Notebookcheck

Apple MacBook Pro 13 (Mid 2017, i5, Touch Bar) Review

Early update. Apple already updates the MacBook Pro 13 after around 8 months. Modern Kaby Lake processors and faster SSDs are supposed to provide more performance. But did the manufacturer fix some issues of the predecessor?
Update: Input devices, color accuracy, PWM, gaming performance & power consumption

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The Kaby Lake chips were not ready for the redesign of the Apple MacBook Pro 13 in the end of 2016, so Apple launches an update after just 8 months. Besides the mentioned Kaby Lake processors including the integrated Iris Plus Graphics 650 GPU, the manufacturer also includes faster SSDs. The other components, including the case, did not change. Apple once again offers two models of the 13-inch system, one with the Touch Bar and one without. The more expensive model with the OLED strip above the keyboard also gets more powerful 28-watt processors (vs. 15 watts for the model without Touch Bar), more Thunderbolt ports and a slightly smaller battery. The old MacBook Pro 13 (old design, Broadwell) was discontinued and is not available anymore.

MacBook Pro 13 without Touch Bar MacBook Pro 13 with Touch Bar
Processor Core i5 2.3 GHz (Kaby Lake, 15 W)
Core i7 2.5 GHz (Kaby Lake, 15 W)
Core i5 3.1 GHz (Kaby Lake, 28 W)
Core i5 3.3 GHz (Kaby Lake, 28 W)
Core i7 3.5 GHz (Kaby Lake, 28 W)
GPU Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650
RAM 8 GB LPDDR3-2133
16 GB LPDDR3-2133
8 GB LPDDR3-2133
16 GB LPDDR3-2133
SSD 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB
Display 13.3-inch IPS 2560x1600 pixels 13.3-inch IPS 2560x1600 pixels
Ports 2x Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C
3.5 mm headset
4x Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C
3.5 mm headset
Price from $1299 from $1799

Our test model is the entry-level SKU of the MacBook Pro 13 Touch Bar for 1999 Euros ($1799) we bought in Apple's online store. There are no changes except for the processor and the SSD, there are no changes compared to the 2016 model, so we will not cover all sections in this article. All the corresponding information is available in our in-depth review of the MacBook Pro 13 (Touch Bar, Late 2016). The following pictures are from the 2016 model as well.

We will complete the review over the next couple of days. These are our initial results.

Change log:

  • 06/15: SSD performance, Temperature, Wi-Fi runtime
  • 06/17: Fan noise, battery runtime load & video
  • 06/21: Input devices, color accuracy, PWM, gaming performance, power consumption
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Processor
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR3L-2133, Dual-Channel
Display
13.3 inch 16:10, 2560x1600 pixel 227 PPI, APPA034, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
Apple SSD AP0256, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Cirrus Logic CS8409
Connections
4 USB 3.1 Gen2, 4 Thunderbolt, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm stereo jack, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Broadcom BCM15700A2 802.11ac (ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15 x 304 x 212 ( = 0.59 x 11.97 x 8.35 in)
Battery
49.2 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Apple OS X 10.11 El Capitan
Camera
Webcam: 720p FaceTime HD
Additional features
Speakers: stereo speakers, Keyboard: Chiclet (Butterfly v2), Keyboard Light: yes, 61-watt USB-C PSU, USB-C charging cable, 12 Months Warranty
Released
06/05/2017
Weight
1.37 kg ( = 48.33 oz / 3.02 pounds), Power Supply: 269 g ( = 9.49 oz / 0.59 pounds)
Price
1999 Euro

 

Size Comparison

Input Devices

The keyboard looks identical and Apple still uses second-generation Butterfly keys, but our colleagues from iFixit noticed a slightly changed construction in their teardown. In addition to the 12-inch MacBook there were also reports about keyboard problems on the Pro models. Our MacBook Pro 15 (Late 2016) we use in the office also had some problem with the "S" key recently. The key stroke was either not triggered or triggered twice. However, the problem was gonge after a while. We can obviously not say whether there will be any long-time issues, but it does not leave the best impression. Subjectively, the typing experience did not change compared to the previous model in a direct comparison.

