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What are all the differences between the 15-Inch “Mid-2015” Retina Display MacBook Pro models? What are the differences between these models and the “Mid-2014” models replaced?

What are all the differences between the 15-Inch “Mid-2015” Retina Display MacBook Pro models? What are the differences between these models and the “Mid-2014” models replaced?

The 15-Inch MacBook Pro Model (Photo Credit: https://www.zdnet.com)

Apple discontinued the production of the “15-Inch Mid 2015 Retina Display MacBook” models that featured dual graphics; however, it still has the Retina Display versions of the same line, only with fresh integrated graphics. That’s already a remarkable difference among 15-In Retina Display MacBooks, and there are still more.

 

By default, there are two Retina Display MacBook Pro models you’ll come across in the market – the recent MacBook Pro Core i7 2.2 Integrated Graphics, and the now defunct Core i7 2.5 15” Dual Graphics. Aside from this, there are also Configure-to-Order (CTO) and Build-After-You-Order (BTO) versions available. These are the MacBook Core i7 2.8 15” DG and the Core i7 2.5 15” IG. Another discontinued model under these settings is the Core i7 2.8 15” DG. Technically, the “Early 2015” and the 13-In systems are somehow similar. Hence, we compare the 13-In versions to the 15-In models to draw the line between the two MacBook Pro generations.

 

MacBook Pro Retina 15-In Core i7 2.8 GHz, Mid 2015 sample (Photo Credit: https://www.hoxtonmacs.co.uk/products/macbook-pro-retina-15-inch-core-i7-2-8ghz-mid-2015a)

Differences in Mid 2015 MacBook Pro

The graphics systems of these two standard 15-In “Mid 2015” models set them apart from one another. We can categorize them into IG and DG models – or the Integrated Graphics or Dual Graphics versions. However, they are also unique in other aspects for they may have varying standard storage and processor. Apart from this, they also have their own price points and identifiers. Check this comparison:

 

 

Mid 2015 MacBook Pro

Core i7 2.2 15” Integrated Graphics

Core i7 2.5 15” Dual Graphics

Available:

Yes

No

Processor Speed:

2.2 GHz

2.5 GHz

Processor Type:

I7-4770HQ

I7-4770HQ

Graphics Processors:

Iris Pro 5200

Iris Pro 5200 &

Radeon R9 M370X

Standard SSD:

256 GB

512 GB

Order Number (US):

MJLQ2LL/A

MJLT2LL/A

Model ID:

MacBookPro11,4

MacBookPro11,5

EMC Number:

2909

2910

Current Price (US)

$1,572.62

Available in Used Market

 

Mid 2015 vs Mid 2014 MacBook Pro

At first glance, the differences between the Mid 2015 and Mid 2014 are barely noticeable. This is evident in models like the MacBook Pro Core i7 2.5 15” IG, Core i7 2.2 15” IG, Core i7 2.5 15” DG, Core i7 2.8 15” IG, and the Core i7 2.8 15” DG. As a matter of fact, they both have “Haswell” processors as well. So, how can you distinguish them?

 

The higher capacity battery, advanced trackpad, and faster flash storage of the “Mid 2015” models make them different. On the other hand, the higher-end models from the same period feature modestly faster graphics than their predecessors. Since these models are somehow similar, you should be familiar with identifiers to easily differentiate them. Even their similarities are worth note-taking as well.

 

Differences & Similarities

Majority of these 15-In Retina Display MacBook Pro models have the same sealed aluminum glass cases. They have an identical thickness as well, regardless of the generation you own. Each is 0.71-in thick, 14.13-in wide, and 9.73-in deep. They weigh 4.46 pounds or 2,02 kg. These models are popular for their high-resolution LED-backlight, and 15.4” widescreen 2880x1800 or 220 ppi “Retina” display. This features a 1440x900 specification; however, it is usually pixel-doubled, which means that it can show details four times better than the traditional displays employed by the previous MacBooks.

 

Consequently, every notebook in this version utilizes the “chiclet-style” backlit keyboard. This mechanism is perfect for anyone who wants to lessen their typing mistakes. Furthermore, the keyboard is also softer, more accurate, quieter and faster which makes it a viable choice for regular computer users. Aside from this technology, there are also other offers from Mid 2015 MacBooks such as dual microphones, integrated stereo speakers, and as well as an Integrated 720p FaceTime HD webcam. You’ll notice that the “Mid 2014” models employ a “no button” trackpad that supports inertial scrolling. On the other hand, the “Mid 2015” versions have a “Force Touch” trackpad which is a distinct and fresh feature from new MacBooks.

 

According to the press release of Apple, this new “Force Touch” technology is a built-in force that enables users to click anywhere for command. It has haptic feedback which is responsible for the uniform and responsive feel of the trackpad. On top of this, it has a new gesture referred to as the “Force Click,” which happens through deep pressing. There is also an additional function far beyond the usual pinch, inertial scrolling, swipe, rotate, four-finger swipe tap, three-finger swipe, drag capabilities, and double-tap present in the earlier trackpad.

 

 

 

Differences in Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the 15-In Mid 2014 and Mid 2014 MacBook Pro models are the same. Interchanging them should not cause a problem.

 

These models come with two USB 3.0 ports, an SDXC card slot, an HDMI port, Bluetooth 4.0, MagSafe 2 power connector port, and 802.11 ac Wi-Fi.

 

External Identification Differences

The “Mid 2014” and “Mid 2015” models of MacBook Pro have the same Model NumberA1398.

