Notebookcheck

Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019: Multimedia Laptop with Core i9 and Vega 16 in review

Andreas Osthoff 👁 (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 01/16/2020

Is the old MBP 15 a good deal on sale? Apple has replaced the MacBook Pro 15 with the larger MBP 16, but many shops still offer the old models, and usually with a big discount. We review the MacBook Pro 15 2019 with the smaller Core i9 processor and the AMD Vega 16 GPU.

The 2019 version of the MacBook Pro 15 is still an interesting multimedia device, even after the launch of the new MacBook Pro 16, and many retailers currently sell them at a big discount.  We check the configuration with the 8-core processor Core i9-9880H as well as the AMD Vega 16 GPU. We are already familiar with the case and the display, so we recommend our previous reviews of the MacBook Pro 15 for more information on these sections.

Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16 (MacBook Pro 15 2019 Series)
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16 - 4096 MB, HBM2
Memory
32768 MB 
, DDR4-2400, Dual-Channel, soldered
Display
15.4 inch 16:10, 2880 x 1800 pixel 221 PPI, APPA040, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake Z390 (Cannon Lake-H)
Storage
Apple SSD AP0512, 512 GB 
, , 474 GB free
Soundcard
Apple Audio Device
Connections
4 USB 3.1 Gen2, 4 Thunderbolt, 4 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm stereo, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Broadcom 802.11ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15.5 x 349.3 x 240.7 ( = 0.61 x 13.75 x 9.48 in)
Battery
83 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Apple macOS 10.15 Catalina
Camera
Webcam: Facetime HD
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Butterfly v3, Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 91W USB-C PSU, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.83 kg ( = 64.55 oz / 4.03 pounds), Power Supply: 369 g ( = 13.02 oz / 0.81 pounds)
Price
2799 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

RatingDateModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionBest Price
89%01/2020Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
9880H, Radeon Pro Vega 16
1.8 kg15.5 mm15.4"2880x1800
90%12/2019Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
9880H, Radeon Pro 5500M
2 kg16.2 mm16"3072x1920
91%06/2019Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
8950HK, Radeon Pro Vega 20
1.8 kg15.5 mm15.6"2880x1800
88%07/2018Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
8850H, Radeon Pro 560X
1.8 kg15.5 mm15.4"2880x1800
87%08/2019Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
9980HK, GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop)
2 kg17 mm15.6"3840x2160
11/2019Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
9750H, GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
1.7 kg18.7 mm15.6"3840x2160
87%12/2019Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
9750H, Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q
2.2 kg17.8 mm15.6"3840x2160

Size Comparison

361.8 mm / 14.2 inch 245.7 mm / 9.67 inch 18.7 mm / 0.736 inch 1.7 kg3.77 lbs358 mm / 14.1 inch 246 mm / 9.69 inch 16.2 mm / 0.638 inch 2 kg4.41 lbs357 mm / 14.1 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 17 mm / 0.669 inch 2 kg4.41 lbs355 mm / 14 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 17.8 mm / 0.701 inch 2.2 kg4.87 lbs349.3 mm / 13.8 inch 240.7 mm / 9.48 inch 15.5 mm / 0.61 inch 1.8 kg4.03 lbs

Communication – Wi-Fi is slower than the competition

The MacBook Pro 15 does not support Wi-Fi 6. The transfer rates in our standardized test with the router Netgear RAX120 are not bad, but competitors with Wi-Fi 6 modules are almost twice as fast. We did not experience any connection issues in our tests with macOS or Windows 10. 

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1431 (min: 1279, max: 1644) MBit/s ∼100% +129%
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1375 (min: 1256, max: 1426) MBit/s ∼96% +120%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
Broadcom 802.11ac
817 (min: 664, max: 835) MBit/s ∼57% +31%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Broadcom 802.11ac
817 (min: 806, max: 821) MBit/s ∼57% +31%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
Broadcom 802.11ac
625 MBit/s ∼44%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1642 (min: 1543, max: 1735) MBit/s ∼100% +109%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1431 (min: 566, max: 1523) MBit/s ∼87% +82%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
Broadcom 802.11ac
785 MBit/s ∼48%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
Broadcom 802.11ac
602 (min: 543, max: 628) MBit/s ∼37% -23%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Broadcom 802.11ac
581 (min: 533, max: 616) MBit/s ∼35% -26%

Performance– 8 Cores and plenty of RAM

Processor – Core i9-9880H

The basic cooling performance of the Apple MacBook Pro 15 did not change, and especially the optional 6-core Core i9 processor in the 2018 model was not faster than the i7 6-core. It seems Apple tuned the system a bit, because the 8-core Core i9-9880H performs better.

