When looking for a video editing laptop, you need to pick the best option available that strikes a balance between portability and performance, right? Well, of all the notebooks currently available on the market, two models are without a doubt considered to be indeed worthy investments – the 2018 i9 MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 9570.
With each laptop equipped with similar hardware, however, many folks have found it daunting to choose between the two. To sort things out, Max Yuryev conducted a series of video editing-focused tests to put each machine through its paces, thus determining whether Dell or Apple will provide the best bang for your buck when it comes to picking a top-tier professional-level laptop for your workflow on the go.
Before we start off, it’s important to note that each machine comes with hardware that aims to deliver an efficient video editing experience. Both the 2018 MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 9570 sport a 2.9GHz Intel Core i9 Processor and 32 GB of RAM. As far as hard drive space goes, the 2018 MacBook Pro features a 512GB SSD. On the other hand, the XPS 9570 has a 1TB SSD.
In terms of graphics, the 2018 MacBook Pro waves the red AMD flag with the Radeon 560X GPU. Dell, however, is sticking with the green team by including an NVIDIA 1050Ti GPU in the XPS 9570.
By comparing each system’s build quality, Yuryev finds himself drawn more to the MacBook Pro. With a sleek and sturdy build quality, coupled with a large trackpad and powerful speakers, Apple’s offering makes using the machine a very premium-feeling experience. Furthermore, the MacBook Pro’s bright and spacious Retina display gives editors the opportunity to edit their projects with confidence and less eye strain.
On the other hand, Dell’s XPS 9570 also features design elements that trump those found on the MacBook Pro. For starters, the keyboard on the XPS 9570 has more key travel, leading to a more familiar-feeling typing experience. Plus, there are more ports available on the laptop which avoids you from having to carry around dongles.
Another outstanding feature of the XPS 9570 is its cooling system, which is much better than what is found on the MacBook Pro. This allows Dell’s laptop to properly utilize the i9 processor with minimal thermal throttling. Do note, however, that due to this improved cooling system, the fans in the XPS 9570 may seem louder and more high pitched overall, which some may consider as a flaw.
As Yuryev tested the computers, he made a very significant discovery which affected the outcome of his tests. He noticed that Dell’s offering consistently showed lower performance scores than the MacBook Pro.
After some more in-depth research, he figured out that the reason behind the discrepancy was that the XPS 9570 wasn’t providing enough power to the hardware via the internal battery alone. That being said, all the comparisons made in the video showed the XPS 9570 running on battery and on wall power (using a charger).
Firstly, Yuryev ran synthetic benchmarks to test each system’s theoretical compute performance. Looking at the results in Geekbench, it seems that both notebooks received similar scores for the single core test. However, the MacBook Pro had the highest score when it came to Multicore performance.
When it comes to the graphics performance, however, the XPS 9570 had a better score than the MacBook Pro. This is largely thanks to NVIDIA’s 1050 Ti graphics, which has shown to perform better than AMD’s mobile graphics processors. The 1050 Ti’s superiority can be seen throughout the various graphics testing programs used, including Geekbench OpenCL and Unigine Heaven.
In terms of editing performance, Yuryev executed several editing tasks on each system using Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and Final Cut Pro X (Mac only). These tests included stabilizing 4K video clip, exporting a five-minute 4K video project, rendering Canon C200 RAW 4K 60p footage, and sporting 4.5K RED RAW video with LUTs and color correction. After going through all of the results from these tests, several conclusions can be made.
For the tests conducted inside of Premiere Pro, the Dell XPS 9570 running on wall power frequently resulted in the fastest processing times, followed by the 2018 MacBook Pro and the XPS 9570 running on battery power only.
The reason behind the XPS 9570’s superior performance is mostly thanks to its cooling system, which allows the fast-heating i9 processor to run more efficiently without having to drastically thermal throttle. However, if the XPS 9570 is running on battery power only, you will notice a considerable increase in render times compared to the MacBook Pro as the hardware inside the laptop isn’t able to receive enough power.
After analyzing the tests in DaVinci Resolve, it turns out that the 2018 MacBook Pro performs much better than the XPS 9570. Although Apple’s design choices for their laptop sacrifices proper processor cooling, the company makes up for their misstep thanks to a close partnership with Blackmagic Design.
Leading up to the release of the 2018 MacBook Pros, Apple and Blackmagic have been collaborating on the optimization of Resolve for Mac computers, which is why the newest MacBook Pros can run the program much more efficiently than on the Dell XPS 9570. Windows users can only hope that Blackmagic will release an update for Resolve that will also allow the program to run just as fast on their machines.
Lastly, when conducting all of the video editing tasks in Final Cut Pro X, the MacBook Pro was able to process and export videos at a pace faster than any other video editing program/laptop. Thanks to Apple’s ability to optimize the software for their own computers, FCP X can complete editing tasks at half the time, as seen in all of Yuryev’s video export tests.
At the end of the day, the laptop you choose will depend on your own workflow. If you’re a video editor who needs a portable computer with the most mobility, the 2018 MacBook Pro should be your pick. The laptop delivers an enjoyable editing experience while providing you with enough editing power to help you get through your workload – whether you’re at your desk or on the road.
The Dell XPS 9570, on the other hand, is definitely a solid option for Windows users. However, in order to maximize the performance of the machine, prepared to be tethered to an outlet as editing on battery power only will result in significantly longer processing times compared to the 2018 MacBook Pro.