How to choose MacBook Pro 13 inch and 16 inch

Posted May 28, 202014 min read

Recently, many friends asked how to choose the 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. This article will detail the performance comparison of the two MacBook Pros for reference. I wish you to choose the MacBook Pro that suits you.
The MacBook Pro 16-inch model was launched by Apple in November 2019 and replaced the 15-inch MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro 13-inch model is a new model updated in May 2020.

The higher-end, larger MacBook Pro has a larger 16-inch Retina display, narrower bezels, and updated keyboards, which have a scissor structure(not a butterfly mechanism), up to 64GB RAM, up to 8TB of storage space, and AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics card.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is also equipped with a scissor switch keyboard and Intel's 8th and 10th generation chips, Intel Iris Plus graphics, up to 32GB of RAM and up to 4TB of storage space without changing the design or size. Apple has stopped selling all 15-inch models and no longer sells Mac notebooks that use butterfly keyboards.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro has a 3072x1920 resolution display and a higher pixel density of 226 ppi, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro has a 2560x1600 resolution and ppi 227 pixels. All MacBook Pro models touch strips and Retina displays have support for True Tone, which adjusts white balance to match ambient light, and also includes other display features, such as extensive color support.

16-inch MacBook Pro models use 6- or 8-core 9th generation chips, while 13-inch MacBook Pro models are equipped with 8th generation chips for low-end models and 10th generation chips for high-end models. Apple said the 16-inch MacBook Pro uses "the most advanced cooling architecture in Mac laptops," 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, expanded blades, and larger ventilation holes that increase airflow by 28%. The heat sink has also been increased by 35%, so that more heat can be dissipated. All in all, compared to the previous 15-inch MacBook Pro, this allows the MacBook Pro to withstand up to 12 watts of power under intensive workloads.

Both the 13-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro are equipped with Apple's new Magic Keyboard. The magic keyboard uses a sophisticated scissor mechanism, which is expected to be more reliable than the butterfly keyboard that is prone to failure. The keyboard can provide 1mm key stroke and has "faster response keys".

In terms of design, Apple has updated the Magic Keyboard to have a physical Escape key instead of a virtual key in the touch bar, and a separate Touch ID button for the inverted T arrangement of the arrow keys and touch bar .

There is a new six-speaker sound system in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, designed to provide the most advanced audio experience for laptops. The sound is clearer and more natural than ever, and the bass is deeper by an octave. There is also an upgraded high-performance microphone with a 40%reduction in hiss and a higher signal-to-noise ratio. The 13-inch MacBook Pro uses stereo speakers with two microphones.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro machine is equipped with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 for low-end models and the more powerful Intel Iris Plus Graphics for high-end models, while the 16-inch model is equipped with a built-in graphics card and a Radeon Pro 5300M graphics card or Radeon Pro 5500M graphics card . A 16-inch computer can provide up to 8TB of SSD storage, while a 13-inch computer can support up to 4TB of SSD.

The AMD Radeon 5000M series of graphics cards in the 16-inch MacBook Pro provide the first 7-nanometer mobile discrete GPUs specifically designed for Pro users. The graphics performance of the standard configuration is 2.1 times faster than the previous configuration, and the performance of high-end graphics options is improved by 80%.

The MacBook Pro provides two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, while high-end 13-inch models and all 16-inch models have four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports.

A T2 chip continues to provide enhanced security and secure boot with support for instant encrypted storage along with hands-free Siri commands. The 13-inch MacBook Pro can provide 10 hours of battery life throughout the day, while the 16-inch model can use a 100Wh battery to provide 11 hours of battery life, which is the largest Mac laptop.

You can buy new MacBook Pro models in silver or dark gray from Apple's online stores and Apple retail stores. Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11ac WiFi and 720p FaceTime HD cameras are other included features.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with 1.4GHz quad-core Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD starts at 9999 yuan. The high-end 13-inch model with a 10th-generation processor starts at RMB 14,499, including a 2.0GHz Core i5 processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD. The 16-inch MacBook Pro with 2.6GHz Core i7 processor, Radeon Pro 5300M, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD starts at 18,999 yuan. Custom configuration options require additional fees.


The 16-inch MacBook Pro has a similar design to the previous 15-inch MacBook Pro, but the body is slightly larger and the bezel is thinner. The 13-inch model remains unchanged and has the same design as Apple has used for many years.

From a design perspective, the appearance of the 16-inch MacBook Pro is not much different from the earlier MacBook Pro models and continues to have the same regular design elements, including a large touchpad, thin hinges, Touch Bar, and Apple logo on the back , Side speakers and silver and silver gray options.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro measures 14.09 inches long, 9.68 inches wide, and 16.2 mm thick. It weighs 4.3 pounds. Compared to the 15-inch MacBook Pro, it is thicker, heavier, and bigger.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro measures 13.75 inches long, 9.48 inches wide, and 15.5 mm thick. It weighs four pounds.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro measures 11.97 inches long, 8.36 inches wide and 14.9mm. It weighs three pounds and has not seen the redesign of the 2020 update.


