15" MBP - Iris Pro vs GT750M

-Matt-

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 28, 2014
7
0
Hey all - I'm in need of a little bit of advice.

I'm taking the plunge and getting my first Mac, a 15" MBP Retina. However I'm torn between the two types. More so torn between the graphics on offer - Iris Pro, or GT750M.

I don't do much gaming (if any at all), but this machine will be my desktop replacement, so I'm a little worried about giving up my trusty GTX580.

I've been through a ton of articles comparing the two, and the trade off with the GT750M seems to be a hotter laptop, with less battery life, but of course better graphics.

I guess I just want some opinions from you guys who actually use the machines, as I've exhausted myself looking at charts with FPS pasted everywhere. :)
 

cirus

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2011
582
0
If you aren't doing anything that stresses the GPU iris pro is just fine.
 

nobodyjustwalks

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2013
211
0
I've been through a ton of articles comparing the two, and the trade off with the GT750M seems to be a hotter laptop, with less battery life, but of course better graphics.
This is the logic I used before purchasing my mid 2014 rMBP. Unless youʻre doing something daily that requires the discrete graphics card. You should be fine with Iris Pro.

You mention in your post that this is going to be your "desktop replacement." If by that you mean surfing the web with 20-40 tabs open, streaming music and video, word processing, and chat. Then a 15" rMBP is probably overkill. I probably use about 2-5% of my computerʻs capability on a daily basis.

But if by desktop replacement, youʻre referring to running an assortment of CPU and graphics intensive applications, then you might want the 750m. But even then, you have to ask yourself, is the 3 second less encode time or 5 second less something else worth the extra money? In other tasks, yes, the 750m is much faster than the stock GPU. Therefore, youʻll ultimately have to decide which apps youʻre using, and if theyʻll benefit from the added horsepower, and ultimately, if itʻs worth the increased drain on your battery.
 
Last edited:

themcfly

macrumors regular
Jul 20, 2011
140
262
Just replaced a 2013 maxed out iMac (GTX 680MX) with the baseline retina 15".

I use Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Premiere & After Effects for a living. No real changes in performance, only 5 to 10% slower in video rendering times (not really for the GFX, but for the 3.4ghz desktop vs 2.2ghz mobile chip).

Also use the 1920x1200 scaled resolution (which is the more demanding, because of the 3480x2400 rendering and 2880x1800 scaling) plus an external 1080p monitor. Everything is buttery smooth. The laptop gets a little bit hot with the external monitor plugged in, but no performance loss. The 5200 is a beast of a little chip!
 

blooperz

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2013
287
1
I've been through a ton of articles comparing the two, and the trade off with the GT750M seems to be a hotter laptop, with less battery life, but of course better graphics.
The iris pro gets just as hot...in fact the CPU gets even hotter when stressed then the 750M model, since the 5200 shares the same Die.

I first purchased the baseline model, but ended up switching it for the 750m model. I'd say unless you need it for gaming or do lots go graphic intensive tasks/video editing than the 750 is not needed. Adobe software for photo editing doesn't even utilize the dGPU (with the exception of some rarely used tools in photoshop).

You didn't really make it clear what your uses for it are going to be, so it's hard to recommend which would better suite you. As for battery life since you mentioned this is a desktop replacement having a plug nearby probably isn't an issue...and even then the 750m lasts quite a while on battery because most of the time the dGPU is disabled and the iris pro is running the show.

~ if you don't want the 750m but plan on upgrading the baseline i think it ends up being the same price as the 750m model so theres that to consider.
 

ostrykolesz

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2014
101
85
Poland
I just got the Iris Pro my self. It was a tough decision. The thing is the GT750M is a pretty poor video card in the Nvidia product family and the Iris Pro is a dam fine integrated video card. So I couldn't justify the extra cash. The GT750M does tend to be twice as fast in video games. Still, the GT750M won't play most new games on high settings. Plus Intel tends to be rock solid as far as reliability and driver stability is concerned.

I now see OS X as a viable gaming platform thanks to Steam and in Bootcamp everything plays on the Macbook Pro.

In the future I hope Apple releases a DirectX competitor and adds more powerful video cards as an option. The 2014 Macbook Pro 15 should have had at least a GTX860m installed. Apple got away with selling computers that were really poor for gaming earlier on, but today's generation of consumers grew up with video games and most do like to play them once in a while. Selling notebooks with poor 3D performance will hurt sales in the future for sure.
 
