Intel HD 4000 and Apples Graphic Cards Driver Update Policy

Discussion in 'macOS' started by chrisjo, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. chrisjo macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2015

    what do you think, will Apple update the graphic crads driver for Intel HD 4000 GPU?

    I ask because I downgraded from 10.10 Yosemite to 10.9.5 Mavericks (had four cold or sudden restarts with Yosemite 10.10.3/4 installed, something I had never experienced under a Mac system and I am using Mac OS X since 2004).

    Some background info: I have a MacBook Pro 13" (mid 2012), 2.9GHz, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB, Intel HD 4000 and work as a photographer/photojournalist. The MacBook Pro handle the RAW pictures from my Canon 5D MKIII just fine. I use Adobe Bridge CC and Adobe Camera RAW a lot.

    In April Adobe released Adobe Camera Raw 9, which uses GPU acceleration for drawing in the preview-window and zooming. Just very basic GPU support. But nevertheless it makes working with ACR more smoother, let's say. But if you work 5-8 hours a day on a computer, it is a welcome improvement.

    ACR 9.1 breaks GPU support for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom (which is the same RAW engine). Adobe says please update your driver. I researched that Windows could get it to work again with updating the drivers for the Intel HD 4000.

    Mac users can't do that. And right now you even cannot update to the latest system with the latest drivers, because the system is unstable. But anyway, even on the latest Mac OS X Yosemite the drivers do not work or are too old (tested on a different MacBook Pro 13" with Intel HD 4000).

    Apple is still selling the MacBook Pro 13", so they should also update the drivers for the card. I already filled a bug report to Apple. But I am interested in your opinion ...

    How long will Apple keep the non-Retina MacBook Pro 13"? And if they keep it longer, will they update the graphics card driver? Or will they update the drivers for the Intel HD 4000 with El Capitan? Wouldn't it be easier for Apple, if Intel provide the Mac drivers?

    Lately I testet the latest MacBook Pro 13" Retina - it is not that much faster in Adobe Bridge CC and ACR than the 2012 MacBook Pro - but GPU support works;) Just spend 2000 bugs ...
  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Apple is not famous for updating GPU drivers. On my old 2010 MBP in bootcamp the install of graphic drivers was disabled as they used to be on many notebooks. So only Apple could supply drivers they deemed worthy. They only ever updated them with bootcamp each time a new OSX version cam out like 10.7 or 10.8. In the mean time I had to hack it to get updated drivers directly from nvidia.

    In OSX Apple only ever updates GPU drivers on some of the 10.10.X updates. So if there are no more of those I am pretty sure there just aren't any updates.

    Why doesn't Intel do it? Historically OSX was too insignificant for Intel to spend a lot of effort. Just compare how much attention Linux drivers used to get. Part of the driver closer to the hardware comes from Intel, the more complicated and error prone part before the API layer comes from Apple. They probably spent more and still put in more effort than Intel would. For a while Intel HD 3000 drivers on OSX were even faster than the Windows ones. Never held true for Nvidia/AMD but Intel doing the drivers really wouldn't be a big win I think.

    I think you are out of luck. It might be that Apple just does not supply the necessary API support for some of the slower older GPUs. Or Adobe does not enable the GPU support on those older GPUs because of some reasons.
    You might have more luck with El Capitan. The Metal drivers are simpler and are less likely to be at fault. If Adobe supports Metal it is likely the problem just goes away and everything works. Apple obviously HAS to write new metal drivers but it is more that Metal drivers are generally simpler and less likely to cause problems. With Metal it is more Adobe's responsibility to not mess up rather than say the driver is the issue.
  3. chrisjo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2015
    Thanks for your detailed answer! :) Let's hope for the best and that Adobe is supporting Metal with their next CC version ...

    I was just wondering, because with version 9 of the Camera Raw plugin, Adobe supported the Intel HD 4000 OpenGL engine. If it is just a driver problem, like Adobe is saying, it would be cool if Apple updates the driver.

    I also know from the past, that Mac users cannot take it for granted that Apple will fix bugs or update drivers, because something is not working with a third party software. I had a lot of experience with it regarding color management and hardware calibration in the last years. It can take months before they react or release fixes. Regarding the relatively short one year livespan of their current operating systems, it would be nice if Apple could react faster than (roundabout) in a two month timeframe for point releases.

    I understand the secretive and hard to estimate behavior on their hard and software from Apple to a certain point, but on part of their software development it foils the quality of their hardware sometimes imho.
  4. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Looking at one small detail - the VRAM that the graphics card has available - Apple has been updating the HD4000.
    My mini, when booted to Mountain Lion, has 756 MB of VRAM for the HD4000.
    Boot to Yosemite, there is 1024 MB available
    And, booting to El Cap beta, there is 1536 MB (1.5GB) of VRAM available.
    So, if you would like to upgrade the graphics drivers, then that involves updating your system, too.

    That may, or may not, help you in regards to Adobe software and the other things you need to do, but Apple does update support for graphics cards, along with system software upgrades.
    The question about whether that updating is keeping up with other operating systems - You would have to hit some of the benchmarking sites, I suppose.

    Then, looking forward to more support for metal - That might be reason enough to upgrade to El Capitan this fall.
    Hopefully, Adobe will quickly have updates that will natively support metal... :D (nah, It's Adobe - probably be 2 or 3 years for that!)

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