How to experience benefit of Nvidia card on RMBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macbook123, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    I'm not a gamer and perhaps the Nvidia card is a waste for somebody like me. I usually use gfxCardStatus because the only thing the discrete card seems to do for me is generate heat on my legs/lap. I don't notice an effect on scrolling (have it in scaled 1920x1200 mode), importing and editing photos and videos, nada. Where am I supposed to notice the improved performance, if not during video games?
  2. Ismo macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2012
    At least scrolling in iPhoto with lots of images is noticable faster with discrete enabled. iPhoto also enables discrete if dynamic switching is enabled.
  3. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    I don't notice this at all.
  4. zeraien macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I find mission control to be a lot faster with the discreet card, especially if you have a few dozen windows open...

    When it comes to scrolling though, I have a similar experience to you, little to no improvement.

    I also run 1920 btw.
  5. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    I don't even notice a difference in Mission control, not even with dozens of windows open...

    I'm starting to think that the only people who need the discrete card are those who play extremely GPU intense games. For most mortals however, Apple should offer a version of the laptop without discrete card. It just unnecessarily adds to the complexity, power consumption, and heat of the system. What's the point?
  6. deerfaced macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2012
    I would imagine as this laptop is aimed at high end users, most people who have bought the laptop for it's intended 'market purpose' would have need for the GPU.

    If you don't want the GPU, get an air, or wait and see if they release an air without it.
  7. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    Well, so far not a single macrumors user has been able to describe a use for me :)

    That's a silly statement. The Air is a completely different computer. This thread entertains the question whether one of the many components that is different is a necessary component. Your advice is like telling somebody who asks about the purpose of the back-facing camera in an iPad to get a Mac Mini instead, just because that doesn't have said camera.
  8. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    That doesn't answer the OP's question. Many people who aren't "high end users" bought the rMBP for the gorgeous display.

    How is the Air a solution? Going to a smaller, lower res screen because the discrete graphics isn't being used makes no sense.

    Other than more heat and fan noise and shorter battery life I don't see the difference either.

    Side question - You guys running in 1920 how do you read the small text? It's clear but reading text that small for long periods of time makes my eyes burn!
  9. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    Setting the minimum font size in Safari helps a little, however if one sets it too large the formatting on some sites can look less than optimal.

    I also get closer to the display.

    And use command-= a lot to increase font size when I decide I want to read longer passages on a website.
  10. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
  11. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    Hmm, but that's a result of an arbitrary software limitation, not the hardware. The integrated GPU on the RMBP is perfectly capable of running a 2560x1600 external monitor, as was the 4 times LESS powerful integrated GPU of my 2011 MBA...
  12. flipnap macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2012
    I think a lot of people have under estimated the potency of the Intel 4000 HD chip. in and of itself, it's probably powerful enough to run everything on that notebook. in fact, at most times I never run the dedicated graphics because sometimes it actually performs worse. only on extremely intense graphic purposes, such as video editing or video games do I ever see any performance needs at all. it definitely does not help the UI at all.
  13. zalo macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2012
    List of OpenGL programs

    There is a list of applications(not games) at the bottom of that page. Those are programs that will run/render faster while using the Nvidia card.
  14. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The Thunderbolt/MiniDisplay port is linked directly to the discrete card, I believe. Try using GFXStatus to change to integrated only while an external monitor is connected.
  15. AzN1337c0d3r macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2010
    I use a resolution changer app and run at 2880x1800 :eek:
  16. deerfaced macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2012
    Not really like saying buy a mac mini because you don't need the camera on an ipad... they're so completely different thats a fairly extreme comparison to mine, which at least are both laptops.

    Lots of people on here have made the toss up of whether they need the power of the rmbp, and ended up siding with an air. If it's more than capable of doing what you need it seems a good choice. (I owned a 1st gen one and loved it but it just wasnt powerful enough for getting anything done other than 'leisure' activities)

    I think I would have had to seriously consider whether I would have bought the retina had it not had a dedicated gpu.
  17. macbook123 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    What do you use the dedicated GPU for then?

    I think the doubling of CPU and RAM of the Retina is felt by many users more than the graphics improvement...

    Again, so far I haven't heard any strong arguments for the dgpu in the retina...


    It's still an arbitrary limitation though as any external monitor will be easier to drive than the retina display itself, which is driven marvelously by the integrated one.


    I see. I haven't noticed a difference in Aperture scrolling.
  18. deerfaced macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2012
    I model and render 3d environments for an 'environmental solutions' company.

    It's great to be able to do this with a laptop I can chuck in my bag, work on the go, and present realtime 'this is what this ridiculous pylon will look like from your bedroom window' during consultations.

    I haven't really checked it out, but I'd imagine the intel gpu would probably struggle doing any of that.

    Anyone watched something like timescapes using intel?

    Just curious as to whether it would cope with something like that...
  19. dmccloud macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Anchorage, AK

    Other than games, the discrete GPU will be used in applications like Final Cut Pro X, when the user is handling multiple video streams at once (remember that FCPX can handle 9 simultaneous streams, while playing one of them at full 1920x1080 resolution). Likewise, anything utilizing 3D rendering will flip over to the discrete GPU instead of the Intel part because of the improved processing power. Other cases where the discrete GPU will be utilized is in situations where the application(s) in use require the use of all available physical memory (complex Photoshop filters, video rendering, etc). In those cases, switching to the discrete GPU frees up that RAM otherwise used by the HD 4000.

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