Can someone explain Apples fascination with power efficiency?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Manuelrodrigues, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. Manuelrodrigues, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014

    Manuelrodrigues macrumors member

    Manuelrodrigues

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    Amsterdam
    #1
    As a designer I consider myself a prime example of the targetgroup of the MacBook pro lineup. As a freelancer I work a lot on location on my macbookpro. I never forget to bring my adapter so I don't actually need the nine hours of battery life. My question is:

    Why are the rMBP specs especially the gpu chosen with battery life in mind? As a graphics pro I would rather have a beefier gpu in my MacBook pro and 1 hour battery life. The gpu options in windows laptops are much faster. This is frustrating.

    Hope someone can explain.

    Cheers,

    Manuel
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    The rMBP especially the 15" model is not configured for power savings over computing power. The Iris Pro GPU is quite powerful, and the option for a dGPU also means you get a very powerful machine.

    I think an hour of battery is horrible and most consumers would look elsewhere. While you may always have your power brick and cord with you, many of us do not.

    I find myself needing several hours of battery quite often. If you want the fastest machine out there, then look to another maker how caters to the sector that chooses processor power over battery life.

    The MBA is what is fully designed for battery longevity, just consider that model uses the ULV cpus, and gets nearly 9 hours of battery. The MBP offers a good balance of power and performance.
     
  3. Manuelrodrigues, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014

    Manuelrodrigues thread starter macrumors member

    Manuelrodrigues

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    #3
    2 years ago I switched to a win7 laptop to be able to render faster in After Effects. The laptop has a gtx680m. This gpu today still is 30% faster than the current rMBP with the gt750m which I also own. Source: Http://gpuboss.com. The form factor of the win7 laptop is much less sexi than the rMBP but I think the gt750m is just not a pro gpu. I think the current form factor and configuration of the retina MacBook pro is at best semi pro.
     
  4. TheIguana macrumors 6502a

    TheIguana

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    #4
    I for one am quite appreciative of the push towards power efficiency. It's been particularly useful when I've been stuck on a 5 hour flight with no power plugs while being on a deadline to get a video edited together. An hour battery life wouldn't cut it, and would be extremely frustrating.
     
  5. Manuelrodrigues, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014

    Manuelrodrigues thread starter macrumors member

    Manuelrodrigues

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    #5
    Ok, maybe one hour battery life is not enough but I think exchanging battery life for a better gpu on a product which is branded as a pro machine is something which should be considered.

    Please take a look at this chart: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Comparison-of-Laptop-Graphics-Cards.130.0.html Both the gt750m and the iris pro gpu are at best mid range enthusiast cards... We as Mac users should realize that there are a lot of mobile cards which are much much faster...
     
  6. steveh552 macrumors regular

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    Jan 30, 2014
    #6
    I too am glad for the battery life and it is one of the things that drove me to the Mac. I can't count how many times i was out with my windows machine, weather it was a photoshoot, on a flight or just out and about and either forgot or did not think I would need the power brick and I was up the creek with no paddle.

    Actually it was on a flight I learned about the Macs battery life. Flying from Las Vegas back home, my computer died after 2 hours in and the guy next to me had over 75% left and we both were using Photoshop doing photo editing.
     
  7. Woochoo macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2014
    #7
    Easy: because 90% of people who buy a MBP are casual people and do casual stuff. The only machine that should be called PRO is Mac Pro (and maybe the iMac retina and some other high-end iMac). The others are not made to fulfill the high demands of professionals but the mid-advanced users.
    Sad, but true.

    Ah, and don't dare to ask for a better GPU or 32GB RAM or some staff like that in this forum, you'll have a crowd here judging your needs and saying that a iGPU and 8GB are enough even for professionals... :rolleyes:
     
  8. Manuelrodrigues thread starter macrumors member

    Manuelrodrigues

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    #8
    I'm not saying that the current offering is bad and should be canseled. I think there should be an extra configuration option in which one could select a beefier gpu in exchange for battery life. And I think it there is a market for such an option.
     
  9. takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #9
    There's certainly a market but this issue is whether it's sufficient or not for Apple to pursue. A forum user's opinion really something Apple can use to make such business decisions. Do you have links to numbers that support?
     
  10. wct097 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 30, 2010
    #10
    Two simple answers here.

    #1 "Pro" is a branding term and has precious little to do with capabilities. Stop getting hung up on it and you'll go further.

    #2 If you're stuck getting hung up on the term "Pro", consider that most Pros (depending on your definition) have a high end desktop that they work on and the laptop is meant purely for those times where we have to be mobile. You make some sacrifices for mobility and one of them is power. Few "pros" are going to be happy with a "desktop replacement" laptop when they need mobility or when they're in the office and need to do some heads down work.

    Side note: I know you graphics guys get hung up on the idea that Apple makes computers specifically for you, but if you're going to get hung up on the term "pro", consider the fact that "pro" may not mean "I do rendering at client's offices while lugging around my power adapter". Lots of "professionals" never have rendered anything and simply need a laptop capable of good resolution, video playback, and the ability to go to meetings all day without carrying around a bag full of accessories.
     
  11. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Surely that market is quite big as basically every other major computer manufacturer have more powerful notebooks. It's just the Apple way to keep very few models to try to satisfy everyone.

    I have to agree with OP, the current GPU is lackluster. The Iris Pro should be able to do most of the work for casual tasks and keep good battery life. But on the other hand, it would be really nice to have much more power in this machine. For example, the Razer Blade has the same thickness and similar battery life as the rMBP but has a dGPU that's 3x as powerful (also at roughly the same price).

