Is Haswell a step back in performance for battery gain?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ifti, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    The more I look at reviews between Ivy and Haswell CPUs etc, and between the recent geekbenched possible Haswell rMBP and the current Ivy, the more I feel its a step backwards in order to gain battery life?

    The Haswell CPU clock speeds are slower then Ivy, although they are more efficient, in order to give better battery life?

    The lack of dGPU (possibly, but looking likely) because Haswell has better on board GPU handling?

    Is this almost like a step back in overall performance in order to offer longer battery life??

    I'm currently waiting for the Haswell 15" rMBP (will get max spec), and my main, most intensive, use will be for video editing via FCPX, and possibly After Effects. But the more I consider it, the more I think I may be better off with the current gen, its higher clock speed, and dGPU - especially considering it'll be my main workhorse and I wont ever be away from a power source when using it anyways.

    I can wait 2-4 months no problem, Im just concerned I'll be waiting for less of a machine? Does that sound silly?

    Is this the way we are going?? Prolong battery life at the expense of clock speed and dGPU, or am I completely wrong?!
  2. Watabou macrumors 68040


    Feb 10, 2008
    United States
    Lower clock speeds don't equal lower performance.

    The base Haswell 4750HQ runs at 2.0GHz and that's equivalent to Ivy Bridge's 2.5GHz. In tests, the 4750HQ processor performs a little better or a little slower than 2.4GHz Ivy Bridge processor. So they pretty much have the same performance even though the Haswell runs at a lower clock speed.

  3. B... macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2013
    First of all, we don't know about the dGPU, so you may be surprised. And clock speeds mean nothing between generations. The Air's 1.3 performs better than last year's 1.8. For quads,the top of the line 2.4 is more powerful than IB's 2.8.
  4. Ifti thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
  5. Daniel L macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2009
    You're forgetting that Apple may decide to place a 760m/765m in the Haswell rMBP all while including the Intel graphics.

    If you want a fair comparison, the 5200 is much faster than the 4000 that the current model has.
  6. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    Maybe you should look at the following page:

    Iris Pro seems to beat the dGPU for computing and rendering tasks. That seems to be the kind of stuff you are interested in.

    However with After Effects there is a very limited number of GPUs that are supported... I think the 650M is, but Iris Pro might not yet be supported.
  7. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    No, Haswell is faster in CPU operation in a clock by clock comparison by 5%-7% with regards to previous generations.

    However, Haswell's true gains are not in performance alone, but in performance per watt. Haswell performance much better using considerably less power than Ivy Bridge.
  8. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013
    You're stating that Haswell is over 20% faster than Ivy Bridge, clock for clock.

    That is wrong.

    Clock for clock Haswell is faster than Ivy Bridge, but not nearly that much faster ;)
  9. MacGurl111 macrumors 65816


    Feb 4, 2010
    I would love to learn more about "haswell" or this new chip that's coming out. I have the 2013 rmbp and want to know what's the different. Any link I can go to? Thank you!
  10. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    It's a new chip architecture, but it will mainly offer much better battery life. Not much performance-wise.
  11. kaellar macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2012
    I'm actually seeing Apple dimming the dGPU from 15" rMBP easily - Iris Pro performs better for computing workloads, will produce way less heat and will provide much better battery life. Not to say it will give a bit higher Apple's margin. See no reason for them to keep the dGPU since Apple never looked for gaming performance which is the only mobile nVidia's advantage over Iris Pro.
  12. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    In a nutshell...

    For the 13" rMBP:

    1) Improved CPU performance
    2) Improved GPU performance
    3) Improved battery life
    4) Improved noise and heat (as in... less of both)

    Verdict: very much worth it to wait

    For the 15" rMBP:

    1) Possibly same CPU performance or only slightly better
    2) Decreased GPU performance if dGPU is taken away, or improved GPU performance if not
    3) Improved battery life if dGPU is taken away, or the same if not
    4) Significantly improved noise and heat (as in... FAR less of both) if dGPU is taken away. Otherwise, likely the same.

    Verdict: not quite worth the wait if you're on the fence

    For both:

    1) Improved WIFI performance with the move to 802.11ac.
    2) Possibly Thunderbolt 2.0, which basically allows you to connect an external 4K display via one Thunderbolt port. The current rMBP can only connect to a 4K display through HDMI, or theoretically connect with both Thunderbolt ports, but that means you can't connect other things.


