Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Pro

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Jan 10, 2013, 07:08 PM   #1
whitedragon101
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Why the nVidia GPU ?

When the rMBP came out I saw an nVidia 650m on the specs and thought. Its not bad and faster than the AMD6770 it replaces.

BUT

I only just looked this up. Hang on a second the Nvidia 650m is a 45w TDP chip. Apple have never put in a chip that hot before. For with a 45w heat budget they could have put in an AMD 7870m which is a much faster chip. Why did they choose nVidia ?
whitedragon101 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 2013, 07:42 PM   #2
Dark09
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
A few different reasons:

1. The Enduro problems with ATI mobile chips and Intel graphics switching. Effects performance from what (maybe even battery life) I've heard with regard to windows laptops (not really sure if this would effect OSX).

2. Cost. The 7870 is ATI's high-end mobile video card, and the Nvidia 650m is much inexpensive.

3. I've seen benchmarks with regard to both high-end mobile gpu's (7870m vs 680m on youtube) and battery life is better on the 680m, which if thats the case the 650m will have even better battery life.

Second Post ^_^.
Dark09 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 2013, 07:53 PM   #3
whitedragon101
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark09 View Post

3. I've seen benchmarks with regard to both high-end mobile gpu's (7870m vs 680m on youtube) and battery life is better on the 680m, which if thats the case the 650m will have even better battery life.

Second Post ^_^.
Are you sure that was the 7870m ? I just searched on youtube and all I can find is 7970m vs 680m ? The 7970m has a tdp of around 100w.
whitedragon101 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 2013, 07:59 PM   #4
Dark09
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by whitedragon101 View Post
Are you sure that was the 7870m ? I just searched on youtube and all I can find is 7970m vs 680m ? The 7970m has a tdp of around 100w.
Lol, you would be correct. I confused the two it would seem :-/.
Dark09 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 2013, 08:06 PM   #5
whitedragon101
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark09 View Post
Lol, you would be correct. I confused the two it would seem :-/.
lol, no problem. All my hopes are with Nvidia Maxwell (2014).


(and if they kill the standard MBP this year, a 17" retina . Pretty please apple ? )
whitedragon101 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:06 PM   #6
cirus
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
I doubt that the chip really uses 45 watts of power. Is the cmbp 15 with the 650m any hotter than the one with the 6770m? No.
cirus is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:22 PM   #7
jav6454
macrumors G5
 
jav6454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
I still don't understand why the nVidia GPU. Like you, the ATI alternative is much better. Furthermore, it is not about inexpensive when it comes to premium products.
__________________
Al MacBook 2.4GHz Late '08 | 5 S⃣ | Macross Click Me
jav6454 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 2013, 10:31 PM   #8
Mr MM
macrumors 65816
 
Mr MM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by cirus View Post
I doubt that the chip really uses 45 watts of power. Is the cmbp 15 with the 650m any hotter than the one with the 6770m? No.
tdp is not the amount of the power that it consumes, but rather the amount of power it needs to be dissipated.

and yes the 7870m is much more powerful than the 650m, and that would also benefit A LOT people that deal with openCL and GL apps, like graphical artists and so forth.
Mr MM is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 10, 2013, 11:47 PM   #9
Zeov
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Odense
Quote:
Originally Posted by whitedragon101 View Post
lol, no problem. All my hopes are with Nvidia Maxwell (2014).


(and if they kill the standard MBP this year, a 17" retina . Pretty please apple ? )
oh man.. if Apple make a 17" retina i will be spending a huge load of money on it..

Especially if they throw in a sick GPU like 675 or something.. whatever works with heat and performance
__________________
iMac 27 Basemodel MacBook Air "13 Ultimate Macbook Pro "13 iPad iPhone 4
Zeov is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 01:15 AM   #10
throAU
macrumors 68030
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Alternative theory:

Apple swap from AMD to Nvidia from generation to generation to keep both hardware vendors on their toes and maintain stable drivers for both platforms.

Thus, it will be easier to give one of them the finger if they try something stupid.


Same reason OS X was running on x86 hardware for years before they ditched PPC, and also why they no doubt have ARM builds of OS X running internally already (they'd be stupid not to, along with ATOM builds of iOS). Have a plan B (and preferably plans C, D, and E).
__________________
MBP (early 2011) - Core i7 2720 2.2ghz, Hires Glossy, 16GB, Seagate Momentus XT 750GB
Mac Mini (mid 2007) - Core2 Duo 1.8, 2gb, 320gb 7200 rpm
iPhone 4S, iPad 4, iPad Mini, HTC One (eval)
throAU is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 01:21 AM   #11
jav6454
macrumors G5
 
jav6454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Quote:
Originally Posted by throAU View Post
Alternative theory:

Apple swap from AMD to Nvidia from generation to generation to keep both hardware vendors on their toes and maintain stable drivers for both platforms.

