The first experience of the new MacBook Pro 2023: Is Apple’s new “performance monster” worth starting?

Although it is exciting to receive a new computer on the fourth day of the Lunar New Year, this 2023 MacBook Pro (16-inch version, hereinafter referred to as “MacBook Pro”) is still a rather “heavy” gift for me.

On the one hand, it is really heavy, wrapped in the exquisite aluminum alloy body, the thick texture allows me to intuitively guess its powerful performance; Introducing a computer with almost only upgraded chips to readers made me feel a lot of pressure.

Fortunately, the process of using this performance monster is very pleasant, which gives me great confidence to complete this article. In this hands-on experience, let’s talk about the new changes and highlights of the 2023 MacBook Pro.

Product basic parameters

Minor “significant” changes

If you are familiar with the 2021 MacBook Pro, the appearance of this generation of products is completely the same as that of the previous generation. The “bangs” are still there, if you mind, you can still cover it up by changing the dark wallpaper.

When the 2021 MacBook Pro was launched, its thick appearance sparked a lot of discussion. People feel that while the performance of the MacBook Pro is completely “Pro”, the thickness and weight have also increased. By the 2023 MacBook Pro, the weight of the machine has increased again——From 2.1 kg to 2.15 kg(2.16 kg for the version with the M2 Max).

Of course, it is difficult for even sensitive people to really notice the difference of 0.05 kg, but this small weight gain still reflects the design concept of the current MacBook Pro product line-exchanging volume and weight for stronger performance , heat dissipation and battery life.

Therefore, the only thing I would like to advise in terms of appearance is friends who value thinness and portability: If you need to take your computer out frequently and do not require top performance, please consider MacBook Pro carefully. Although the MacBook Pro’s body is compact compared with similar products, long-term external use will still put a lot of pressure on the shoulders.

The “small age” of performance monsters

On the MacBook Air equipped with the M2 chip, I have done a small performance experiment, that isPlaying four 4K movies while using Reaper for podcast renderingso as to test the high-load performance of Apple Silicon CPU and GPU at the same time, and also understand the noise and heat of the computer by the way.

When it comes to MacBook Pro, I made simple and rough improvements to the performance experiment:

  • The Reaper rendering project chose the most loaded issue in the current “Yipai·Podcast”-“Dialogue with Fu Xujun: How does DingTalk manage its own cloud file products? 》, the total number of tracks in this program is not much, but in order to improve the sound quality, I mounted plug-ins for many objects (items) separately after segmental cutting, and there are also many plug-ins on each track and Master, It brings a lot of challenges to the rendering speed;

Partial screenshot of the podcast project, many small objects are individually hung with plug-ins

  • Simultaneously played 4K movies increased from four to twelve, all encoded in H265;

  • Of course, the “Little Times” used as a side dish is also indispensable. Previously, only the first part of “Little Times” was played, but this time all four parts are on the air.

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The way I designed this little experiment is this: Reaper will take up CPU computing power in the process of rendering podcasts, while playing movies requires GPU to participate in decoding.the two together canStressing the M2 Pro’s CPU and GPU at the same timefrom which I can naturallyA peek at the upper limit of the new generation of Apple Silicon

Unexpectedly, this enhanced version of the performance test that once turned the M2 version of MacBook Air into a “PPT player” failed to stump the M2 Pro. To put it simply, the M2 Pro makes the four “Little Times” not enough, and maybe a TV series version has to be included.

Start by enabling podcast rendering. The individual rendering speed of this program is about 10× (it can be understood that the actual playback speed is ten times the rendering speed). This result is not much different from that on the M1 version of Mac mini. It is probably the VST mounted in the project The plug-in is not caused by the original Apple Silicon, which has reached a performance bottleneck after translation.

Render podcasts individually

After opening the 4K movies one by one, the rendering speed of Reaper dropped to 9.1× and then stabilized, until all twelve movies were opened, the speed still showed no signs of decline.

Not only that, but the rendering speed even increased by 0.1× after all the movies started playing. During this process, the computer did not freeze at all, and the fan needed to be attached to the body to hear the sound; the keyboard area was hot but not hot-everything seemed like nothing had happened.

During the test period, there were actually a lot of things running in the background, but under such a bright performance, it seemed irrelevant

The size of a single 4K movie is usually between 20 and 40 GB. It took me two nights to download the material. After a pass, the fan of the MacBook Pro didn’t even turn on. There were three thousand troops stationed, only to be wiped out by twenty soldiers sent by the enemy within five seconds.”

The monitoring results of Activity Monitor also show that during the entire test process, neither the CPU nor the GPU power is fully pulled. Playing 4K movies does not put enough pressure on the GPU, and the resource usage rate is not even more than half.

Screenshots of the top three apps taking up resources.During the test, the browser still has 20 or 30 tabs open

So, I temporarily added a supplementary test: insert five audio tracks with a duration of one and a half hours in Reaper, and each audio track is loaded with five AU format plug-ins.