    1) Obviously whether dGPU will remain in the 15" or not. It's very likely not.
    2) IGZO display. Cost is far too high... unless Apple somehow stroke a deal. Would definitely help with battery life compared to the current displays, which are insane power hogs.
    3) Bigger batteries. Haswell integrates more things in the CPU, so the motherboard is freed up. Apple may make use of the extra space to put in bigger batteries, like what they did with the MacBook Air.

    4) Hottest topic: when does it come out!?

    I hope that about sums it up.
  13. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Great article here. More than you ever wanted to know. :D
  14. Watabou macrumors 68040


    Feb 10, 2008
    United States
    Huh? Where do you see the 20% figure?

    The only thing I said is that the 2.0Ghz is little faster or a little slower than the curreent 2.4GHz Ivy bridge.

    This can also be seen in the highest end Haswell processor at 2.4GHz which is a little faster or a little slower than the 2.7GHz Ivy Bridge. This is exactly what we saw in the Geekbench results. Some results were better than the Haswell 4790HQ processor results while some were worse.
  15. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    You're forgetting Turbo.

    The 2.0GHz Haswell chip actually Turbos to 3.2GHz. That's just 6.5% lower clocks than max turbo for the 2.4GHz Ivy chip at 3.4GHz.

    And the 2.4GHz Haswell chip actually Turbos to 3.6GHz. That's barely 2% slower than the 2.7GHz Ivy chip, which Turbos to 3.7GHz and has 2MB more L3 cache.

    Geekbench and other benchmarks happen with the CPU under load, so Turbo always kicks in. You have to take into account Turbo clocks if you want to compare benchmark results.

    So in reality, even though base clocks are lower (to save on power consumption), the Haswell chips are about equivalent to the old Ivy chips in clock speed in almost every case under load.

    So I think the logical conclusion is that... Haswell actually isn't any faster than Ivy Bridge clock for clock. Or if it is, it's less than a small percentage.

    Now, people, if CPU performance stays the same and GPU performance drops, doesn't that count as "step back in performance for battery gain"?

    Or am I missing something else here?

    Note for MacBook Air:

    Same situation as above. The 1.3GHz Haswell chip Turbos to 2.6GHz. The old 1.8GHz Ivy chip Turbos to 2.7GHz. Under load, the Haswell chip is actually only 100MHz behind the Ivy chip, so it'd be surprising to see a significant performance gap.
  16. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    haswell also includes new cpu instructions, including 256 bit AVX 2 vector processing, transactional memory support, additional new crypto instructions, etc.

    benchmarking today's software and making observations does not include any of that, which will significantly improve new software.
  17. Doward macrumors 6502a

    Feb 21, 2013

  18. UBS28, Jul 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013

    UBS28 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 2, 2012
    The 2.7ghz Ivy Bridge runs quite hot as temperatures above 100 degrees have been reported in the rMBP.

    For what it's worth, the SSD performance of the Haswell rMBP is much faster than the Ivy Bridge. Also the WIFI is improved.

    So you get:
    - laptop that performs the same as a 2.7 ghz Ivy Bridge with lower temperatures
    - much faster SSD
    - latest WIFI
    - better battery life
  19. Watabou macrumors 68040


    Feb 10, 2008
    United States
    Yeah and that's why it's worth waiting for Haswell, especially if Apple puts the dGPU in too. Haswell will be a big update if it has all of the above. If it comes with IGZO, well that's just perfect.
  20. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    Yeah, but people buy computers to use current softwares that they own.

    Surely software makers can start adapting new technologies (instruction sets) and make things better. But by that time, Broadwell would have come about.

    And Broadwell is far bigger a jump than Haswell.

    For what it's worth, you only get the chip that performs the same as a 2.7GHz Ivy Bridge by... configuring it to cost the same as the 2.7GHz Ivy Bridge chip did. So it's not like it's a universal thing. For the most part, CPU performance just remains the same.

    Much faster SSD is useless unless you can show me a situation where the current SSD in the rMBP becomes a bottleneck. Also there is almost nothing but the fastest Thunderbolt external SSD hard drives that can take advantage of that insane write speed. It's seriously overkill. Unless you're saying you need the faster SSD to use as RAM cache for virtual machines.