We see a short peak consumption of 100 Watts, but it eventually levels off at around 53 W after a couple of seconds. This level can be maintained for a few minutes, before the CPU then stabilizes at 45 W. This behavior is well illustrated by our Cinebench Multi loop.

CPU data after three CB R15 Multi runs
CPU data after three CB R15 Multi runs
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740750760770780790800810820830840850860870880890900910920930940950960970980990100010101020103010401050106010701080109011001110112011301140115011601170118011901200121012201230124012501260127012801290130013101320133013401350136013701380139014001410142014301440Tooltip
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16 Intel Core i9-9880H, Intel Core i9-9880H: Ø1238 (1170.34-1317.35)
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M Intel Core i9-9880H, Intel Core i9-9880H; macOS 10.15.1: Ø1407 (1386-1435)
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M Intel Core i9-9880H, Intel Core i9-9880H; Win 10: Ø1296 (1268.87-1362.31)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20) Intel Core i9-8950HK, Intel Core i9-8950HK; macOS: Ø1007 (985.83-1051.33)
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X) Intel Core i7-8850H, Intel Core i7-8850H: Ø1031 (1009-1058)

The Core i9 is up to 25% faster than the old models in short-term load scenarios if you can utilize all cores. There is a performance drop under sustained load, but it still levels off at a decent level and the performance is still better compared to the 2018 models.

If you need even more CPU performance in a mobile Mac, you should have a look at the new 16-inch model. Thanks to the more powerful cooling solution, the same Core i9-9880H actually manages ~15% higher scores in the Multi test and under sustained workloads.

