Can the MBP handle the Retina Display?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DeAnthony, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. DeAnthony macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2015
    So I'm thinking of getting a new MacBook Pro 15" in the next year and I have a question for owners of the recent models. First off, I refuse to buy one until they put Nvidia graphics back in the laptop. I have a mid-2010 MBP 17" 2.66Ghz dual-core i7, 8GB RAM, and it has the Nvidia GT 330M which is a decent card but it's horrible for driving a 1920x1200 display. It has 512mb of DDR3 which is seriously garbage for this beautiful display. It's like the GPU is at full load 100% of the time, it runs hot, and the fan is never quiet. The laptop is completely fine by the way, this GPU is just heavily underpowered. To give an example of how awful this GPU performs; it can't run 1080p videos on youtube smoothly at all which is ridiculous considering it cost $3,300. They put this weak card in the laptop to boast about battery life (which is nothing special) and I think that's a very stupid thing to do to your top of the line laptop... And the integrated graphics from Intel are non-existent at this point. As I'm typing this I have nothing else open and the fan is at 75% at least. Of course they ended up putting in a 1GB GDDR5 Nvidia card (I believe it's the GT 650m, not sure though) in the later MBP models before they came out with the Retina Display and it seriously murders this laptop in performance. 1GB GDDR5 at the very least should be standard with any laptop sporting a 1920x1200 display. I thought this laptop would be amazing but it was surely a dissappointment all these years. I would've been better off buying the 15" with the same hardware because it has a 1680x1050 resolution and performs better with this GPU.

    So I'm wondering if you MBP 15" Retina Display owners find your hardware constantly chugging along to drive the massive resolution of the Retina Display with only 2GB of GDDR5. How does it perform doing basic tasks vs something GPU intensive at the Retina resolution? Do you think the GPU has enough power to drive the Retina Display? I understand the Retina Display supports 1920x1080/1200 (not sure of the aspect ratio) but let's be honest, displays look terrible outside of their native resolution. I really want to avoid this problem because it's extremely frustrating. If Apple offered a 1080p/1200p display it would be a beast of a laptop with that 2GB GDDR5, but unfortunately they don't. Thanks in advance.

    So I just tried to post this in the Apple Forums but it said I wasn't allowed to create this content... Now I'm here and I feel like I'll receive more knowledgable and helpful answers anyway.
  2. zombiecakes macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2012
    The 750m sucks compared to the AMD gpu in the 2015 models, the AMD version supports 5k monitors which is much larger than retina resolutions.

    Either way the Iris Pro is the best available integrated graphics and can do 4k videos fine. I can do 4k youtube videos at the native resolution with no stuttering or major heat up on integrated graphics (I have it locked on integrated graphics because I dont like how it switches all the time depending on the webpage you go to).

    You will not be using the native 2880x1800 resolution, it makes things unusably small, its only good for videos. Scaling lower resolutions like 1680x1050 to the 2880x1800 screen looks perfect, its not like running a non-native resolution.
  3. hojx macrumors 6502


    Jan 18, 2014
    The current models are very good. I currently use Scaled 1680x1050 on a daily basis. On the retina display, OS X actually oversamples by doubling the resolution (i.e. 3360x2100) and scaling that to the 2880x1800 display. With the pixel density it is difficult to tell that it is actually running in a non-native resolution.

    The UI graphics are especially smooth on El Capitan and already decent on Yosemite.
  4. DeAnthony thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2015
    Sounds good! I'm most likely going to wait until the next hardware refresh or two and pray for an Nvidia card with over 2GB GDDR5. Thanks guys.
  5. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    Mine runs great on both the Iris Pro and the M370X. I've used it for about half a month on Yosemite and about 2 days on El Capitan Public Beta.

    On Yosmite, some websites could be laggy when scrolling on the Iris Pro but still smooth on the M370X. In El Capitan, browsing is always smooth regardless of which GPU is in use.

    Similar story with resizing windows that have a lot of content in them. Much smoother in El Capitan on both GPU's, on Yosemite only the M370X provided a truly smooth constant 60 FPS experience when resizing windows.

    External display use, I have a 30" 2560x1600 display that I connect to my MacBook Pro daily. It runs that external display brilliantly, no visible jerkiness in rendering at any time.

    In my opinion the machine is fully capable of running the display at full retina resolution. I should add I run mine at the 1920x1200 desktop size not the default, so for me it's even pushing more pixels than normal and still runs brilliantly.

    The only bad thing I can say about the machine really with regards to the Retina display is that when I VNC in to a Windows machine that obviously isn't Retina ready things look worse on the Retina panel of the rMBP than on a non-retina panel like my external 30". Apart from that everything looks brilliant and that is really a Windows/VNC problem more than a MacBook problem.
  6. inhalexhale1 macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2011
    The AMD card is more powerful, but it's not a major upgrade over the 750m.
  7. joe-h2o macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2012
    The amount of VRAM the card has is almost totally unimportant for day to day use. Any amount above about 50 MB is more than adequate to buffer the screen.

    512 MB for a desktop display task is far more than you need.

    It's the GPU itself that determines performance, not the amount of VRAM it has *unless* you're doing something that requires lots of textures or other data and so on to be loaded into it (i.e., 3D games, certain GPU compute tasks).

    Displaying your desktop and watching youtube videos is not one of those tasks.

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6 July 10, 2015