptacle. The original unibody MacBook Pro came with a user-removable battery; Apple claimed five hours of use, with one reviewer reporting results closer to four hours on a continuous video battery stress test. Apple said that the battery would hold 80 percent of its charge after 300 recharges.
The unibody-construction MacBook Pro largely follows the styling of the original aluminum iMac and the MacBook Air and is slightly thinner than its predecessor, albeit wider and deeper due to the widescreen display. The screen is high-gloss, covered by an edge-to-edge reflective glass finish, while an anti-glare matte option is available in the 15- and 17-inch models in which the glass panel is removed. The entire trackpad is usable and acts as a clickable button. The trackpad is also larger than that of the first generation, giving more room for scrolling and multi-touch gestures. When the line was updated in April 2010, inertial scrolling was added, making the scrolling experience much like that of the iPhone and iPad. The keys, which are still backlit, are now identical to those of Apple's now-standard sunken keyboard with separated black keys. The physical screen release latch from the previous generation is replaced with a magnetic one.
During the MacWorld Expo keynote on January 6, 2009, Phil Schiller announced a 17-inch MacBook Pro with unibody construction. This version diverged from its 15-inch sibling with an anti-glare "matte" screen option (with the glossy finish standard) and a non user-removable lithium polymer battery. Instead of traditional round cells inside the casing, the lithium-ion polymer batteries are shaped and fitted into each laptop to maximally utilize space. Adaptive charging, which uses a chip to optimize the charge flow to reduce wear and tear, extends the battery's overall life. Battery life for the 17-inch version is quoted at eight hours, with 80 percent of this charge remaining after 1,000 charge-discharge cycles.
At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 8, 2009, it was announced that the 13-inch unibody MacBook would be upgraded and re-branded as a MacBook Pro, leaving only the white polycarbonate MacBook in the MacBook line. It was also announced that the entire MacBook Pro line would use the non user-removable battery first introduced in the 17-inch MacBook Pro. The updated MacBook Pro 13- and the 15-inch would each have up to a claimed seven hours of battery life, while the 17-inch would keep its eight-hour capacity. Some sources even reported up to eight hours of battery life for the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro computers during casual use, while others reported around six hours. Like the 17-inch MacBook Pro, Apple claims that they will last around 1,000 charge cycles while still containing 80 percent of their capacity. Graphics card options stayed the same from the previous release, although the 13-inch and the base model 15-inch, came with only the GeForce 9400M GPU. The screens were also improved, gaining a claimed 60 percent greater color gamut. All of these mid-2009 models also included a FireWire 800 port and all except the 17-inch models would receive an SD card slot. The 17-inch model would retain its ExpressCard/34 slot. For the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the Kensington lock slot was moved to the right side of the chassis. In August 2009, Apple extended the "matte" anti-glare display option to the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
On April 13, 2010, Intel Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs were introduced in the 15- and 17-inch models, while the 13-inch retained the Core 2 Duo with a speed increase. The power brick was redesigned and a high-resolution display (of 1680 × 1050) was announced as an option for the 15-inch models. The 13-inch gained an integrated Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics processing unit (GPU) with 256 MB of shared memory, while the 15- and 17-inch models were upgraded to the GeForce GT 330M, with either 256 or 512 MB of dedicated memory. The 15- and 17-inch models also have an integrated Intel GPU that is built into the Core i5 and i7 processors. The 15-inch model also gained 0.1 pounds (0.045 kg). Save for a third USB 2.0 slot, all the ports on the 17-inch MacBook Pro are the same in type and number as on the 15-inch version. All models come with 4 GB of system memory that is upgradeable to 8 GB. Battery life was also extended further in this update, to an estimated ten hours for the 13-inch and 8–9 hours on the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro computers. This was achieved through both greater power efficiency and adding more battery capacity. One reviewer reported about six hours of battery life through a continuous video battery stress test in the 15-inch and another, who called the battery life "unbeatable", reported nearer to eight in the 13-inch through their "highly demanding battery drain test".
