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2016 MacBook Pro 15 With AMD Radeon Pro vs. 2017 Dell XPS 15 With Nvidia GTX 1050: Reviewers' 15-Inch Pick

By Grace Anilado , Apr 11, 2017 06:47 AM EDT
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Apple took their sweet time redesigning the professional version of their high-end machines. But when the 2016 MacBook Pro 15 finally launched, Mac fanatics and critics were divided. While it is more powerful than its predecessor with AMD Radeon Pro, it had hardware changes that made even the staunchest Pro user groan. Then the 2017 Dell XPS 15 came along and was immediately branded the Mac device for PC users. It is a slightly bigger version of the 13-inch computer released to glowing reviews, but it stands on its own especially with the Nvidia GTX 1050.

There are many similarities and differences between the two. Reviewers have compared and contrasted those and have come to a conclusion. But before getting to which laptop towers over the other, a lowdown of their specifications is in order.

Design and Weight

Both the 2016 MacBook Pro 15 and the 2017 Dell XPS 15 boast wide screens. At 15-inches, they are both heavy but they also make an effort to be slim despite their humongous size. They are the same in that respect, but they do have their differences in other places.

For one, the 2016 MacBook Pro 15 went with an aluminum design for the whole body. It sets the device apart and easily screams "Apple." The keyboard is backlit and is essentially an updated version found on the 12-inch MacBook.

The Touch Bar is the highlight of the new MacBook's design, according to Digital Trends. It changes according to which app a person is using and is easily customizable. For example, in Messages, the Touch Bar shows autocorrect suggestions as a person types and also knows which emoji that user likes best. On top of that, this innovative addition to the Pro is efficient and useful.

Meanwhile, the 2017 Dell XPS 15 has an aluminum lid and carbon fiber finish wrist rest and keyboard. It also has a metal base that is similar to what other XPS designs have. Its keyboard tray is backlit, like its rival, and it comes with a Microsoft Precision Touchpad.

Performance

The AMD Radeon Pro that ships with the 2016 MacBook Pro 15 is well-suited to its design. However, professional users are frustrated with the GPU Apple chose. They dig performance--the Radeon Pro and the Intel i7 6th gen Skylake do not cut it for them, according to a Forbes piece. Still, it has a quad-core Intel packed inside that elevates its performance rating a bit. Plus, it has a long battery life that would not only save users electricity but also give them more mobility.

On the other hand, some reviewers laud the choice of Nvidia GTX 1050 for the 2017 Dell XPS 15. As the GPU belongs to the chipmaker's 10 series, it has a significant jump in performance. It also easily outclasses its rival's choice of GPU. And together with the Intel i7 7th gen Kaby Lake processor, Dell's larger iteration of the XPS 13 makes the laptop a faster engine.

Price

People who want quality performance without breaking the bank would surely gravitate towards the 2017 Dell XPS 15. Even though it has Nvidia GTX 1050 inside it, one of the latest processors from the chipmaker, it only costs around $2,070, per Ars Technica.

The 2016 MacBook Pro 15 with the AMD Radeon Pro is much more expensive. Its starting price is $2,400 and is bound to go up depending on the retailer.

The Winner

The word "Pro" in the devices' names is an appendage that is aimed at professionals for their professional use. These users require high-powered performance for their tasks and between the two devices pitted against each other, the 2017 Dell XPS 15 with Nvidia GTX 1050 would be a better choice.

The 2016 MacBook Pro 15 with the AMD Radeon Pro does have its upsides, though. The Touch Bar, especially, is a great addition to the machine and it gives easy access to functions. Performance-wise, though, it falls short of expectations.

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