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R.B.I. Baseball 15 Back This Spring, Better Than Ever
NEW YORK, Feb. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, MLBAM officially announced R.B.I. Baseball 15 will be coming to baseball fans this spring, marking the second edition of the iconic video game franchise as developed for next generation consoles, smartphones and tablets by the NY-based media and technology company. Since the easy-to-play game returned last year, MLBAM has been working to deliver an all-new R.B.I. Baseball for 2023, which will include high-resolution graphics and a suite of new features, many driven directly from fan feedback during that debut season.
R.B.I. Baseball 15 also will mark the introduction of two prominent players as featured athletes, whose contributions on and off the field symbolize the importance of sportsmanship and giving back through charitable organizations, children’s hospitals and local communities. Chicago Cubs All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo will serve as the game’s first-ever cover athlete while 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Pedro Martinez has signed on to promote the title.
Rizzo, 25, will be the first Cubs player featured as a cover athlete for a baseball video game in more than a decade. A native of Florida, Rizzo was named to the 2014 National League All-Star Team, finished the season ranked among the top ten in nearly every offensive category, including second with 32 home runs, and was the youngest player ever to be honored with the Branch Rickey Award for exceptional community service.
Martinez, a two-time cover athlete for the World Series Baseball series, also was once-upon-a-time included as a pitcher in previous versions of R.B.I. Baseball during the early years of his playing career in the National League. A three-time Cy Young Award winner, Martinez was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this year, receiving 91.1 percent of the votes the first time he was on the ballot. Martinez, who finished his 18-year career with 219 victories, a 2.93 ERA and 3,154 strikeouts, will be inducted July 26, 2023 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
BALLPARKS: Completely redesigned authentic Major League ballparks for all 30 franchises, each crafted with detailed design characteristics fans will easily recognize.
FULL ROSTERS: Play with complete 25-man Major League rosters for all 30 teams, modifying your batting order or pitching rotation at any point. Set the active 25-man roster from each franchise’s 40-man roster.
STAT TRACKING: Track batting and pitching statistics in season mode for the first time ever, including viewable team, player and season league leaderboards.
ONLINE PLAY: Choose to play in online multiplayer mode in friendly and ranked games.
GAMEPLAY SETTINGS: Pick your competition level – Easy, Medium or Hard.
PC & MAC DEBUT: Introducing availability for personal computers on the Steam platform, coming this spring.
R.B.I. Baseball 15 will include the many features added in its off-season while remaining fast-paced and fun to play with the genre’s classic two-button controls. Players can master the art of hitting and fielding easily with the retro controls and manually manage the movement and location of every pitch from release to crossing the plate.
With the expansion to include more than 1,000 active Major League players in its roster database, R.B.I. Baseball 15 will include detailed on-field attributes for every player, again updated from the hundreds of millions of data points collected and analyzed by MLBAM.
R.B.I. Baseball 15 is being developed by MLBAM and officially licensed by MLB and MLBPA. It will be available as a digital download this spring for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft via the ID@Xbox self-publishing program, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and supported Android smartphones and tablets.
“PlayStation” is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
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Conventional wisdom once held that it made more sense for the average person to buy a Windows PC rather than a Mac because there was so much more software available on Windows. Today, although the sheer number of Windows apps is still higher (of which, to be fair, quite a few are viruses!), Macs have a wide selection of excellent software in virtually every category.
But there are still some situations in which only Windows will do. Luckily, Mac users now have three great ways (and a few less great ways) to run Windows without switching computers: Boot Camp (built into Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard), Parallels Desktop, and Vmware Fusion. The latter two, the most popular virtualization environments for the Mac, let you run other operating systems side-by-side with Mac OS X, without rebooting, and offer such a high level of integration that you might forget which OS you’re using at any moment.
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The interesting thing about virtualization is that it changes the equation completely: instead of Macs having the fewest programs available, they have the most, because every Intel-based Mac can run Mac software, Windows software, and Unix software. Here, then, in (a sort of) alphabetical order, is my list of the top 15 things Mac users finally have access to that previously required a PC. (Shameless plug: this list was inspired by a section of my ebook Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac.)
1. Custom software: Countless businesses have custom-written applications for internal use that run only on Windows. Almost all of them should run nicely in Parallels or Fusion.
