Late 2018 MacBook Pro Vega Benchmarks

The benchmarks that we have all been waiting for (at least me) have finally been popping up and Macrumors.

The machine, which includes a 2.6GHz Core i7 Intel processor, a Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics card, 16GB RAM, and a 1TB SSD, earned an OpenCL score of 72799. Additional benchmarks found on Geekbench with a similar machine using an upgraded Core i9 processor demonstrated OpenCL scores of 75817, 76017, and 80002.

In a separate benchmark uploaded to Geekbench, the new high-end MacBook Pro with Core i9 processor also earned a Metal score of 73953.

Comparatively, machines with similar specs and Radeon Pro 560X graphics cards on Geekbench earned maximum OpenCL scores of right around 65000 and Metal scores of approximately 57000, suggesting much higher graphics performance with the new Radeon Pro Vega 20 card.

So in Metal, we are seeing a 25% in performance in Metal and around 20% boost in OpenCL. These numbers are far from the 60% that was touted on Apple's website, but then again, maybe we haven't seen a true software tweak / update that utilizes the full potential of these new dedicated graphics cards or maybe throttling is once again part of the issue. Looking to pull the trigger in January so stay tuned!

Intel Slowing Down CPU Advancement

Transitioning to 10nm isn't expected to be any better, so Intel is extending the timelines. Cannonlake is being pushed back, from 2016 to the second half of 2017, and in the interim, a third "lake" generation processor will be released in 2016. Like Skylake, this processor will continue to use the 14nm process. News of this processor appeared to leak last month along with its full name: Kaby Lake. Little concrete is known about Kaby Lake, but it's likely to be available in a range of lines from a 4.5W laptop part up to 80W dual-socket server and workstation parts.

Since selling my 2008 MacBook Pro a few years back, I've been patiently waiting for a newer architecture and design replacement to Apple's current 15-inch Retina Display. With Broadwell's deployment stagnant and almost non-existent, I'm hoping they just skip it and go straight to Skylake for a Fall release. I was definitely disappointed with the latest spec bump still on Haswell but at least the change in dedicated graphics cards helped increase processing power by 70%. Maybe I'll "settle" for that!.

A MacBook Letdown

The MacBook just looks and feels like the obvious, no-brainer choice for a small Mac. That’s why people buy it. That’s why I bought it. I loved it before I bought it. I love looking at it and picking it up.

I just hate using it.

I hate typing on it, I hate the trackpad, it’s slower than I expected, the screen is noticeably blurry from non-native scaling to get reasonable screen space, and I don’t even find it very comfortable to use in my lap because it’s too small.

I hate returning things, but I’m returning this.

Some really strong words by Marco Arment about Apple's latest Macbook. I'll agree whole heartedly with all his conclusions and unfortunately, after waiting years for an upgrade to the latest MacBook Pro Retina Display, might take his suggestion in buying yesterday’s model on the cheap and saving some money.

I sold my late 2008 MacBook Pro two years ago and have since been using a late 2010 MacBook Air, but it’s time that I give this laptop back to the wife and grab my own. I’m just sad that the latest MacBook Pro’s released just yesterday are still running Haswell instead of Broadwell and with Intel’s Skylake around the corner, who knows what Apple might do. Not to mention Marco’s disdain for Apple’s new Force Touch Trackpad.

The one thing that I do like with the latest $2,499 MacBook Pro is the new AMD Radeon R9 M370X video card. Clocking in at 70% faster1 than the NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, it’s quite remarkable but the price is a little much. You’re essentially paying $700 for the Force Touch Trackpad and discrete graphics which end up making it TOO HARD to justify. Going with the pre Force Touch Trackpad MacBook Pro and without discrete graphics at $1799 is too hard to pass up.

  • Footnote #4 under the the MacBook Pro Performance Retina Page: Testing conducted by Apple in April 2015 using preproduction 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-based 15-inch MacBook Pro systems with AMD Radeon R9 M370X and 2GB graphics memory, and shipping 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-based 15-inch MacBook Pro systems with NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M and 2GB graphics memory, all configured with 16GB RAM. Resolution used: 1440x900. Tomb Raider tested using the built-in benchmark, with anti-aliasing turned off and low graphics quality. Formula 1 2013 tested using the built-in benchmark, with 2x anti-aliasing and default graphics settings. Batman: Arkham City GOTY tested using the built-in benchmark, with 4x anti-aliasing and high quality setting. MacBook Pro continuously monitors system thermal and power conditions, and may adjust processor speed as needed to maintain optimal system operation

