Apple's GPU Switching better than Optimus?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jpefjr, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. jpefjr macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2008
    Here's a quote from the Engadget MBP 2010 review:

    So Optimus has a list of apps that it gets from an NVidia server to determine when to turn the discreet GPU on/off? And it leaves the integrated GPU on all the time whether it's being used or not? If that's true then it really does sound like the Apple solution is much better. Anyone here familiar with the details of how Optimus works and can confirm it?
  2. silversx macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2008
    here's something also from engadget's review to think about

    if you open photoshop .. it triggers the 330m graphics to kick in.. if you minimize it and start browsing the web.. guess what.. the 330m stays on because photoshop is open..

    those of you who got the 15/17 get ready for lots of closing and opening of your apps to save battery :D
  3. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
  4. 6-0 Prolene macrumors 6502

    Feb 11, 2010
    So far I'm really glad I just bought one of the "old" MBPs when I needed a computer. This update is pretty ho-hum, really.
  5. lilo777 macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2009
    This description is not correct. More info could be found here:

    Here is a quote from NVIDIA's White Paper on OPTIMUS:

    By recognizing designated classes, the Optimus Routing Layer can help determine when the GPU can be utilized to improve rendering performance. Specifically, it sends a signal to power-on the GPU when it finds the following three call types:
    * DX Calls: Any 3D game engine or DirectX application will trigger these calls
    * DXVA Calls: Video playback will trigger these calls (DXVA = DirectX Video Acceleration)
    * CUDA Calls: CUDA applications will trigger these calls

    The application list is optional and is used for fine tuning only.

    Some posts on Arstechnica also claim that while Apple disables IGP it still has to do something that actually takes the power just the same. I am not qualified to verify this claim. I guess we'll have to wait to see what the real situation is.
  6. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I guess it makes sense since the resources/processes are still running. But that's really unfortunate. I guess the switching isn't as intuitive as initially thought. Is it not possible to have 3 options: Integrated, Discrete and Automatic switching? Or is it a limitation of some sort?
  7. jpefjr thread starter macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2008
    I guess the bottom line is battery life and graphics performance. Hopefully it will work as well as advertised but I don't expect to get 8 hours of battery life out of it with what I do. I figure basic tasks like surfing, email, VNC, etc. will give me a fair amount of battery life. I'll have to pay attention to how much life I get using Handbrake, Xcode, iMovie, QT, playing flash, etc.

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