Graphics on 13" Macbook Pro Retina (October 2013) vs. 15" Macbook Pro (June 2012)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by street.lit, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. street.lit, Mar 19, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014

    street.lit macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    #1
    Hello all,

    I asked this question from an article and thought the readers here would be able to help me out as to clarify the difference in graphics processing power. Basically...I'm a 'do-it-yourselfer' upgrader and I was wondering how the new 13" Macbook Pro Retinas compare to the last 15" Macbook Pro (mid-June 2012) with respect to graphics? I only ask because I could now, feasibly buy a 15" Macbook Pro (with a 512mb Nvidia 650m GPU) and still have a quad core CPU (which I assume is still faster) for $100 less than buying the mid-level (October 2013) 13" Macbook Pro Retina ($1,499). I could even upgrade my ram to 16gb (+$130), replace my superdrive with an 240gb crucial SSD (+$120) which I'd run the OS from and basically have a 15" Macbook Pro with 16gb ram, 740gb HDD/SDD quad core for $1,650 which is only now, $50 less than the lowest price (that I can find) for the highest-level 13" Macbook Pro Retina ($1,699). Which of these three different options do you think are the best for graphics processing?

    Mid-level 13" Macbook Pro Retina October 2013 as is at $1,469 (lowest price found, no modifications/upgrades)
    vs.
    Top-level 13" Macbook Pro Retina October 2013 as is at $1,699 (lowest price found, no modifications/upgrades)
    vs.
    15" Macbook Pro June 2012 upgraded at $1,650 (total price)

    Does the Haswell's integrated GPU on a 13" Macbook Pro Retina really compete with an Nvidia graphics card when taking into account these price points (including upgradeable RAM and HDD/SDD which I assume help speed up everything)?
     
  2. thunng8 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    #2
    The 15" 2012 model will blow away the integrated graphics in the 13" 2013 model. In most cases it should be around 2x faster.
     
  3. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #3
    The 13" doesn't come close. Note that the 13" also uses slower integrated graphics than the 15" with iris pro, which is still slower than the 2012 15". The 15" you're looking at is also the older style. It's not one of the retina macbook pros, which is fine. I think the IPS screens on the newer ones are nicer, as long as you get a good one. Do not expect similar performance from the 2013. The only area where the 2012 is a little weak is OpenCL. Don't ask the board for advice on that. Too many people on here respond without any idea what leverages what framework or any knowledge of the real world benefits. Out of curiosity what applications will you be using? Saying graphics processing is meaningless, because sometimes people say that when they mean creative cloud. At that point the difference is insignificant outside of Premiere and some very specific parts of After Effects.
     
  4. street.lit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    #4
    Thanks for your response Kev, I'll basically just be using this for music production, infrequent gaming, compiling while attempting to learn programming and may use it for mild photo editing or should I want to learn anything adobe related. I'm aware this purchase is probably overkill, but I'm really just trying to choose the most cost-effective-long-term solution and mitigate any chance of buyer's remorse while I type this response on my 15" Macbook pro waiting for my 16gb of ram and 240gb SSD to arrive in the mail, of which I feel a lot better about this purchase. Cool, thanks for the information/opinion.

    ----------

    Good to know, thanks for the response thunng8.
     
  5. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #5
    It will help with the gaming, and it's definitely more cost effective. IPS is nice for photo editing, but if you were doing it at a serious level, I would say that a quality external display is a better investment. There isn't anything wrong with the 2012s. They are going to be faster than a 2013 13". I would save your original ram just in case and be sure to download whatever memory testing utility is up to date (must check on memtest myself). I mention that because bad memory sticks are one of the more frequent sources of complaints with a new system. In your situation I'm not sure what I would buy today. Apple has experienced problems with their discrete graphics implementations over several cycles. The 2010s had problems. The 2011s have their own problems. I own one of those and mine hasn't gone bad (yet). It makes me a little skeptical. The 650m does run cooler than the 6750m and 6770m from 2011. If you want to know more, there are existing threads relating to both models. Apple also had a repair program for the 2010s that experienced problems. I think it was valid within 3 years of purchase.
     

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