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Old Jul 1, 2012, 10:55 AM   #1
eyron
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Choppy UI graphics performance on all macbooks?

I thought the poor graphics performance I was experiencing with Lion on my 15" i5 2.4GHz macbook pro must have been due to it being a couple of years old, but after going into an apple store and testing a current Macbook Air, MBP and retina MBP all of them display similar or worse symptoms! The frame rate of fade animations and scrolling is clearly far below 30fps. The worst choppiness occurs when opening and closing folders in launchpad. Switching between launchpad screens was also pretty bad.

From what i've heard this is due to poor graphics drivers - how has apple allowed things to become this bad even on its current models? Considering the iPhone became known for its smooth and fluid UI, and indeed my 3GS gives a smoother experience than the MBP at the moment, can they not recognise the importance of allowing graphics card vendors to control drivers? I briefly tried the Mountain Lion DP3 (DP4 was meant to have a bug making the frame rate as bad as Lion) and while things are better they are far from perfect.

Do other people not notice this low frame rate across all macbooks? I find it pretty annoying and it greatly lowers my perception of the performance of the machine. It's not like these UI animations are as taxing on the GPU as high performance games - the Intel integrated card should be able to handle them fine, as it does with Windows.
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Old Jul 1, 2012, 11:30 AM   #2
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All is well here (2009 white MacBook). When I use my Magic Trackpad, though it gets even better
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Old Jul 1, 2012, 12:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Drew017 View Post
All is well here (2009 white MacBook). When I use my Magic Trackpad, though it gets even better
I don't see how all can be well if the current highest performance models aren't.. perhaps some people are less sensitive to the chop, a couple of people have commented on it though.
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Old Jul 1, 2012, 12:43 PM   #4
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i definitely see it. i thought maybe it was to do with my hdd not being an ssd drive

i have 15 inch 2.2 ghz quad core i7 with 8gb RAM

it gets really bad if the ram gets used up nad starts paging out.
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Old Jul 1, 2012, 06:00 PM   #5
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i definitely see it. i thought maybe it was to do with my hdd not being an ssd drive

i have 15 inch 2.2 ghz quad core i7 with 8gb RAM

it gets really bad if the ram gets used up nad starts paging out.
I also expected a performance increase when I upgraded to an SSD but although programs open faster, it only made me notice the slow graphics more! I upgraded from 4 to 8gb of ram as well as someone on this forum mentioned that it had helped - no difference. I don't know why so many people are just taking this problem lying down.. I've sent a couple of feedback reports to Apple just to feel like I'm doing something to get rid of the problem as they have essentially made us powerless to do anything else by locking down the driver system.
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Old Jul 1, 2012, 07:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyron View Post
I don't see how all can be well if the current highest performance models aren't.. perhaps some people are less sensitive to the chop, a couple of people have commented on it though.
If you don't believe me, here is a quick video I made that shows me using testing the UI of Lion



I have only 2Gb of RAM and a HDD by the way...
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Old Jul 2, 2012, 03:57 AM   #7
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If you don't believe me, here is a quick video I made that shows me using testing the UI of Lion

YouTube: video

I have only 2Gb of RAM and a HDD by the way...
Interesting.. do you know what graphics card it has? Perhaps it has a better than average driver. Also does it have one or two cards? The problems on recent macbooks (pro, air) are more noticable on the Intel HD graphics card, which should be fine when not using graphics intensive apps but ruins the whole experience atm
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Old Jul 2, 2012, 07:20 AM   #8
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My white MacBook has one card- an NVidia GeForce 9400M, with 256MB of graphics.

Personally, whenever I've used a MacBook at a Apple store, I've been amazed by the performance...
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Old Jul 2, 2012, 09:25 AM   #9
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http://www.macworld.com.au/news/reti...e-limit-61385/

This is interesting and is basically what I experience on a few years out of date MBP - on the better GPU the performance can be smooth but it isn't consistent. I also found graphics performance impressive on Snow Leopard but on Lion it is just inconsistent which detracts from the "seamless" OS X experience. It's infuriating as well how the launchpad will open with no fade at all and the folder opening will stutter but when it's repeated it seems to "warm up" and becomes smooth
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Old Jul 3, 2012, 08:02 PM   #10
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Choppy video on Macbook

