16-Inch MacBook Pro Hands-On: Benchmark and Performance Tests

Apple's new 16-inch MacBook Pro came out last week, and the new machine features a larger display, more maximum RAM, and higher maximum storage, all features designed for Apple's pro user base.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is using the same 9th-generation Intel processors that were used in the 15-inch MacBook Pro models released in May, but there's a new thermal architecture that Apple says boosts performance. We went hands-on with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro to test those claims, putting it through real world tests and benchmarks.


We tested the base 8-core model, which is the higher-end model priced at $2,799. It has a 2.3GHz Intel Core i9 processor (turbo boost up to 4.8GHz), an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU with 4GB GDDR6 memory, a 1TB SSD, and 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM.

Starting off with Geekbench 5 testing, the 16-inch MacBook Pro outshined the similarly specced 15-inch model that was released earlier this year when it came to multi-core performance.

The 16-inch machine earned a single core score of 989 and a multi-core score of 6733, while the 15-inch machine scored 972 in the single-core test and 5781 in the multi-core test. That's an increase of 16.5 percent, which is a decent performance boost considering these machines have the same processor.

macbookpro16geekbench5
There are even more significant gains with the new 5500M GPU. In an OpenCL test, the 16-inch MacBook Pro scored 30608, compared to the 15-inch MacBook Pro's score of 17904, and in a Metal test, the 16-inch MacBook Pro scored a 29840 vs. the 15-inch MacBook Pro's score of 19065.

macbookpro16openclmetal
Combined, the updated GPU and the new thermal architecture of the 16-inch MacBook Pro have brought some notable performance improvements. Of course, benchmarks aren't reflective of real world usage, so we also did some testing of apps pro users might take advantage of.

In Final Cut Pro X, we exported a five minute 4K video while also running other apps at the same time to test export conditions under heavy RAM usage. The export took two minutes and 35 seconds, half the time of the video.

Conducting the same test in Premiere Pro (with apps like Safari and QuickTime running) the five minute video took three minutes and five seconds to export. These times are similar to what we see with a baseline 2017 iMac Pro.

We also tested Photoshop with multiple other apps open in the background, including Safari with a ton of tabs. The machine was using upwards of 70 percent of the 16GB RAM, but performance was solid with no issues. The fans kicked in of course, but that's to be expected.

It's worth noting that in these tests, the MacBook Pro got just as hot as other i9 MacBook Pros that experienced thermal issues in the past, but power and performance were not throttled per the Intel Power app.

All in all, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro is performing well, and the updated thermal architecture has indeed had a significant positive effect on power management and thermal regulation. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is speedy, stable, and a solid option for the pro user base these machines are designed for.

What do you think of the 16-inch MacBook Pro's performance? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundup: 14 & 16" MacBook Pro
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

TheAllmighty Avatar
29 months ago
Wow thats fast! But not as fast as the MacBook Pro 2020 model
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
29 months ago

Wow thats fast! But not as fast as the MacBook Pro 2020 model
That's nothing - on the 2025 model, the tests finish before they begin.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nezr Avatar
29 months ago

Here are my thoughts on the new MacBook Pro. I love the increased speed and greater RAM offering, but I'm going wait for the Mac lineup to start featuring Face ID before I make any sort of upgrade. I also think at the current price point of MacBook Pros, it should feature an upgraded camera. A 720p camera is not "Pro" and doesn't cut it in 2019. Other than that, I really like the improvements Apple has made and it is a step in the right direction.
Who cares about Face ID when your watch can unlock the MacBook Pro without even looking at it.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iMi Avatar
29 months ago
I love the performance of the new MacBook Pro. It's a fantastic machine. Really glad I ordered it.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
happyslayer Avatar
29 months ago
Happy to see all the positive reviews and comments about the new 16" MBP. I'm still rocking my 15" 2018 MBP and it's great for what I do. (mainly computer/network support and writing) Also I actually like the feel of the butterfly mechanism keyboard and have had no issues with it. Anyway, one question:

I see all these complaints about the 720p camera. Just curious what do you all use the laptop mounted camera for? I do Skype and Zoom and FaceTime and it's been totally fine. Nobody has complained about the image quality. Do you guys use something special that needs a higher rez cam? Or is it just the idea that a $2400 plus computer "only" has a 720p cam. Just not sure what the complaints about it are. I would like it to have Face ID eventually just for convenience but otherwise, quality seems fine.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Adult80HD Avatar
29 months ago
I ordered a maxed out (well, all but the SSD, 4TB there is still 3x more than I need) 16" when they launched and it arrived today, two days early. I was using a maxed out mid-2018 15" MBP and this thing is *noticeably* faster in everyday use so far. My big reason for the upgrade was my work, where I edit lots of high-resolution photos on a LG SuperFine 5K display (and the new Pro XDR soon!). Adobe Lightroom has been dogging since version 8.4 moved a lot of processing to the GPU (they say you can turn that off, but doing so has no effect on performance problems introduced with version 8.4). With the new 16" it's zipping along really fast. I also do a lot of image stacking using Helicon Focus and timing the same stacks of images, the new machine is easily twice as fast, and on some stacks it finishes the jobs in 1/4 the time of my previous machine.

I'm loving the extra screen real estate. It's not immediately obvious but after 4-5 hours on the new machine, going back to the old 15" it was immediately noticeable. I actually didn't have problems with the previous keyboard after the first version was updated, but again, after going back from using the 16" I am appreciating the reversion to a keyboard with greater "feel" and depth to the keystrokes.

If upgrading from a very powerful mid-2018 machine is this noticeable, some of you on the much older machines will see a huge performance difference. BTW, the extra size is barely noticeable vs. the 15" MBP.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
maxresdefault

Review: M1 Max MacBook Pro After Three Months

Wednesday January 19, 2022 11:30 am PST by
It's now been a few months since the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models launched in October, and MacRumors video editor Dan Barbera has been using one of the new machines since they debuted. Over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, Dan has shared a three month review of his MacBook Pro to see how it has held up over time and how it's changed his workflow. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube ...
iphone se 2020 top

New iPhone SE Likely to Launch in April Based on Production Timeframe

Wednesday January 19, 2022 6:44 am PST by
Apple suppliers will begin producing display panels for the third-generation iPhone SE this month, with final assembly of the device likely to start in March, according to information shared by display industry consultant Ross Young. Based on this production timeframe, Young believes the third-generation iPhone SE is likely to launch in the second half of April, or perhaps in early May at...
iphone 13 earpods

Apple to Stop Including EarPods With Every iPhone Sold in France From Next Week

Friday January 21, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the iPhone due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the ...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...
appleprivacyad cleaned

iOS 15 Patched Security Hole That Potentially Exposed Users' Private Apple ID Information to Third-Party Apps

Thursday January 20, 2022 3:32 am PST by
Apple patched two significant security vulnerabilities when it released iOS 15 that could have potentially exposed users' private Apple ID information and in-app search history to malicious third-party apps and allowed apps to override user Privacy preferences, Apple has revealed in a recent support document update. With most iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS updates, Apple provides a list of...
safari icon blue banner

macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 Release Candidates Fix Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Thursday January 20, 2022 1:30 pm PST by
The macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates that came out today appear to address a Safari bug that could cause your recent browsing history and details about your identity to be leaked to malicious entities. As shared last week by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS, there is an issue with the WebKit implementation of the IndexedDB JavaScript API. Any website that uses...