Is it worth it to upgrade the new 15" with dedicated graphics?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Benk3350, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. Benk3350 macrumors member

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    Jun 19, 2010
    #1
    I currently have a mid 2009 13" MacBook Pro. It has the 2.26 dual core CPU, 4gb RAM, nvidia geforce 9400, and 1tb HDD (upgraded the hard drive around 2 years ago from 160gb).

    I am now considering ordering the 15" macbook pro retina, fully loaded (2.6 quad i7, 16gb RAM, 1tb SSD. My question is, is the dedicated GPU, the GTX750 worth it? Is it that much better than the Iris Pro? I'm a university student, so I game a little bit, but not all the time. I'm buying this laptop for school and video editing, but gaming on the side would be nice to have, just not necessary. Will upgrading the GPU be worth it in this case?

    I don't play the latest games. I have no expectations to be even attempting to run BF4 or anything like that on my new macbook. I play less intense games and some of them I've even had success with the setup I am using now listed above. I beat star wars knights of the old republic on my 09 macbook, and while it didn't run amazing, I still played the whole game through and had a great time. and thats with the nvidia 9400. Games I play now are mostly RTS's such as Age of Mythology, Star Wars: Empire at War, and some MMO's.

    I can actually run star wars the old republic mmo on my current setup, but the frameright is pretty bad and the game is laggy overall. I know that I'm upgrading from an over 4 year old computer so whatever I get is going to feel much faster and smoother.

    What do you think? Is the GTX750 enough of an improvement to warrant the upgrade? And while the games I play are not very graphic intensive games, if the card is capable of playing better games, I wouldn't be against playing some newer ones. But like I said I'm not expecting crysis or BF4 to run very well. Not sure if it would help with video editing either, which is something I am going to be doing increasingly more starting early next year.
     
  2. AzN1337c0d3r macrumors 6502

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    Sep 13, 2010
    #2
    Only if you are getting it for free (high-end configuration or better). Otherwise I'd advise to save your dough or actually grab one of the Mid-2012 or Early-2013 Macbook Pros. Cheaper, similar performance, slightly inferior battery life.
     
  3. iKrivetko macrumors 6502a

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    May 28, 2010
    #3
    The 5200 seems more that adequate for your needs, although I'd wait for a proper review before making any final judgements.
     
  4. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

    SCOLANATOR

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    #4
    Im in the same shoes although I expect to run more challenging games at uni.
    Check out retinagameshow on YouTube and it will give you an idea of what the 750M is capable, plus say 5-15% in fps. Perfectly capable of playing BF4! The Iris Pro will be fine for those old games, the biggest difference between the two is VRAM which in more demanding games will really set the two apart.
     
  5. Benk3350 thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    checked out his videos. wow, didn't expect such good results from the macbook gaming wise!
     
  6. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

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    #6

    If you are getting the specs you stated (2.6 quad i7, 16gb RAM, 1tb SSD), you get 750M for free, pretty much.

    If you select the base model and upgrade to 2.6 quad i7, 16GB of ram and 1tb SSd the price = 3349$

    If you select the top end model and upgrade to 2.6 quad i7, 16GB of ram and 1tb SSd the price = 3349$


    So it would make NO sense what so ever to select the base model when buying.
     
  7. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

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    #7
    As Crzyrio said, maxing out both the 15" rMBPs, they come out to be the same price.

    Try it out for yourself: http://store.apple.com/us/compare/mac?page=mac

    But honestly, I think you can still get a better deal on a refurb 2012 or early 2013 model.
     
  8. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

    SCOLANATOR

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    #8
    Also I looked at the comparison Cnet done. I don't like Cnet but I expect them to be capable of a simple, easy benchmark.
    They benchmarked CoD 4 and there was a 14.7% increase with everything maxed out. While I'm not saying all games will see this increase over last years model it is a positive sign. I imagine in certain games the 2GB of GDDR5 will help things. If I keep the resolution reasonable and don't try to ultra all my games, just keeping things high with a few pieces of eye candy turned down then I see no reason why I can't expect good gaming performance with the 750M.
     
  9. Benk3350 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 19, 2010
    #9
    Just ordered a fully loaded 15" including the GTX 750

    Cant wait to upgrade from my almost 5 year old 13" to the new retina 15" and also to test out the card!
     
  10. ahhitsalan macrumors newbie

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    Oct 23, 2013
    #10
    Isnt it a GT 750M? :O
     
  11. Benk3350 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 19, 2010
    #11
    haha yes it is.

    When I ordered the macbook, I also ordered a gaming PC which came with a GTX 770. Mixed up my wording :p

    I've been staring at computer specs all day deciding what to purchase so I think my brain has been melting a bit.
     
  12. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Jesus christ, students these days.

    Since money doesn't seem to be a big issue, of course it is good to go for a maxed out system. However it might not be the best idea to go for the fastest CPU + the dedicated graphics in the MBP, since both might hurt battery life and certainly will increase the heat generated by the system. Since you have a gaming PC on the side, I think the 2.3 GHz or even the 2.0 GHz options without dGPU are better.
     
