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2013 Mac Pro: Lightroom Import
This test might be near and dear to the hearts for any pro who shoots raw on assignment but needs to deliver JPEG output on a short schedule.
128 Nikon D800E NEF files (14-bit lossless compressed format, 5.8GB of originals) were converted to max-quality JPEG. (3.56GB output size). Thus there is significant I/O involved, but given the very fast SSDs, this should be a very minor influence (well under 10 seconds).
In Lightroom 5.3, the same files were imported with 1:1 previews/
See the test machine configurations.
The 8-core 2013 Mac Pro shows beats out the 12 core 2010 Mac Pro with a ~26% reduction in running time both in Photoshop/ACR to JPEG and the Lightroom import tasks.
The 6-core 3.5 GHz Mac Pro lags the 3.3 GHz Mac Pro by only ~11% or so, suggesting that it would nearly match and possibly beat Apple’s 3.0 GHz 8-core.
At ~4.1 to ~4.4 seconds per raw file, Nikon D800E files are no trivial task. There is ample room for improvement if Adobe could put both GPUs of the 2013 Mac Pro to work.
Better use could be made of CPU cores: the 4-core Mac Pro lags the 6-core by 11% even though the 6-core has ~50% greater compute power. Not a strong implementation here.
The MacBook Pro acquits itself very well in this context.