16-inch vs 15-inch MacBook Pro: Is it worth the upgrade at $2,399?

Below is a detailed comparison of the 15-inch MacBook Pro versus the latest 16-inch MacBook Pro that Apple launched on Thursday, Nov. 14 with our recommendations

16-inch MacBook Pro
The 16-inch MacBook Pro. Apple

Apple launched the new 16-inch MacBook Pro a couple of days ago and it's everything you'd want in a laptop and more. It not only has thinner bezels, a scissor switch "Magic Keyboard," an enhanced sound system, and better specs on the whole. But is it enough for users to make the switch from the 15-inch MacBook Pro to the latest 16-inch version?

Or if you're planning to buy a new MacBook, is it worth investing in a newly released model or purchase the older model at a knockdown price? Let's compare the 15-inch MacBook Pro with the 16-inch MacBook Pro.


As far as design is concerned, both products are quite similar to each other. They sport built-in premium finished aluminum with a glass-covered screen, a centralized keyboard flanked by speakers on each side, and a massive Force Touch trackpad. The laptops are available in both silver and space gray color options.

However, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro is slightly larger, thicker, and heavier than its predecessor, which shouldn't really bother professional users who are more concerned about performance. The dimensions and weight specs of both laptops have been laid our below:

Dimensions15-inch Macbook Pro16-inch MacBook Pro
Height0.61 inch (1.55 cm)0.64 inch (1.62 cm)
Width13.75 inches (34.93 cm)14.09 inches (35.79 cm)
Depth9.48 inches (24.07 cm)9.68 inches (24.59 cm)
Weight4.02 pounds (1.83 kg)4.3 pounds (2.0 kg)

The display is one of the factors that work in favor of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro. As the name suggests, it features a 16-inch screen with a resolution of 3072×1920, which means it's a higher density panel at 226 pixels-per-inch (PPI). The 15-inch MacBook Pro has a 15.4-inch display with a resolution of 2880×1800 at 220 PPI.


Creative professionals such as photographers, designers, and video editors, would prefer the larger screen size and resolution of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. In addition, the newer model features a smaller bezel, which not only gives it a more modern look and feel but is also pleasing to the eye.


The new MacBook Pro features a completely revamped keyboard layout after the butterfly keyboard of the previous generation had issues like sticky keys, repeated characters and unresponsive buttons that MacBook users have complained about. Apple decided to go back to the original scissor keyboard format.

Apple refers to it as the "Magic Keyboard" because it has been inspired by the company's wireless keyboard that accompanies the iMac. The new keyboard features an Apple-designed rubber dome, with 1mm of key travel and a stable feel. The company says it not only allows users to enjoy a more comfortable typing experience but also avoids the problem of keys getting stuck due to dust accumulation.

The Touch Bar and Touch ID are still there, but Apple has added a physical Esc button on the keyboard after users' requests. The other major improvement is a return to the "inverted T" formation for the arrow keys for better navigation.


The two laptops perform very well on the base models, with some incremental speed gains on the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Like the 15-inch model, the new variant is powered by a 2.6GHz (Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz) 6‑core 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor.

Both devices are equipped with with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, but the newer iteration has a clock speed of 2666MHz versus 2400MHz of the 15-inch version. The built-in SSD in the 15-inch base model only has a 256 GB storage option while the new one comes with twice as much storage: 512 GB. In the graphics arena, the 15-inch model includes the AMD Radeon Pro 555X GPU with 4GB of GDDR5, and the 16-inch offers an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6.

The differences increase as we move on to the more expensive models of the 16-inch variant, which offers more customization options. Users can crank it up with up to to 64GB of RAM, 8TB of SSD storage, a 2.4GHz (Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz) 8‑core Intel Core i9 processor, and AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU with 8GB of GDDR6.

Since the 15-inch model is no longer sold by Apple as an official product, the maximum configuration will be that available on its most expensive variant, which offers a 2.3GHz (Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz) 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, a Radeon Pro 560X GPU with 4GB of GDDR5, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and 512GB SSD storage.

For those who already have the previous base model, the 16-inch MacBook Pro only delivers more performance by choosing an option with better CPU, graphics, and RAM.

Performance15-inch MacBook Pro16-inch MacBook Pro
Base Processor (CPU)2.6 GHz (4.5GHz Turbo Boost) 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i72.6GHz (4.5GHz Turbo Boost) 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i7
Processor Upgrade2.3 GHz (4.8GHz Turbo Boost) 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i92.4GHz (5.0GHz Turbo Boost) 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor
Base Graphics (GPU)AMD Radeon Pro 555X GPU with 4GB of GDDR5AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4 GB of GDDR6
Graphics UpgradeAMD Radeon Pro 560X GPU with 4GB of GDDR5AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU with 8GB of GDDR6
RAM16GB 2400 MHz of DDR4 RAM16GB 2666 MHz of DDR4 RAM (up to 64 GB RAM)
Storage256GB SSD (up to 512 GB)512 GB SSD (up to 8TB)

The new 16-inch MacBook Pro features the same 720p resolution FaceTime HD front cameras as its predecessor, but with a "studio-quality" three-mic setup that boasts high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming. Apple has also improved the the device's sound system with the new MacBook Pro with high‑fidelity six‑speakers that offer Dolby Atmos support.

Camera, Audio and Battery

Apple claims its latest offering has a battery life of up to 11 hours for wireless web use, an hour more than what the 15-inch laptop offers.


The new 16-inch MacBook Pro is surely an exciting upgrade when you consider things like the larger display, as well as the improved keyboard layout. However, if you already own a recently purchased 15-inch MacBook Pro, you need not replace it now.

Don't forget that performance improvements may not be as noticeable to those who are switching from the previous 15-inch base model. That being said, if you want a MacBook Pro for its upgraded RAM, better graphics, and more storage, the 16-inch model is the one for you.

You will still be able to purchase the 15-inch MacBook Pro in some stores for a discounted price, which makes sense if you're not really interested in the new features of the 16-inch variant. However, if you want the latest offering from Apple, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is available at Apple retail stores and online for $ 2,399.