MacBook Pro - Quad vs Dual Core - Bottlenecks and Performance
 
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MacBook Pro - Quad vs Dual Core - Bottlenecks and Performance  

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Maven
(@maven)
Trusted Member
Joined: 5 years ago
 

Hello,

 

I have the opportunity to swap out my 13" 2016 tbMBP 2.9/512/8gb for a 2016 tbMBP 15" 2.9/1tb/16gb for $500.

There has been a lot of talk about bottlenecks and performance hinderance due to having a Dual/ULV or Dual Core chip vs a Quad.

 However, I have yet to stumble across any real world benchmarks or proof that this would be the case.

Obviously , some games like Civ 5 are CPU bound. Although, I would think my 1080 eGPU would carry a lot of the load.

However, I would like to know if there are other that have actually used both setups and could share some light on the subject.

How much better would a Quad be?

I'm preparing a copy of the eGPU Mod that user DSAUL completed only with a Zotac 1080 mini. (Awesome work DSAUL)  https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/2016-macbook-13-tb-akitio-thunder3-evga-gtx-1060-6gb/#

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 5 years ago
 

If a game is CPU-bound, the GPU cannot "carry the load". If anything, in such a case the CPU will bottleneck the GPU's performance further. Seeing as the future always blows in the direction of more parallelization, a quad-core CPU is always the superior choice, unless you want/need the better mobility brought by a lighter laptop.

Want to output 4K@60Hz out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."

 
2012 Mac Mini [3rd,4C,Q] + RX 480 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (Atto Thunderlink) + macOS 10.15.7 [build link]  


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Maven
(@maven)
Trusted Member
Joined: 5 years ago
 
 
Posted by: Yukikaze

 

If a game is CPU-bound, the GPU cannot "carry the load". If anything, in such a case the CPU will bottleneck the GPU's performance further. Seeing as the future always blows in the direction of more parallelization, a quad-core CPU is always the superior choice, unless you want/need the better mobility brought by a lighter laptop.

   

I don't NEED portability, I just prefer it. Smile

I have not toted around a 15" laptop in years! 

13" machines have been the max I was willing to carry.However,  the new 15" is 4lbs and thin as can be.

Specs of the 15" seem like a no brainer for a 1lb and slightly larger footprint increase. 

Darn decision stinks!

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 5 years ago
 

If I were you, I'd opt for the 15" version. I honestly don't see myself buying a dual-core laptop for my own use ever again.

Want to output 4K@60Hz out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."

 
2012 Mac Mini [3rd,4C,Q] + RX 480 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (Atto Thunderlink) + macOS 10.15.7 [build link]  


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harkonnen
(@mehenn)
Estimable Member
Joined: 5 years ago
 

Like the apple guy explained to me (I work in IT but his explanation actually was amazing simple):

 

Imagine we want to lift this table. How it is easier to lift it? With 2 people on the side or with 4 people on each corner?

I went for dual core i7 3.3 just because I like the 13" and the longer battery. But if I hadn't have only 15"s in the past 5 years, I would have gone for the quad core. I am just in the 13" phase of my life 😀

late-2016 13" Macbook Pro + GTX980@16Gbps-TB2 (TB3 to TB2 adapter) (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12.3
late-2016 13" MBP + Quadro M2000/FirePro WX5100/GTX750-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + macOS 10.12.3
(Custom Thunder cables)

 
2016 13" MacBook Pro [6th,2C,U] + GTX 980 @ 16Gbps-TB3>TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12.3 [build link]  


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noler
(@noler)
Eminent Member
Joined: 5 years ago
 
Posted by: Maven

 

 
Posted by: Yukikaze

 

If a game is CPU-bound, the GPU cannot "carry the load". If anything, in such a case the CPU will bottleneck the GPU's performance further. Seeing as the future always blows in the direction of more parallelization, a quad-core CPU is always the superior choice, unless you want/need the better mobility brought by a lighter laptop.

   

I don't NEED portability, I just prefer it. Smile

I have not toted around a 15" laptop in years! 

13" machines have been the max I was willing to carry.However,  the new 15" is 4lbs and thin as can be.

Specs of the 15" seem like a no brainer for a 1lb and slightly larger footprint increase. 

Darn decision stinks!

 

   

I went for dual core (having the same thoughts you've got right now), and I'm not regretting it at all. The 13" MBP is waaaay sexier than the 15" and I can play all the games I want with high stable fps (I have the same setup as dsaul). Seriously, you guys didn't buy Macbooks to game on did you? The eGPU solutions is just a big bonus.

