The 16-Inch MacBook Pro Lineup
- The 16-Inch MacBook Pro Lineup
- Touch Bar
- Thunderbolt 3
- T2 Chip
- Intel Processors
The 16-inch MacBook Pro, introduced in November 2019, features a larger 16-inch Retina display, slimmer bezels, an updated keyboard with a scissor mechanism instead of a butterfly mechanism, up to 64GB RAM, up to 8TB of storage, and AMD Radeon Pro 5000M Series graphics cards.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro features a 3072x1920 resolution display and a higher pixel density of 226 ppi, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro features a 2560x1600 resolution with a ppi of 227. The Touch Bar and the Retina display of all MacBook Pro models feature support for True Tone functionality that adjusts white balance to match ambient lighting, and other display features such as wide color support are included.
16-inch MacBook Pro models use 6 or 8-core 9th-generation chips. Apple says the 16-inch MacBook Pro uses the "most advanced thermal architecture ever in a Mac notebook," allowing it to run at higher power for longer periods of time.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro includes a new fan design with a larger impeller, extended blades, and bigger vents, which increases airflow by 28 percent. The heat sink is also 35 percent larger, allowing for more heat dissipation. All in all, this lets the MacBook Pro sustain up to 12 watts more during intensive workloads compared to the prior 15-inch MacBook Pro.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is equipped with Apple's new Magic Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard uses a refined scissor mechanism that is expected to be more reliable than the butterfly keyboard that was prone to failure. The keyboard offers up 1mm of key travel and features a "more responsive key press."
Design wise, Apple has updated the Magic Keyboard to feature a physical Escape key instead of the virtual key on the Touch Bar, along with a separate Touch ID button, an inverted "T" arrangement for the arrow keys, and a Touch Bar.
There's a new six-speaker sound system in the 16-inch MacBook Pro that's designed to offer the most advanced audio experience ever in a notebook. Sounds are more clear and more natural than ever before, and the bass is half an octave deeper. There's also an upgraded high-performance microphone with a 40 percent reduction in hiss and a better signal to noise ratio.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro models are equipped with built-in graphics and Radeon Pro 5300M graphics, Radeon Pro 5500M graphics, or the Radeon Pro 5600M graphics introduced in June 2020. The Radeon Pro 5600M is up to 75 percent faster than the Radeon Pro 5500M. Up to 8TB of SSD storage is available in the 16-inch machine.
The AMD Radeon 5000M series graphics in the 16-inch MacBook Pro offer the first 7nm mobile discrete GPUs designed for pro users. The standard configuration offers up to 2.1 times faster graphics performance than the previous configuration, and the high-end graphics options offer 80 percent faster performance.
Up to 64GB RAM is available in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, and there are four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports.
A T2 chip continues to offer enhanced security with secure boot and on-the-fly encrypted storage along with support for hands-free Hey Siri commands. The 16-inch MacBook Pro features a 100Wh battery, which is the largest ever in a MacBook Pro, allowing for 11 hour battery life.
You can purchase the 16-inch MacBook Pro models in Silver or Space Gray from Apple's online store and Apple retail stores. Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11ac WiFi, and a 720p FaceTime HD Camera are other included features. Pricing on the starts at $2,399 for a 2.6GHz Core i7 processor, Radeon Pro 5300M, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD. Custom configuration options are available for an additional price.
Apple also offers 13-inch MacBook Pro models, including entry-level models with the new M1 Apple Silicon chip, with details available in our 13-inch MacBook Pro roundup.
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The 16-inch MacBook Pro features a design that's similar to the prior 15-inch MacBook Pro, but with a slightly larger body and slimmer bezels, and it is noticeably larger than the 13-inch model that Apple also sells.
Design wise, the 16-inch MacBook Pro does not look radically different compared to earlier MacBook Pro models, continuing to feature the same general design elements with large trackpad, thin hinge, Touch Bar, rear Apple logo, side speakers, and silver and space gray color options.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro measures in at 14.09 inches long, 9.68 inches wide, and 16.2mm thick. It weighs in at 4.3 pounds. Compared to the 15-inch MacBook Pro, it's thicker, heavier, and bigger.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro measured in at 13.75 inches long, 9.48 inches wide, and 15.5mm thick. It weighs four pounds.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro includes a Retina display with with 500 nits of brightness, P3 Wide Color support, and True Tone functionality.
