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atlantaarchitect

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 10, 2020
8
5
So I have a 2013 Macbook pro and have been pondering an upgrade since I'm overdue... Pretty much just use it for internet browsing and email but I do occasionally use the Adobe Creative Suite and do some moderate gaming (Steam Cities Skylines, etc). My old Macbook does surprisingly well but I have heard horror stories about the GPU performance of the newer integrated graphics Intel macs.

How do you compare the GPU performance of the apple GPU to a discrete card? All these 3X, 4X, 8X more powerful and faster figures seem hard to quantify when comparing to other discrete graphics cards?! If graphic performance is critical it's hard to go wrong with an intel mac with discrete GPU still?

Also any other Steam people concerned about all their games suddenly not working? Will Rosetta 2 magically make existing mac apps work or do you expect this to be a more painful transition than Apple is leading on?
 

alex00100

macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2011
469
1,227
Moscow, Russia
Basic answer is no one knows. I personally doubt it will be great as the huge cities in the game can be incredibly taxing even on dGPUs but it's an old game at this point and I'd be super surprised if it won't run at all.
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,030
18,612
Your MBP has what, 750M? The M1 is probably at least twice as fast, if not more.
 
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atlantaarchitect

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 10, 2020
8
5
Basic answer is no one knows. I personally doubt it will be great as the huge cities in the game can be incredibly taxing even on dGPUs but it's an old game at this point and I'd be super surprised if it won't run at all.
I hate that there's seemingly no way to quantify current dGPU offerings for the Intel MBP 16" vs. Apple's own new GPU. It very well might be better but they don't really do an apples to apples comparison.
 

atlantaarchitect

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 10, 2020
8
5
Your MBP has what, 750M? The M1 is probably at least twice as fast, if not more.
I guess I'm not questioning that an upgrade will yield better results, it's just a matter of if the upgrade should be the latest Intel MBP with discrete graphics or this new AS MBP.

My current 2013 MBP specs are:
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013)
Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory: 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Graphics: Intel Iris 1536 MB
... and like I said, it still does a great job.
 

leman

macrumors Core
Oct 14, 2008
19,030
18,612
The 5500M and 5600M on the higher end 16” are going to have faster graphics than the new M1. It’s a different price category though.

By the way, I just watched a developer video about the M1, where they showcase Baldurs Gates 3 gameplay. It seems to run better on M1 than on my 5500M...
 

atlantaarchitect

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 10, 2020
8
5
The 5500M and 5600M on the higher end 16” are going to have faster graphics than the new M1. It’s a different price category though.

By the way, I just watched a developer video about the M1, where they showcase Baldurs Gates 3 gameplay. It seems to run better on M1 than on my 5500M...
I guess that's the point - if the M1 can do what the (much more expensive) 5500M and 5600M builds can do, why not? But we'll have to wait and see a true comparison.
 
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bill-p

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2011
2,861
1,518
I hate that there's seemingly no way to quantify current dGPU offerings for the Intel MBP 16" vs. Apple's own new GPU. It very well might be better but they don't really do an apples to apples comparison.
Actually, we can make educated guesses...

From Apple's event, the 8-core GPU in the M1 chip has these specs:
2.6 teraflops
82 gigatexels/second
41 gigapixels/second

That's comparable to about this:

And Radeon's Navi is in general faster than that by a good margin. The 5300M is quoted at around 4 teraflops, for instance. So... whatever the 16" MacBook has is still faster as far as graphics goes. How much faster? That remains to be seen, but I'm not surprised if Apple's M1 is not up to par compared to the 16" MacBook.

As a point of comparison, Tiger Lake's iGPU reaches about 2 teraflops, and the Intel HD 630 that was in previous generation MacBooks? 0.4 teraflops. By raw number, Apple can easily claim that the M1 has 6x faster graphics performance. And they did claim 5x. That sounds just about right.

Although Intel really improved their GPU performance significantly, Tiger Lake is still likely behind M1 by a good margin. Based on raw numbers, M1 should be faster than Tiger Lake GPU by at least 50 - 75%.

But then again, winning against Intel here is not really... all that. I'd guess that if anything, this doesn't bode well for Apple Silicon in a 16" MacBook. It means Apple may still have to bundle an AMD GPU with the 16" if they want to claim faster graphics performance. Either that or they need to bundle a lot more GPU cores together. As it is, I'd guess that Apple needs at least 20 GPU cores as whatever is in the M1 now just to match current 16" performance.
 

Broko Fankone

macrumors regular
Jun 14, 2020
231
225
These metrics are in no way a good way to compare video card performance. There is a lot more going on. It's going to be better than Intel Iris for sure but we have to see actual benchmarks.
 

bill-p

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2011
2,861
1,518
These metrics are in no way a good way to compare video card performance. There is a lot more going on. It's going to be better than Intel Iris for sure but we have to see actual benchmarks.
Well, of course not. But hey, at least they do paint the picture that Apple's M1 is about 6x faster than whatever they are replacing (Intel HD 630). And Apple claims 5x so... that's just about right.

