Intel HD Graphics Card Really That Bad?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Vihzel, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. Vihzel macrumors 6502

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    Jul 9, 2010
    #1
    I keep seeing different anecdotes about people having lagging issues with the Intel HD graphics card. Is it really that bad? It would be a real pain to have to keep it on the nVidia card all the time, even when unplugged. I'm afraid that it will really drain the battery a lot faster than having the Intel on. Anyone have any estimates of this? It's one of the more worrying things about the Pro. Can anyone help clarify this issue?

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #2
    The MacBook Pro will switch between the two graphics cards as needed, so you shouldn't have to worry about it too much.
     
  3. Vihzel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Oh I understand that, but I'm talking about the performance of the graphics card.
     
  4. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #4
    Yes, they are really bad. However, since your GPU will detect when you need the extra boost, no worries.
     
  5. cubiczech macrumors newbie

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    Jun 17, 2010
    #5
    We need to compare it to previous intel gpus in apple computers. Like GMA950 and X3100, they actually arent that bad in terms of normal usege for normal user. But it can be a problem in pro machine. Maybe there are problems with some computations, because the newest GPU in CPU is somewhat slower than X3100 in old white and black macbooks. Maybe this is because it costs more data rate on the cpu bus than the previous models, the performance also rely on the CPU core frequency.

    cpu power management is based on core multiplier and bus frequency, if you lower the frequency, the gpu is slower, because is connected to the cpu and it also lower its frequency. The inte gpu doesnt support OpenCL, which is not problem now, but it can be problem after year or two when apple integrate the OCL support into Final Cut and QTX (i hope they will), it could be a major boost in exporting movie file. Today, they need to support older non-OCL macbooks (and also leopard).

    So, when you force the Intel GPU to work always instead of the 330M, even the user interface is much slower, including movie playback, flash video etc. Slower than the X3100. maybe is driver related, maybe is just how the GPU works. In basic performance, you can compare it to 9400M in some tasks (games in windows, 3Dmark...), including OSX, but still is slower, i dont know why.
     
  6. Patrick Boyle macrumors member

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    #6
    I got my MBP last week and I don't see any problem at all. There is no lag in OS animations when it's on the Intel card. There IS a brief pause when it switches cards, but that only happens when you start a program that requires it.
     
  7. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #7
    My mbp runs 95% of the time on the intel. No problems whatsoever. I have even installed a utility that (gfxcardstatus) that allows you to force the mbp to always use intel. No problems there either.

    Intel seems to be good enough for all normal use. I guess video de and encoding and games need nvidea. The rest is fine on intel and that saves battery.
     
  8. Patrick Boyle macrumors member

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    #8
    Why would one force the Intel GPU? Apple designed the current MPB with a 330M. The Intel GPU is only there to save battery life when the user is not doing something that requires significant GPU work. Video playback was intended to be done on the 330M.
     
  9. catdog02481 macrumors regular

    catdog02481

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    #9
    Funny you should ask that; using gfx status VLC player on intel played and looked much smoother and nicer than when on the nvidia on my corei7 mbp 15" so i don't think things are clear cut. Using a 3D visualization, i don't discern significantly slower performance on intel.
     
  10. Vihzel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    What would happen if I were happen to buy a Macbook Pro with a laggy Intel HD graphics card? Am I able to do something about it with AppleCare? or is it kind of like a non-issue to Apple?
     
  11. Horus macrumors regular

    Horus

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    #11
    I don't have any problems with the Intel HD Graphics, its performance was improved with the "MacBook Pro Software Update 1.3"
     
  12. Vihzel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    When was that?
     
  13. silencer88 macrumors member

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    #13
    Because there are many times when the 330M is activated when it's not needed. For example, the download animation in google chrome will engage the 330M and it won't turn off until chrome is quit. This reduces battery life, hence the app to monitor and force intel graphics
     
  14. Vihzel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    If left alone to automatically switch back and forth, do any of you notice that it happens pretty frequently? If so, then does the brief pause get in the way and become an annoyance?
     
  15. Patrick Boyle macrumors member

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    #16
    While it's true that some third party apps use the 330M when it's not needed, if people are forcing the Intel GPU, they need to be mindful of that and switch to the 330M when doing something graphically-intensive. There's no sense in slamming the Intel GPU for performing poorly at tasks it was never intended to do.
     
  16. catdog02481 macrumors regular

    catdog02481

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    #17

    The intel is very much faster than everyone seems to be suggesting here and i would not be surprised if it's not faster at somes things than the nvidia.
     
  17. cubiczech macrumors newbie

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    #18
    if we count performance, its fast or faster, than the 9400M, but not always, also there are several problems with drivers on OSX or Windows, that is the issue.

    I think that the use of the Intel HD graphics is not suitable for apple filosophy "next generation product is always faster, than the previous generation in the same price level". Intel HD is not always faster than the 9400M, so i still think, that the integrated 320M is better option, including HD acceleration, (useless) OpenCL, faster quartz in two monitor setup (the thing that should work fast on a PRO machine). But i think, that nobody will moan about 100 dollar cheaper white macbook with i5 and integrated GPU, but it wont be faster than the 320M in GPU related tasks, not even on the same performance level.
     
  18. Vihzel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Anyone know why Apple even went with the Intel HD graphics card? It seems like what they could've done is have an integrated nVidia graphics card again and just switch between two nVidias.
     
  19. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #20
    Intel won't let them.
     
  20. Patrick Boyle macrumors member

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    #21
    It's not faster at anything than the Nvidia chips. That may be part of the misconception.
     
  21. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #22
    Intel revoked NVIDIA's GPU license for the Core i3/i5/i7 processors. Or something to that effect. Also, Intel made the Intel HD graphics chip into the CPU die itself. There's no way to separate or deactivate it. And due to space and power constraints, there's not enough room to do the "NVIDIA 9400M/9600M GT" combo like before. In conclusion, it's just much easier to add a powerful NVIDIA GPU to an existing Core i5/i7 with integrated graphics.
     
  22. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #23
    All that because Intel got mad that people weren't buying their Chipsets and were in favor of nVidia flavoured ones.
     
  23. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #24
    Well, in favor with good reason. Intel "GPUs" suck. Bad.
     
  24. Frosties macrumors 6502a

    Frosties

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    Sweden
    #25
    It's better on hardware accelerated blu-ray playback for example, but that would be the one thing. Apple just have bad drivers for their graphicscards as always.
     

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