dGPU or not?

Dr_Charles_Forbin

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Original poster
May 11, 2016
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Question: I haven't seen a quorum on this topic so I'm raising the topic and if anyone else has an opinion let me know.... I'm buying a 15" rMBP when they come out and am seriously considering buying the 2GB dGPU. I know the answer depends on what I do - I'm not a gamer, occasionally photography (Photoshop) and video only. Already planning on 16GB RAM.I could take that money and upgrade the storage. Is the dedicated GPU worth it for a non-gamer?
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
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For your usage I doubt it.

I do the above on a 13" machine with no dGPU.

You'll just burn battery life, generate additional heat and spend more.

My previous 15" had a discrete GPU, i don't miss it.

For the above reasons, in addition to the history of discrete GPU failures in MacBooks, i'd actively avoid the discrete GPU unless you NEED it, and even then i'd be looking at external GPU options.
 

CE3

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Nov 26, 2014
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I think it's worth it for a non-gamer if you're using lots of big programs like Photoshop, Premiere, Final Cut, Logic, etc, but it's probably not necessary for light Photoshop work. The RAM is more important.

It's good that you're waiting for the new models. We'll likely see a big boost in integrated graphics performance and a dGPU will be even less essential for your purposes.
 

flavr

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2011
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QUOTE="Dr_Charles_Forbin, post: 22939875, member: 1029302"]Question: I haven't seen a quorum on this topic so I'm raising the topic and if anyone else has an opinion let me know.... I'm buying a 15" rMBP when they come out and am seriously considering buying the 2GB dGPU. I know the answer depends on what I do - I'm not a gamer, occasionally photography (Photoshop) and video only. Already planning on 16GB RAM.I could take that money and upgrade the storage. Is the dedicated GPU worth it for a non-gamer?[/QUOTE]

YES for the dGPU. Lets put it this way...the FIRST thing that makes an Apple computer obsolete is the graphics card. Notice I say Apple computer because most of their computers allow you to upgrade the graphics card later on. The i7 processor will last a LONG time, 16GB RAM same thing and Hard Drives can always be swapped. So if you want longevity, get the best video card you can afford period.
 

tusctodd

macrumors member
Dec 22, 2009
35
2
Question: I haven't seen a quorum on this topic so I'm raising the topic and if anyone else has an opinion let me know.... I'm buying a 15" rMBP when they come out and am seriously considering buying the 2GB dGPU. I know the answer depends on what I do - I'm not a gamer, occasionally photography (Photoshop) and video only. Already planning on 16GB RAM.I could take that money and upgrade the storage. Is the dedicated GPU worth it for a non-gamer?
My opinion: No
 

kevinkyoo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2016
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Not worth it. You'll be perfectly fine with the models only with iGPU, and I will always preach this until Apple fixes its **** - there are way too many problems reported with the dGPU models that I too have personally witnessed. Lower battery lives, fans kicking randomly, screen freezes and flickers, etc. The screen freezing and flickering I found was either associated with the graphics card itself for the 2012 rMBP, but I actually interestingly found it to be a software related issue with my 2015 one. What caused the symptom with the latter? I have no idea. But I uninstalled Flash, Quicktime videos, updated to the newest OS X, which supposedly tackles this issue, and have done dozens of tests to ensure that it runs smoothly, and it has (Although I still get the once in awhile fans running and lower battery life). Sorry for the rambling, but I hope this answers your question.
 

MRxROBOT

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Apr 14, 2016
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If you have to ask, then you probably don't need it. That tasks you outlined don't need it. With 16GB RAM and your usage, the iGPU relying on shared RAM won't be a problem either unless you are using memory intensive software you haven't disclosed such as VMs. If you are considering the larger 512GB SSD, I would seriously consider it if I were you. If you are considering the additional storage and the 2.5GHz CPU, than it's a no brainer in regards to cost vs performance.

