Integrated Graphic Cards (New Apple Trend?)

Raid

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Feb 18, 2003
2,150
4,457
Toronto
I've had a look around the forums to see if anybody has discussed this topic (given it it's own thread) and it doesn't look like it... sorry if this is a repost! :eek:

While I think the new MacBook has some great features, the use of integrated graphics cards really turns me off. I find that this often shortens the useful life of the computer, and the machines flexibility. :mad:

When the Mac mini's came out with them I was shocked, but with the new MacBooks I see a distrubing trend here that's got me worried. Which brought up a few questions:
  1. Are they just trying to keep the cost of their machines low at the expense of the lifespan of the computer?
  2. Are there design or space issues that make integrated cards more efficient?
  3. Are they trying to get us to update our computers sooner?
  4. Why don't they make a version with a non-integrated card?

Maybe upgrading things like this is not much of an issue for some, but I'm still running a 466Mhz G4 at home, I've upgraded the RAM, Hard-drive and Video card and it's running strong, on 10.4.6 no less! IMHO the video card extended the "functional life" of my computer considerably.

I know when recommending PC's to family I've steered them clear of integrated graphics machines (or at least made sure there was a dedicated extra video card slot). I'm worried that this might put off some users that are a bit beyond the 'web-surfing / checking email' crowd, but don't want to shell out the extra $$'s for the pro-line of computers.

So what do you think, is this something your worried about? Would you recommend the integrated graphic card computers to friends?
 

iGary

Guest
May 26, 2004
19,583
1
Randy's House
Notice it's only on the low-end machines?

Anyway, I'll be happy when Apple gets over thie Jekyll and Hyde phase they are going through.
 

Azurael

macrumors regular
Mar 21, 2005
191
0
*Sigh* Oh well. Apple have been mislead down the path of the dull x86 OEMs. With the unfortunate issue that they have no product for the middle of the market, unlike even the lowest of the low, Dell, who have optional GPUs on some models, at least.

The MacBook is the worst product I could have imagined Apple releasing under the circumstances and I'd like to see them build a case for replacing the previous, acceptable Mobility Radeon 9550 with this tripe. Oh, and why is only the top end model black? What if I want a low end black model, or a top-end white model?

I do like the speed bump on the MBPs though, and the option of a glossy screen. I'm almost irate that mine doesn't whine or get too hot ;)
 

Voidness

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2005
847
65
Null
I was completely shocked today. It could be arguable that the Mac Mini got its graphics card "upgraded" when Apple used the GMA, given how bad the Radeon 9200 was (It even lacked support for Core Image). But on the other hand, the graphics card in the last iBook, the Mobility Radeon 9550, is superior in every way to the GMA. Apple cannot justify this as an upgrade.

Will Apple drop the GMA at one point? I don't think so. But I really hope Apple gives consumers the choice of picking a dedicated graphics card, just how Dell does it.
 

AvSRoCkCO1067

macrumors 65816
Sep 6, 2005
1,401
0
CO
Azurael said:
*Sigh* Oh well. Apple have been mislead down the path of the dull x86 OEMs. With the unfortunate issue that they have no product for the middle of the market, unlike even the lowest of the low, Dell, who have optional GPUs on some models, at least.

The MacBook is the worst product I could have imagined Apple releasing under the circumstances and I'd like to see them build a case for replacing the previous, acceptable Mobility Radeon 9550 with this tripe. Oh, and why is only the top end model black? What if I want a low end black model, or a top-end white model?

I do like the speed bump on the MBPs though, and the option of a glossy screen. I'm almost irate that mine doesn't whine or get too hot ;)
What makes you think you can't get a top model in white? You can. And it's 150 bucks less than a top model in black.
 

zap2

macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
7,241
1
Washington D.C
What this had done has

1) Made a clear difference in the "Pro" laptop line and the Consumer laptop line, how ever with this comes the death of the 12'' Pro laptop, perhaps Apple will give us the option of upgrading it on the 1499 Black MacBook for Rev B(which would help justify its price)


2) It pushed me into not being able to replace my iBook G4/iMac G5 set up with a 13'' MacBook and ACD. It will push me to get a iMac Merom/MacBook or a MacBook Pro Merom and ACD. If the Mac Mini had a better gaming card i would have consider a Mac Mini ADC and MacBook as my set up. Apple is forcing people to go to higher end Macs to get what you want.
 

paperinacup

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2005
413
0
honestly though if you dont want integrated graphics then get a mbp. its just like complaining that the honda civic doesnt come with leather seats and a v6 and if you want that you have to but an accord. you get what you pay for period. Its all a way to get you to keep upgrading. If the macbook had everything the macbook pro has then no one would buy the macbook pro.
 