2. Dragon Naturally Speaking: MacSpeech recently announced a new Mac product called Dictatethat uses the same technology as Dragon Naturally Speaking; it’ll replace their current speech recognition product, iListen. I have high hopes for Dictate, but in the meantime, if you depend on Dragon Naturally Speaking for dictation, you’ll need to run it under Windows.
3. DVDs: Sure, DVD movies play just fine on Macs. But some come with special enhanced features that rely on Windows-only software. To get at all those Easter eggs and other goodies, you’ll need a PC—or a reasonable facsimile thereof.
4. FrameMaker: Ah, FrameMaker. Back in the day (that is, the day when I made a living doing graphic design and the two leading DTP programs were PageMaker and QuarkXPress), I always found it a special treat to work on a project where I could use FrameMaker. It was vastly more flexible, had wonderful table support, and was (still is, really) the best tool for extremely long yet extremely complex documents. Even though there was a Mac OS 9 version, Adobe never ported it to Mac OS X, so it is now available only for Windows and Solaris.
5. Games: I must confess that I myself am not a gamer. (OK, I’ll spend the occasional hour playing Bejeweled or solitaire, but that’s about it.) However, I am reliably informed that a rather large portion of the world’s PC-using population takes gaming pretty seriously—and quite a few of those games don’t have Mac versions. Now, finally, popular Windows-only games like Grand Theft Auto, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Rail Sim, and Crysis can run on a Mac, too.
There are a few catches, though. First, Parallels and Fusion have only limited, preliminary support for DirectX, so some Windows games may require Boot Camp. Second, depending on the game you’re playing, your machine’s specs, and whether you’re using XP or Vista, you may find that game performance suffers a bit in virtualization. And to get serious graphics performance, you’ll want a serious Mac; obviously, an 8-core Mac Pro with 32 GB of RAM and an NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 card will crank out the frames an awful lot faster than a Mac mini.
6. Legal software: Nolo, the well-known publisher of do-it-yourself legal books and forms, has a number of software packages (for things like getting a patent or starting a small business) that run only on Windows.
As WWDC 2023 is finally all set to be a 5-day-long mega-show from June 7 to 11, a large number of iPhone owners have started to share their iOS 15 features wishlist. As you may have already guessed, I don’t want to be left behind either. It’s been a while since I have been secretly crafting my extensive iOS 15 features wishlist. And I think there couldn’t be a better time to share a list of features that I would like to see in the next iteration of iOS. So, if you are curious to learn about the new features in iOS 15, along with its release date and compatible iPhone models, then jump right in.iOS 15 Features, Release Date & Compatible iPhones
Even though Apple has managed to keep iOS 15 features under the wraps, some of the most anticipated features seem to be all geared up to arrive. As for the quirks that have continued to be the pain points for ages, Apple will likely sort them out one at a time.
This wishlist consists of features that you are likely to see in iOS 15, along with some much-awaited demands from iPhone owners. So, without further ado, let’s check out the features, release date, and compatible iPhone models for iOS 15.iOS 15 Release Date
Apple will organize its annual developer conference, WWDC 2023, in June later this year. The company will unveil iOS 15 at the event, detailing most of its new features on stage. The iOS 15 developer beta will be released on the same day to give us a taste of what to expect from the company’s next mobile OS.iOS 15 Compatible iPhones
I’m sure many of you would be wondering whether or not your iPhone will support iOS 15. So, here’s a list of iPhone models that will get the iOS 15 update:
iPhone 7/7 Plus (A10 Processor, 2023)
iPhone 8/8 Plus and iPhone X (A11 Processor, 2023)
iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone XR (A12 Processor, 2023)
iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max (A13 Processor, 2023)
iPhone SE 2 (A13 Processor, 2023)
iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max (A14 Processor, 2023)
iPhone 13 Series (A15 Processor, 2023)
Unlike iOS 14 that could run on all the devices, including iPhone 6s and the first-gen iPhone SE that iOS 13 supported, iOS 15 will support only iPhone 7 Series or later. That means iOS 15 will end support for the A9 processor that came with the iPhone 6s.iOS 15 Features Wishlist: Top Requested Features 1. Expanded Choice of Default Apps
After a long wait, Apple has finally allowed users to choose their default email, browser, and music app via iOS 14 updates. While it is a welcome move, it is far from complete. It would be better if the tech giant expands the list to include other categories of apps like calendar and messaging.