Those that bash the dGPU are the same ones that have no business using the dGPU. As someone who uses FCPX, I wouldn't consider purchasing the MacBook Pro without dGPU. As far as battery is concerned, the dGPU actually maximizes my battery longevity by minimizing the amount of time the GPU is under load as it is able to accomplish tasks considerably faster than the Iris. When not using software that utilizes the dGPU, OS X, especially El Capitan has been smart enough to switch to the GPU that will use the least amount of power.
 

kevinkyoo

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Feb 5, 2016
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Those that bash the dGPU are the same ones that have no business using the dGPU.
lol wat. You're saying this bold statement after the dGPU failures in the 11-13 MBP's and 13 MP, as well as multiple reports on the 14 and 15 MBP's? Oof, but I guess those don't matter. Those users just have no business using these computers. Give me a break lol
 

MRxROBOT

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Apr 14, 2016
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lol wat. You're saying this bold statement after the dGPU failures in the 11-13 MBP's and 13 MP, as well as multiple reports on the 14 and 15 MBP's? Oof, but I guess those don't matter. Those users just have no business using these computers. Give me a break lol
If you need the dGPU, the iGPU is not a suitable alternative period failure or not.
 
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kevinkyoo

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Feb 5, 2016
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If you need the dGPU, the iGPU is not a suitable alternative period failure or not.
Read your statement back to me. You'd risk spending over 2k for a device with a dGPU with a possibility of well documented failure? Tim Cook is glad you're a customer.
 

8692574

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I think it's worth it for a non-gamer if you're using lots of big programs like Photoshop, Premiere, Final Cut, Logic, etc, but it's probably not necessary for light Photoshop work.
Serious question, why do you think Logic "need" a discrete gpu? I mean i would think Logic probably barely uses the full iGPU....
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
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QUOTE="Dr_Charles_Forbin, post: 22939875, member: 1029302"]Question: I haven't seen a quorum on this topic so I'm raising the topic and if anyone else has an opinion let me know.... I'm buying a 15" rMBP when they come out and am seriously considering buying the 2GB dGPU. I know the answer depends on what I do - I'm not a gamer, occasionally photography (Photoshop) and video only. Already planning on 16GB RAM.I could take that money and upgrade the storage. Is the dedicated GPU worth it for a non-gamer?
YES for the dGPU. Lets put it this way...the FIRST thing that makes an Apple computer obsolete is the graphics card. Notice I say Apple computer because most of their computers allow you to upgrade the graphics card later on. The i7 processor will last a LONG time, 16GB RAM same thing and Hard Drives can always be swapped. So if you want longevity, get the best video card you can afford period.[/QUOTE]

There are about 3 massive 17 inch gaming laptops that are about 15 lbs in weight and the size of a small suitcase available with upgradeable GPU's and none I can think of with upgradeable CPUs you are talking nonsense, if we were talking desktops you'd have a point, but with laptops you really are just spouting off.
 

CE3

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Serious question, why do you think Logic "need" a discrete gpu? I mean i would think Logic probably barely uses the full iGPU....
You're right - Logic and DAW programs like it don't need dGPU to run efficiently with a good processor and enough available RAM. In fact, Logic doesn't even activate my AMD card when it's running. Ableton Live does, however.
 

MRxROBOT

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Serious question, why do you think Logic "need" a discrete gpu? I mean i would think Logic probably barely uses the full iGPU....
You're right - Logic and DAW programs like it don't need dGPU to run efficiently with a good processor and enough available RAM. In fact, Logic doesn't even activate my AMD card when it's running. Ableton Live does, however.
In big projects with many MIDI Regions, the score editor tends to redraw the entire project and puts a lot of stress on the GPU, often slowing down all GUI interaction. The problems are more so apparent when using external monitors and further compounded when you introduce 4K.
 
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8692574

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In big projects with MIDI Regions, the score editor tends to redraw the entire project and puts a lot of stress on the GPU, often slowing down all GUI interaction. The problems are more so apparent when using external monitors.
Cool thank you for the explaination... never worked with MIDI, good to know ;)
 
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CE3

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Read your statement back to me. You'd risk spending over 2k for a device with a dGPU with a possibility of well documented failure? Tim Cook is glad you're a customer.
I guess that's what AppleCare is for. And I think you should read his posts again.

It's one thing to criticize Apple for hardware failures, and it's another to bash someone choosing a model with a component that is absolutely essential for properly running a number of demanding software applications today. Even if someone has knowledge of well documented failures, that doesn't make them suckers (which you're implying here) for buying the system they need.
 
