As we move into a day and age where mechanical design is good enough to fit desktop-class GPUs into laptops, we knew Apple couldn't resist being near the front of the race. Their uniquely Apple take on graphics-heavy laptops is their Macbook Pro 16". We're going to explore some different configurations of this powerful laptop and see which ones suit which kind of user.
First off, we should let you know what the options are. For the processor, you can choose a 9th gen 6-core i7 or a 9th gen 8-core i9. As for graphics cards, Apple has gone full AMD with either a 5300M (4gb GDDR6), 5500M (4gb GDDR6), or another version of the 5500M that comes with 8gb of GDDR6. Pertaining to RAM, the Pro 16" starts with 16gb of DDR4 and goes all the way up to a dizzying 64. Lastly, for storage, you start with 512gb of SSD and go up in logical steps to an illogical 8tb of SSD. Unfortunately, Apple has kind of screwed us over by soldering in most components, forcing us to pay $200 extra for 1tb of SSD instead of installing a new one ourselves for $100.
This laptop, although having gaming PC-like specs, still has all the flair that Apple brings to the table with any of their products. It, of course, runs Apple's popular macOS, has a handy touch bar (I love it but some hate it), upper-class aesthetic, 2K screen, and thankfully has ditched the ghastly butterfly keyboard. The true tone color adjustment technology and retina display are great if you are a graphics creator.
Config 1: 1080p Mobile Gamer
This configuration is targeted towards someone who wanted to centralize everything digital they own. As well as using this laptop for work everywhere, this person also wanted to be able to use the laptop as a portable game station. They like working in cafes and might travel frequently, whether it's for their job or if they're a wealthier student. The included Radeon Pro 5300M is enough for 1080p gaming as well as any work multitasking they may desire, and the i7 6-core processor is powerful enough to run games and work tasks alike with zip. The one change we would make for this configuration is switching the storage to 1tb of SSD, or 2tb if you want. This is to hold all of your modern games and all the work files you need as well. Whoever gets this configuration might add on a Logitech G602 for a nice wireless gaming/work mouse.
Cost (1tb SSD): $2600
Config 2: Content Creator
Let's say you are a professional content creator. You might be a video editor, or a graphic designer. You need a portable solution where you can do your work anytime, anywhere. And if you ever have a place to sit down, this laptop has the power and storage to be a desktop class computer as well. We're going to add 2 terabytes of storage, because we know the amounts of storage graphic files can take up, the 8-core i9 processor, so you can run tons of applications at once, and get the 4gb 5500M for a very solid graphics card. Many content creators would also want a Logitech G604 because it comes with many macro keys to streamline their workflow.
Cost(2tb SSD, 8-core i9, 5500M 4gb): $3400
Config 3: Portable 4K Battlestation
Let's say you move around a lot, but you're a hardcore gamer. You need to configure your laptop to game in 2K or 4K. You need the portable 4K battlestation, a config that will be major in every category. This laptop will also be powerful enough to serve as a powerful desktop computer when you're home as well. We're not using the 8-core processor, but getting the 8gb 5500M because the GPU would be the major bottleneck for 2K or 4K gaming. 1tb of SSD is also included, and 32 gb of RAM to get lightning-fast speeds on everything you do.
Cost(1tb SSD, 8gb 5500M, 32gb RAM): $3200
So as you can see, each of these configurations are a massive amount of money. Apple has always tried to get some "halo effect" with each of their Pro series products, and honestly usually has succeeded. However, I'm not sure that heavy-duty laptops are really Apple's thing. After all, Apple has always prided itself on being a company that makes sleek, lightweight machines, and you know they've always charged premiums for upgrading your components. That's why for super powerful machines, people usually turn to other companies, while Apple still dominates the everyday and wealthy markets. Apple, in my opinion, is edging out of their lane here; they're trying to compete with windows laptop companies on what windows laptop companies are best at: performance for price. Apple should keep crushing it in the lightweight game and stay out of the gaming/video editing market. When you're looking at that much computing power, people need to optimize costs as much as possible, and that's simply not what Apple does; when they try to get into the ultra-powerful market, their values start clashing, and they produce an overly expensive failure most of the time (see: Mac Pro 2019). So while Apple has created an extremely powerful machine with an Apple flair to it, I'm not so sure this will appeal to many people.
Still want to buy it? Buy it here and customize it the way you like.