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10 Gauge

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 16, 2020
28
10
Curious if anyone has done any testing to see what battery life is like directly comparing only using - or letting the OS handle the GPU switching rather - and using the discrete graphics full time.

I‘ve noticed that the Intel GPU just isn’t powerful enough to give that nice smooth experience you expect from an Apple product, when it comes to app and desktop switching, or scrolling a full screen website, you‘ll notice stutters here and there. When the discrete GPU is handling everything you get that buttery smoothness that you come to expect from an Apple user experience.

So what I’d like to know, how far will you get when you let the discrete graphics run full time compared to the Intel GPU for basic every day productivity type things like checking email, browsing the web, possibly watching a few videos on YouTube etc. Also, will this have any ill effect in the long run, like premature failure of the GPU from using it 100% of the time?

Appreciate any insight to these questions that anyone might have, thanks!
 

bill-p

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2011
2,929
1,587
4 hours with dGPU versus 8 hours with iGPU. That's what I see typically.

Then depending on CPU load, that can be 1 hour as well.
 
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10 Gauge

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 16, 2020
28
10
4 hours with dGPU versus 8 hours with iGPU. That's what I see typically.

Then depending on CPU load, that can be 1 hour as well.
Thanks, so basically it’s just best to live with the laggy craptasticness that is the iGPU... Saddening. Hope they figure out a way to code a little more efficiently for the iGPU so that we can have the same base desktop experience using it, as it should be for such an expensive machine.
 
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bill-p

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2011
2,929
1,587
As an aside, I don't notice much of an issue with the iGPU, or else the screen is a bit too blurry when things are in motion so I don't pay any attention to that.

Websites that used to lag with my 13" MacBook Pro (now my wife's, I guess) seem perfectly fine on the 16". Facebook is a prime example.

Also scrolling actually doesn't use the GPU that much. Scrolling is mostly affected by CPU speed. Sites with infinite scrolling needs to render new elements as you scroll, and this is mostly a CPU task.
 

10 Gauge

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 16, 2020
28
10
It turns out that most of my stuttering issues were coming from Apple Mail constantly downloading and cacheing mail from 6 accounts in the background. By the time I figured this out it had managed to cache 15gb of email and was absolutely killing my battery life trying to cache all of that mail. Since dumping Apple Mail and making the switch to Spark it's like using a whole new computer. Still sad that such a shoddy email client can cause those kinds of issues on an 8 core MacBook, but alas, the problem seems solved now and performance also seems drastically better in 10.15.5 Beta 4 which I just installed last night. The power nap kernel crashes appear to be fixed now as well. Hoping to see the official release soon, seems Apple has done a right good amount of work for this next release.
 

pygolpher

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2020
6
0
Is there a proper way to force the Mac to use the discrete card? I'm looking at the energy tab of the Activity Monitor and I cannot get apps that are using hardware acceleration to use the Discrete card only. The only two apps I have gotten to work successfully are iMovie and Photos. The apps being Slack, MS Remote Desktop, Zoom, and Chrome. I would expect all four if they are truly doing hardware acceleration through the GPU to have that report yes. I have tried changing the setting in battery preferences, and installed gSwitch and gfxCardStatus to try to get it to use the discrete card only. Rebooted as well.
 

10 Gauge

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 16, 2020
28
10
Is there a proper way to force the Mac to use the discrete card? I'm looking at the energy tab of the Activity Monitor and I cannot get apps that are using hardware acceleration to use the Discrete card only. The only two apps I have gotten to work successfully are iMovie and Photos. The apps being Slack, MS Remote Desktop, Zoom, and Chrome. I would expect all four if they are truly doing hardware acceleration through the GPU to have that report yes. I have tried changing the setting in battery preferences, and installed gSwitch and gfxCardStatus to try to get it to use the discrete card only. Rebooted as well.
Yes, unchecking “Automatic graphics switching” in the energy control panel will force the dGPU to run full time.
 

pygolpher

macrumors newbie
Dec 6, 2020
6
0
Then I should see apps that use hardware acceleration showing up as a Yes in the Energy tab of the activity monitor right? Just like I do when I open Photos or iMovie. But they are not.
 
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