Want the best 16-inch MacBook Pro? Be ready to fork over more than six grand

best MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's long-rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro has finally arrived with an improved 'Magic' keyboard, a better display and faster components. But, it's also very expensive.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro starts out at $2,399 (£2,399, AU$3,799), which is already kind of an eye-watering price for a laptop with mainstream parts, but it's still within the realm of reason.

Of course, it wouldn't be a MacBook Pro release without some bonkers spec increases, and Apple has those in spades here. You can upgrade the processor (CPU) up to a 9th Generation Intel Core i9 CPU, get up to 64GB of memory (RAM), an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8GB, and a whopping 8TB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage.

Now, the only people who would ever want to max this laptop out are folks that are doing some major pro-level workloads. Think a video editor that needs to render 8K video while on a plane or something. Apple knows that this audience will drop huge stacks of cash on hardware – it saves time, and time is money after all – so the maxed out version of the MacBook Pro is $6,099 (£5,769, AU$9,679). 

That's an incredibly high asking price for a laptop in 2019, even if it's Apple's most advanced MacBook yet. However, it is packed with better speakers, an actually workable keyboard and an almost-4K display, so it might be worth it for the right audience.

Then, there's the Mac Pro

The new Mac Pro will be arriving in December 2020, and will start at $5,999 (about £4,670, AU$8,790). Now, Apple has not put the Mac Pro up to be configured on its website, but we do know some rough specs here.

The Mac Pro will start out with an 8-core, 16-thread Intel Xeon W processor, 32GB of RAM, Radeon Pro 580X graphics and 256GB of SSD storage. Now, if you ask us, that's not a $5,999 (about £4,670, AU$8,790) desktop system, but the ability to upgrade it later might soften some of that sticker shock.

However, we're worried about how much this computer is going to cost once you start configuring it with more powerful hardware. You will be able to configure the new Mac Pro with up to a 28-core Intel Xeon-W processor, and while we don't know the exact processor that will be included, we can look at some existing chips to get an idea. 

Right now the only 28-core Intel Xeon-W chip is the Intel Xeon W-3275. It's a beefy chunk of silicon, backed by a massive 205W TDP (Thermal Design Power rating), and a boost clock of 4.6GHz. The Xeon W-3275 is also around $4,499 (about £3,500, AU$6,600) by itself.

However, this chip only has 38.5MB of cache, compared to the supposed 66.5MB that the 28-core Xeon-W chip in the Mac Pro will have, so who knows what the pricing will look like. Either way, expect the Mac Pro to be very expensive when it goes up for sale in December. 

Bill Thomas

Bill Thomas (Twitter) is TechRadar's computing editor. They are fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but they just happen to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop them a line on Twitter or through email.