MacInTouch Amazon link...
Channels
Apple, Products, Questions
The current (and previous) MacBook Pros don't have labels on their ports at all, (....) .
A note of information, my MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013) does have all the ports labeled, black ink on silver case, except for the SDXC slot.
 




2015 and earlier MacBook Pros:
Look at the port and know what it's for. Same for the cable.

2016 and later MacBook Pros:
Ports all look the same.
Cables all look the same.
Symbols on the cables -- so tiny you can barely see 'em, and do you remember what they mean?

2015 and earlier:
Plug-and-play.

2016 and later:
Plug-and-pray.

That's progress!
 



...
2016 and later MacBook Pros:
Ports all look the same.
Cables all look the same.
Symbols on the cables -- so tiny you can barely see 'em, and do you remember what they mean?
...
2016 and later:
Plug-and-pray.
That's progress!
The headphone jack aside, on the MacBook Pro 2016 and later, all the ports don't just look the same, they are the same. It isn't like two are USB-only Type-C and two are Thunderbolt Type-C. If you know it is a 2016+ MacBook Pro model, then you know what the ports are. They are all the same and are the only kind.

When there are multiple sockets and multiple cables, then you have to find the right one. With Type-C, if you have the cable that is appropriate to connect "to" the MacBook Pro, then any empty socket will/should work.

Some people had a presumption that if things went to a "universal" socket (one format to rule them all) then magically a universal cable would come along with it. Physics gets in the way of that. A short copper wire(s) perhaps, but as you get longer, that isn't going to work in all cases.

(And the headphone jack being the lone outlier isn't all the hard to distinguish. That is almost quintessentially the "round hole and square peg" problem - or square hole and round peg one.)

For the cables, what's is on the "other side" from what will be plugged into the computer can help. A USB Type-A, DisplayPort, or anything besides USB type-C basically tells you what the cable is, without looking at symbols. If you leave a special Type-C-to-type-C cable attached to its special external device, then looking at the 'opposite' end has the same effect (e.g., power delivery cable attached to power brick). If you only buy higher quality, "universal coverage" short cables, then you don't have to look (as long as you're dealing with your own cables).

Random Type C-to-Type C cables that you encounter are still left, but most day-to-day usage with common contexts shouldn't be much of a problem. Some cables aren't going to be well marked, because they never passed the compliance tests. As long as some folks are out to get the cheapest cables, "plug and pray" is still going to be around to some extent (if handed a random cable).
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... If you know it is a 2016+ MacBook Pro model, then you know what the ports are. They are all the same and are the only kind....
Actually, that's not quite true (as I'm sure you already know), because there were some differences in throughput/bandwidth between different Thunderbolt 3 ports on some 2016 MacBook Pro models.
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) supports Thunderbolt 3 at full performance using the two left-hand ports. The two right-hand ports deliver Thunderbolt 3 functionality, but have reduced PCI Express bandwidth.
Another issue is that the 12" MacBook and the 2016+ MacBook Pro have identical-appearing Type C ports with no markings (e.g. see here), yet they have radically different capabilities (USB 3-only vs. Thunderbolt 3).

Great wrap-up, otherwise, though! :-)
 


The 2018 MacBook Pro supplemental update posted today is a 1.31GB (!) direct download… who knows how much of that is frameworks and whatnot that just came along for the ride vs. actual changed code. I'm running the Mojave beta, so no update for me today.

