MacInTouch Amazon link...
Channels
Apple, Products, Questions
Are you sure about that? I ran the previous 3.5.2 Power Gadget release on Sierra on my 2015 MacBook Pro Retina 15".
I'm running Power Gadget 3.5.2 on Sierra on my late-2013 Retina MacBook Pro, as well. (You should be able to find it with a Google search if it's not on the Intel website.) From a preliminary test, it looks like my laptop throttles way, way down when doing any real work (i.e. 4Kx4K stereoscopic renders in Premiere Pro or Mistika VR).
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
If you are one of the people who would prefer a thicker, heavier MacBook Pro in exchange for the ability to max out the GPU and CPU at the same time, Apple does not make a laptop for you, for better or worse. You would be better off getting a portable workstation or gaming machine from another manufacturer.
Apple's earlier MacBook Pro models were a little thicker and heavier vs. the current generation, but nothing like giant gaming laptops from other manufacturers. The current MacBook Pro is smaller than a MacBook Air!

Personally, I think the current MacBook "Pro" line would be more rationally named if it were called something like "MacBook Air Pro", since that's what it actually is.

I mean, if Apple comes out with a new "Mac Pro" next year that's jammed into a Mac Mini-sized enclosure, will that still be a real Mac Pro outside the Apple Reality Distortion Field? I don't think so.

I understand your point, but I think it's quite possible to engineer a true MacBook Pro that can handle heat better than the current Air-sized laptops while still retaining all the style and characteristics Apple is known for, even if that means a slight increase from its current Lilliputian dimensions (not even a major change).

And all that, of course, ignores the fact that Intel is late with its smaller-process, lower-power CPUs, which is probably a major factor in this current design issue, along with demands for extremely high GPU power for new applications - A.I., VR, 4K/5K/8K, etc.
 


Ars Technica has a nice report on the overheating issue. Their findings on the i9 version are:
  • Post-patch, the clock speed is well-behaved and consistent at 3.5 GHz with the CPU maxed out.
  • However, whenthe GPU is also maxed out, CPU speed decreases to 2 GHz.
This shows that the thermal design is grossly inadequate to handle those components.
If the GPUs are doing substantially more work, it just means you are getting a trade-off of slower CPU for vastly more computations getting done. That's reasonable. What was grossly inadequate was the power/thermal control system not moving to a safe, stable equilibrium point. The flat lines in the 2 and 4 graphs are what should have shipped in the first place. The stuff in the 3 graph is ridiculous that someone thought that was OK to go out the door.

If the CPU running at 2Ghz can keep the GPU fed so that it can run at close to full speed, then that works, because the CPU is "fast enough'. The "benchmarks" that Ars is running here are primarily turning the CPU into a heater, not to do productive computational work.

Yes, the profile could be different if this was a primarily desktop replacement chassis (designed around lid-closed desktop use 99% of the time and weight/thickness constraints from a decade ago), but it isn't.
That Apple hasn't changed it from the previous model while charging such high $$$ is inexcusable, in my opinion.
If the i9 + Mac GPU system is faster than the i7 + entry GPU and mid-range options, then it 'works'. Most of what Apple is going to sell is the entry-mid- range models; not the max configuration options.

If trying to buy the MacBook Pro 15" as a dedicated rendering box that has a higher CPU component than a GPU one, then stepping back on the GPU would be useful. Most folks, though, aren't going to stress both at the same time for long stretches.
Things are likely very similar for the i7 model, as it has, on paper, a similar TDP.
TDP is a thermal/power envelope. It isn't direct consumption. The i7 is a similar TDP, because they are supposed to go into similar systems.

If you want to get a pragmatically better envelope, though, it is the GPU (don't pick the max) that you probably should be looking at. That's the tipping point (the shared heatpipe and fan with the CPU). When the GPU pumps over heat to the CPU, then the CPU slows down. Choosing an i5 wouldn't significantly address the root cause issue.
 


You can only boot from an external if it's formatted APFS. I used an SSD. A spinning drive might work, and I'll try that tomorrow.
I'm running Low Sierra, High Sierra, and Mojave (beta) - all from external drives, both SSDs and HDDs, and all using HFS+. No APFS in this house.

This is on a late 2012 Mac Mini i7 2.6GHz. I've booted and run from external SSDs (and HDDs) since the day I took it out of the box in January 2013.

Even though Apple makes every effort to force users into installing High Sierra and Mojave "as APFS", both still run happily using HFS+.

This hearkens back to Apple's Mail.app, which makes it all but impossible to select POP when setting up a new email account. It can be done, but they don't want you to do it (I still like POP and will use it as long as it still works). Similarly, I'll keep using HFS+ until it's impossible to install it any more.
 


I'm running Low Sierra, High Sierra, and Mojave (beta) - all from external drives, both SSDs and HDDs, and all using HFS+. No APFS in this house.
What trick did you use to install Mojave on an HFS+ volume? I'm not running the beta, but I understood that Apple had removed the switch from the installer that (in High Sierra) allowed you to defeat the automatic APFS conversion. Or did you install to an APFS volume and then clone to HFS+?

