How to tell if 2015 Macbook pro has dedicated GPU?

robodelfy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 13, 2018
100
16
HI

I'm hunting for a 2015 Macbook pro on ebay, and often people show a screenshot of the 'About this mac' window. Sometimes for GPU it only says Intel Iris even when they have listed it as having the Radeon GPU. And then sometimes About this mac shows both?

If they have the Radeon GPU will it always show in 'About this mac'? Because if not, I wonder if some people don't even realise they have the dGPU and I would email them. Its a bit confusing

Any ideas?
Thanks
 

casperes1996

macrumors 603
Jan 26, 2014
5,302
3,129
Horsens, Denmark
HI

I'm hunting for a 2015 Macbook pro on ebay, and often people show a screenshot of the 'About this mac' window. Sometimes for GPU it only says Intel Iris even when they have listed it as having the Radeon GPU. And then sometimes About this mac shows both?

If they have the Radeon GPU will it always show in 'About this mac'? Because if not, I wonder if some people don't even realise they have the dGPU and I would email them. Its a bit confusing

Any ideas?
Thanks
The window shows active GPU.
 

robodelfy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 13, 2018
100
16
Thanks, so if you click 'About this mac' you just get the active one?

Why have I sometimes seen both listed there then?
 

lec0rsaire

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2017
1,514
1,440
They can go to system report then graphics/displays

This is on my 2017 MacBook Pro


The 2017s like yours have a 10-bit panel unlike the 8-bit panel on my 2016 15". Apple really didn't say anything about this. It's the main difference between the 2016s and 2017s beside Kaby Lake. I guess it's due to the fact that Kaby Lake has native support for 4K HDR playback. You can edit and playback any kind of video on Skylake and previous gens but not from streaming services. I really should've waited for the refresh but what can I do.
 

casperes1996

macrumors 603
Jan 26, 2014
5,302
3,129
Horsens, Denmark
Thanks, so if you click 'About this mac' you just get the active one?

Why have I sometimes seen both listed there then?
Well, at least back when I had a dual GPU MacBook Pro, it only showed the active one. May have changed with an OS. It may also be that they're using an app that can actually utilise both GPUs for something. Dunno.

The 2017s like yours have a 10-bit panel unlike the 8-bit panel on my 2016 15". Apple really didn't say anything about this. It's the main difference between the 2016s and 2017s beside Kaby Lake. I guess it's due to the fact that Kaby Lake has native support for 4K HDR playback. You can edit and playback any kind of video on Skylake and previous gens but not from streaming services. I really should've waited for the refresh but what can I do.
Wow, well spotted. I actually never realised that was a difference.
 

lec0rsaire

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2017
1,514
1,440
Well, at least back when I had a dual GPU MacBook Pro, it only showed the active one. May have changed with an OS. It may also be that they're using an app that can actually utilise both GPUs for something. Dunno.
In about this Mac, when the dGPU is not activated it will only show the integrated Intel GPU. As soon as you launch FCP X, Photoshop CC, Davinci Resolve or any sort of pro app that benefits from more GPU horsepower the discrete AMD GPU will turn on and about this Mac will show both of them.

It will also show both of them if you turn off automatic graphics switching in settings/energy saver. I don't recommend disabling it since you'll get about half the battery life you would otherwise. No reason to use the dGPU unless you really need it.
 
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casperes1996

macrumors 603
Jan 26, 2014
5,302
3,129
Horsens, Denmark
In about this Mac, when the dGPU is not activated it will only show the integrated Intel GPU. As soon as you launch FCP X, Photoshop CC, Davinci Resolve or any sort of pro app that benefits from more GPU horsepower the discrete AMD GPU will turn on and about this Mac will show both of them.

It will also show both of them if you turn off automatic graphics switching in settings/energy saver. I don't recommend disabling it since you'll get about half the battery life you would otherwise. No reason to use the dGPU unless you really need it.

In that case, good on me; I was right ;)

It also makes sense it shows both when the dGPU is active, since they then both need to be active. Since the frame buffer of the iGPU is the one connected to the display, the dGPU will have to ship its finished frames to the dGPU. At least I believe that's how on the fly GPU switching works.
 

Painter2002

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2017
1,088
772
Austin, TX
Thanks, so if you click 'About this mac' you just get the active one?

Why have I sometimes seen both listed there then?
Yes, there is a setting under Power settings that if enabled will let your MacBook Pro "turn off" the dedicated GPU while on batter to save power. If you have this enabled and are on battery power only, the dedicated GPU will not show up under the "About this Mac". Once you plug it in, or turn off the setting, it should show back up under the "About this Mac". Otherwise like the others have commented, you can find the dedicated GPU info under "System Information"
 
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