Buy rMBP now or wait - also dGPU or not?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Merackon, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. Merackon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    #1
    Hello,

    I am a Sixth Form student at the moment, and will be going into either architecture or a planning masters in the coming months at University.

    My early 2011 baseline model 15" MBP is on its last legs for me, as it was on almost non-stop between 2011 and 2013 when I got myself a high performance desktop. I have upgraded the SSD to an 840 EVO, but have left the RAM at the base 4GB. At the moment, I am experiencing the current issues:

    -Vast amounts of lag and performance issues when loading programs and pages in the web (when Safari isn't suffering from the Yosemite issues) which I guess can only be attributed to the shoddy iGPU and dGPU as well as RAM

    -Inability to use anything other than Affinity Designer effectively, bear in mind that the work I do is very simple, as even considering doing SolidWorks on this machine at this point is stupid

    -UI lag, which I guess is a mix of the issues from Yosemite, RAM and GPU performance

    -Battery life...I mean...what battery life (simple thing, yet getting annoying having to carry yet more weight with me to have a usable machine for the 6 hour school day)

    Whilst several of these could be mitigated by adding in the additional memory modules, and the battery is a similar scenario, that would come to over £250, for something that is struggling to meet even my most basic needs as it is, let alone in a few months time.

    Bear in mind, I can get the student discount of 15% from the Apple online store, so the prices would be £1359 and £1699 respectively for the 2 different tiers of rMBP.

    Also, I think in this kind of question, the point that I HAVE NO INTENTION OF GAMING should be mentioned.

    In this case, I am met with the following dilemnas:

    1. Will the Summer upgrades yield enough performance difference to warrant me literally struggling on using this machine?

    2. For me, would spending the additional £300 be seriously worth it to buy the upgraded model, given the only differences are the increased flash storage space, slight bump to the CPU power and the dGPU?

    3. Would I Need the dGPU, given that I have read on the forums that people have experienced the occasional issues with the dGPU, especially since I wouldn't be gaming, would Google Sketchup, AutoCAD etc display lag when I am doing comparatively basic models on the Iris Chipset?

    4. Is there any grounds for the alleged upgrades that are supposed to be coming in the next week? Or are they only supposed to be for the MacBook Air line?

    Any help in this matter will be gratefully received.

    Thanks in advance,

    Jack
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    have you tried a clean install of OS X??

    That machine should still run well with a SSD. Do a clean install from usb of yosemite and see how you look then.
     
  3. Merackon thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    #3
    When I installed Yosemite initially it was clean. I do a clean install with each of the major updates.

    I might have not carried across the problem properly, but at the moment, it is the graphics which are the biggest problem. HD 3000 is simply not good enough, and the same can be said for the 6490m.

    Thanks for the reply though!
     
  4. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #4
    1. No. The new models are always going to be a little bit faster, but if you need a new computer, and it sounds like you do, then it's not worth waiting for.

    2 & 3. I would say yes, but "need" is very subjective, and so are project sizes. The software will obviously run without the upgrades. But 3D graphic apps like SketchUp (which btw is no longer Google, but Trimble) will generally be smoother with the dGPU when you start using textures, shadows, sketchy lines, etc., i.e. all the eye candy that makes models look cool. They're also very single-core CPU dependent, so the faster the CPU, the better.

    4. Probably not. The CPUs that would power the next rMBP update will likely not be available until summer.
     
  5. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #5
    I would just buy now, likely be summer or later for the next refresh. I would think seriously on the dGPU as it`s far from an occasional issue them failing and generally 2-3 years down the line. If you don't need it, best to avoid as Apple`s track record with the MBP & dGPU poor at best.

    Q-6
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    I'd vote for a new computer now instead of waiting based on what the OP wrote. I also think the iGPU model will be fine, i.e., no need for the dGPU
     
  7. cjmillsnun, Feb 22, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015

    cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    #7
    Radeongate. Not worth it.

    OP, the base line rMBP will work just fine for you. The only caveat is storage. If the 256 GB SSD will hold all of your apps (AutoCAD can be quite large), then it'll be fine. Check first.
     