And at least this discussion sheds some light on why the M1 is not the chip for the 16" MacBook Pro.

I'd guess that a M1X with 16-core CPU and 32-core GPU will be the one for the 16" MacBook Pro and iMac. Then Apple can claim 2.5x CPU performance and 2x graphics performance.
 
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Broko Fankone

macrumors regular
Jun 14, 2020
231
225
Yeah, 16 being announced today made 0 sense to begin with. They didn't even announce a 12" with new design. They are obviously keeping the redesigns for 2021/22. And I imagine beefed up CPUs to go with those.

I would personally wait for a redesign and for this open beta to end before buying arm. It's looking promising but we need real world feedback for sure on how everything works, especially after updating from Catalina.
 

bill-p

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2011
2,861
1,518
I think it's highly likely Apple will wait until 2022 for a redesign. That also coincides with TSMC moving on to 3nm (they projected 2nd half of 2022).

Their MO this time is pretty in line with the last transition: spend 2 years introducing machines that look exactly the same as before, but with new chips running circles around the old ones. Once the market has stabilized and there are more apps, etc... then come out with radially different redesign.

Also, the MacBook Pro 16" was introduced in 2019 with at least a "new" form factor (thicker casing, thinner bezels)... so it makes sense that Apple will want to wait for a while before redesigning it again.

If the 16" MacBook Pro was redesigned this year, or even next year, that'd make it the single shortest-lived design ever, with only one generation.
 
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Henk van Ess

macrumors 6502
Aug 20, 2008
313
238
Amsterdam
Basic answer is no one knows. I personally doubt it will be great as the huge cities in the game can be incredibly taxing even on dGPUs but it's an old game at this point and I'd be super surprised if it won't run at all.

No one knows? This is what Anandtech just wrote. I trust them most of the times:
Apple claims the M1 to be the fastest CPU in the world. Given our data on the A14, beating all of Intel’s designs, and just falling short of AMD’s newest 5950X Zen3 – a higher clocked Firestorm above 3GHz, the 50% larger L2 cache, and an unleashed TDP, we can certainly believe Apple and the M1 to be able to achieve that claim.
 

Fomalhaut

macrumors 68000
Oct 6, 2020
1,891
1,585
Yeah, 16 being announced today made 0 sense to begin with. They didn't even announce a 12" with new design. They are obviously keeping the redesigns for 2021/22. And I imagine beefed up CPUs to go with those.

I would personally wait for a redesign and for this open beta to end before buying arm. It's looking promising but we need real world feedback for sure on how everything works, especially after updating from Catalina.
Agreed. The release was pretty much what I expected (4+4 CPU, 8 GPU for both laptops), but the Mac Mini was a nice addition that I didn't expect. I think Apple released the Mini to help drive development interest - I am tempted by the Mini just to experiment but would hold out for an M1X or M2 version of the MacBook Pro 13, or a redesigned MBP 14, preferably with 32GB RAM.

My larger concern is the state of ARM-native developer tools and 3rd party software and the performance/stability of Rosetta 2.
 

GiantKiwi

macrumors regular
Jun 13, 2016
170
136
Cambridge, UK
Late 2013 MBP15 died in April, had been debating buying a 16", but price was the deciding factor, the spec I would want was sitting at over £3k which is obscene for a laptop just because of the GPU side of things. So, given my hate of the touchbar and the virtually no difference for everything else - order the Air in 16GB + 512GB config as the demos were sufficiently impressive for my uses, just now to wait for ~2 weeks for it to arrive, and continue suffering with the surface pro ?
 
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bill-p

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2011
2,861
1,518
Why no transparency about clock speed? Does clock speed not matter anymore with this new design?
Yeah, that's it.

It's meaningless for them to mention clock speed. There's no comparison.

Even if the MacBook Air is quoted to have the same clock speed as the Mac Mini and the MacBook Pro, the other Macs with active cooling may still outperform the MacBook Air when it comes to sustained heavy load. There's only so much the Air can do without cooling the chip.
 
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Hoff

macrumors regular
Jan 24, 2018
181
29
Here's an interesting point... apparently the new M1 Macs won't work with eGPU's.
So no chance of bolstering graphics power that way, like we potentially could with the Intel Macs.

 

omenatarhuri

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2010
887
803
"just buy two computers, easy peasant"
Now it's a bit easier at least if these things are really as blazing fast as they say.

M1 Mac + Gaming PC and sharing a top notch KB, mouse and display between them.

I'm for sure considering. MBP for gaming has always been a bit of compromise with performance and especially the fans going crazy when stressed.

That said, I've really liked the 5K iMac for gaming, that had enough performance, thermals were handled better and the displays are amazing.
 
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pshufd

macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2013
9,921
14,428
New Hampshire
I think that we'll need to try them out or wait for the reviews. They might be in the stores next week and maybe someone can install and run GB5.
 
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