2016 MacBook Pro TESTED: Photoshop Performance
Mac wish list • all 2016 MacBook pro models at B&H Photo • all 15" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models • all 13" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models. MPG gets credit if you buy through those links.
See 2016 MacBook Pro: Compatibility Hardware (USB, Thunderbolt, Camera Card Readers, etc).
The 2016 MacBook Pro does not have the chops for larger Photoshop tasks. Moreover the performance of the fastest-possible 2016 MacBook Pro is scarcely faster than the 2013 model for in-memory work. This 2016 MacBook Pro is not an upgrade in terms of getting work done in Photoshop. It is a 'dud' upgrade. You are buying Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports (and incompatibility), a faster SSD and nicer screen.
See the three different tests:
2016 MacBook Pro: diglloyd Photoshop Benchmarks
There is no meaningful argument in favor of upgrading for a Photoshop user, excepting really large editing jobs in Photoshop, in which case the faster SSD of the 2016 MacBook Pro helps a great deal. But anyone doing that on a regular basis should be using a Mac Pro or iMac 5K.
I am seriously doubting that spending close to $4800 (with AppleCare and tax) on a top-flight 2016 MacBook Pro makes any sense at all. My original premise was that (a) I needed Thunderbolt 3 for testing (still true), and (b) that there would be real world gains for the things I do in Photoshop. The latter premise is proven false, making me seriously consider returning the 2016 MacBook Pro and sticking with my 2013 MacBook Pro Retina, which still performs like a champ and has none of the port hassles. Plus perhaps a revised Mac Pro or iMac 5K will come along in 3-4 months, with Thunderbolt 3. I’d rather spend my money there than so much on a laptop which will perform the same as my 3-year-old one.
If you want a new MacBook Pro, you may be better off with a discounted 2015 MacBook Pro at B&H or discounted MacBook Pro at OWC, though they are selling out fast and are not likely to last long—buyers are voting with their wallets. Excepting the SSD, the 2015 model will be just as fast and with none of the port hassles.