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new macbook pro Hardware advice

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I am about to buy a new Macbook Pro 15'.  This is my only computer as I travel a lot and carry my work everywhere.

I am a lighting designer and therefore render 3D set models with lighting.


I can afford to boost my expensive new toy only with one feature.  CPU, RAM or Graphic card.

Which on will speed my render the most? 

1- Going from Intel hexacore i7 2.6 Ghz to Intel hexacore i9 2.9 Ghz?

2- Going from 16 Go of RAM to 32 Go of RAM?

3- Going from Radeon Pro 560x 4Go GDDR5 to Radeon Pro Vega 20 4Go HBM2?


Thanks for the advise.


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If you render for longer time the i9 won't be faster as the thermal limit and so throttling

is given by the small body and so same for both.

The i9 will help only for short burst loads.



It will not really get faster if you have more RAM than you need. But it will get really slower

when you have less RAM than you need.

And as it is not upgradeable, I would go with 32 MB, which isn't too much for todays or near

future needs.



Seems like the Vega is really faster and worth its money.

Pity it has also only 4 GB VRAM, which isn't that much today.

It will help in OpenGL and Viewport performance (and possible GPU Rendering or Video

encoding in other Apps than VW)

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I generally find that making the processor bump isn't worth he investment, that bump is generally costs more than it is worth.


RAM, I like RAM, but I haven't investigated the new video cards.

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Looking at the same MacBook Pro for my business. The Vega 20 GPU has improved thermals over the previous 560X GPU. See this review. Has a Cine Bench score of over 1100 so its twice as fast as my existing desk monster. This is not a CAD review but does cover Cine Bench scores. The only issue is is expensive machine to cart around. Get a heavy duty backpack.


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Here are my benchmarks.  I recently returned my MacBook Pro with the Radeon 560 GPU.  I now have the same machine, but with the Vega 20 GPU.  You will see I have better performance both in CPU and Open GL.  The CPU & GPU numbers below the highlighted ones are my old benchmarks.  


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as I have only 99ish for my desktop RTX 2070.

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4 minutes ago, zoomer said:


as I have only 99ish for my desktop RTX 2070.

That is what I got on my WX 9100 before the new laptop.  Now I am getting around 95.  Very strange.

Edited by Kevin Friddell

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Not strange - that is good !


I heard from everywhere that the new Vega in MBP is good.

I wished they had put that in the Mini too ...

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But, yes,

the Cinebench OpenGL test doesn't seem to be very demanding as my

2070 won't even start to rotate its Fans for it. So not very suitable Benchmark

to compare GPU Hardware power itself.


Slightly similar to the CPU tests. They do force CPU cores to 100% load,

but CPU Power Consumption and Temperatures stay reasonably low.

Far below any artificial CPU Stress Benchmarks.


(Like a TR 2990WX will only consume about 200 W in Cinebench,

while it has even an official TDP of 250W,

which again isn't meant as a real limit for Power Consumption,

which again can exceed the TDP by far in some situations)


But Cinebench CPU is still a very trusty Benchmark for CPU Render Speed.

Like a new CPU that has double the points in Cinebench will be double as

fast for my CPU Renderings. No matter if Rendering in C4D or Modo.


And it could be that similar is true for the Cinebench OpenGL Test.

Very different High End Cards may get similar CB Test Results - because that

may be a typical load from a typical 3D App Viewport.

With a result that a VW OpenGL View Pane may not rotate much faster just

because you replace your old GTX 1060 with a RTX 2080Ti.


But you will have the Power available for Apps that may make use of it,

like Games, Blender Eevee or GPU Rendering and

awake your RTX AI and RT cores from sleep and finally start the Fans.


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Thanks everyone for all your comments and tips.  It is very interesting but I must admit I am somewhat more confused today.  I thought I would get a simple and unanimous response such as :"Go for the Graphic card!" or whatever.  It seems that it is more complex although I don't really see why it should be knowing my quest is only in regards to using VW with the main purpose of rendering 3D stage design with lights. 

At the moment, I feel that there cannot be a single choice and one should upgrade everything to get a clear vote.  I wish it was that easy financially for me.

Perhaps we should turn to VW engineers who exactly know what hardware is most useful to boost their 3D engine.

But again, thank you all for the time you have taken looking at this issue.

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If I may add and ask, could you all finish your post by a simple line: If I had to choose, I would upgrade RAM or CPU or GPU so it is clear for the less computer technologie oriented fellows?

Thanks again.

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Based on the CPU/GPU scores posted it would seem that the VEGA 20 is better but not by a lot. You can buy a eGPU in the future if you ever need to have more power but you can’t get more ram. So I would go for the 32GB ram. I am also struggling with the purchase of a new mac. We all have to be careful not spend more than we need on tech which gets old real fast. I have been able to keep my 2010 Mac Pro upgraded since it is an open system that had a lot of upgrade options. Todays macs are closed boxes and you are stuck with old tech the minute you leave the store. Thats why they only give 14 days. So what ever you buy it has to start making money ASAP.. You might check out the Apple Refurbished Store. https://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop/refurbished/mac/macbook-pro. My present Mac came from there and is still working fine 8 years later.  “Idleness is a holiday for fools”

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Is anyone running Vectorworks 2019 on a new 2018 13” MacBook Pro? I have a 2016 13” MBP that ran Vectorworks just fine until I upgraded to Mojave. Now it’s unusable. I’m thinking about upgrading before the end of the year. I like the 13” MBP for portability and it works great for light drawing and modeling. The 15” MBP has a better GPU, but I’d rather not lug that around if possible. 

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