Display

The display did not change. The 13.3-inch screen still has a resolution of 2560x1600 pixels, which results in a pixel density of 227 PPI. The Panel-ID is APPA034 and is therefore identical to the 2016 model without the Touch Bar. The maximum luminance in the center is 551 nits and the average result is still very good at 514 nits, which still surpasses Apple's claimed 500 nits. That the contrast is still "just" 1148:1 is a result of the slightly increased black value (0.48). The battery is reduced on battery power, because the center value drops to 502 nits. However, this result still easily surpasses the Windows competition.

523
cd/m²
536
cd/m²
503
cd/m²
524
cd/m²
551
cd/m²
520
cd/m²
496
cd/m²
487
cd/m²
487
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 551 cd/m² Average: 514.1 cd/m² Minimum: 4.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 502 cd/m²
Contrast: 1148:1 (Black: 0.48 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 0.8 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 1 | - Ø
Gamma: 2.16
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
APPA034, , 2560x1600, 13.3
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
APPA033, , 2560x1600, 13.3
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
APPA034, , 2560x1600, 13.3
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
Sharp SHP144A, , 3200x1800, 13.3
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
B140HAN03_1, , 1920x1080, 14
Response Times
-28%
-26%
21%
10%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
48
47.2
2%
47.2
2%
31
35%
41.6
13%
Response Time Black / White *
33.6
53
-58%
51.6
-54%
31.2
7%
31.6
6%
PWM Frequency
119000
Screen
-29%
-34%
-94%
-182%
Brightness
514
542
5%
564
10%
393
-24%
288
-44%
Brightness Distribution
88
90
2%
89
1%
82
-7%
85
-3%
Black Level *
0.48
0.56
-17%
0.57
-19%
0.33
31%
0.24
50%
Contrast
1148
1016
-11%
1053
-8%
1345
17%
1296
13%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
0.8
1.4
-75%
1.5
-88%
4
-400%
5.5
-588%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1
1.8
-80%
2
-100%
2.83
-183%
6.2
-520%
Gamma
2.16 111%
2.16 111%
2.27 106%
2.05 117%
2.02 119%
CCT
6672 97%
6877 95%
6855 95%
6963 93%
5950 109%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
78.4
77
59.3
55.96
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.3
92
91.4
85.77
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-29% / -29%
-30% / -32%
-37% / -66%
-86% / -134%

* ... smaller is better

The MacBook Pro 13 already manages excellent color accuracy results out of the box. We determine average DeltaE-2000 deviations compared to the P3 reference of just 1 for the grayscale and 0.8 (up to 1.4) for the colors with the spectrophotometer X-Rite i1Pro2 and the professional software CalMAN.

CalMAN Grayscale (target color space P3)
CalMAN Grayscale (target color space P3)
CalMAN ColorChecker (target color space P3)
CalMAN ColorChecker (target color space P3)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
33.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16.4 ms rise
↘ 17.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 84 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (27.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
48 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 23.6 ms rise
↘ 24.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 74 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (43.7 ms).

We use a more sensitive measuring device since the beginning of this year, which can detect higher frequencies. We can measure brightness fluctuations at a very high frequency of 119 kHz for the MacBook Pro 13 for brightness levels of 80% or below. We also checked the old 2016 MacBook Pro 15 with the new sensor and got a similar result. Because of the very high frequency, there should not be any problems even for sensitive users.

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 119000 Hz80 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 119000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 80 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 119000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 59 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 4352 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Performance

The MacBook Pro 13 with the Touch Bar is once again the more powerful model out of the two 13-inch systems since Apple uses dual-core processors with a TDP of 28 watts. This is an advantage for the GPU in particular, because the higher consumption limit gives more headroom for the Turbos of the two components. However, you should not expect a revolution from the Kaby Lake generation, because it is only a small update compared to Skylake.