  13. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

    SCOLANATOR

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    #13
    Not all students are broke as and poor.
    I'm fortunate it enough to come from a wealthy background where money isn't an issue, couple that with working my ass off throughout the summer for minimum wage and yeh I'm able to afford a few nice things.
    My parents pay for my life at uni, while I work so I can pay for luxuries like a PS4, rMBP and iPhone. Tbh some of my friends from far less well off backgrounds tend to be spoilt more with their parents working flat out in order to provide their precious little darlings everything they want. I never liked that attitude, I always preferred to work for what I have rather than just being a lazy, spoilt brat. ;-)... I find it's the best way, I can still enjoy the fruits of my parents fortune while not becoming some rich snob, the perfect compromise in my opinion.
    But yeh, uni life is sweet :-D
     
  14. Benk3350 thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    lol at the students comment.

    it's almost like you have to be poor in college or people hate on you. at least I work a job and dedicate myself to my university studies. I'm proud of who I am where I come from.

    For me, I use my current macbook every day all the time and it is always plugged in to the wall. I've had it almost 5 years and I doubt I've used it for more than an hour without the charger attached. So battery life is nice to have, but the way I use it I don't think it will be much of an issue. The heat is an issue I suppose, but for me it is worth beefing up the system for.

    But it's all ordered anyway and I'm super happy with what I'm getting!
     
  15. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #15
    I now see a rush on last generation MBPs, lol. Maybe I should sell mine (but it's a 2011)... :p Seriously, I see Apple's decision to include dedicated graphics only in it's top of the line MBP as a big mistake.
     
  16. Benk3350 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 19, 2010
    #16
    I think that also just happens whenever a new product is release. People like to buy the "2nd newest" product at a discount.

    But I agree, the dGPU should have come in more options.
     
  17. AzN1337c0d3r, Oct 28, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013

    AzN1337c0d3r macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Yes there is. There is a valid reason for only having the Iris Pro: battery life.

    Edit: Just remembered another reason: Quick Sync support in Bootcamp.
     
  18. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

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    #18
    The Iris Pro as it is will be running the majority of the time, it will only kick in when you really need the power. So the effect on battery life will be minimal in my opinion.
     
  19. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Was meant as a joke. Seems to be a sensitive topic...

    In many countries students tend to come (on average) from higher income families. So the picture of the "poor student" can't be all that true.
     
  20. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Yep, additionally, gfxCardStatus can essentially turn your machine into the iGPU only model (if one were so inclined - for extra battery life).
     
  21. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #21
    That is some joke :)
    That dGPU kicks in all the time when it is not needed. When you run Chrome, a bit of Flash, watch a movie on an external screen or just read a pdf on it. It kicks whenever a really stupid procedure thinks that the dGPU might possibly be needed based on the triggering certain APIs.
    Without gfxCardStatus even Spotify (a music player) triggers the dGPU.

    @op an HD 4000 in the old 13" MBP is a huge upgrade from a 9400M.
     
  22. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

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    #22
    I don't know what your talking about, I tried opening an HD movie, going on flash websites, playing youtube videos, opening a pdf, connecting an external monitor via HDMI while monitoring the GPU voltage and the only time it ever kicked in was when I connected the 2nd monitor.

    And if anything you can use :


    Why would you want to pay more and get less? This is a $2500 machine , you want to skip a dGPU for a possible hour of batter life if not less?

    If you look at a lot of the reviews online you will see the power savings of the iris pro over the 750m is very minimal.
     
  23. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #23
    If you use Safari and Quicktime player you are fine but if you use Chrome (Firefox, Opera are all the same) or VLC you have to force the iGPU with gfxCardStatus. A testament to the automatic swtiching being very dumb because VLC needs a dGPU no more than Quicktime does. And if you read my sentence again I said when you use an external screen the most benign of activities like reading a pdf suddenly seem to require a dGPU.
    The system is not very intelligent at all about when it needs to switch. Apple managed to keep some of its OWN apps from going crazy but anything at all out of the ordinary and a music player like Spotify triggers the dGPU. Spotify uses Air which is a desktop version of Flash. Somehow Apple seems to think all flash implementations in any program need the dGPU except for their own Safari.

    As you say "it only kicks in when the power is REALLY needed", is just plain wrong. There isn't even some plain and simple remedy like a white list in which apps can announce. "Hey, I use some graphics frameworks but I actually need very little power, iGPU is fine." Apple only does that for its own apps but there is no real solution for 3rd parties. Only users can deal with gfxCardStatus but that also has the problem that while you can always switch to the dGPU, switching back to iGPU only is much more problematic.
     
  24. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

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    #24
    It is just them ensuring that everything is smooth, it is not about them thinking it needs more power. It is easier to know what is happening in your own application then 3rd party.

    While it is hard to tell the exact energy consumption of the two, I feel fairly confident the dgpu does not use all that more power as compared the the igpu when it does kick in.

    Like I said though, will less than an hour of battery life really make that big a difference? the 8-12% difference in power the dgpu provides will make a fair amount of difference 1-2 years from now. Not to mention the dedicated 2GB of ram it comes with.
     
  25. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

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    Australia
    #25
    I was just pointing out that you get the best of both worlds if you have the dGPU.

    OP was considering maxing out the base 15" (without the dGPU) which is just as expensive as the top end with the same specs AND a dGPU. It's a no brainer to get the model with GT 750m if one wanted to max out the specs.
     

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