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Home / Technology / MacBook Pro with Vega 20 performs in advance and performance

MacBook Pro with Vega 20 performs in advance and performance

I9 MacBook Pro is a technique and design that Apple has played for the last three models, but the choices made at the start of the line, echoing up to today, cut a little bit of what the computer might be like.

  MacBook Pro Vega 20

MacBook Pro with Vega 20 GPU.

The latest MacBook Pro retains the fourth major body design that the product line has seen. The new design listens a lot to the manufacturing techniques used for the Retina MacBook, MacBook Air and iPad, with designs that are thicker than 0.61

inches (15.5 mm), making it thinner than MacBook Air.

Apple's highest 15-inch MacBook Pro is still available in standard Silver and a darker Space Gray finish.

As before, the Touch ID button is still physical and it acts as an emergency to force a shutdown in case of a naughty kernel as well as for authentication after you log in. Other power features are automatically handled by default while the user opens and closes the lid to wake or sleep the machine. [19659005] The touch line remains polarizing, unchanged from previous models, and we are not going to discuss it here.

With the numbers

The whole point of the 2017 MacBook Pro update was the addition of Kaby Lake. 2018 has taken it a little longer with Coffee Lake and DDR4 RAM in the 15-inch model. The November shipment of the Vega 16 and 20 models takes it a bit longer – for a little more money.

For this review, we investigate the 2.9GHz 15-inch MacBook Pro with 9-processor, 512GB of flash storage and 32GB of RAM. The retail price of this configuration with Vega 20 is $ 3849.

Keypad, again and again

The keypad. Again, we've reviewed this before, in our 13-inch MacBook Pro review, and the 15-inch i7 released on WWDC.

  MacBook Pro Keyboard

Keyboard key is minimal on MacBook Pro.

It's still rubber seal. It's still slimmer than in 2015. It's still polarizing, depending on what you're feeling about key travel, and we still do not know if reliability is any better than 2016 or improved 2017.

But with regard to reliability While Apple has a repair program For the 2016 and 2017 model, it is not an epidemic of errors that spans every user around the world. We are not thrilled that it is less reliable than the 2015 keyboard, but it is not a widely spread phenomenon.

Even better GPU than before, but at a price

Radeon Pro 555 and Radeon Pro 560 are shipped in the 2017 model. The 2018 model used to have "X" versions of both, with slightly better performance and more video RAM.

With the update in November, 555X has been dumped in favor of the Radeon Pro 560X as standard, with user options for the Vega 16 and Vega 20 chipsets.

There has been some confusion about the choice of using the Vega 20 name for one of the two options, as it is believed by enthusiastic PC users that Vega 20 will be the first GPU from the Company using a 7-nanometer process. The graphics-class GPU is said to include between 16 GB and 32 GB of HBM2 and requires between 150 watts and 300 watts to drive, which can be generously described as undesirable for the use of notebooks.

So this is not it.

  MacBook Pro Heat Pipe

Heat Piping Position with a 560X GPU versus the new Vega 20 configuration.

Vega 16 and Vega 20 are, in any case, support for second generation high-bandwidth memory (HBM2) that provides some additional bonuses compared to the more common GDDR5 memory used in other graphics cards. As the name suggests, it provides significantly more memory bandwidth per chip relative to GDDR5, while it uses less power, and it's on the GPU doors, making it easier to cool.

As it has been doing for a decade, macOS can be automatically enabled and switched to the dedicated GPU when necessary and fall back to integrated graphics to save energy. In these cases, the graphics ratio is a hair faster than the previous generation's integrated chipset, but there is nothing to notice.

True Tone Display

There is much to say about True Tone. In short, Apple's True Tone technology takes input from a few sensors on the screen, and will change the settings of the internal display and compatible external to take into account the lighting conditions in the room.

This is unchanged from the previous model. We said that we would tell you how we felt about it in a few months from a daily perspective, and the judgment is still out for us. We enable it for general use, and turn it off for applications that require precise color. That's maybe what Apple thought in the first place.


MacBook Pros TrueTone screen.


Get as much RAM as you can afford on purchase. As we have said before, it's a valuable buy if you want to keep the machine for four years or more.

As with the summer update, Apple has moved to DDR4 RAM to get the 32GB option as it could not literally & # 39; Do not get there with LPDDR3 RAM. The inclusion is both faster than LPDDR3, and more power hungry. And it is also warmer, which complicates an already dense thermal situation.

Silicon Testing

The model's i9 CPU has a base clock speed of 2.9 GHz and a maximum 4.8 GHz amplifier. Geekbench 4 is not the whole story, but the results for this i9 Macbook Pro are an emphatic improvement from the top spec 2017 model.

With Geekbench 4's OpenCL Graphics test, Vega 20 achieves 37 percent better score than 560X. Geekbench 4's metal test showed an improvement of 23 percent.

One thing we noticed was that the Vega 20 graphics in the MacBook Pro went cooler compared to the 560X thanks to efficiency improvements. Now this can lead to more benefits, but we talk about it a little more.

Now on some more serious references: Final Cut Pro X video editing.

Starting to stabilize a 20-second 4K clip in Final Cut Pro X, MacBook Pro with Vega 20 only took 8 seconds compared to 13 at 560X. Exporting a 5-minute 4K clip, Vega 20 took 3 minutes and 21 seconds compared to 3 minutes and 44 seconds at 560X, which is not too big of a difference.

But when we start using a more powerful format, like the 4K RAW from the Canon C200, we see a much greater difference. Vega 20 exported a 5 minute 4K C200 RAW clip in 13 minutes and 54 seconds compared to 18 minutes and 30 seconds.

The real difference is how well every MacBook plays the recording while editing. Vega 20 was able to play 4K C200 Graded RAW recording at 31 frames per second compared to just 20 at 560X. With Vega 20, you get perfect smooth playback, even if you've shot 30 frames per second. There are only a few FPS behind the Blackmagic RX 580 eGPU connected to the 15-inch MacBook Pro.


The 15-inch i9 MacBook Pro is a hot machine. Although it's pretty good, it's not the heat we're referring to. It's hot in all respects, in a very small chassis.

But there are some efficiencies in Vega 20 that we did not see in the Radeon Pro 560X. During the test, the CPU speed in the Vega 20 model has exceeded the baseline speed under load with a higher margin than 560X in the same 20C office as we ran the test initially.

  MacBook Pro Termals

MacBook Pro thermal performance.

In our Red RAW export, which pushes the CPU and GPU to its limits, the i9 processor ran at an even 2.9 GHz compared to just 2.4 GHz in our previous 560X graphics test.

We also tested the Cinebench R15 CPU test to take the graphics out of the equation and the i9 processor scored 57 points higher with Vega 20 graphics compared to 560X graphics so Apple definitely improved something – but we're just not secure on

  Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15 results.

As far as video editing is concerned, Vega 20 is more than a worthwhile upgrade for the extra performance you get.

Flash speeds blare [19659009] The drive is absolutely no slouch. Running the BlackMagic Disk Speed ​​Test after the machine had been indexing for three days, we saw a write speed of 2790 megabytes per second.

Other sites claim that this is due to APFS cloning, but after consultation with BlackMagic we have confirmed that it is not the case and the speeds are real.

Thunderbolt 3

The USB-C is not the end of the world, but it is an adjustment for the users. That adjustment is better actually done, than struggling with using half-baked solutions. The USB-C-to-whatever connectors are cheap and plentiful. Complain everything you like, but Thunderbolt 3 with the USB-C connector is a universal port for video, power and data, far faster than USB 3.0, and is a game switch for usage issues, if you let it help you and fight it less.

  Thunderbolt 3

MacBook Pro Thunderbolt 3 porter.

A solution that can keep the adapter costs down if you're hell of not recovering peripherals is a Thunderbolt dock. While Thunderbolt 3-docks start at $ 199 store, Apple Thunderbolt 2 to the $ 49 Thunderbolt 3 Adapter will work nicely if you want to use an older dock with newer equipment, which possibly gives a view to a Thunderbolt 2 (or to and with original Thunderbolt) docks cheaper than a bag full of adapters.

Furthermore, if you are considering an external GPU, many of the USB-A and Ethernet ports have an in-car accessory that does not cost much more than a dock does. If all you need is some USB-A ports, get a USB 3.0 dock, along with a USB-C to USB-B cable for around $ 8. The problem solved.

Better Video, Better Computer, More Money

If you enjoyed MacBook Pros price usage, Vega options provide a decent performance package for your money. If you were not satisfied with the price compared to Windows machines, this would not help a bit.

  MacBook Pro Vega 20

Editing video on MacBook Pro with Vega 20 is a dream.

You can say everything you want it to be cheaper Wintel suppliers and you're right. Get the right tool for the right job. If Windows makes you happy, by all means, head over. But the i9 MacBook Pro from the summer was the right tool for MacOS users, with Vega 20 and more for users.

But as the model the supplants, it still can not be for everyone, and that's fine.

Result 4 of 5

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