If you only use one core, however, all versions including the new MacBook Pro 16 are pretty much identical. This means there will be no subjective difference between the devices in day-to-day scenarios.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
Intel Core i9-9980HK
201 Points ∼92% +11%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
Intel Core i9-8950HK
192 Points ∼88% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
Intel Core i7-9750H
191 Points ∼88% +6%
Average Intel Core i9-9880H
  (181 - 198, n=10)
190 Points ∼87% +5%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
184 Points ∼84% +2%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
184 Points ∼84% +2%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
Intel Core i9-9880H
181 Points ∼83%
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
Intel Core i7-9750H
178 Points ∼82% -2%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
Intel Core i7-8850H
177 Points ∼81% -2%
Average of class Multimedia
  (36 - 201, n=385)
130 Points ∼60% -28%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Average Intel Core i9-9880H
  (1317 - 1721, n=10)
1503 Points ∼34% +14%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
1435 (min: 1401, max: 1435) Points ∼33% +9%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
1362 (min: 1268.87, max: 1362.31) Points ∼31% +3%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
Intel Core i9-9880H
1317 Points ∼30%
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
Intel Core i9-9980HK
1305 (min: 1090.6, max: 1369.3, 99th percentile: 1367.66) Points ∼30% -1%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
Intel Core i7-8850H
1064 Points ∼24% -19%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
Intel Core i7-8850H
1057 Points ∼24% -20%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
Intel Core i7-8850H
953 Points ∼22% -28%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1051 Points ∼24% -20%
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
Intel Core i7-9750H
985 Points ∼23% -25%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
Intel Core i7-9750H
979 (min: 967.16, max: 1074.4) Points ∼22% -26%
Average of class Multimedia
  (73 - 1550, n=402)
504 Points ∼12% -62%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
181 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1317 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
130.2 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.5 %
Help
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
6601 Points ∼51% +18%
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 9980HK, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV1T02
6110 Points ∼47% +9%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
Radeon Pro Vega 16, 9880H, Apple SSD AP0512
5583 Points ∼43%
Average Intel Core i9-9880H, AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
5583 Points ∼43% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5171 Points ∼40% -7%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
Radeon Pro Vega 20, 8950HK, Apple SSD AP1024
4762 Points ∼37% -15%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
Radeon Pro 560X, 8850H, Apple SSD AP0512
4473 Points ∼35% -20%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1001 - 7161, n=114)
3761 Points ∼29% -33%
Productivity
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
Radeon Pro Vega 16, 9880H, Apple SSD AP0512
7868 Points ∼76%
Average Intel Core i9-9880H, AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
7868 Points ∼76% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
Radeon Pro 560X, 8850H, Apple SSD AP0512
7569 Points ∼73% -4%
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 9980HK, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV1T02
7494 Points ∼72% -5%
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
6892 Points ∼66% -12%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
6489 Points ∼62% -18%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
Radeon Pro Vega 20, 8950HK, Apple SSD AP1024
6422 Points ∼62% -18%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1407 - 8020, n=115)
6278 Points ∼60% -20%
Essentials
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
Radeon Pro Vega 16, 9880H, Apple SSD AP0512
9770 Points ∼85%
Average Intel Core i9-9880H, AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
9770 Points ∼85% 0%
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 9980HK, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV1T02
9701 Points ∼85% -1%
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
8970 Points ∼78% -8%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
Radeon Pro 560X, 8850H, Apple SSD AP0512
8894 Points ∼78% -9%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
Radeon Pro Vega 20, 8950HK, Apple SSD AP1024
8363 Points ∼73% -14%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2891 - 10539, n=115)
7693 Points ∼67% -21%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
7548 Points ∼66% -23%
Score
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, 9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171
5500 Points ∼68% +2%
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 9980HK, Toshiba XG6 KXG60ZNV1T02
5469 Points ∼67% +1%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
Radeon Pro Vega 16, 9880H, Apple SSD AP0512
5407 Points ∼67%
Average Intel Core i9-9880H, AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
5407 Points ∼67% 0%
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
5317 Points ∼66% -2%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
Radeon Pro 560X, 8850H, Apple SSD AP0512
4805 Points ∼59% -11%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
Radeon Pro Vega 20, 8950HK, Apple SSD AP1024
4545 Points ∼56% -16%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4535 Points ∼56% -16%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1144 - 5500, n=116)
4034 Points ∼50% -25%

GPU Performance

3DMark Time Spy stress test
3DMark Time Spy stress test

The AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16 is right between the Radeon Pro 560X and the more expensive Radeon Pro Vega 20 in terms of specs. The biggest difference is the GPU architecture; all GPUs are manufactured in a 14 nm process, but the Radeon Pro GPUs use the GCN4 architecture, while the Vega chips use the newer GCN5 architecture. This results in better efficiency: More FPS per Watt. We have already shown that in the review of the 2018 MBP 15.

Our benchmark results are not surprising and the Radeon Pro Vega 16 is pretty much right between the other two chips and the performance is comparable to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q. We also performed the SPECviewperf 13 benchmark, where the Radeon Pro Vega 16 is comparable to the Nvidia Quadro P620 or P2000 depending on the sub test.

