13" MBPr owners with external displays, is the GPU good enough?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Xelo, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Xelo macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2007

    I am thinking about buying the new MBPr 13" 2.6 GHz and hook it up to a 2048 x 1152 external display.

    As a lot of other people, I am a little bit worried that the GPU is underpowered for the retina display (with a connected external monitor). This was heavily debated when the product was released, but after numerous software updates and some time I want to know the general thought from the people that own the machine.

    Do you think the GPU is underpowered and do you feel that the UI lags noticeably because of this? Do you have an external monitor? Resolution? Does connecting this change the performance? Is this an issue at all?

  2. Robin Chung macrumors member

    Robin Chung

    Apr 6, 2010
    I have the 15-inch model and notice the difference between HD4000 or when the 650M is activated. Also think the 13-inch is really 'pushing it' in terms of offering clear financial benefit for the -2 inch and handicap in raw firepower.
  3. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    I ran a pair of 1920x1080 monitors (both over Mini DP/Thunderbolt) and they were fine.
  4. map1978 macrumors 68020


    Feb 9, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    I can't answer your GPU concern, but I can tell you that it's not as bad as your thinking. Not 15 comparable of course, but the everyday user and somewhat power user won't worry about the GPU. It depends on what your usage is going to be. No problems here.

    I run my retina with this monitor

    Hooks up thunderbolt port and runs great

    You shouldn't have any problems with external displays
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    It depends on what you want to do. Running 3D games? Not going to happen. Software which heavily uses Quartz animations? Could get a bit choppy at times. Working with multiple windows across multiple desktops? No problems.
  6. Xelo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2007
    I'm not really worried about gaming or other heavy GPU stuff. The most demanding stuff I will do is probably photo post processing (photoshop/lightroom).

    These worries are regarding UI smoothness (scrolling, OS X animations etc.), everyday use. I don't like lagging interfaces.
  7. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    In specs at least the HD 4000 can handle 4k*4k. Which means it can drive two times 3840x2160 displays simultaneously. You are still a bit off from that.
    In theory at least the pure resolution shouldn't matter all that much for GUI performance. How many windows you have open and in the foreground and what kind of funky stuff goes on with animations matters more. The rest is primitive static stuff that doesn't matter.
    The Intel GPU is also quite decent with simple stuff. In games it also does well with low settings but really looses ground to AMD and Nvidia at more complex detail settings. Depending on 2D use alone you can probably bog down your HD 4000 on a 1280x800 res while somebody else runs fine with 7MegaPixels because he has less going on.
  8. stewacide macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2002
    I play 1080p movies over HDMI while using the internal desktop for various things and it's all smooth.
  9. yusukeaoki macrumors 68030


    Mar 22, 2011
    Tokyo, Japan
    I use the Apple Thunderbolt Display on my MBA and it works great.
    Considering that, it would work.
    Dont expect to do anything graphic intensive with the 13in though.

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