Photographer tests 16-inch MacBook Pro against 15-inch and sees huge speed increases

16-inch MacBook Pro display
16-inch MacBook Pro display (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Photographer Tyler Stalman has put the 16-inch MBP through its paces.
  • He compared it to a 2018 15-inch model.
  • He found huge speed increases depending on the app being used.

All of the buzz surrounding the 16-inch MacBook Pro has been about that new keyboard. Even the new, bigger display has been largely ignored in favor of keyboard tests. But there's more to this machine than that, and photographer Tyler Stalman has been comparing it to his 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro. And it turns out, it's pretty damned fast.

The whole comparison takes place in a 10-minute YouTube video that is well worth watching. During that video we learn that Stalman has a 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.6GHz 6-core i7 processor and 32GB of RAM. The 16-inch MacBook Pro that he's been testing for a while now features a 2.4GHz 8-core i9 processor and the same 32GB of RAM. So how did the two compare?

Depending on what apps are used, the new machine absolutely smokes the old one. And not just by a little bit. Tests using photography workflows and Adobe Lightroom saw improvements in export time compared to the older notebook, but it's video handling where things really get out of hand.

As an example, Stalman exported a 10-minute Final Cut Pro X H265 and ProRes video. The process took 12 minutes 29 seconds on the 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro and just 5 minutes 09 seconds on the new 16-inch model. It was a similar story when Stalman exported RAW video files in DaVinci Resolve with a time of 3 hours 21 minutes on the older computer. That time fell to just 48 minutes on the new one. That's a huge time savings.

There's no doubting this new MacBook Pro is quick and with eight cores, it should be. Be sure to check out Tyler's full video for the rundown on all of his tests for both photographers and videographers. If you do this kind of thing for a living, you're probably going to want to upgrade.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.