Like you, I have no interest in Apple's experimental file system (or experimental OS's, either, a reason why I haven't and won't install High Sierra anywhere), and the APFS requirement is going to be a driver for whether I bother with Mojave at all.
 


I set up a 2018 MacBook Pro 15" yesterday. Recommended the i7 over the i9 to my client, due to lingering apprehension that the i9 processor is simply too hot and my suspicion is that the lifespan of an i9-equipped MacBook Pro will be shorter than those with i7's due to accumulated thermal stress.

I noticed two things, both disturbing:

• I fully migrated over, at initial boot of the 2018 i7, a perfectly-working and fully updated El Capitan build from a 2015 MacBook Pro, including many apps purchased from the Mac App Store. But, for the first time ever, about 30% of those apps (but 0% of 3rd-party apps) were "damaged" and refused to launch upon completion of the migration and subsequent updates to the OS. I therefore had to resort to tossing them and reinstalling them from the App Store. These apps were the same exact release/version for El Capitan as they are for High Sierra. Never experienced this before, and I have migrated many setups in the past.

• More disturbing was the fact of the appearance, when viewed from an angle, of the 2018's display. It is rippled and wavy. This is hugely different from the completely smooth reflections I observe with the 2015 MacBook Pro 15" glass. I have zero observations of any 2016 or 2017 MacBook Pros, so I'm not sure if Apple changed the coating on the glass of this year's model or did so to the '16 / '17 releases. In any case, I find the coating to be sub-par. It may not make any difference when viewed from straight-on, but I would guess there's got to be subtle distortion of the underlying projected images.
 


I set up a 2018 MacBook Pro 15" yesterday.

• for the first time ever, about 30% of those apps (but 0% of 3rd-party apps) were "damaged" and refused to launch upon completion of the migration and subsequent updates to the OS.

• More disturbing was the fact of the appearance, when viewed from an angle, of the 2018's display. It is rippled and wavy.
I got my i7 MacBook Pro 15" last week and had neither of those problems. In particular the display seems very smooth from any angle. I think you should take yours in to the Apple Store and see if it warrants a replacement.
 


Scott, I got my 2018 i9 MacBook Pro 15", 32GB and 4TB RAM (yes, I splurged, since it seems to not be user-upgradeable later) last Wednesday (7/25) to replace my 15" 2012 MacBook Pro 15". I didn't notice an issue with the display, nor have I had any issues with the apps transferred with Migration Assistant, so, as Jim says, you may want to get it checked. (Except it didn't transfer the 2011 Microsoft Office license, which I think I can do manually, but haven't needed it yet, so haven't done so.)

As long as I am writing, my impression coming from the 2012 machine is that it is a dream. I had noticed some slowdowns on the 2012 machine even with an SSD upgrade, but this new machine is amazingly fast and really shows how slow the 2012 was at various times. I have yet to see any hesitations that I'd see on the 2012 machine (presumably paging from disk to RAM). With a similar use pattern, right now I see:
Memory Used: 19.47GB
Cached files: 11.91GB
Swapped Used: 609.8MB
Compiles can use the extra cores, and they are noticeably faster in Xcode (and iMovie is faster, too, when I've exported a few things for the wife).

I would see the memory maxed on the 2012 16GB machine and a fair amount of swap, so that alone was worth the price. Let's hope that a 64GB option doesn't take nearly as long as the 16->32 availability, since I suspect in 4-5 years, 32GB will seem small again.

I'm still using it to drive my 2004 30" Cinema display but am considering upgrading it sometime. I've been looking at a 4K or 5K display. The Cinema has been fine but a little dimmer than in mid-2004, when it was new, but has held up amazingly well, so I'm not in a rush. If Apple releases their own display in the next few months or early next year with the new Mac Pro, I may consider it, unless I bite the bullet and upgrade before.

My only gripes are:
1. The SSD can't be upgraded later​
2. The RAM can't be upgraded later​
3. There isn't a 17" available.​
4. It took so long to have 32 GB available.​
 


I fully migrated over, at initial boot of the 2018 i7, a perfectly-working and fully updated El Capitan build from a 2015 MacBook Pro, including many apps purchased from the Mac App Store. But, for the first time ever, about 30% of those apps (but 0% of 3rd-party apps) were "damaged" and refused to launch upon completion of the migration and subsequent updates to the OS.
I've seen this symptom relatively regularly when migrating apps from one Mac to another using Migration Assistant, including most recently going from a 2014 i7 MacBook Pro to a 2018 i9 model. It is not restricted to 1st-party apps; this time around I had to reinstall four 3rd-party apps and no 1st-party ones (that I've noticed, anyway), but in the past I've seen varying mixes.

I have no idea what causes this--a DRM issue of some kind, bug in Migration Assistant, or something else--but in any case it's fairly painless to deal with, unless you have no internet service, since redownloading apps only takes a couple of clicks. Compared to the pain of reinstalling, say, any Adobe product when moving to a new computer (those break more often than not in my experience, probably due to Adobe's DRM), it's a minor inconvenience.

More disturbing was the fact of the appearance, when viewed from an angle, of the 2018's display. It is rippled and wavy.
Either you have a bum display or you're being overly sensitive to whatever glass-bonding or antireflective coating process Apple uses.

