I took delivery of another 16" MacBook Pro, and the experience with this one has been so drastically different, that I felt I needed to share.
I tried to replace my aging 2012 rMBP with a brand new 16" MacBook Pro i9 2.3Ghz/32/1TB/5500M.
On the very first day, I had 9 different issues and after two days, I’d wiped the SSD and set about trying to resolve a major issue with my app (Apple had told me I needed to do a specific thing with my app in order to get it into the Mac App Store, except it doesn’t work on macOS 10.15.4).
I was so disappointed in the experience (especially considering how much I’d paid for the product) that when Apple refused to extend the return period, even though they could see I was working with DTS to overcome this issue, I shipped it back and felt a great wave of relief.
My trusty 2012 started dying, randomly switching itself off (even when plugged in). This time I went through the refurbs and scored a i9 2.3/16/1TB/5500M for a $1,000 less than what I bought before (16GB RAM less).
When it arrived, I split the drive into 3 partitions. 2 x 64GB APFS partitions (for two OSes) with the remaining ~800GB for data.
I avoided Migration Assistant (under AppleCare’s advice as they know Migration Assistant in Catalina is broken), and because I want data to be independent.
It took a while to get it configured. I could have shared the home folder between the two, but I didn’t want them to start fighting over settings and I really wanted to try having data on a HFS+ partition.
So there’s now several differences between these two 16" MacBook Pro.
- macOS 10.15.5 v.s. macOS 10.15.4.
- 16GB of RAM v.s. 32GB of RAM.
- Catalina is on a 64GB APFS partition v.s. the entire drive.
- Data is on a ~800GB HFS+ partition v.s. an APFS volume.
- Opening apps is noticeable improved, Xojo still takes a while, but it is faster.
- Web page loading is noticeable improved
- Still takes 20+ seconds to boot
- Running current project in Xojo 2019r3.1 on the 2012, has an annoying 3~5 second delay from when the progress bar reaches the end and the app actually launches. This 16" MBP has no such delay, and launches the app as soon as the progress bar finishes. Really nice!
Improved memory usage
- 2012 has used 14 GB by the time I have Xojo open and started coding.
- Previous 16", used a bit more RAM at the same point.
- This 16" runs at about 8GB all day long.
Improved battery life
- Previous 16" got ~ 4 hours of battery life (not much better than a 8 year old machine). Manually disabling dedicated GPU bought it up to ~ 8 hours.
- This 16" MBP is getting about 10 hours of coding, browsing FireFox and debugging! (I have manually disabled the dedicate GPU on battery)
It seems to me that a slow migration really solved a lot of my issues.
The performance gains, are really nice and I’m not sure if they’re attributed to the slow migration, less memory, or restraining APFS to a small partition and using HFS+ for data (Yes, I symlinked Xojo’s cache folders over to the HFS+ partition).
If you encounter an underwhelming experience with your 16" MacBook Pro, I’d recommend at the very least trying a clean install and slow migration. Just make sure you backup first!
When you do a slow migration, log-into iCloud BEFORE you copy your data to the machine. It auto enabled “Desktop & Documents” & “Photos”, when I disabled “Desktop & Documents” it deleted all the files from my desktop and documents folder! When I disabled “Photos” it carried on uploading all my photos, until it ran out of space and then proceeded to ask me to buy more space!
Some Home sub folders can be removed with “rm”, some with “sudo rm”, some by dragging them to the Trash (but not “sudo rm”). The Pictures folder, won’t budge. Even clearing ACLS & xattrs.