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Here’s how fast the 2018 MacBook Pro 15 will be

With Apple announcing Thursday that it has dropped a 6-core 8th-gen Core i7 8750H into the MacBook Pro 15 there are two things we know for sure. The first is that the boost in performance will be huge. The second: It still won’t be faster than the fastest PC laptops.

Sure, you could say we’re just being haters because we heart PC. But unlike the iPad and iPhone, Apple doesn’t make its own CPUs. It relies on the same ones PC laptops have been using since at least April. All of the testing we’ve done already on Intel’s 8th-gen “Kaby Lake R” (reviewed here), the 8th-gen “Kaby Lake G” (reviewed here), and the 8th-gen “Coffee Lake H” (reviewed here) lets us say with high confidence just how fast the new 2018 MacBook Pro 15 will be when it ships.

The big news for Apple users is the six cores in the Core i7-8750H. Those two additional cores compared to quad-core parts means hefty improvements in 3D modelling, video editing, and many optimized photo editing tasks.

We compare 7th-gen and 8th-gen CPUs

To show the performance we expect, we’ve compiled the results from several laptops equipped with high-end 7th-gen CPUs, including the quad-core Core i7-7700HQ that’s used in the 2017 MacBook Pro 15. We’ll compare them to the results from a laptop with the 8th-gen Core i7-8750H in the new 2018 MacBook Pro 15.

Our first comparison runs Maxon’s Cinebench R15, which tests 3D modelling performance. You can see about a 50-percent increase in performance between the six-core Core i7-8750H and the typical 7th-gen part, such as that Core i7-7700HQ.

We won’t bore you with too many charts of the 8th-gen Core i7-8750H’s multi-threaded prowess, as you can see them in our review of it here. You’ll see varying amounts of performance gains based on how optimized the CPUs are, but the story is still the same: It’s a ton faster.

core i7 8750h cinebench nt performance IDG

A new 8th-gen Core i7-8750H in the 2018 MacBook Pro 15 would give you about a 50-percent performance increase over the previous MacBook Pro 15 (represented by the Core i7-7700HQ-equipped laptop shown here) in multi-threaded tasks.

For example, here’s how the same CPU performs in video encoding. While you don’t get quite a 50-percent improvement, it’s still about 33 percent, which means that a comparable three-hour encode could be done in about two hours. When you’re in the field on a shoot, and time is money, then yeah, that’s more money.

core i7 8750h handbrake encoding performance IDG

Handbrakes sees about a 33-percent buff by going from a 7th-gen Core i7 to an 8th-gen Core i7.

The world isn’t about multi-threaded performance, though, and very few applications actually can use all six cores in the new MacBook Pro 15. So to get an idea of how an 8th-gen Core i7 Coffee Lake H stacks up against a 7th-gen Core i7 Kaby Lake H part, we also run Cinebench R15 using just one CPU core. While not all applications perform the same, we do get an idea of how fast the new chip does in pedestrian, single-threaded tasks, such as Microsoft Word, Safari, and most applications.







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