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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

SHOOTOUT: Quad-Core Macs

Posted Friday, August 15th, 2014 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

So is the fastest Quad-Core i7 Retina MacBook Pro just as fast as the fastest Quad-Core i7 iMac? And how do both compare to the slowest 2013 Mac Pro -- which happens to sport a Quad-Core Xeon running at a higher core clock speed?

late 2013 nMP 4c
= 'late 2013' Mac Pro Quad-Core Xeon E5 3.7GHz with dual FirePro D300 GPUs, 12G of RAM, and 256G PCIe flash storage
late 2013 iMac i7 = 'late 2013' iMac 27" Quad-Core i7 3.4GHz with GeForce GTX 780M GPU, 16G of RAM, and 512G PCIe flash storage
mid 2014 rMBP i7 = 'mid 2014' Retina MacBook Pro 2.8GHz Quad-Core i7 with GeForce GT 750M GPU, Intel Iris GPU, 16G of RAM, and 1TB PCIe flash storage

Final Cut Pro X 10.1
We imported a 1080p ProRes 422 clip. Here's how long it took to render two different video effects. (RED graph bar means FASTEST in SECONDS.)

Tomb Raider
It conveniently includes a built-in benchmark. We use the "HIGH" preset with no VSYNC. (
RED graph bar means FASTER in Frames per Second.)

Left 4 Dead 2
We ran the TIMEDEMO of a recorded game sequence we call 'BF5.' The Advanced Settings were 4x MSAA, Anisotropic 8X, Vsync Disabled, Shader Detail Very High, Effect Detail High, Model/Texture Detail High, Multicore Rendering Enabled.
RED graph bar means FASTER in Frames per Second.)

Diablo III was set to Fullscreen, Vsync Disabled, High Quality with Anti-Aliasing Enabled. (RED graph bar means FASTER in Frames per Second.)

Cinebench R15 -- Render 3D Model with all Cores + Hyper-threading. (RED graph bar indicates fastest CB Rating)

GPUtest is a collection of OpenGL stress tests for single GPUs. FurMark is known as the "GPU burner." (RED graph bar means FASTEST in Frames Per Second.)

LuxMark is an OpenCL benchmark. We rendered the Sala 488K scene two different ways: all GPUs and all CPUs. (RED graph bar means FASTEST in Thousands of Samples per Second.)


CPU Crunching Power is a close match
In the CPU intensive tests (FCPX Aged Film, Cinebench Multi-Core, and Luxmark - CPUs only), the three Quad-Core Macs are very close in performance.

GPU Power varies significantly
The rest of the tests are GPU intensive. The iMac's GTX 780M rules Diablo III and Left4Dead2. The Mac Pro's D300s shine running the rest (FCPX Gaussian Blur, Tomb Raider, FurMark, and LuxMark - GPUs only). NOTE: Only LuxMark uses multiple GPUs.

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copyright 2014 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"