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2023 MacBook Pro M3 Max: Lightroom Import/Export

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MPG tested both the 14-inch and 16-inch models Apple 2023 MacBook Pro M3 Max 128GB /4TB, model Z1AU002AK and model Z1AF001AN. See all Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max.


2023 MacBook Pro M3 Max

Ever popular Adobe Photoshop Lightroom ("Lightroom") requires that files be imported into its database before they can be worked on.

Import was done with Add (don’t copy) and generate 1:1 previews in parallel, no lookup of location, etc. Time was measured until the preview-generation progress bar disappeared.

Export was high-quality level 90 JPEG at full resolution, with no extra processing involved.

Disk I/O not a factor, the files being on a fast SSD.

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Lightroom Import/Export

RAW files 45/60/100/150 megapixels: 100 Fujifilm GFX100, 100 PhaseOneIQ4 150, 100 Nikon D850, 100 Sony A7R IV

The 2023 Mac Pro M2 Ultra easily beats-out the 28-core 2019 Mac Pro for Import, and edges it out on Export as well.

The surprise here is that the 16-inch 2023 MacBook Pro M3 Max takes 53% longer than the Mac Pro M2 Ultra for exporting JPEGs, exactly what one would expect (40 GPU cores vs 60).

The 14" model is consistently quite a bit slower than the 16" model. With the fans running particularly loud and on the 14" models, maybe the GPU is seeing thermal throttling? Clearly the 16-inch model is superior for Lightroom, and this is at a nice cool ambient temperature of 64°F.

The 16-inch 2023 MacBook Pro M3 Max takes only 13% longer for import, impressive given 40 GPU cores vs 60 for the Mac Pro.

2023 MacBook Pro: Lightroom import and export
2023 MacBook Pro M3 Max
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