Apple’s First 8-Core MacBook Pro

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Apple’s First 8-Core MacBook Pro

Postby oliver11 » Thu May 23, 2019 12:33 pm

What effect would this have on the import of files. I shoot tethered with a 5Dmk4 via a usb cable (2018 Apple laptop) There is a lag while the thumbnails appear and are rendered.... sometimes the lag is 20-30 images behind where I am. I can unplug the cable and capture one will still render the images so the lag is on the computer side. Has anyone been able to test the Apple’s First 8-Core MacBook Pro and see how much of an effect would this have?
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Re: Apple’s First 8-Core MacBook Pro

Postby John Burdett » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:05 pm

Is your 2018 the 6-core version? I have one and frankly was expecting more of a tethering speed increase over the quad-core I was using before. And I was pretty bummed to see an 8-core released less than a year after I upgraded to the 6. Bad timing for me, if I had waited another 10 months I could now have the 8-core for what I spent on the 6. Oh well.

A colleague recently got the new 8-core MBP and tethering 100mp phase files was surprisingly quick at first but there was some issue where the entire machine slowed down and basically became unusable, I don't remember exactly the details as I was on another set but it seemed reminiscent of the heat/throttling problems some of these Touch Bar MBPs have had in the past. He returned it after that job because we weren't able to use it. A week or so later apple released an update that supposedly fixed the problem.

One thing that I did learn was that perhaps the "automatic graphics switching" in OS Power saving settings can sometimes slow down import? My understanding is that if you turn that feature off it forces the computer to use the more powerful PCIe GPU rather than switching between that and the on-board GPU? I haven't tethered with my laptop since hearing about that so I really don't know but I'm anxious to see if that speeds up the tethering. In my experience with other machines the GPU is the biggest factor in tether speed so we'll see if it helps. I'm sure someone on here is more knowledgable on this issue and will speak up.

What I do know is that as fast as laptops have gotten they still don't have the power of the desktops. If your shooting is not slowed down by strobe recycle speed aka shooting available or continuous light, you will very easily hit the buffer of even the brand new laptop if you shoot rapidly. Even with slower strobe shooting you can get to the buffer fairly quickly. Reducing preview size in C1 prefs helps speed it up but if shooting rapidly even a fast iMac Pro or Mac Pro still can't keep up with the speed of these cameras. Especially as the files get larger!
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Re: Apple’s First 8-Core MacBook Pro

Postby mlake » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:41 pm

John Burdett wrote:And I was pretty bummed to see an 8-core released less than a year after I upgraded to the 6. Bad timing for me, if I had waited another 10 months I could now have the 8-core for what I spent on the 6. Oh well.

Preach. I've found myself in the exact same boat this year.

That said, I don't think the change from 6 to 8 cores is going to make a particularly huge difference for most Capture One workflows. C1 does use all available cores on the system, but it doesn't appear to be particularly efficient about how it uses them. I also shoot 5D MkIV tethered, and in my experience, each frame takes about two seconds to transfer and fully render (usually just white balance, simple contrast/saturation, lens distortion correction, and metadata adjustments). My MBPs are the Core i9 models. I run up against strobe recycle times long before the tethered setup is a bottleneck.

Question for the OP: Are you completely sure your camera is talking via USB3? Check out the USB section of System Profiler and double-check the connection. It should be communicating at 5 Gb/s. 20-30 seconds seems like WAY too long for a 5DIV RAW file, and I'm wondering if your transfer is somehow being slowed-down to USB2 speeds (or worse?). Also, have you tried a new/different USB cable? I'm using ones from TetherTools and Amazon Basics, and they have both been solid.

John Burdett wrote:One thing that I did learn was that perhaps the "automatic graphics switching" in OS Power saving settings can sometimes slow down import? My understanding is that if you turn that feature off it forces the computer to use the more powerful PCIe GPU rather than switching between that and the on-board GPU?

Yes and no. Automatic Graphics Switching is a binary thing – either you're on the low-power Intel chipset, or you're on the dedicated AMD GPU, but it's never a mix. If any single application tries to use the dedicated graphics processor, then everything uses it (i.e., it's not per-application). And I've never seen Capture One not use the dedicated card. There are several tools out there that let you see what graphics system is currently active – I use iStat Menus so that it's always visible in the menu bar. But yes, disabling Automatic Graphics Switching does force the system to use the dedicated GPU exclusively, but you shouldn't see any difference once Capture One is running.

Also, regarding reducing the preview size... You don't want to reduce it too much, because that will actually make the problem worse. You need your previews to be at least as large as the Viewer window, otherwise C1 will decide that the preview is insufficient and will re-render the RAW from scratch each time, which is significantly slower. The sweet spot is to have a preview that is exactly as large as, or just slightly larger than, your Viewer frame.
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Re: Apple’s First 8-Core MacBook Pro

Postby John Burdett » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:39 pm

Oops, guess I didn't get back to this thread for a while. Thanks for the info! always good to learn more about the tech.

I had a recent shoot that I used the 6-core for and this time I had graphics switching turned off. It really did seem to speed up the import, and all other things were the same. Could be placebo effect but frankly I don't care. If it SEEMS faster I'm on board!

And yeah couldn't agree more about preview size. Too small is also a bad idea. Especially if you're trying to zoom or loupe to check focus. Had that problem on a 5k iMac. It really didn't have enough processor/GPU power to keep up with that massive screen and 5DS files. Any zoom or loupe and it was spinny wheel time. Had to set the preview at the max for horizontal shots. Could switch down to 3840 for vertical shots. Was not fond of that machine. Underpowered for such a huge display.

The 6-core is fine for now, not beating myself up for buying when I did, its actually been a great machine. And I won't upgrade for the 2 extra cores. I hear some rumors online about a complete redesign of the MBP in a year so I'll definitely be watching for that.
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