16-inch MacBook Pro: Everything you need to know

16-inch MacBook Pro Refresh Rate
16-inch MacBook Pro Refresh Rate (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

As many have suspected that it would, Apple has announced a brand new, 16-inch MacBook Pro. Aside from a larger display, Apple seems to have gone all-out with this Mac. It features the most RAM and storage capacity of any Mac laptop up to an eight-core processor, and yes, a brand new keyboard.

Here's everything you need to know about the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

What's going on with the display on the new MacBook Pro?

The new MacBook Pro features a 16-inch display, up from the 15.4-inch display of previous models. It has a resolution of 3072×1920, with a pixel density of 226ppi. And naturally, it still has the P3 wide color gamut that we've come to expect from the MacBook Pro.

Continuing Apple's war on bezels, the 16-inch MacBook Pro also has thinner bezels around the actual screen.

Does the 16-inch MacBook Pro replace the 15-inch model?

Yes. The 16-inch MacBook Pro has taken the place of the 15-inch version, with no model of 15-inch MacBook Pro now available from Apple as new. The MacBook Pro lineup now consists of the 13- and 16-inch computers.

What's up with the keyboard in the 16-inch MacBook Pro?

Apple has introduced a new version of the scissor-switch keyboard mechanism found on most pre-2016 MacBook keyboards. It features 1mm of travel. Apple also claims that the keyboard is more stable than previous iterations.

The switches on the keyboard feature a new Apple-designed rubber dome, which Apple says can store more potential energy for better responsiveness. For those that were really hoping for it, Apple has also brought back the "inverted-T" pattern to the arrow keys.

Is the Touch Bar still there?

Yes, this new MacBook Pro comes with a Touch Bar, though that too has been redesigned. Instead of spanning the entire top of the keyboard, the Touch Bar now makes room for a physical Escape key, while Touch ID is present as well.

Will it fit in my old case for the 15-inch MacBook Pro?

That's going to depend on your case. If you're just talking about a bag, briefcase, or other carrying cases, then probably, yes.

However, if you had some kind of skin, or even a hardshell case, on your 15-inch MacBook Pro, know that it likely won't fit. The new MacBook Pro has done away with some bezel to increase the display size to 16 inches, but the computer is also wider, deeper, and thicker than the previous 15-inch model.

What kind of processor does the MacBook Pro have?

It seems that Apple is sticking with the same ninth-generation processors that they introduced to the 15-inch MacBook Pro earlier this year. The base model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro has a 2.6GHz, six-core Intel Core i7, with an option for a 2.4GHz, eight-core Intel Core i9 processor, while the step-up model features a 2.3GHz eight-core Core i9, upgradable to the slightly faster 2.4GHz processor.

What about memory?

The 16-inch MacBook Pro has double the RAM capacity of its 15-inch predecessor. You can now get up to 64GB of fast DDR4 RAM. Specifically, you can choose between 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB of RAM.

How much storage can you get?

In addition to higher RAM capacity, the 16-inch MacBook Pro also has double the storage. You can configure your machine with up to an 8TB SSD. On the base model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, you have the options of 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB, while the step-up configuration eliminates the 512GB option.

How does the MacBook Pro keep all of this cool?

The 16-inch MacBook Pro has a brand new thermal system, with new fans, new heat sink, and bigger vents. Apple claims that this new system has 28% increased airflow, and allows the MacBook Pro to sustain up to 12 more watts during high-intensity workflows.

What sort of GPU does the new MacBook Pro have?

The base model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro starts with an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M, which has 4GB of GDDR6 graphics memory. There are also options for a Radeon Pro 5500M, either with 4GB or 8GB of GDDR6. The step-up configuration does not have the Radeon Pro 5300M as an option.

Apple claims that these new graphics processors deliver results up to 1.8 times faster than in previous MacBook Pros, depending on the task.

Any updates to the speakers or camera?

While the camera is the same 720p FaceTime camera from the previous model, Apple has included brand new speakers in the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

The new MacBook Pro has a six-speaker sound system, built for high-fidelity audio and designed to eliminate the sounds from internal vibrations. A new set of Apple-designed force-canceling woofers is dedicated to reducing vibrations, allowing for clearer sound from the speakers overall.

How much will the 16-inch MacBook Pro cost me?

While that obviously depends on the specific configuration you choose, the 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,399, which gets you a six-core Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and the AMD Radeon Pro 5300M.

Of course, if you really want to, you can configure a 16-inch MacBook Pro that costs $6,099, and that's without the optional inclusion of Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X.

When can I get the new MacBook Pro?

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is available to order now. If you get either the base or step-up pre-configured models, they'll start arriving on doorsteps on Friday, November 15 at the earliest.

If you order a custom configuration, they'll arrive on November 21 at the earliest, and in-store on November 27.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.