I bought a 13" Macbook Pro Touch Bar (16GB RAM 512GB SSD) for a fast and extremely mobile laptop (with eGPU as bonus) if I'd really want a gamer rig, I would go for a PC desktop. Simple as that. :))

2016 13" MacBook Pro [6th,2C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10 // 120W AC adapter [build link]  

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Maven
(@maven)
Trusted Member
Joined: 5 years ago
 
Posted by: noler

 

Posted by: Maven

 

 
Posted by: Yukikaze

 

If a game is CPU-bound, the GPU cannot "carry the load". If anything, in such a case the CPU will bottleneck the GPU's performance further. Seeing as the future always blows in the direction of more parallelization, a quad-core CPU is always the superior choice, unless you want/need the better mobility brought by a lighter laptop.

   

I don't NEED portability, I just prefer it. Smile

I have not toted around a 15" laptop in years! 

13" machines have been the max I was willing to carry.However,  the new 15" is 4lbs and thin as can be.

Specs of the 15" seem like a no brainer for a 1lb and slightly larger footprint increase. 

Darn decision stinks!

 

   

I went for dual core (having the same thoughts you've got right now), and I'm not regretting it at all. The 13" MBP is waaaay sexier than the 15" and I can play all the games I want with high stable fps (I have the same setup as dsaul). Seriously, you guys didn't buy Macbooks to game on did you? The eGPU solutions is just a big bonus.

I bought a 13" Macbook Pro Touch Bar (16GB RAM 512GB SSD) for a fast and extremely mobile laptop (with eGPU as bonus) if I'd really want a gamer rig, I would go for a PC desktop. Simple as that. :))

   

I actually looking to do just that. Smile

 

I don't have the need for a second computer in the home. Would like to be able to share the workstation with others while not in use.

 

Workstation consisting of a monitor, desk, mouse and keyboard.

 

This way, if anyone in the household actually wants to do desktop work, it's there waiting for their laptop.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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enjoy
(@enjoy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 5 years ago
 
 

Why 13' is better - my point of view:

  • 13' Late 2016 Macbook without TouchBar  - 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 up to 3.4GHz, 16GB 1866MHz memory - $1,999.00 

 and Akitio Thunder2 or 3 and one GPU from 1050TI, 1060, 1070 and 1080 - instead of buying:

  • 15' Late 2016 Macbook with TouchBar and 460 4GB for $2999

You will save, $500 with 1050TI$400 with 1060$300 with 1070 and $50 with the best video card right now 1080 - and you will have better gaming performance even with 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 up to 3.4GHz procesor - 95% of the games are not CPU-bound... So:


1. FULL HD Gaming Mid-High settings - plug and play:

TOTAL: ~2500.00$ 


2. FULL HD Gaming all to the MAX settings (you will need to mod the Akitio case):

TOTAL: ~2600.00$


3. 2560x1600 pixels (Retina) Gaming HIGH-ULTRA settings  (you will need to mod the Akitio case):

TOTAL: ~2700.00$


4. 2560x1600 pixels (Retina) Gaming all to the MAX settings / 4k Gaming MID-HIGH  (you will need to mod the Akitio case):

TOTAL: ~2940.00$


*10x0 video cards don't have a drivers for macOS - only WINDOWS but Games are on Windows right Smile

 

 MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU

 
2012 13" MacBook Air [3rd,2C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 // external HDD Windows [build link]  


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Anchoricex
(@anchoricex)
Trusted Member
Joined: 5 years ago
 

I personally love the 13" form factor, I really wanted to go with it and it wasn't necessarily the lack of quad core that kept me from buying the 15" touchbar. It was the 15 having the AMD card built in. But I'm on an eGPU forum! Yes, that is true. 

AMD cards and Mac optimization for FCPX is out. of. this. world. The 4gb card will allow me to cut 4k/8k red footage like a hot knife through butter, it doesn't even struggle. So I have that for when I'm working in FCPX.

I also use DaVinci resolve for color work, where lots of VRAM is a must for good playback speeds while color grading. I've opted for the Akitio Node and a Maxwell GTX Titan X 12gb card. This gives me insanely good performance, and also gives me cuda cores necessary to do good work in Adobe programs like Premiere/After Effects. 

Since I knew I was going the eGPU route, the 15" allowed me to have both worlds. I have a 4gb AMD card for when I need to use OpenCL based software, and a 12gb card for when I need either CUDA demanding software or software that demands lots of VRAM. 

Outside of the world of gaming is where you're going to see bottlenecks from a dual core. 

But still, I would have much preferred to have the little 13" form factor. I was also disappointed that only half the USB-C ports on the 13" allowed the full bandwidth.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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