540 vs 550?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Hantke, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. Hantke macrumors newbie

    Hantke

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2016
    #1
    I've done some research and what ive found is that on paper the 540 and 500 are near identical and for minor gaming, streaming, etc. I shouldnt notice a difference, but I've seen people saying that with the touch pro 4 or whatever the 540 doesnt perform well, does it really make a difference in the newest 2016 macbook pro's? I would like the ability to play a few higher end games if i choose, though I prefer a console. I guess my main concern was the people saying the 540 was throttled extremely low, is that true of the new 2016 macbook pro 13? looking to go with the i7 and a 500 gb hard drive, 8 gb ram is more than I see myself ever needing.
     
  2. ninja2000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    #2
    I have a SP4 i7 and it does throttle heavily when you load the CPU and GPU (ie playing a game). The throttling is a power limit throttling as it cannot keep it within the 15w window.
    The turbo initially allows the cpu to draw 25w for about 1 minute and you get amazing performance then the power limit kicks in and it drops to 15-17w and the clocks drop accordingly. What I would end up with is about 1.2-1.5ghz on cpu and 600-700 on gpu.

    I expect the MacBook pro to behave in the same way as it has to stay in the 15w limit (ish, it will allow for more initially with turbo boost, but this can only be for a short period).

    I haven't tested the mac though so this is purely on my experience on intel ULV CPU's with which I have had many (MBA's, SP's etc etc)
     
  3. Hantke thread starter macrumors newbie

    Hantke

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2016
    #4
    thanks, after some more research I may go with the 550, the top tier I5 (instead of the I7) and just use my extra budget for 16gb ram as ive seen people saying they wish they sprung for 16gb. Currently I have a mid 2010 13" MBP that finally gave out on me (cant find hard drive) so i'm sure anything would be an upgrade for me hah, after all, that old laptop was capable of playing all the games except for one and that wasn't a big deal.
     
  4. Qwe9203 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    #5
    The 15w model is cooled properly and does not throttle as tested and reported on multiple sites. Cant compare to Surface.
     
  5. Hantke thread starter macrumors newbie

    Hantke

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2016
    #6
    So would you say the upgrade is worth it? I think I've settled for the 13", iris 550, 256 GB, 8gb RAM, And 3.1Ghz i5 processor, I can always upgrade the RAM later, but the I7 didn't seem worth it as a dual core, I originally assumed it was a quad core. I'm thinking these specs should more than beat any of my requirements, the only reason I considered the 16gb Ram was because of people saying the touchbar was killing their ram making them wish it was a 16, but I don't honestly see myself using it very much
     
  6. benobi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    #7
    Couple of points.

    1) From various graphics benchmarks, the 540 and 550 seem to have about a 10% difference. If you scroll down on this article, you will see some graphics benchmarks. For the most part, the 550 is about 10% faster than the 540, though surprisingly in the Cinebench test, the 540 actually beats the 550 by ~10%: http://arstechnica.com/video/2016/11/the-2016-13-and-15-inch-touch-bar-macbook-pros-reviewed/

    All that to say, both the 540 or 550 are considerably faster than the integrated graphics chips from last year's 13" MBPs.

    2) Keep in mind that you won't be able to upgrade the RAM later on any MBP model. It is soldered on and needs to be purchased from the beginning. That being said, the nonTB MacBook pro is the only current model that has a user-replaceable SSD (assuming that aftermarket manufacturers develop a similar drive in the future).
     
  7. ninja2000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    #8
    The throttling isn't just thermal, it is actually power throttling. The ULV are allowed to boost to 25w for a short time which will give you almost full clocks on cpu and gpu. After that time it drops to between 15-17 and therefore cannot maintain maximum clocks.

    If you do not believe me, fire up bootcamp, run XTU which will show clocks and then run a game/3dmark. I would love to be proved wrong but every MBA and i7 surface pro has behaved this way and I doubt the ULV MBP will be different or why would intel make the 25w full fat 550 version?
     
  8. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #9
    Gaming benchmarks for both the 540 and 550 equipped Macbook Pros are available on notebookcheck.
    I posted a chart somewhere a while ago, but it looks like the thread has disappeared.

    Iris 540 - http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Iris-Graphics-540.149939.0.html
    Iris 550 - http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Iris-Graphics-550.149937.0.html

    For example, Overwatch on low settings:

    540: 68fps
    550: 86fps

    Basically, the 550 machine is going to see about a ~20% boost when the CPU and GPU are engaged (ie. gaming). As has already been mentioned, this is due to a combination of the 550 being clocked slightly higher, and throttling of the 15w 540 part.
     
  9. Hantke thread starter macrumors newbie

    Hantke

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2016
    #10
    My last MacBook is a mid 2010, so I suppose this would mean that any of these options are a significant upgrade over my previous laptop? I know the specs are there, but people seem to be saying the touch bar laptops are slow and choppy.

    Interesting, thank you.

    Thanks! I think I've decided for sure on the 550! Now the next issue at hand, do I really need 16gb of ram?
    Thank you guys
     
  10. IngerMan macrumors 6502a

    IngerMan

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #11

    Save the cash, I seldom use more than 5 GB even gaming. Typically 4 GB free.
     
  11. acorntoy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    #12

    How? I don't understand people who say their machines use so little ram, my 15' mid 2015 uses 5GB with one safari tab open, sometimes with just a netflix window I use 6GB+, when I start opening up other apps to do simply anything it jumps higher. Thankfully I have 16gb so I always have plenty of ram, but how are peoples machines using so little? This is on a computer that I just restored also, so no wasteful apps are running in the background that i've forgot or anything like that (Although spotlight indexing and all other first setup processes are definitely done).
     
  12. IngerMan, Dec 28, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016

    IngerMan macrumors 6502a

    IngerMan

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #13
    I don't know how but I have 7 tabs open in safari and I use Memory Clean app to see my Ram usage and as stated I don't feel the need for more then 8 GB.

    Screen Shot 2016-12-28 at 10.08.38 PM.png
     
  13. acorntoy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    #14

    Interesting this is mine with 7 tabs open (one being netflix) using around 2GB more. Never the less, more than one 8GB machine was given this year as a gift, and I'm happy to see that other machines aren't using as much as mine (I was afraid that they always only have 1-2gb left and be slow as a result). Perhaps my machine uses it's memory a bit more freely due to the amount it has available?
     

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  14. Hantke thread starter macrumors newbie

    Hantke

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2016
    #15
    finally ordered mine got the 13" MBP 550 iris. 256 hard drive, 3.1 i5 and 8 gm of ram. thank you!
     
  15. ninja2000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010

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