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2019 Mac Pro: Image Scaling with Topaz Labs Gigapixel AI

2019 Mac Pro

MPG tested the $9399 Apple 2019 Mac Pro with 384GB OWC memory vs the top-end $3849 2019 iMac 5K 3.6 GHz Intel Core i9 8-core / Vega 48 with 128GB OWC memory. The memory difference is not a factor in this test.

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Gigapixel AI does very high quality image scaling. It is extremely GPU intensive (though it can be run with the GPU disabled and use CPU cores instead).

Results

Tests were run using the GPU and also using CPU cores with the GPU disabled and both approaches are shown.

The 2019 iMac 5K with AMD Radeon Pro Vega 48 outperforms the 2019 Mac Pro with AMD Radeon Pro 580X by 16% or so. The 580X has only about 80% GPU utilization, for unknown reasons, but it is a consistent behavior in various applications.

When CPUs are used (no GPU), the iMac 5K takes 40% longer.

* Shame on Apple for shipping an outdated underperforming base GPU in their flagship Mac which starts at a base price more than 50% higher than the 2019 iMac 5K! Basically, to get a decent GPU, you have to upspend another $2400 for the AMD Radeon Pro Vega II, at least until the W5700X becomes available.

Performance

2019 Mac Pro: scale 60MP Sony A7R IV image to 240 megapixels using Gigapixel AI

GPU Utilization Analysis

As seen below, GPU utilization is about 80% with the AMD Radeon Pro 580X in the 2019 Mac Pro, but 100% with the AMD Radeon Pro Vega 48 in the 2019 iMac 5K.

2019 Mac Pro: AMD Radeon Pro 580X GPU usage in Gigapixel AI,
2019 iMac 5K: AMD Radeon Pro 580X GPU usage in Gigapixel AI,

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