2. Native Sleep Timer for Apple Music
While there is no denying the fact that Apple Music is feature-rich, the lack of a native sleep timer is hard to explain. As most music lovers like to listen to relaxing songs or white noise before hitting the bed, the absence of an integrated sleep timer in Apple Music is beyond anyone’s guess.
Though iOS does offer a way to set a sleep timer in Apple Music via the stock Clock app, which we explained in our linked guide, the process is not intuitive. So, I would like to see Apple integrate a native sleep timer into the Music app in iOS 15.3. Set Any Song As iPhone Ringtone with Ease
If you can download any song on your iPhone for offline listening, why can’t you set it as your iPhone ringtone after a bit of fine-tuning? Unlike Android, iOS still doesn’t offer a simple way to set your favorite song as a ringtone. While there are some workarounds, the tedious process seems to turn off most users.4. Disappearing iMessages/ Auto-Delete Messages
Some messages do not need to stick around forever, especially private messages or light-hearted conversations. The ability to set messages to auto-delete after a defined duration not only offers more security and privacy in iOS 15 but helps keep your iMessage inbox uncluttered as well.
I love the disappearing messages feature as it offers me the flexibility to wipe out personal messages automatically at the preferred time. Besides, it will also allow me to keep other messaging apps like WhatsApp and Signal clutter-free. As most messaging apps have got the disappearing messages feature, it would be cool if iMessage gets it sooner than later.5. Delete Accidentally Sent iMessages
Given how important this feature is, it would be nice if Apple adds the ability to delete accidentally sent messages to iMessage on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. Then if you ever happen to send a message mistakenly to anyone, you can recall it to ward off the embarrassment.6. Chat Wallpapers for iMessage
Customizing the wallpaper of personal chats is something I have always appreciated. With a solid library of beautifully designed wallpapers (in line with WhatsApp’s offerings) at your disposal, it feels great to have different chat wallpapers for contacts and groups. Even if you aren’t into customization, you would appreciate this feature in iMessage on iOS 15.7. Better Control over Photo Widgets 8. Continue to Use Apps Even When Siri is Active
One of the highlights of iOS 14 is the intuitive and compact Siri UI. Unlike before, Siri no longer takes over the entire screen (you can still make Siri go fullscreen if you wish), a welcome move from a user-experience perspective. However, you still can’t interact with apps when Siri is active, which is a disappointment.
At times, I feel the need to continue to use apps even when Siri is active, especially when taking notes or browsing the Internet. While it might not be a big deal for many, I think fixing this little quirk would be a long way to make Siri more efficient.9. Change App Icons on Home Screen
Instead, I would be glad to have a native option built right into the Settings app to change app icons to my heart’s liking. It would also be amazing if third-party apps come with a handful of app icons and allow users to choose them from the Settings app itself.10. Change Wallpapers Automatically
No matter how eye-catching a wallpaper is, it tends to appear dull after a day or two. And that’s when we wish to have the ability to change the wallpaper quickly without having to dig into the Settings app. On that note, wouldn’t it be super cool if Apple added a native option to change home screen/lock screen wallpapers automatically? From what I can tell, many of us would like to see that feature in iOS 15.11. Customize App Library 12. Ability to Leave Blank Space on Home Screen
The times when I want to perfectly customize the home screen, the one roadblock that comes my way or tends to restrict my creativity is the lack of ability to leave out blank space on the home screen. Yeah, I’m talking about the same trick that Android offers.
Though there are invisible widgets to create blank space, they don’t offer the ideal solution. Considering iOS 14 has already opened the gate for customization, adding this neat little customization feature in iOS 15 may not be a big ask for Apple.13. Delete Multiple Duplicate Contacts at Once
Deleting duplicate contacts one by one is a tedious process, which not many of us like to deal with. As a result, the address book doesn’t take long to get cluttered with redundant contacts. So, it’s high time Apple introduces a bulk contacts deletion feature in iOS 15.14.Find and Merge All Duplicate Contacts at Once
Another Contacts app feature that is long due is the option to find and merge all duplicate contacts. While there is no dearth of powerful contact managers in the App Store that can get the job done smartly, many of these apps are paid. And the ones that are available for free don’t work quite efficiently. And this is what creates the need to make the Contacts app more capable in iOS 15.
