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2018 MacBook Pro: diglloyd Adobe Photoshop Benchmarks
Related: 2015 MacBook Pro, 2017 iMac 5K, 2017 MacBook Pro, 2018 MacBook Pro, 4K and 5K displays, computer display, iMac, iMac 5K, laptop, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Macs, Mark S, memory, Photoshop, Thunderbolt
MPG tested a fully-loaded Apple 2018 MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.9 GHz 32GB 2TB Radeon Pro 560X. The only better model is the same configuration with a 4TB SSD.
These four benchmarks test the speed of Photoshop with different size workloads.
The amount of memory has a major influence on the diglloydLarge and diglloydHuge tests, and that is where 32GB in a laptop shines—see the results. By comparison, the late 2017 MacBook Pro was a performance disappointment, turning in inferior numbers to its predecessor and was also limited to 16GB—a major inhibitor of performance.
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The diglloyd Speed1 benchmark uses a mix of the most commonly used Photoshop operations with a file size that allows everything to stay in memory. Hence it accurately represents what one might expect in everyday use of Adobe Photoshop CC. Specialty operations such as Liquify and other GPU-intensive tasks are just that—specialty, and are not included in this suite.
The 2018 MacBook Pro kicks some butt here over the 2015 MacBook Pro; a 30% performance gain is rare even over several years. Since the 2015 MacBook Pro is just as fast as the 2017 MacBook Pro on this test, it follows that the 2018 MacBook Pro is big step forward from the 2017 MacBook Pro.
See also my most crucial Photoshop workflow task.
The diglloyd Medium benchmark uses a mix of the core Photoshop operations with a moderately larger file size that exceeds what most users are likely to use, taking about 15GB of memory usage in Photoshop. This puts it right on the edge of what a Mac with 16GB of memory can manage.
Since the 2015 MacBook Pro is just as fast as the 2017 MacBook Pro on this test, it follows that the 2018 MacBook Pro is major bump up the 2017 MacBook Pro.
The diglloyd Large Photoshop benchmark uses a mix of the core Photoshop operations with a large file size that exceeds what most users are likely to use, using about 30GB of memory in Photoshop.
With 32GB of memory, the 2018 MacBook Pro shows a huge performance gain vs the 2015 MacBook Pro (and hence versus the 2016 and 2017 models, which are limited to 16GB)
Since the 2015 MacBook Pro is faster than the 2017 MacBook Pro on this test, it follows that the 2018 MacBook Pro has made a leap seen only once in a decade.
The 2018 MacBook Pro cannot match the 2017 iMac 5K with 64GB memory but it is not that far off, and is in desktop class territory.
The diglloyd Huge benchmark uses a mix of the core Photoshop operations with a file size that requires about 56GB of memory usage in Photoshop, far beyond what most users are likely to encounter.
The amount of memory dominates here in overwhelming favor of the iMac 5K.
That the 2018 MacBook Pro with 32GB memory takes only 26% longer than the 2017 iMac 5K with 64GB is impressive. It indicates a highly performant CPU and SSD.
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Lloyd recommends 32GB RDIMM modules for most users (more expensive LRDIMMS are for 512GB or more).