15-inch MacBook Pro GPU performance decreased by 20% on macOS 10.12.3

According to some users of 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro, the 10.12.3 update for macOS Sierra has brought the improvements to battery life of their devices. As an owner of 15-inch MacBook Pro, this was a nice news for me, but it might be that Apple has sacrificed the performance of their most powerful macOS laptops to provide the better battery life.

I did the Geekbench tests of my 15-inch MacBook Pro on 10.12.2, then I updated my machine to 10.12.3 and did the same tests again. I was very surprised to find out that after the update the GPU performance of my MacBook Pro was decreased by over 20%. At least, according to Geekbench test results. 

I have restarted my machine many times, manually set the graphics to use the discrete GPU, tried every trick I know to get the best performance out of my MacBook Pro, but every time I did the test, I have got the same results.

When I did the compute tests on Geekbench before the update, I was able to get over 50,000, while after updating my MacBook Pro to 10.12.3, I was only able to get about 40,000, which is a quite substantial decrease.

Check the screenshots of the test results below.

Compute test results on 10.12.2

Compute test results on 10.12.2

Compute test results on 10.12.3

Compute test results on 10.12.3


You can also check the links for the results below.

Test on 10.12.2 : https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/compute/397429
Test on 10.12.3 : https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/compute/400887

It might be possible that this is just the issue with Geekbench app not fully optimized for 10.12.3, although it seems highly unlikely. Also, I didn't notice any actual drops in performance, but my workflow doesn't require any intensive use of dGPU, so it would be difficult for me to notice the drop, even if it was there.

By the way, the MacBook Pro I am using is the higher end stock model with 2.7GHz processor, 512GBs of storage and Radeon Pro 455 graphics.

Finally, I did check the latest results for GPU tests completed by other users of 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro, and it looks like other users are also getting the similar results. At the same time, it looks like the 10.12.3 update doesn't not affect the CPU performance of my MacBook, neither it affects the GPU performance of 13-inch MacBook Pro.

I hope that these tests results have nothing to do with the actual performance of the 15-inch MacBook Pro, but it can be quite possible that Apple has sacrificed the GPU performance to extend the battery life on their newest MacBook Pro.