I'm still gradually installing apps and migrating preferences on my new Core i9, which is mostly going smoothly. Even Office 2016 and Adobe CS6 installed without issues, having deactivated both on my iMac prior to installing. I used the "fake Java folder" trick for CS6 to avoid having to install a very old, insecure version of Java. I have not noticed any speaker crackling issues. I like the Touch ID feature, but as Adam noted above, it's very hit or miss whether you can "touch" or have to resort to typing.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
The 2018 MacBook Pro supplemental update posted today is a 1.31GB (!) direct download… who knows how much of that is frameworks and whatnot that just came along for the ride vs. actual changed code.
I downloaded it (though it doesn't apply to me) and looked at it with Pacifist. There's a massive amount of stuff in there, including some really interesting things, eg.
  • macOSBrain [atomicupdatetool]
  • Bluetooth File Exchange.app
  • TouchID.profileDomainPlugin
  • RAID Utility.app
  • NowPlayingTouchUI
  • SecurityAgentPlugins
  • Setup Assistant.app
  • boot.efi.j...
  • cloudpaird
  • CryptoTokenKit
  • afpfs.kext
  • hfs.fs
  • PrivateFrameworks
  • SecureBoot.bundle
  • FirmwareUpdatePkg
  • MRT.app
  • AppleVNCServer.bundle
  • RemoteManagement
  • XProtect.bundle
  • ScreensharingAgent.bundle
  • /private/var/db/gkopaque.bundle
  • Safari.app
and much, much more....
 


Actually, that's not quite true (as I'm sure you already know), because there were some differences in throughput/bandwidth between different Thunderbolt 3 ports on some 2016 MacBook Pro models.
There is no industry standard label for "we designed ourselves into a corner and gimped this system".

What is goofy is that there is actually more unassigned PCI-e v3 bandwidth inside of the MacBook Pro 13", because it doesn't have a discrete GPU like the MacBook Pro 15".

They managed to hook up the 15" with even ports on both sides, but not the MacBook Pro 13" (where there are more baseline resources!). That doesn't need a label on the inside; it just needs to get fixed in the next iteration. It smells of a contrived, Scrooge McDuck market segmentation gimmick. (Apple may have run out of room for the traces because the MacBook Pro 13" main logic board is much smaller, but they created that problem themselves. But, given that the 2018 logic board is basically the same size, I suspect this was a gimmick.)
Another issue is that the 12" MacBook and the 2016+ MacBook Pro have identical-appearing Type C ports with no markings (e.g. see here), yet they have radically different capabilities (USB 3-only vs. Thunderbolt 3).
If you "know what system you have", they are different. But yes....
Another "designed ourselves into a corner" issue that is of their own internal creation: there is no Thunderbolt because there is no room for the Thunderbolt controller. The MacBook basic design got laid down in 2015, and they haven't done an "oops we goofed' next iteration on design.

It only took the MacBook Air from 2008 to 2010 to get to the next basic iteration on the design. The MacBook 2015-2017 didn't move at all and may yet again land in the same original place. (The keyboard probably will get plastic inserts.) However, if the corner were a bit bigger, they could make the new Mac line-up uniform.
 


My wife needs to replace the handed-down 2009 vintage 17" MacBook Pro she has been using, as the hinge is giving out and OS support is likely going away completely.

In researching replacements, I am a little shocked to find that 2015 vintage 13.3-inch MacBook Pros (her preferred size) available from parties such as OWC are only slightly less in price than Apple refurbished 2017 models, comparably configured.

I can imagine this would be partially due to people disliking the new "get less for your money" Apple port/power supply situation. Her needs are such that she can deal with that, and would enjoy the "as new" warranty. However, I am pausing because I am concerned that the flaky keyboard situation may be a more important factor.

I'm halfway disgruntled enough to consider a Windows product but hope to be put back on the true path one way or another by someone who might weigh in on the contingencies we face. Sheesh, why can't buying a new machine be "just works" fun any more?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I'm halfway disgruntled enough to consider a Windows product but hope to be put back on the true path one way or another by someone who might weigh in on the contingencies we face.
I chose last year to buy a 2015 MacBook Pro instead of a newer model, though I paid Apple's outrageous price for it. Needing what it provided, I've been happy with my decision but mad about the price and the closed, proprietary nature of the design (vs. alternative Windows products).