True Tone uses a multi-channel ambient light sensor that's included in the new MacBook Pro models, which is able to determine both the brightness of the room and the color temperature. After detecting the white balance, the MacBook Pro is able to adjust both the color and intensity of the display to match the room's lighting for a more natural, paper-like viewing experience that also cuts down on eyestrain.
The display of the 16-inch MacBook Pro features a 3072 by 1920 native resolution at 226 pixels per inch (an improvement compared to the 15-inch MacBook Pro).
The 16-inch MacBook Pro features a variable refresh rate that can be set to the frame rate of a video that's being edited or viewed. Options include 47.95, 48, 50, 59.94, and 60Hz.
The 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro is the first Mac that was updated with a new "Magic Keyboard" that does away with the butterfly mechanism that Apple has been using since 2015. Apple says it's meant to deliver the "best typing experience ever on a Mac notebook."
The butterfly mechanism was not been popular with customers due to its penchant for key failure due to dust and other small particulates, and with the inclusion of the new scissor-switch keyboard in the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the butterfly mechanism has been retired.
According to Apple, the scissor mechanism in the Magic Keyboard offers 1mm of key travel and a stable key feel, plus an Apple-crafted rubber dome that's designed to store more potential energy for a more responsive key press.
Apple says that Magic Keyboard delivers a comfortable, satisfying, and quiet typing experience. Design wise, the keyboard is similar to the prior keyboard, but there's a physical Escape key instead of a virtual key on the Touch Bar, and the Touch ID button is a separate button too.
The arrow keys have been redesigned as well with an inverted "T" arrangement for the arrow keys, which is a departure from the previous design of the MacBook Pro keyboard. The Touch Bar is also slightly further away from the keys on the keyboard.
Apple is still offering a Keyboard Service Program for all MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro machines that feature a butterfly keyboard, including the 2019 MacBook Pro models from May and July 2019. The Keyboard Service Program does not apply to the 16-inch MacBook Pro or the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro as they use the newer, more reliable scissor mechanism.
As with prior MacBook Pro models, the 16-inch MacBook Pro features a large Force Touch trackpad that takes up much of the bottom of the machines.
The Force Touch trackpad has no traditional buttons and is instead powered by a set of Force Sensors, allowing users to press anywhere on the trackpad to get the same response. A Taptic Engine powered by magnets provides users with tactile feedback when using the trackpad, replacing the feel of a physical button press.
The Force Touch trackpad supports a light press, which is used as a regular click, along with a deeper press or "force click" as a separate gesture that does things like offer up definitions for a highlighted word.
There's a Touch Bar on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which is a small OLED Retina multi-touch display build into the keyboard where the function keys traditionally go.
The Touch Bar is contextual and can perform a huge range of functions on the Mac depending on which app is in use, and it is now available across all of Apple's MacBook Pro lineup.
The Touch Bar is a matte-style display that blends right in with the rest of the keys on the keyboard, and in all modern MacBook Pro machines, it supports True Tone, allowing the white balance to be adjusted to match the ambient lighting conditions.
Interacting with the Touch Bar is done through taps, swipes, and other multi-touch gestures, with support for up to 10 fingers at a time available.
In 2019, Apple updated the Touch Bar to add a separate physical Escape key and a separate Touch ID button that is not connected to the Touch Bar. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor works much like the Touch ID Home button on older iPhone models. Touch ID can be used in lieu of a password, unlocking the Mac when a finger is placed on the sensor. It also replaces a password for password-protected apps, and it can be used to make Apple Pay purchases in Safari.
Touch ID is powered by a separate Apple-designed T2 chip with a Secure Enclave that keeps your fingerprint data and personal information safe.
All 16-inch machines feature four Thunderbolt 3 ports with support for USB 3.1 Gen 2 and Thunderbolt 3, for Thunderbolt transfer speeds of up to 40Gb/s and USB transfer speeds of up to 10Gb/s.
Each port on the MacBook Pro models is identical and can be used for the same functions, so every one can be used to power the machine. All ports support the following connections: power, Thunderbolt, USB, DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA.
Over Thunderbolt 3, the 16-inch MacBook Pro can power two 6K displays at one time or four 4K displays. All external displays are able to run at 60Hz.