The GPU performance is steady under sustained workloads, which is shown by the Time Spy stress test as well as our The Witcher 3 test.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
26465 Points ∼100% +150%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
14725 Points ∼56% +39%
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), Intel Core i9-9980HK
12388 Points ∼47% +17%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel Core i9-8950HK
12104 Points ∼46% +15%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
10885 Points ∼41% +3%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16, Intel Core i9-9880H
10569 Points ∼40%
Average AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
10569 Points ∼40% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
AMD Radeon Pro 560X, Intel Core i7-8850H
7590 Points ∼29% -28%
Average of class Multimedia
  (352 - 20837, n=652)
3099 Points ∼12% -71%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
7153 Points ∼100% +225%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
3364 Points ∼47% +53%
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), Intel Core i9-9980HK
3353 Points ∼47% +53%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
2909 Points ∼41% +32%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel Core i9-8950HK
2568 Points ∼36% +17%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16, Intel Core i9-9880H
2198 Points ∼31%
Average AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
2198 Points ∼31% 0%
Average of class Multimedia
  (142 - 4734, n=74)
1626 Points ∼23% -26%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
AMD Radeon Pro 560X, Intel Core i7-8850H
1614 Points ∼23% -27%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
19821 Points ∼100% +156%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
10399 Points ∼52% +34%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel Core i9-8950HK
8979 Points ∼45% +16%
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), Intel Core i9-9980HK
8532 Points ∼43% +10%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16, Intel Core i9-9880H
7745 Points ∼39%
Average AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
7745 Points ∼39% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
7741 Points ∼39% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
AMD Radeon Pro 560X, Intel Core i7-8850H
5699 Points ∼29% -26%
Average of class Multimedia
  (337 - 16100, n=427)
2975 Points ∼15% -62%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
65776 Points ∼100% +17%
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
64768 Points ∼98% +15%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel Core i9-8950HK
62318 Points ∼95% +11%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16, Intel Core i9-9880H
56273 Points ∼86%
Average AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
56273 Points ∼86% 0%
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), Intel Core i9-9980HK
45246 Points ∼69% -20%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
AMD Radeon Pro 560X, Intel Core i7-8850H
32449 Points ∼49% -42%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2468 - 77755, n=428)
17403 Points ∼26% -69%
SPECviewperf 13
Solidworks (sw-04)
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
120.9 fps ∼100% +55%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
92.3 fps ∼76% +19%
Average AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
77.9 fps ∼64% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16, Intel Core i9-9880H
77.88 fps ∼64%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel Core i9-8950HK
68.26 fps ∼56% -12%
Average of class Multimedia
  (3.69 - 92.3, n=7)
52.2 fps ∼43% -33%
Siemens NX (snx-03)
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
280.2 fps ∼100% +731%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
157 fps ∼56% +366%
Average of class Multimedia
  (5.87 - 157, n=7)
38.3 fps ∼14% +14%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel Core i9-8950HK
36.27 fps ∼13% +8%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16, Intel Core i9-9880H
33.7 fps ∼12%
Average AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
33.7 fps ∼12% 0%
Showcase (showcase-02)
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
94.6 fps ∼100% +123%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
62.4 fps ∼66% +47%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel Core i9-8950HK
44.48 fps ∼47% +5%
Average AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
42.5 fps ∼45% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16, Intel Core i9-9880H
42.49 fps ∼45%
Average of class Multimedia
  (11.3 - 62.4, n=7)
32.4 fps ∼34% -24%
Medical (medical-02)
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
79.3 fps ∼100% +440%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
40.07 fps ∼51% +173%
Average of class Multimedia
  (7.96 - 40.1, n=7)
17.3 fps ∼22% +18%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel Core i9-8950HK
15.87 fps ∼20% +8%
Average AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
14.7 fps ∼19% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16, Intel Core i9-9880H
14.68 fps ∼19%
Maya (maya-05)
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
203.6 fps ∼100% +92%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
126 fps ∼62% +19%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel Core i9-8950HK
120.2 fps ∼59% +13%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16, Intel Core i9-9880H
106.29 fps ∼52%
Average AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
106 fps ∼52% 0%
Average of class Multimedia
  (27 - 126, n=7)
81.6 fps ∼40% -23%
Energy (energy-02)
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
36.5 fps ∼100% +788%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
17.04 fps ∼47% +315%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel Core i9-8950HK
11.82 fps ∼32% +188%
Average of class Multimedia
  (0.48 - 17, n=5)
6.82 fps ∼19% +66%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16, Intel Core i9-9880H
4.11 fps ∼11%
Average AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
4.11 fps ∼11% 0%
Creo (creo-02)
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
211.4 fps ∼100% +201%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
93.1 fps ∼44% +33%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel Core i9-8950HK
74.07 fps ∼35% +6%
Average AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
70.2 fps ∼33% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16, Intel Core i9-9880H
70.16 fps ∼33%
Average of class Multimedia
  (25.2 - 93.1, n=7)
55 fps ∼26% -22%
Catia (catia-05)
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
207.8 fps ∼100% +98%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
125 fps ∼60% +19%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel Core i9-8950HK
111 fps ∼53% +6%
Average AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
105 fps ∼51% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16, Intel Core i9-9880H
104.88 fps ∼50%
Average of class Multimedia
  (25.8 - 125, n=7)
68.1 fps ∼33% -35%
3ds Max (3dsmax-06)
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
174.2 fps ∼100% +171%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, Intel Core i9-9880H
89 fps ∼51% +39%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.9 GHz, Vega 20)
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20, Intel Core i9-8950HK
69.06 fps ∼40% +8%
Average AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
 