Thus, it will be easier to give one of them the finger if they try something stupid.


Same reason OS X was running on x86 hardware for years before they ditched PPC, and also why they no doubt have ARM builds of OS X running internally already (they'd be stupid not to, along with ATOM builds of iOS). Have a plan B (and preferably plans C, D, and E).
Hmmm, quite possibly, but then again. Apple goes with the best GPU of the current generation between vendors. See the HD5000 and HD6000 generations in Apple products.

Arguably the best GPU families in their time frames. What did nVidia have? The toaster-o-matic GTX400 series along with their nuclear power plant requirement to boot up.
__________________
Al MacBook 2.4GHz Late '08 | 5 S⃣ | Macross Click Me
jav6454 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 01:25 AM   #12
throAU
macrumors 68030
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Wasn't aware apple had ever used a best GPU...
__________________
MBP (early 2011) - Core i7 2720 2.2ghz, Hires Glossy, 16GB, Seagate Momentus XT 750GB
Mac Mini (mid 2007) - Core2 Duo 1.8, 2gb, 320gb 7200 rpm
iPhone 4S, iPad 4, iPad Mini, HTC One (eval)
throAU is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 01:28 AM   #13
jav6454
macrumors G5
 
jav6454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Quote:
Originally Posted by throAU View Post
Wasn't aware apple had ever used a best GPU...
Well, arguably, Apple at times falls behind in the GPU department (See Mac Pro GPU offerings)
__________________
Al MacBook 2.4GHz Late '08 | 5 S⃣ | Macross Click Me
jav6454 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 02:43 AM   #14
thekev
macrumors 603
 
thekev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by jav6454 View Post
I still don't understand why the nVidia GPU. Like you, the ATI alternative is much better. Furthermore, it is not about inexpensive when it comes to premium products.
CUDA helps, although I'm not sure that really drives Apple's decisions. It applies to a smaller portion of their market. I wouldn't ignore the reality that companies try to control costs. Labeling it a premium product doesn't change that. The 650m in the $1800 model came with less memory. They didn't use the 2.6ghz cpu by default even though they're both around the same price. You still pay extra. Apple like any company has their desired margins, which would influence choices. The only one I thought was really silly was the early 2011 base 15" with the 6490m. Putting a low end gpu in a machine of that price is silly.
__________________
world's largest manufacturer of tin foil hats, none of that aluminum foil crap.
thekev is online now   2 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 02:49 AM   #15
MacKid
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Apple has only ever used middle-of-the-high-end cards in its pro notebooks - or computers in general, really. None of the product lines have ever been on the bleeding edge of graphics hardware except the tower, for a few generations.

I'm optimistic about the next generation of rMBPs all the same. They were confident enough to overclock the 650M in its first go-round, and the new cooling system is so good that it still doesn't throttle. Maybe they'll be more generous in this upcoming refresh.
MacKid is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 05:33 AM   #16
Ploki
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacKid View Post
Apple has only ever used middle-of-the-high-end cards in its pro notebooks - or computers in general, really. None of the product lines have ever been on the bleeding edge of graphics hardware except the tower, for a few generations.

I'm optimistic about the next generation of rMBPs all the same. They were confident enough to overclock the 650M in its first go-round, and the new cooling system is so good that it still doesn't throttle. Maybe they'll be more generous in this upcoming refresh.
It all depends on TDP > battery life. They won't sacrifice battery life.

anything aside 660GTX (650m in rMBP already performs as well as 660GTX, even better i believe?) consumes too much power.
Ploki is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 05:40 AM   #17
ybz90
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
I don't know about this, but it's possible the GPU is downclocked. Apple has done that in the past. Either way, the thermal performance is clearly acceptable as is the battery life, so I guess Apple's design decisions and engineering teams are solid.
ybz90 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 05:54 AM   #18
clyde2801
macrumors 601
 
clyde2801's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: In the land of no hills and red dirt.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jav6454 View Post
I still don't understand why the nVidia GPU. Like you, the ATI alternative is much better. Furthermore, it is not about inexpensive when it comes to premium products.
No, it's all about profit margins.
__________________
I've found that the sanest question I can ask myself is 'Am I going crazy?' --Jack Robbins
2012 base 15" rMBP, 2012 base 11" MBA, late 2011 2.4 i7 17" MBP, 16 gb ram, Crucial M4 512gb SSD
clyde2801 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 06:01 AM   #19
leman
macrumors 601
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
I guess the reasons are mostly pragmatic ones. Maybe Nvidia offered Apple a better deal, maybe API wasn't able to deliver the numbers of cards required, maybe Apple didn't want to write drivers for Kepler and the 7000 series.