Apple's custom-made T2 chip is included in all 16-inch MacBook Pro models to make them even more secure and to add additional functionality.
The T2 chip houses the Secure Enclave processor that protects Touch ID fingerprint data and allows for secure boot and encrypted storage capabilities. It also consolidates multiple controllers, including the system management controller, image signal processor, audio controller, and SSD controller.
It supports enhanced tone mapping, improved exposure control, and face detection-based auto exposure to the FaceTime HD camera, and it encrypts the SSD on the fly using dedicated AES hardware.
The T2 chip also powers "Hey Siri" functionality in the MacBook Pro. With Hey Siri capabilities, you can say "Hey Siri" to activate the personal assistant on the MacBook Pro without the need to press the physical Siri button. The T2 chip is a variant of the A10 in Apple's iOS devices and it runs a modified version of iOS.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro has an updated high-fidelity sound system with six speakers. Apple says the six-speaker setup is designed to provide musicians, podcasters, and video editors with the "most advanced audio experience ever in a notebook."
The speaker system uses Apple-designed force-canceling woofers with dual opposed speaker drivers that cut down on unwanted vibrations that distort sound. The resulting music sounds more clear and more natural, with bass that's an octave deeper.
There's an upgraded microphone array that cuts down on hiss by 40 percent along with an improved signal-to-noise ratio that Apple says rivals that of popular professional-grade digital microphones.
Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro is the largest and most powerful notebook that the company sells, with up to an 8-core processor, discrete AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics, up to 64GB RAM, up to 8TB of SSD storage, and a larger, 16-inch display that sets it apart from the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the previous 15-inch MacBook Pro models.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro models are equipped with Intel's 9th-generation 14-nanometer Coffee Lake Refresh chips, which are the same chips that were used in the 15-inch models that were released back in May 2019.
The entry-level 16-inch MacBook Pro uses Intel's 6-core 2.6GHz Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz. The higher-end 16-inch MacBook Pro features Intel's 2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Core i9 processor with 4.8GHz Turbo Boost. Both machines can be upgraded to a 2.4GHz 8-core 9th-generation Core i9 processor with Turbo Boost up to 5GHz.
According to Apple, its 8-core chips offer up 2.1 times faster performance than a quad-core MacBook Pro and 40 percent more performance than a 6-core MacBook Pro, making them the fastest chips in a Mac notebook ever.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro uses an updated thermal architecture that Apple designed to allow the notebook to run at a higher power for sustained periods of time.
There's a new fan design with a larger impeller that has longer blades and bigger vents, which allows for a 28 percent increase in airflow. The heat sink is 35 percent larger, enabling "significantly" more heat dissipation than before, which allows the 16-inch MacBook Pro to sustain up to 12 more watts during intensive workouts than the previous 15-inch MacBook Pro.
In our testing, the thermal improvements that Apple made in the 16-inch MacBook Pro has resulted in a 16.5 percent increase in multi-core performance. The 16-inch MacBook Pro earned a single-core score of 989 and a multi-core score of 6733, while the previous-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro with the same processor scored 972 in the single-core test and 5781 in the multi-core test.
We also did multiple real-world performance tests with Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro, and our video is worth checking out to see how well the 16-inch MacBook Pro performs with "Pro" tasks.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro models feature Intel's built-in UHD Graphics 630, but are also equipped with AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics cards, which are the first 7-nanometer mobile discrete GPUs.
The base-level 16-inch MacBook Pro features an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB GDDR6 memory and the mid-level model uses an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB GDDR6 memory. Both can be upgraded with an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU with 8GB GDDR6 memory, and in June 2020 Apple added a new high-end AMD Radeon Pro 5600M option with 8GB of HBM2 memory.
According to Apple, customers who choose the standard GPU configuration see 2.1 times faster graphics performance than the previous standard configuration, while those who choose the highest-end graphics options see up to 80 percent faster performance than the previous high-end configuration.
Apple says that compared to the prior-generation 8-core 15-inch MacBook Pro, the 16-inch models with the highest graphics options result in the following improvements:
Video editors using DaVinci Resolve can see up to 3.4 times faster effects rendering when color grading.
Gamers can enjoy smoother gameplay with up to 2.6 times faster performance in games like Fortnite.
In Unity, developers can experience 3.2 times faster fly-through performance during game development.