Both the 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models use similar displays with 500 nits of brightness, P3 widescreen color support, and True Tone.

True Tone uses the multi-channel ambient light sensor included in the new MacBook Pro model, which can determine the brightness and color temperature of the room. After detecting white balance, the MacBook Pro can adjust the color and intensity of the display to match the room's lighting, resulting in a more natural paper-like viewing experience and reducing eye strain.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro display has a native resolution of 3072 x 1920 and 226 pixels per inch(an improvement compared to the 15-inch MacBook Pro), while the 13-inch MacBook Pro display has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 per 227 pixels in inches.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro has a variable refresh rate, which can be set to the frame rate of the video you are editing or watching. Options include 47.95, 48, 50, 59.94 and 60Hz.


Both the 13-inch MacBook Pro in 2020 and the 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2019 have redesigned the "magic keyboard", thus eliminating the butterfly mechanism that Apple has been using since 2015. Apple said it would bring "the best typing experience ever." On a Mac notebook. "

Butterfly mechanical devices are not popular among customers due to the tendency of keys to fail due to dust and other fine particles, and because the 13-inch MacBook Pro includes a new scissors switch keyboard, butterfly mechanical devices have been eliminated.

According to Apple, the scissor mechanism in the universal keyboard provides 1mm of key travel and stable key feel, plus the rubber shrapnel made by Apple, which is designed to store more potential energy and make the key response more sensitive.
Apple said that Magic Keyboard provides a comfortable, satisfying and quiet typing experience. From a design perspective, the keyboard is similar to the previous keyboard, but there is a physical Escape key instead of a virtual key on the touch bar, and the Touch ID button is also a separate button.

The arrow keys have also been redesigned, and the inverted T arrangement of the arrow keys is different from the previous design of the MacBook Pro keyboard. The touch bar is also slightly away from the keys on the keyboard.

Apple still provides keyboard service programs for all MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro machines equipped with butterfly keyboards, including the 2019 MacBook Pro models launched in May 2019 and July 2019. The keyboard service program is not suitable for the 16-inch MacBook Pro or the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro because they use a newer, more reliable scissors mechanism.


Like the previous MacBook Pro models, the 16-inch MacBook Pro and 13-inch MacBook Pro are equipped with large Force Touch trackpads, which occupy most of the bottom of the machine.

The Force Touch trackpad does not have traditional buttons, but is powered by a set of "force sensors", allowing users to press anywhere on the trackpad to get the same response. The Taptic Engine, driven by a magnet, provides users with tactile feedback when using the touchpad, thus replacing the feeling of physical buttons.

The Force Touch trackpad supports light taps(this is a regular click), as well as deep presses or "force clicks"(as separate gestures), which can provide definitions for the highlighted word.

Touch Bar

Both the 16-inch and 13-inch MacBook Pro models have a Touch Bar. The touch bar is a small OLED Retina multi-touch display built into the keyboard, traditionally where the function keys are located.
The Touch Bar is context-sensitive and can perform various functions on the Mac, depending on the application used, and is now available in all Apple MacBook Pro series.

Touch Bar is a matte-style display that blends perfectly with the rest of the keys on the keyboard. In all modern MacBook Pro machines, it supports True Tone, which adjusts the white balance according to ambient light conditions.

Interact with the touch bar by tapping, swiping, and other multi-touch gestures, supporting up to 10 fingers at a time.

There are some design differences between the 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models because the 16-inch models use the newer Touch Bar. The 16-inch model has a separate physical Escape key and a separate Touch ID button that is not connected to the touch bar. On the 13-inch model(and the previous 15-inch model), the Touch ID button and Escape key are part of the Touch Bar.

The Touch ID fingerprint sensor works very similarly to the Touch ID Home button on older iPhones. You can use Touch ID instead of a password, and place your finger on the sensor to unlock the Mac. It can also replace the password of password-protected applications and can be used to purchase Apple Pay in Safari.

Touch ID is driven by a separate Apple-designed T2 chip and Secure Enclave to ensure the security of your fingerprint data and personal information.

Thunderbolt 3

The entry-level 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro is equipped with two USB-C ports, supporting USB 3.1 Gen 2 and Thunderbolt 3, with Thunderbolt transmission speeds up to 40Gb/s and USB transmission speeds up to 10Gb/s. High-end 13-inch MacBook Pro machines and all 16-inch machines have four Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Each port on the MacBook Pro model is the same and can be used for the same function, so each port can be used to power the machine. All ports support the following connections:power, Thunderbolt, USB, DisplayPort, HDMI and VGA.