You already know some problems with the newer MacBook Pros, but I'll list some concerns:
  • defective keyboard design
  • instances of sudden total failure (apparently not too common)
  • dependence on macOS 10.13 and incompatibility with older OS X versions
  • abandonment of MagSafe
  • the requirement for dongles for any peripheral
  • concerns about T2 issues (and proprietary Apple SSDs)
  • lack of access and upgradability
  • Their oversized trackpad seemed like it could be a real problem.
  • Apple added a $300 premium for the touchbar.
I didn't get a discrete GPU with my 2015 model, because Apple was no longer selling one, and also because I was concerned about problems with that (considering Apple's horrible history in that area).

I paid exhorbitantly to get a 1TB SSD, but I'd do things differently this time and buy Apple's smallest SSD and then do a third-party upgrade.

On the plus side for the MacBook Pro 2016 and later, Thunderbolt 3 is a game-changer and it's reaching critical mass now. (Interestingly, some very good Windows laptops also offer it, at prices well below $1000.) For USB, the new Type-C ports are twice as fast as previous USB ports: 10 Gbps (equivalent to Thunderbolt 1).

The fingerprint reader also has garnered praise on MacInTouch. And the new models are stunningly thin and small, as well as significantly faster in the latest iterations.
 


My wife needs to replace the handed-down 2009 vintage 17" MacBook Pro she has been using, as the hinge is giving out and OS support is likely going away completely. In researching replacements, I am a little shocked to find that 2015 vintage 13.3-inch MacBook Pros (her preferred size) available from parties such as OWC are only slightly less in price than Apple refurbished 2017 models, comparably configured.
Amazon has several early 2015 13-inch MacBook Pros. The 512GB is $990 from a 3rd-party seller.
"Very good condition. This is the 2.7 Ghz processor with 512gb SSD upgrade. 8gb of RAM"
 



I chose last year to buy a 2015 MacBook Pro instead of a newer model, though I paid Apple's outrageous price for it. Needing what it provided, I've been happy with my decision but mad about the price and the closed, proprietary nature of the design (vs. alternative Windows products).
You already know some problems with the newer MacBook Pros, but I'll list some concerns:
  • defective keyboard design
  • instances of sudden total failure (apparently not too common)
  • dependence on macOS 10.13 and incompatibility with older OS X versions
  • abandonment of MagSafe
  • the requirement for dongles for any peripheral
  • concerns about T2 issues (and proprietary Apple SSDs)
  • lack of access and upgradability
  • Their oversized trackpad seemed like it could be a real problem.
  • Apple added a $300 premium for the touchbar.
I didn't get a discrete GPU with my 2015 model, because Apple was no longer selling one, and also because I was concerned about problems with that (considering Apple's horrible history in that area).

I paid exhorbitantly to get a 1TB SSD, but I'd do things differently this time and buy Apple's smallest SSD and then do a third-party upgrade.

On the plus side for the MacBook Pro 2016 and later, Thunderbolt 3 is a game-changer and it's reaching critical mass now. (Interestingly, some very good Windows laptops also offer it, at prices well below $1000.) For USB, the new Type-C ports are twice as fast as previous USB ports: 10 Gbps (equivalent to Thunderbolt 1).

The fingerprint reader also has garnered praise on MacInTouch. And the new models are stunningly thin and small, as well as significantly faster in the latest iterations.
Thanks for your succinct analysis, Ric. I am always annoyed when someone poses a problem and then we don't get to find out the resolution. So here's our resolution.

I tried so very hard to like a brand new MacBook for my wife, and she tried, too. But we both hated the keyboard, and, thinking about all the times a cat or my clumsiness caused a safe disconnection rather than disaster, lack of a Magsafe connector ended up looming large. The huge trackpad was also annoying, but I suspect she could get used to that--maybe. First time I ever demurred on a new shiny bauble. So I ended up buying the very best used 2015 MacBook Pro I could find for myself and gave her my nearly mint condition 2014 machine, which she loves.

