Have to spend $2599+ for dedicated GPU? Why?

MattMJB0188

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
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Why does one need to spend over $2599 for a Apple to stick a dedicated GPU in the 15" model? I just noticed this and I don't understand why they did this? In the past, the always stuck a GPU in all their 15" models.
 

JunkyJeff

macrumors newbie
Jan 29, 2014
29
0
It's Apple, if it sells it sells. With limiting choices some people who feel it's their only choice are gonna snag one. From what I hear Iris isn't too bad? If you need dedicated graphics, I would probably say the more reasonable thing would be look elsewhere.
 

MattMJB0188

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
1,920
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It's Apple, if it sells it sells. With limiting choices some people who feel it's their only choice are gonna snag one. From what I hear Iris isn't too bad? If you need dedicated graphics, I would probably say the more reasonable thing would be look elsewhere.
Back in 2010 we had tons of choices, including the 17" mbp and anti-glare screen. I don't know why they're limiting the customer now? But what I don't understand is that in the past, they've always included a dedicated GPU in the 15" line. I find it very hard to believe the intel graphics are good enough to get by.
 

JunkyJeff

macrumors newbie
Jan 29, 2014
29
0
Back in 2010 we had tons of choices, including the 17" mbp and anti-glare screen. I don't know why they're limiting the customer now? But what I don't understand is that in the past, they've always included a dedicated GPU in the 15" line. I find it very hard to believe the intel graphics are good enough to get by.
Hey I get what your saying, I am a consumer too. It comes down to business.

I feel the direction Apple is going is making these things disposable, one and done. Take it with a grain of salt, I am a Mechanical Engineer and when work tells me we need something that will last 2-3 years in order for people to come back and upgrade to a new one, well.. we design accordingly. If everything was made to last forever, business wouldn't be businesses.
 

pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,157
1,081
Montreal, Canada
But what I don't understand is that in the past, they've always included a dedicated GPU in the 15" line. I find it very hard to believe the intel graphics are good enough to get by.
That's not true.
The exact same pattern happened with the last design.

The 15" cMBP was introduced in 2008 with a pretty high price tag and dGPU standard across the board. The price was roughly the same as the 15" rMBP at its introduction when you adjust for inflation.

One year later, in 2009, they removed the dGPU on the base model so they could lower the entry price. People who wanted it had to pay extra for the second model that also came with globally higher specs that not everybody needed.

Sounds familiar?

At least Iris Pro is a lot better now than a 9400M was at the time.
 

kelon111

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2013
303
4
Why does one need to spend over $2599 for a Apple to stick a dedicated GPU in the 15" model? I just noticed this and I don't understand why they did this? In the past, the always stuck a GPU in all their 15" models.


Apple already has many loyal followers so it's obvious that Apple would make more money that way.

A Mac laptop is a luxury , if you can't afford it then you look at the cheaper alternatives.

You don't NEED a Mac just like you don't need an $8000 laptop.


----------

Hey I get what your saying, I am a consumer too. It comes down to business.

I feel the direction Apple is going is making these things disposable, one and done. Take it with a grain of salt, I am a Mechanical Engineer and when work tells me we need something that will last 2-3 years in order for people to come back and upgrade to a new one, well.. we design accordingly. If everything was made to last forever, business wouldn't be businesses.
Agreed.
 

brdeveloper

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2010
2,472
161
Brasil
If you need CUDA, get the 750M which isn't what we could call a workstation-class GPU. Otherwise, get the fast Iris Pro which supports OpenCL, usually compatible with most applications.
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,383
61
In the past the dGPUs included were 2-4 times faster than the integrated ones.
Now they have an integrated that is 0-30% slower depending on the application (games are usually at the 30% end).
The more interesting question why pair such an over powered integrated GPU with such a weak dGPU at all. A 760M or a 4600 would make more sense.
 

philxor

macrumors regular
Dec 21, 2010
181
0
Yeah integrated graphics getting much better and the pressure to compete and keep pricing lower is why they dropped the dGPU. The reality is 90% of the people do not need a dedicated GPU to do what they are doing on a MBP.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
Would also like to remind you that the early 2011 base 15'' model included a GPU that was a joke (Radeon 6490M) and at best half as fast as the GPU in the high end model (a 6750M).
The performance GAP of Iris Pro vs. the 750M in games might be almost as big, but for other applications the integrated GPU is probably just as fast as the 750M.

One has to realize that the modern integrated GPUs are quite powerful and can compete with a low to mid-range discrete GPU. So it does make sense to remove the discrete GPU from the base model and only offer it as an upgrade (whether $2599 is appropriate for that is a different question of course).

As dusk said it is even questionable why one would offer a discrete GPU that is not that much faster than the integrated version. Some people have suggested that Apple wanted to drop dGPUs completely, although that is just based on rumors.
 

linkgx1

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2011
1,598
201
It's because they can. If people will be willing to pay for it, why not give the bait?
 

iKrivetko

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2010
604
499
As dusk said it is even questionable why one would offer a discrete GPU that is not that much faster than the integrated version. Some people have suggested that Apple wanted to drop dGPUs completely, although that is just based on rumors.
Not really rumors, even Steve has been talking a lot about how badly they wanted proper graphics integrated into chipsets. Part of the reason why they went with custom silicon on the iPhone.
 

