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No Film School’s Review of the 2016 MacBook Pro

Filmmakers are among the most demanding professional Mac users, so their perspective is valuable when evaluating Apple’s professional-grade hardware. Filmmaker Charles Haine reviewed the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar for the No Film School Web site and found it lacking. Compared with a similar 2013 model, he feels that the new 15-inch MacBook Pro offers no significant advantages. He found the Touch Bar clumsy, the keyboard too loud, and the trackpad awkward. Most damning, he found that the much-touted display is not color accurate. While overall performance wasn’t notably different from the previous MacBook Pro model, the new MacBook Pro does offer a significant speed boost to GPU-intensive activities such as rendering RED files in Adobe Premiere and using the DaVinci Resolve non-linear video editor. Note that No Film School chose not to test with Apple’s Final Cut Pro X, saying, “While the 10.3 release is a major upgrade, and FCPX seems to be gaining ground with the pro market that it lost, it’s still just not that common a professional tool anymore.”favicon follow link


Comments about No Film School’s Review of the 2016 MacBook Pro
(Comments are closed.)

Richard  2016-12-24 07:17
I thought the piece was well done. I'm not a filmmaker, I'm a photographer who does fine art printing. I use a 2014 MacBook Pro.

The loudness of the keyboard was meaningful to me.
The closeness of the ports was meaningful to me.
The TouchBar comments were meaningful to me.

I'd like Touch ID on the Mac but frankly, I've had no problem using my iPhone with Safari to do ApplePay on the Mac so it's not essential for me.

Apple's movement to a machine like this with an emphasis on lightness will push at least some of us to make a large change: instead of running our lives on a single, high end MacBook Pro with or without external monitor, we'll now consider a lighter machine for travel and an iMac (next year's) for the desktop.

It doesn't make sense to spend close to $4K for the new MacBook Pro and another $1K or more for a new LG monitor when you can get a loaded iMac and a 13" MacBook Air or even low end non-touchbar MacBook Pro for about the same money.
David Redfearn  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2016-12-26 13:19
I own the MBP 15 and have enjoyed using it so far. What concerns me most about the review is the analysis that the screen color accuracy was poor. I upgraded to 16GB of RAM and the 460 graphics because I wanted to use the MBP for my photo processing. I'm curious about whether the reviewer had a defective MBP - or if this applies to all these models. Any other reviews that analyzed the color accuracy? The reviewer is correct that Apple has hyped the expanded color gamut - so if the color accuracy is poor, then that is a big fail.
And from a still photographer's perspective:

The last two paragraphs succinctly sum up Apple's problem
Nicholas Croft  2017-01-03 01:47
At the very *least*... Apple need to add nVidia (CUDA) support as an CTO option.

A 1050ti in the new MacBookPro would make a LOT of pro's happy, and fits in the TDP budget.

32gb of ram would be nice too.

The OpenCL (AMD only) gamble has only paid off for FCP users, Adobe/Octane etc have NOT followed suit in re-writing their render engines for OpenCL.

It *should* be the other way around: Apple could add CUDA support alongside OpenCl for FCPX, then let the end user decide which GPU to use, based on toolset.

Clearly no decision maker at Apple uses the mainstream toolset(s) that define modern 3d/Video/ArchVis.

Willful negligence.