Apple has demonstrated an obsessive love for slimming and simplifying all of their devices to the point where they are something of a cruel joke for serious users. There is no reason whatsoever to expect that the future holds joy for those of us who like highly capable and usable machines. I am almost tempted to buy yet another 2015 machine to store, as that would seem to be the zenith for the this product line.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Get it while you can...
B&H Photo said:
2015 Apple 15.4" MacBook Pro$1799
  • 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 (Crystalwell)
  • 16GB of Onboard 1600 MHz DDR3L RAM
  • 256GB PCIe-Based Flash Storage
  • Integrated Intel Iris Pro Graphics
  • 15.4" LED-Backlit IPS Retina Display
  • 2880 x 1800 Native Resolution
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.0, HDMI
  • Force Touch Trackpad
  • macOS High Sierra
  • MagSafe 2 power connector
  • SD card slot
 


I usually use my 2015 MacBook Pro (with discrete GPU) at my desk, plugged into a fairly nice Dell 27" high-res display. These days, when it's plugged into the display, the fans are guaranteed to be running. I don't remember it always being this way, but the Apple tech support guy I was talking to about a separate issue (crash-while-sleeping) says that's to be expected when it's driving the external display.

While I like to think of myself as a programmer still, the honest truth is that I spend most of my time in email, Excel, and a web browser. I work from home, and most days I have meetings and so don't try to work from a coffeeshop or the local library. I do some amateur photography for myself. Given all that, I'm trying to figure out if it's time to find a new balance between portability, performance, and perhaps quiet as a third leg of the triangle. I've been using laptops ever since the "Pismo" PowerBook days, but maybe portability isn't as crucial as it used to be.

Spec'ing out a high end 2018 MacBook Pro vs. 2017 5k iMac, each with 1TB SSD, the costs were surprisingly similar. An iMac Pro starts significantly higher, so much that I wouldn't normally consider it an option - but do they show up on the refurb store once in a while.

I hear via podcast that the iMac Pro is absolutely quiet when running. Is the iMac 5k "reasonably" quiet? Does the 2018 MacBook Pro fan spin up when hooked up to an external display? Advice & anecdotal evidence welcome.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I usually use my 2015 MacBook Pro (with discrete GPU) at my desk, plugged into a fairly nice Dell 27" high-res display. These days, when it's plugged into the display, the fans are guaranteed to be running. I don't remember it always being this way, but the Apple tech support guy I was talking to about a separate issue (crash-while-sleeping) says that's to be expected when it's driving the external display.
I have a 2015 MacBook Pro 15" (without dGPU) used in a very similar way, running macOS 10.12 Sierra in clamshell mode with an external monitor. The short answer is that I'm using Macs Fan Control, and the fans are rarely loud enough to be heard, plus I have detailed information and control over them.

There are a few things that can push the heat/fans a bit. One is heavy-duty backups using Carbon Copy Cloner (which uses the Rsync program). Major Apple software installations may, too. And high-quality video playback might, though that's not part of my main workflow. Web browsing is a mess nowadays that might push your system if you don't block all the tricky trackers and JavaScript programs and media that's blasted from many websites into your system constantly. (You shouldn't have that problem with macintouch.com though. :-) I use Firefox with some plug-ins, firewalls, etc., to help manage that problem.

You can always run Activity Monitor to get an idea about what might be pushing your system - browser, Spotlight ("mdworker"), whatever. And, less likely, it's possible that there's some sort of hardware issue with your MacBook Pro, so you could check on that if nothing else suggests an explanation.

I don't know about the noise level of an iMac 5K, but, for what it's worth, a friend bought a 27" iMac years ago, and I was shocked at how silent it was. Lovely!
 


I have a 2015 MacBook Pro 15" (without dGPU) used in a very similar way, running macOS 10.12 Sierra in clamshell mode with an external monitor. The short answer is that I'm using Macs Fan Control, and the fans are rarely loud enough to be heard...
I'll check out Macs Fan Control, thank you! I almost always have Activity Monitor up, and iStatMenus, too, so I know that Chrome is using CPU but almost nothing else, and the fans are going. Unplugging the Dell 4K display, now the fan is dying down. Plug it back in, and it ramps up again.

