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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

Shadow of the Tomb Raider running on Pro Mac Desktops

November 11th, 2019 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

Which combination of Pro Mac and Pro GPU produces the highest frame-rates when running Shadow of the Tomb Raider?


= 2010 Mac Pro with 12-core 3.33GHz Xeon X5680 CPU
iMP = 2017 iMac Pro with 8-core 3.2GHz Xeon W-2140B CPU
nMP = 2013 Mac Pro with 8-core 3.0GHz Xeon E5-1680 CPU

Pro Vega 64 = iMac Pro's built-in Radeon Pro Vega 64 (16GB HBM2 memory)
VII = Radeon VII (16GB HBM2 memory)
5700 XT = Radeon RX 5700 XT (8GB DDR6 memory)
RX 580 = Radeon RX 580 (8GB GDDR5 memory)
D700 = 2013 Mac Pro's built-in FirePro D700 (6GB GDDR5 memory)

TEST DETAILS: All Macs were running macOS 10.15.1 Catalina. The optional GPUs for the iMac Pro and 2013 Mac Pro cylinder were installed in various eGPU boxes from Other World Computing and Sonnet Technologies.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Used the built-in three phase benchmark. Settings included High quality, AMD FidelityFX CAS enabled, VSYNC off, and TAA Anti-Aliasing. (HIGHER Frames per Second = FASTER)

AMD RX 5700 XT versus other GPUs running Warhammer II Skaven gaming benchmark

AMD RX 5700 XT versus other GPUs running Warhammer II Skaven gaming benchmark

AMD RX 5700 XT versus other GPUs running Warhammer II Skaven gaming benchmark


The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT scored 1st or 2nd in the Shadow of the Tomb Raider game benchmarking. And at a fraction of the price of the Radeon VII, it is the new 'sweet spot' in macOS gaming GPUs.

Of the three Macs, the 2010 Mac Pro tower landed at the top of the heap. Plus the strong performing RX 5700 XT runs in the tower using only the factory PCIe bay power feeds. (The Radeon VII required external supplemental power.)

With the 2017 iMac Pro and 2013 Mac Pro cylinder, optional GPUs were installed in eGPU boxes. To force the Mac to use an external GPU to render the game, we checked "Use External GPU" in the Get Info screen for Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

With all three pro Macs, we used the Dell UP2715K 5K connected directly to the GPU using dual DisplayPort cables, thereby making it a true Retina display and squeezing out the maximum FPS.

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

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

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