Which Mac is the best for product design?

4 years ago from Marc Edwards, Founder at Bjango

  • Tejas Bhalerao, 4 years ago

    Thanks for running the tests and sharing the results, Marc. Curious to know why Figma's GPU usage is so high as compared to other tools. Any thoughts/pointers?

    0 points
    • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 4 years ago

      I think that’s great news. Figma is using WebGL for most or all rendering, which means graphics are drawn on the GPU. GPUs are incredibly quick at rendering graphics, and they’re better suited to the task than CPUs. Sketch uses Core Graphics to draw shapes, and Core Graphics does it’s rendering predominately or entirely on the CPU. There’s quality benefits in the strategy Core Graphics uses, but I think Figma’s results are what I would be looking for in a well made design tool.

      In this test, if either the CPU or GPU graphs aren’t being pegged, that’s a sign that there’s a lot more headroom for improvement, and that there is likely stalling or mutex issues that are slowing the tool down.

      XD’s graphs are especially interesting — XD is fast, but there’s a lot of CPU and GPU not being used. That leads me to think it could be a lot quicker.

      2 points
      • Andrew C, 4 years ago

        This seems like an odd takeaway to me. If it’s performing well at that benchmark speed-wise it wouldn’t need to be tapping more power than necessary to do the job. Meaning Figma/Sketch could be at peak GPU and sluggish af while XD could be using 3/4 that and being a boss at it. In my experience Adobe products are usually engineered to the nines for efficiency. It’s their product design/mgmt that’s generally questionable not their prowess.

        Also illustrator files tend to be denser because of the depth required in many illustration styles. It tends to handle big vector files really really efficiently compared to other software I’ve tried

        0 points
        • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 4 years ago

          The tests were conducted to find which parts of the system were being used when the tool was doing enough that it lagged severely. The intention was to find the system bottleneck for each app, so people speccing out a Mac can make an informed decision on which components will give them the best results, based on the tool they use.

          The tests were NOT like for like — I kept adding rectangles until there was severe lagging. XD’s graphs show that the system has lots more power available, but there’s stalling or other issues that are stopping it from fully using the hardware. I realise this is a nuanced discussion, and there can be many reasons for certain results — seeing the CPU or GPU graphs pegged can be an indication of efficient OR inefficient use of the hardware. But, for this test, seeing the canvas lag and none of the graphs pegged almost certainly means the tool is not as optimised as it could be.

          I will be doing some like for like tests very soon though. Those will show which tools are quick, and which are not. XD is definitely very fast, and I agree that Illustrator handles large numbers of objects very well.

          0 points