AMD Radeon R9 or Intel Iris Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by TokMok3, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. TokMok3 macrumors member

    TokMok3

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    #1
    MacBook Pro 15 middle 2015
    Processor: 2.5 Ghz Intel Core
    Ram: 16GB DDR3
    Graphics: AMD Radeon R9 2GB Dedicated Graphics


    MacBook Pro 15 middle 2015
    Processor: 2.5 Ghz Intel Core
    Ram: 16GB DDR3
    Graphics: Intel Iris Pro


    Hi, I need to buy a new computer but I have a problem deciding which one to get. My question is: Which one is a better option? Which one will last longer or have less problems in the future? How fast is one from the other.


    Thank you in advance for the advice!
     
  2. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

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    #2
    What will you be using it for? i.e. any heavy photo or video editing?
     
  3. Patcell macrumors 6502

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    #3
    What do you intend to use the machine for? That will play a roll in your decision as the only difference is the discrete GPU.

    The Radeon R9 M370x does offer a significant increase in performance over the Intel Iris Pro alone. All things being equal, my knee-jerk reaction would be to say to get the model with the AMD chip. The model with discrete graphics also has the Intel Iris Pro integrated graphics, and it will only switch to the dGPU when the OS feels it's necessary. You sort of get the best of both worlds...

    The potential downsides are decreased battery life (only if the dGPU is running, otherwise will be equal) and the fact that the AMD chip may fail prematurely. However, there is no indication of failure being an issue with this Radeon card; they have been around for while now and no widespread failure.

    What's the price difference?
     
  4. TokMok3 thread starter macrumors member

    TokMok3

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    #4

    I will be using for development, specially with the new augmented reality: ARKit. I tested some code in my 2012 Mac mini and it takes45 second to run the program.
     
  5. Patcell macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Get the model with the discrete GPU.
     
  6. TokMok3 thread starter macrumors member

    TokMok3

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    Aug 22, 2015
    #6
    Thank you for your response.

    I will be using for development with Xcode. With the new augmented reality: ARKit. I tried some code with my 2012 Mac mini. It's too slow to run this type of code.

    I'm not worry for the battery life as the computer will be the entire time on my desk, but I'm really concern about premature fail if I buy the one with the AMD chip, for that reason I would like some advice in durability.
     
  7. Patcell macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I would think the ARKit work would benefit from the dGPU, although I really know nothing about development, so I can't comment with any credibility there...

    I think it is very unlikely that you will have an issue with the reliability of the AMD chip. I don't think I have seen anything anywhere about one of the M370x cards failing in a MacBook Pro, let alone a widespread reliability issue. In all likelihood, by the time the GPU (or any other piece of the machine for that matter) fails from general use, you will be looking to upgrade anyhow.

    Perhaps someone knows more about your specific use-case than I, however...
     
  8. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #8

    Any reason you're not looking at an iMac then? They offer more for the money
     
  9. TokMok3 thread starter macrumors member

    TokMok3

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    Aug 22, 2015
    #9
    Thank you for your answer.

    I have a 29 inch monitoring in which I can open 2 apps, with the laptop I will used it as a third screen. But I'm going to consider what you suggest. Not a bad idea. Thank You!
     
  10. Patcell macrumors 6502

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    #10
    You could also connect your existing monitor to the iMac. This would give you the iMac built-in display plus the second monitor.
     
  11. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #11

    Yup. – Though there is a rather long thread about which cables work with the new iMac for display connections. Thunderbolt Displays and Mini Display Port displays no longer are quite so interchangeable cable wise. But definitely a possible, and perhaps preferred option
     
  12. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #12
    I don't know if ARKit itself needs a beefy GPU — its more what you do with the AR layer later (although having good GPGPU support is probably a good thing). For your purpose though, I'd go with some extra GPU performance, it might come useful in this line of work. Anyway, why not the 2017 model? Its much better suitable for this kind of work and external GPU compatibility is a plus.
     
  13. jerryk macrumors 68030

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    #13
    I would get a system with a dGPU. While I have not used ARKit, these are typical operations that get handled by a GPU.

    Also, unless you need the portability, I would look at an iMac with a reasonably powerful GPU because it is better value than a portable unit.
     
  14. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

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    #14
    If you still need the portability of the MacBook Pro (over say the iMac), the 2017 may be a good match for your needs if you are going to be performing GPU-intensive work while also driving dual displays + the built-in display. If these displays are 4k+ (or will be 4k+ in the future), the 2017 design is arguably favorable from both the overall thermal perspective and the dGPU perspective.
     