  • The New MacBook Pro with Retina Display

    Bottom line: I can't wait to buy this beast of a computer. With reviews trickling in, the best of the best it here. If you ask me, I'm all for the MacBook Pro w/ Retina Display 15" with maxed out CPU (+ $200) that also includes the dedicated graphics card. So yes, $2799 total. Then there's Apple Care Plus too. It's getting expensive! MBPRD1

    The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is probably the best all-around laptop on the market. It checks every box, from “portable enough” to “insanely powerful” to “beautiful trackpad” to “reasonably priced for its market.” At $1,999 it’s a mile from cheap, but compared to other laptops with its capability that price tag isn’t so bad. This is the most versatile laptop I’ve used, one of only a couple that’s at home in any situation, simple or complex, personal or professional. Rated: 9.1

    via The Verge

    Apple's 2013 Fall Event in Review (and what I'm buying)

    Recap After the introduction of the amazing and incredible iPad Air, the iPad mini with Retina Display, the Mac Pro, Haswell MacBook Pros, and finally OS X Mavericks, my biggest takeaway was the continued onslaught by Apple's talented programming team of providing productivity applications for one low cost; FREE.


    The $19.99 operating system upgrade that we've been familiar the past few years has gone free (just like iOS), and all the iLife and iWork applications are now included with every new Mac and iOS device. That about quells any arguments that one could pose against converting over to an Apple computer. Think about it for a minute. You buy a computer and out of the box, the only applications you might need are… you tell me? Apple has always been about providing the best experience to the end user and BOOM, there it is!

    If you need something a little more in line with "Pro" in photography, download Aperture (which received a modest .5 update to 3.5) and on the film side of the aisle, you still have the controversial Final Cut Pro X. Either than that, you're now free to collaborate offline or even online in real time with the new Numbers, Keynote and Pages also available on iCloud beta! One caveat to all this, Apple still hasn't given us users more cloud storage space unlike Yahoo's new free 1TB storage option or Google's unlimited photo storage.

    The other big free news story of today happens to come from T-Mobile's introduction of 200MB a month of data for free! With both new iPads encompassing all 14 LTE bands in a single chipset for an additional $130 over the standard wifi version, it's a no brainer to elect a T-Mobile + WiFi version.


    Since I never quite had the chance to use my iPad 3 let alone unbox and open it, nor had the chance to really use my iPad mini (it's my daughter's new Disney television), I've been eagerly waiting for the next 9.7" iPad and today, Apple gave us the iPad Air. From what I'm gathering, it's amazing. Smaller and more capable that its predecessor with the kicker being a device that's comfortable to hold with one hand. That's always been my falling in love moment with the iPad mini and I'm quite excited to try this out with the iPad Air. You can count on me to be in line the night prior to Nov 1st or eagerly waiting on my computer to buy and click Space Gray 64GB LTE+WiFI "In-Store Pickup".

    When you hear about the upgraded dimensions of the iPad Air, you’re undoubtedly impressed. 28 percent lighter. 20 percent thinner. 1 pound. 1 freaking pound! But it’s not until you actually hold the device until what Apple has done here really registers. - MG Siegler

    Over the course of the past year, I've advised many friends and acquaintances, and even family members to grab the iPad mini without hesitation. The weight, form factor and size was just perfect and didn't lead to wrist fatigue. None have returned it nor complained and it's always been praised. The one glaring omission from the first generation was a Retina Display and now we have it. The release date is set for late November and you can also bet that I'm going to pull the trigger on this device. I might keep both, but my aim is to classify the use of each iPad and optimally choose one device. I'll be keeping my 1st gen iPad mini too. On a side note, I also have a 2012 Nexus 7 tablet. Click and Buy Space Gray 32GB LTE+WiFi

    If you've installed OS X Mavericks, Federico Viticci from has posted a very thorough roundup on tips, tricks and details here.

    Now here's the bigger news on my personal front. Ever since I sold my 2008 MacBook Pro, I've been using my wife's late-2010 MacBook Air and taking it along with me on my overnights. I've been hogging it so much (yes I'm using it right now to type this post) that it's downright disgusting. As personal punishment, I've kept the bright purple Marc by Marc Jacobs slip cover and can be seen totting it around. NBD. It's come in quite handy as it's easily spotted.


    So, with that, am I going to pull the trigger on the new 15" MacBook Pro w/ Retina Display with Crystalwell? As some of you may know, I've been putting on hold for just over a year. I really want to say yes and I'm still really close, but with Broadwell touting increased CPU figures over Haswell's battery and power management upgrades, I'm still up in the air. I need a laptop now so the scales are tipped more towards the just do it but I'll let you know. The one I would get would be the 15" with a dedicated GPU so that starts at $2599 and I'd up the CPU to the next step up for $200. Add Apple Care and you're above the $3k mark! It's pretty scary once you break that threshold but if it's going to last over 36 months, then $2.75 a day for an awesome machine is a figure that I can live with. my previous 2008 MBP cost me just $0.85 a day (Purchased for $1899 + $200 in upgrades two years later minus the selling price of $860 divided by 4 years)

    'And there's a lot more to it than hardware'

    One of the most comprehensive reviews EVER of the next-generation MacBook Pro with Retina display by a trusted source we have all come to know and love since the early 90s. I actually like the abbreviation rMBP too!

