late 2013 13" rMBP buyer's remorse- graphics always lagging-new rMBP better?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cmm, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. cmm, Jul 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015

    cmm macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I have the previous gen late 2013 13” rMBP with 8GB of ram and Intel Iris 1536 MB graphics. The graphics performance is terrible…I regularly keep 15-25 Chrome, Preview PDFs, Textual and Sublime Text code windows open at once and I am regularly experiencing lag. I never game and rarely edit photos in PS. When I use my Apple Thunderbolt Display, when using spaces or mission control, the windows can lag. I switched from a late 2013 15 rMBP with discrete GPU because the new 13 rMBP was supposed to have better battery life. Well, I am lucky to ever get more than 4.5 hours of battery.


    My question is this:


    1) How does the new 15 or 13 rMBP compare to the late 2013 model?
    2) Is El Capitan supposed to help the software glitches with GPU performance? I am running a DP and have just noticed bugs but no real improvements vis-a-vis graphics.
    3) I would like to get a Dell P2715Q 4k monitor and run it with my 15 or 13 rMBP. Is either machine/spec better for this than another? Can it run without lagging? Can I run two, plus have the rMBP screen open or does it need to be in clamshell mode?
    4) Specifically, if I go with the 15 rMBP, is the discrete GPU actually needed for my needs since I don't game? It's a $500 add on which is significant. Similarly, is the 13 rMBP with Iris 6100 graphics better than the graphics card in my 13 rMBP?
    5) Is the battery life in the new rMBPs actually better?
    6) I would prefer to keep the 4k monitor and rMBP monitor in retina mode, will that decrease the graphics performance? If I make the resolution slightly larger for my poor eyes, will that help or hinder the GPU?

    NB: The 4k display(s) MUST run at least at 52hz, but preferably 60hz, otherwise, I do not want it.

    I REALLY do not want to buy a Mac Pro to be able to use 4k monitors without it lagging for basic tasks as I don’t want a laptop plus a desktop as primary machines, but it seems that is what I need, if I want to run 4k monitors. Hopefully the new rMBPs are better?



    Please advise.
     
  2. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

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    #2
    I would advise against using Chrome. It is a resource hog and can severely reduce battery life.

    Yes. At least, for the 13" model.
     
  3. Cuniac macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Since you did not list what configuration you have, I'm going to assume its the mid-level 13in 2013 with the 2.6Ghz Chip for all my answers. Its really not going to change the answers that much anyway.

    1) CPU performance vs a new 13in will be a bit better. That 2013 13in MBP gets a 64bit SingleCore score of 3096 and 64bit MultiCore score of 6584 compared to the 2015 13in inch (mid level 2.9Ghz) 64bit SingleCore score of 3395 and 64bit MultiCore score of 7249. Graphically the 2015 13in integrated 6100 Graphics will be about 40% faster than your 13in 5100 Graphics.

    The 15in is a much bigger jump. The entry level 15in with Intel Graphics gets a SingleCore score of 3370 but since it has 4 cores compared to the 13's 2 core CPU the MultiCore Score is 12978. Its Intel 5200 Pro Graphics is 50% better than your 13in and 7% better than the current 13in's 6100. The Entry level 15 with AMD GPU is a bit better. SingleCore of 3639 and MultiCore of 13978. The AMD GPU is 108% better than your 5100 graphics, 49% Better than the current 13in 6100 graphics, and 46% better than the 5200 Pro graphics in the 15in inch. Not to forget, power of the AMD GPU aside it has 2GB of GDDR5 dedicated VRam that's much faster than the 1.5GB of shared DDR3 the Intel uses.

    2) El Capitan is supposed to run better with the integration of Metal. Really some of the issues you have having are fairly common with the current release. Some people claim to still see it on the current 13in, fewer claim to see it on the current 15in, but no one sees it on the unit with AMD GPU.

    3) 4K is still a pretty demanding resolution. If any one these units were going to give you your best chances at a lag free multi display set up it would be the 15in with AMD GPU. Keep in mind I can only go off of performance with 10.10, 10.11 may be better and this answer may change.

