Benchmarking AMD Radeon VII Gaming GPU with Mojave 10.14.5
May 15th, 2019 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
Updated June 18th with 2019 MacBook Pro results
AMD touts the Radeon VII GPU for Gaming and for "Content Creation Workloads." How does it compare to other Mac compatible GPUs?
cMP + VII = 2010 Mac Pro 12-core with Radeon VII GPU in slot one
iMac Pro + VII = 2017 iMac Pro 8-core with Radeon VII GPU in eGPU*
iMac i9 + VII = 2019 iMac i9 with Radeon VII GPU in eGPU*
nMP + VII = 2013 Mac Pro 8-core with Radeon VII GPU in eGPU*
rMBP '19 + VII = 2019 MacBook Pro 8-core with Radeon VII in eGPU*
iMac Pro + Vega 64 = 2017 iMac Pro 8-core with Radeon Pro Vega 64 GPU
iMac i9 + Vega 48 = 2019 iMac i9 with optional Radeon Pro Vega 48 GPU
cMP + RX 580 = 2010 Mac Pro 12-core with Radeon RX 580 GPU in slot one
nMP + D700s = 2013 Mac Pro 8-core with Dual FirePro D700 GPUs
rMBP '19 + 560X = 2019 MacBook Pro 8-core with Pro 560X GPU
*The eGPU box used in this test session was the OWC Mercury Helios FX 650. GPUs in the box were connected directly to the Dell UP2715K 27-inch 5K display when running the game tests.
TOTAL WAR: WARHAMMER II
The built-in "Skaven" benchmark was used with the Metal based game. (HIGHER frames per second = FASTER.)
RISE OF TOMB RAIDER
The built-in three phase benchmark was used with this Metal based game. (HIGHER frames per second = FASTER.)
The Aztec Ruins High Tier 1440p game simulation was run offscreen. (HIGHER frames per second = FASTER.)
DAVINCI RESOLVE 16 (METAL)
Single Node of Noise Reduction was applied to the Candle Project "Parrot" clip. The effect is rendered on the fly during looping playback. (HIGHER frames per second = FASTER.)
The Hotel Scene was rendered with GPU only. (HIGHER Samples per Second = FASTER.)
WHAT WE LEARNED
As of this writing, the AMD Radeon VII is the fastest GPU that the Apple Macs can use for both gaming and pro app GPU intensive tasks like DaVinci Resolve noise reduction.
Though the future is Metal, as you can see with LuxMark, the Radeon VII handles OpenCL tasks very well.
CAVEAT: The examples above are GPU intensive. Adding a Radeon VII will not speed up CPU intensive functions such as Adobe Lightroom export. Furthermore, some apps ignore the eGPU. Case in point is Lightroom's GPU intensive Enhance feature.
NOTE: Because of the Radeon VII's 295W TDP, when running the 2010 Mac Pro, we used an external power supply to supplement the GPU's power needs.
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