2021 MacBook Pro Reviews

Reviews of the new MacBook Pros are starting to come out. Jason Snell has a nice one on Six Colors:

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Has anybody found a review that talks about fan noise yet? For those of us used to M1 Airs and pro workstation Macs, laptop fan noise can be aggravating and distracting. I haven’t found any reviews that address this directly yet, though.

Edit: I just heard from Tyler Stalman in a Youtube comment. He’s been testing the M1 Max and had this to say about fan noise: “The only time I heard it kick in was during large transcode batches, and then it’s loud as the last gen. But they never spun up even editing the 8K footage or exporting from final cut.”

Sounds pretty impressive to me. Would love something a little more detailed, but Tyler’s real-world experience is probably what most of us should expect.


Jason Snell had a tweet about fan noise, as well:

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Honestly, until somebody super sensitive (like Marco Arment or Siracusa) uses it and says yay or nay, I’m going to have a hard time with anybody’s subjective opinion. Would love decibels. Remember when Apple just said how loud the Mac Pro and iMac Pro were in db levels? Those were the days.

Dave2D posted his Youtube review and had actual decibel rankings for fan noise — looks about 25% quieter than the previous-gen MacBook Pros, but I think his measurements listed the previous generation as quieter than they actually were in practice.

siracusa doesn’t like notebooks to begin with so factor that in. Marco is a better gauge as he loves to whine and cry and won’t hesitate to jump on the “fans are loud” bandwagon.


These are the days.:slightly_smiling_face: See the “Acoustic Performance” section in the MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2021) - Technical Specifications KBase article.

This is interesting, but it also looks like this is just while web browsing and sitting idle, right? (Super cool that they post this.) So it doesn’t look like they’re talking about how it sounds when you’re editing photos in Lightroom, or exporting video from Final Cut, etc. But it sounds like from everything I’ve seen today that those things are not huge issues for these machines, which is great.

I’m also on this bandwagon, so I’m looking forward to hearing his thoughts.

I like working in silence, so sue me.


Which is exactly what Apple posted in the equivalent KBase articles for the iMac Pro and Mac Pro that you mentioned.

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Touché to you, and I stand completely corrected. I thought what they described in the presentations was the noise when the machines were under load (and based on my years of use with an iMac Pro, those would still be accurate numbers in those cases. Mine is whisper quiet even when it’s pushed to the max).

And as for heat and fan noise? This machine only got moderately warm even when I was rendering 8K videos for testing. In a week of use, I have not heard the fan whip up once.


Since M1 …. What is fan noise? :smile: . Maybe someone with an Intel based laptop knows.

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Very excited that I snagged one today for pickup when the store opens at 10EST.

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I can verify that there is fan noise when I play my Windows AAA games in boot camp.

But I can play Windows AAA games in boot camp. :smiley:

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I noticed that many of the new models are available today for pickup from the Apple Store.

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Has anyone seen any reviews which focus on the displays?

I’ve already ordered, but it’s through the company, and they spent a ton of time gathering info and quotes and getting everyone to specify which color they wanted and stuff, so I’m not expecting one till december…
I need something to read until then!

Your definition of “well” is nebulous at best. :smiley:

I don’t use my macbook pro as a desktop so Im not comparing it to desktops. However, it runs RDR2, GTAV, and Sea of Thieves beautifully while I am traveling. and it runs my favorite game, Planet Zoo, which the M1 whatevers are unable to do in any fashion. It’s cool to hate the 2019 i9 Macbook Pro now I know, all the kids are doing it (which is why I replied), but lets face it, the M1 may do stuff faster, but it does less.

The pixel counting gaming snobs raised on first person murder games might not like mac for gaming, but I was raised on a Commodore 64. :heart_eyes:


My 2019 16" i9 is a fantastic machine and the workhorse of my setup. Its ability to run Windows VMs and just about anything else will keep it exceptionally useful for years to come. I say this as the current owner of an M1 Air who’s almost certainly going to trade that in for a 14" MBP (M1 Max).