    Latest WIFI (802.11ac) is only usable if you also update your home network... or your company's infrastructure. Both of which cost money... and one of which also costs time. And even then, it'll only benefit network transfer speed locally since even 802.11n is far more than what your average DSL or fiber optic line can push.

    Last but not least, less heat and more battery life also remains to be seen. Under idle or light load condition, the screen would still be the component that sucks more power... so unless Apple puts in a bigger battery, they wouldn't be able to get more battery life.

    And depending on how Apple configures the Haswell chips, you may actually see the same or more heat since it's a single chip that's hotter than the previous design that has 2 cooler chips. Also on the current rMBP, the dGPU doesn't have to run all the time. The dGPU isn't pushing out so much heat at all. From that point of view, the rMBP just has to cool the CPU now. If it's struggling to cool a 45W CPU, what makes you think it'll suddenly be able to up the ante with a 47W (or even 55W) CPU?
  21. dusk007, Jul 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013

    dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    For battery life one should check the existing reviews. All I have seen that sport the PGA chips are hardly any better than Ivy Bridge battery life. Those are all the standard chips with HD 4600.
    The HQ chips with BGA packaging (only Iris Pro & 37W Versions) are simply astounding in battery life. The Razer Blade doesn't have much of a display but still a Quad Core and practically runs ultrabook ULV battery life numbers.
    An Iris Pro chip can many times a second adjust the clocks to what is actually needed at any given load level and not has to keep a dGPU on even if the app using it is not currently doing anything. Mavericks won't fix that, it is only not as big a blunder but the driver model still doesn't allow it to switch on actual demand based on load.
    Dell's new Precision line has an IGZO display so I dought that is out of the picture. IGZO so far doesn't seem to come with stellar quality and only so of okay IPS contrast but cost shouldn't be an issue nor availability. Given that the retina display is responsible for them having to put some 95Wh battery in there, getting rid of some of that power hogging will be big change.

    For battery life it could be a big deal. For performance I doubt it would feel any slower in OSX and in Windows gaming you will still be able to play largely at the same settings as with a 650M. For anybody coming from anything older than a 2012 it is an upgrade. For somebody expecting a 760M it is a downgrade, for somebody switching from a 650M (you have too much money, send me some). Between AMD and Nvidia there are as big differences in individual game benchmarks of otherwise considered equal cards. One will get largely the same performance with everything else improved a lot (noise, battery life, maybe weight&size too).
    Anybody who needs more serious workstation like app performance for CAD and stuff the new Dell is probably better anyway. Though I am not entirely sure where they fit the battery in that thing.

    Sustained heat removal efficiency is an area thing and both chips are cooled by both fans anyway. At constant load they can both remove more heat. The dGPU still heats up the heat sinks and therefore lowers their efficiency at cooling the cpu. The higher the temp difference between heat sink and chip the more efficient the system is an the less fan speed is actually needed. At peak it probably will still get really hot but the fans will have an easier time not having to run at full load quite as often. Apple will alway choose to run the chips at close to max temp and translate every bit of wriggle room into slower fans and less noise.
    Haswells are hot every review so far showed that. They won't run any cooler but probably less noisy.
  22. Check 6 macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2007
    Another concern and a major one for me is whether Apple will continue the non glare screen with the next Mac Book Pro. The matte or anti glare screen is very important to me.

    I'm looking hard as my current MBP has just had its third birthday, thus Apple care has expired.

    So the question for me is one, do I wait, two do I get a current 15"MBP or three, do I instal a SSD in my three year old MBP and hold on to it.
  23. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    I think if you really want matte your only choice is to switch to Windows. Most of the Windows high end hardware has had a revival of matte screens. Touch versions are usually glossy but Samsung and Asus still offer the matter non touch versions. Touch is useless anyway unless you have a convertible hinge of some sort.

    I have a SSD in my 2010 for a while now. Still I'd prefer more speed and especially much more battery life. Unless there is a cheap 15" around the corner I will probably go back to windows. Back when I bought my notebook in 2010 the Windows competition was miserable concerning the criteria I was looking for. Today lots of things have changed and it is difficult to still justify the cost of the expensive retina models.

Share This Page