Thunderbolt technology, Sandy Bridge dual-core Intel Core i5 and i7 (on the 13-inch model) or quad-core i7 (on the 15- and 17-inch models) processors, and a high definition FaceTime camera were added on February 24, 2011. Intel HD Graphics 3000 come integrated with the CPU, while the 15- and 17-inch models also utilize AMD Radeon HD 6490M and Radeon HD 6750M graphics cards. Later editions of these models, following the release of OS X Lion, replaced the Expose (F3) key with a Mission Control key, and the Dashboard (F4) key with a Launchpad key. The chassis bottoms are also engraved differently from the 2010 models. The Thunderbolt serial bus platform can achieve speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s, which is up to twice as fast as the USB 3.0 specification, 20 times faster than the USB 2.0 specification, and up to 12 times faster than FireWire 800. Apple says that Thunderbolt can be used to drive displays or to transfer large quantities of data in a short amount of time.
On June 11, 2012, Apple showcased its upgraded Mac notebooks, OS X Mountain Lion, and iOS 6 at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. The new MacBook Pro models were updated with Ivy Bridge processors and USB 3.0 ports, and the default RAM on premium models was increased to 8 GB. Following this announcement, the 17-inch model was discontinued. After a media event on October 22, 2013, Apple discontinued all second-generation MacBook Pro computers except for the entry-level 2.5 GHz 13-inch model. Apple discontinued the 13-inch second-generation MacBook Pro on October 27, 2016. Prior to its discontinuation it was Apple's only product to still include an optical drive and a FireWire port, and only laptop with a hard disk drive and Ethernet port.
Early and Late-2011 model GPU problems
Early and Late 2011 models with a GPU; 15" & 17"; reportedly suffer from manufacturing problems leading to overheating, graphical problem, and eventually complete GPU and logic board failure. A similar but nonidentical problem affected iMac GPUs which were later recalled by Apple. The problem was covered by many articles in Mac-focused magazines, starting late 2013 throughout 2014. In August 2014 the law firm Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP had begun investigating the problem to determine if any legal claim exists. On October 28, 2014, the firm announced that it has filed a class-action lawsuit in a California federal court against Apple. The lawsuit will cover residents residing in both California and Florida who have purchased a 2011 MacBook Pro notebook with an AMD graphics card. The firm is also investigating similar cases across the United States. On February 20, 2015, Apple instituted the This "will repair affected MacBook Pro systems, free of charge". The program covered affected MacBook Pro models until December 31, 2016 or four years from original date of sale.
Third generation (Retina)
On June 11, 2012, at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Apple introduced the third generation MacBook Pro, marketed as the "MacBook Pro with Retina display" to differentiate it from the previous model. The new model includes Intel's third-generation Core i7 processors (Ivy Bridge microarchitecture), USB 3.0, and a high-resolution 15.4" IPS 2880 × 1800 Retina Display. Other new or changed features include a second Thunderbolt port, an HDMI port, and a thinner MagSafe port, dubbed the "MagSafe 2". The MacBook Pro with Retina display was one of only two Macs that feature a built-in HDMI port (the other being the Mac Mini). Apple introduced a 13-inch version on October 23, 2012 with specifications similar but slightly inferior to the 15-inch version's, such as less powerful processors.
The new models omit Ethernet and FireWire 800 ports, though Apple offers Thunderbolt adapters for both interfaces. They also omit a SuperDrive, making the 15-inch model Apple's first professional notebook since the PowerBook 2400c to ship without a built-in optical drive. Instead of a hard disk drive, the new models ship with a solid state drive housed in a proprietary flash module design rather than a 2.5-inch notebook drive. Apple also claims improved speakers and microphones and a new system for cooling the notebook with improved fans. The new case design does not have a Kensington lock slot, so alternative products are required to physically secure the computer.
