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2019 MacBook Pro 16-inch: Memory Bandwidth
Related: 2019 iMac 5K, 2019 MacBook Pro, 4K and 5K display, bandwidth, CPU cores, iMac, iMac 5K, laptop, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Macs, memory, memory bandwidth, thermal throttling
MPG tested the maxed-out $6099 Apple 2019 MacBook Pro 16-inch 2.4 GHz Intel Core i9 / 64GB / 8TB / Radeon Pro 5500M 8GB.
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This page uses the mt stress command of diglloydTools MemoryTester to evaluate available real-world memory bandwidth by a real application. Not to be confused with memory or CPU specifications—this is the real deal, what an application actually has available to it.
This test in effect forces the effects to be seen of both thermal throttling (extended intensive CPU usage), and the loss of Intel Turbo Boost (all CPU cores maxed-out). These figures represent what is possible with sustained memory access for 10+ minutes.
Memory bandwidth is especially important for more CPUs and/or fast ones because it can constrain how quickly data can be accessed by each CPU core.
Does memory bandwidth matter for real world applications?
For memory intensive computations, memory bandwidth can have a measurable effect on performance. But many applications require only modest bandwidth, since a great deal of computation is done relative to memory access. And if disk I/o is involved then memory bandwidth falls by the wayside. So it all depends.
With only 8 CPU cores it is not likely to be an issue and not much with 12 cores. But starting at 16 cores it is more and more of a factor (when all the cores are going full-tilt).
Results: Memory Bandwidth
The 2019 MacBook Pro tests as nearly identical to the 2018 MacBook Pro.
Both the 2018 and 2019 MacBook Pro have about 17% less usable memory bandwidth than the 2019 iMac 5K. Thus in any memory-intensive operation and even forgetting clock speed and thermal throttling, the 2019 iMac 5K always has an edge with its CPU cores getting faster access to memory (also, the iMac is not subject to thermal throttling and has a higher base clock speed).