But yeah, I'd be happier about the 7870M in the MBP...


Quote:
Originally Posted by MacKid View Post
Apple has only ever used middle-of-the-high-end cards in its pro notebooks - or computers in general, really. None of the product lines have ever been on the bleeding edge of graphics hardware except the tower, for a few generations.
The iMac begs to differ. Sure, it uses mobile GPUs... but the best in its class.
leman is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 06:05 AM   #20
Ploki
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ybz90 View Post
I don't know about this, but it's possible the GPU is downclocked. Apple has done that in the past. Either way, the thermal performance is clearly acceptable as is the battery life, so I guess Apple's design decisions and engineering teams are solid.
As I said, 650m in rMBP is actually significantly overclocked.
Downclocking a GTX 660 would probably hinder performance (Which is already worse than OC'd 650m), and the next in line (GTX670m) is 30% more consuming.
Ploki is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 07:05 AM   #21
whitedragon101
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by throAU View Post
Alternative theory:
Apple swap from AMD to Nvidia from generation to generation to keep both hardware vendors on their toes and maintain stable drivers for both platforms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by clyde2801 View Post
No, it's all about profit margins.

I fear these answers are closest to the truth. When the engineering doesn't add up I suspect there may be a business reason.
whitedragon101 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 10:11 AM   #22
cirus
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ploki View Post
As I said, 650m in rMBP is actually significantly overclocked.
Downclocking a GTX 660 would probably hinder performance (Which is already worse than OC'd 650m), and the next in line (GTX670m) is 30% more consuming.
Gtx 660m is still more powerful than overclocked retina 650m.

I have a laptop with a 660m and it runs at 950 core 2500 memory (because of boost function--but it always runs at that speed).

Mr. MM.

I was pointing out that the tdp is not the amount of power used and that it could be questionable to conclude that the 650m uses 45 watts. The 660m is suppoed to have a tdp or 65 watts. I doubt a small ~100 mhz boost in clock speed is going to require 20 watts. Actual power use is probably similar to the 6770m, given that thermals are very similar in the cmbp 15.
cirus is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 10:43 AM   #23
bill-p
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Looking at it from a different angle, perhaps it's simply because nVidia drivers are much better than ATI?

My 2011 MBP had a lot of drivers problems under Bootcamp. Since I don't run many 3D-intensive applications under OSX, I don't know how much worse it is, but the 650M in my rMBP is much better than the crap I had to deal with using the ATI graphics in Bootcamp.

They seriously need to get their drivers in check on the Windows side.
bill-p is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 02:54 PM   #24
Ploki
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by cirus View Post
Gtx 660m is still more powerful than overclocked retina 650m.

I have a laptop with a 660m and it runs at 950 core 2500 memory (because of boost function--but it always runs at that speed).

Mr. MM.
Seems your GTX 660m is clocked a bit higher as well though.
Stock core speed is supposed to be a tad below 900mhz, while 650m in the rMBP is clocked @900mhz.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/gami...-confused.html

That's not to say that 660m isn't better, but that 650m setup as in rMBP is a very decent card not falling far behind 660m, so it boils down to implementation i guess...

Considering the thermals Apple would probably also run 660m higher than usual (probably at frequencies you specified)
Ploki is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 11, 2013, 03:37 PM   #25
cirus
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ploki View Post
Seems your GTX 660m is clocked a bit higher as well though.
Stock core speed is supposed to be a tad below 900mhz, while 650m in the rMBP is clocked @900mhz.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/gami...-confused.html

That's not to say that 660m isn't better, but that 650m setup as in rMBP is a very decent card not falling far behind 660m, so it boils down to implementation i guess...

Considering the thermals Apple would probably also run 660m higher than usual (probably at frequencies you specified)
Every 660m I'm aware of runs at 950 core (through boost)

cirus is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Notebooks > MacBook Pro

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MBP2010 - Anyway to disable the nVidia GPU wilflare MacBook Pro 11 Jun 2, 2014 09:54 AM
Replace nvidia GPU on Penryn MBP ? cjoy MacBook Pro 11 Aug 30, 2013 01:34 PM
OS X: Will Black Ops ever be fixed for Nvidia GPU's? Doggonit Mac and PC Games 18 Nov 26, 2012 09:55 AM
What would the Nvidia GT650m be to a desktop GPU? Woodcrest64 MacBook Pro 24 Jul 22, 2012 10:00 PM
Any problems with the nVidia GPU's in '12 MBP's? DELTAsnake MacBook Pro 11 Jul 3, 2012 06:56 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:21 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC