2019 16" MacBook Pro (RP5500M) [9th,8C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X Chroma) + macOS 10.15.1 [craftsman]
Pleased to present results to everyone who is curious about the new MacBook Pro 16".
I have the fully specced version with 32GB memory and 2TB SSD. I have paired it with the Radeon 5700XT Anniversary Edition.
Below I present the CPU and GPU results of the machine and the eGPU.
For the Radeon 5700 XT Anniversary Edition I only present the Unigene Valley results as I have posted results of this GPU before. There was a 200 point improvement using the the eGPU with the new Mac. Previously I used it with a 6 core MacBook Pro 2018 model.
I have a PC with 9900K and RTX 2080 Ti so I don't bother with Bootcamp.
The 5700 XT is my favourite safest choice for macOS eGPU. There is just a small bug at the moment that sometimes doesn't wake the monitor properly from sleep in clamshell mode.
That I'm not sure about - pretty sure it works with the stock drivers in Windows, but maybe the drivers aren't in Boot Camp yet? Hopefully, somebody who has one will chime in with more info.
You are my personal hero.
Do you have tested some game on it? Like League of Legend, Fortnite ecc.?
Real world stress test.
In this set up I attach a 4K display and an Eizo (1920x1200 resolution) to the RX 5700 XT.
On the Eizo I leave open Safari playing a Netflix title.
On the 4K display I launch Adobe Bridge and Photoshop 2020 which are said to be better optimised. Adobe claims Bridge and Camera Raw use Metal now, but you must apply the setting manually (screenshot of this attached below)
In Bridge I open a 20GB folder of very high resolution TIFF files. Each image is an uncropped 50 megapixel layered image.
After Bridge renders the thumbnails, first I try window resizing test.
With such a large amount of high resolution images, window resizing is slow with Adobe Bridge on macOS or Windows no matter how fast your CPU and GPU is. So it is important to size your window before you load images.
In the second part of the test, I open these images in Photoshop. I test some processor intense tools to see how responsive they are : Stamp Tool, Patch Tool, Content Aware Fill, Select Subject and Liquify. I'm happy to see that performance is very good and there is no lag.
The Activity Monitor app shows that almost all these operations are CPU bound and lean on the GPU for zooming, resizing and flick panning.
The important things to observe from this test and workflow set up:
i. Nearly all the Bridge and Photoshop operations rely heavily on the first CPU core. Photoshop relies on high clock speeds and doesn't care for high core counts. A 6-8 core CPU @ 5Ghz is much better than a CPU with more cores and lower clock speeds. Gamer Nexus confirms this in their review of the Ryzen 3950X in which Intel is still the best choice for apps like Photoshop.
ii. MacBook Pro 16" can now handle this configuration and heavy files very well and remains cool and silent. The previous generation 15" model would become loud and the throttling would cause these tools to become jerky under a heavy load.
iii. The RX5700 XT isn't fully utilised but if you really want great viewport performance then this GPU should be considered the minimum. In my veteran experience, viewport performance was previously much slower in macOS than Windows but now the gap is closing since the release of Photoshop 2020. At present the best configuration for silky smooth viewport performance is Windows+Nvidia.
My previous experience with the 15" MacBook Pro, Radeon VII (this card is poor for Photoshop, confirmed by Puget Systems) and Photoshop 2018-2019 was much slower than this. This progress should make professionals much happier.
One more thing. Coil whine in eGPUs can be disturbing. Every brush stroke in Photoshop sounded like a mouse squeaking inside the Razer Core X Chroma. Play music or a movie if you want to ignore it.
Your build looks great. I think I will try to build something similar. I want to pull the trigger on the Mac but I'm not sure which i9 to purchase. Would you recommend the 2.3 or 2.4ghz chip? Also, do you think 64 gigs of RAM is overkill? Thanks in advance.
2.3. The 2.4 will net zero performance gains. Usually those that need 64G memory already know they require it. Perhaps you could save and stick with 32.
Only you can make that decision If you load up your heaviest projects and check how much resources are used in Activity Monitor. For me 32GB RAM is sufficient and I need every megahertz of CPU and GPU power I can get. On some projects I will load dozens of images into Photoshop until they fill up the RAM and if the CPU and GPU don't have enough clock speed or cooling then I won't be able to work in real time.
@mac_editor Thank you for your thoughts. That is what I suspected but I wasn't 100% sure. I am waiting to see how the i9 benchmarks in upcoming reviews but so far, the base i9 looks like the right choice. Regarding RAM, you raised a very good point. I suppose my line of thinking is that I would rather have the RAM headroom available if I needed it as opposed to wishing I had bought it in the first place. I have been searching for right laptop for approximately 3 years now, and I am excited to pick up my first MacBook. I work as an Art Director so I rely heavily on Adobe products, but I have also picked up 3d modelling/rendering/animation and I wonder if the RAM will come in handy in the future. Thanks again!
@craftsman Thanks for your response. I suppose I'm not 100% sure if I can answer that question yet. I rely heavily on Adobe products but I have picked up a lot of 3d modelling/rendering/animation in the past 2 years, and I am hoping to integrate much more of it into my daily workflow. I wonder if running 3d simulations and having a ton of browser tabs open plus Adobe suite would really benefit from the 64 gigs or whether or not 32 gigs is enough. My current set up is only 16 gigs of ram and its always gasping for air so I would like to use a tool which can fly through what I throw at it. Thanks again for your input!