Watch Out! The Base Model 14-Inch MacBook Pro Isn’t as Fast as You Think It Is

Are you considering purchasing Apple’s updated 14-inch MacBook Pro? In that case, you should bear a few points in mind before proceeding with the purchase, especially if you’re considering the base variant.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro starts at $1999, but this entry-level model isn’t as quick as you might assume and falls short of Apple’s promised performance ratings. We’ll examine a variety of reasons why many of you may want to forgo the entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro.

8-Core M1 Chip with Binding

The $1999 entry-level MacBook Pro 14-inch does not include a fully unlocked M1 Pro processor. You receive an 8-core CPU that is less powerful than the 10-core M1 Pro in other models, and as a result, you should keep in mind that you will not receive the performance numbers Apple announced during the launch event.

While the 10-core M1 Pro chip outperforms the normal M1 by up to 70%, the “binned” chip with two fewer cores loses around 20% of CPU performance. Although the majority of users would not notice this slight speed difference, if you undertake a lot of CPU-intensive work, you’re better off with the higher-end model.

To obtain the 14-inch MacBook Pro with the 10-core M1 Pro CPU, you must pay an additional $200 for custom configuration through Apple’s online shop. However, this 10-core processor is not totally unlocked either, as it retains some GPU limitations, which we will describe next.

Related: M1 Pro vs. M1 Max: A Comparison of Apple’s Newest Silicon Chips

Reduced number of GPU cores

Not only is the CPU core count decreased, but also the GPU core count. The M1 Pro’s eight cores contain 14 GPU cores, two fewer than a fully unlocked M1 Pro. As a result, Apple’s claim of twice the graphics performance of the M1 chip is incorrect. Rather than that, the base model sacrifices around 20% of GPU performance.

To access 16 GPU cores, you’ll need to spend an additional $300 on the Apple Store for the fully unlocked M1 Pro processor. Again, only a small number of individuals would profit from those additional cores, but it would be prudent to get the higher-end versions if you routinely perform GPU-intensive tasks or use GPU-intensive applications.

You Are Provided with a 67W Power Adapter.

Apart from the CPU and GPU performance, the base MacBook Pro variant’s charging speed is reduced as well. Apple included a subpar 67W power adapter with the entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro.

Apple touted a charging speed of 0% to 50% in under 30 minutes during the launch event for the new MacBook Pro models, however this is only true for higher capacity power adapters.

On the plus side, if you really want to charge your new M1 Pro MacBook quickly, you can upgrade to the 96W power adapter for for $20 more. If you purchase a higher-end setup, Apple will include the 96W charger for free. We’re not clear why Apple would attempt to shave $20 off the price of a $2000 MacBook Pro.

Related: Can You Fast Charge Your iPhone Using a MacBook Power Adapter? Is It Secure?

The 14-inch MacBook Pro Base Model Is Not For Everyone.

The majority of users will be ecstatic with the performance of the base 14-inch MacBook Pro, as the advances in CPU and GPU performance over the standard M1 are significant. However, hardly everyone purchases the MacBook Pro for casual usage, partly because Apple’s current models are aimed at professionals.

Therefore, if you require it to complete tasks and value your time, you will surely profit from the additional performance provided by the fully unlocked M1 Pro chip. When you’re prepared to spend $2,000 on a MacBook Pro, it’s not unreasonable to increase the budget by a couple hundred dollars for improved performance.