15. Restore iCloud Backup without Erasing Your iPhone
I have never been able to cope with this lengthy workaround. At times, the restoring process never seems to come to an end, more so when you have to restore an ample amount of data. Besides, it would also be great if Apple offers the flexibility to choose the specific data that you want to restore, just like Android.Which iOS 15 Feature Are You Most Excited About?
There you go! So, that’s my iOS 15 features wishlist. Hopefully, you have found my collection up to the mark. Now that you have known my top iOS 15 picks, it’s time for you to let me know the features you would like to see in the next iteration of iOS. As WWDC is just a couple of months away, stay tuned to learn more about all the iOS 15 and watchOS 8 features that are likely to arrive in the next version of iOS.
The announcement last week that Tableau’s CEO Adam Selipsky is stepping down felt more significant than the casual media coverage it received. To me, it was a signal that the murmurings of discontent I’ve been hearing were true: Era of Tableau is over.The Glory Days
While Tableau first came about in 2003, they really hit their stride in the early 2010s — and what astride it was. Users heralded the tool as ‘revolutionary’ and ‘life-changing.’ Their annual conferences sold out in minutes. Participants would come together with hundreds of others, proudly brandishing swag that read ‘We Are Data People’ as they attended roller-blading socials and “Iron Viz” competitions. As I said, it was having a real moment.
For many of us (I, too drank the kool-aid), it was affirming and exciting to see data being celebrated, not relegated to the sidelines. Tableau told us being in data was not just cool, but also irrefutably important.What’s Changed?
But instead of this being an even more glorious Glory Days, it’s an all-too-often underwhelming experience all around:
“Machine learning specialists topped its list of developers who said they were looking for a new job, at 14.3 per cent. Data scientists were a close second, at 13.2 per cent.” 
And even more damning:
“Among the 90% of companies that have made some investment in AI, fewer than 2 out of 5 report business gains from AI in the past three years.” 
Eesh. Clearly, there’s work to be done.The Haunting
So what are these ghosts that are getting in our way?Data === Dashboard
To many business users data is now synonymous with dashboards. While a seemingly benign misunderstanding, this actually causes a whole slew of downstream effects, namely:
Thinking Tableau will ‘fix’ your data problems. Many companies make the mistake of assuming the only thing your data team needs is Tableau (or Power BI). This kind of thinking ignores the more common pain points of bringing data sources together, cleaning and transforming the data, and doing the actual analysis itself, which, if you ask any analyst, are the most traumatic parts of any analysis. By not investing in these problems, you’re telling your data team that their work is less important than the business’s interpretation of it.
Asking dashboards to do too much. Since Tableau is the only tool many teams have to present data they are forced to turn everything into a dashboard which significantly reduces the impact a more nuanced, thoughtful analysis could have. By stripping away context, explanation, and narrative from the analyst, dashboards become a Rorschach test where everyone can see what they want to see.
While users are now more comfortable looking at basic charts, we’ve made little progress in educating our business partners in fundamental data concepts. Dashboards don’t give us the stage needed to explain, for example, why correlation does not equal causation. This means it’s become nearly impossible to explain the significance of our more complicated predictive models or statistical analysis which are required to realize the dreams of our current era.Hyper Specialization of Tools
One of the great things about Tableau at the start was that it just sat on top of your database, making it easy to ‘plug in’ to your existing stack of data tools without much effort. This model has been used by pretty much every data tool since, creating separate tools for data pipelines, data cleaning, data transformation, data analysis, and of course, data visualization. This approach is completely fragmenting analyst’s workflows, causing significant pain and delays in each analysis. As a result, most analysts and data scientists have adopted a ‘not my data tool’ mentality — acknowledging Tableau as a necessary evil to get their work noticed. Check out this Reddit thread to see for yourself.
“If there were a button that would nuke all the Tableau servers in the world, I am pressing that button.” -Anynomous Data Professional
Remember those ‘murmurings of discontent’ I mentioned at the start…Ghostbusters
We have an increasingly urgent need to find solutions to these issues before we find ourselves again fighting for relevancy and attention to data. To do that, we need to start focusing on the following two areas:Present more than numbers
It’s time to give data more of a voice. Dashboards are great for things where there is a shared context and a straightforward decision. But for many things, those conditions are not met, and therefore we need a new approach.
