Integrated vs discrete graphics battery life

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Sniper007, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. Sniper007 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2014
    #1
    I currently have the 2011 i7 MacBook Air which is used around 90% for work (Windows 7 under Bootcamp) and 10% for fun (OSX Mountain Lion) and it has been a fantastic workhorse but I've been looking at those Macbook Pros with envious eyes and feel like now is the time to jump.

    However, (and unfortunately) Windows is still very much a necessity for work which seems to be an ever increasing part of my life at the moment so I'll need to install Windows under Bootcamp again to justify the purchase.

    So my question is whether I should go for the 13 inch or the 15 inch Macbook Pros, and if 15 then with or without discrete graphics.

    Most of the time it will sit at my desk, plugged in and charging so battery life isn't a day to day concern however I would like to be able comfortably use the Macbook away from power occasionally without having to constantly worry that the battery is going to die. As a comparison I get around 4 and a half hours out of my current Air in meetings (which I'm sure used to be more like 6!) so something around that would be good enough.

    I know that under Windows the Bootcamp drivers don't allow graphics swapping so I need to decide whether the discrete graphics card is worth it, as I'd love the quad core power of a 15 inch but feel frustrated that the discrete graphics card is effectively free if you build a custom Mac.

    Does anyone have a dual or especially quad core 2013 Macbook Pro and give a rough idea of battery life under Windows?

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    What apps are you using that would require a GPU. From what I under stand the Iris pro in the 15" rMBP is quite a stout iGPU and may give you the horse power you need.
     
  3. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #3
    On my 15" rMBP (2.6GHz, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD and GT750M), I'd be lucky to get 5 hours in Boot Camp. Under normal usage, I normally get around 4.5 hours out of it.
     
  4. ha1o2surfer macrumors 6502

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    Sep 24, 2013
    #4
    I agree. If he wants to go bootcamp then a Macbook without a dGPU is the best choice since you will get similar if not the same battery life in Windows then you do in OSX. My 11 inch 2013 Air gets the same battery life in Windows and OSX.
     
  5. Sniper007 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2014
    #5
    Thanks everyone.

    I mainly work in Excel with some fairly complicated financial models which can tax my poor dual core MacAir at times (which is still in a class all by itself compared to the Windows laptops we also have in the office). Along side that we run Sage Accounts (both 50 and 200) which isn't that processor intensive and the odd bit of bespoke software for running design calculations.

    Plus the usual music/media playback, a little photo editing (Aperture) and web browsing, and I also have a last(current for now) generation Mac Mini which acts as a media server which was supposed to run a Plex server for the house but since I tend to spend more time in the office these days it sits idle as I'm struggling to find time to rip my blu ray collection to the server. Which is actually part of the temptation for always having that horse power with me!

    I'm a keen gamer but tend to play on the PS4 or X1 so although it would be nice to game on this it definitely isn't a priority.

    It just goes through me a little as the discrete GPU is effectively free in a custom build!
     
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #6
    Why not just use Parallels/VMware and use GFXcardstatus to force it into Iris? You can get a better battery life that way, even with a dGPU.
     
  7. Sniper007 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2014
    #7
    I'm in Windows so often that I'd rather run it natively and enjoy 100% of the machines power when working. And it also helps separate my work life and personal enjoyment on the laptop if I keep them apart.

    Plus running multiple screens under VM is not supposed to be all that impressive. Windows is very efficient in the way it handles multiple displays, more than even OSX and on my MacAir where I'm running three 1080p panels plus the laptop screen I get great performance. (using dual usb display link adapters through a USB hub and a thunderbolt to dvi convertor).
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    Virtualization is nice, though no ideal for those who spend the majority of time in Windows. I can see some minor headaches occurring because Windows does not have direct access to the hardware (some utilities and even apps won't run) and performance is not the same.
     
  9. Sniper007, Mar 19, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014

    Sniper007 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2014
    #9
    I noticed this thread got moved but this is more of an 'other operating systems' question and feel it was getting a much better response in the other forum rather than this one?

    My question is specifically about the battery life under Bootcamp and I doubt most macbook users in this forum are interested in other OS's? I will admit that my topic title could have been clearer though! :)

    Can someone move it back please?

    Thank you :)
     
  10. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #10
    For battery life the iris pro only models are fine in bootcamp. Discrete GPU with Windows batters the battery, that's one of the main reasons I have the 17 inch with it's rather substantial battery. Max performance power setting I get about 5 hours, 6.5-7 on the balanced in 7 x64.
     
  11. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    #11
    If one is to spend the majority of his or her time in Windows, said person should not be buying a Mac.
     
  12. Sniper007 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2014
    #12
    I'm afraid I can't agree with the logic in that comment?

    Unfortunately at the office, which at the moment takes up the majority of my time, it is impossible to rely on OSX which is why I must have Windows on my laptop. However, OSX is my preference when using a computer outside of work and there are obviously no Windows PCs that I can simply boot into OSX for that 10% of the time when I just want to have fun on a computer.

    The only solution that you're suggesting is to either ditch OSX or have two laptops - neither of which is necessary because a Mac can run Windows so well.

    So with a Mac I get a beautifully designed laptop with enough power to make my working life manageable and the best of both worlds by being able to dual boot into whichever OS suits my needs at that time.

    I think with the help I've received on here I've made the decision to go for the 2.6Ghz with integrated graphics only and choose battery life over raw GPU power. Gaming would have been nice, but certainly not essential and not worth sacrificing usability in the long run.

    Thanks all :)
     
  13. Lipid macrumors member

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    Jan 28, 2014
    #13
    Right decision, man! I bought 13" latest rMBP i5/8/256 for the same reason as you described.
     
  14. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #14
    I have plenty of clients who think otherwise and I'll include myself. They make excellent windows machines with a bit of tweaking, and the new Mac Pro is one hell of a quiet compact windows workstation also running VM's though the lack of cheap ram to go to 64gb is a problem.
     

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