    I'm not even sure it's a question of battery life. If you have a similar but more powerful GPU, you aren't necessarily using more energy to accomplish the same task. You're just doing it more quickly.
     
  12. sebseb macrumors 6502

    sebseb

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    #12
    One reason is marketing. People get amazed when a laptop lasts 9 hours. If next year apple can increase that number to 10 buy putting a gpu that is a bit weaker, they probably will do it.

    However I don't think Apple's GPU selection is based on battery life so much as heat created by it. They don't want a hot laptop. Higher temperature means they need beefier fans and thermal cooling system. All that means thicker and heavier laptops which again people don't like.

    I think Apple should offer the GTX 750M for normal tasks and and 970M or 980M for really really really Pro users.
     
  13. freeskier93 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #13
    If you want a power house and battery life doesn't matter then there are plenty of Windows laptops to choose from. The Macbook Pros are geared towards power and efficiency because most people don't want to be tied to a power outlet. Just because you have you're power cord with you all the time doesn't mean you have power available. Vast majority of people want both portability and power.

    There's also a big issue of thermal design in a laptop the size of the Macbook Pro.
     
  14. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #14
    Maflynn pretty much summed it up.
    If you need more power you can always connect an external gpu via tb.
     
  15. freeskier93 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #15
    Cost wise eGPUs make no sense yet and are still limited by current Thunderbolt speeds. For the prices I've seen external enclosures you could easily build/buy a desktop that is just as capable and way cheaper.
     
  16. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #16
    I know, but the OP wants a laptop.
     
  17. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #17
    Their fascination is driven by their user base' fascination.

    In wanting to overwhelmingly trade graphics power for battery life I think you are actually putting yourself outside their core demographic for the MBP and MBA ranges.

    "Pro" yep branding, not a statement of suitability for any particular "Pro" usage, more its aimed in general for "business" use.
     
  18. TechZeke macrumors 68020

    TechZeke

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    #18
    You are full of it. Please enlighten me on your definition of professional. I didn't know being a professional means you have to have a machine 32GB of RAM. You would really hate my office, all the engineering professionals here use machines with 4 and 8 GB of RAM.
     
  19. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    #19
    I think the term "pro" and "professional" is constantly thrown around on this forum, with people equating different meanings to it. Professional by definition of the dictionary means: Someone who follows "an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain." http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/professional

    The rmbp certainly works for most people using it as professionals.
     
  20. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #20
    Apple didn't forget about you. As a graphics pro, they want you to get a Mac Pro. Really though, just wait for the next gen it should have much improved graphics.
     
  21. b3av3r macrumors regular

    b3av3r

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    #21
    There are a lot of variables to look at when measuring a laptop's abilities and Apple merely picks the ones that make their laptop look the best. They focus on battery life, build quality, weight/thickness, and OS and iOS integration. They don't bring attention to the fact hardware upgrades are basically impossible and that some of their hardware is less powerful than competitors (even if it means more battery life).

    I really think people feel better if they are getting a "pro" model regardless of how they use the laptop. Apple wants to market the MBP as a "professional" laptop but they sell it to people who need only a basic laptop (email, internet browsing, word processing). Most people don't like being told they only need a "basic" or "low end" computer.
     
  22. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #22
    Apple has never been on to offer fastest GPUs, they pick chipsets that offer a good balance between power and battery life. I can't say if there's a market for this or not. The only sector that I know of that wants a high level of performance, is gamers. I don't know if there's enough people willing to pay a premium on top of apple's expensive computer line just for more horse power (at the expense of battery life).
     
  23. nando4 macrumors regular

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    #23
  24. Woochoo macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2014
    #24
    Tell me where I EXACTLY said that professionals need 32GB and then I'll define professional. I was just exacerbating the idea of "asking for more RAM/GPU will cause a bunch of 'why you need that' replies". As I could have said 16, or 64, it doesn't matter. Do we really have to justify to others all the time our needs?
    An example: do you justify (or see others justifying) why you buy a car with 200 horse powers if a one with 120hp can do the same? Then you can understand why some of us are a bit tired of this situation.

    And you are making a big mistake here: reducing ALL the professionals to a group of engineering professionals. You are not including video editors, audio engineers, profesional photographers, artists and architects who make renders, scientifics, etc. And no, I'm not justifying the "ask specifically for 32GB RAM", I am saying that there always will be someone that says: oh, with X you have more than enough, no matter what you do.
     
  25. Manuelrodrigues, Dec 8, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014

    Manuelrodrigues thread starter macrumors member

    Manuelrodrigues

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    Amsterdam
    #25
    I'm very open minded on which platform I work on. As I mentioned earlier two years ago I switched to a win 7 laptop to have a faster gpu. The performance of the gpu was great. But I noticed that I needed a more stable platform. I'm a designer of live shows and I use my laptop to generate content but also to playback content in a show environment. It's one thing to have your system crash when your editing and a director sits next to you but it's a completely other thing to have a crash when there are 1500 people watching. That's not an option.

    Additionally I use some apple native technologies like syphon, rtp midi and thunderbolt blackmagic video caputure cards. So I'm stuck with apple. I can afford a faster laptop (I own the top spec rMBP at the moment) but there is not an option on sale. And as someone pointed out earlier in this threa: all major pc laptop builders have faster options some of which are positioned as gaming rig but also in the mobile workstation area which the MacBook pro is part of. So clearly there is a market for this kind of machine.

    ----------


    The win7 laptop I bought 2 years ago has 32 gb ram, 1 tb ssd space spread over 3 super fast ssd disks and a gtx680m gpu. Even today it still is a monster and eats my rMBP raw. If it was as stable as the rMBP I would never have switched back.
     

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