Looking at my 2018 MacBook Pro from maybe a 2- or 3-degree angle when off, I can see some very slight wavy-ness to the surface, but the exact same thing is visible on a 2014 MacBook Pro Retina, and it's also no different than the surface of my Vizio TV. My 5K iMac, however (which has a different screen design and coating process than a MacBook Pro or a TV) is quite smooth.

I've seen similar texture on enough computer screens and TVs to be confident that it's just part of the design, and at least at the level of not-perfectly-smoothness visible on my own 2018 MacBook Pro panel. I'm 100% certain that it will have no effect on the display when viewed from anything even resembling a normal user position (or even not, as the not-perfectly-smoothness is only on the top surface, not the LCD substrate). If yours is so much worse you really think it might be visible in use, maybe it's a manufacturing defect.

(An aside: had completely forgotten until just now that interim era where Apple offered a choice between glossy glass screen and matte finish on the MacBook Pro.)
 


Previous MacBook Pros had a mechanical design such that, when opening the lid, the whole lid was a stiff single mechanism and the hinges attached to the case and display turned at the same rate when you opened it. All the way back to the first PowerBooks. Their laptops have always been famous for careful mechanical design.

Now, if you open the lid from the left side, the whole display will flex on the right side and vice-versa. If these things are held together with adhesive (I think they are), that's trouble.

It's internally rumored at Apple that 2016-17 MacBook Pro display assemblies have a notorious failure rate. If you do not open the display from the center every time, alternate twisting of the display (go to store and see for yourself) from opening on the left side then right, will flex the display adhesive apart. [...]

[I've just added a note about MacBook Pro screen problems under the Apple Quality topic. -Ric Ford]
 


Mixed experience with a new 2018 MacBook Pro i7 16GB 1TB. I did a completely fresh install of apps and data: no automatic migration, as I haven’t done that for a few years and wanted to make sure I wasn’t carrying over crud.

On the positive side, it works very well as a Mac – feels noticeably more responsive than 2015 i7 16GB 1TB, and the keyboard is fine.

Then installed a new retail install of Windows 10 under Boot Camp, and the fun began. Windows won’t install if there is any external device attached – it complains it can’t find the installation files. I worked this out and installed, but then it didn’t switch back to macOS well. Restart with macOS from Windows Boot Camp got as far as the Mac login then froze. This was consistent behaviour. Forced power off got it working again (but this happened every time I switched from Boot Camp to macOS)

Installed Parallels Desktop Pro Edition using the Boot Camp install as the image and went through the ‘phone Microsoft to Activate’ game. After all this, I thought I had what I wanted until Windows complained it had no disk space. I’d given Boot Camp 128 GB and Windows etc. used about 40 GB. Eventually figured out that there was a ‘hidden’ unknown chunk of hard disk using over 80GB that there didn’t seem any way to fix using Windows or Mac tools.

I didn’t really know what I was doing at this point, but it seemed like a good idea: Copied all the files (including hidden files) to Mac, reformatted the Boot Camp partition as NTFS and copied them all back. After this, Windows booted in Boot Camp and looked fine, except it wouldn’t display any text at all: so, not usable…..

At this point I gave up, removed Boot Camp and built a Parallels machine using a disk image on the Mac.

Now I really don’t know what I’m saying, but it seems the machine gets confused about having more than one disk/operating system and gets its own back by mangling one of them.

Summary is: a great machine for macOS, but Boot Camp needs work.
 


Looking at my 2018 MacBook Pro from maybe a 2- or 3-degree angle when off, I can see some very slight wavy-ness to the surface, but the exact same thing is visible on a 2014 MacBook Pro Retina, and it's also no different than the surface of my Vizio TV.
Since I had them handy at work, I also took a look at a 2013 13" MacBook Air, a 2007 15" MacBook Pro (matte!), a 2017 MacBook Pro 13", an iPad Pro, a 2015 Dell E5500 15", and a 2017 75" Vizio TV.

The 2017 13" MacBook Pro has the same type and amount of "ripples" as the 15" 2018 model, the 2013 Air is similar but more wavy, the 2007 MacBook Pro is less wavy but does still have some texture in addition to the matte (it's more of a "bumps" than "waves" pattern), and the 75" Vizio TV also has similar visible ripples. The iPad Pro is quite smooth, in contrast, probably because it's a touchscreen.

The 2015 15" E-series Dell laptop was significantly more smooth, but it has a (low-quality) plastic matte screen rather than glass, and doesn't appear to have much in the way of antireflective coating apart from the matte texture. It seems roughly comparable to the 2007 MacBook Pro, maybe a bit flatter.
 


Previous MacBook Pros had a mechanical design such that, when opening the lid, the whole lid was a stiff single mechanism and the hinges attached to the case and display turned at the same rate when you opened it. All the way back to the first PowerBooks. Their laptops have always been famous for careful mechanical design. Now, if you open the lid from the left side, the whole display will flex on the right side and vice-versa. If these things are held together with adhesive (I think they are), that's trouble.
This is an interesting observation, given that my own perception of the current-design MacBook Pros is that the screen is surprisingly stiff given how thin it is. The hinge design is a tighter-tolerance version of the same recessed shape it's been for over a decade.