  8. Sheza macrumors 65816

    Sheza

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Location:
    Croydon & London At The Same Time
    #8
    Do bear in mind that Apple usually runs a back to school (i.e. University) promotion around summer time that gives you a £60 gift card to use. It's not much if we're talking about a £1500+ laptop, but it's worth bearing in mind especially if the promotion coincides with upgraded processors.

    I was in your position last year and went with a Mid-2014 rMBP 13" with 256GB (Just over a grand with the Uni discount). It's fantastic, though there are annoyances. I can't say how good the performance of AutoCAD and the like will be because I'm just a Law student, but I have noticed lag with the MacBook when using its built in display, and that's just with every day things. It's gotta work hard to drive that display, so a dGPU might be warranted.

    But I dock mine to an external display most of the time anyway.
     
  9. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #9
    Can you clean install back to Mavericks? It doesn't make sense that it should run that poorly, I've got a much older core2duo macbook that runs Yosemite with no particular lag. Are your fans crudded up from constant use and causing it to overheat?

    There is also an issue with the 840 evo, you should try to update the firmware if you haven't already.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1810841

    Personally I'd try to get it operational and use it as long as possible in case of updates later this year. If you must get one now, the video card is certainly not a bad idea for architectural work. I wouldn't be especially concerned about issues in the past, there doesn't seem to be any indication of failures with the current model and the design has been essentially unchanged for several years now. Are you running Autocad for Mac currently? In architecture you are eventually going to have to deal with some sort of Windows software and having enough space to run bootcamp or whatever would be useful. Given that the higher spec machine w/dGPU also gets you the 512gb SSD it seems worthwhile.
     
  10. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
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    #10
    If you look at the history of the MBP with discrete GPU, you will see that issues tend to arise 2-3 years after purchase. The recent extended repair program from Apple covers 15" Retina`s from 2012 & 2013

    "Affected products include 15 and 17-inch MacBook Pro models manufactured in 2011 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro models manufactured between Mid 2012 and Early 2013."

    Apple are covering these models for reason, as they anticipate potential issue. If you don't need the dGPU it`s obviously best avoided, Apple`s track record is simply atrocious for a premium product. Bottom line is the MBP runs the GPU too hot and the temperature cycles rapidly, net result lot`s of dead Logic Boards, yes Retina`s cooling is better equally still not adequate.

    As for the present MBP with dGPU, no one knows, equally history speaks for itself, there has been no major change to the design of the cooling system. If you need or want the MBP with dGPU proceed, however be aware of the potential issues...

    Q-6
     
  11. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #11
    I've read so much about "Radeon-gate" I didn't realize it extended into the Retina lineup. Seems odd they would lump them into the same program given different designs and GPU manufacturers.
     
  12. Hieveryone macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    #12
    Honestly, I don't think you will miss a dGPU.

    The integrated GPU's these days are so good, it'll handle most anything you throw at it.

    Plus you can expect better battery life without the dGPU, and you won't have the risk of it failing in the future.
     
  13. Queen6, Feb 22, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
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    #13
    So far it hasn't raised it`s head overly, equally Apple are not known for their extended generosity 2012 & 2013 Retina models are included for a reason.

    We can only postulate from our standpoint as ultimately only Apple knows why. Personally I believe it`s due to the underlying issue is yet to be fixed; the cooling is inadequate and until the tech catches up it will remain an issue.

    FWIW my latest MBPr is iGPU only, have left Apple & the dGPU behind me...

    Q-6
     
  14. Azadre macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    I have a mid 2012 15" MBP and it's still running wonderfully well and I will only have a marginal improvement in upgrading to the latest edition. It contains the a dedicated graphics card which makes gaming possible, and it does not have a retina screen or SSD.

    Buying this model or an updated next should make little difference.
     
  15. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #15
    The ui lag is mainly a software issue. Consider that the current Air has a gpu that isn't necessarily more powerful (or not by much) than the 6490m. I wouldn't suggest attributing ui quirks to the gpu. Have you checked memory pressure, because I suspect it's always out of ram?
     

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