Do I need discrete graphics?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CarbonImage, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. CarbonImage macrumors newbie


    Mar 31, 2012
    Moving to an rMBP, and wondering if I really need to shell out for the top spec model with discrete graphics. I currently do a lot of Photoshop, a little bit of CAD (only on sketchup) and next year I will be producing a short documentary on FCP as part of my Uni work. I'd really like the portability of a 13", as well as the obvious cash saving, so I was thinking of going for the maxed out 13 as opposed to the 15". Do you guys reckon this will be fast enough for my needs? (Display size isn't too much of an issue as when I do editing I'll most likely be using a secondary display). Will it handle everything I want it to, or do I really need the discrete GPU?

    Cheers for any help.
  2. chelch macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2012
    If you can wait for the update in the fall it will be worth it... the 850m/860m will give it some serious balls...

    But you said you'd prefer the 13" and are not concerned about lack of screen space. The 13" will run cooler, last a little longer and be more portable. There will be no big difference between the 13" now or later...

    So the only real difference will be in how long things will take to render/encode. It won't be a huge difference.... grab a 13"
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd say the Iris Pro could fit the bill, but that's only on the 15" MBP. The 13" MBP with the Iris GPU should be ok, though FCP may lilt under the iGPU
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Rule of thumb, if you don't play games, you don't need the discrete graphics. A fast GPU might also improve the performance if you work with 4K video, but thats basically it. The 13" will be significantly slower for video and photo editing, but mostly because of the dual-core CPU as opposed to the quad-core in the 15" model. It will be still quite fast though. So if you work with photos professionally and do complex layer editing etc., I'd recommend you the 15", because it will allow you to process foots slightly faster = more assignments. If its more casual stuff, than 13" is probably the optimal machine.
  5. sprezz macrumors regular


    May 28, 2014
    Zurich, Switzerland
    if you fully deck out a MBP with and without the discreet GPU, the price is actually identical.

    if in doubt, just get it. especially if it's free... you can always fully deactivate it to be sure your battery isn't getting drained...
  6. CarbonImage thread starter macrumors newbie


    Mar 31, 2012
    Cheers for the help.
    Just to clarify, I'm getting it in Canada so it's about $400 cheaper to get the 13" with all the trimmings. Photoshop is mostly casual for now so I think I'm probably leaning more towards the 13 with that advice.
  7. gtanner00 macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Remember to get the student discount or ask the sales person to match it against apple. (male sure you know what the education price is) you can also save a large enough by buying refurbished editions of most of the macbook configurations. I've heard that apples refurbishment program is the best around and still qualifies for Apple care and 12 month warranty
  8. imm22, Jun 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014

    imm22 macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2008
    In my opinion, as a CAD user (AutoCAD, Solidworks, C4D, etc), I can say that the integrated graphic card Will do just fine. Those kind of programs rely much more on CPU rather then on GPU
  9. gtanner00 macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2014
    I'm always glad to hear that in contrast to everyone recommending Nvidia's Quadro graphic workstations as the only thing suitable for very light CAD use in engineering school.

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