I, and others, have been banging the drum on data notebooks as a solution for some time now. They can tell the story, explain the methodology, and build nice visuals without sacrificing interactivity or presentability.
By using more notebooks we can start to wean off a culture that’s been jonesing for dashboards. We can start to work with our business partners instead of lobbing questions and charts back and forth over an imaginary wall.Pick tools the data team wants
Data analysts and scientists see a red flag when a potential employer has Tableau and little else in the way of data engineering, or data analysis tools (e.g. running Tableau on your un-transformed MySQL 5 database). This signals that they aren’t prioritizing the work that these analysts will do. This needs to stop. ASAP.
Depending on the analysis your team is doing, the ‘right’ tools will differ. But there are so many options out there, you just need to make sure you’re investing in the work it takes to make the great analysis as much as you are on a tool make the business look at it.
And hey, you’ll probably end up keeping some of those data scientists that are, according to the stats, most likely shopping around.Conclusion
We all owe a great deal to Tableau for the current attention data receives in our businesses. To make good on this opportunity though, and move into a new Golden Age of data, we need to address and remedy some of the ghosts of the Tableau era that are holding us back.
Data notebooks present an option that can give your team the flexibility it needs to start to move past the Tableau and into the next era.
At Count, we’re excited to be part of this new movement of data tools designed for modern challenges. You can learn more about the Count notebook here.References
 Walter, Richard, “
 Walter, Richard, “ How machine learning creates new professions — and problems ,” Financial Times, November 2023.  S. Ransbotham, S. Khodabandeh, R. Fehling, B. LaFountain, D. Kiron, “ Winning With AI, ” MIT Sloan Management Review and Boston Consulting Group, October 2023.
 Header image by Luke Chesser on Unsplash
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Thanks to dozens of instant messaging apps, sharing contacts, links, music, etc., has become easier. But, when the time finally comes to open the item shared with you, everything seems lost. Either the link would’ve gone too up in the chat, or you’ll be lazy to search for it. There should be a dedicated section where all the shared items are stored! Enters the Shared with You feature in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.
In this article, let’s learn about Shared with You and how you can use it to make your experience better.
What is Shared with You in iOS 15?
Messages have got a big upgrade in iOS 15, and one of its most talked-about features is Shared with You.
It segregates the content that people send into different sections. For example, all the websites shared with you are in the Links section, images in the Photos section, etc.
And it doesn’t stop here — Shared with You also adds the items shared into the proper apps. This means that if someone shares a link on Messages, it will not only show in the Messages’ Links section but also in Safari.
Similarly, if someone shares a photo, it will not only show up in Messages as a separate section but also in the Photos app.
How to use Shared with You in iOS 15
By default, Shared with You is enabled in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. It doesn’t require any sort of setup or toggling to work. However, it is only compatible with the Messages app in iOS and iPadOS for now.
There are several Shared with You integrations in iOS 15, some of which are mentioned below:
Apple Music and Podcast: Music and podcast links shared via iMessage show up in the Shared with You section in the Listen Now tab in the Apple Music and Podcast app.
Apple TV: When someone sends a movie or a TV show link via iMessage, the TV show or the movie will appear in the Shared with You section of the Watch Now tab so you can start watching it quickly.
Apart from Shared with You, you can use SharePlay to watch movies and TV shows together in iOS 15. To learn more, check out our detailed guide on how to use SharePlay.
How to turn off Shared with You on iPhone
Alternatively, if you just want to prevent a specific conversation from appearing in Shared with You, you can simply hide it.Hide content from appearing in Shared with You
Don’t want every message thread to appear in the Shared with You section of the app? You can easily hide it! However, you can’t select the content type. It will hide all types of content in Shared with You from that particular message thread.
Open Messages → long-press the conversation you don’t want to see in Shared with You → choose Hide in Shared with You. That’s it!
Shared with You is an excellent feature on iPhone and iPad. It lowers the number of steps required to search for a shared item. However, it is limited by the iMessage-only functionality. Had Apple opened up its API to third-party developers, it would have been one of the best iOS 15 features.