Steve121178

macrumors 601
Apr 13, 2010
4,943
3,990
Bedfordshire, UK
Why does one need to spend over $2599 for a Apple to stick a dedicated GPU in the 15" model? I just noticed this and I don't understand why they did this? In the past, the always stuck a GPU in all their 15" models.
Iris Pro is plenty good enough for the vast majority of people. So that's why.
 

durkkin

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2013
174
1
I think a lot of it is due to profit margin and demand. The old 13" MBP was Apple's best selling notebook (which from working at an Apple store I realized was from size and weight, not cost) and it only had integrated graphics. Now with the rMBP, the 15" form factor is thinner and lighter, so there's a decent chance of upselling to the bigger screen and quad core. Apple's profit margin has to be much higher on that base model with integrated graphics only. For people that would be buying the $2,000 entry level 15" Iris Pro is going to be all they need, and for people that want dedicated they have to pay $600 more, but they also get 16GB RAM and 512 SSD which they were probably going to want anyway.
 

commac

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2013
117
0
I wasn't happy with how the dgpu was performing but ran out of time for the return. In the end I am happy with the dgpu because as good as the igpu is its still a newish product. I find forcing the igpu while running vmware with cpu intensive apps causes the machine to heat up over 90 degrees Celsius. Whereas with the dgpu it never goes above 75ish. IMO the dgpu is useful if you plan on pushing your machine.
 

mneblett

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2008
369
0
Why does one need to spend over $2599 for a Apple to stick a dedicated GPU in the 15" model? I just noticed this and I don't understand why they did this? In the past, the always stuck a GPU in all their 15" models.
I didn't buy a 15" for the dGPU.

I wanted a 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM. A base model with those features lists at $2499. The 2.3GHz cpu is an extra $100 over the base 2.0GHz cpu, putting the cost at exactly the same $2599 as the dGPU-equipped MBP. As I intend to keep/use this machine for a long time (I average ~5 yrs between MBP's), the extra $100 for a 15% faster processor *plus* a "free" dGPU was worth it to me.

Of course, it helped that I could get education pricing, which brought the actual cost below even a partially optioned base machine. :D
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,004
4,567
Apple's profit margin has to be much higher on that base model with integrated graphics only.
They would have the same or maybe even better profit margin if they went with a non-Iris Pro CPU + a dGPU. The Iris Pro versions are much more expensive.
 

durkkin

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2013
174
1
They would have the same or maybe even better profit margin if they went with a non-Iris Pro CPU + a dGPU. The Iris Pro versions are much more expensive.
Interesting. I did not know that. That was purely an assumption on my part as I have not looked at processor prices in quite some time. There goes my theory I guess.
 

accountforit

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2014
676
0
It's Apple, if it sells it sells. With limiting choices some people who feel it's their only choice are gonna snag one. From what I hear Iris isn't too bad? If you need dedicated graphics, I would probably say the more reasonable thing would be look elsewhere.
I think Apple truly believes that Iris integrated graphics are more than enough for the majority of their targeted demographic. For the limited amount of people that need a dedicated card one is available.....at a price of course.
 

RMS8

macrumors newbie
Jan 4, 2014
4
0
I didn't buy a 15" for the dGPU.

I wanted a 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM. A base model with those features lists at $2499. The 2.3GHz cpu is an extra $100 over the base 2.0GHz cpu, putting the cost at exactly the same $2599 as the dGPU-equipped MBP. As I intend to keep/use this machine for a long time (I average ~5 yrs between MBP's), the extra $100 for a 15% faster processor *plus* a "free" dGPU was worth it to me.

Of course, it helped that I could get education pricing, which brought the actual cost below even a partially optioned base machine. :D
That is EXACTLY my reasoning behind, what I did.
 

boast

macrumors 65816
Nov 12, 2007
1,369
739
Phoenix, USA
The regular macbooks disappeared. The "Pro" became regular versions, and the 15" became the "Pro versions." Now that will be gone too- probably replaced with all integrated graphics and dual core only.
 

MattMJB0188

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 28, 2009
1,920
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Maybe it would just be better to pick up one of the 2012 anti-glare models from the refurbished store.

I'm thinking NVIDIA 650m w/ 1GB ram is better than Iris Pro 5100?
 

SarcasticJoe

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
599
207
Finland
Maybe it would just be better to pick up one of the 2012 anti-glare models from the refurbished store.

I'm thinking NVIDIA 650m w/ 1GB ram is better than Iris Pro 5100?
The 5100 (i.e what's in the current 13" model) isn't an Iris Pro, it's just a regular Iris integrated GPU with no dedicated memory (the Iris Pro in the 15" machine has 128MB of eDRAM directly on the CPU die). Performance wise the 650M is about twice as fast as the 5100 in Cinebench 11.5's 64bit OpenGL test. Notebookcheck says that performance wise it's roughly the equivalent of a GeForce 620M.

This (and the fact that where I live the official apple store doesn't have a refurb section) is the reason why I've been considering upgrading to a second hand mid 2012 or early 2013 machine at some point this spring once the dividends for the shares I own are paid out.
 

brdeveloper

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2010
2,472
161
Brasil
The 5100 (i.e what's in the current 13" model) isn't an Iris Pro, it's just a regular Iris integrated GPU with no dedicated memory (the Iris Pro in the 15" machine has 128MB of eDRAM directly on the CPU die). Performance wise the 650M is about twice as fast as the 5100 in Cinebench 11.5's 64bit OpenGL test. Notebookcheck says that performance wise it's roughly the equivalent of a GeForce 620M.

This (and the fact that where I live the official apple store doesn't have a refurb section) is the reason why I've been considering upgrading to a second hand mid 2012 or early 2013 machine at some point this spring once the dividends for the shares I own are paid out.
I also put this into account when I got my early-2013 15" rMBP. I could afford a base late-2013, but I think the discrete gpu is a good addon for a programmer. I'm not so CUDA-dependent, but I'd like to have the option to develop both on OpenCL or CUDA if I needed. Also, according to the benchmarks the 2.4GHz early-2013 is slightly faster than the 2.0 late-2013.