But numbers are better than perception, so I did this experiment with a number of laptops at work: Put a finger nail under the left corner and lifted until just before the magnetic "latch" disengaged, and measured the gap. This puts a hard number on the amount of flex if you open it from a corner instead of the dent in the front designed for this (which is actually much more difficult to do on the current design than the previous one, since the gap is so small).

Then I pried the lid up with my thumb and measured the gap at each side of the front edge, to get an idea of the flex if you continue opening the lid from the corner. I also measured roughly the horizontal distance between the points I measured at, in order to calculate an approximate angle.

I came up with the following measurements for each with the corner lifted as far as possible before it popped open (the two very old computers have a latch, so this couldn't be done):


Computer

Approx. Width

Approx. Gap

Angle

2015 Dell E5500 15"

35cm

3mm

0.49°

2007 Panasonic Toughbook CF-51

30cm

N/A (latch)

N/A

2013 MacBook Air 13"

30cm

3mm

0.57°

2007 MacBook Pro 15"

33cm

N/A (latch)

N/A

2014 MacBook Pro 15"

34cm

4mm

0.67°

2015 MacBook Pro 15"

34cm

4mm

0.67°

2018 MacBook Pro

33cm

6mm

1.04°
And here's what it looks like after the magnet releases (or the mechanical latch is opened), at more or less the point of most flex (the difference is measured between left and right corners, with the left one always being about 20mm):


Computer

Approx. Width

Approx. Difference

Angle

2015 Dell E5500 15"

35cm

6.5mm

1.06°

2007 Panasonic Toughbook CF-51

30cm

6mm

1.15°

2013 MacBook Air 13"

30cm

4.5mm

0.86°

2007 MacBook Pro 15"

33cm

6mm

1.04°

2014 MacBook Pro 15"

34cm

5mm

0.84°

2015 MacBook Pro 15"

34cm

6mm

1.04°

2018 MacBook Pro

33cm

6mm

1.04°
Note that the Dell is a lower-end, relatively-thick, plastic-cased business laptop, and the Toughbook is one of the less-ridiculous models, but the screen/lid alone is still metal and a full half-inch thick--only slightly less than the entire 2018 MacBook Pro.

These measurements aren't super-precise (I didn't use calipers), and there are bound to be some manufacturing tolerances (I'm not sure which accounts for the difference between the 2014 and 2015 MacBook Pro, which theoretically have the same case), but they're at least within 1mm/1cm.

Based on this, the 2018 MacBook Pro does have more flex before the magnet releases (I don't know how much is due to a strong magnet and how much a thin screen) than older-design MacBook Pros, but this amount of flex is no more than it has once the magnet has released, and that 1.04° is no more than what other MacBook Pros have had for the past decade, nor out of line (less, actually) than non-ultrabook laptops from other manufacturers.

Now, for all I know, the screen design will mean that the same amount of flex causes more wear to the panel than it has in past models, but it's certainly not any more angular flex in absolute, mensurable terms than any MacBook Pro (or Air, or Dell) has had for the past decade, at least.

Also of note, as I mentioned above, the tolerance in the case is so tight, and the gap while closed so small, that for me at least it's quite difficult to open it without using the divot in the center even if I wanted to, so this is almost entirely a moot point.
 


What trick did you use to install Mojave on an HFS+ volume? I'm not running the beta, but I understood that Apple had removed the switch from the installer that (in High Sierra) allowed you to defeat the automatic APFS conversion. Or did you install to an APFS volume and then clone to HFS+?
Like you, I have no interest in Apple's experimental file system (or experimental OS's, either, a reason why I haven't and won't install High Sierra anywhere), and the APFS requirement is going to be a driver for whether I bother with Mojave at all.
My method is to install the system up to the point where it shows the country screen, and force shutdown, on an external drive (spinning) or SSD (faster) formatted as HFS+ using the same computer that I want to use the system on. Then I attach the external drive (formatted as HFS+) to the computer and use Carbon Copy Cloner and clone the installation back to the computer, and switch it on. Provided nothing has gone wrong, you should boot up to the country screen and carry on from there. (I actually check all the drives with DiskWarrior at each stage.)
 


After switching from a Magsafe-equipped MacBook Pro to a new (2018) MacBook Pro, and as someone who uses the computer on my lap on the couch most of the time, I found myself really missing the magnetic power connection. So, Amazon.

I have basically zero faith in the hundred different off-brand USB-C Magsafe-alike products on there, but the Belkin option wasn't reviewed well and looked awkward, so I figured I'd take my chances.

I settled on a 6-pin model from "Elecjet" that ticked all the boxes (I'd offer a link, but worryingly, it's no longer for sale, and there are no apparent clones of that particular part, either). It is 4.3A, so can handle the full 87W of the 15" charger, is right angle, has six pins, so can be connected either way (this was a big one for me--what's the point if there's an "up" and "down" to your magnetic charger?), looked reasonably nice, and the few dozen reviews were good.