Want to learn more about iOS 15 features and what it brings to the iPhone? Check out these iOS 15-related articles:
Dell’s XPS 15 vs. Apple’s MacBook Pro 15 takes its place the same epic list of rivalries as Batman vs. Joker, Red Sox vs. Yankees, and Sheldon vs. Wil Wheaton. Both laptops are intended as workhorses for professionals on the go. And although there are many competitors out there with similar specs, the XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 15 just can’t let the other have the last word.
Gordon Mah Ung
The XPS 15 and MacBook Pro 15 face off yet again.Ports
The new MacBook Pro 15 has basically four Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB-C ports and a single analog headphone jack (thank god Apple hasn’t killed it this year). You’d think that with $246 billion in hand, Apple would give you a break and include an HDMI dongle or even a USB-Type A to USB-Type C, but no. #ThanksApple.
Gordon Mah Ung
Dell’s XPS 15 gives you an SD card reader, USB 3.0 Type A and Kensington lock port on the right, as well as a battery meter with five LEDs.
Although Apple Scrooges you on ports, one thing you get for free is performance. The Dell XPS 15’s implementation of Thunderbolt 3 uses two lanes of PCIe Gen 3.0, while all four of Apple’s ports are four-lane implementations, which can hit 40Gbps vs. the 20Gbps of the XPS 15.
The good news for the Dell is that DisplayPort traffic is separate from the Thunderbolt 3 traffic, so you could, in theory, run your monitors and still hit 20Gbps without issue. The bad news is the MacBook Pro 15 does that, too, while giving you up to 40Gbps. Today, few can see use for that speed, but in two years who knows what will be here. So yeah.
As much as I favor Apple’s higher-performance implementation on the MacBook Pro 15, the fact that you can’t use the ports without carrying a small bag of dongles that you have to pay extra for means I’m giving this to the Dell XPS 15, just on general principle.
Gordon Mah Ung
When it comes to ports, this photo comparing the left sides of the Dell XPS 15 (top) and Apple MacBook Pro 15 (bottom) tells you all you need to know.Keyboard
With the Butterfly design for its MacBook keyboards, Apple has gone from “making the best laptop keyboards in the world!” to “It’s not really that bad.” Or: “You get used to it, eventually.” Some will even say: “I actually like it. No, really. I’m serious.”
Gordon Mah Ung
The MacBook Pro 15’s Butterfly keyboard is controversial at best.
Winner: XPS 15, but I’m not happy about it.
Gordon Mah Ung
The XPS 15’s keyboard is a bit too cramped for my digits, but I’ll take it over the MacBook Pro’s Butterfly keys any day of the week, and three times on Friday.Trackpad and input
Gordon Mah Ung
The MacBook Pro 15’s trackpad is so big, it could be a tablet.
The XPS 15’s trackpad (unlike its keyboard) is also highly lauded. The Wall Street Journal, in fact, did nothing in its original review of the XPS 15 but gush over how the XPS 15’s track pad is as good as a MacBook’s. I like it, too. The surface has a little more friction to it, but it’s comfortable to use.
Winner: XPS 15
Gordon Mah Ung
The trackpad on Dell’s XPS 15 is remarkably smooth and responsive.Size and weight
More so than how thin it is is how heavy it is. In that category, the MacBook Pro has it in spades. We weighed our MacBook Pro unit at 3 pounds, 15.6 ounces. Yeah, just call it 4 pounds. The XPS 15 is a half-pound heavier at four pounds, 8.7 ounces.
Mind you, these are figures for the main units. Once you add the chargers, it really tilts. The MacBook Pro 15 plus its 87-watt charger (without the extended AC cable) is 4 pounds, 12 ounces. Not bad. The XPS 15 with its brick comes in at 5 pounds, 7.4 ounces. That’s a pretty big weight difference. Once you sling that on your shoulder and walk a mile through an airport, it’ll feel like a 10 pounds’ difference.
It is actually impressive to get to just under four pounds in a quad-core laptop with discrete graphics, but Apple made sacrifices to get there. More performance, in general, means more weight to keep it cooler. For example, the power brick for the Dell is 130 watts, significantly beefier than the 87-watt brick for the MacBook Pro 15.
Winner: MacBook Pro 15
Gordon Mah Ung
The Dell XPS 15 is slightly bigger in size than the MacBook Pro 15, but it’s really the weight that matters.Price
We’ve heard about the infamous “Apple tax,” but is it just trash-talking or something real? To find out, we picked a few of the configurations (including the laptops you see here) to compare. We also added a couple of other configurations so you can see just what you get for your dollar with either company.