 

The Model Identifiers in software categorize the “Mid 2015” MacBook Pro notebooks as MacBookPro11,4 for versions in integrated graphics; and MacBookPro11,5 for models in dedicated graphics. However, the earlier “Mid 2014” line only share the same model identifiers with the previous systems. If you are trying to distinguish the difference between these products, this uniformity is not helpful at all.

 

Good thing, there are EMC Numbers for more convenient and unique unit identification. In Techable, we have patiently consolidated the information you will need to know more about your MacBook Pro. This is the crucial information you should know:

 

Retina MacBook Pro

Subfamily

EMC

15-In (Integrated Graphics)

Mid 2014

2876

15-In (Dual Graphics)

Mid 2014

2881

15-In (Integrated Graphics)

Mid 2015

2909

15-In (Dual Graphics)

Mid 2015

2910

 

To understand more of this, you can refer to our database here in Techable. By using your serial number, you can evaluate and assess the unit you own.

 

Internal Differences

There is no major difference in the internal aspects of the 15-In “Mid 2014” and “Mid 2015” models. They are somewhat similar. As a matter of fact, these versions employ the same “Haswell” architecture with processors in uniform clock speeds. They both have a 16 GB MHz DDR3L SDRAM memory that is fixed in the motherboard. Upgrading it may not be possible during your initial purchase even if it has a removable proprietary – a blade SSD. It is only its batteries that are glued in a place that makes it a challenge to upgrade.

 

The differences of these models lie between their SSDs and batteries though. For instance, the “Mid 2014” models have a PCIe 2.0 x2 interface SSD, and a 95-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery. This is responsible for the eight-hour battery life of this MacBook; on the other hand, the “Mid 2015” models have a PCIe 2.0 x4 interface that is twice faster than the earlier. It also uses a 99.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery that powers nine hour-battery life of this model.

The lower-end models in both lines that come with Integrated Graphics (IG) share an Iris Pro 5200 graphics processor with the same system memory. On top of this, it has a 128 MB “Crystalwell,” the faster consumer processor family of Intel, embedded DRAM for more memory bandwidth. The higher-end models, however, use an Iris Pro 5200 graphics processor, and another processor for dedicated video memory. Technically, the high-end models of Mid 2014 feature a NVIDIA GeFore GT 750M graphics processor with a 2GB dedicated GDDR5 memory; while the high-end Mid 2015 versions employ the faster AMD Radeon R9 M370X with a 2 GB dedicated GDDR5 SDRAM. Hence, these “Mid 2015” models are compatible with a larger external display that can reach 5120x2160 at 60 Hx through the Thunderbolt 2.

 

Comparison Chart

To further illustrate the difference of 15-In “Mid 2014” and “Mid 2015” Retina Display MacBook Pro models, we have consolidated the vital data you have to know about them below. To see this information in detail, you can also go to our specs page.

 

 

15” Mid 2014

15” Mid 2015

Processor Speeds:

2.2 GHz, 2.5 GHz, 2.8 GHz

2.2 GHz, 2.5 GHz, 2.8 GHz

Processor Type:

Core i7 (I7-4770HQ)

Core i7 (I7-4870HQ)

Core i7 (I7-4980HQ)

Core i7 (I7-4770HQ)

Core i7 (I7-4870HQ)

Core i7 (I7-4980HQ)

System Architecture:

Haswell

Haswell

Standard RAM:

16 GB

16 GB

Maximum RAM:

16 GB†

16 GB†

Standard Storage:

256 GB, 512 GB

256 GB, 512 GB

Storage Speed:

PCIe 2.0 x2

Iris Pro 5200

PCIe 2.0 x4

Iris Pro 5200

Graphics Processor(s):

NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M*

AMD Radeon R9 M370X*

GDDR5 VRAM:

128 MB/2 GB*

128 MB/2 GB*

Display Size:

15.4″ Widescreen

15.4″ Widescreen

Display Resolution:

2880x1800 (220 ppi)

2880x1800 (220 ppi)

Ext. Display Support:

3840x2160 (x2)

3840x2160 (x2)

5120x2160*

Battery W Hrs:

95 W Hr

99.5 W Hr

Battery Life:

8 Hours

9 Hours

Trackpad:

Inertial

Force Touch

Dimensions:

0.71 x 14.13 x 9.73

0.71 x 14.13 x 9.73

Weight:

4.46 lbs (2.02 kg)

4.46 lbs (2.02 kg)

Order Numbers (US):

MGXA2LL/A

MGXC2LL/A

MJLQ2LL/A

MJLT2LL/A

EMC Number

2876, 2881

2909, 2910

Model Identifier:

MacBookPro11,2

MacBookPro11,3

MacBookPro11,4

MacBookPro11,5

 

† means RAM is already soldered in its place, hence, disabling upgrades and replacements.

 

The entry-level unit configurations of the “Mid 2014” and “Mid 2015” models only have a sole graphics processor – the Iris Pro 5200. This version comes with a 128 MB “Crystalwell” embedded DRAM on its CPU package. However, these systems do not feature a dedicated GDDR5 VAM. They may support external displays that reach 3840x2160 as compared to the 5120x2160 display.

 

Summary of Comparison

This only shows that the “Mid 2015” models have only gone minor improvements as compared to their predecessors.

 

On the other hand, faster storage, advanced trackpad, and longer battery life with more efficient graphics with larger secondary display support are the major specifications of higher-end models. They are the improvements present; however, they are so little that considering “Mid 2014” models are still worth-considering, most especially with their discounted price in the market.

 

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