Haiving actually used it for a few weeks now, I actually like it quite a bit, but also have a potential word of warning to others looking for similar products:

The good: It looks nice, feels sturdy, the magnet is strong enough to hold it together, the computer-side end only sticks out a couple of millimeters from the computer, and I haven't noticed it getting significantly warm so it seems to be electrically solid.

The bad: The magnet is strong enough, but the indent isn't as deep as Apple's Magsafe connectors, so it's more prone to being disconnected by shearing or bumping, and it's possible to have it almost but not quite connected, and therefore not charging. The connector also has an absolute death-grip on the USB-C port, so I'm not looking forward to pulling it out when the time comes (I suspect it will need pliers--my fingernails aren't even close to up to the task).

The advice that might be relevant to other users of these things even from different brands: Twice now I had an unsettling experience where I noticed the computer wasn't charging. I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the magnetic end. Nothing. I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the USB-C end at Apple's brick. Nothing. I tried switching to the original Apple USB-C cable. Nothing. Also not a software or firmware issue. Unplug the brick itself from the wall and plug it back in, and immediately back to life.

I don't actually know what caused this, but it would appear something in the magnetic doodad triggered some sort of protection in the charger's microcontroller (teardowns of other Apple chargers have shown that there is a CPU in there that monitors things), which locked out the charger until it was power cycled.

Now, I have no idea whether this is indicative that I really shouldn't be using this thing, or if it's just that it occasionally confuses the protection circuitry because it's not expecting the comparatively tenuous connection to the other end. But in any case, it might be worth keeping in mind that if your USB-C charger seems to be dead, try unplugging it and plugging it back in. I did a bunch of troubleshooting before it occurred to me that there's electronics in there to be reset.
 


After switching from a Magsafe-equipped MacBook Pro to a new (2018) MacBook Pro, and as someone who uses the computer on my lap on the couch most of the time, I found myself really missing the magnetic power connection. So, Amazon. I have basically zero faith in the hundred different off-brand USB-C Magsafe-alike products on there, but the Belkin option wasn't reviewed well and looked awkward, so I figured I'd take my chances.

I settled on a 6-pin model from "Elecjet" that ticked all the boxes (I'd offer a link, but worryingly, it's no longer for sale, and there are no apparent clones of that particular part, either). It is 4.3A, so can handle the full 87W of the 15" charger, is right angle, has six pins, so can be connected either way (this was a big one for me--what's the point if there's an "up" and "down" to your magnetic charger?), looked reasonably nice, and the few dozen reviews were good.

Haiving actually used it for a few weeks now, I actually like it quite a bit, but also have a potential word of warning to others looking for similar products:

The good: It looks nice, feels sturdy, the magnet is strong enough to hold it together, the computer-side end only sticks out a couple of millimeters from the computer, and I haven't noticed it getting significantly warm so it seems to be electrically solid.

The bad: The magnet is strong enough, but the indent isn't as deep as Apple's Magsafe connectors, so it's more prone to being disconnected by shearing or bumping, and it's possible to have it almost but not quite connected, and therefore not charging. The connector also has an absolute death-grip on the USB-C port, so I'm not looking forward to pulling it out when the time comes (I suspect it will need pliers--my fingernails aren't even close to up to the task).

The advice that might be relevant to other users of these things even from different brands: Twice now I had an unsettling experience where I noticed the computer wasn't charging. I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the magnetic end. Nothing. I tried disconnecting and reconnecting the USB-C end at Apple's brick. Nothing. I tried switching to the original Apple USB-C cable. Nothing. Also not a software or firmware issue. Unplug the brick itself from the wall and plug it back in, and immediately back to life.

I don't actually know what caused this, but it would appear something in the magnetic doodad triggered some sort of protection in the charger's microcontroller (teardowns of other Apple chargers have shown that there is a CPU in there that monitors things), which locked out the charger until it was power cycled.

Now, I have no idea whether this is indicative that I really shouldn't be using this thing, or if it's just that it occasionally confuses the protection circuitry because it's not expecting the comparatively tenuous connection to the other end. But in any case, it might be worth keeping in mind that if your USB-C charger seems to be dead, try unplugging it and plugging it back in. I did a bunch of troubleshooting before it occurred to me that there's electronics in there to be reset.
I have used the MagSafe clone from Griffin for two years, and it has worked well for me. Some of the reviews on Amazon are correct, in that the cable is stiff, and thus moving the cable can cause a disconnection. And the part plugged in the computer does stick out enough that I really do not leave it in when I am not using the computer. But if you are working on a table with the cord draped off the table where someone can stumble over the cord and pull your laptop off the table, the Griffin BreakSafe does work.
 


After switching from a Magsafe-equipped MacBook Pro to a new (2018) MacBook Pro, and as someone who uses the computer on my lap on the couch most of the time, I found myself really missing the magnetic power connection....
I find myself in exactly the opposite camp. The MagSafe 2's connection was always too tenuous and would disconnect if the cat brushed the cable or if I shifted positions. I often use my 2018 MacBook Pro on my lap and find the solid connection to be a non-issue in my use-case. I especially like being able to plug into any of the ports.

