The 16-inch MacBook Pro has been designed from the ground up, showing ample evidence that Apple has been listening to its creative professionals. It has a bigger, 16:10 display with a higher resolution panel capable of producing both sRGB and DCI-P3 colour profiles accurately.
Perhaps the most impressive is the reworking of the thermals, which allows the Core i9-9880H to run at its higher clock speeds for longer, leading to impressive performance, especially under prolonged, sustained loads such as exporting hundreds of super-high-resolution RAW files to JPEG using Adobe Lightroom.
For film-makers, FCP X leverages Intel's Quick Sync and the T2 chip to yield impressive video editing and noticeably fast export times, even with 4K files. The new machine manages to tick off all the necessary boxes for creative professionals, making it super easy to recommend.
The laptop had been rumoured for a very long time, with many people looking forward to it being real. Well, the laptop is finally here and we have been putting it through its paces in our labs to see whether the wait was worth it.
The MacBook Pro is powered by a 9th generation Intel Core i9-9880H processor. This eight-core CPU has a rated TDP of 45W, a base clock of 2.3GHz and a boost clock of 4.8GHz. In addition to the processor, there is also the AMD Radeon Pro 5500M discrete graphics with 4GB of GDDR6 memory along with 1TB storage and 16GB DDR4 RAM.
There aren't a lot of benchmarks available for MacOS, but the few that do test the system's performance tell a very promising story. On GeekBench 5, the MacBook Pro racks up a score of 1032 for single-core and 6355 for multi-core performance.
On Cinebench 20, the MacBook Pro scores 3155 points for the CPU and on Cinebench 15, the scores are 1279cb for the CPU and 114.2fps for OpenCL. The scores by themselves do not mean much, but where the 16-inch MacBook Pro really flexes its hardware is with respect to creative workloads. We benchmarked the machine using FCP X, Adobe's suite of apps for photo editing, video editing and even some VFX work.
We loaded up a few hundred RAW files from a Nikon D850 onto the MacBook Pro's internal drive to see how the machine would handle the load when processing them in Lightroom. The 45-megapixel RAW files are large enough to bring most systems to a crawl, not just in the develop module, but also while exporting them to disk. We run the export in batches of 50 files, 100 files and 500 files. On the first run of 50 files, the MacBook Pro manages to complete the process in 1 minute 16 seconds, while 100 RAW files took 2 minutes and 41 seconds.
The monstrous task of exporting 500 high-resolution RAW files to JPG in full quality was completed by the machine in 12 minutes and 48 seconds.
Interestingly, the XPS 15 is faster to export the 50 and 100 RAW files but falls terribly behind in the 500-file export task. On the MacBook Pro, we noted that during all export sessions in Adobe Lightroom, the clock speeds on the MacBook Pro didn't drop from the advertised speeds.
Apple products are extremely popular amongst the video community, so it is only natural to test out the new MacBook Pro 16-inch within that environment. On the 16-inch MacBook Pro, users not only get to leverage Intel's QuickSync technology, but also the dedicated T2 chip's video encode-decode capabilities.
We used both FCP X and Adobe Premiere for this leg of our testing. We loaded up a project in both the video editors. The project was a 5-minute timeline consisting of footage shot in 4K. It took FCP X a little over 5 minutes to export the 5-minute 41-second 4K video to a 4K, H.264 file and 3 minutes 26 seconds to render the same project in 1080p.
The speakers on the new MacBook Pro are definitely another impressive thing about this new laptop. Not only are they loud, but they are also very clear, even at their loudest. Each speaker grille hides a pair of tweeters and a sub-woofer, for a total of 6 speakers. The sub-woofers employ force cancellation, a method through which the vibrations generated by each sub-woofer is cancelled out by those of the other. Regardless of the genre of movies, the speakers will deliver good, clear and loud sound.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is not a simple refresh.