  15. TokMok3, Jul 25, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017

    TokMok3 thread starter macrumors member

    TokMok3

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    Aug 22, 2015
    #15

    Pricing is the problem, other wise I will buy the latest and greatest. Thank you for taking your time to help.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 25, 2017 ---
    Thank you for your answer and I think is a good suggestion. I used to have a MacBook Air 2013, which is was very portable to take it to Starbucks to do some work and have a cup of coffee, something I have not done since I bought the Mac min.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 25, 2017 ---
    Thank you for the advice, but pricing is the problem.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 25, 2017 ---
    After taking every advice in consideration I bought the following system:

    MacBook Pro 15 middle 2015
    Processor: Intel core i7 2.8 Ghz Intel Core
    Ram: 16GB DDR3
    Graphics: Iris Pro
    Battery: 90 cicles
    Hard drive: 256GB

    For $1.400

    I already have the Apple mini displayport to dual link cable ($100) to connect to the thunderbolt port in the MacBook Pro. I still use SDXC card slot.

    After using Apple computers for 10 years with out any difficulty, I hope this machine won't be the exception for the next 2 years.

    I want to thank to all of you that took the time to answer. Thank you very much!
     
  16. v1597psh macrumors regular

    v1597psh

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    London
    #16
    I would rather get a model with an integrated graphics only and invest some money into eGPU solution. Let's be honest. All dGPUs in MacBook Pros suck. Especially in pre-touchbar versions. Iris Pro does the job well for 90% of the tasks. Using dGPU only decreases your battery life, spins up your fans and there is a high risk that it will fail in the future. eGPU will become a thing when Apple rolls out official support for it. Even in the current stage it's stable enough to be used. You made the right choice by going with integrated graphics only.
     
  17. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #17
    ARkit = you want the R9.

    An r9 GPU is much, much, much faster than Iris Pro at anything to do with 3d.


    edit:
    didn't see you already purchased. if your 3d stuff doesn't run acceptably, then as above an eGPU is an option. though full support from Apple will require High Sierra which is still in beta. No doubt there will be some early adopter quirks to deal with. But planning for the future, that will be an option for sure.

    Not saying it won't work today, a friend has been running eGPU for about 5 years; just depends how comfortable you are with unsupported hacks :D
     
  18. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #18
    I have a feeling Apple's official support will be limited to USB-C Thunderbolt 3 and not work with TB2
     
  19. leman macrumors 604

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    #19
    Using ARkit does not necessarily mean that one will need fast 3D rendering. Stuff like Pokemon Go or furniture preview doesn't need that much...
     
  20. v1597psh macrumors regular

    v1597psh

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    London
    #20
    True. Release notes for Apple eGPU Developer Kit says: "The kit may work with Thunderbolt 2-enabled Mac computers via a Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 adapter, but this is an unsupported configuration.". It does not mean that future kits won't work with Thunderbolt 2 Macs. In fact, right now they work even with Thunderbolt 1 Macs
     
  21. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #21
    This is another option, however it is early days yet on the eGPU front.

    An internal r9 is supported TODAY. Full eGPU support will require High Sierra which is still in Beta. If you're willing to ride the bleeding edge and deal with any quirks that may appear, eGPU + internal integrated graphics is an option.
    sure. but a lot of AR tasks DO demand gpu performance. going with a low end GPU significantly limits your options in this space, and totally eliminates any options for VR which is a closely related field of development. insufficient gpu power in VR = motion sickness
     
  22. jerryk macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #22
    As you read the documentation in the ARkit you see all sorts of references to shaders, light source direction, and 3D object placement. So I suspect there will be quite a bit of 3D operations like hidden removal and rotations going on in real world apps.
     
  23. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    Jun 13, 2015
    #23
    The problem in a nutshell:

    30 fps: "at least it's playable"
    60 fps: "silky smooth"
    90 fps: "great for VR"

    The problem is that the IRIS gpus (and even some of the R9 gpus) fall into the "at least it's playable, if one turns down half the settings" category.

    I'd opt for a TB3 mac, and plan for a eGPU, if ARKit development was important.
     
  24. illadee macrumors newbie

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    Apr 4, 2014
    #24
    Iam also between these two cards for a macbook 2015...
    Mainly dailey things and a bit of video editing - not sure what to do..
     
  25. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

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    #25

    Define video editing for you. Will you just be doing selection and putting things in a time line in Final Cut? Or will you be doing colour correction in DaVinci? Major difference. And how important is video editing to you? Editing can require tremendous computing power.
     

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