All in all, the current MacBook Pro 13 Touch Bar is suited for many applications. If you need a lot of CPU/GPU performance though, you are still better off with a real quad-core and a dedicated graphics card.

LatencyMon: Idle
LatencyMon: Idle
LatencyMon: Web browsing
LatencyMon: Web browsing

Processor

CPU-Z Intel Core i5-7267U
CPU-Z Intel Core i5-7267U

The entry-level processor of the new Apple MacBook Pro 13 Touch Bar carries the designation Core i5-7267U. The Kaby Lake processor has two cores with a base frequency of 3.1 GHz, but it can be raised up to 3.5 GHz via Turbo Boost (for one and two active cores). The i5-7267U is therefore comparable to the regular Core i7-7500U (also up to 3.5 GHz), but the latter should be a bit slower due to the lower TDP and the lack of eDRAM cache.

This is supported by the benchmarks. While the Core i7-7500U in the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon has a small advantage in the Single-Core test of the current Cinebench R15, the new MacBook Pro 15 is 6% faster in the Multi-Test. The advantage over the old MacBook Pro 13 from 2016 is 8 or 13%, respectively (Single/Multi), so owners of the Skylake model do not have to upgrade. We also included the Acer Predator 17; it is equipped with the Core i7-7700HQ, which is the new entry-level CPU of the bigger Apple MacBook Pro 15 (review soon). The quad-core is obviously much more powerful when you stress multiple cores.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

The processor can maintain its performance under sustained workloads. A loop of the Cinebench R15 Multi Test determines a steady score after 20 runs; the only small outlier was probably affected by a background process.

More benchmarks and technical specifications for the Intel Core i5-7267U are available in our Tech section.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-70PJ
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
157 Points ∼100% +11%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Intel Core i7-7560U
153 Points ∼97% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel Core i7-7500U
143 Points ∼91% +1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-7267U (OSX)
141 Points ∼90%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i5-6267U (macOS)
131 Points ∼83% -7%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-70PJ
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
732 Points ∼100% +91%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-7267U (OSX)
383 (min: 377) Points ∼52%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel Core i7-7500U
360 Points ∼49% -6%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i5-6267U (macOS)
339 Points ∼46% -11%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Intel Core i7-7560U
336 Points ∼46% -12%
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
8773
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
11403
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5010
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
45.2 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
4.09 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.54 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.3 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
41.21 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
383 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
141 Points
Help

System Performance

We performed the synthetic PCMark benchmarks running on Windows (Bootcamp). You should note that the results also depend on the drivers, which are provided by Apple. All comparison devices are still pretty close in the Home Test, but the two Windows based models are clearly ahead (+20%) in the Work Test. The new MacBook Pro 13 also falls behind the direct predecessor, despite the more powerful hardware.

So what does this mean? Subjectively, you cannot notice a difference and the MacBook Pro 13 is extremely responsive and there are hardly any delays when you launch applications.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
7500U, HD Graphics 620
4978 Points ∼100% +22%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
7560U, Iris Plus Graphics 640 (2.7.613.0; v2.0.0)
4890 Points ∼98% +20%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
6267U, Iris Graphics 550
4218 Points ∼85% +3%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
7267U, Iris Plus Graphics 650 (2.7.613.0; v2.0.0)
4081 Points ∼82%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
6360U, Iris Graphics 540
3853 Points ∼77% -6%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
7500U, HD Graphics 620
4025 Points ∼100% +5%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
7560U, Iris Plus Graphics 640 (2.7.613.0; v3.0.0)
3902 Points ∼97% +2%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
7267U, Iris Plus Graphics 650 (2.7.613.0; v3.0.0)
3829 Points ∼95%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
6267U, Iris Graphics 550
3738 Points ∼93% -2%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
6360U, Iris Graphics 540
3280 Points ∼81% -14%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3829 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5188 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4081 points
Help

Storage Devices

Our test model is equipped with the 256 GB PCIe-SSD with the designation AP0256. Not only the designation is similar to the predecessor, we can also see similar performance results. AS SSD running on Windows still has some issues (also the case for the previous models), but all three drives are basically on the same – good – performance level.

Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Apple SSD AP0256
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Apple SSD AP0256
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
Apple SSD AP0256
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
42%
36%
263%
148%
Write 4k QD32
403.79 (3.0.3 x64 1000 MB [C: 38.4% (58.1/151.5 GB)] (x5))
419
4%
362
-10%
495.6
23%
325
-20%
Read 4k QD32
617.86 (3.0.3 x64 1000 MB [C: 38.4% (58.1/151.5 GB)] (x5))
657
6%
533
-14%
601.2
-3%
525
-15%
Write 4k
10.74 (3.0.3 x64 1000 MB [C: 38.4% (58.1/151.5 GB)] (x5))
23.5
119%
11.02
3%
172.2
1503%
132
1129%
Read 4k
9.92 (3.0.3 x64 1000 MB [C: 38.4% (58.1/151.5 GB)] (x5))
16.1
62%
31.68
219%
60.97
515%
33
233%
Write 512
698.01 (3.0.3 x64 1000 MB [C: 38.4% (58.1/151.5 GB)] (x5))
1481
112%
1486
113%
1098
57%
307
-56%
Read 512
926.4 (3.0.3 x64 1000 MB [C: 38.4% (58.1/151.5 GB)] (x5))
1183
28%
831
-10%
814
-12%
1015
10%
Write Seq
1353.2 (3.0.3 x64 1000 MB [C: 38.4% (58.1/151.5 GB)] (x5))
1336
-1%
1320
-2%
1383
2%
329
-76%
Read Seq
1539.5 (3.0.3 x64 1000 MB [C: 38.4% (58.1/151.5 GB)] (x5))
1662
8%
1345
-13%
1827
19%
1168
-24%
AS SSD
21%
-2%
181%
-68%
Access Time Write *
0.027
Access Time Read *
0.26
0.156
40%
0.288
-11%
0.028
89%
4K-64 Write
419
448
7%
417
0%
904.83
116%
4K-64 Read
852
894
5%
904
6%
1021.54
20%
4K Write
19.3
26.1
35%
15.4
-20%
151.11
683%
4K Read
12.7
18.8
48%
13.3
5%
56.81
347%
Seq Write
1364
1499
10%
1435
5%
1506
10%
46
-97%
Seq Read
2327
2405
3%
2275
-2%
2434
5%
1412
-39%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
32% / 32%
17% / 18%
222% / 225%
40% / 105%

* ... smaller is better

Apple SSD AP0256
Sequential Read: 1539.5 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1353.2 MB/s
512K Read: 926.4 MB/s
512K Write: 698.01 MB/s
4K Read: 9.92 MB/s
4K Write: 10.74 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 617.86 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 403.79 MB/s

GPU Performance

The integrated GPU Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 is the direct successor to the 550 inside the 2016 model. The basic architecture of the GT3e chip basically did not change with the switch to Kaby Lake and the synthetic 3DMarks also determine almost identical scores. Apple's new video standard HEVC was already supported by the old Iris Plus Graphics 550, but the new GPU now also decodes HEVC Main10 with a color depth of 10-bit as well as Google's VP9 codec.

