Iris Pro only = better?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AppleGoat, May 27, 2014.

  1. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    I'm trying to conceive of reasons to go with the discrete GPU-less 15" rMBP. The reason is obvious: I wish to save money. I'd upgrade the RAM to 16gigs, since I'm a graphic designer by trade. That's about it.

    Ok, so my basis for believing the Iris Pro only 15" is better revolves around durability and heat. I feel one of the common causes of a death for a computer is a bad video card and more heat is never a good thing for a notebook. Am I right for assuming the average lifespan of the base 15" is probably longer than the higher-end model with the 750m?

    Don't get me wrong, if money were not an issue, I would have gotten the higher-end model a long time ago; but, naturally, money is an issue and am I right to believe this is one (lone) advantage of saving money and going with the base model?
  2. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    This is pure speculation. I've heard reports of people saying that the Iris Pro runs hotter, since both CPU & GPU are on the same chip. But the CPU is usually very able to take that heat, and other parts of the machine remain cooler, so this is not really a problem.
    The discrete GPUs have a bit of a bad history. But so far I haven't heard of any problems with either the 650M or the 750M.

    In the end, I think the Iris Pro only machine should be more than sufficient for your graphics design purposes. This is what you should base your decision on.

    PS: The high-end model is usually in the refurbished store for $2200... just saying ;)
  3. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Thanks for the response -- yeah, I've been eyeing the $1949 refurb (2.3ghz & 16GB sans dGPU). I wonder if I should pony up for the dGPU but the aforementioned model is pushing my budget as is.

    True, no mass repots of GPU failure have emerged with the Nvidia chips in the Retina MBPs but only recently did we start to hear about the 2011 AMD GPUs failing.
  4. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    The Iris Pro is most efficient/cool when idle compared to the 750M. However, when running at full, Iris Pro is hotter than the 750M, as the 1 entire chip is running hot instead of half the CPU chip and a separate GPU chip.
  5. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Oh really. Interesting. Could you give me the source?
  6. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    I own one, and its been discussed on the forums before. It also just makes sense. Iris Pro is powered down to idle levels when 750M is in use.
  7. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    If you buy either Iris-only or Iris+750M with at least 2.3/16/512, both are priced identically.

    So the 750M is a freebie.

    And using the Macoh utility to test throttling, the CPU throttles when forced into Iris-only. When forced into the 750M, the CPU doesn't throttle at all.
  8. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Ok thanks -- the model I'm eyeing has a 256GB SSD. The 750m comes with the bigger drive.
  9. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010

    What do you guys make of this from the TLD Today review?
  10. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    I think the discrete gpu is a good option if you'll need CUDA support which is a nVidia-only technology. For programmers, CUDA is usually more friendly and nVidia provides a lot of useful tools for code debugging. Otherwise, I'd be ok with the integrated graphics.
  11. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Better battery life, runs cooler, and performs just as well?

    What's not to love?

    Personally I wished I had the Iris Pro only model, but mine was a warranty replacement, so they didn't give me a choice.

    I have gfxCardStatus to set it to integrated only, but when I have an external monitor connected it forces the discrete graphics sadly.
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd say the state of the iGPU technology for Intel is such that for most folks its more then enough horse power. My next MBP will not have a dGPU
  13. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
    Personally, I've always felt a MBPr with only the Iris Pro is like a Ferrari with bicycle tires. Having seen the Iris Pro stutter and pause while struggling through apps like Photoshop, Premiere, Unreal Engine 4 and Lightwave, it just seems underpowered to me. There is no CUDA support and it just feels sluggish under more demanding applications.

    I guess for surfing the web and word processing it would be great. To each their own...but if you are going to spend the money for a MBPr wouldn't you want the performance to go with it??

  14. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I may actually do the same. It would be somewhat restrictive in terms of OpenGL performance, but Apple has gone through many gpu problems in recent years. Even with the heat of iris pro, I suspect we're less likely to see logic board problems.
  15. itegypt macrumors 6502a


    Aug 6, 2011
  16. maflynn, May 28, 2014
    Last edited: May 28, 2014

    maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    This is the #1 reason why I'd opt for the iGPU. Apple's track record for dGPUs seems to be getting worse.
  17. coldwaves macrumors regular

    May 30, 2011
    I think integrated GPU is better. As my personal experience, it runs much cooler under light or slight heavy duty. My 2011 MBP with discrete GPU runs very hot when Skype or watch HD video but my 2013 rMBP with the Iris Pro only does not. Plus, Apple seems to have a couple of discrete GPU problem in recent years. My 2011 MBP died from the discrete GPU. If you don't use very graphic demanding apps or games, the integrated GPU should be powerful enough. And I think it is overall a more reliable choice.
  18. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    CUDA is being phased out in favor of OpenCL for a lot of applications. The 750M performs worse than the Iris Pro in OCL because NVIDIA wants professionals to pony up for its Quadro line of GPUs.
  19. Essenar macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2008
    The thing is, if you plan on doing an external GPU later which is turning out to be quite an easy task to accomplish, the Iris Pro only model is actually better for it. The reason being that according to nando4:

    Personally, I have a 13" Retina so luckily I don't have to worry too much either way. :)
  20. SarcasticJoe macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2013
    From what I've seen "phased out" only extends as far as to certain applications having support for both and from listings that I've seen CUDA does seem to have more support. Also, CUDA is much more commonly used in the academic word, thou I suppose Nivida's GPGPU solutions, software support and academic centric features (like being able to embed CUDA code into Fortran) probably have a lot to do with it.
  21. UBS28 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2012
    That's like saying a Dual Core is better than a Quad Core CPU because it has better battery life.
  22. AppleGoat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Thanks everyone for the insightful responses.

    Do you guys think I should jump on the iGPU + 16GB 15" next time it appears on the refurb site? Or it is much more worth it to pony up $268 for the larger SSD and 750m -- neither of which I believe I need. I'm not a storage fiend, have no inclination to ever game on my computer and, as of right now, I don't do any 3D work whatsoever. The first model is pushing my budget as is, but $268 is not much to pay for those improvements.

    I just wish the model I'm considering didn't have the meaningless CPU upgrade, I don't want to pay for that. All I need is the base model with 16GB but it never appears on the refurb list. My suspicion is that some people who bought the base model have gotten 16GB for free. I don't really feel like playing the refurb lottery though.
  23. TechZeke macrumors 68020


    Jul 29, 2012
    Rialto, CA
    I agree, unless you jumping from the base to the top-end CPU and you REALLY NEED to maximize CPU performance, the CPU upgrades are pointless. More RAM and SSD space will have are far bigger impact on user experience.

    Thinking about saving up to get a Retina eventually, but sadly to buy new I would have pay for the $2600 model just to get matching specs to my current cMBP.

Share This Page