Reading various forums last night, it sounds like the souped up 2018 MacBook Pro is even worse in this regard. Super-thin laptops just aren't the best at managing thermals for some reason.
 


I usually use my 2015 MacBook Pro (with discrete GPU) at my desk, plugged into a fairly nice Dell 27" high-res display. These days, when it's plugged into the display, the fans are guaranteed to be running. I don't remember it always being this way, but the Apple tech support guy I was talking to about a separate issue (crash-while-sleeping) says that's to be expected when it's driving the external display.

I hear via podcast that the iMac Pro is absolutely quiet when running. Is the iMac 5k "reasonably" quiet? Does the 2018 MacBook Pro fan spin up when hooked up to an external display? Advice & anecdotal evidence welcome.
I use my maxed 2015 MacBook Pro 15” at work with either an Apple Cinema 30” or a Dell 27” 4K monitor (two desk locations). Neither causes the MacBook Pro fans to kick in. It’s usually quiet unless I’m exercising VMware and/or Adobe CC apps.

My 2018 i9 MacBook Pro 15” is connected to a Cinema 30” display, and I’ve not really noticed its fans kicking in at all.

I had a 2015 iMac 27” 4K before the i9, and its fans would kick in occasionally under heavier loads. I had a 2011 MacBook Pro 17” before the iMac, and decided to go back to a portable solution.
 




In my experience, the primary source of excess fan action is Chrome. This occurs on both my iMacs and MacBook Pros when there are more than about half a dozen tabs open. It's perfectly repeatable and only occurs with Chrome; not CC, VMWare, Safari, Firefox, etc.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... In a comparison, it looks like MacBook Pro (13") graphics are faster than Mac Mini graphics with higher-end integrated graphics, while the Mac Mini offers a more powerful CPU at the top end.

Geekbench CPU tests:

Geekbench Compute tests:

Here are more details about Intel's graphics hardware at Wikipedia:
As noted, I returned the Mac Mini to Apple and bought a refurb 2018 MacBook Pro 13" for further testing. This time, I went for the 1TB drive and again got the top CPU option (which can't really compete with the top Mac Mini CPU).

Setup incurred a whole lot of problems... The laptop came with macOS High Sierra installed, not Mojave, and balked during migration at an out-of-date iTunes, but then it froze trying to update iTunes. I eventually restarted High Sierra and did some pending updates, but then a Security Update failed in spectacular fashion with repeating crash log entries displayed behind a dialog: "The macOS Installation couldn't be completed."

More follies followed, with Recovery going to install High Sierra again, and I was so disgusted, I went and dug up the secret keyboard invocation for a recovery boot to install the latest macOS, as opposed to the secret keyboard invocation recovery command to install earlier macOS versions, and I finally got Mojave installed and migrated a backup of the Mac Mini system.

Whew.

Benchmarks to follow.

(Unfortunately, the migration/restore didn't bring my Safari passwords along, for some unknown reason, so now I'm wasting time on re-entering all of those....)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
2018 MacBook Pro 13" internal 1TB drive (APFS Encrypted)

AJA System Test Lite
Write: 2819 MB/sec
Read: 2962 MB/sec

Blackmagic Disk Speed Test
Write: 2675 MB/s
Read: 2633 MB/s

Nice! :-)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Geekbench 4 results:

CPU:
Intel Core i7-8559U​
4 Cores, 8 Threads​
2.70 GHz​
5406 / 19253
(5680 / 26040 for Mac Mini)

Compute OpenCL:
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655​
38126
(22802 for Mac Mini)

Compute Metal:
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655​
39256
(24289 for Mac Mini)

And let's not forget the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 Bundle:

Compute OpenCL:
MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2018)​
118,674
(121,572 hooked into Mac Mini)