Last edited:

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
I just got the Iris Pro my self. It was a tough decision. The thing is the GT750M is a pretty poor video card in the Nvidia product family and the Iris Pro is a dam fine integrated video card. So I couldn't justify the extra cash. The GT750M does tend to be twice as fast in video games. Still, the GT750M won't play most new games on high settings. Plus Intel tends to be rock solid as far as reliability and driver stability.

I now see OS X as a viable gaming platform thanks to Steam and in Bootcamp everything plays on the Macbook Pro.

In the future I hope Apple releases a DirectX competitor and adds more powerful video cards as an option. The 2014 Macbook Pro 15 should have had at least a GTX860m installed. Apple got away with selling computers that were really poor for gaming earlier on, but today's generation of consumers grew up with video games and most do like to play them once in a while. Selling notebooks with poor 3D performance will hurt sales in the future for sure.
The GT 750M can handle BF4 at 1680x1050, mix of high and ultra, 16xAF, FXAA at 47-50 fps on average, with the lowest being 35 and easily going past 60 in quite a number of situations.

I play BF4 on my 15" rMBP (2.6/16/1TB/750M late-2013) and am very happy with the performance of BF4 on it.
 

ostrykolesz

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2014
101
85
Poland
The GT 750M can handle BF4 at 1680x1050, mix of high and ultra, 16xAF, FXAA at 47-50 fps on average, with the lowest being 35 and easily going past 60 in quite a number of situations.

I play BF4 on my 15" rMBP (2.6/16/1TB/750M late-2013) and am very happy with the performance of BF4 on it.
For an FPS shooter the minimum benchmark resolution is 1920x1200 and the FPS should be 60 or above. Your numbers aren't bad, but a better video card in future models would be welcome.
 

NathanA

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2008
739
16
I've been through a ton of articles comparing the two, and the trade off with the GT750M seems to be a hotter laptop, with less battery life, but of course better graphics.
Unless you are booted into Windows or you have external monitors hooked up, you can completely disable the 750M with gfxCardStatus. So unless you plan to be Bootcamping a lot or using 2nd and 3rd monitors a lot, the way I look at it is that unless the $$ are an issue, buying the 750M is a no-brainer. You get all the benefits of Iris Pro and can elect to only engage the 750M when you need the extra oomph.

-- Nathan
 

Artimus12

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2011
523
106
YooKay
gfxCardStatus indicates that the dGPU is activated with the slightest provocation - we're not quite talking Youtube, but plug an HD TV into it and it lights up! Fire up a decent photo editing app = it's off and running again, and that's before you load images.

Unnecessary? Maybe, but it's nice to know you're covered on the odd occasion you might need that little extra grunt.

As for eating battery power, it's pretty efficient as far as consumption goes, maybe that's why Apple didn't fit anything more potent. I certainly don't regret the choice I made! I'd rather have it than not, and I'm still browsing untethered longer than ever.
 

Attachments

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
2,285
53
This is the logic I used before purchasing my mid 2014 rMBP. Unless youʻre doing something daily that requires the discrete graphics card. You should be fine with Iris Pro.

You mention in your post that this is going to be your "desktop replacement." If by that you mean surfing the web with 20-40 tabs open, streaming music and video, word processing, and chat. Then a 15" rMBP is probably overkill. I probably use about 2-5% of my computerʻs capability on a daily basis.

But if by desktop replacement, youʻre referring to running an assortment of CPU and graphics intensive applications, then you might want the 750m. But even then, you have to ask yourself, is the 3 second less encode time or 5 second less something else worth the extra money? In other tasks, yes, the 750m is much faster than the stock GPU. Therefore, youʻll ultimately have to decide which apps youʻre using, and if theyʻll benefit from the added horsepower, and ultimately, if itʻs worth the increased drain on your battery.
Doesn't OP mean to use the MBP as a desktop computer?

----------

I have the one with only the Iris Pro and it is just fine. Minecraft runs good on it.
 

Artimus12

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2011
523
106
YooKay
Forgot to add the dGPU temps - as you can see it runs not much hotter than the Pro graphics when in general use, and as said it can be bypassed. Don't buy into the hype about it running hot, it really doesn't unless you're encoding video or otherwise hammering it. :cool:
 

Attachments

NathanA

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2008
739
16
...plug an HD TV into it and it lights up!
That's because on the 750M models, all external display ports (Thunderbolt/DisplayPort, HDMI) are physically wired to the 750M chip, so you *cannot* use the Iris Pro if you have external displays plugged in. If you care about this and will likely never take advantage of the 750M, then this is a good argument for not buying the model with discrete graphics. Me, I never plug in an external display, so this doesn't affect me and I have the option of forcing the machine to always use integrated if I want unless I explicitly override it.