The Retina models also have fewer user-accessible upgrade or replacement options than previous MacBooks. Unlike in previous generations, the memory is soldered onto the logic board and is therefore not upgradable. The solid state drive is not soldered and can be replaced by users, although it has a proprietary connector and form factor. The battery is glued into place; attempts to remove it may destroy the battery and/or trackpad. The entire case uses proprietary pentalobe screws and cannot be disassembled with standard tools. While the battery is glued in, recycling companies have stated that the design is only "mildly inconvenient" and does not hamper the recycling process. In any case, Apple offers a free recycling service via any of their stores and has no problem with separating the materials.
On February 13, 2013, Apple announced updated prices and processors and increased the memory of the high-end 15-inch model to 16 GB.
On October 22, 2013, Apple updated the line with Intel's Haswell processors and Iris Graphics, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Thunderbolt 2, and PCIe-based flash storage. The chassis of the 13-inch version was slightly slimmed to 0.71 inches (18 mm) to match the 15-inch model. The lower-end 15-inch model only included integrated graphics while the higher-end model continued to include a discrete Nvidia graphics card in addition to integrated graphics. Support for 4K video output via HDMI was added but limited the maximum number of external displays from three to two. On July 29, 2014 Apple announced new models with updated prices and processors.
On March 9, 2015, the 13-inch model was updated with Intel Broadwell processors, Iris 6100 graphics, faster flash storage (based on PCIe 2.0 × 4 technology), faster RAM (upgraded from 1600MHZ to 1866MHZ), increased battery life (extended to 10 hours), and a Force Touch trackpad. On May 19, 2015, 15-inch model added Force Touch and changed the GPU to AMD Radeon R9 M370X, SSD based on PCIe 3.0 × 4 technology, the battery life was extended to 9 hours, and the rest of the configuration remained unchanged. The higher-end 15-inch model also added support for dual-cable output to 5120 × 2880 displays. The 15-inch models were released with the same Intel Haswell processors and Iris Pro graphics as the 2014 models due to a delay in shipment of newer Broadwell quad-core processors. Apple continued to sell the 2015 15-inch model until July 2018.
The most apparent body changes are a thinner chassis and a display with a redesigned hinge and thinner bezel, and the removal of the internal optical drive and the battery indicator button and light on the side of the chassis. The power button is moved from the upper right corner of the chassis onto the keyboard, taking the place of the optical disc eject button. At 0.71 inches (18 mm) thick, the 15-inch model is 25 percent thinner than its predecessor. The model name is no longer placed at the bottom of the screen bezel; instead, it is found on the underside of the chassis, similar to an iOS device. It is the first Macintosh laptop to not have its model name visible during normal use, as every prior laptop had its model name on the screen bezel or keyboard.
Repairability and environmental concerns
Apple was criticized for gluing the battery into the case, making it harder to be recycled (ease of disassembly is an EPEAT criterion). Greenpeace spokesman Casey Harrell said Apple "has pitted design against the environment—and chosen design. They're making a big bet that people don't care, but recycling is a big issue." Wired also criticized Apple's recyclability claims: "[t]he design may well be comprised of 'highly recyclable aluminum and glass'—but my friends in the electronics recycling industry tell me they have no way of recycling aluminum that has glass glued to it like Apple did with both this machine and the recent iPad."
In June 2019, Apple announced a worldwide recall for certain 2015 15" MacBook Pro computers due to a potential overheating and fire-safety risk. Affected units were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017 and recall eligibility is determined by the product serial number. It was determined that 432,000 units were affected with reports of minor burns, smoke inhalation and property damage. The company asked customers to stop using their MacBook Pro computers until they could be repaired with replacement batteries.
In September 2019, India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation said MacBook Pro computers could dangerously overheat, leading the national carrier Air India to ban the model on its flights.
