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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

PRO APP SHOOTOUT:
fastest 2013 Retina MacBook Pro
vs fastest 2012 Retina MacBook Pro
and fastest 2013 iMac

Posted Friday, November 1st, 2013 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
November 1st evening: reran Cinebench and Geekbench -- posted higher ratings
Thursday, November 7th, 2013 -- added results forcing the Iris Pro to do the graphics work.

How fast is the 2013 Retina MacBook Pro compared to the 'best' early 2012 Retina MacBook Pro? And how do both compare to the 'best' 2013 iMac? We have twelve tests that should help answer those questions.

GRAPH LEGEND
2013 iMac = 2013 iMac (27") with 3.5GHz Core-i7, 32GB of 1600MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M GPU (4G), and 512GB PCIe flash storage
2013 rMBP = 2013 Retina MacBook Pro (15") with 2.6GHz Quad-Core i7, 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M GPU (2G) and/or Iris Pro Integrated GPU (1G)*, and 512GB PCIe flash storage.
2012 rMBP = 'early 2012' Retina MacBook Pro (15") with 2.7GHz Quad-Core i7, 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M GPU (1G), and 512GB 6Gbps SATA flash storage

(
* gfxCardStatus was used to disable Dynamic Switching and force either the Intel Iris Pro or the GeForce GT 750M to run in four of the tests below.) All three were running OS X 10.9 Mavericks

OctaneRender 1.2.0 -- Render the Octane Benchmark Scene. (SMALLER number means FASTER total SECONDS)

Final Cut Pro X 10.0.9 -- Export of BruceX Video to H.264. (SMALLER number means FASTER total SECONDS)

REDCINE-X RED PLAYER (build 21 beta) -- Fast Forward through 228 Frame RED (R3D) video at Normal, Full, Fit Both, Enable OpenCL settings. (LARGER number means FASTER in FRAMES per SECOND)

DaVinci Resolve 10 beta 3 -- Render 4 nodes of Blur on the Fly during Playback. (LARGER number means FASTER in FRAMES per SECOND)

Motion 5 -- Render RAM Preview of Atmospherics Open HD Template (600 frames). (LARGER number means FASTER in FRAMES per SECOND)

HandBrake 0.9.9 -- Transcode WildLife 2min Video to iPad compatible format. (SMALLER number means FASTER total SECONDS)

PhotoZoom 5 -- Enlarge 49MB Photo by 400%. (SMALLER number means FASTER total SECONDS)

Cinebench R15 -- Render 3D Model using all cores. (LARGER number means FASTER CB Rating)

Geekbench 3 -- 64 bit Multi-Core Integer Performance Rating. (LARGER number means FASTER Geekbench Rating)

Geekbench 3 -- 64 bit Multi-Core Floating Point Performance Rating. (LARGER number means FASTER Geekbench Rating)

QuickBench 4.0.4 -- Small Random 4K to 1024K Size Writes (LARGER number means FASTER rate in MEGABYTES per SECOND)

AJA System Test -- Simulated Capture of 16GB HD Video Stream. (LARGER number means FASTER rate in MEGABYTES per SECOND)

OBSERVATIONS
CORRECTION: When a reader informed us that his Geekbench scores were higher than ours on the 2013 rMBP, we re-ran both Geekbench 3 and Cinebench R15. This time our ratings for both were significantly higher. Go figure. The graphs have been updated to reflect the better scores. And with that, the 2013 rMBP beat the 2012 rMBP in every test.

IS THE 2013 RETINA MACBOOK PRO THE BEST APPLE LAPTOP YET?
When it comes to CPU and GPU intensive apps, in some cases it is a leap forward in performance. In others, not so much. However, the new PCIe flash storage is a big leap forward. Plus, there are two new technologies we have not benchmarked yet: WiFi 802.11ac and Thunderbolt 2.0. So one could say that the 2013 is a refined Retina MacBook Pro with pockets of quantum performance leaps.

IS IT A REPLACEMENT FOR A DESKTOP MAC?
Not if you are running serious pro apps like OctaneRender or DaVinci Resolve or After Effects Ray-traced 3D -- each of which runs three times faster on the iMac. Unless you need portability, for only $200 more than the fastest 2013 Retina MacBook Pro you can get the fastest 2013 iMac (both with 16G of RAM and 512G flash storage).

IRIS PRO or GEFORCE GT 750M?
Notice we used gfxCardStatus to force the Iris Pro integrated GPU to be used in the FCPX, REDcine, Resolve, and Motion tests. With the exception of the FCPX Export test, it made very little difference versus the GeForce GTX 750M. And in our earliest article, you saw that the Iris Pro ran LuxMark OpenCL benchmark several times faster than the GeForce.

On the other hand, if you look at our GAMES page, the GeForce GT 750M was clearly superior to the Iris Pro. We published results using both GPUs to inform those of you wondering if you should buy the Retina MacBook Pro 15" model with Iris Pro only or the one with the GeForce GT 750M in addition to the Iris Pro.

Comments or Questions? Email me,

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WHERE TO BUY APPLE PRODUCTS
USA readers can help us earn a commission by using this Apple Store USA link or by clicking on any Apple display ad on this page. Students and Educators can save up to $200 on a new Mac by clicking HERE.

For UK readers, visit Apple Store UK.

WHERE TO BUY FACTORY REFURBISHED MACS
Apple Store USA has refurbished Macs with 12 month warranty that can be extended to 36 months with AppleCare. Pay attention to the GPU it comes with. Check with PowerMax, too, for used and refurbished Macs. They will even give credit for your trade-in.

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copyright 2013 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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