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Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 27, 2010
858
76
Hi,

Wondering if purchasing the rMBP 2014 without the nVidia graphic card (I don't really need it) would:

1. reduce the weight of the laptop?

2. Give better battery life? Since I use Chrome a lot, I know it uses the nVIDIA graphic card quite a bit, and this drains the battery much quicker than using the Iris PRO on the chip itself.


Thanks
 

mcarling

macrumors 65816
Oct 22, 2009
1,292
180
It would only reduce the weight a few grams. It would be difficult to measure and one certainly would never notice it.

Battery life would be measurably better, but I'm not sure one would notice it.
 
Comment

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
2,301
61
Get the one without the iGPU. Chrome would drain your battery if you had the dGPU. Even with iGPU only it is plenty powerful.
 
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yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Hi,

Wondering if purchasing the rMBP 2014 without the nVidia graphic card (I don't really need it) would:

1. reduce the weight of the laptop?

2. Give better battery life? Since I use Chrome a lot, I know it uses the nVIDIA graphic card quite a bit, and this drains the battery much quicker than using the Iris PRO on the chip itself.


Thanks

There is no weight difference, nor any changes in battery life.

This is because you can use gfxcardstatus to disable the iGPU when on battery power. Just make sure you force it to integrated only twice upon startup (it's a bug in gfxcardstatus, where the first time forcing it into integrated returns an error). The second time you force it immediately after the first attempt, it works.

The errors are shown in my screenshot of Console, attached below.

And to be honest, is it really that hard to change to Safari? At least Google wouldn't spy on you.
 

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Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,023
172
Hi,

Wondering if purchasing the rMBP 2014 without the nVidia graphic card (I don't really need it) would:

1. reduce the weight of the laptop?

2. Give better battery life? Since I use Chrome a lot, I know it uses the nVIDIA graphic card quite a bit, and this drains the battery much quicker than using the Iris PRO on the chip itself.


Thanks

Unlike earlier mbp, the current rmbp does not activate the dgpu when using chrome. In fact, it only activates for me when playing games. So, unless you actually are doing something that activates the dgpu, there is literally no difference.
 
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Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 27, 2010
858
76
Unlike earlier mbp, the current rmbp does not activate the dgpu when using chrome. In fact, it only activates for me when playing games. So, unless you actually are doing something that activates the dgpu, there is literally no difference.

I have 2012 rMBP and half of the time it's on dPGU mode and kills my battery to death.
 
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100thMonkey

macrumors member
Aug 26, 2014
47
0
I have mid-2014 15" rMBP.

I posted a couple of things here before buying because I was coming from a late 2013 13" rMBP. Before moving to 15" I was curious about discrete vs. integrated vis a vis battery life as well as running cool and quiet. I really, really loved the 13"'s battery life and always running cool and quiet.

However, I love the larger screen. I got the integrated graphics with 2.2 processor, easily get 9 hours of battery life, doing generally simple stuff, Word, email, Safari, iMessage, Evernote. Stays cool and quiet the whole time. I made the right choice for me. Its exactly what I wanted and runs exactly like I want. it's really perfect with the big screen
 
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Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 27, 2010
858
76
I want to change my crappy 2012 rMBP because I received a lemon from day one and hate it. It has many problems and I've already replaced most of my laptop except the battery. I also have 15" and would never go 13" since it's very limited working space. 13" would be good for people who travel a lot, although I most of the day outside with my laptop and I don't feel any restrictions with my 15" (I do carry a backpack all the time, so that's probably why).
 
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FuNGi

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2010
1,121
32
California
Hi,

Wondering if purchasing the rMBP 2014 without the nVidia graphic card (I don't really need it) would:

1. reduce the weight of the laptop?

2. Give better battery life? Since I use Chrome a lot, I know it uses the nVIDIA graphic card quite a bit, and this drains the battery much quicker than using the Iris PRO on the chip itself.

