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NVIDIA RTX Studio vs. Macbook Professional: The battle for 8K RAW Modifying

The battle between Macbook Pro and the new NVIDIA RTX Studio laptops has begun. Reviewers compare between the two in order to decide which is the best to fit professional content creators needs. Read below our insights.

Apple Macbook Pro
Apple Macbook Pro

What are the NVIDIA RTX Studio laptops? Well, it’s an elite group of 27 laptops that armed with high-performance GPU and dedicated drivers. By definition, the NVIDIA RTX Studio laptops are professional-grade mobile workstations being released by major manufacturers, delivering real-time ray tracing, advanced AI and ultra-high-resolution video editing. The NVIDIA RTX was one of the main attractions at SIGGRAPH (an annual conference on computer graphics). Those laptops demonstrated their capabilities of accomplishing complicated GPU demanding tasks on Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and more high CPU consumption applications.

RTX Studio at SIGGRAPH
RTX Studio at SIGGRAPH

An elite group of 27 laptops that armed with high-performance GPU and dedicated drivers

The RTX Studios are equipped with a particular driver that allows support for 30-bit color in OpenGL apps such as Adobe Photoshop and Premiere for all GPUs so that creators can work with their HDR photos and videos with full accuracy and without the banding typical of 24-bit color. Furthermore, those laptops feature the new Quadro RTXâ„¢ 5000, 4000 and 3000 GPUs, as well as GeForce RTXâ„¢ 2080, 2070 and 2060 GPUs. The RTX GPUs is supposed to accelerate content creation from video editing to 3D rendering, with performance up to 7x faster than that of the MacBook Pro (as claimed by NVIDIA). In simple words, NVIDIA wants to take over and defeat the consensus that the Macbook Pros are the ultimate solution for professional content creators. NVIDIA presents its elite unit as an alternative to the MBP, with significant performance improvement plus considerable price reduction compared to a fully spect-out MBP.

DaVinci Resolve and Premiere Pro comparison - MBP and NVIDIA Studio
DaVinci Resolve and Premiere Pro comparison – MBP and NVIDIA Studio. Click on the image for a larger view. 

NVIDIA wants to take over and defeat the consensus that the Macbook Pros are the ultimate solution for professional content creators

It’s essential to add that NVIDIA has partnered with companies like Blackmagic, RED, and ADOBE, to utilize the drivers for specific content creation tasks, like color grading and video editing.

As a part of NVIDIA’s move to penetrate the market and convince professional editors to abandon the MBP ship, they sent those RTX Studios laptops to reviewers so that they can be compared to the MBPs. We wrote a bunch of articles emphasizing the importance for the GPU rather than the CPU, especially when vast, complicated GPU tasks like video editing and color grading are needed.

Lenovo 15.6 Legion Y740
Lenovo 15.6 Legion Y740- One of NVIDIA certified RTX Studio laptop

NVIDIA has partnered with companies like Blackmagic, RED, and ADOBE, to utilize the drivers for specific content creation tasks, like color grading and video editing

So reviewers got the RTX Studio and compared it to fully spect-out MBP. The tasks were 8K RAW (no transcoding and no proxies) editing and rendering. You can view the results in the videos below. Spoiler: MBP has lost, big time! The fully spect-out Macbook Pro didn’t manage to playback properly the 8K R3Ds on REDCINE-X Pro.

 

Furthermore, the MBP has failed to not dropping frames on Premiere Pro. On the other hand, the NVIDIA certified laptop was booming with smooth 8K RAW playback and rendering. According to the reviews, Apple was knocked-out by NVIDIA.

Comparison between NVIDIA Studio laptop and fully spect out Macbook Pro
Comparison between NVIDIA Studio laptop and fully spect out Macbook Pro- Screengrab from the video below. 

So what’s next? Is there a new king in town? Should you get rid of your MBP and buy one of those elite RTX Studios? In my personal opinion, I don’t think so.

These are the reasons why I believe the RTX Studio laptops have a long way to go and a lot to proof:

  1. Windows OS: The Mac OS is far superior to the Windows operating system. Anyone how uses both OS knows that. Drivers, updates, malware, and security issues are major obstructions in the Windows platform. Almost every Windows computer starts fast and slows down dramatically after heavy usage. It will be interesting to explore how smooth the 8K RAW editing is after one year of use with the RTX Studio laptops. I’m doubtful if the 8K playback remains slick.
  2. FCPX wasn’t tested: Of course, Final Cut Pro can’t be tested on NVIDIA certified laptop. However, FCPX was designed to wok on a Mac. As written above, NVIDIA has teamed up with RED Digital Cinema, ADOBE and Blackmagic to get its driver optimized for specific applications. It goes the same for the combination of Mac and FCPX. Furthermore, FCPX is far more advanced than PP, but this is another argument.
  3. Practical editing: The reviews haven’t demonstrated practical editing, which means using a complicated timeline with several layers and effect. Only one simple short layer was shown. I’m pretty sure that even NVIDIA certified laptop can’t handle multiple layers of 8K RAW with applied effects, filters and more.
  4. DaVinci Resolve was not tested: Even though Blackmagic has partnered with NVIDIA, and the software is based heavily on GPU utilization, it’s needed to examine how DR grades 8K RAW footage. Generally speaking, Resolve works better on Mac OS than on Windows. But yet, it’s something that we should verify.
Buy Macbook Pro
Buy Macbook Pro
Buy Lenovo 15.6 Legion Y740
Buy Lenovo 15.6 Legion Y740

There is no doubt about it that the RTX Studios are more than welcomed initiative in the professional filmmaking community. Are they MBP killers? No, they are not! In my personal opinion, the MBPs will continue and dominate the industry when a professional mobile workstation is needed. Do you think differently? Let’s know why in the comments section below.


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