dGPU for non-video design work

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Brianjk777, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. Brianjk777 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    #1
    My daughter is studying graphic design in college now and is currently struggling with a 5+ year old MacBook Pro as we are waiting for the new version to come out...hopefully this month.

    She uses the Adobe Creative Cloud suite or other graphic/photo touch up products to design static images. She doesn't edit videos or play games but does watch media streaming services and you tube. I am trying to decide if she would benefit from a dGPU or not. If the speed improvements from a dGPU are not material I would probably pass on it to avoid the possibility of hardware/heat issues down the road.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated as my goal would be to place an order the day the new products are available but I need to sort through the iGPU versus dGPU issue first.
     
  2. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #2
    it'll always be your call. one thing that is true moving forward, more applications will make more use of the GPU for more tasks. leaving it out may short change you down the line.

    your concern of heat related issues and constraints is valid, especially as the consideration is for the line to get even thinner. but only time will tell what the reality will be.

    and even as the integrated GPUs get better they remain limited (and a limit on your system overall) by one glaring issue, their RAM is simply taken from system RAM. this is memory that is significantly slower than video RAM that would be built into a discreet GPU and it is memory (and memory bandwidth) stolen from the main system. currently that amount is usually between around .5 and 1.5 GB. so then the potential lost goes beyond simply more powerful processing.

    my recommend on any new system meant to do any amount of image processing would be for a discrete GPU with at least 2GB video RAM.
     
  3. jerryk macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #3
    Many Adobe products will use the GPU if it is present. And if she is studying graphic design I would hope there are a 3D design and video classes in her curriculum.

    My daughter uses the Adobe suite for creating assets for games and says that the new 1080 (replaced an AMD card) card we got her, has sped up her workflow. One caveat though, is my daughter is using a Windows deskside computer.
     
  4. Brianjk777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    #4
    Are you aware or can point me to tests that compare iGPU and dGPU performance on a MacBook Pro. I am trying to get a handle on how much of a difference we are dealing with. Like would it be a project complete in say 1 second instead of 5 seconds. Or something that takes 58 seconds instead of 60 seconds. Something like a 10% difference in speed wouldn't be worth it but cutting processing time in say half would be.
     
  5. halfbad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2014
    #5
    Creative worker here,

    If she is seriously about design, I would go with the dGPU. Burns batter life much faster, but the trade off is good for performance. If your using Creative cloud then applications will definitely use the dGPU. Here you really can future proof a bit.

    Working in static images can be very consuming on the computer, particularly if you work on large/high rez files with multiple art boards in photoshop, and other applications open as well.

    But the bigger reason I would go with it, is if she ever gets into motion graphics (AE), editing, 3d, anything where she will really need to render, the dGPU can save lots of time, and make the actual overall experience much better. For a professional environment, it will be a must have.

    I have a 2012 rmbp that I still use and it still holds up great, though time for an upgrade is upon me...(new mbp announced hopefully)

    When I buy for design/art teams my general rule for the MBP is, get the Retina 15", Max the ram, 512GB (though possible to get away with less, but I don't recommend it, the 1TB seems to really bring up the price too much Imo.) and dGPU for sure. Do not bother with a BTO or CPU upgrade unless you are doing heavy rendering constantly.

    My philosophy is alway get the hardware that is better than you by a decent margin. It will allow you to create more, save time and improve/grow, rather than fighting the hardware.

    Do that and she should be optimal for the next 3-4 years, and beyond dependent on change in the software and industry.

    Also back up and back up often, in triplicate.

    Best,
    Halfbad.
     
  6. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #6
    I cant. and it's very subjective, depending on the type of work done, aspects of the program used, the sources and size/complexity of the document itself...
     
  7. Brianjk777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    #7
    Thank you all for the advice. I will get the dGPU and 512GB SSD.
     

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