Fourth generation (Touch Bar)
Apple unveiled fourth generation 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro models during a press event at their headquarters on October 27, 2016. All models, except for the baseline 13-inch model, introduced the Touch Bar, a multi-touch enabled OLED strip built into the top of the keyboard in place of the function keys. The Touch Bar models also include a sapphire-glass covered Touch ID sensor at the right end of the Touch Bar which doubles as a power button. The models also introduce a "second-generation" butterfly mechanism keyboard that provided more travel than the first iteration implemented on the Retina MacBook. The 13-inch model has a trackpad that is 46% larger than its predecessor while the 15-inch model has a trackpad twice as large as the prior generation.
All ports have been replaced with either two or four combination Thunderbolt 3 ports that support USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 and dual DisplayPort 1.2 signals, any of which can be used for charging. The MacBook Pro is incompatible with some older Thunderbolt 3 certified peripherals, including Intel's own reference design for Thunderbolt 3 devices. Furthermore, macOS on MacBook Pro blocks certain classes of Thunderbolt 3 compatible devices from working by blacklisting them. Support for Thunderbolt 3 external graphics processing units (eGPU) was added in macOS High Sierra 10.13.4. Devices using HDMI, previous generation Thunderbolt, and USB will require an adapter to connect to the MacBook Pro. The models come with a 3.5 mm headphone jack, although TOSLINK functionality of older generation MacBook Pro computers has been removed.
Other updates to the MacBook Pro include dual- and quad-core Intel "Skylake" Core i5 and i7 processors, improved graphics, and displays that offer a 25% wider color gamut, 67% more brightness, and 67% more contrast. All versions are able to output to a 5K display, with the 15-inch models capable of two. The 15-inch models include a discrete Radeon Pro 450, 455 or 460 graphics card in addition to the integrated Intel graphics. Additionally, Apple introduced a cheaper lower-end 13-inch model which lacks the Touch Bar in favor of function keys, and has only two USB-C ports. The flash storage in the Touch Bar models is soldered to the logic board and is not upgradeable, while in the 13-inch model without Touch Bar, it is removable, but difficult to replace, as it is a proprietary format of SSD storage.
On June 5, 2017, Apple updated the line with Intel Kaby Lake processors and newer graphics cards. Additionally, the 13-inch model now comes with a 128 GB (119 GiB) storage option, down from the base 256 GB (238 GiB) storage. New symbols are introduced to the control and option keys. On July 12, 2018, Apple updated the Touch Bar models with Intel Coffee Lake quad-core processors in 13-inch models and six-core processors in 15-inch models, updated graphics cards, improved third-generation butterfly keyboards, Bluetooth 5, T2 SoC Chip, True Tone display technology, and larger capacity batteries. The 15-inch model can also be configured with up to 4 TB (3725 GiB) of storage, 32 GB of DDR4 memory and a Core i9 processor. In late November the higher-end 15-inch model could be configured with Radeon Pro Vega graphics. On May 21, 2019 Apple announced updated Touch Bar models with newer processors, with an eight-core Core i9 standard for the higher-end 15-inch model, and an updated keyboard manufactured with "new materials" across the line. On July 9, 2019 Apple updated the 13-inch model with two Thunderbolt ports with newer quad-core 8th-generation processors and Intel Iris Plus graphics, True Tone display technology, and replaced the function keys with the Touch Bar. macOS Catalina added support for Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 on 2018 and newer models. macOS Catalina 10.15.2 added support for 6016x3384 output on 15-inch 2018 and newer models to run the Pro Display XDR at full resolution.
The 2019 MacBook Pro is the final model that can be downgraded from macOS Catalina 10.15 to macOS Mojave 10.14; 2020 models cannot. Mojave is the final MacOS operating system to support 32-bit applications such as Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 and other 32-bit applications will fail to run on macOS Catalina or later iterations of the Mac operating system, as they only support 64-bit applications.