Thanks

I have the 15" late 2013 with Nvidia750. The choice was simple given that I wanted the upgrades making the discrete card basically free. I don't use Chrome because I can't stand it, but I am under the understanding that it will not activate the discrete card under normal use. Same with VLC, update the software and it will use Iris Pro. If that is your only concern then maybe use a different browser.
My 750 gets activated these days only when using Aperture and when plugged into my external monitor. Obviously if you are hooking up to an external monitor then you have wired power and want more performance. The extra batter drain you speak of will be entirely up to your usage, ranging from 0% difference to ~40% loss if hammering it.
 
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Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 27, 2010
858
76
Odd. I have a late 2013 with 750M. What programs do you run?

Nothing major: Acrobat reader, Sptify, Word, Powerpoint, Chrome, Dropbox, and minor things like Fantastical/Wunderlist/Filezilla. Sometimes I use xCode and its emulator. Usually it's activated 50% of the time I use Chrome.
 
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Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,023
172
Nothing major: Acrobat reader, Sptify, Word, Powerpoint, Chrome, Dropbox, and minor things like Fantastical/Wunderlist/Filezilla. Sometimes I use xCode and its emulator. Usually it's activated 50% of the time I use Chrome.

I highly doubt that the dGPU would ever activate for those tasks. I don't know about xCode though, but I doubt for that either.

Here's a list of things that activate the dGPU for me:
-silverlight (netflix) - but OSX 10.10 does netflix with html5, which never activates the dGPU
-Starcraft II and other games
-external monitors

That's it so far. I use Chrome all the time, and it doesn't use the dGPU.

However, on my older 2010 MBP, the dGPU comes on way too often. Chrome, adium, and a few others I use often all engage the dGPU.
 
Last edited:
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Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 27, 2010
858
76
I highly doubt that the dGPU would ever activate for those tasks. I don't know about xCode though, but I doubt for that either.

Here's a list of things that activate the dGPU for me:
-silverlight (netflix) - but OSX 10.10 does netflix with html5, which never activates the dGPU
-Starcraft II and other games

That's it so far. I use Chrome all the time, and it doesn't use the dGPU.

However, on my older 2010 MBP, the dGPU comes on way too often. Chrome, adium, and a few others I use often all engage the dGPU.

I did some testing. Looks like Google Maps is the major cause that activates the dGPU. Youtube as well (sometimes).
 
Comment

Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,023
172
I did some testing. Looks like Google Maps is the major cause that activates the dGPU. Youtube as well (sometimes).

I just tested it myself with google maps. Firefox and Chrome activate the dGPU with google maps, and it persists until you restart the program. However, safari does not activate the dGPU at all. So, I'd use safari for google maps from now on.
 
Comment

jont-fu

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2008
146
51
Here is one thing I have been wondering:

I have the late 2013 rMBP 15" with discrete 750M. Whenever I want to use the HDMI out port, I need to turn on the discrete GPU from gfxCardStatus. That means whenever I'm connected to a projector/tv my battery life gets a significant hit. Obviously the integrated-only model will also work with HDMI out but with way better battery life?..

Usually I need graphics power only when I'm running my shader-based visualizations and have not noticed much difference between the integrated or discrete GPU's. So in my use case having the discrete GPU does not seem to bring much benefit, on the contrary - when using the HDMI out it forces to use the power-hungry dGPU and take a hit on battery life.

Of course your mileage may and will vary. I haven't tried any games for example.
 
Comment

hannan8v8

macrumors newbie
Oct 1, 2014
18
0
Hey man. Good to see someone having exactly the same issue as me haha.

I will be going for the 2.2ghz model with 256gb and 16gb ram, (I will be upgrading the cpu to 2.5 and the HD to 512gb). The overall cost will almost be the same as higher end model but I really dont need an extra GPU card since Iris Pro is good enough, and Ive heard the discrete GPU card cause trouble sometimes later on.

Without the discrete GPU card I wont have to worrt at all for the battery and keep wondering whether this or that application will switch on the discrete GPU card or not.