With Thunderbolt 3, a 16-inch MacBook Pro can power two 6K displays or four 4K displays simultaneously. The 13-inch MacBook Pro model with four Thunderbolt 3 ports can power a 5K or 6K display(including Pro Display XDR) or two 4K displays. Only two Thunderbolt port machines. All external displays can run at 60Hz.

T2 chip

All MacBook Pro models include Apple s customized T2 chip to make it more secure and add other features.

The T2 chip is equipped with a Secure Enclave processor that protects Touch ID fingerprint data, and has a secure boot and encrypted storage function. It also integrates multiple controllers, including system management controller, image signal processor, audio controller and SSD controller.

It supports enhanced tone mapping, improved exposure control, and automatic exposure based on face detection for FaceTime HD cameras, and uses dedicated AES hardware to instantly encrypt SSDs.

The T2 chip also powers the "Hey Siri" feature in the MacBook Pro. With the help of Hey Siri, you can say "Hey Siri" to activate the personal assistant on the MacBook Pro without pressing 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 13-inch MacBook Pro uses standard stereo speaker setup with dual microphones, while the 16-inch MacBook Pro has an updated high-fidelity sound system with six speakers.

Apple said the six-speaker setup is designed to provide musicians, podcasters and video editors with "the most advanced audio experience ever in a laptop."

The speaker system uses Apple-designed dual-subwoofer drivers to force the woofer to eliminate unnecessary vibrations that distort the sound. The resulting music sounds more clear and natural, and the bass is deeper by octave.

The upgraded microphone array can reduce hissing noise by 40%and improve the signal-to-noise ratio, which Apple claims is comparable to popular professional-grade digital microphones.

16-inch MacBook Pro

Apple s 16-inch MacBook Pro is the company s largest and most powerful laptop with up to 8-core processors, independent AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics cards, up to 64GB of RAM, up to 8TB of SSD storage and more The 16-inch display of the notebook computer distinguishes it from the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the previous 15-inch MacBook Pro models.


The 16-inch MacBook Pro model is equipped with Intel s 9th-generation 14-nanometer and 14-nanometer Coffee Lake Refresh chips, which are the same chips used in the 15-inch model released in May 2019.

The entry-level 16-inch MacBook Pro uses Intel's 6-core 2.6GHz Core i7 processor and Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz. The high-end 16-inch MacBook Pro has Intel's 2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Core i9 processor and 4.8GHz Turbo Boost. Both machines can be upgraded to an 8-core 9th-generation Core i9 processor at 2.4GHz, with Turbo Boost up to 5GHz.

According to Apple, the performance of its 8-core chip is 2.1 times faster than that of the quad-core MacBook Pro, but its performance is 40%higher than that of the 6-core MacBook Pro. It is the fastest chip in Mac notebooks. **

The 16-inch MacBook Pro uses an updated heat dissipation architecture, and Apple aims to make the notebook computer run at a higher power for a sustained period of time.

The new fan design has larger impellers, longer impellers, longer blades, and larger vent holes, which increase airflow by 28%. The heat sink has increased by 35%, dissipating more heat "significantly" than before, which makes the 16-inch MacBook Pro increase the power of up to 12 watts during the intensive exercise than the previous 15-inch MacBook Pro.

In our tests, with thermal improvements, Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro has resulted in a 16.5%increase in multi-core performance. The 16-inch MacBook Pro has 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 a single-core test and 5781 in a multi-core test. Core testing.

Graphics card

The 16-inch MacBook Pro model has Intel s built-in UHD Graphics 630, but it is also equipped with AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics cards, which are the first 7-nanometer mobile discrete GPUs.

The basic 16-inch MacBook Pro has AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory, while the mid-level model has AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory. Both can be upgraded with an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU with 8GB of GDDR6 memory.

According to Apple, customers who choose the standard GPU configuration see 2.1 times faster graphics performance than the previous standard configuration, while customers who choose the highest-end graphics option see 80%faster performance than the previous high-end configuration.

Apple said that compared to the previous generation 8-core 15-inch MacBook Pro, the 16-inch model with the highest graphics options has the following improvements:

Video editors using DaVinci Resolve can see up to 1.8 times the rendering speed of special effects when performing color grading.

In games such as Fortnite, gamers will enjoy a smoother gaming experience and improve performance by up to 1.6 times.

In Unity, developers will experience 1.4 times faster browsing performance during game development.

When testing the new 5500M GPU on high-end machines, we found great gains. In the OpenCL test, the 16-inch MacBook Pro scored 30608 and the 15-inch MacBook Pro scored 17904. In the metal test, the 16-inch MacBook Pro scored 29840 and the 15-inch MacBook Pro scored 29840. 19065.


