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2016 MacBookPro 15" LR slow with dedicated GPU.

artmaltman

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I own a new 2016 15" MacBook Pro with all the CPU and GPU options. Just trying D mode now in a headshot edit that has a lot of pre-existing edits. I was expecting the new GPU (AMD Radeon Pro 460) to elevate this to a new level of speed in D mode. Instead it is utterly unusable, far slower than with CPU alone (using integrated graphics) or even the the integrated graphics processor on my 2015 13" MBPr.

Massively disappointing. Why keep such an expensive upgrade if I don't get a speedup in my editing processing? I will have to see whether the CPU alone gives me a speedup but I'm not optimistic.

Please advise whether any of you are having similar experiences. I'm actually torn now about whether to keep this expensive upgrade of a machine.
 

tspear

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I played with Lr at the Apple store, every laptop I tried was better without the GPU acceleration turned on.
Only a couple of the iMacs did the GPU seem to help. There was a a really helpful Apple worker there who was going to school a graphic artist and liked photography. So we had a really cool homework assignment to use as testing, involving complex masks, application of gradients and rendering a photo with a hundred or so cloning/healing things on it. It was a very enjoyable way to waste a few hours a couple of weeks ago.
On the other hand, the Microsoft store was interesting in that the GPU made large differences on the couple of laptops I tried. (Only spent about 30 minutes there, the employees were kinda clueless)
 

artmaltman

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I played with Lr at the Apple store, every laptop I tried was better without the GPU acceleration turned on.
Only a couple of the iMacs did the GPU seem to help. There was a a really helpful Apple worker there who was going to school a graphic artist and liked photography. So we had a really cool homework assignment to use as testing, involving complex masks, application of gradients and rendering a photo with a hundred or so cloning/healing things on it. It was a very enjoyable way to waste a few hours a couple of weeks ago.
On the other hand, the Microsoft store was interesting in that the GPU made large differences on the couple of laptops I tried. (Only spent about 30 minutes there, the employees were kinda clueless)
========
This is helpful, thanks for letting us know. BTW I spent the afternoon at a coffee shop and the new 15" screen is addictive (compared to the 13" on my 2015 MacBook Pro). I plan to take the machine in to a genius bar to ensure that the GPU tests out ok but realistically it's a fantastic machine in so many ways -- and I suspect the GPU issue is more due to Adobe than Apple (just a hunch).

Others please post your experiences. Thanks!
 

tspear

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I suspect the GPU issue is more due to Adobe than Apple (just a hunch).
Actually, I am fairly sure the blame falls straight on Apple. Based on previous Adobe blogs, they implemented the standard OpenGL interface calls which Apple pushed and Microsoft and Linux later adopted.
So Apple selected hardware which does not fully support OpenGL, and instead focused on hardware which handles specific graphical functions. Based on how most people use the machines, I would suspect Apple selected the cheapest chipset that had the best video/streaming/movie performance they could get away with.
 
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There are pros and cons to GPU - the CPU has to pass the data to the GPU, which takes time, and the benefits are only really noticeable on very high resolution screens. The 13 and 15 inch retina's fall into that grey area, where they're paying the penalty of the time taken to pass the data to the GPU but with less noticeable benefits because the screen resolution isn't ridiculously high. So it may not be anyone's "fault" as such - just a personal preference whether you need faster loading time (turn it off) vs. slightly more responsive slider movement (turned on).
 
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If I read you correctly, you only tried with dedicated GPU versus integrated GPU. Those are Mac hardware settings. Instead, go to the Lightroom Preferences - Performance tab and uncheck the option to use the GPU in Lightroom.
 

artmaltman

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If I read you correctly, you only tried with dedicated GPU versus integrated GPU. Those are Mac hardware settings. Instead, go to the Lightroom Preferences - Performance tab and uncheck the option to use the GPU in Lightroom.
Yes I used the switch in Lightroom to make the changes. However, I always had the "efficiency" switch turned on in the settings panel. Looking at the activity monitor it is clear that the OS knows that this unit should have access to the dedicated GPU.

The "efficiency" switch is supposed to automate the process of turning on the dediated GPU only when it is needed by the application. I will try turning off the efficiency switch this morning and if there is any change in behavior I will report here immediately. I'm not optimistic.

I will take my machine to the genius bar at Apple Store, hopefully late today, and have them run diagnostics on it just to make sure it's all working correctly.
 

artmaltman

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I own a new 2016 15" MacBook Pro with all the CPU and GPU options. Just trying D mode now in a headshot edit that has a lot of pre-existing edits. I was expecting the new GPU (AMD Radeon Pro 460) to elevate this to a new level of speed in D mode. Instead it is utterly unusable, far slower than with CPU alone (using integrated graphics) or even the the integrated graphics processor on my 2015 13" MBPr.

Massively disappointing. Why keep such an expensive upgrade if I don't get a speedup in my editing processing? I will have to see whether the CPU alone gives me a speedup but I'm not optimistic.

Please advise whether any of you are having similar experiences. I'm actually torn now about whether to keep this expensive upgrade of a machine.
=======

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE There was a hardware problem with my machine

Apple "Genius Bar" is running diagnostics now on my machine and finding hardware problems Something having to do with voltage which could feasibly affect graphics (dedicated GPU issue as well as an intermittent connection to external Dell monitor that I have been experiencing.) I will return it, wait a few weeks for other early adopters to do testing -- and then jump back in. I do love the machine, can't really see buying anything else.
 