Compute Metal:
MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2018)​
125,556
(126,328 hooked into Mac Mini)

 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Meanwhile, Apple just released Radeon Pro Vega versions of the 15-inch MacBook Pro, a $250 or $350 upgrade that may be fast and interesting to people with budgets for the premium pricing, starting from:

2.6GHz 6‑core i7 (turbo to 4.3GHz)
Radeon Pro Vega 16 with 4GB
16GB RAM
512GB SSD
$3,049

and going to the top at:

2.9GHz 6‑core i9 (turbo to 4.8GHz)
Radeon Pro Vega 20 with 4GB
32GB RAM
4TB SSD
$7,049
 


... Just out of curiosity: do you happen to have two Ethernet dongles? I have one at home, another one at the office. When I move between the two, the dongle will not activate: no network connection. I have to wake up networking by opening iTunes or Safari, which will then complain that I am not connected to a network. I pull out and re-insert the dongle, and all is fine. Do you also see that?
To follow up to my own message: the latest system update seems to have resolved this. I can now switch dongles without the extra unplug-replug dance.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
And let's not forget the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 Bundle:

Compute OpenCL:
MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2018)
AMD Radeon RX 580 Compute Engine
118,674
(121,572 hooked into Mac Mini)

Compute Metal:
MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2018)
AMD Radeon RX 580 Compute Engine
125,556
(126,328 hooked into Mac Mini)
Those tests were run with no monitor connected to the eGPU card, using only the 13" MacBook Pro display while using the eGPU purely for processing.

I just did another set of tests, this time connecting the Radeon RX 580 to the LG 4K 27" monitor via DisplayPort and closing the MacBook Pro lid (i.e. clamshell mode), and the results were interestingly improved.

Compute OpenCL:
MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2018)
AMD Radeon RX 580 Compute Engine
123,070

Compute Metal:
MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid 2018)
AMD Radeon RX 580 Compute Engine
131,726

The resolution options from the Radeon RX 580 are interesting, too, including 8K (7680 x 4320) at 60 Hz with billions of colors. And the LG monitor (LG 27UK650-W) actually worked in that mode!!

Meanwhile, the Sonnet Breakaway Box is surprisingly quiet, if not quite silent (roughly similar to OWC's Express 4M2).

In fact, I did a CPU killer task that had all 8 cores working hard and the MacBook Pro fans ramped up, and simultaneously worked on a raw file in Affinity Photo, doing a lot of manipulation of tones and details/noise. Activity Monitor showed the integrated graphics idle, while the Radeon RX 580 was just ticking over, not troubled in the least by the work and still quiet. Nice!
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
The resolution options from the Radeon RX 580 are interesting, too, including 7680 x 4320 at 60 Hz with billions of colors. And the LG monitor (LG 27UK650-W) actually worked in that mode!!
I eventually managed to get the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box hooked up via HDMI - I had to disconnect DisplayPort to get HDMI working at one point, and I had some glitches getting HDMI synced up but eventually hit 7680 x 4320, which is 8K! (switching between two different cables).

The RX 580 actually has two DisplayPort connectors, plus two HDMI connectors plus DVI! I'm not sure how many you can use at once.
 


There is no industry standard label for "we designed ourselves into a corner and gimped this system".

What is goofy is that there is actually more unassigned PCI-e v3 bandwidth inside of the MacBook Pro 13", because it doesn't have a discrete GPU like the MacBook Pro 15".
Actually, on the MacBook Pro 13" with the limited Thunderbolt bandwidth, there’s less bandwidth available. The 7th-generation 15-watt (U-class) processors from Intel supported 12 PCIe lanes, while the 8th-generation 15-watt processors used on the newer MacBook Pro 13" supports 16. (I'm not sure if that was Intel trying to segment the market, or just running out of space / power / some other resource on the older chip.) The 15" uses 45-watt processors which supported 16 lanes all along.

