We already know that the brand new Mac Pros are impressive machines, both in terms of raw specs and design. However, until this point it's been unclear just how fast these new computers are in comparison to older versions of the Mac Pro, as well as in comparison to some spec'd-out iMacs and MacBook Pros. We here at No Film School have taken the time to pull together the first round of speed tests and benchmark tests from a few tech sources around the interwebs, and not surprisingly, the new Mac Pro is an absurdly fast computer. Stick with us to see just how fast.
In our first, and most telling look at the capabilities of the new Mac Pro, we turn to Macworld. They tested an impressive build of the new machine that featured an 8-core 3.0GHz Xeon E5 processor, 512GB of flash storage, 32GB of RAM, and dual AMD FirePro D700 graphics with 6GB of video memory for each card. Here's how Macworld conducted their basic tests.
Macworld Lab uses a Speedmark 9 score that’s an indicator of how well a Mac performs overall. We take the performance results from the 15 individual tests that make up Speedmark and boil them down to a single number.
Here are the Speedmark scores for the late 2013 Mac Pro:
Not surprisingly, the late 2013 Mac Pro is the fastest computer that Apple has ever built. It absolutely wipes the floor with its predecessor, the mid 2012 Mac Pro. However, in comparison to the other modern Macs, the spec'd-out 27-inch iMac and the 15-inch MacBook Pro, the new Mac Pro offers only a mildly higher score. In fact, the new machine only offers an 8% higher score than the new iMac.
While the overall performance of the a system is definitely important, that's not where the new Mac Pros shine the most. As you might have guessed, the new machine's performance in regards to the recently upgraded version of Final Cut Pro X is mind-blowing. As we know, the new version of Apple's video editing software was optimized for the new Mac Pros. However, what this optimization would mean in terms of pure performance was not yet known.
Here are the Final Cut Pro X benchmarks for the new Mac Pro, which were determined by how well the tested computers could import 60 seconds of 4K video and then render said video with multiple instances of filters and color correction plugins applied to the footage. Background rendering was turned off.
These are the results that are most pertinent to filmmakers. It's clear that whatever Apple did to optimize Final Cut Pro X for the new hardware was wildly successful. The import times are leagues ahead of everything except the new spec'd-out MacBook Pros, but it's the render times that are truly the most astounding part of this test. The new Mac Pro offers an insane performance boost over every other computer that Macworld tested, which is likely due to the dual AMD graphics cards with 6GB of memory each.
Beyond these results, the folks at Engadget have reported that they have seen the new Mac Pro do some incredible things with 4K video:
We've already seen it play back 16 simultaneous 4K streams in the new version of Final Cut Pro, with zero waiting time as effects were applied to the original footage.
With the new machine only having been available for two-ish weeks, it's likely that we're going to keep seeing reports of mind-blowing performance from the new Mac Pro, and we're certainly going to keep you guys updated with the latest.
If you'd like to see a whole bunch of individual program benchmarks for the new Mac Pro, head on over to Macworld and click through to the second page of their write-up. There you can see how the new machine performed in programs like Photoshop CC, Aperture, and Cinebench.
What do you guys think? Are you surprised by how well the new Mac Pro performs in comparison to other powerful Mac computers? How about the incredible performance of FCPX? Let us hear those thoughts down in the comments!