How Does the 2016 15.4-inch MacBook Pro Stack Up Against its Predecessor Regarding Video Productivity

The latest 2016 MacBook Pro is out in the wild for several weeks now, but if you’re already wondering whether the upgrade from the previous generation will worth the extra money you should shell out, the in-depth comparison produced by Jonathan Morrison below might give you some of the answers you’ve been looking for lately as it certainly yields some helpful insights on the topic. With a few practical examples and side-by-side benchmark tests, the video reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the latest 15″ MacBook Pro mainly regarding real-life performance and functionality, besides the already well-known new implementations and innovative features such as the controversial Touch Bar, lighter and thinner design, improved display brightness and color reproduction, the addition of the faster Thunderbolt 3 ports, etc.

First and foremost, here are some of the results you should expect when it comes to sequential read and write speeds. The latest 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro with 2.7 Ghz Intel Core i7 Quad Core processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD and AMD Radeon Pro 455 GPU topped out over 2000 MB/s on the write side and over 2600 MB/s on the read side.

For comparison, the older mid-2015 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display reached 1400 MB/s and 1814 MB/s respectively.That result shows that you will not only be able to duplicate and transfer huge files significantly faster on the 2016 15″MacBook Pro, but also should be able to take advantage of the decreased render times regardless of the NLE you’re using.

For example, Morrison transcoded a 2-minute long 5K RED Raw file to H.264 in Premiere Pro CC 2017 for 9 min and 3 sec on the 2016 MacBook Pro, whereas the older mid-1015 model completed the same task in 16 min and 57 sec. The results were similar when transcoding a 5-minute 5K RED RAW file to ProRes in FCP-X – 19 min and 2 sec on the 2016 MacBook Pro and 25 min and 15 sec on the 2015 MacBook Pro.


When it comes to the newly implemented Touch Bar and its overall functionality, Jonathan finds it quite useful, but not necessarily a revolutionary feature. On most occasions, it works as expected and also provides some benefits when it comes to video editing in FCP-X.

For instance, the ability to see your entire timeline when you’re in full-screen mode is certainly very enticing or when you want to trim your clips directly by predominantly using the Touch bar and your keyboard, thus enhancing video editing significantly while skipping tons of redundant mouse clicks.


On the flipside, the necessity of using multiple dongles and adapters to connect your older peripheral devices might indeed get a bit intimidating over time, but that is (arguably) the biggest tradeoff the latest MacBook Pro users should live along with, or at least for some time.

Overall, the brand new 2016 MacBook Pro is indeed faster, thinner and lighter in comparison to its predecessor, but if that isn’t enough for you to take the leap immediately, maybe you could wait for more favorable time and simply stick with the older model just for now.

[source: Jonathan Morrison]

B&H Links:

15.4″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Late 2016, Space Gray)

Apple 15.4″ MacBook Pro Laptop Computer with Retina Display & Force Touch Trackpad (Mid 2015)

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