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2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch + eGPU running Pro Apps

May 20th, 2020 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

Adding an eGPU to the 'top' 2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch enables it to catch up to or pass the 2019 MacBook Pro 16-inch running pro apps.


GRAPH LEGEND

2020 rMBP 13-in + 5700XT = Mid 2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch, Intel Core i7-1068NG7 2.3GHz Quad-Core processor, Iris Plus integrated Graphics, and Radeon RX 5700 XT GPU with 8G GDDR6 memory inside the AKiTiO Node Titan eGPU plugged into Thunderbolt 3 port
2020 rMBP 13-in = Mid 2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch, Intel Core i7-1068NG7 2.3GHz Quad-Core processor, Iris Plus integrated Graphics

2019 rMBP 16-in = Late 2019 MacBook Pro 16-inch, Intel Core i9-9980HK 2.4GHz 8-Core processor, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M discrete GPU

Final Cut Pro X - BruceX Transcode to 4444 XQ
(LOWER time in seconds = FASTER)

2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch with eGPU does Final Cut Pro X transcode

DaVinci Resolve - Noise Reduction Playback
Candle 1080p Project's 1NR Preset. (HIGHER Frames per Second = FASTER)

2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch with eGPU running DaVinci Resolve playback

Lightroom Classic - Enhance 12 Images
(LOWER time in seconds = FASTER)

2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch with eGPU enhances images in Lightroom Classic

Photozoom - Upscale Image by 400%
(LOWER Time in Seconds = FASTER)

2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch with eGPU upscales image with Photozoom

WHAT DID WE LEARN?

One of the downsides of choosing the 13-inch MacBook Pro is the relative weakness of the Intel Iris Pro integrated graphics compared to discrete GPUs included in the 16-inch MacBook Pro or the 27-inch iMac. But when you need some major graphics muscle, there is always the eGPU solution.

As you can see from the graphs, the Radeon RX 5700 XT inside an eGPU box connected to one of the four Thunderbolt 3 ports of the 2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch can significantly boost of pro apps that 'lean upon' the GPU for certain functions.

We used "Prefer external GPU" option in the Get Info of FCPX and Lightroom to activate the eGPU's GPU. DaVinci Resolve and Photozoom use Preferences to select one or more GPU for rendering. Some apps will ignore the eGPU unless you connect a display to the desired GPU and make it primary.

Think of it: the 2.3GHz (Gen 10) 13-inch MacBook Pro costs $900 less than the 2.4GHz (Gen 9) 16-inch MacBook Pro with comparable memory and storage capacity. With some careful shopping, you could use the $900 you saved to purchase an RX 5700 XT GPU and eGPU box -- which can give you equal or better graphics performance than the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

IF you really prefer the 13-inch form factor, the eGPU solution rescues you from low performance when running GPU intensive pro apps.

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

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OTHER GOOD SOURCES
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Other World Computing sells memory, eGPUs, storage, and used Macs.

B&H Photo Video sells Apple products, GPUs, eGPUs, displays, storage, etc.

Funding of 2019 Mac Pro test unit for BareFeats Mad Scientist on his 75th Birthday

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copyright 2020 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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