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FAO Bill - or anyone looking at the new MacBook Pro....

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Tom Sefton
FAO Bill - or anyone looking at the new MacBook Pro....
on Feb 12, 2017 at 10:35:47 pm








Around the 12min mark it gets interesting. Fcpx gets huge performance from a laptop with less ram and a huge GPU disadvantage, although this seems to be waylaid by larger projects. Perhaps an indicator that the rumoured future updates to the MBP line with more ram and Kaby lake chips could be very welcome.

Jarred Land has posted some cool comparison tests on his Facebook page showing the speed differences with red footage, and the performance boosts from an external GPU via a thunderbolt 3 port on the razr and dell xps are incredible. If Apple can open up egpu coding then at some point the MBP is going to be a serious workhorse for even the most demanding projects with the addition of a £300 akitio GPU box and your GPU of choice....

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Bill Davis
Re: FAO Bill - or anyone looking at the new MacBook Pro....
on Feb 13, 2017 at 8:07:47 am

And it conforms with my experience from a year ago when my then new SSD MacBook Pro seemed to FLY through projects.

Seems like "specs" truly don't always tell the entire "how does this thing actually work in the real world?" story.

Also appears to make things a bit sticky for some of the folks who live and die by the concept that Apple hardware is so universally "overpriced."

Yes, the next few years should be fascinating.

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Joe Marler
Re: FAO Bill - or anyone looking at the new MacBook Pro....
on Feb 13, 2017 at 1:40:33 pm

[Tom Sefton] "Around the 12min mark it gets interesting. Fcpx gets huge performance from a laptop with less ram and a huge GPU disadvantage,"

Note he was testing the top-spec Razer Blade Pro against a mid-spec MBP. The top-spec MBP using 2.9Ghz CPU and Radeon Pro 460 would have been considerably faster than the MBP he tested, and it would have still cost $830 *less* than the Razer Blade Pro (at current US prices). This is very different from the Mac stereotype of "it's lighter, thinner, and looks great but it's more expensive". In this case a top-spec Apple solution would have cost 22% less and weighed 90% less.

Since he didn't test the top-spec MBP it's unclear what the performance difference would have been, but the GeekBench 4 GPU test shows the Radeon Pro 460 is about 26% faster than the Radeon Pro 455 he used. The hulking GTX-1080 in the Windows machine would have still been faster on some tests but the difference would have been less.

He also didn't test battery life, but on tests by laptopmag.com, the 2016 15" MBP lasted 10 hr 32 min vs the Razer Blade Pro lasting 2 hr 45 min. So the GTX-1080 looks really good until you have to provide power and use it in a real world environment.

That said, several of his tests were skewed by FCPX's better performance which wasn't really fair if it's intended as a laptop hardware test.


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Oliver Peters
Re: FAO Bill - or anyone looking at the new MacBook Pro....
on Feb 13, 2017 at 7:59:29 pm

[Bill Davis] "Seems like "specs" truly don't always tell the entire "how does this thing actually work in the real world?" story."

I would agree with this. I posted this link to a review I wrote earlier in another thread unrelated to this topic.

https://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/hp-z1-g2-workstation/

Note that the high-performance HP all-in-one was only configured with 16GB RAM, but still handily outperformed my older Mac Pro tower with more RAM. I routinely work with maxed out MBPs, which limit at 16GB of RAM. They easily stand up to desktop systems most of the time. Especially with FCPX.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Chris Harlan
Re: FAO Bill - or anyone looking at the new MacBook Pro....
on Feb 13, 2017 at 10:17:28 pm

Thanks! That was useful. I was contemplating that very thing.


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Dominic Deacon
Re: FAO Bill - or anyone looking at the new MacBook Pro....
on Feb 14, 2017 at 6:49:16 am

I saw a very similar comparison only they also drafted in the Dell XPS 15 as well as the MBP and the Alienware. There seems something misfiring in the Alienware as it underperformed on that one again as the Dell outclassed them both. It was also the cheapest of the bunch by a fair distance from memory.


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Bret Williams
Re: FAO Bill - or anyone looking at the new MacBook Pro....
on Feb 14, 2017 at 3:16:05 pm

On a day to day performance, I can tell you my iMac from 2012 is a much more solid machine. I'm using the MacBook Pro 2016 (top of the line). Just a couple layers of unrendered effects send the fans roaring. And FCPX has no noticeable difference in performance. Even when Im running all the media off the insanely fast internal.

And when Ive got it hooked up to LG thunderbolt monitor, Pegasus raid, and AJA, you can count on 4-5 crashes a day of the entire system. Probably due to the adapters and such not reconnecting when it goes to sleep.

The keyboard is pretty cheap too but Im sorta getting used to it. The ports on the right don't really click in like the ports on the left either. You really have to mash the cable in all the way on the right. Overall the build of the 2016 feels cheap to me. The track pad is this cheesy little hollow click. Not like previous laptops with a good solid click.