64.2 fps ∼37% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16, Intel Core i9-9880H
64.17 fps ∼37%
Average of class Multimedia
  (23.3 - 89, n=7)
52.7 fps ∼30% -18%
3DMark 11 Performance
10926 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
29958 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
6902 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
2443 points
Help
0102030Tooltip
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16 Radeon Pro Vega 16, 9880H, Apple SSD AP0512: Ø25.2 (23-27)
low med. high ultra4K
The Witcher 3 (2015) 27 fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 103 99 75 72 38.4 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 65 50.8 43.5 fps

Battery Runtime – MBP 15 is very enduring

Battery Runtime

The battery capacity is still 83 Wh and the results in our standardized Wi-Fi test at a luminance of 150 cd/m² are almost identical. We determine 11.5 hours, so the MacBook Pro 15 is very enduring and is only beaten by the new MacBook Pro 16, which has a bigger battery (99.8 Wh). The Windows competition is clearly beaten, even though some models have bigger batteries.

Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
9880H, Radeon Pro 5500M, 99.8 Wh
718 min ∼27% +4%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16
9880H, Radeon Pro Vega 16, 83 Wh
690 min ∼26%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
8850H, Radeon Pro 560X, 83 Wh
688 min ∼26% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
8850H, Radeon Pro 560X, 83 Wh
614 min ∼23% -11%
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
9980HK, GeForce GTX 1650 (Laptop), 97 Wh
467 min ∼18% -32%
Average of class Multimedia
  (96 - 942, n=266)
367 min ∼14% -47%
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
9750H, Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q, 80 Wh
331 min ∼13% -52%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme 2019 20QV000WGE
9750H, GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q,  Wh
285 min ∼11% -59%
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (macOS)
11h 30min

Pros

+ Vega 16 more efficient and faster than 560X
+ excellent chassis
+ very good screen
+ huge trackpad with great precision
+ usually quiet cooling solution
+ good speakers
+ Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 with DisplayPort 1.4 (AMD GPU)

Cons

- insufficient PSU
- fans runs quietly while idling and clearly audible under load
- no Wi-Fi 6
- neither USB-A, HDMI, nor SD reader
- very expensive - especially the upgrades

Verdict – MacBook Pro 15 is still very good

In review: Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.
In review: Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.

The Apple MacBook Pro 15 is still a very good multimedia laptop in 2020. Many retailers offer big discounts for 2019 SKUs, so you should consider if you really need the improved features of the MacBook Pro 16 (better speakers, changed keyboard, larger display). The MBP 15 is also slightly more compact and lighter than the new version. The performance of the old model is not bad by any means, either, and the MacBook Pro 15 can keep up very well with the Windows competition and even has advantages in respect to the fan control, the battery runtime, the display, and the great trackpad.

If you are okay with the typing experience of the Butterfly keyboard, the MacBook Pro 15 is still a very good multimedia laptop. Compared to the new MacBook Pro 16, you can even save some money.

The remaining advantages and disadvantages have not changed compared to the 2018 MacBook Pro 15, so we refer to our previous reviews of the 2018 MacBook Pro 15 for more information.

Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019 i9 Vega 16 - 01/15/2020 v7
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
91 / 98 → 93%
Keyboard
90%
Pointing Device
100%
Connectivity
64 / 80 → 80%
Weight
65 / 20-72 → 87%
Battery
89 / 95 → 94%
Display
91%
Games Performance
0 / 90 → 
Application Performance
93 / 90 → 100%
Temperature
89%
Noise
81 / 95 → 85%
Audio
80%
Camera
28 / 85 → 33%
Average
80%
89%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Apple MacBook Pro 15 2019: Multimedia Laptop with Core i9 and Vega 16 in review
Andreas Osthoff, 2020-01-16 (Update: 2020-01-16)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Managing Editor Business Notebooks
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.