Apple continues regular speed bump policy for Pro notebook Macs

Once again Apple is updating their MacBook Pro range. Following on from two updates last year, they are once again improving their laptops. Despite the physical design hardly changing since late 2016, Apple act as if they still invested in the current MacBook Pro design.

July 2018:

  • 8th-generation Intel Core processors: 6-core on the 15-inch, quad-core on the 13-inch
  • Up to 32GB RAM
  • True Tone display
  • Improved keyboard

November 2018:

  • Radeon Pro Vega 16 / Vega 20 GPU options for 15-inch

May 2019:

  • 8th and 9th-generation Intel Core processors: 8-core on the 15-inch

The good news: This shows that Apple will improve the MacBook Pro when they can – without saving up improvements until the next major redesign.

CPU improvement, GPU next?

Apple measured the performance of various pro applications. The degree to which these apps used the CPU vs. the GPU (which remain the same for now) is reflected in the speed increases. Apple describes the new configurations as being ‘up to twice as fast.’ Here’s how much faster they say professional applications are:

  • Music producers can play back massive multi-track projects with up to two times more Alchemy plug-ins in Logic Pro X.
  • 3D designers can render scenes up to two times faster in Maya Arnold.
  • Photographers can apply complex edits and filters up to 75 percent faster in Photoshop.
  • Developers can compile code up to 65 percent faster in Xcode.
  • Scientists and researchers can compute complex fluid dynamics simulations up to 50 percent faster in TetrUSS.
  • Video editors can edit up to 11 simultaneous multi-cam streams of 4K video in Final Cut Pro X.

In the case of Final Cut (according to,) the 2018 MacBook Pro can edit 9 streams of multi-cam streams of 4K video simultaneously.

Although appreciated, I hope Apple turn to improving graphics performance next time – for the more modern professional applications that do most of their work in thee GPU.

Today’s news means there won’t be a MacBook Pro announcement at WWDC. This update might also signal that the next notebook architecture from Apple – which eventually allow for non-Intel CPUs – may first be introduced at the low end. Useful for developers who are optimising their applications for Apple’s A-series processors used in the most recent iPad Pro.


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