Breaking down 2018 Macbook Pricing/Performance
This week, Apple has updated its 13” and 15” Touch Bar MacBook Pro with the newest 8th generation Intel CPUs. Additionally, the machine will allow up to 32GB of RAM as well as an overkill amount of SSD storage of up to 4TB.
If you are willing, let alone financially able, to spend an excessive amount of money, you too can obtain these massive laptop specs.
Even the base model of an Apple laptop is exorbitant. Depending on the screen size, the 13” starting at $1,799 and the 15” at $2,399 are overwhelmingly pricier than their Windows counterparts, when you can get a comparable machine for less than half of that price.
So why has the most expensive MacBook Pro climbed to the frigid, Everest-level of $6,700, which is $2,400 more than any offered last year?
Apparently, because they are offering more options.
But more options do not explain the insane markups on SSD storage. When a 4TB Samsung 860 PRO has a current market value of $1,700, and Apple is charging an EXTRA $3,200 to simply increase to 4TB (it already has 1TB), the numbers just don’t make sense. The markup on storage in this particular case is almost criminal. It’s like trying to buy a beer at Disney.
Apple MacBook Options:
Base model 13” laptop - +$1,799
Base model 15” laptop - +$2,399
Upgrade CPU - +$300
Upgrade RAM - +$400
Upgrade RAM to 32GB - +$400 (In addition to the previous $400 for the other RAM upgrade)
Upgrade Storage to 1TB - +$400
Upgrade Storage to 2TB - +$1,200
Upgrade Storage to 4TB - +$3,200
Component market value:
Median standard laptop price: $800-$900
16GB Laptop RAM: $165
32GB Laptop RAM: $265
1TB NVMe SSD: $400
2TB NVMe SSD: $800
4TB Standard SSD: $1,000
4TB High-End SSD: $1,650
You must also take note that these are upgrades. There is already a certain amount of RAM and storage space available in the base model laptop. For example, if you are upgrading your RAM to 32GB, that is an additional $800 on top of the 8GB currently installed making the valuation of 24GB at $800 when it should be about $240. Clearly based on this model, Apple chooses to charge a premium price because it’s assembled by them and flaunts the Apple logo.
On top of all this nonsense, the SSDs are soldered to the motherboard, making it impossible to replace or change the drive in any way. Instead of repair, they seem to be forcing replacement.
Although the company has been under some recent fires and bad publicity, they continue to press on. Even in more recent news, it was determined that they were throttling the high-end CPUs on these new MacBooks due to excessive heat output. By placing performance limitations on them, they were expected to last longer by preventing long periods of high heat and resource utilization. Imagine purchasing a $6,700 laptop for the high-end specs and yet not being able to use it at full potential.
The company apologized for the problem and stated this:
Following extensive performance testing under numerous workloads, we've identified that 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 bug fix is included in today's macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update and is recommended. We apologize to any customer who has experienced less than optimal performance on their new systems.
It's suspected that Apple deliberately employed this throttling bug due to possible overheating on the new line of computers. Because the chassis has been left completely unchanged since last year and the new line of Core i9 CPUs installed are more demanding in power, the components are outputting more heat and the chassis may not handle the excess heat as effectively as they did with the prior CPU lineup. It appears that there is a point where form and function no longer collaborate and evolving form to suit the function becomes necessary. In other words, Apple needs to understand that sometimes you need to sacrifice the standard looking computer lineup to cooperate with all the new performance components that are thrown in.
After everything said about Apple, they aren’t a terrible or malicious company; they’re just not a good one. Their products aren’t worth the outrageous price-tag and they capitalize on the media industry by offering good software specific to the Operating System.
Make prices more reasonable, eliminate the desire to keep everything looking the same, and stop churning out new generations of iPhones and MacBooks every 5 seconds so people feel the urge to upgrade. Then come back to me and we’ll talk.