Oh, and the battery life flat out sucks. It forces you to use the 4gig GPU with and sort of media related app like affinity or FCP which will suck a battery dry in 2 hours. Otherwise you can count on 3-5 hours for the battery. And that's with the screen brightness way down. The touch bar us constantly having errors, freezing, etc. But the only app that has used it for anything worthwhile is Photos, and Affinity Photo.

So I haven't done any major rendering tests, but day to day, using it as my main machine is a lesser experience than using my solid 2012 imac with 32 Gigs. I've only switched to the MacBook because I need the portability.

_______________________________________________________________________
http://BretFX.com FCP X Plugins & Templates for Editors & Motion Graphics Artists


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Tom Sefton
Re: FAO Bill - or anyone looking at the new MacBook Pro....
on Feb 14, 2017 at 5:04:14 pm

Interesting. I've heard of issues with thunderbolt peripherals causing crashes when they go to sleep but never experienced it on either an iMac, Mac Pro or 2012 MacBook Pro Retina. Has apple support had anything to say about the crashes as that sounds like something that is fixable. The worrying cheap build comments don't sound fixable though!

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Andrew Kimery
Re: FAO Bill - or anyone looking at the new MacBook Pro....
on Feb 14, 2017 at 7:44:03 pm

I'm not surprised about the X vs PPro numbers (as the speed of X on iMacs and MBPs has been well documented) unfortunately it's doesn't mean much if you work outside of Apple's ecosystem.


[Oliver Peters] "I routinely work with maxed out MBPs, which limit at 16GB of RAM. They easily stand up to desktop systems most of the time. Especially with FCPX."

Out of curiosity, do you typically run multiple apps concurrently? I usually do and across two Mac Pros (one cheese grater and one trash can) my RAM usage is usually between 14 and 23gigs. I also typically peg the RAM limit in my MBP too. I know I could just keep closing and reopening apps as needed, but that seems like a very 1995-era solution. 😉


[Tom Sefton] "Interesting. I've heard of issues with thunderbolt peripherals causing crashes when they go to sleep but never experienced it on either an iMac, Mac Pro or 2012 MacBook Pro Retina."

I think the the 2016 MBP has it's own set of issues uniquely related to the current state of using USB-C adapters.


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Oliver Peters
Re: FAO Bill - or anyone looking at the new MacBook Pro....
on Feb 14, 2017 at 9:03:54 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Out of curiosity, do you typically run multiple apps concurrently?"

No, I'm usually pretty strict about closing apps when I don't need them. Typically when I work in Premiere, I might also have Photoshop and AME open, but that's about it. I don't do a lot of Dynamic Linking either. So I use AE only when I actually need it. When I cut with FCPX, it's usually just that. When I'm in a situation to cut on a laptop, it's usually a behind-the-scenes corporate event gig, so there isn't as much need to bounce between many other apps. My other work is usually on a desktop system.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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andy patterson
Re: FAO Bill - or anyone looking at the new MacBook Pro....
on Feb 15, 2017 at 2:04:53 am

I see people's opinion's very from user to user about the old Mac Pro Vs the new Mac Pro. That is why I started a new thread about upgrading the older 2009 Mac Pros. Perhaps FCPX works better with dual AMD GPUs and Premiere Pro works better with two CPUs and one Nvidia GPU. With the older Mac Pro you have more options and that maybe why people get such different results. Having said that different laptop configurations will yield different results.


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Bret Williams
Re: FAO Bill - or anyone looking at the new MacBook Pro....
on Feb 15, 2017 at 3:56:37 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "I think the the 2016 MBP has it's own set of issues uniquely related to the current state of using USB-C adapters."

Might be true. I'm kinda reserving my final judgement until I do a complete reinstall from the OS up and get my hands on the OWC TB3 breakout box. I think perhaps the TB and usb dongles could be problematic. Right now I'm using one TB adapter to step down to TB2 to drive my display, raid, and AJA) all in a series, a USB dongle to drive my USB 2 hub. I also have power plugged into a third USB C port. The open port I use to attach random USB3 portable drives. I use USB C to USB 3 cables for those. For most things, a cable is a simpler cleaner better idea than a dongle/adapter. So with the OWC TB3 hub I'm hoping that the dongle/adapters/crasing issues is solved. I have no problems when using the laptop just as a laptop. so it's definitely hardware/driver related. Could be the AJA as AJA and BMD products really aren't too happy about being hot swapped.

_______________________________________________________________________
http://BretFX.com FCP X Plugins & Templates for Editors & Motion Graphics Artists


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Tom Sefton
Re: FAO Bill - or anyone looking at the new MacBook Pro....
on Mar 15, 2017 at 7:26:24 pm

I've just noted on another forum that the akitio e-GPU thunderbolt 3 device is going to be Mac compatible with an update to the range in the next month, meaning you can pair a high spec GPU with the new MacBook Pro for high resolution projects. Cool.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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