The shift from the original MagSafe was a definite negative for me. But I don't use my computer (plugged in) in situations where a foot is likely to catch the power cable.

All of that said, I most definitely miss the easy wrapping of the power cable around the unfolded "horns" of the power brick. I don't like that Apple didn't include an a/c cable with the power brick so I had to repurpose one on my own - which wasn't difficult but irked me. So far, though, few irks with the new machine.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
The MagSafe 2's connection was always too tenuous and would disconnect if the cat brushed the cable or if I shifted positions.
I'd seen that complaint before, but it was a total non-issue for me when I finally got my 2015 MacBook Pro in 2017. The MagSafe 2 connector works just fine (and may be better at preventing accidents caused by caught cords).
 


All of that said, I most definitely miss the easy wrapping of the power cable around the unfolded "horns" of the power brick. I don't like that Apple didn't include an a/c cable with the power brick so I had to repurpose one on my own - which wasn't difficult but irked me. So far, though, few irks with the new machine.
Indeed. I was shocked at the number of cost cutting "features" of my 2018 MacBook Pro. Apart from the power brick limitation you mention, and that there are only USB-C ports, there is no Kensington lock slot--sheesh! And the USB-C cable that comes with the computer charger is not fast enough to use for Migration Assistant with Target Disk mode. How is the ordinary user supposed to know this without eventually finding it on some obscure Apple support site?

Come-on Apple, I paid lots of $$ for this computer! Surely you could include a full speed USB-C cable.
 


For those of you who found the "improved" MagSafe 2 to be a huge step backwards in magnetic strength (like you sneeze in its general vicinity and the damn thing falls out), the best fix is to purchase and install a Snuglet.
 


...And the USB-C cable that comes with the computer charger is not fast enough to use for Migration Assistant with Target Disk mode.
I'm curious about this statement. Can you please provide supporting evidence? If true, what specific alternative cable(s) are proven to be "fast"?
 


For those of you who found the "improved" MagSafe 2 to be a huge step backwards in magnetic strength (like you sneeze in its general vicinity and the damn thing falls out), the best fix is to purchase and install a Snuglet.
One of the first things I did after buying my 2016 MacBook Pro 13" was try to replace the MagSafe connector, which saved my older machine many times.

I bought a Leonis-Tech USB-C Power Charging Cable. On one end, it has a connector with a small, magnetically-attached USB-C plug that can come apart, if pulled too hard. The magnet is quite strong, so I've not had any problems with it coming apart by accident. As an added bonus, the cable itself has a braided sheath, so it's less likely to fray at the ends—which has always been the Achilles heel of the Apple MagSafe bricks.

By the way, I also bought a Yojock 60W brick to go with the new cable. Both have been used almost daily for about 18 months as I carry the MacBook Pro around, and neither shows any sign of wear.

The original Apple brick and cable are kept at home on my desk as a permanently available, easily-accessible power source.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I'm curious about this statement. Can you please provide supporting evidence? If true, what specific alternative cable(s) are proven to be "fast"?
Here you go (after a quick search of the Apple Support site):
Apple said:
About the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) Cable
... Data transfer
Use this cable to connect your Mac to a device that uses Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) or USB-C for data transfer, such as an external hard drive or dock. It supports Thunderbolt 3 data-transfer speeds up to 40Gbps, and USB 3.1 Gen 2 data-transfer speeds up to 10Gbps. Check the specifications of your device to determine which data-transfer standard it supports.

Charging
This cable also connects to Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) or USB-C devices for charging your Mac notebook computer or other device. It delivers a maximum of 100W power to any connected device.

Compared with Apple USB-C Charge Cable
The Apple USB-C Charge Cable is longer (2m) and also supports charging, but data-transfer speed is limited to 480Mbps (USB 2.0) and it doesn't support video.

The Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) cable has [the] Thunderbolt logo on the sleeve of each connector.
So, there's a big difference between "Apple USB-C Charge Cable" and "Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) Cable", even though they look very similar and have the same connectors at each end.
 


So, there's a big difference between "Apple USB-C Charge Cable" and "Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) Cable", even though they look alike and have the same connectors.
After going to those Apple support pages and seeing all the options and variables and caveats, all I can say is, "What a mess." I don't think even Apple knows what they are doing anymore. I'll stick with my pre-2016 MacBook Pros, thank you very much.
 


This is not an Apple thing, more like a common connector thing. Of course Apple chose to use these ports, but all manufacturers are moving towards the USB-C connector nowadays. On the Dell side, it's even worse. You can get a Dell Latitude with the same physical connector which supports 3 different types of dock:
  • USB-C
  • DisplayPort (also passes USB-C)
  • Thunderbolt 3 (also passes DP and USB-C)
At least Apple has narrowed it down to 2 (USB-C & TB3).

Additionally, when selecting different USB-C cables for charging my mom's MacBook and connecting a USB-C external SSD, I found that USB-C cables can support the following options (and probably more):
  • USB 2.0 only (rare)
  • USB 2.0 + Charging (common)
  • USB 3.x only (common)
  • USB 3.x + Charging (seems rare?)
And those options seem to be rarer or more common at different cable lengths. It was hard to find a USB 3.x only cable that was 3-6" long for my external SSD, and I bought 4 when I found one.
 


