16-Inch MacBook Pro Hands-On: Benchmark and Performance Tests

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Apple's new 16-inch MacBook Pro came out last week, and the new machine features a larger display, more maximum RAM, and higher maximum storage, all features designed for Apple's pro user base.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is using the same 9th-generation Intel processors that were used in the 15-inch MacBook Pro models released in May, but there's a new thermal architecture that Apple says boosts performance. We went hands-on with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro to test those claims, putting it through real world tests and benchmarks.


We tested the base 8-core model, which is the higher-end model priced at $2,799. It has a 2.3GHz Intel Core i9 processor (turbo boost up to 4.8GHz), an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU with 4GB GDDR6 memory, a 1TB SSD, and 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM.

Starting off with Geekbench 5 testing, the 16-inch MacBook Pro outshined the similarly specced 15-inch model that was released earlier this year when it came to multi-core performance.

The 16-inch machine earned a single core score of 989 and a multi-core score of 6733, while the 15-inch machine scored 972 in the single-core test and 5781 in the multi-core test. That's an increase of 16.5 percent, which is a decent performance boost considering these machines have the same processor.


There are even more significant gains with the new 5500M GPU. In an OpenCL test, the 16-inch MacBook Pro scored 30608, compared to the 15-inch MacBook Pro's score of 17904, and in a Metal test, the 16-inch MacBook Pro scored a 29840 vs. the 15-inch MacBook Pro's score of 19065.


Combined, the updated GPU and the new thermal architecture of the 16-inch MacBook Pro have brought some notable performance improvements. Of course, benchmarks aren't reflective of real world usage, so we also did some testing of apps pro users might take advantage of.

In Final Cut Pro X, we exported a five minute 4K video while also running other apps at the same time to test export conditions under heavy RAM usage. The export took two minutes and 35 seconds, half the time of the video.

Conducting the same test in Premiere Pro (with apps like Safari and QuickTime running) the five minute video took three minutes and five seconds to export. These times are similar to what we see with a baseline 2017 iMac Pro.

We also tested Photoshop with multiple other apps open in the background, including Safari with a ton of tabs. The machine was using upwards of 70 percent of the 16GB RAM, but performance was solid with no issues. The fans kicked in of course, but that's to be expected.

It's worth noting that in these tests, the MacBook Pro got just as hot as other i9 MacBook Pros that experienced thermal issues in the past, but power and performance were not throttled per the Intel Power app.

All in all, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro is performing well, and the updated thermal architecture has indeed had a significant positive effect on power management and thermal regulation. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is speedy, stable, and a solid option for the pro user base these machines are designed for.

What do you think of the 16-inch MacBook Pro's performance? Let us know in the comments.

Article Link: 16-Inch MacBook Pro Hands-On: Benchmark and Performance Tests
 
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fmcshan

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2019
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Here are my thoughts on the new MacBook Pro. I love the increased speed and greater RAM offering, but I'm going wait for the Mac lineup to start featuring Face ID before I make any sort of upgrade. I also think at the current price point of MacBook Pros, it should feature an upgraded camera. A 720p camera is not "Pro" and doesn't cut it in 2019. Other than that, I really like the improvements Apple has made and it is a step in the right direction.
 

turbineseaplane

macrumors 603
Mar 19, 2008
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Here are my thoughts on the new MacBook Pro. I love the increased speed and greater RAM offering, but I'm going wait for the Mac lineup to start featuring Face ID before I make any sort of upgrade. I also think at the current price point of MacBook Pros, it should feature an upgraded camera. A 720p camera is not "Pro" and doesn't cut it in 2019. Other than that, I really like the improvements Apple has made and it is a step in the right direction.
I really agree..

Also, and I know this may be a stretch for a bit, I'd really really like to see a ProMotion screen option available. (key is option - would be expensive I'm sure)
 
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neuropsychguy

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2008
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Just imagine the possibilities if AAPL continues with its new enlightened approach of allowing more width to its devices. Even more battery life, better thermals and performance, and perhaps even some additional useful ports.
They could make it even thicker and wider and put in a, let's say, 27" screen. At that point it needs a stand and a new name. I'm having a difficult time thinking of a possibility, I'm not sure, I...mac...iMac.

/comment made all in good fun
 

happyslayer

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2008
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Glendale, AZ
Happy to see all the positive reviews and comments about the new 16" MBP. I'm still rocking my 15" 2018 MBP and it's great for what I do. (mainly computer/network support and writing) Also I actually like the feel of the butterfly mechanism keyboard and have had no issues with it. Anyway, one question:

I see all these complaints about the 720p camera. Just curious what do you all use the laptop mounted camera for? I do Skype and Zoom and FaceTime and it's been totally fine. Nobody has complained about the image quality. Do you guys use something special that needs a higher rez cam? Or is it just the idea that a $2400 plus computer "only" has a 720p cam. Just not sure what the complaints about it are. I would like it to have Face ID eventually just for convenience but otherwise, quality seems fine.
 

BigBoy2018

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2018
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Here are my thoughts on the new MacBook Pro. I love the increased speed and greater RAM offering, but I'm going wait for the Mac lineup to start featuring Face ID before I make any sort of upgrade. I also think at the current price point of MacBook Pros, it should feature an upgraded camera. A 720p camera is not "Pro" and doesn't cut it in 2019. Other than that, I really like the improvements Apple has made and it is a step in the right direction.
Face-ID, lol, when a huge number of people already cover up the web cam on their laptops for fear the ‘man’ is spying on them.
- - Post merged: - -

16% increase in multi core performance with the SAME processor is incredible. (Geekbench though...)
Yep, geekbench is borderline worthless as a measurment of real world performance. But if anything, attribute that to the better thermals so it can turbo longer than the 15” model.
 

LuciusWrong

macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2019
165
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My thoughts on this machine is that it isnt perfect, but it is definitely worth purchasing it in the name of positive reinforcement!

If you are training a dog, you give him a treat when he starts to do the right thing. Yeah, the touchbar still seems like im paying extra for something i dont want, but overall, this machine is literally what i asked for!

Awhile back i submitted feedback to Apple, saying i wanted a macbook pro that is bigger, heavier, and has an ESC key and better keyboard. And that is exactly what they came up with this time. I would still prefer they return all the function keys. I mean, a tactile, dedicated button is always better than a virtual button on a touch screen...

(Oh yeah, this is almost exactly the configuration im looking at, and the geekbench result is just a hair better than 2x the speed of my 2013 2.3ghz (4 core) machine. My rule has been to upgrade when a new machine is 2x the speed of my old one, so I pretty much have to buy one now.)
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
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I'll wait the obligatory 4-6 months before purchasing. Call me crazy, but I'm very confident Ive left Apple because he disagreed with this move.
 

iMi

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2014
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Here are my thoughts on the new MacBook Pro. I love the increased speed and greater RAM offering, but I'm going wait for the Mac lineup to start featuring Face ID before I make any sort of upgrade. I also think at the current price point of MacBook Pros, it should feature an upgraded camera. A 720p camera is not "Pro" and doesn't cut it in 2019. Other than that, I really like the improvements Apple has made and it is a step in the right direction.
I have to agree with you about the camera. It's just a weird omission from otherwise a stellar update. Likewise, Face ID could have been an addition but I don't see it as necessary. The camera, though... What is this, 2005?
 

LuciusWrong

macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2019
165
112
16% increase in multi core performance with the SAME processor is incredible. (Geekbench though...)
Kind of random, but about geekbench.. .

Awhile back i compared cost of Mac computers to their geekbench result, and i found that when similarly equipped with storage and memory, the dollars to geekbench ratio was almost exactly the same for every machine.

Well, it was multi-core points per dollar, and it was around 7 points per dollar....on every machine. I made a spreadsheet. No matter what machine , what processor. The only exception was the top mac mini....but when you add the thunderbolt display, it was the same as every other machine.

I havent updated the spreadsheet for awhile. I should, though....
 

weup togo

macrumors 6502
May 6, 2016
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So the iPhone’s single core CPU perf is 37% higher than the 16" MBP, and the 16" doesn’t even beat it on multi-core by 2x despite the fact that the MBP has 8 cores and the iPhone has only 2 fast ones and 4 slow ones. Intel is hot garbage compared to Apple's silicon. The ARM Macs can't come soon enough. They're going to deliver performance increases like the world has never seen.
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2011
5,345
3,972
NC
Call me crazy, but I'm very confident Ive left Apple because he disagreed with this move.
It's been said that Jony Ive checked-out years ago. Apparently he didn't spend much time in Apple's offices.

He devoted a lot of his time designing Apple Park and various pieces of furniture. I don't think he had much, if any, input into this laptop's design.

So I doubt that finally putting back a "functional keyboard" made him quit. :)
 

UglyCowboy

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2017
22
68
I too was hoping for FaceID to migrate to the macbooks. I think given the user's positioning it makes even more sense than on the iPhone. In addition Windows already has Hello. Then reality hit. Take a look at the thickness of the FaceID module then look at the thickness of the macbook display assembly. Keep in mind that some of the bezel thickness is being used for the LCD driver and antenna. It's not going to happen without some R&D investment. Rumors tell us that Apple is indeed trying to make the FaceID module smaller but they are trying to decrease the height, not thickness, so that they use a thin border on the iPhone and remove, or minimize, the notch. I don't see Apple developing a new ultrathin (if even possible) FaceID module solely for the macbook as it's a relative niche product compared to the cash printing iPhone. I've now downgraded my hope to a lazy camera upgrade. They can even keep the 720p but at least upgrade the lens and/or sensor. The macbook pro cameras look like 2012 tech and contrasts sharply with the iphone 11. I realize all the non-facetime users don't care but there are many of that do use it.

Here are my thoughts on the new MacBook Pro. I love the increased speed and greater RAM offering, but I'm going wait for the Mac lineup to start featuring Face ID ...
 
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