    4) As seen above the 13 with 6100 GPU is 40% faster than your current system, so it will be better for sure. If you go 15in it will be even better with or with out the GPU. I know its $500 more so if you cant do that then please don't. But, as things stand right now from what I have been reading on these forums, the one with the AMD GPU currently has the most seamless performance at this time. But having said that you looking at a 40% (13in) to 50% (15in) increase in graphical power even if you don't get the AMD model.

    5) Yes it is better. The Haswell CPU in the 13 inch is much more energy efficient than the Broadwell before it. Plus the new PCIe SSD saves a little on power as well making the 15in have slightly longer battery.

    6) To answer in short, yes running two monitors, one at 4K and the other at retina at the same time is taxing to your GPU. Lowering the resolution will increase performance as it has less information to processes. However, That may not impact you. One other thing is that you keep a lot of things open at once from what you said. So more Ram may also be key here. The 15in comes stock with 16GB, it also has the faster Quad Core CPU, and what ever 15 you get will have much faster Graphical performance. With all of the windows and apps you have open this could be more of a CPU and Ram issue than a GPU problem.

    Information for my comparisons were obtained from http://gpu.userbenchmark.com/ and http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks
     
  4. Mcmeowmers macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I have the same model, with 16gb ram, I can confirm the graphics still suck. I'm very disappointed considering it has a 2.8ghz processor.

    I upgraded to El Capitan beta. The performance is improved but I still get 5 fps if I use any Mac trackpad gesture or press mission control button. The battery is worst and the Mac is considerably warmer than on Yosemite
     
  5. Mcmeowmers macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I highly doubt the <10 fps when switching desktops is a ram issue. 8gb should be more than enough. I would go as far as to say you could do it with 4gb with light usage. The CPU usage is generally around 20%, 10% of which is related to that Windows server bug they introduced in Mavericks or ML and haven't gotten rid of yet
     
  6. cmm, Jul 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015

    cmm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I have an i7 13 rMBP. I don't mind spending more money if it means that the computer actually works and within a week I haven't thrown it out the window. Honestly the last time I've been this frustrated with my regular computer since before SSDs became commonplace in personal computers.

    So I'm leaning towards the 15 with the discrete GPU or the 13. What I understand is the 15 with discrete GPU is the best performance but only about 10% better than the 13 GPU? The benchmarks factored in computational tasks, no? I'm not really doing that I'm just taxing window server to draw many windows on the screen of largely static content. If my understanding is correct then I would think the 13 with 16gb RAM
    May be the better computer for me as it is more portable and I travel on regional jets a lot where space is tight. However, I am still open to the 15 with or without the discrete GPU.

    Will the new 13 support 2 4k monitors running at 2560x1440 hidpi? If so, will the laptop need to be closed or can I use the screen as well? That would be my ultimate setup (2 4ks running at hidpi 2560x1440 and the laptop screen open to run IRC and some logging stuff. If the 13 won't support my *ultimate setup* will the 15 with Intel or discrete GPU? And are we discussing this for 10.10 or 10.11? Based on what you say, I will buy the laptop in the next 24 hours. Of course with 16gb of RAM (I made a terrible mistake "only" getting 8gb before, I thought since I don't use the computer for anything intensive, just reading the web latex docs and PDFs and writing code I didn't need 16gb of ram--all intensive work is done on servers and if necessary a supercomputer).

    To be clear I don't really use mission control but each desktop space has specific things on them. I like writing code and looking thru reference docs on the same screen side by side. I have a very big dock and I use Alfred to pull up things I need (or keyboard shortcuts), so I never use mission control. But I even find that when I maximize or minimize Windows, the computer can lock up for a second. This happens on 10.10 and 10.11 and in VMs and a fresh install.



    As for a web browser, in my tests using the new 64 bit Chrome with a tab suspended and no flash it is more lightweight in terms of RAM resources and power resources used than Safari. Has something changed with Safari since 10.10? I know Safari has tab compartmentalization but so does Chrome and Chrome is now 64 bit.