BlizzardBomb

macrumors 68030
Jun 15, 2005
2,537
0
England
Raid said:
  1. Are they just trying to keep the cost of their machines low at the expense of the lifespan of the computer?
  2. Are there design or space issues that make integrated cards more efficient?
  3. Are they trying to get us to update our computers sooner?
  4. Why don't they make a version with a non-integrated card?
1) Yes, it's highly likely that Intel said "Use Integrated Graphics and we'll give you a big discount" and Apple couldn't resist.
2) Integrated takes up less internal space, produces less heat and uses less power. Good for tight enclosures e.g. Mac Mini, MacBook
3) Hmm... tough one. Well the GMA950 won't be around for much longer as it's going to be replaced in a few months. The new G965 should have enough grunt to outgun the old Mobility 9550.
4) Reasons listed in 2.
 

Subiklim

macrumors 6502
Mar 31, 2006
288
0
Manhattan, New York
This new macbook smokes the old iBook in every way possible, even graphically. I don't understand why everyone is so excited. Sure, Integrated Graphics sounds bad, but have you ever tried using it? My brother's Mac Mini works PERFECTLY, even plays counter-strike. Try actually using the systems before you condemn them.
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
6,055
6
Yahooville S.C.
Integrated graphics Suck, its that simple. If you want to hold down sales and cripple a machine the best way you can do it is by using dirt cheap Integrated Graphics. Since Apple has CPU's sitting in sockets they have to be able to stop the upgrade somehow, Soldered on Integrated Graphics does that.
 

munkees

macrumors 65816
Sep 3, 2005
1,027
0
Pacific Northwest
I cannot not believe people are complaining, if apple put in a better graphics then what the purpose of the pro line, you have to draw the line. come on it released with the same processor as what the MBP was released with. I think it is a great deal, cannot believe people are boo hooing over this.

I have an iMac CD 20" and it sucks, I find my G4 powerbook still more useable. It plays armericas army, also there is still a lake of software ported to the intel, and it getting to feel old. Surfing around the web and not being able to have good flash and shock, (yes it does work but it only one plugin, and does not support everything), not flip4mac, I been waiting for ever, they say beta out soon.

I fill like I am back in the days when MacOS X first came out, and finding no classic apps sucked. It seems to be just as long to wait for intel support.
 

xyian

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2004
274
0
PDX
It's not a new trend....for other computer makers.
Intel and AMD and other board makers have been
doing this for a while now. Apple was just different.
They're becoming more like their counterparts. It's
assimilation. Oh darn.
I'm sure the top ends like the Macbook Pro and the
Powermacs will not be integrated. Everything else
will probably end up that way.
I don't think that affects the usefulness or life expectancy
of the computer. If you have a laptop or something like
a mini, it can't be upgraded anyhow.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,892
1,466
Palookaville
Subiklim said:
This new macbook smokes the old iBook in every way possible, even graphically. I don't understand why everyone is so excited. Sure, Integrated Graphics sounds bad, but have you ever tried using it? My brother's Mac Mini works PERFECTLY, even plays counter-strike. Try actually using the systems before you condemn them.
Now, now... what fun would that be?
 

Voidness

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2005
847
65
Null
Subiklim said:
This new macbook smokes the old iBook in every way possible, even graphically. I don't understand why everyone is so excited. Sure, Integrated Graphics sounds bad, but have you ever tried using it? My brother's Mac Mini works PERFECTLY, even plays counter-strike. Try actually using the systems before you condemn them.
Plays what? Counter Strike? Yeah, intergrated graphics rocks in that! I know how bad GMA performs. Also, your clame that the new Macbook "smokes" the last iBook graphically, then please "try actually using the systems before you condemn them". Check this out (From BareFeats):

7 frames per second? Is that even playable? I can play UT2004 nicely on my iBook (Radeon 9550) with all settings on medium at 1024x768. I don't know exactly how many frames per second, but it runs VERY nicely.
munkees said:
I cannot not believe people are complaining, if apple put in a better graphics then what the purpose of the pro line, you have to draw the line. come on it released with the same processor as what the MBP was released with. I think it is a great deal, cannot believe people are boo hooing over this.
Well, I cannot belive how people are accepting this! Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Apple had a pro and consumer line of notebooks before going Intel, right? Yeah, and Apple didn't use some intergrated solution, such as Radeon IGP. They used a low end dedicated graphics card for the consumer line, and a better one for the pro line. It would have made much more sense if Apple used Mobility Radeon X1300.
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
6,055
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Yahooville S.C.
You wont find Alienware using this stuff, in fact they are using dual SLi graphics in Notebooks, not silly single integrated stuff that dont even make Toms Hardware benches:D
 

Voidness

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2005
847
65
Null
Dont Hurt Me said:
You wont find Alienware using this stuff, in fact they are using dual SLi graphics in Notebooks, not silly single integrated stuff that dont even make Toms Hardware benches:D
They actually do:

http://www.alienware.com/product_pages/notebook_all_default.aspx

Area-51® m5500
Versatile Performance

Product Features:
* Intel® Pentium M730 Processor
* Microsoft® Windows®XP Home Edition
* 512MB DDR2 at 533MHz
* 60GB 5400RPM
* Intel® GMA900
* 8X Dual Layer DVD +/- RW24X CD-RW Combo Drive
* 15.4" Wide-view 16:10 LCD Screen
... and that's Alienware :rolleyes:
 

Azurael

macrumors regular
Mar 21, 2005
191
0
paperinacup said:
honestly though if you dont want integrated graphics then get a mbp. its just like complaining that the honda civic doesnt come with leather seats and a v6 and if you want that you have to but an accord. you get what you pay for period. Its all a way to get you to keep upgrading. If the macbook had everything the macbook pro has then no one would buy the macbook pro.
No, it's nothing like that. The MacBook Pro is a high end, expensive computer based on it's price. The MacBook is a mid-range computer based on price, however it isn't in terms of it's GPU. I would expect a bargain-bin, bog-standard Windows notebook with Core Solo/Celeron-M to have a GMA, but not a mid range notebook with a nice, fast Core Duo CPU.