The MacBook Pro 15 you see here is the base model. It costs $2,399 and comes with a quad-core Core i7-6700HQ, a Radeon Pro 450 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. Compare that to the Dell XPS 15 before you. For $350 less, you get a quad-core Core i7-7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and a 4K touchscreen.
Winner: XPS 15
Apple tax? The cheapest MacBook Pro 15 costs as much as the top-end XPS 15.Upgrades
People have been led to believe that upgrading a laptop is all but dead, because so many components have been soldered down to the motherboard. While you can’t swap the CPU or GPU anymore, it’s not true for all parts. You can, for example, buy the Dell XPS 15 you see here and in two years, open it up and drop in 32GB of RAM and a larger 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD. Not bad.
Gordon Mah Ung
You can’t upgrade the CPU or GPU in the XPS 15, but the RAM, SSD, and Wi-Fi module can be swapped out easily.
Winner: Easily the XPS 15Performance
To find out which laptop is faster we compared the base $2,399 MacBook Pro 15 with a Core i7-6700HQ, Radeon Pro 450, 16GB of RAM and 250GB SSD against the $2,050 XPS 15 with a Core i7-7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD.Cinebench R15 performance
First up is Maxon’s Cinebench R15 test. This free benchmark measures CPU performance and GPU performance when tasked with rendering 3D scenes, using the same engine used in Maxon’s Cinema4D product. We used the latest version of Cinebench on both Mac and PC.
There’s been much shade thrown at Apple for going with the older 6th-gen Skylake CPU instead of waiting for Intel’s newer 7th-gen Kaby Lake CPU. This first benchmark was to see what these quad-cores could do.
The result: It’s not huge difference unless you count the ability of Kaby Lake to handle HEVC encoding and decoding. You also get higher clocks: The XPS 15’s Core i7-7700HQ CPU has a base clock speed of 2.8GHz and a Turbo Boost of 3.8GHz, while the MacBook Pro 15’s Core i7-6700HQ has a base of 2.6GHz and a Turbo Boost of 3.5GHz (here are the detailed specs of the chips on Intel’s website.)
CineBench R15 backs up all of our other CPU tests: The XPS 15 is about 10 percent faster than the MacBook Pro 15 (and lower in cost, too!).
Clearly, if you have a Skylake-based laptop—whether PC or Mac—you should be in no rush at all to “upgrade” to Kaby Lake for CPU work. However, if Dell, HP, Lenovo, and just about every other PC vendor can take the time to upgrade to the latest CPU the same way any of us would change our underwear daily, Apple should be able to do the same. It’s like giving up performance because they can’t be bothered to update the specs on the website.
Single-threaded tasks put the 7th generation Kaby Lake about 10 percent ahead of the 6th generation Skylake chip Apple used in its newest MacBook Pro 15.
CineBench also features a built-in graphics test that measures a computer’s OpenGL performance. Although the XPS 15 stomps the MacBook Pro 15 by more than 30 percent, I’d have to say this is a lot closer than I expected it to be. I’d attribute this to the OpenGL driver performance on Windows, which is just about dead, vs. Mac OS where OpenGL is still preferred.
How dismal is the graphics performance disparity between the MacBook Pro 15 and the XPS 15? The fact that the XPS 15 is “only” 35 percent faster in CineBench’s OpenGL test is actually good news for it.Geekbench Performance
Unlike Cinebench, which uses pure CPU rendering as a test, Geekbench uses many different small algorithms modeled after what it feels are valid measurements of performance. Geekbench says the XPS 15 is about 7 percent faster than the MacBook Pro 15, which is what I’d expect.
Again, the updated Kaby Lake offers about 10 percent more performance than the Skylake CPU it replaces.
In general, the XPS 15 and its Kaby Lake CPU, is roughly 10 percent faster across the board.
Geekbench also lets you measure the peformance of a computer at OpenCL tasks, which is an open language that lets you do traditionally CPU-bound tests on the GPU. Running on the discrete graphics of the Mac and the PC, we can see a dramatic difference. It’s just not even fair.
