A GPU challenge for the 2012 lineup?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by prism, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. prism macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 6, 2006
    #1
    If rumors turn out to be correct, namely that:
    - 15" will have "air" type design and form factor
    - "retina" resolution displays

    I am wondering how they are going to get the GPU to be at least at par with the current lineup? To drive a retina type display will require a far more powerful GPU which means important thermal considerations and I just don't see how that is possible if the "air" form factor is used!

    What do you think?
     
  2. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    #2
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1101773
     
  3. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #3
    Actually to this day there have been zero credible signs for retina Displays in the MBP. Before the ipad it was not a secret that Samsung was working on 10" Display at 1080p res and more. There is absolutely no evidence I have heard of that Samsung intends to produce a 15" screen with some insane res.

    All the rumors are just extrapolations of the ipad 3 and the double dpi feature in Lion. That is ground work but it all rests on Samsung/LG to build the hardware. They won't do it unless they think they can sell it for a price that makes it worth it. It is doubtful Apple is willing to pay the price that a 15"/17" Retina would require and it is also doubtful that they roll it out only on the small MBPs.

    I give retina no more than a 5% chance of miraculously popping up. Driving loads of pixels in 2D really isn't all that hard. RAM is cheap so you just put in enough VRAM and you are good. For 3D stuff one has to scale down.
    If those petty GPUs in the ipad can drive that res a notebook gpu sucking easily 10 times the power will handle a notebook retina screen.
    There isn't a whole lot of benchmarks for it out in the wild but old really poor onboard gpu's could handle quite a lot of pixels some years back like 30" monitors thus I am confident a current Gen GPU can handle that too. Everything up to 4k times 2k is within the capabilities of a Intel HD 4000.
    For Games you just have to run at the same res you use now and the requirements don't change. You need to understand that scaling on non native resolution won't be much of a problem anymore with a retina display.
     
  4. prism thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    So even if it is not retina calibre but higher resolution than what is available today, you are saying that by boosting VRAM will suffice to drive the display without any problems? In other words, will it be possible to run games in native res without compromising performance is the screen res is boosted in the 2012 lineup?
     
  5. bill-p macrumors 65832

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    Jul 23, 2011
    #5
    Depending on the game, but obviously not all games will run at native resolution.

    I think it's worth repeating that MacBook Pro is a work machine, not a game machine.
     
  6. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    #6
    I dont think apple waited to 2012 have games run better, they obviously have their reasons for making them not so gamer friendly and I am not sure that will change
     
  7. w00t951 macrumors 68000

    w00t951

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    #7
    I really hope they give us the opportunity for a better GPU (like an NVIDIA 660M or 670M) without an Air-like form factor and with a normal resolution (1440x900) screen. I don't really care about thinness in a machine that is meant to be a powerhouse. Update the Air line with that stuff, not the Pro line.
     
  8. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    #8
    agreed 100%, the pro is thin enough, use the AIR lineup for the battle against the competition for the "thinnest" title
     
  9. topscorer17 macrumors member

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    Aug 31, 2011
    #9
    My GPU prediction

    As much as i too would like to see a Keplar 660 or 670m GPU, i doubt it will happen. The most likely GPU to end up in the 2012 Macbook Pro in my opinion would be the 640m, which is still a significant upgrade over the 6770m.

    Honestly, there isn't much need for a 660 or 670m because without Direct X not many games run under OSX anyways.
     
  10. mzjin macrumors 6502

    mzjin

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    #10
    Um, what? Parallels and Bootcamp have existed forever. People who purchase Macs game just fine on them.
     
  11. Boe11 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I agree. I hope that they manage to give us a competent card. People can say Macs aren't for gaming all they want, but the fact remains that the last couple of releases in the top of the line iMac and Macbook Pro lines have been a pretty big step forward in terms of gaming performance (especially with bootcamp working so well). It's possible that they'll scrap this relatively new initiative and go with integrated only, but I'm hopeful that they'll continue the trend and offer a top-end 15"/17" Macbook Pro that can do it all for a lot of people. I used the 2011 17" MBP for the better part of a year as my primary machine, and it worked great for everything from video production to battlefield 3. I think there are a lot of customers like me, who just want one machine that can do everything they want to do, and they can stick in a back pack and take with them. I'm not sure why they'd want to regress the progress they've made in this department, but we shall see.