-- Nathan
 

Crzyrio

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2010
1,468
819
I see it as a nice thing to have.

The majority of apps have been updated to not fire up the dGPU unless necessary.

It came in very handy when I was doing 3D Scanning and rendering. If things like CUDA becomes more mainstream with more apps, it could turn out to be very useful having an dGPU especially for video conversions.
 

-Matt-

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 28, 2014
7
0
Thanks for all the replies!

Just to answer a few of the questions, by desktop replacement I'm talking YouTube and iTunes everyday, and 3-4 Safari tabs open. I use to be a big gamer, especially with BF3, but work got in the way of that. :D I don't want to rule light gaming out though, and as I'll be keeping the machine for at least 5 years I don't know how graphically intense light gaming will be then.

I suppose my main worry with being my main computer would be reliability of the nVidia chip. I've had a laptop in the past where the chip failed after a few years, and another where HP wouldn't release new drivers which crippled the laptop (admittedly that time was AMD). I'd hate to get 3 years down the line, and something similar happen to me with Apple after forking out nearly £2000.

Is Apple normally fine with driver releases, and chip fail rates?

Some of you mentioned a way of switching off the nVdia chip until you actually want to use it. Would you have to switch it off every time you boot up, or is it a case of just switching off and forgetting about it until you want to use it?

I'll be getting the base model on which ever I choose. I was looking at Costco UK to make the purchase. 15" alone is £1499, and 15" with 750M is £1879. The 512GB SSD would also be a nice touch, but not necessary as I've got a portable HDD, and I guess in a few years if I had to, I could upgrade the SSD.

So many decisions. :D
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
gfxCardStatus indicates that the dGPU is activated with the slightest provocation - we're not quite talking Youtube, but plug an HD TV into it and it lights up! Fire up a decent photo editing app = it's off and running again, and that's before you load images.

Unnecessary? Maybe, but it's nice to know you're covered on the odd occasion you might need that little extra grunt.

As for eating battery power, it's pretty efficient as far as consumption goes, maybe that's why Apple didn't fit anything more potent. I certainly don't regret the choice I made! I'd rather have it than not, and I'm still browsing untethered longer than ever.
The problem is that the mDP port is not physically connected to the iGPU. It's only connected to the dGPU in models with the dGPU.

So an external display would fire up the dGPU.
 

NathanA

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2008
739
16
The problem is that the mDP port is not physically connected to the iGPU. It's only connected to the dGPU in models with the dGPU.

So an external display would fire up the dGPU.
...exactly what I posted 2 hours before you did. :p

-- Nathan
 

mr.bee

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2007
713
426
Brussels, belgium
I have a late 2013 rmbp "15, with 2,3ghz, 16 gig, iris pro only.

I was very skeptical about people seeing hiccups and slow downs in the system. So i chose the iris pro only with slightly better cpu and 16 gigs RAM.

my usage is mostly average i guess. using pixelmator, safari, itunes, mail all at the same time. i do tend to play wow once in a while.

I see hiccups now once in a while, especially using mission control, during dashboard, when I do a cold start up the transition is not smooth.

So actually I kinda regret not getting a decent graphics card. But on the other hand I regret my setup more. I think I'm better of buying a fully fledged iMac with decent graphic card and a cheap macbook air for stuff on the road.
 

ostrykolesz

macrumors regular
Sep 10, 2014
101
85
Poland
Your hiccups are not because of the Intel video card... It's either becuase of the unoptimized Apple code or a heavy background process. I have no "hiccups" in Yosemite.
 

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,022
172
Thanks for all the replies!

Just to answer a few of the questions, by desktop replacement I'm talking YouTube and iTunes everyday, and 3-4 Safari tabs open. I use to be a big gamer, especially with BF3, but work got in the way of that. :D I don't want to rule light gaming out though, and as I'll be keeping the machine for at least 5 years I don't know how graphically intense light gaming will be then.