In our testing of the new 5500M GPU in the higher-end machine, we found significant gains. In an OpenCL test, the 16-inch MacBook Pro scored 30608, compared to the 15-inch MacBook Pro's score of 17904, and in a Metal test, the 16-inch MacBook Pro scored a 29840 vs. the 15-inch MacBook Pro's score of 19065.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro supports up to 64GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, which is faster than the RAM used in prior models. The previous 15-inch MacBook Pro also maxed out at 32GB RAM.
Apple in 2016 introduced super fast SSDs with sequential read speeds of up to 3.2GB/s and sequential write speeds up to 2.2GB/s, and that same technology is used in the SSDs of the 2019 MacBook Pro models.
Storage space in the base-level 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at 512GB, but it can be upgraded to a maximum of 8TB for the first time, up from 4TB.
The camera in the 16-inch MacBook Pro has not been upgraded compared to the previous-generation machine. It continues to use a 720p FaceTime HD camera.
Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro offers "all-day" battery life with up to 11 hours of wireless web usage, up to 11 hours of Apple TV app movie playback, and up to 30 days of standby time.
The machine is equipped with a 99.8 watt-hour lithium-polymer battery that's higher capacity than the battery in the 15-inch MacBook Pro models from 2019. Apple added extra battery capacity by slightly increasing the thickness of the batteries in the MacBook Pro. The machine comes with a 96W USB-C Power Adapter for charging purposes.
Bluetooth 5.0 is included in the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro. It also supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
There are two stock 16-inch MacBook Pro configurations available from Apple:
$2,399 - 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 processor, Radeon Pro 5300M, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD.
$2,799 - 2.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor, Radeon Pro 5500M, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD.
Build to Order Options
The processor, RAM, SSD capacity, and graphics card can be upgraded in the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro.
Entry level 16-inch MacBook Pro upgrade options:
2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor - +$300
32GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM - +$400
64GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM - +$800
Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB memory - +$100
Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB memory - +$200
Radeon Pro 5600M with 8GB memory - +$800
1TB SSD - +$200
2TB SSD - +$600
4TB SSD - +$1,200
8TB SSD - +$2,400
Higher-end 16-inch MacBook Pro upgrade options:
2.4GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor - +$200
32GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM - +$400
64GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM - +$800
Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB memory - +$100
Radeon Pro 5600M with 8GB memory - +$700
2TB SSD - +$400
4TB SSD - +$1,000
8TB SSD - +$2,200
How to Buy
Apple's MacBook Pro models can be purchased from Apple's website, Apple retail stores, and the retail locations and websites of third-party resellers like Best Buy and B&H Photo. Apple is also offering discounted refurbished models from its refurbished stores in the United States and other countries.
What's Next for the MacBook Pro
Apple is working on an updated 16-inch MacBook Pro with a mini-LED display, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo believes the mini-LED technology will "significantly improve productivity and the entertainment experience."
The future mini-LED displays will use approximately 10,000 LEDs, with each one below 200 microns in size. Mini-LED will ultimately allow for thinner and lighter product designs, offering many of the same benefits as OLED like better wide color gamut, high contrast and dynamic range, and local dimming for truer blacks and superior contrast. Given the cost of mini-LED, the rumored MacBook Pro is expected to be a high-end model.
The upcoming 16.1-inch MacBook Pro with mini-LED display and all future MacBook Pro models are expected to use Apple Silicon chips now that the first Apple Silicon Macs with M1 chip are available.
Further in the Future
There were rumors in 2019 suggesting Samsung was in talks to supply Apple with OLED displays for a future 16-inch MacBook Pro, but it's not clear how this information meshes with rumors of mini-LED machines. It's possible Apple is exploring multiple different display advancements for MacBook Pro models coming in 2020 and beyond.
OLED displays could bring benefits like increased brightness, deeper blacks, better contrast, faster response times, and sharper colors, and thinner devices as OLED panels are slimmer than LCDs.
Apple is said to be working on a range of MacBooks with 5G cellular connectivity. The rumor comes from DigiTimes, a site that has a mixed track record when it comes to Apple info. The site says that Apple has finalized its integrated 5G MacBook design, and it has a 5G transceiver that's more efficient and faster than components used by rivals like Lenovo, Dell, and HP. Apple is said to be using a ceramic antenna board for the improved performance, which could drive up the cost of the 5G MacBook.