    In terms of the retina rumors, I'm a little skeptical. Everyone likes more pixels, but it probably wouldn't increase useable screen real estate (something the 13" desperately needs imo), just double the pixels for a clearer image, right? That sounds great for a tablet or phone, but we need more "useable" resolution for computers. Maybe my assumptions of their implementation methods are wrong. The other issue is, I don't foresee any mobile GFX solutions pushing double the pixels for today's games, so you'd probably have to turn the hDPI mode off every time you want to launch a game.

    I'm excited to see what is released, and hope that we don't have to wait too long or they release them trickle style like the rumors have suggested.
     
  12. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    #12
    yes but i doubt apple chose what hardware to use based on how it runs in bootcamp, the hardware is picked thinking based on how it performs in OS X
     
  13. topscorer17 macrumors member

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    #13
    I know that games run well in a native bootcamp, but to me using windows 7 is kind of defeating the purpose of getting a mac. I will want to use windows 7 the least that i possibly can. Also from what I've read, gaming through Parallels significantly reduces gaming performance.
     
  14. Liquinn Suspended

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    Apr 10, 2011
    #14
    What confuses me is, it seems odd that they'd update the 17" say 2-3 months after the 15".
     
  15. topscorer17 macrumors member

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    #15
    Really? i thought it was the 13 inch that was going to be refreshed later, which would make since because i doubt they would refresh it in the first place, but rather remove it and leave only a 13inch air.
     
  16. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #16
    I am saying that for 2D the GPUs have enough pixel pushing power.
    For 3D stuff like games you can run non native resolutions. Non native looks bad if the two resolutions are very close to each other but if you have something higher than 1080p you can just run 1280x720 for enough performance in pretty much any game and it looks pretty much like native.
    The higher the resolution the better the scaling. Retina like Resolution and nobody can distinguish the scaled res from a native res in the same proportions.

    1366x768 does look exactly like a native 1366x768 res when it is scaled on a retina display. Thus you don't loose anything you just finally have the freedom to choose your preferred res just like it was in the CRT days.

    No GPU that you can put in a notebook in the next 2 years can handle a 15/17" retina displays native resolution in modern games.

    VRAM is like RAM. Give it enough and you close a bottleneck. Apple always used to supply to little VRAM. Even in 2D with 2 screens performance sucks once you have to many windows open. They should finally up their game and put some serious 1GB minimum into their notebooks that stuff is fairly cheap anyway. Better yet 2GB.
    It won't solve a performance issue it just stops one from occurring.

    Currently you can drive 2x 27" monitors on one notebook, obviously that means it can handle a retina display.

    Still there won't be any because that display is expensive and I think it takes at least one more year maybe two. Apple already has some of the best notebook screens. Granted they are still rather poor compared to good desktop panels and only one of the best because most notebook screens are crap, but still I don't see how it would really pay off.
    If they promote it with their retina brand many of the fool buyers might finally figure out how bad most displays are. Would be good marketing. The difference between the average notebook screen and theirs would finally be obvious for everybody.
    They are aiming for it definitely but they are constrained by technology. If Samsung cannot produce such a panel for a reasonable price it just won't show. Tablets are different the panel already makes almost 50% of the entire manufacturing costs. Even the comparably good MBP panels are just okay TN Panels. That is a bigger step up.
    Apple will laid the ground work but they will sit it out until it is possible.

    What many fanboys and Apple freaks don't realize is that Apple always just did what current tech allowed and was maybe a few months ahead of the competition. IPhone like smartphones would have popped up anyway. Tablets with smartphone tech instead of notebook tech have always been just a matter of time.
    Apple is the big tech giant because it was always a bit ahead not because it introduced something so fundamentally different than what other companies would have come up with given the general tech developement.
    And also because they ignored the cheapo mainstream and thus could reap the benefits of a better reputation.
     
  17. prism thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Thanks for that, very interesting! That part about ultra hi res being able to scale to anything without degrading perceived viewing quality is fascinating.
     
  18. Cicatrix macrumors 6502

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    #18
    yeah good stuff right there. it's always nice to hear good insight.
     

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