On the M1 version of Mac mini, Reaper’s rendering speed is 3.7×, while the MacBook Pro’s score is 6.1×, and the actual efficiency improvement is almost doubled. AU (Audio Unit) is Apple’s native audio plug-in format, and all the plug-ins I mounted in this test require real-time machine learning calculations, so it more accurately reflects the performance gap between the two Apple Silicon.

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Thanks to Teacher Gu Li for bringing us the concluding remarks of this test

In addition to the stress test, I also did a simple game test with the MacBook Pro. The test project is the strategy game “Victoria 3”. I chose it because I played it on the M1 version of Mac mini, and I can intuitively compare the game performance gap between M1 and M2 Pro.

Although “Victoria 3” is a business simulation game, because it needs to render a large-area environment map and take into account the calculation of mathematical models, it will test the CPU, GPU and memory at the same time, and it can also relatively comprehensively measure the performance of the two devices. Comprehensive performance difference.

All tests were performed at 2560×1440 resolution, with Render scale set to 100% and vsync turned off. The M1 version of Mac mini is actually unable to play normally under this setting. The frame rate of the low quality is less than 30, and the medium quality is only in the single digits. I used to lower the resolution to 1080p and lower the render range to 50% before it was barely playable.

The M1 version of Mac mini has only 9 FPS at 2K resolution plus medium quality, which is considered a super low frame rate award.

The MacBook Pro is much better, with a frame rate of around 30 for medium quality and around 45 for low quality, reaching a level that does not delay playing.

About 45 FPS does not affect the experience for strategy games

Since “Victoria 3” has not done any performance optimization for Mac, the M2 Pro’s game performance is not as amazing as the performance in the stress test, although the game performance is not small compared to the M1.

For reference, I also tested it on a gamebook equipped with RTX 3060 with the same settings, and the frame rates of medium and low quality are about 50 and 70 respectively. This result not only includes the factors that Windows and Nvidia have optimized for games, but also reflects the hard power gap between the M2 Pro’s 19-core GPU and the RTX 3060.

The frame rate of the RTX 3060 in the medium quality is similar to the low quality of the M2 Pro, and the difference between the two is just one stop

The previous performance test of The Verge also came to a similar conclusion-for the game scene alone, the M2Pro with a 19-core GPU is roughly equivalent to the RTX 3050, and the M2 Max with 38 cores is between the RTX 3060 and 3070.

Of course, most users who buy MacBook Pro are not here to play Steam games, and the GPU advantages of Apple Silicon are more reflected in productivity tools. The above tests are not rigorous, but more to satisfy my own curiosity. In case you, like me, occasionally want to play a game to relieve boredom, you can also have a rough expectation of the effect of running Steam games on MacBook Pro.

There is one more point that needs to be mentioned. The absolute gaming performance of the MacBook Pro falls short of the RTX 3060, but the fans are virtually silent during gaming, which is pretty quiet. In contrast, Windows games are a lot more irritable, and the fan is whistling. Although it is not annoying, it also forms a sharp contrast with the calmness of the MacBook.

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In addition to performance, there are details

The MacBook Pro series has long been equipped with a studio-quality three-microphone array, and this generation is no exception. This feature is rarely mentioned, but it is very useful for podcasters and music producers. I specially recorded a comparison of the recording effects of MacBook Pro and iPhone 14. Both of them only did format conversion without any sound modification.

While both recordings are already quite good, the MacBook Pro is fuller and more three-dimensional, and has significantly better noise reduction. I used the built-in microphone of the M1 MacBook Pro (13-inch version) to record a podcast before. This level of recording quality can actually be used as the main radio tool for language podcasts.

Strictly speaking, the 2023 MacBook Pro hasn’t changed except for the Apple Silicon upgrade.Although Apple did not publicly mention it, it is certain thatThis generation of computers is finally replaced with HDMI 2.1 interfaceIt is no longer a troublesome thing to connect an external display with 4K 120Hz or even higher update frequency.

This is still a very important upgrade point for me. I occasionally connect the computer to the 4K 120Hz TV at home for use. The large-size screen will amplify the stuttering caused by the low update frequency, and 120Hz can be extremelythe earthRelieve that feeling and unleash the full power of high refresh.

In addition, the Wi-Fi specification of the 2023 MacBook Pro has been upgraded from Wi-Fi 6 to Wi-Fi 6E, and the Bluetooth specification has been upgraded from 5.0 to 5.3, both of which are the latest standards. Considering that most users who buy MacBook Pro series will use it for at least three to five years before changing the machine, the higher basic configuration also virtually prolongs the service life of the product.

Purchase suggestion

Today’s MacBook Pro series is actually the notebook product that does not need to be given purchase guidance, because its product positioning is very clear, and there is a high price threshold. No matter how much you want to consume impulsively when facing it, you will definitely do your homework in advance and think about it a few times. However, I will simply classify the suitable people for MacBook Pro according to the usage scenarios. If you happen to be one of them, then buy it decisively.

For MacBook Pro buyers

unsuitable buyer

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This article comes from the WeChat public account“Minority” (ID: sspaime)Author: Zhang Yiyuan Nick, 36 Krypton is authorized to publish.

This article is published with authorization and does not represent the position of 36 Krypton.

If reproduced, please indicate the source. Source:36 krypton

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