More technical information and benchmarks for the Iris Plus Graphics 650 is available here.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)
AMD Radeon Pro 450, Intel Core i7-6700HQ
4502 Points ∼100% +63%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650, Intel Core i5-7267U
2761.5 (min: 2743) Points ∼61%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, Intel Core i5-6267U
2696 Points ∼60% -2%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
Intel Iris Graphics 540, Intel Core i5-6360U
2401 Points ∼53% -13%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Core i7-7560U
2124 Points ∼47% -23%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
1641 Points ∼36% -41%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)
AMD Radeon Pro 450, Intel Core i7-6700HQ
3252 Points ∼100% +92%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650, Intel Core i5-7267U
1698 Points ∼52%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, Intel Core i5-6267U
1657 Points ∼51% -2%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
Intel Iris Graphics 540, Intel Core i5-6360U
1448 Points ∼45% -15%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Core i7-7560U
1369 Points ∼42% -19%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
1093 Points ∼34% -36%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)
AMD Radeon Pro 450, Intel Core i7-6700HQ
21533 Points ∼100% +64%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, Intel Core i5-6267U
13172 Points ∼61% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650, Intel Core i5-7267U
13153 Points ∼61%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Core i7-7560U
11232 Points ∼52% -15%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
Intel Iris Graphics 540, Intel Core i5-6360U
11123 Points ∼52% -15%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
8971 Points ∼42% -32%
3DMark 06 Standard
15175 points
3DMark 11 Performance
2924 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
8403 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1586 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
623 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The gaming performance of the IntelIris Plus Graphics 650 is between the two dedicated chips Nvidia GeForce 930MX and 940MX depending on the game. Modern titles are usually limited to low details and resolutions if you want to reach smooth frame rates. Less demanding titles like Overwatch or Battlefield 1 can also be played at medium settings. The Iris Plus Graphics 650 is generally best suited with older titles.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 8454.446.513.3fps
GTA V (2015) 56.549.911.65fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 21.4fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 956429.725fps
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 54.235.620.8fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 25.918.3fps
Far Cry Primal (2016) 3215fps
The Division (2016) 30fps
Overwatch (2016) 79.257.425.621.4fps
Deus Ex Mankind Divided (2016) 19.214.68.2fps
Battlefield 1 (2016) 46.129.5fps
Civilization VI (2016) 42.220.2fps
Farming Simulator 17 (2016) 36.819.9fps
Titanfall 2 (2016) 54.137.9fps
Call of Duty Infinite Warfare (2016) 32.4fps
Dishonored 2 (2016) 15fps
For Honor (2017) 39.715.2fps
Ghost Recon Wildlands (2017) 17.6fps
Mass Effect Andromeda (2017) 25.810.5fps
Prey (2017) 51.420.2fps
Rocket League (2017) 11356.838.9fps
Dirt 4 (2017) 6421.314.2fps

Emissions

System Noise

The fan control is one advantage of the small 13-inch MacBook Pro. The two fans are not running while idling and with light workloads, so the system is silent. This is also a big advantage over the 15-inch models, where the fan is always spinning (albeit hardly audible). The fan speed is seamlessly adjusted to the workload. We can only measure 33.3 dB(A) in the first 3DMark 06 run, but more in the second run than even in the extreme load scenario with FurMark and Prime95 (43.2 dB(A)). It will then level off at the result of the stress test. We even measured 48 dB(A) for a short while (only CPU load by Prime95) and we even noticed slight vibrations on the desk (see the peak in the fan noise diagram at low frequencies). The fans are generally quieter in macOS; we can only determine between 32-34 dB(A) (3000 / 3200-3600 / 3900 rpm) in the Unigine Valley test.