    After using it for the past two weeks I can honestly say it’s the best Mac Apple has ever built. And there’s a lot more to it than hardware.

    The next-gen MacBook Pro with Retina Display Review by Anand Lal Shimpi

    And today, after it's debut almost two weeks ago, shipping times at are still showing 3-4 weeks out!

    Does upgrading matter?

    Yes, I have upgraded my MacBook Pro 5,1 (late '08 unibody) by increasing the RAM and changing out the hard drive. I did that about one and half years into ownership because I could. Have I ever wanted to upgrade the memory on my iPhone or iPad? Yes, but instead I select the device that I feel will max out my experience for the given life. Am I sad that I can't upgrade the new MacBook Pro with Retina display? Maybe just a tad because I cannot purchase a model with 16GB at the store unless I select the highest model. I can't just buy the one with 8GB and upgrade it myself but boo who, I'll just spec it out myself online and be at peace. Rafe pretty much sums its up beautifully.

    "...I was very pleased to be able to take it apart and replace that hard drive myself. That being said, I’d rather have one of the new MacBook Pros with Retina Display than that old MacBook any day of the week." -Rafe Colburn


    The Best Laptop without a Budget

    Here's a great video review of Apple's latest MacBook Pro with Retina display by Ross Miller at The Verge.  It's short and sweet and gets right to the point.  You can drool over the beautifully written review too! It's been over three and half years since I bought a laptop, the first unibody 5,1 MacBook Pro, and I definitely think it's time to upgrade.  If you ask me, I'm all for choosing the higher tiered model at $2,799 then upgrading to the faster  2.7GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 because of the higher cache on chip = 8MB L3, and then going with 16GB RAM.  Yes, it's an extra $450, but worth it since you can't upgrade later on.  Spec it out now and be happy for the next couple of years.  And no, I don't think that upgrading the hard drive to the 768 SSD is particularly worth another extra $500 as you can get a Thunderbolt drive for that kind of price.  Spec it out!

    "It is the most expensive MacBook Pro out there, one of the most expensive laptops out there, but… if budget is not an issue, this is the best laptop you can buy right now." - Ross Miller, The Verge

    Here's picture of the Retina display up close. AMAZING!

    I wish I was worthy to receive a review unit!

    Maxing it out

    Simply put, the latest and greatest MacBook Pro w/ Retina display is the hardest and most difficult laptop to have been ever torn apart. Of course, the guys at iFixit have done all the dirty work for you and neatly labeled and dictated their work in perfect form.

    As in the MacBook Air, the RAM is soldered to the logic board. Max out at 16GB now, or forever hold your peace—you can't upgrade.


    via iFixit

    Past Weekend's Haps

    The Chargers couldn’t lose because they had a bye week, JR and Veronica had their wedding shower, Adelle convinced me to head out to Disneyland before our pass privileges were set to expire, I got a chance to hang out with Dr. Nourani in Downtown San Diego, and I did a little work in finishing up my migration to my new MacBook Pro.

    Disneyland was definitely a great highlight as the lines were short allowing us to ride what we wanted (California Adventures’ Soaring is still the best), the apple pie caramel apple was a delight and the biggest plus was seeing one of my college roommates as a Jedi Knight Instructing young Padawans on stage at a Disneyland show!  Mr. Stephan Oyoung, without a doubt has the best job.  Working 4 days a week teaching kids how to rid the world of the dark side with light saber techniques, what more could you ask in a post graduate occupation?!  Two thumbs up and kudos to you Jedi Oyoung.

    On the day of voting, I got to witness a new dawn in Downtown with yet another college buddy, Dr. Nourani and was readily entertained with his residency stories.  I mention a new dawn only because it was about the time when Barack was making his acceptance speech and McCain ending his bid. Bobby's stories make me wonder where I would have been at if I did do a post-bac program in lieu of flight school.   We ate at Marsala (an Indian restaurant of course) which was tremendous but a bit overpriced then made our way to Altitude Sky Bar where we got to see the Madonna Concert without the Madonna.  Good times all around, but once again I find myself commuting back to work.  It’s been a while since I’ve been at the crashpad.  I can’t wait to get the band back together.