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Thanks for the update Art!
 

jffielde

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Not exactly related, but I also did a test on the latest version of Aperture and found that the new maxed-out 15" Macbook Pro was slightly slower than last year's model (also maxed out). Needless to say, I wasn't delighted with spending $5K to downgrade the performance. All settings varied as above didn't change the outcome. It's just a slightly slower machine than the previous one with better battery life, less weight, better screen and better speakers at an enormous premium cost. I don't think I can live with a slightly slower machine for that kind of money, but it's a nice laptop.
 

artmaltman

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Not exactly related, but I also did a test on the latest version of Aperture and found that the new maxed-out 15" Macbook Pro was slightly slower than last year's model (also maxed out). Needless to say, I wasn't delighted with spending $5K to downgrade the performance. All settings varied as above didn't change the outcome. It's just a slightly slower machine than the previous one with better battery life, less weight, better screen and better speakers at an enormous premium cost. I don't think I can live with a slightly slower machine for that kind of money, but it's a nice laptop.
Did you try with GPU enabled in LR, disabled, or both?
Also be sure to increase the cache size in LR preferences to 30 or 40 gig.
 

jffielde

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I didn't try it with LR (that's why I said not exactly related), but I thought my similar experience with Aperture was (remotely) relevant.
 
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Not exactly related, but I also did a test on the latest version of Aperture and found that the new maxed-out 15" Macbook Pro was slightly slower than last year's model (also maxed out). Needless to say, I wasn't delighted with spending $5K to downgrade the performance...
Remember, Adobe issued an update to LR BEFORE MacOS was released. This is so that it would be compatible with the new OS. Don't blame the hardware or the OS for the poor performance of your 6 year old software app.
Aperture 3.0 was released on February 9, 2010. There have been no enhancements since that date. In 2014 Apple abandoned Aperture as a photo platform. The last update over a year ago was a compatibility enhancement for OS X 10.10.x a month after OS X 10.11 was released. Why would you seriously expect an outdated legacy app to be functional in the latest OS?
 

jffielde

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Yours is an odd post that makes me think you're looking for a fight. I'm not. Aperture works fine for me on the latest hardware and software, as it always has. I just relayed it as one of a few real-world comparisons I ran for my own reference that indicated the new hardware is slightly slower than the old hardware. Enjoy the holidays and take care.
 
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Yours is an odd post that makes me think you're looking for a fight. I'm not. Aperture works fine for me on the latest hardware and software, as it always has. I just relayed it as one of a few real-world comparisons I ran for my own reference that indicated the new hardware is slightly slower than the old hardware. Enjoy the holidays and take care.
Not looking for a fight. I just think your expectations for obsolete software with a newer hardware and OS are unrealistic. It should not be used in any comparison for the OPs issues.
 

jffielde

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I continue to be a little surprised by your posts, so I want to be transparent on my perspective:

People generally expect newer computers to be generally faster than the older models they replace, especially if they cost the same or more.
This is a reasonable expectation generally met by most manufacturers most of the time.
However, the new 15" Macbook Pros are not representative of that general trend. They do not seem to have computational wherewithal greater than the last generation.
I believe this mis-match of expectations may be the OP's concern. And I believe it may be generally true of lots of applications, Aperture included.
Perhaps LR is disappointing not because it is exceptional, but because it is not in failing to meet these performance expectations.
 

Paul B

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I own a new 2016 15" MacBook Pro with all the CPU and GPU options. Just trying D mode now in a headshot edit that has a lot of pre-existing edits. I was expecting the new GPU (AMD Radeon Pro 460) to elevate this to a new level of speed in D mode. Instead it is utterly unusable, far slower than with CPU alone (using integrated graphics) or even the the integrated graphics processor on my 2015 13" MBPr.
I hope the replacement kit resolves your problems.

Your profile info says LR 5.7 on Yosemite. I assume you're on at least El Capitan now? It may also be worth upgrading the OS to Sierra if it's not there already. The replacement will probably ship with Sierra anyway.

Also Cletus mentioned a LR release aimed at Sierra support ... presumably this was a 6.n release ... so it may also be worth you upgrading to LR6.

As far as the hardware goes I think for now I'll stick to my 2014 15" which whizzes along nicely :)
 
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Also Cletus mentioned a LR release aimed at Sierra support ... presumably this was a 6.n release ... so it may also be worth you upgrading to LR6.
Yes, specifically LR6.7/LRCC2015.7. Adobe released this version to resolve compatibility or performance issues with Sierra before Sierra was released. LR versions less than LR6.7 are not supported on MacOS (Sierra).
 

jffielde

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Lloyd Chambers has compared lots of processes in Photoshop and Lightroom on the old and new machine, and has found the old machine to be faster at almost all of them. He returned the $4,299 new machine, as did I. What a bizarre turn for the "pro" line at Apple. Maybe they'll speed things up a bit with the mid-cycle refresh in 2017? Who knows.
 

Opa

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Lloyd Chambers has compared lots of processes in Photoshop and Lightroom on the old and new machine, and has found the old machine to be faster at almost all of them.
That's not at all what I got from my reading and from the charts. Some things are slower like importing (interesting given their raving about the SSD performance in the new MBP) and Blur. Most tests indicate the 2016 MBP is slightly faster and sometimes considerably faster (Sharpen, Integrity check). Lloyd's statement was that the improvements were not enough, for his use case, to warrant the upgrade expense.

He was also careful to note that some of the problems appear to be OS bugs that he expects to be fixed (even given general Apple Core Rot).
 
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