Noise Level

Idle
30.6 / 30.6 / 30.6 dB(A)
HDD
30.6 dB(A)
Load
41.8 / 41.8 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.6 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2036.435.839.839.933.137.534.835.336.62532.633.433.933.430.233.131.230.734.33133.731.233.130.732.431.633.431.733.1403431.135.331.233.631.932.131.735.15031.231.134.231.729.829.63030.131.36330.429.834.829.730.229.328.727.730.7803231.233.830.429.127.227.326.42910029.528.528.627.326.526.62626.436.112526.726.827.726.82827.427.626.24016026.726.626.526.526.425.625.925.726.820026.926.326.225.325.624.425.12429.225027.527.327.225.725.825.324.323.529.331529.830.129.527.42523.423.42234.54003332.631.330.525.523.721.721.636.850036.334.231.730.428.623.420.120.640.163033.1333130.926.921.519.919.239.180029.728.42726.824.321.118.919.2351000292926.826.223.72018.618.633125030.129.427.727.12219.318.218.135.1160032.531.729.828.822.819.517.917.738.4200033.733.430.730.323.819.717.517.639.5250030.329.926.926.421.918.217.317.336.731503029.125.425.121.317.717.117.235.7400026.32622.621.918.817.617.417.333.4500024.724.220.419.917.917.317.217.333.5630021.821.3191917.817.417.317.231.7800019.919.318.21817.917.717.717.627.11000018.117.917.917.718.117.717.517.622.61250017.817.617.817.618.117.717.617.420.41600017.617.517.817.617.817.717.717.518.3SPL42.241.539.238.634.731.730.630.447.9N3.93.73.132.21.71.51.46.3median 29Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5median 28.4median 26.9median 26.4median 23.7median 19.7median 18.2median 18.1median 34.5Delta3.12.93.53.13.43.32.52.53.8hearing rangehide median Fan Noise

Temperature

The surface temperatures of the Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 are not too high and there are only small differences compared to the predecessor. It is possible to use the MacBook on your lap, even under maximum load or when you play games since we only measure up to 39 °C at the bottom. The maximum temperature at the top is 43 °C in the upper area of the keyboard. The Dell XPS 13 QHD+ i5 gets similarly warm, but we recorded higher load temperatures for the Lenovo X1 Carbon 2017.

Max. Load
 42 °C43 °C35 °C 
 39 °C39 °C32 °C 
 30 °C29 °C30 °C 
Maximum: 43 °C
Average: 35.4 °C
35 °C39 °C39 °C
31 °C35 °C33 °C
31 °C33 °C30 °C
Maximum: 39 °C
Average: 34 °C
Power Supply (max.)  53 °C | Room Temperature 23 °C | Fluke 62 Mini
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Iris Plus Graphics 650, 7267U, Apple SSD AP0256
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Apple SSD AP0256
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
Iris Graphics 540, 6360U, Apple SSD AP0256
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
Heat
-2%
-4%
-5%
-11%
Maximum Upper Side *
43
45
-5%
42
2%
48
-12%
40
7%
Maximum Bottom *
39
39
-0%
41
-5%
47.2
-21%
42
-8%
Idle Upper Side *
25
26
-4%
26
-4%
23.5
6%
28
-12%
Idle Bottom *
24
24
-0%
26
-8%
22.6
6%
31
-29%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The speakers did not change compared to the previous model, but there was no reason to. Despite their small size, they manage excellent results in our measurements and also convince subjectively.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2035.335.32530.733.93131.732.74031.735.65030.1396327.745.68026.447.710026.450.312526.262.116025.753.3200246325023.562.63152263.240021.671.450020.675.763019.277.780019.275.8100018.678.4125018.174.4160017.776.8200017.675.4250017.375.5315017.267.5400017.368.9500017.372.6630017.269.4800017.671.11000017.668.41250017.462.81600017.564SPL30.486.2N1.470.5median 18.1Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5median 69.4Delta2.56.235.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.2 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 10.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.3% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (11.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 11% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 84% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 7% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 92% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 96% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkboxes select/deselectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

We can measure higher idle consumption results compared to the predecessor. This also corresponds with the shorter battery runtime we determined (next section). Both models are on par under load though. We will repeat the consumption and runtime tests with another unit to check if there is a problem with the test model.

It is also very interesting to compare the power consumption when you are working with an external monitor. The display is eliminated as a consumer and we can compare the consumption of the hardware under load. A test with The Witcher 3 (Ultra) shows that the two MacBook Pro model (13 & 15 inch) are basically on par. This shows that the internal Iris Plus Graphics (4.8 fps) is a powerful iGPU, but it is not very efficient compared to the dedicated Radeon Pro 555 (13 fps).

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.17 / 0.5 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.8 / 10.9 / 11.4 Watt
Load midlight 55.4 / 57.5 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Power Consumption - 1920x1080 The Witcher 3 Power Consumption (external Monitor) ultra
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2017 (2.8 GHz, 555)
7700HQ, Radeon Pro 555, Apple SSD SM0256L, IPS, 2880x1800, 15.6
52.1 Watt ∼100% +1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
7267U, Iris Plus Graphics 650, Apple SSD AP0256, IPS, 2560x1600, 13.3
51.4 Watt ∼99%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
7267U, Iris Plus Graphics 650, 2560x1600, 13.3
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
6267U, Iris Graphics 550, 2560x1600, 13.3
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
6360U, Iris Graphics 540, 2560x1600, 13.3
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 1920x1080, 14
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 3200x1800, 13.3
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2016 (2.6 GHz, 450)
6700HQ, Radeon Pro 450, 2880x1800, 15.4
Power Consumption
15%
16%
14%
29%
-11%
Idle Minimum *
2.8
2.1
25%
3
-7%
3.84
-37%
3.7
-32%
2.9
-4%
Idle Average *
10.9
7.6
30%
8.9
18%
6.3
42%
6.1
44%
9.7
11%
Idle Maximum *
11.4
8.2
28%
8.9
22%
8.6
25%
6.5
43%
10.1
11%
Load Average *
55.4
56.4
-2%
43.4
22%
41.9
24%
29.5
47%
65
-17%
Load Maximum *
57.5
59.8
-4%
42.1
27%
48.7
15%
33
43%
89.5
-56%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The battery capacity is still 49.2 Wh. The Kaby Lake processor is manufactured in an optimized process (14 nm+) compared to its Skylake predecessor, so it should consume less power. We expected longer battery runtimes from the new model, but this is not the case in our Wi-Fi test. The previous model still lasted almost 9.5 hours at an adjusted luminance of 150 nits, but the current model only manages ~8:40 hours. We repeated the test three times, but the result was the same with a couple of minutes tolerance. This means the MBP Pro 13 is on par with the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and Dell XPS 13 QHD+, but they also feature bigger batteries and different resolutions.

This trend continues in the video test, where the short movie Big Buck Bunny (H.264, FHD) is running in a loop at 150 nits. The result of almost 7 hours is not only beaten by the predecessor, but all the other comparison devices are significantly more enduring as well. The load test determines a couple of minutes more compared to the 2016 model, but you still have to recharge it after 70 minutes. We can see the impact of the 28-watt processor in this scenario and the ULV systems from Dell and Lenovo manage longer runtimes.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing v1.3
8h 39min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
6h 55min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 10min
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
7267U, Iris Plus Graphics 650, 49.2 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
6267U, Iris Graphics 550, 49.2 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016
6360U, Iris Graphics 540, 54 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 57 Wh
Dell XPS 13 9360 QHD+ i5
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 60 Wh
Battery Runtime
6%
42%
41%
43%
Load
70
66
-6%
101
44%
110
57%
137
96%
WiFi v1.3
519
566
9%
686
32%
496
-4%
526
1%
H.264
415
483
16%
620
49%
711
71%
547
32%

Preliminary Verdict

In review: Apple MacBook Pro 13 Mid 2017 (Core i5, Touch Bar)
In review: Apple MacBook Pro 13 Mid 2017 (Core i5, Touch Bar)

Our initial test results suggest a a rather minor update. The new Kaby Lake processor from Intel is a bit faster than its predecessor and can maintain the performance for long periods, but this does not justify an upgrade for owners of the 2016 model.

The screen once again leaves an excellent impression. Apple clearly confirms its claim of providing the best displays in the market.

We will complete the review over the next couple of days and check whether Apple fixed the problems of the predecessor (WLAN problems with attached USB-C devices). Stay tuned!

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Apple MacBook Pro 13 (Mid 2017, i5, Touch Bar) Review
Klaus Hinum, Andreas Osthoff, 2017-06-14 (Update: 2017-06-21)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.