Not everyone who wants a decent GPU can afford a MBP, and with the previous PowerBook/iBook lineup, that was available to them for the price they wanted to play in the 12" iBook or PowerBook. Now they don't even have a real GPU as an option. Plus, not everybody wants a machine as large or easily damaged as a 15" MacBook.
 

milo

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2003
6,887
511
The integrated graphics pretty much only matter for 3d gaming.

If you want to play the latest 3d games, save up for a machine with a decent graphics card. But for just about anything else (including casual gaming, or older games) these machines are great. 2D graphics run great on these, including HD video.
 

plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,968
3
Voidness said:
Check this out (From BareFeats):

7 frames per second? Is that even playable? I can play UT2004 nicely on my iBook (Radeon 9550) with all settings on medium at 1024x768. I don't know exactly how many frames per second, but it runs VERY nicely.
I notice how, to make your point, you didn't include the other two graphs just after the UT2004 one ("U" means unmatched RAM, "M" means matched)



By the way, UT2004 isn't universal yet, is it? At least it wasn't in March when that test was done.

Better still, here's the link for people to see for themselves.
 

Voidness

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2005
847
65
Null
milo said:
The integrated graphics pretty much only matter for 3d gaming.

If you want to play the latest 3d games, save up for a machine with a decent graphics card. But for just about anything else (including casual gaming, or older games) these machines are great. 2D graphics run great on these, including HD video.
Not really. There are some applications that rely on the GPU, such as iMaginator, Image Tricks, and others in the future, with help of Core Image. Even iMovie and iDVD use Core Image.
 

Voidness

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2005
847
65
Null
plinden said:
I notice how, to make your point, you didn't include the other two graphs just after the UT2004 one ("U" means unmatched RAM, "M" means matched)
>Image<
>Image<
By the way, UT2004 isn't universal yet, is it? At least it wasn't in March when that test was done.

Better still, here's the link for people to see for themselves.
UT2004 is Universal, and Bare Feats were using the universal version in the benchmarks.

As with the other 2 graphs, it still shows how badly the GMA performs. As I said in my previous post, it could be arguable that the GMA in the Mac Mini could be considered an upgrade, because the GMA has Core Image support. As you can see in the game graphs, the GMA performed much worse in UT2004, about the same in Doom 3, and much better in Quake 3, a 6 year old game. On the other hand, when Core Image apps come into the scene, it smokes the Radeon 9200, obviously because of the lack of Core Image support.

This all doesn’t apply with the Radeon 9550, since it supports Core Image. It would be interesting to see Bare Feats comparing the iBook to the Macbook.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,892
1,466
Palookaville
Sigh. Haven't we been though all of this before?

If you want to play games, don't buy a MacBook. Seems simple enough.

I recall when the Intel mini came out, the consensus expectation was that the MacBook would use the Core Solo processor. Now that they're out and use the Core Duo, still so much disappointment and griping.

So, which PC manufacturer offers a 13 inch Core Duo laptop for under $1,099?
 

prostuff1

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2005
1,484
18
Don't step into the kawoosh...
zap2 said:
What this had done has

1) Made a clear difference in the "Pro" laptop line and the Consumer laptop line, how ever with this comes the death of the 12'' Pro laptop, perhaps Apple will give us the option of upgrading it on the 1499 Black MacBook for Rev B(which would help justify its price)


2) It pushed me into not being able to replace my iBook G4/iMac G5 set up with a 13'' MacBook and ACD. It will push me to get a iMac Merom/MacBook or a MacBook Pro Merom and ACD. If the Mac Mini had a better gaming card i would have consider a Mac Mini ADC and MacBook as my set up. Apple is forcing people to go to higher end Macs to get what you want.
I am with you completly on this point.

I too am looking to move from my iMac G5 and iBook setup (probably not till after christmas, which i realize is a long way off). I was hoping that a replacement for the 12 Pro computer would come out and then i was going to consider getting a intel mini and the replacement for the 12 Pro computer.

we still have a long way to go to see what developes but i am hoping that when merom comes out i will probably be getting an iMac merom and MB merom. My biggest problem is that i do play some games. I am by no means a heavy games but i like them to run well and i just dont think that is possible for the mini.

All in all i liked the updates to the old iBooks. But i would have rather sacrificed processor speed to dedicated graphics. I would have like 1.66 and 1.83 Duo's with dedicated 64MB cards instead of higher processors and craptastic integrated graphics.