Tests by freelance video editor Peter Wiggins, who runs the fcp.co website, show that the new 15-inch MacBook Pro is almost twice as fast at video rendering as the original 2012 Retina model.

On to a project rendering test with Final Cut Pro X. All the machines used the same Library and were connected to the same Thunderbolt drive where the ProRes 422 was rendered. Before each test, the render files were deleted.

The project was a one and a half minute sequence made up of multicams, chromakey, drop shadow, repositioning and Motion effects […] So a rough bit of maths and you’ll see that the new 15″ MacBook Pro is nearly twice as fast as the 2012 model.

While the comparison is with the first-gen Retina machine, rather than the most recent one, that’s probably a reasonable real-life comparison as most people keep their machines for 4-5 years …

The 2012 machine took 5 mins 50 seconds to render the output, while the 2016 model did the same job in 3 mins 5 seconds.

Wiggins said that the performance was also the most stable he has ever seen.

The 15 inch model with the latest Blackmagic Video Desktop drivers installed and an UltraStudio Express proved to be the most stable HD broadcast output I’ve had. That includes multicam sequences which have had a habit of crashing on a regular basis.

The review additionally praised the super-fast SSD, display and trackpad.

This is fast storage, enough for over 2,000 frames per second of ProRes 422 HQ HD! Or another way, an 80 angle ProRes 422 HQ HD multicam! (Who is going to be the first to try that?) […]

The display can show wide colour, the GUI looks very clean and easily readable and of course on the 15, the large trackpad helps reduce double finger movement and unnecessary clicking.

The performance improvement was less dramatic with the 13-inch model, but Wiggins said that it was ‘surprisingly usable’ and a decent option for use on a plane or on location.

Phil Schiller tweeted a link to the post, though he may be regretting it as it prompted a flurry of replies asking about when the Mac Pro would see an update.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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