MBP 2015 (r9 370x dGPU) - Photoshop performance

tLustej.miCin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 16, 2013
20
7
Prague, the Czech Republic
Hello apple fans/users/pros

I come with an opinion that what I have ever wanted was to own MBP with dGPU for work. I finally got one. 2015 model with R9 370X dGPU, 512SSD, 16Gb, i7. And what I can say so far it is really cool and exclusive browsing device in aluminum uni-body. I cannot say my experience is as SHOULD be with the high-performance laptop used for top business tasks such as graphics/photography. I own legal Adobe CC suite.

What`s the catch? Well, I invested a lot of money into something and I think I expected a bit more from it. I do graphics/photography for a living and I thought if I get top class tools for my work, I will be top efficient. Let`s not assume that in 2017 my MBP from 2015 is way too obsolete but still a super good working machine.

I won't talk about the environment as the system is and safari experience, gestures, display etc - those things are really great but let`s be honest, you are not investing much money into these features only. So here comes my disappointment.

At work I use some plasticky Lenovo with i7, 16gb ram and m960gtx(it has even got the super useless 4K display in 15inch screen - we use EIZO panels anyways) AND my experience with win10 and Adobe CC suite is really nice. I cannot believe how smooth, lag-less, no delay reactions I am getting while using Photoshop on this device. Having my Intuos Pro plugged in and working with a stylus, masking with big brush size and zero hardness is instant. The experience with this combo is JUST very nice.

On the other hand, I thought by buying MBP I will make a huge step in my working efficiency. Well, NOT at all. MBP from 2015 is still nearly twice the price Lenovo laptop and the only thing I want from it is this top leading device to work with top leading software without any compromise.

Zooming is a bit more slowly than win10 Lenovo laptop, working with a stylus and masking big size brushes with zero hardness(and some opacity) is just pain in the a... Why do I want so much for the much money invested? There is a noticeable delay working with Photoshop on MBP.

Tell me what config I should get if there are only two to choose from? Shi...y Intel Iris PRO works(I had the weaker config for 10 days) really badly and dGPU version is - as I am describing my experience - not satisfying as it should be compared to other laptops(lenovo, m960gtx, win10).

I am not sure where the answer lays. Who is to blame. Well, definetely not me - who is willing to invest bung of money. Is Apple losing it`s breath or Windows are getting ahead or Adobe CC is way too heavy and Adobe corporation is pretty lazy to optimize it for top leading iDevices? I am really disappointed, I expected more. I expected it to be running smoother, faster with a nice experience. I do not really care about the thinness of the uni-body, passive/active cooling etc. I have some money and I want to work without compromise.

Please do not ask if I have everything updated if I work with the MBP plugged into electricity blah blah, it is not that. I know how MBP with dGPU m650gt, m750gt run and it is all the same... I consider myself as someone who is willing to pay some money - which I did - and expect some added value.

When working with Adobe Lightroom - sorting hundreds of 13Mpx big raw files(I don't even have high Mpx full-frame camera, but just 5D Classic) and the cooling system goes crazy and MPB wants to fly away.

I would like to speak about the real added value MBP with Adobe CC not that my demands are too high, they are not. You are buying top device and after 2 yrs it is not obsolete at all.

Have a nice evening :)
 

Chancha

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2014
919
790
There is a function of multiple factors that you find yourself in, most of which you have already pointed out in your long post so I am mostly just concurring here.

1. The MBP 2015 was behind the curve hardware-wise even when it was new, much more so now. I own the exact same machine, a maxed out 15” with dGPU, it is a nice package, even compared to newer MBPs due to the port situation, but as a performer it is lagging behind windows counterparts. Price is also an issue, Apple is known to maintain a pretty high margin because they can, so you cannot directly compare a Mac’s performance proportionally to a Windows machine with only their prices as indicators.

2. Adobe CC apps are poorly optimized, even on Windows side but much more so on Macs. The issue is compounded by Macs having average mobile GPUs but outputting to retina screen. Lightroom in particular really struggles when used full screen on even the maxed out iMac 27”. Also, not having nVidia GPU for CUDA acceleration also hurts abit, since that’s what Adobe supports the most.

3. Mac OS X for some reasons is not as responsive and stable as it used to be, circa Snow Leopard days. There is always some slog or animated GUI element that creates some sense of lag in recent macOS’s, despite the hardware it runs on is supposedly getting better. Coupled with Adobe optimziation issue memtioned above, you will find an ironic situation that Adobe apps run considerably better on the same Mac if via bootcamp+Windows.

So what you are experiencing is not abnormal, nor is your expectation too high, you are just among the fellow professionals who have long been moaning about Apple’s lack of commitment in the Pro-space, but just now realized that fact. I myself have been a 2 decade mac user so I am not ready to jump yet, my solution to the performace bottleneck is to get the best Mac I can get right now, a maxed out 27” iMac, whereas the MBPs are for intermediate or mobile tasks. With the iMac there is enough headroom for me to not feel slow in CC most of the time, but I am not unbeknownst to how it flies on a similarly priced custom built Windows PC.
 
Last edited:

tLustej.miCin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 16, 2013
20
7
Prague, the Czech Republic
Wow, thank you for your answer, thank you a lot. I expected flame that I want too much so my point is seen - money/performance/pro apps usage - ratio.

I got the 2015 model for half the price of the newest one. For me it would be way too luxury to get the new one and I still need to get many L lenses where the ratio performance/price is really awesome - however, expensive as hell.
I can without any hesitation do all of my work in the office but that's not the direction/goal I am trying to achieve. I have no time so couple of minutes in the subway or in the tram help me to be really efficient at least to sort those hundreds of pictures.

