Keeping Discrete GPU on all the time?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by evanavevan, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. evanavevan macrumors member

    evanavevan

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #1
    Using a late-2013 15" MBPr with the NVDA GPU. I've been using gfxcardstatus (https://gfx.io) to see if the integrated or discrete graphics is running. But I like the scaled resolution for most space (1920 x 1200 effective resolution) and I notice that the UI performance, animations, etc. and overall everything looks smoother when I force it to stay on the discrete GPU.

    I'm fully aware that the discrete GPU uses more power and will lead to less battery life, but I'm almost always at home near an outlet, or have my laptop docked into 2 Thunderbolt Displays (which uses the discrete GPU anyway). But when not docked, other than the higher power consumption (and heat) and lower battery life, are there any other possible negative consequences to using the discrete GPU all the time?

    P.S. I don't really play games, and haven't noticed any notable heat issues.
     
  2. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #2
    Probably not a big deal. I've done it quite a bit and honestly I notice no heat differences so long as I'm not doing anything intensive. I use gfxcardstatus too and love being able to keep on discrete only or on integrated only.
     
  3. evanavevan thread starter macrumors member

    evanavevan

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #3
    Awesome, glad I'm not the only one!
     
  4. alexmarchuk macrumors 6502a

    alexmarchuk

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #4
    Just vouching for gfxCardStatus been using it for who knows how long.

    On an unrelated note, I use these other nifty utilities:

    UltraFan (works on Yosemite as far as I can tell)
    Blackmagic Disk Speed Test
     
  5. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

    SCOLANATOR

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    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I spend a huge amount of time in Windows gaming so have probably used the dGPU on mine more than anyone, still rock solid and never gone wrong once.

    Plus I have piece of mind as I got a three year warranty for free with mine (student perk).
     
  6. alexmarchuk macrumors 6502a

    alexmarchuk

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #6
    You're not the only one, mine screams under Windows 7 playing GTA or any other game with some high settings.
     
  7. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #7
    The only hit you'll get is battery life. Beyond that, I don't think there should be an issue.
     
  8. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

    SCOLANATOR

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    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Yup, anyone who says the 750M is crap or underpowered clearly has never seen it in action, punches above it's weight and with the right mix of settings games really do run/look glorious under it. Hell I completed Metro Last Light on High with it, sure I wasn't getting stupid-FPS but it was more than enough to enjoy it. I'm just eagerly awaiting the next rMBP update with hopefully a 850/860M in it, would be a day one purchase for me!

    ----------

    Exactly, Windows 7 isn't great efficiency wise when on battery but I only use it for gaming really. Anything else I do I run under OS X which is super efficient and with this ridiculous PCI-e SSD it takes seconds to switch between the two.

    Can't wait for Windows 10 though.
     
  9. alexmarchuk macrumors 6502a

    alexmarchuk

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    New Jersey
    #9
    I've got the 650M, still no joke lol.
     
  10. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

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    Aug 28, 2009
    #10
    The 650m isn't a bad card either.
     
  11. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

    SCOLANATOR

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    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    The 650M and 750M are pretty much identical. The only difference is the 750M has 2GB of GDDR5 vs 1GB on the 650M and the 750M has a very slight clock increase. So yeh, both cards are excellent.
     
  12. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #12
    Glad I'm not the only one that likes the dGPU in the rMBP's! I have the 650M, only wish would be for an extra gig of RAM but other than that it does punch above its weight.

    Yeah same. The 650M is probably considered a joke only by extreme gamers and those on Windows...keep in mind that with OS X being tightly integrated with the hardware you get a little bit better performance than a standard Windows machine. I've played games at full 2880x1800 and sure its not 120fps but its playable but I usually play at HD. Its allot more powerful than people think.
     
  13. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #13
    I feel like that statement is untrue. I noticed a HUGE difference in FPS playing the same games under Windows vs OS X. Perhaps, under applications like Final Cut Pro, OS X is much faster due to the better integration with software and hardware. However, for real games, Windows still wins in terms of performance, even on the same hardware
     
  14. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    #14
    I agree. This is where DirectX wins out. If Apple were to introduce Metal for the Mac, and not just iOS, then you may see the scores even out.
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #15
    If you use an external display, then you'll be using the dGPU, as will Windows.

    I wish apple designed the iGPU/dGPU differently so we could use the iGPU independently of the dGPU. In other words of the dGPU failed, we'd still have a functioning computer with the iGPU
     
  16. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

    SCOLANATOR

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    UK
    #16
    I agree, native DirectX performance is where Windows always wins hands down. For example I've played Civ 5 on both OS X and Windows and on Windows it runs far better. That's the reason I have Windows installed, so I can game. As using a wrapper under OS X as most games do is just crap and OpenGL doesn't have large enough support yet.

    You won't get Metal for Mac, it doesn't work like that. It happens on iOS because Apple design their own custom ARM based chips. The equivalent on PC is something like AMD's Mantle, and Nvidia have nothing like that. Plus with the advent of DX12 we will hopefully be seeing efficiency boosts on Windows.
     
  17. alexmarchuk macrumors 6502a

    alexmarchuk

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    Jun 28, 2007
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #17
    Precisely. I notice this with Sims 3 and Civ 5, Windows runs them at 2880x1800 much better.
     
  18. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #18
    Yep, it's rather annoying. Especially as the intel graphics is perfectly capable of driving most external displays (as it does on lesser models).
     
  19. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

    SCOLANATOR

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    I wouldn't run them at 2880x1800, not that it isn't playable, just if I want to run on high settings with good FPS then something like 1920x1200 is a more reasonable compromise. Plus playing at crazy high resolutions makes everything tiny.
     

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