Apple makes plenty of odd engineering decisions, at least from the outside, but I’ll blame this one on Intel. :-)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
For what it's worth... I don't hate the new, stiff, noisy MacBook Pro keyboard, but I find I'm making more mistakes with it than with the 2015 MacBook Pro keyboard and I'm not too thrilled about that. (The huge trackpad is also causing some extra glitches.)

Not that there's much choice in the matter (other than using a separate keyboard via USB or Bluetooth).
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I've discovered that the 2018 MacBook Pro will drive an external display while running on battery power, which the 2015 MacBook Pro will not do - at least not while running macOS Sierra. In a quick test with Mojave, though, it seems like the 2015 MacBook Pro also may support using the external display while running on battery power with the newer macOS.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I've been completely unable to get 60Hz refresh on my LG 27UK650-W display via HDMI from the 2018 MacBook Pro, despite trying two different Type-C-to-HDMI cables that claim to support that, and the fact that the monitor easily supports 60 Hz. (e.g. when connected to an eGPU).

I'm starting to think that Apple limited its HDMI output from the new MacBook Pro vs. its DisplayPort output, which handles 60 Hz easily with any of several different cables. (The 2015 MacBook Pro's dedicated HDMI port is also limited to 30 Hz.)
 


I have a MacBook Pro 2015 that I got from my employer. [...] If it wasn't for the dents remaining on the bottom case, I wouldn't want to replace the machine. But it can't sit on the desk properly, because the bottom cover is not straight - reminds me of the new iPad Pro, and AppleCare finally expired.
Do you really mean the bottom cover? This is the removable part with the feet on it. If, by chance, you do mean that, what you should do is replace it - 10 minutes of work, and a new one will cost < $50 on eBay ($15 used...).

If you really mean what Apple calls the top case, which is the solid aluminum block with the keyboard in it, you could even then still consider replacing it, if you were really motivated. It's a huge job, and the part itself is tricky, because it includes the keyboard and battery. Still, A-condition used ones go on eBay for ~ $125 or so, and the iFixit how-to walkthroughs are clear and complete. (Or, a good independent shop could do it for you.) Probably only worth it if you really like the 2015 over the 2018, but lots of folks do.
 


I have a MacBook Pro 2015 that I got from my employer. [...] If it wasn't for the dents remaining on the bottom case, I wouldn't want to replace the machine. But it can't sit on the desk properly, because the bottom cover is not straight - reminds me of the new iPad Pro, and AppleCare finally expired.
Do you really mean the bottom cover? This is the removable part with the feet on it. If, by chance, you do mean that, what you should do is replace it - 10 minutes of work, and a new one will cost < $50 on eBay ($15 used...).
On many laptops, the screws to remove the bottom panel are hidden under the rubber feet, and many seem to die in the process of first removal. I find stick-on silicone or felt pads handy when that happens. It is usually possible to place them to restore equilibrium. They're cheap, available at hardware and some office supply stores [and Amazon], and may even increase cooling by elevating the laptop base slightly off the desk.
 


On many laptops, the screws to remove the bottom panel are hidden under the rubber feet, and many seem to die in the process of first removal.
On a unibody MacBook Pro (which includes the 2015 model), the screws are clearly visible, but they are small pentalobe screws, so you'll need to get the appropriate screwdriver. iFixit sells one.

Removing and replacing the cover is very simple. See iFixit for the instructions (this is an SSD replacement instruction - the lower case cover is steps 1-3).
 


On a unibody MacBook Pro (which includes the 2015 model), the screws are clearly visible, but they are small pentalobe screws, so you'll need to get the appropriate screwdriver.
I apologize if this seems pedantic, but I think you meant Retina unibody MacBook Pro, since the original, non-Retina unibody MacBook Pros (2008-2012) used conventional Phillips #00 screws. The P5 pentalobe screws only started showing up with the late 2012 Retina MacBook Pros.
 


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

Latest posts