Now that the dust has settled a bit with the 2018 MacBook Pro, I weighed the options and made my decision - a 15"/i9/560X/32GB/2TB/grey is presently downloading purchased apps from the App Store on our slow rural connection. I'm setting it up "clean," so no Migration Assistant. I can't wait to do Adobe CS6 and Office 2016.

My current external drives are now over four years old, so it's time to refresh them, too. Already ordered a 2TB Samsung 860 EVO and Satechi External Enclosure (through Ric's Amazon link) that will be my CCC backup drive. Will also do a pair of 4 or 8TB spinners, one for media/large stuff, and one for Time Machine.

Thanks to those who already purchased a 2018 and shared your experiences above, they were most helpful.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Additionally, when selecting different USB-C cables for charging my mom's MacBook and connecting a USB-C external SSD, I found that USB-C cables can support the following options (and probably more):
  • USB 2.0 only (rare)
  • USB 2.0 + Charging (common)
  • USB 3.x only (common)
  • USB 3.x + Charging (seems rare?)
When we're talking about USB-C-to-USB-C cables, we have to answer the critical question about Thunderbolt 3 support (and at what speed), plus video support, not just what USB data rates and charging power it supports.

Bottom line, it looks like this $39 Apple cable covers most of the bases:
Apple said:
Thunderbolt 3 (USB‑C) Cable (0.8 m)
  • Transfer data at up to 40 Gbps
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2 data transfer at up to 10 Gbps
  • DisplayPort video output (HBR3)
  • Connect to Thunderbolt 3– or USB-C–enabled devices and displays
  • Up to 100 watts of power delivery
  • Etched Thunderbolt logo helps it stand out from other cables
 


Now that the dust has settled a bit with the 2018 MacBook Pro, I weighed the options and made my decision - a 15"/i9/560X/32GB/2TB/grey is presently downloading purchased apps from the App Store on our slow rural connection. I'm setting it up "clean," so no Migration Assistant. I can't wait to do Adobe CS6 and Office 2016. Thanks to those who already purchased a 2018 and shared your experiences above, they were most helpful.
I selected a very similar configuration, and brought it up from first principals, then added data using Migration Assistant. Worked great. I really like this machine. I find that Lightroom and Photoshop work just fine - very quick compared to the 2013 machine that was replaced. Battery life is also substantially better, doing the usual web/text editing sort of things. Bang on the processor with Lightroom when not plugged in, however, and you know that you're using all those cores!

So I'm happy. But my use case is pretty specific, and I knew what I was wanting. I do love the Touch ID for confirming my ID, although which installers, etc. actually use it seem wildly inconsistent. I don't use the feature as much, because I unlock with my Apple Watch (which is very fast). I really notice the speed of the SSD array.

So far: happy camper. I did buy a little USB/SD card hub thingie to read my image cards. I'll be traveling with that, plus a second (backup), in the field. And on the desktop, I plug into a Thunderbolt 2 dock using the dongle. That dongle gets warm, which surprised me.
 



When we're talking about USB-C-to-USB-C cables, we have to answer the critical question about Thunderbolt 3 support (and at what speed), plus video support, not just what USB data rates and charging power it supports.
I think the important point here is that a "USB" cable will not support Thunderbolt, even if it has a C-type connector. But it would appear that a Thunderbolt 3 cable (using the same connector) should support everything.

Hopefully the Thunderbolt 3 cables are clearly indicated as such. Apple's product description says that this is the case (Thunderbolt icon on the molded connector). Hopefully this will be done by others, as well.

I think most of this confusion could be eliminated if computer and cable manufacturers would clearly label their ports. Put a USB or Thunderbolt logo on every connector and use the speed-specific USB-variant logos for the USB cables. But this seems to be the rare exception instead of the rule.

It seems to me that the USB and Thunderbolt standards bodies should be mandating something like this as a part of the certification process. I wonder if there is any place a non-member can write to make such a request.
 


... So, there's a big difference between "Apple USB-C Charge Cable" and "Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) Cable", even though they look alike and have the same connectors.
On PCs, PS/2 mini-DIN used green for mice and purple for keyboards. PCs use different colors for the audio in/out jacks. VGA cables have blue connectors, DVI cables have white. USB-3 jacks are blue.

The people who designed the USB-C cable spec should have included color codes or simple icons for the various uses.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's a bunch of important information about USB and Thunderbolt performance and compatibility:
CalDigit said:
USB 3.1 & Thunderbolt 3
Both USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt™ 3 offer a greater level of flexibility and performance compared to the iterations that came before them, but what are the major differences?

CalDigit Cable Selector
With the introduction of the Type-C connector it can be quite confusing to understand which cables are compatible with your Type-C device. All Type-C cables look similar but they can be a variety of different protocols such as USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt™ 3.
...
* We do not recommend using a USB 2.0 Type-C cable as it offers significantly reduced speeds.
** Directly connecting a Thunderbolt 3 Active cable to a USB-C (non-thunderbolt) device will result in reduced USB 2.0 speeds.
*** Directly connecting a Thunderbolt 3 Active cable to a Thunderbolt 3 Dock which has a USB 3.0 device connecting to it will still maintain USB 3.0 speeds for that USB device.
**** Apple USB-C charging cable is not compatible with any Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C 3.0 devices.
 