Design and usability
The fourth generation MacBook Pro follows the design of the previous two generations with an all-metal unibody enclosure and separated black keys. A few apparent design changes are a thinner chassis, thinner screen bezel, larger trackpad, the OLED Touch Bar, and shallower butterfly mechanism keyboard with less key separation than the previous models. The speakers grilles have been relocated to the sides of the keyboard on the 13-inch variant. Tear downs show that the speaker grilles on the 13-inch model with Touch Bar are "largely cosmetic", and that sound output mostly comes through the side vents. The fourth generation MacBook Pro comes in two finishes, the traditional silver color and a darker "space gray" color. The MacBook Pro model name returns to the bottom of the screen bezel in Apple's San Francisco font after being absent from the second generation with Retina display. As with the Retina MacBook, the new models replace the backlit white Apple logo on the rear of the screen, a feature dating back to the 1999 PowerBook G3, with a glossy black opaque version.
MagSafe, a magnetic charging connector, has been replaced with USB-C charging. Unlike MagSafe, which provided an indicator light within the user's field of view to indicate the device's charging status, the USB-C charger has no visual indicator. Instead, the MacBook Pro emits a chime when connected to power. The Macintosh startup chime that has been used since the first Macintosh in 1984 is now disabled by default. The laptop now boots automatically when the lid is opened.
The battery life of the new models also received mixed reception, with outlets reporting inconsistent battery life and inaccurate estimates of time remaining on battery by the operating system. After the latter reports, Apple used a macOS update to hide the display of estimated battery time. Consumer Reports did not initially recommend the 2016 MacBook Pro models, citing inconsistent and unpredictable battery life in its lab testing (which involves the consecutive loading of multiple websites). However, Apple and Consumer Reports found that the results had been affected by a bug caused by disabling caching in Safari's developer tools. Consumer Reports performed the tests again with a patched macOS, and retracted its original assessment.
iFixit scored the models 1 out of 10 for repairability, noting that memory, the processor, and flash storage are soldered to the logic board, while the battery is glued to the case. The entire assembly uses proprietary pentalobe screws and cannot be disassembled with standard tools.
A report by AppleInsider has claimed that the updated butterfly keyboard fails twice as often as previous models, often due to particles stuck beneath the keys. Repairs for stuck keys have been estimated to cost more than $700. In May 2018, two class action lawsuits were filed against Apple regarding the keyboard problem; one alleged a "constant threat of nonresponsive keys and accompanying keyboard failure" and accusing Apple of not alerting consumers to the problem. In June 2018, Apple announced a Service Program to "service eligible MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards, free of charge". The 2018 models added a membrane underneath keys to prevent malfunction from dust. As of early 2019, there were reports of problems with the same type of keyboards in the 2018 MacBook Air. In May 2019, Apple modified the keyboard for the fourth time and promised that any MacBook keyboard with butterfly switches will be repaired or replaced free during four years after the date of sale.
Thermal throttling drew widespread attention when YouTuber Dave Lee posted a video of a MacBook Pro running Adobe Premiere that was throttled below the CPU's 2.9 GHz base clock speed.
PC Magazine said "the Core i9 processor Apple chose to use inside the MacBook Pro (i9-8950K) has a base clock frequency of 2.9GHz, which is capable of bursting up to 4.8GHz when necessary. However, testing carried out by YouTuber Dave Lee showed that the Core i9 couldn't even maintain 2.9GHz, let alone 4.8GHz. And it ended up running at 2.2GHz due to the heat generated inside the chassis forcing it to throttle. Lee found the 2018 i9 MacBook Pro was slower than the 2017 MacBook Pro and stated, "This isn't a problem with Intel's Core i9, it's Apple's thermal solution." When Lee put the i9 MacBook Pro inside a freezer, the render times were over 30% faster.
On July 24, 2018, Apple released a software fix for the new 2018 MacBook Pro computers which addressed the thermal throttling problem. Apple said "there is a missing digital key in the firmware that impacts the thermal management system and could drive clock speeds down under heavy thermal loads on the new MacBook Pro".
A "limited number" of 13-inch MacBook Pro units without Touch Bar, manufactured between October 2016 and October 2017, saw the built-in battery swell. Apple created a free replacement program for eligible units.