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maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Is the dedicated GPU worth it for a non-gamer?
For the usage you stated, I'd say the iGPU model is something that will be more then adequate. Intel has made some serious improvements on the iGPU over the past few years and if I were to buy a new MBP this go around, I'd opt for a iGPU model. My usage is similar to yours, photography, not a gamer but I also run Windows, and creative cloud and a few apps that may be a tad more demanding.
 

vbedia

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Jan 25, 2014
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The difference between iGPU and dGPU is going to be more than $500. Besides the Iris Pro 580 is more than enough to handle ordinary tasks.
 

Barry01

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Dec 1, 2015
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.... video only.
Video... DEFINITELY. With smartphones capable of 4K video work, the better the GPU and video memory of 2gb, you will want those for scrubbing and editing.

There is nothing more frustrating than having a video card not able to keep up with smooth scrubbing.
 

Dr_Charles_Forbin

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Original poster
May 11, 2016
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If you have to ask, then you probably don't need it. That tasks you outlined don't need it. With 16GB RAM and your usage, the iGPU relying on shared RAM won't be a problem either unless you are using memory intensive software you haven't disclosed such as VMs. If you are considering the larger 512GB SSD, I would seriously consider it if I were you. If you are considering the additional storage and the 2.5GHz CPU, than it's a no brainer in regards to cost vs performance.

Those that bash the dGPU are the same ones that have no business using the dGPU. As someone who uses FCPX, I wouldn't consider purchasing the MacBook Pro without dGPU. As far as battery is concerned, the dGPU actually maximizes my battery longevity by minimizing the amount of time the GPU is under load as it is able to accomplish tasks considerably faster than the Iris. When not using software that utilizes the dGPU, OS X, especially El Capitan has been smart enough to switch to the GPU that will use the least amount of power.
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I'll be running at least 1 VM (Win 10 or Linux) - but not constantly and it won't be a big tax on the GPU. I'd much rather spend the money on storage. I underbought at 128GB and have to keep my VM on an external thunderbolt 2 drive. I did notice choppy playback when I tried to play something I recorded from a streaming site - but I thought it was my software (Premiere). I hope the new model is released before August - I need to pass down this one to my daughter starting college. Thanks everyone.
 
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MRxROBOT

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I'll be running at least 1 VM (Win 10 or Linux) - but not constantly and it won't be a big tax on the GPU. I'd much rather spend the money on storage. I underbought at 128GB and have to keep my VM on an external thunderbolt 2 drive. I did notice choppy playback when I tried to play something I recorded from a streaming site - but I thought it was my software (Premiere). I hope the new model is released before August - I need to pass down this one to my daughter starting college. Thanks everyone.
Edit:

Seems like I replied before you edited your response. Premiere will benefit greatly with OpenCL hardware accelerated tasks.
 
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emilioestevez

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The top shelf model doesn't just include a dGPU for its price. It has a faster processor, more storage, and a personal letter from Tim congratulating you on your purchase.
 

Dr_Charles_Forbin

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 11, 2016
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The top shelf model doesn't just include a dGPU for its price. It has a faster processor, more storage, and a personal letter from Tim congratulating you on your purchase.
It should come with a share of stock for that kind of money :) I have a mac mini at home that I could use for the editing... I barely use it for anything. I messed up last year when I bought my 13" rMBP with 128GB and I don't want to regret not buying the dGPU now that I'm upgrading. This is a one-shot 5 year purchase. I wish there was a serious competitor in this space.... but there isn't.
 

Queen6

macrumors 604
Apple has a tragic record with portable Mac`s with dGPU; As long Apple continues to run high power components at their upper limits for the sake of form of function, the potential for premature failure will remain. Personally I now avoid portable Mac`s with dGPU, as in general they simply run too hot, which can and does result in failure, increased fan noise, and or throttling. If I needed a notebook with dGPU, I would be looking at a Windows based system, not Apple. Opting for a portable Mac with dGPU is little too much like "rolling the dice" for my liking.

Apple`s strategy remains the same "thinner & lighter" at all costs, therefore its`s safe to assume that Apple will push the thermal boundaries of the upcoming 2016 MBP. I rely on my Mac`s for my living, my first consideration is reliability, thankfully dGPU is not a requirement. There`s good reason why Windows OEM counterparts have significantly greater ventilation, nor is it related to the designers and engineers abilities.

If you need the dGPU then options are clear, if you don't need the dGPU it`s best avoided, as it`s simply a weak point in the chain, especially with the MBP.

Q-6