I suppose my main worry with being my main computer would be reliability of the nVidia chip. I've had a laptop in the past where the chip failed after a few years, and another where HP wouldn't release new drivers which crippled the laptop (admittedly that time was AMD). I'd hate to get 3 years down the line, and something similar happen to me with Apple after forking out nearly £2000.

Is Apple normally fine with driver releases, and chip fail rates?

Some of you mentioned a way of switching off the nVdia chip until you actually want to use it. Would you have to switch it off every time you boot up, or is it a case of just switching off and forgetting about it until you want to use it?

I'll be getting the base model on which ever I choose. I was looking at Costco UK to make the purchase. 15" alone is £1499, and 15" with 750M is £1879. The 512GB SSD would also be a nice touch, but not necessary as I've got a portable HDD, and I guess in a few years if I had to, I could upgrade the SSD.

So many decisions. :D
With that usage, the 750M wouldn't even be active anyway. graphics switching is automatic in osx, and it only activates in certain circumstances.
 

Artimus12

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2011
523
106
YooKay
..

Is Apple normally fine with driver releases, and chip fail rates?

Some of you mentioned a way of switching off the nVdia chip until you actually want to use it. Would you have to switch it off every time you boot up, or is it a case of just switching off and forgetting about it until you want to use it?

I'll be getting the base model on which ever I choose. I was looking at Costco UK to make the purchase. 15" alone is £1499, and 15" with 750M is £1879. The 512GB SSD would also be a nice touch, but not necessary as I've got a portable HDD, and I guess in a few years if I had to, I could upgrade the SSD.

So many decisions. :D
Apple generally supports their platforms well and there's no reason to think they'll leave Mac owners high & dry. Fail rates? I have no idea about that, although I've read somewhere on this site about a previous dGPU failing because of a manufacturing fault!?!

Graphics switching? There are times you won't have a choice in the matter and it will happen automatically when an app is launched that may need the extra power of the dGPU ...like if an app is in the "dependencies" list ...integrated only mode limitations

the attached image is the message you get when you try to switch back to iGPU after starting Aperture! as said, some apps request dGPU specifically.

HtH
 

Attachments

NathanA

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2008
739
16
Graphics switching? There are times you won't have a choice in the matter and it will happen automatically when an app is launched that may need the extra power of the dGPU ...like if an app is in the "dependencies" list ...integrated only mode limitations
Just to be clear, though, that only happens if switching is set to "dynamic", you launch such an application, then try to switch to "integrated only" while the application is still running. If you are running on "integrated only" before you launch said app, then it will remain integrated only and the dGPU won't be powered on. So if you want it to run on integrated and you forgot to set it to integrated before launching the app, the solution is to quit the app, then set it to integrated only, and re-launch the app. I tested all of this out with iMovie and this is how it works.

The problem appears to be that it is not possible to cleanly force it back to integrated after an application that requests extra GPU horsepower is granted that request. But if you have it set to "integrated only" before launching such an app, its request is refused and you will remain on integrated graphics. So if you want integrated only, you set gfxCardStatus to that, configure it to launch on startup, and the dGPU will not engage unless you allow it to.

-- Nathan
 

unimoog

macrumors newbie
Sep 19, 2010
3
0
Fan noise

And what about fan noise?

When the GT 750 causes more heat, does that mean more fan noise?

I'm in the same boat, buying a MBP for Logic&Co.

Someone said the 2014 MBP are noisier than the 2013 by the way...

Jo
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,121
Won't be noisier

And what about fan noise?

When the GT 750 causes more heat, does that mean more fan noise?

I'm in the same boat, buying a MBP for Logic&Co.

Someone said the 2014 MBP are noisier than the 2013 by the way...

Jo
It won't be noisier it is the same computer, the CPU is just binned a bit higher clock.

The 750 will cause the fans to spin up more often when in use and if you use an external screen that will only work on the 750M.

To be honest every laptop will be noisy when stressiong CPU and GPU, the macbook pro is a remarkably quiet machine in general but it is still a laptop and fan noise will always be an issue when it is under load.

A desktop is still the way to go for heavy computing of any kind. It seems to me that people expect far to much from their laptops, the tech is just not there yet to make a silent desktop replacement laptop.
 

andyp350

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2011
807
459
I have the 750M model and I'm glad I made that decision. It only runs hot/lessens battery life when you're using the dedicated GPU (OSX dynamically switches between the two). So when you are doing your day to day tasks there is no difference, when you're doing you're graphic intensive tasks the extra heat and battery drain are worth it for the performance boost.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.