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2016 MacBook Pro: Adobe Photoshop Create Size Variants

Mac wish list •  all 2016 MacBook pro models at B&H Photo • all 15" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models •  all 13" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models. MPG gets credit if you buy through those links.

MPG tested a fully-loaded 2016 MacBook Pro with 2TB SSD.

This test is as real world as it gets, one that Lloyd does day in and day out for generating lens rendering aperture series. This particular job was one performed only a few days prior for this lens comparison, repeated here on all four test machines.

At least that is the only plausible explanation for how the 2016 MacBook Pro 13" 2.4 GHz dual-core model (turbo boost to 3.4 GHz) beats out but one of the other Macs—it’s an insane result. But running and re-running the tests several times keeps confirming the same thing.

Photoshop does not use CPU cores well for this test, though it is not single threaded. Past testing has showed that Photoshop does not scale well due to increasing scheduling inefficiencies with more cores. So with 2 cores, its overhead is at a minimum. Combine that with a workflow test that doesn’t use cores well, and it affords a reasonable explanation.

The best time for each Mac is shown. There was significant variability, for unknown reasons (system was rebooted, the 6.1GB file opened, and everything observed to be idle before testing).

What these results do not show is that the 2016 MBP tends to more variable in its performance (perhaps because of tuning for power consumption?); its 414 second result was 432 seconds in another run—slower than the 2013 MacBook Pro, which turned in times of 425 and 431 seconds. The variability for the 2016 MBP was observed in more one test (best results shown for all machines).

The MPG 2013 Mac Pro with dual D700 GPUs, 64GB memory, 1TB SSD, and custom upgrade to the fastest Intel Xeon chip (3.3 GHz 8-core) still is beaten by the late 2015 iMac 5K, but it does beat out the two MacBook Pros. It has 8 CPU cores, but Photoshop uses at most 2-3 cores for this job, so the slower CPU speed means the Mac Pro loses out.

Photoshop CC 2017: 21 x 36-megapixel layers in 6.1GB file: resize, sharpen, convert profile, save as JPEG 12 size variants

Test machine notes

All systems are/were the fastest available in their category excepting the 13" 2016 MBP.

Unfortunate twist due to machine availability: the 2015 MacBook Pro and 13" 2016 MacBook Pro were run with macOS 10.12.2. All other Macs with 10.12.1. Retesting the Mac Pro did not suggest that the system version matters, but it cannot be ruled out.

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