Anyways, I will try to run Windows10. I know Windows run awesomely on MBP - I am only worried about the battery life. I can have two systems on 512Gb SSD that's not a problem.

But where is the the most honest philosophy of top brands making devices/tools for people who would like to support such symbiosis? We would really pay bunch of money to get what we really should get.

Yeah, you mentioned Adobe/Apple was way faster back in the days. Nowadays I can tell the difference. And why the ha*k they go with below average hardware and put it into a retina screen? I think it is the tuning, optimizing thing which makes the environment very fluent in the end.

What I am thinking right now is that I might have it couple of months and I will go somewhere and test Microsoft Surface laptop how it performs with Photoshop. I might sound silly but I am sad from the disappointment. You buy iDevice to serve you many years with smooth comfort.

I had Elitebook 8560w with QuadroFX 1000M, some i5 processor(up to 3.2Ghz) and SSD in it. It ran so smoothly! And guess what. Manufacture date of that Elitebook - 2009. Really???... What is happening, why they are so lazy and do not support PROs who want an iDevice without compromise.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
2,103
Wow, thank you for your answer, thank you a lot. I expected flame that I want too much so my point is seen - money/performance/pro apps usage - ratio.

I got the 2015 model for half the price of the newest one. For me it would be way too luxury to get the new one and I still need to get many L lenses where the ratio performance/price is really awesome - however, expensive as hell.
I can without any hesitation do all of my work in the office but that's not the direction/goal I am trying to achieve. I have no time so couple of minutes in the subway or in the tram help me to be really efficient at least to sort those hundreds of pictures.

Anyways, I will try to run Windows10. I know Windows run awesomely on MBP - I am only worried about the battery life. I can have two systems on 512Gb SSD that's not a problem.

But where is the the most honest philosophy of top brands making devices/tools for people who would like to support such symbiosis? We would really pay bunch of money to get what we really should get.

Yeah, you mentioned Adobe/Apple was way faster back in the days. Nowadays I can tell the difference. And why the ha*k they go with below average hardware and put it into a retina screen? I think it is the tuning, optimizing thing which makes the environment very fluent in the end.

What I am thinking right now is that I might have it couple of months and I will go somewhere and test Microsoft Surface laptop how it performs with Photoshop. I might sound silly but I am sad from the disappointment. You buy iDevice to serve you many years with smooth comfort.

I had Elitebook 8560w with QuadroFX 1000M, some i5 processor(up to 3.2Ghz) and SSD in it. It ran so smoothly! And guess what. Manufacture date of that Elitebook - 2009. Really???... What is happening, why they are so lazy and do not support PROs who want an iDevice without compromise.
Its what apple have always made as thin and light as they can with a thermal design that takes a great CPU and mid range GPU. If that is not what you needed then don't buy one, if your work means you need to understand computer specs then get on the internet and learn what you need to know to buy what you need for your workload and especially the apps you use.

Now take that same mac and start using it to edit 4k video in FCPX and then tell me its rubbish....
 

Chancha

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2014
919
790
Pure coincidence with the timing of this thread, Adobe just today updated their Lightroom and Photoshop CC to address performance concerns.

I spent only 15 minutes with LR (now called LR Classic), and have to say the modules switching, culling etc are noticeably faster on my 27" iMac.
 

tLustej.miCin

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 16, 2013
20
7
Prague, the Czech Republic
Its what apple have always made as thin and light as they can with a thermal design that takes a great CPU and mid range GPU. If that is not what you needed then don't buy one, if your work means you need to understand computer specs then get on the internet and learn what you need to know to buy what you need for your workload and especially the apps you use.

Now take that same mac and start using it to edit 4k video in FCPX and then tell me its rubbish....
Maybe you do not like my opinion. However, speaking of buying a MBP, there is not much to choose from anyways so if I want a mobile workstation without compromise - fyi - I can only choose one high performance configuration from each year MBPs are sold. One high performance MBP per one year. I really cannot choose. And I do not want to choose. You might be aware of a fact that any iDevice is just simple, just works(should work at least) etc. It is kinda dumb-proof. You just do, just work.

But there should be the philosophy of two top leading brands justified somehow. For your loads of money should not pay for the brand only. But for the reliability and experience than on any other competitor`s device out there.

I am not a professional video editor but I am slowly learning. I came from Filmora, from Sony Vegas and now I am doing some things with AE so I might appreciate in some time. Not sure if I will ever try FinalCutProX. Now I am doing graphics and that is my concern so far.

I know I must seem to be weird in my point but trust me from a purely practical view you just cannot say to me go and learn what is on the internet. There is a bunch of money invested in a professional device a lot of expectations throughout the years you will be having this device. And then how come if someone(me) has a comparison how MacOS and Win10 behave with Photoshop.

Pure coincidence with the timing of this thread, Adobe just today updated their Lightroom and Photoshop CC to address performance concerns.

I spent only 15 minutes with LR (now called LR Classic), and have to say the modules switching, culling etc are noticeably faster on my 27" iMac.
I just installed it and yeah, I can feel the improvement. I hope they will keep posting new updates. Haha what a coincidence. Maybe they heard me screaming... :-D
 

Penlocky

macrumors member
Feb 7, 2017
82
20
Have you thought of the new 2017 15" refurbish models? Just wondering.

In MacOS High Sierra, the animations and UI lags disappeared. It seems to me like they addressed the lag issue well. I have not used MacOS in the old times so I couldn't tell if MacOS is less stable nowadays or not.

What do you think of Affinity suit? I heard they are made specifically for Macs so its better optimised. Although your pro tasks sounds like you require adobe suit.