The XPS 15’s GeForce GTX 1050 pretty much eats the MacBook Pro 15’s Radeon Pro 450 for lunch and then uses a Butterflykey for a toothpick.
If you were to rely on the onboard graphics chip to handle a compute load, the XPS 15’s Kaby Lake graphics core would be about 10 percent faster than the graphics core integrated with the MacBook Pro’s Skylake chip.Blender Performance
Blender is an open-source popular rendering app used in many indie movies. It’s maintained on both MacOS and Windows, but performance, unlike in Cinebench, can be uneven across OS versions. For example, rendering is generally faster on Windows 7 than Windows 10, and I’ve found previous builds of Blender ran faster on MacOS.
The open-source Blender 3D program backs up other CPU-focused tests: The XPS 15 is about 10 percent faster.
Blender also supports using the graphics chip to render 3D. For this test, I tasked both laptops with a GPU render on the GPU version of the Peter Pan BMW test. The XPS 15’s GTX 1050 finish quite swiftly. The MacBook Pro 15 was much, much slower—so much slower, in fact, that it’s pretty apparent the GPU rendering on Blender just doesn’t work right. Again, I’d blame Blender first rather than the Apple, but if you have to do GPU renders: Skip the MacBook Pro 15 for the XPS 15.
OK, well, something isn’t right and hasn’t been for some time in Blender for GPU renders. The XPS 15 finishes in a few minutes, while the MacBook Pro 15 finishes in a few hours. Yes, hours.Gaming Performance
The results were downright ugly. First up is Tomb Raider running at 16×10 resolution on High. The Mac pushes about 47 fps which is OK until you realize the XPS 15 is buzzing along at 137 fps. My guess is 19×10 on Ultimate is well within reach for the XPS 15. You’re basically gassed out at 16×10 with the MacBook Pro 15, so getting to a higher resolution would mean compromising on even more visual quality settings.
In gaming, it’s nothing but ugly for the MacBook Pro 15 as its low-wattage Radeon Pro 450 struggles to compete with the XPS 15’s GeForce GTX 1050.
The situation is worse for Shadows of Mordor. Mind you, I wasn’t able to run the game at the exact same resolutions, so for High I opted for 1536×864 on the MacBook Pro 15 and 1680×1050 on high on XPS 15. That’s about 1.32 million pixels being rendered on the MacBook Pro 15 vs. 1.76 million pixels on the XPS 15, so the XPS 15 is actually doing about 30 percent more work than the MacBook Pro 15.
One other caveat you should note for both games being tested here: This isn’t a pure test of the GPU or CPU in either system, but also a test of the underlying OS, graphics API, driver, and the game itself.
Yes, I know you can install Windows 10 (not free) on the MacBook Pro and play games that way, but this would mean Windows 10 is superior to MacOS, and I don’t think anyone ever wants to admit that. The Shadows of Mordor performance is simply atrocious. I can run Shadows of Mordor on the XPS 15 at 19×10 on the Ultra setting and still see a very playable 48 fps, while the MacBook Pro 15 has to step down resolution (and game settings) to be even approachable to playing. Just ugly.
Winner: XPS 15
If you looked up ugly in the dictionary it would have a picture of the redesigned MacBook Pro 15 and its Radeon Pro 450 playing Middle-earth: Shadows of Mordor. Because woof.Battery Life
Laptops are laptops because sometimes you do, indeed, run them on battery. While you’ve heard on the Internets that the MacBook Pro 15 has terrible battery life, the truth is it doesn’t.
What’s more impressive about those results is their relation to battery capacity. The MacBook Pro 15 packs a fairly small 74-watt-hour battery, while Dell has upped the capacity on the XPS 15 to 97 watt-hours for this year’s refresh.
There are mitigating factors, of course. For the most part, the GPUs are likely not part of the battery life equation, as the video playback of the file is run on the CPU’s graphics chip. Skylake and Kaby Lake probably consume about the same amount of energy doing this simple task.
The Dell XPS 15, does, however have a far denser 3840×2160-pixel screen, versus the MacBook Pro 15’s 2880×1600. In PPI, that’s basically about 226 PPI on the Mac vs 293 PPI on the PC. Lighting up more pixels costs you more power. The XPS 15’s 10-point touchscreen also absorbs some power. Other incidental system power draws, such as the SSD’s, may also come into play here.
Winner: MacBook Pro 15
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