What's so bad about integrated graphics?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Rovias, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. Rovias macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    #1
    I'm just curious. I need to decide between a MB and an MBP. I can get a refurbished MB with 1 gig of RAM for $1099, but I can get an MBP with 512 MB of RAM for $100 more. The processors (2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo) and hard drive capacity (80 GB) are the same. If I opt for the MacBook, what am I missing out on that I would need a dedicated graphics card for?
     
  2. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #2
    Heavy Photshop, Heavy gameing.


    Thats about it.
     
  3. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #3
    Integrated graphics take RAM away from the system RAM to use it as video RAM, let's say that you have 512MB of RAM in the system, the integrated graphics will take away from that so if it used 64MB which is what it uses in the MB then you will be left with 448MB of RAM for the system. Also integrated graphics performs a lot worse than dedicated graphics (ie radeon x1600) at games. So if you play games at all then I would suggest you opt for the MBP.
     
  4. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816

    psycoswimmer

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    USA
    #4
    With integrated graphics, 3D graphics, including some video editing, and mostly, games, will suffer. If you plan on gaming at all, you would definitely have to go with the MBP.
     
  5. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    Jul 4, 2005
    #5
    Photoshop doesn't require a decent graphics card - it's all about the processor.

    The places you'll see degradation in performance from having intergrated graphics rather than a dedicated card are in gaming primarily, graphical compositing (Motion for example won't run on a MacBook etc.) and in system UI performance under load as RAM is allocated away from helping the system and put into graphics. This is why we recommend more RAM especially in systems with integrated graphics and for users who rely on apps running in Rosetta.
     
  6. Rovias thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 22, 2005
    #6
    Well...I do plan on some video editing, but nothing very heavy. I doubt I will be using anything other than iMovie. MAYBE some Final Cut Express every now and then but not very likely.

    As for gaming...no. I've got a 360, Wii, and DS already.
     
  7. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    Jul 4, 2005
    #7
    Both of those programs will run very well, editing and encoding etc are processor-dependent, it's where you start layering elements onto a video (compositing check out Motion for what I mean) where you start to run into problems with graphics processors. Editing and encoding should work just fine.
     
  8. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    Simple answer...

    Everything will run well except:

    - New 3D games
    - Aperture
    - Motion
     
  9. thugpoet22 macrumors regular

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    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    And also keep in mind that having a separate graphics card will drain the battery a lot quicker than onboard graphics. So if your going to be mobile with your laptop very often, you should probably also take that into consideration.
     
  10. scott523 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 8, 2006
    Location:
    St Charles, MO
    #10
    I have no complaints of having integrated graphics. I'm having a fun time playing CoD2, no problems and nice frames coming from this little machine. My fans go at full speed but I can't complain with this nice game running. :D

    I would say having integrated graphics put heavy load on the CPU when it comes to flash. Sometimes I get irritated after seeing my MacBook 'panic' after a YouTube clip.
     
  11. faustfire macrumors 6502a

    faustfire

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    #11
    If you ever plan on doing any 3d work integrated graphics will drive you crazy, it makes it impossible.
     
  12. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    Dec 9, 2004
    #12
    Since it's only $100 difference, go with the MBP. You can add more memory at any time, but you'd be stuck with integrated graphics forever. Even if you don't game, sooner or later you'll run something that works badly on integrated graphics and then you'd regret having a MB....

    --Eric
     
  13. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    #13
    Yeay on the latter, nay on the former.

    Photoshop isn't a GPU-intensive app. Neither is Final Cut.
     
  14. rcn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    #14
    There's something I don't know about integrated graphics.

    I guess that if you have enough RAM, memory shouldn't be a problem; neither should memory access time be a problem with a 667MHz front side bus.

    But, the question is, Does integrated graphics mean that graphic processing is also taking CPU time instead of having another chip to do graphics job?
     
  15. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #15
    As it stands right now, video editing has essentially nothing to do with your video card's 3D abilities. Integrated graphics are just fine. I don't know what that person was talking about, he obviously doesn't do video editing.
     
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #16
    I'd decide personally primarily based on which physical form factor appeals to you most. The MBP has a better screen too, naturally. But it's bigger. As for your video processing...will you be using an external screen? Where do you personally sit on the tradeoff between a big internal screen and portability?
     
  17. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

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    Jun 14, 2006
    #17
    I have a 1.83 GHz MacBook Pro with 1 gb of RAM, and a friend at school has a MacBook with 1 gb of RAM and a 1.83 GHz Core Duo. My MacBook Pro just feels snappier and generally screams in comparison to the MacBook which just feels very very fast.

    I heard from an Apple engineer that the MacBook Pro's logic board has higher bandwidth for pretty much everything and the MacBook Pro's components are generally higher quality, kind of makes sense with the price difference...
     
  18. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #18
    Aperture runs on integrated graphics too I believe... and apart from a BTO Mac Pro no Mac has a real graphics card that can handle the real games, like Oblivion.
     
  19. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    #19
    MBP has a 128MB or 256MB Radeon chip that should be able to handle Oblivion decently well.
     
  20. coday182 macrumors regular

    coday182

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    Jamestown, IN
    #20
    good point
     
  21. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

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    Dec 9, 2004
    #21
    Depends what you're doing...some functions have to be handled in software that a regular GPU would handle on its own, yes.

    --Eric
     
  22. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #22
    That is odd. It shouldn't be a 'night and day' difference. He might want to check if he has any programs running in the background that are using up a lot of RAM. (Some printer/scanner software that is running in Rosetta, for example.)

    Nope, sorry. Same bandwidth from processor to chipset, same from chipset to memory, same from chipset to hard drive, USB, FireWire, everything. The *ONLY* difference is the video. And, ironically, the integrated graphics actually would have slightly FASTER access to the chipset (since it's part of the chipset, it has lower latency,) but slower memory, since it shares the main memory bandwidth with the processor, whereas the MacBook Pro's dedicated chip has its own dedicated (and faster than main system) memory.

    I have to weigh in that as others have said, unless you are going to play the latest 3D games, use Aperture, or Motion, you won't really notice the difference.

    But for $100, I'd go with the Pro, for sure. Not only do you get the discrete graphics, but you get the ExpressCard slot (I use a memory card reader in mine,) and a 15" 1440x900 screen instead of a 13" 1280x800 screen. Unless you REALLY want the smaller physical size, go for Pro.
     

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