I'm adding this because I keep forgetting. The basic problem is your wireless router. I had a linksys router (black with the blue bar) and there is some issue with the apple computers and the newness of new routers. Once I bought a new wireless router everything is just fine. (This is thanks to the Apple guy at Best Buy). It has something to do with the speed or compression or mhz or something and it's the router's fault not the computer. If your router is more than a year old, get a new one. Don't download anything and dont sign up for any of the apple cleaning things.
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Old Jul 3, 2012, 10:09 PM   #11
Jethryn Freyman
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I have similar crap performance on my 4,1 Macbook, it's got the GMA X3100 graphics. It does have 6GB of memory and an SSD.
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Old Jul 4, 2012, 01:25 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jethryn Freyman View Post
I have similar crap performance on my 4,1 Macbook, it's got the GMA X3100 graphics. It does have 6GB of memory and an SSD.
It's so strange to me that so many people have totally different experiences with OS X Lion. Why?
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Old Jul 4, 2012, 03:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Drew017 View Post
It's so strange to me that so many people have totally different experiences with OS X Lion. Why?
Right now I'm blaming the crap graphics card in my Macbook. I just upgraded the graphics card in my Leopard-running 466MHz G4 from an ATI Rage 128 Pro (16MB), to a Radeon 9600 XT (128MB), and DAMN the UI performance has jumped up. The Macbook isn't as bad as the ancient G4 with the ATI Rage card, but it's similar lag.
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Old Jul 4, 2012, 03:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jethryn Freyman View Post
Right now I'm blaming the crap graphics card in my Macbook. I just upgraded the graphics card in my Leopard-running 466MHz G4 from an ATI Rage 128 Pro (16MB), to a Radeon 9600 XT (128MB), and DAMN the UI performance has jumped up. The Macbook isn't as bad as the ancient G4 with the ATI Rage card, but it's similar lag.
Do you think it is possible to upgrade the MacBook's video card?
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Old Jul 4, 2012, 05:03 PM   #15
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Do you think it is possible to upgrade the MacBook's video card?
It's soldered in so you can't, but I'm hopeful that Mountain Lion will improve things considerably as many people have reported that it did on the ML forum. Going to try out the GM when it comes out to see.
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Old Jul 4, 2012, 05:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by eyron View Post
It's soldered in so you can't, but I'm hopeful that Mountain Lion will improve things considerably as many people have reported that it did on the ML forum. Going to try out the GM when it comes out to see.
Well I can tell you that for me, the Dev preview of Mountain Lion is much smoother than Lion and performance is awesome
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Old Jul 4, 2012, 06:26 PM   #17
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When using the integrated GPU, sometimes it's not 100% smooth if i have alot of things running in the background.

On the descrete GPU, it's smooth as butter.
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 02:31 AM   #18
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Well I can tell you that for me, the Dev preview of Mountain Lion is much smoother than Lion and performance is awesome
Can you still tell the difference between integrated and discrete? I tried DP3 briefly and integrated was still a lower framerate but greatly improved
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Old Jul 5, 2012, 08:26 AM   #19
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Can you still tell the difference between integrated and discrete? I tried DP3 briefly and integrated was still a lower framerate but greatly improved
My MacBook only has one card...
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Old Jul 7, 2012, 04:29 AM   #20
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I have noticed the same thing. I have a late 2011 macbook pro. I would pay extra to have smoother graphics! Its true that the opening and closing folders in Launch Pad is seriously choppy. It looks like the whole animation is being rendered through 4-5 frames!
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Old Jul 7, 2012, 04:32 AM   #21
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Launchpad is silky smooth on my 2011 MBA and my iMac. EDIT: Sorry, opening folders in LP is really bad even on my iMac.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 03:17 AM   #22
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@eyron
I know what you mean and it also irritates me a little. I have a 2011 Mac Air i7, 256GB. Since a few months I noticed the animations got laggy and choppy all over the OS. When I start my Air (fresh or from sleep) the first time the dock appears I can notice it well. The strange thing is, when I put the cursor on the dock a second time it isnīt choppy anymore. While my Air should have enough Power to handle it well, it seems all sort of animations arenīt as smooth as they definately used to be in the beginning. I have the feeling it was better with previous versions of Lion, but after going through 10.7.2 to 10.7.4 and EFI updates it somehow feels much worse. It is not that it irritates me a lot, but it could for sure be smoother and thereby give a much better user-feeling. My 2011 i7 is said to be just a little slower than the 2012 i5 (except graphics) When I open a movie either in QuickTime or MediaPlayerX, the transition to fullscreen is just horrible. It lags, it jutters, it is choppy. Since the i7 plays Full HD without any problems, I assume it must have something to do with the OS, not with the hardware performance. Same for LaunchPad or Mission Control. I really wonder what happened? The only thing I remembered from the start was that the scrolling in Safari was choppy too. I found the iPhones could do it mutch better, but anyways I didnīt bother too much about it that time. Now with Mountain Lion the Safari overall performance is said to be much better, but what about the rest? I wonder why they cant fix it in 10.7. - but maybe a new release 10.7.5 which is in preparation will address it? Hopefully, otherwise it is worth for me to shift to Mountain Lion.

Last edited by nebrot; Jul 10, 2012 at 03:31 AM.
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