The 16-inch MacBook Pro supports up to 64GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, which is faster than the RAM used in previous models. The previous 15-inch MacBook Pro also reached 32GB RAM.


Apple introduced an ultra-fast SSD in 2016 with sequential read speeds up to 3.2GB/s and sequential write speeds up to 2.2GB/s, and the same technology was used in the 2019 MacBook Pro model SSD.

The storage space of the basic 16-inch MacBook Pro starts from 512GB, but it can be upgraded from 4TB to the maximum 8TB for the first time.

other functions

The camera
Compared with the previous generation of machines, the camera in the 16-inch MacBook Pro has not been upgraded. It continues to use 720p FaceTime HD cameras.

Battery Life
Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro provides "all-day" battery life, wireless network use time up to 11 hours, Apple TV application movie playback time up to 11 hours, and standby time up to 30 days.

The machine is equipped with a 99.8 watt-hour lithium polymer battery, which is higher than the battery capacity of the 2019 15-inch MacBook Pro model. Apple increased the extra battery capacity by slightly increasing the battery thickness of the MacBook Pro. This machine comes with a 96W USB-C power adapter for charging.

The higher-end 13-inch MacBook Pro models have dual power ratings of 20.3V/3.0A and 20.2V/4.3, which means these models can accept the professional models of the 87-watt power adapter that came with the previous 15-inch MacBook.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro cannot use the 87-watt power adapter to charge faster, but it still comes with a 61-watt adapter, but some users will find it beneficial to use a high-wattage adapter when running demanding applications. These applications will produce High transient workload.

wireless connection
Bluetooth 5.0 is included in the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro. It also supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Available models
Apple offers two stock 16-inch MacBook Pro configurations:

18999 RMB-2.6GHz six-core Intel Core i7 processor, Radeon Pro 5300M, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD.

22199 RMB -2.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor, Radeon Pro 5500M, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD.

13-inch MacBook Pro

Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro is smaller than the 16-inch model, and the reduced size means that its internal components are not as powerful. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is equipped with Intel s 8th and 10th generation quad-core processors and integrated graphics instead of 6-core or 8-core processors and discrete graphics.

Apple updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro model in 2020, fully introduced the scissor switch keyboard, and added a faster 10th generation processor to the high-end options. All 13-inch MacBook Pro models have functions such as touch bar, Touch ID, T2 security chip and True Tone support.


Both entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro models use Intel s quad-core eighth-generation Core i5 chip, while both high-end models include Intel s new quad-core tenth-generation Core i5 chip.


The 13-inch MacBook Pro stock models equipped with 8th-generation Intel chips include 8GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM, which can be upgraded to 16GB at an additional cost.

The two existing 13-inch MacBook Pro models with 10th-generation Intel chips include 16GB of 3733MHz LPDDR4X RAM, which can be upgraded to 32GB, marking the first time Apple includes a maximum of 32GB of RAM in a 13-inch MacBook Pro machine.

Graphics card

Unlike the 16-inch MacBook Pro model, the 13-inch MacBook Pro model does not have a separate graphics card. Entry-level MacBook Pro machines are equipped with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 with 128MB embedded DRAM, while high-end machines are equipped with Intel Iris Plus Graphics with 128MB embedded DRAM. There is no GPU upgrade option available for the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

In high-end models, the graphics performance using Intel Iris Plus graphics technology is 80%faster than the previous generation MacBook Pro.


Although the 13-inch MacBook Pro has a lower CPU and GPU than the 16-inch machine, it uses the same ultra-fast SSD technology with sequential read speeds up to 3.2GB/s and sequential write speeds up to 2.2GB/s. s.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro has a storage capacity of 256GB, but it can be upgraded to a maximum of 4TB at an additional cost.

other functions


The 13-inch MacBook Pro continues to provide a 720p FaceTime HD camera without any improvement compared to the 2018 model.

Battery Life

According to Apple, the 13-inch MacBook Pro has "all-day" battery life, 10 hours of wireless network usage, 10 hours of iTunes movie playback, and up to 30 days of standby time.

wireless connection
Including Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Available models

Apple provides four standard 13-inch MacBook Pro models:
9999 RMB-1.4GHz quad-core Core i5 processor, Intel Iris Plus Graphics645, 2 TB3 port, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD.

11499 RMB-1.4GHz quad-core Core i5 processor, Intel Iris Plus Graphics645, 2 TB3 port, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD.

14499 RMB-2.0GHz quad-core Core i5 processor, Intel Iris Plus Graphics, 4 TB3 port, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD.

15999 RMB-2.0GHz quad-core Core i5 processor, Intel Iris Plus Graphics, 4 TB3 port, 16GB RAM, 1TBGB SSD.

How to choose 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro? After reading this article, you should know which one to buy!