Well thats my choice, suggestions for and against are welcome

----------

I do have a question though. Do we have to switch off the discrete GPU every time we switch on the macbook? Or just once using gfxcardstatus?

----------

I dont have any use of discrete gpu card, probably once in a blue moon.
 
Comment

NathanA

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2008
739
16
I have the late 2013 rMBP 15" with discrete 750M. Whenever I want to use the HDMI out port, I need to turn on the discrete GPU from gfxCardStatus.
This is the one downside to the dGPU models. On the dGPU models, ALL external video ports (Thunderbolt/MiniDP and HDMI) are physically connected to the dGPU *only*. If you have a dGPU and you plug in an external display, the dGPU will be forced on. gfxCardStatus can't do anything about this as it is a physical/hardware engineering issue. On iGPU-only models, of course, the iGPU is driving all external displays.

Another similar issue exists with Boot Camp on dGPU. If you boot a non-OS X operating system on a MBP with discrete and integrated GPUs, the MBP's EFI will only expose the dGPU to the operating system. So when you are running Windows, for example, on a dGPU MBP, the dGPU is the only graphics chip you can use in Windows. Windows won't even see the iGPU. Again, obviously, on an iGPU-only model, Windows uses the one-and-only GPU that is present, the iGPU.

Other than those two circumstances, on a dGPU model, gfxCardStatus allows you to override the GPU setting rather than leave selection up to OS X, so assuming that you 1) never hook up an external display and 2) never use Boot Camp/Windows, you can, in theory, get the same kind of battery life out of a dGPU model by simply turning the dGPU off completely, which still gives you the freedom and ability to engage the dGPU when you absolutely need it. Odds are good that if you are in a position to plug an external monitor in that you are also in a position to supply AC power to the laptop, so I imagine that for most people, the external display restriction is generally not a big deal. The Boot Camp issue, though, seems to me as though it is more likely to be a problem.

-- Nathan
 
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terraphantm

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2009
3,793
613
Pennsylvania
Another similar issue exists with Boot Camp on dGPU. If you boot a non-OS X operating system on a MBP with discrete and integrated GPUs, the MBP's EFI will only expose the dGPU to the operating system. So when you are running Windows, for example, on a dGPU MBP, the dGPU is the only graphics chip you can use in Windows. Windows won't even see the iGPU. Again, obviously, on an iGPU-only model, Windows uses the one-and-only GPU that is present, the iGPU.

The iGPU actually is present if you install Windows in EFI mode. I never really played with it though since audio doesn't work in EFI mode on the 2012 models
 
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Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,193
21
Sagittarius A*
If you don't use the GPU for apps like I do for photoshop or gaming etc get the integrated, the iris pro is Intel's best ever gpu and doesn't eat anywhere near the watts of the Nvidia.

As for boot camp - Apple have always seemingly knee capped the windows boot features on purpose when they haven't needed to for years already.
 
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Freyqq

macrumors 601
Dec 13, 2004
4,023
172
The iGPU actually is present if you install Windows in EFI mode. I never really played with it though since audio doesn't work in EFI mode on the 2012 models

I have the late 2013, and the iGPU does not show up at all in device manager (windows 8.1 in EFI mode). I wonder if it is just the 2012 version that can see the igpu.
 
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100thMonkey

macrumors member
Aug 26, 2014
47
0
Weight wise there is little to no difference. Battery wise, that one depends entirely. You can either get great battery life assuming you don't use anything that turns the GPU on, or get 'meh' battery life due to programs triggering the GPU.

Ding Ding Ding!!!!! I went with iGPU and great battery life. Really enjoying it
 
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terraphantm

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2009
3,793
613
Pennsylvania
I have the late 2013, and the iGPU does not show up at all in device manager (windows 8.1 in EFI mode). I wonder if it is just the 2012 version that can see the igpu.

Interesting. I guess it is the 2012 and early 2013 that show the iGPU in EFI mode. I'm not sure how I would go about switching the GPU, but it definitely showed up. Too bad audio doesn't work in EFI mode on the 2012 models
 
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