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MacBook Pro 2014 Haswell vs 2013

Andrew Williams


MacBook Pro versus
MacBook Pro versus

One of the key updates of the October 2013 Apple launch was a new pair of MacBook Pro models. The screen sizes haven’t changed – you still choose between 13-inch and 15-inch models. But there are more than just a few changes to take into account.

Here are the most important of the lot.

Haswell power, and battery power

As expected, both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models use Intel Haswell generation processors – either Intel Core i5 or i7. These offer more power than last year’s MacBook Pro models, but the most important change is arguably the battery efficiency of Haswell.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro is now rated to last up to eight hours, up an hour from last year’s 15-inch version. The 13-inch lasts for up to nine hours, as it’s a slightly less high-power laptop and, of course, has a smaller screen.

13-inch edition is smaller than before

Apple has managed to shave a few millimetres off the body of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. It’s now 18mm thick, down from 19mm in the previous edition.

The new laptop is also lighter – and this time the difference is arguably more significant. The new laptop weighs 1.57kg, down from 1.62kg last year.

It’s still not as light as the 13-inch MacBook Air, which weighs 1.35kg. But it’s getting closer.

Wi-Fi has been bumped-up to 802.11ac

The last MacBook Pro models used the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard, but this has now been upgraded to the ‘ac’ standard. This offers better range, and much faster transfer rates.

Most of you probably don’t have an ac-compatible router yet – they’re fairly new and still sell at a premium – but if you have a Wi-Fi n router, you should still notice some improvement (assuming performance isn’t perfect already.

For more information, check out our feature on the benefits of 802.11ac

Flash internal storage is now PCI-e

When Apple launched its Haswell-generation MacBook Air models, it moved to PCI-e SSD storage – instead of the SATA type used in previous generations of Apple laptops.

Predictably, the MacBook Pro models have made the same move. The difference is simple – PCI-e is faster than SATA, allowing for faster transfer rates and stopping the connector type from being a bottleneck.

Both now have Thunderbolt 2 ports

The new MacBook Pro laptops use Thunderbolt 2 ports, instead of the musty old Thunderbolt of the last-generation models. We jest – it’s still one of the most advanced connections you can get.

The socket looks exactly the same as the previous Thunderbolt type, and it’s backwards-compatible with any old Thunderbolt gear.

There are some differences, though. Thunderbolt 2 is certified to offer the bandwidth to support multiple 4K displays at the same time.

Both have been given a price drop

A Retina display MacBook Pro is naturally not going to come cheap. However, the prices have come down a little.

The 13-inch Pro model has been given a $200 price drop – it now starts at $1299. Further up the range, the 15-inch model starts at $1999. We’ll be back with clarification of the UK prices as soon as possible.


The MacBook Pro late-2013 model is a safe, predictable upgrade to the series. It doesn’t take any risks, but that’s probably no bad thing. And this time around, both Retina models are significantly cheaper – making them less ‘pie in the sky’.


October 22, 2013, 8:33 pm

The price hasn't come down at all in Australia - is this apple discrimination of us from Downunder?


October 22, 2013, 11:53 pm

$500 price increase will reduce sales markedly especially with such small hard drives.


October 23, 2013, 1:41 am

The UK "price drop" is a bit dubious, because they changed the specs around too, so the lowest model looks like it's dropped in price, but it also lost some CPU speed and 4Gb of memory from the one they listed yesterday. Sneaky!


October 23, 2013, 4:18 am

The processor is faster despite lower clock speeds.


October 23, 2013, 9:58 am

The prices in australia were already the cheapest in the world, at least when comparing to US, UK, NZ and Singapore. So I guess this brings it more into line. It is still cheaper to buy in Aus vs UK. So no biggie.


October 23, 2013, 9:59 am

agreed totally.


October 23, 2013, 10:32 pm

I'm sorry, did you say cheapest in the world??? Im sorry but usa.full spec is $3299. Im Australian and bought mine for $4099. I dont know where you get your numbers from but even taking into account exchange rate we pay stupid amounts more than a lot of countries/


October 24, 2013, 5:38 pm

In the UK - there are NO hard drives any longer - it's all flash drive ONLY. If you want a hard drive, you have to buy an extra external drive AND there is no DVD dive anylonger so - you have to buy an external DVD too.


October 24, 2013, 8:52 pm

I bought the 2013 air and almost thought maybe I should have got the Pro 2014 model. But dodged the bullet. There are more ports and a little bit better CPU performance but otherwise. The air is still the top choice for me!

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