A "limited number" of 128 GB and 256 GB solid-state drives used in 13-inch MacBook Pro (non-Touch Bar) units can lose data and fail. 13-inch MacBook Pro units with affected drives were sold between June 2017 and June 2018. This resulted in Apple launching a repair program for those affected – the repair involves the update of firmware.
Some users are reporting kernel panics on 2018 models, because of the T2 chip. Apple is already aware of the problem and performing an investigation. There are also user reports about the speaker crackling problems on the 2018 models.
Users have reported malfunctioning display cables, causing uneven lighting at the bottom of the screen and ultimately display failure. Customers of Apple have named this issue "Flexgate". The problem has been tracked to a cable, stressed from opening and closing the laptop. The entire display needs to be replaced in affected units. In May 2019 Apple initiated a program to replace the display on affected 13-inch models made in 2016 for free, and the cable on the 2018 models and onwards was made 2 mm longer than on prior models, thus reducing the likelihood of display failure . Apple has been criticized for not extending the replacement program to the 15-inch models which are also affected by this issue.
Fifth generation (Magic Keyboard)
Apple unveiled the fifth generation 16-inch MacBook Pro on November 13, 2019, replacing the 15-inch model from the previous generation. Similar in size to its predecessor, it has a larger 16-inch 3072x1920 Retina display set in a narrower bezel, the largest MacBook screen since the 17-inch unibody MacBook Pro that was discontinued in 2012. It has a physical Escape key; a Touch Bar, a multi-touch-enabled OLED strip atop the keyboard in place of the function keys; and a now-separate sapphire-glass-covered Touch ID sensor at the right end of the Touch Bar that doubles as a power button. It uses a scissor mechanism keyboard almost identical to Apple's wireless Magic Keyboard, providing more travel than the previous revision's "Butterfly" keyboard.
Like its predecessor, the 16-inch MacBook Pro has four combined Thunderbolt 3 ports that support USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 and dual DisplayPort 1.4 signals, providing 6016×3384 output to run the Pro Display XDR at full resolution. Any port can be used for charging, it includes a 96 W USB-C power adapter. At launch only the included adapter and the Pro Display XDR provide full host power. Peripherals that delivered 87 W for the previous generation 15-inch model, such as LG Ultrafine displays, are recommended to be used with a separate power supply. It also has a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
It uses the same Coffee Lake CPUs as the 2019 15-inch model. Purchasers can choose between AMD Radeon Pro 5300M or 5500M GPUs with up to 8 GB of GDDR6 memory (or from June 2020 onwards, a 5600M GPU with 8 GB of HBM2 memory), up to 64 GB of 2667 MHz DDR4 memory, and up to 8 TB of SSD storage. It includes better speakers, a better three-microphone array, and a 100 Wh battery, the largest that can be easily carried onto a commercial airliner under U.S. Transportation Security Administration rules.
On May 4, 2020, Apple announced updated 13-inch models with the Magic Keyboard. The four Thunderbolt port version comes with Ice Lake processors, updated graphics, up to 32 GB of memory and 4 TB of storage, and supports 6K output to run the Pro Display XDR. The two Thunderbolt port version has the same Coffee Lake processors, graphics, and maximum storage and memory as the 2019 two Thunderbolt port models. The 2020 13-inch models also gain 0.2 inches (0.6 mm) over the 2019 models.
Sixth generation (M1)
On November 10, 2020, Apple announced a two-port 13-inch MacBook Pro with an Apple-designed Apple M1 processor, launched alongside an updated MacBook Air and Mac Mini as the first Macs with Apple's new line of custom ARM-based Apple silicon processors. The MacBook Pro with Apple silicon retains the previous generation's form factor while adding support for Wi-Fi 6, USB4, and 6K output to run the Pro Display XDR. The number of supported external displays was reduced to one, as the previous-generation Intel-based model supported two 4K displays. The FaceTime camera remains 720p but Apple advertises an improved image signal processor for higher quality video. It is still sold alongside the previous-generation 16-inch and four-port 13-inch MacBook Pro.
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