I think most of this confusion could be eliminated if computer and cable manufacturers would clearly label their ports. Put a USB or Thunderbolt logo on every connector and use the speed-specific USB-variant logos for the USB cables. But this seems to be the rare exception instead of the rule.
Good point, but the logos also need to be clear, readable and unambiguous. Even with markings, too darn many cables and ports are impossible to distinguish without turning a flashlight on them and contorting myself or moving the machine/cable so I can see them at the right angle to make the marking visible.
 



...{snip}...
I think most of this confusion could be eliminated if computer and cable manufacturers would clearly label their ports. Put a USB or Thunderbolt logo on every connector and use the speed-specific USB-variant logos for the USB cables. But this seems to be the rare exception instead of the rule. It seems to me that the USB and Thunderbolt standards bodies should be mandating something like this as a part of the certification process. I wonder if there is any place a non-member can write to make such a request.
The Chinese say "a picture is worth 10,000 words". Ah, but which one of those 10,000 words does that icon represent? Once you've clearly defined that, why even bother with an icon? Just print the darn word by the port and be done with it. Oh yeah, internationalization. What is clear in English is meaningless in Chinese.
 


... Even with markings, too darn many cables and ports are impossible to distinguish without turning a flashlight on them and contorting myself or moving the machine/cable so I can see them at the right angle to make the marking visible.
My favorite are embossed icons/text on dark plastic with no contrasting ink. My PowerBook 3400c has those, as well as many PC laptops I've encountered. Luckily my current three PC laptops have printing that contrasts with the case's color. I find Apple's gray on gray (on my 2008-2010 MacBook Pros) difficult to read.
 


...why even bother with an icon? Just print the darn word by the port and be done with it. Oh yeah, internationalization. What is clear in English is meaningless in Chinese.
For those of us who work with computers internationally, the value of this sort of standardization can't be overstated.

It doesn't matter whether I'm in the US, Japan, or Indonesia--if I see a thunderbolt icon, I know what it means.

Somewhat amusingly, this is akin to characters in Asian logographic languages like Japanese or Chinese, where one symbol represents a word or concept, but they're universally intelligible even in languages with an alphabet.

That said, it's not usual for icons these days to incorporate Latin text (HDMI), and most computing protocol terms have been pretty thoroughly standardized, so it's pretty much standard to see terms like "USB 3.1" or "SCSI" even in purely Japanese, Chinese, or Russian text. This is, unfairly, probably easier to absorb for those of us who already use languages with a Latin alphabet.
 


FWIW, my MacBook Air got it right. There's a black icon next to every port - power, USB, headphone and Thunderbolt. I know immediately that the Thunderbolt port is not DisplayPort, because it has the lightning icon and not the round-rect-with-lines video icon.

The MacBook and MacBook Pro really should have done the same with the USB-C ports. The MacBook should have a USB icon next to its port. The MacBook Pro should have a Thunderbolt icon (or perhaps both Thunderbolt and USB) next to each of its four ports. Apple may argue that labeling is pointless because all the ports are the same, but it leads to confusion, especially for people who aren't intimately familiar with Apple's product offerings.

And there need to be matching icons on the cables - at very minimum, Apple needs to do it for all the cables they sell - including the "power" icon for their charge-only cable. Ideally, molded into the plastic housing and printed in a high-contrast color. This way, naïve users can simply match icon to icon and not be subject to unwanted surprises when they find everything running slowly or failing to connect altogether.
 


FWIW, my MacBook Air got it right. There's a black icon next to every port - power, USB, headphone and Thunderbolt. I know immediately that the Thunderbolt port is not DisplayPort, because it has the lightning icon and not the round-rect-with-lines video icon.
The current-gen iMacs do the same; the USB3 ports are labeled with the USB icon, the Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports are labeled with a Thunderbolt icon (USB-C cross-compatibility is only implied), Ethernet has Ethernet, and the audio jack has a headphone icon. Only the SDXC card slot is, strangely, unlabeled.

The current (and previous) MacBook Pros don't have labels on their ports at all, although all of the ports can be any of 3 things: Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, or power for the computer. Basically, "if it fits, it works".

While Thunderbolt 3 is, by definition, cross-compatible with USB-C, the icon wouldn't indicate this to unfamiliar users, and it also doesn't indicate that they can be used to supply power. So, from that admittedly strained logic, not labeling it isn't wrong, in that unless and until another standard using the same connector is developed, they will simply work with anything that can be physically connected to them.

No headphone icon on the headphone jack doesn't benefit from that excuse though.

I can say that all Thunderbolt 3 cables I've seen have the icon on them, and I expect this will be consistent, since there's no other way for the manufacturers to differentiate them from non-Thunderbolt 3 USB-C cables, and people are paying enough that they're going to want you to know what you're holding.
 



Amazon disclaimer:
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts