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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

2019 iMac 27-inch with 580X GPU
versus with Pro Vega 48 GPU

May 3rd, 2019 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

If you buy the 2019 iMac, should you order the optional Radeon Pro Vega 48 GPU? Or is the standard Radeon Pro 580X good enough?


iMac i9 + Vega 48 = 2019 iMac 27-inch, 3.6GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor, AMD Radeon Pro Vega 48 GPU (8G HBM2 memory)
iMac i9 + Pro 580X = 2019 iMac 27-inch, 3.6GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 processor, AMD Radeon Pro 580X GPU (8G GDDR5 memory)


The 1440p Aztec Ruins (High Tier) game play simulation was run in Offscreen mode. (HIGHER frames per second = FASTER.)


The Geekbench Compute Benchmark combines the results of eight GPU intensive computations including Sobel, Gaussian Blur, Face Detection, Depth of Field, and Particle Physics. (HIGHER SCORE = FASTER.)


The Hotel Scene was rendered with GPU only. (HIGHER Samples per Second = FASTER.)


Using the Atmospheric 600 frame HD template, we rendered a RAM preview while doing playback. (HIGHER frames per second = FASTER.)


The advantage of the optional Vega 48 ranged from 2% to 70%. At $450 extra or 20% more than $2299 base price, is it worth it? That depends on the GPU intensive apps you consider critical.

You could go with the standard Pro 580X and add a eGPU box later with a more powerful Vega GPU like the Radeon RX Vega 56, Radeon RX Vega 64, or Radeon VII. But keep in mind that the eGPU box + advanced GPU together may cost much more than $450 -- unless you already own them. And be advised that the bandwidth of the Thunderbolt 3 connection to the eGPU is much slower than the internal PCIe bus. Stay tuned for our report on some of those faster GPUs connected to the 2019 iMac via eGPU box.

Mahalo to the anonymous 'remote mad scientist' who ran the above tests on his iMac i9 with the Radeon Pro 580X GPU.

Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to email me, Follow me on Twitter @barefeats.

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copyright 2019 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"