    Thank you for your help.

    EDIT I think I misread: the 15 with discrete GPU is 50% "better" (defined as more powerful) than the 13 with 6100 graphics. The 15 with Intel graphics is a 10% difference between current 13 with 6100 and current 15 with integrated GPU. Correct? But what I'm not clear is does the integrated graphics--in either the 13 or 15--support my ultimate setup or do I need the 15 with discrete GPU?
     
  7. Cuniac macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I personally have not tried 4K externally on a 13in. Having said that I do hear people on these forums saying they have had issues with an external 4k having "lag" on the 13in. Now its not a lot of people so it may be circumstantial but there have been reports. Having said that with the difference being only 10% between that 13in and the 15in with Intel graphics I could see that smoothing out 1 external plus retina but maybe having an issue with two. To get your 3 monitor set up you want, it may require the 15 with AMD.

    I say this to people all the time on here. Buy what you can afford and buy from a place with a good return policy. If you can afford the entry level 15in with AMD I would say get it. But its also expensive. If you can get it from a retail store, by the 15in with Intel, test it and see if it does what you need it to. If it doesn't then I would go with the AMD 15in. Honestly the base 15 inch is a much better bang for your buck then the 13, unless you were going entry level 13 then the price difference would be huge. But the baseline 15 gives you that 4core CPU, 16GB of ram and starts at 256GB.
     
  8. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #8
    Google optimizes Chrome with each new release. For example:
    http://blog.chromium.org/2015/04/scheduling-tasks-intelligently-for_30.html
    and
    http://blog.chromium.org/2015/03/new-javascript-techniques-for-rapid.html
    and
    http://blog.chromium.org/2015/07/revving-up-javascript-performance-with.html

    Chrome on Mac uses also the optimized text rendering engine "HarfBuzz".
    http://blog.chromium.org/2014/12/chrome-40-beta-powerful-offline-and.html

    With disabled plugins (click to play) and enabled hardware acceleration via chrome://flags Chrome requires less power than Safari.
     
  9. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #9
    This is not a hardware problem. It is a problem within OS X. So higher hardware specs do not solve the problem.
     
  10. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Yup. It's the inefficiency of OS X OpenGL API. Metal is supposed to help, but don't expect it to be as smooth as Direct3D which can run 3 4K monitors without stuttering provided that the GPU (even if the GPU is just as powerful as Iris Pro 5200) supports that resolution.
     
  11. Mcmeowmers macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I agree. However the 15inch versions do not suffer the same problem, or it is not noticeable to the user
     
  12. Mcmeowmers macrumors 6502

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    #12
    It's not really a ram issue, though. The pressure on the memory is low and Chrome still finds a way to turn the fans on.

    I can have only Chrome or Safari and Word open and experience the same performance as if Chrome, Safari, Word, Excel, some virtualization software and every app on my mac open at the same time. Now I know my usage isn't super demanding, what I'm saying is that all other apps have such a low impact on the machine compared to just Chrome
     
  13. cmm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Thanks. I have no problem buying the 15 with discrete GPU if it won't lag under my use case. If it will, I won't be happy. And yes, I can just return it without hassle BUT that is time wasted. If the rMBP isn't going to work for me (1 or preferably 2 4k monitors running at 1440p hidpi) then I need to buy a Mac Pro and figure out how to use two machines seamlessly, which is no easy feat.

    What are people saying about the 15 with discrete GPU and 4ks?
     
  14. cmm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Hi- which hardware acceleration flag should I turn on? Thanks!
     
  15. Cuniac macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Not to make you wait any longer but I could run a test when I get home tonight. I don't have two 4k's but I have one 4k and one 1080p plus the 15in MBP with AMD. I could open a bunch of tabs in chrome and a few other apps may and then open mission control and shake around the windows to see what happens.
     
  16. cmm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Please and thank you! Can you open about 15 5-20mb PDFs in preview, ~3-5 textedit docs, mail.app, IRC as well? I REALLY appreciate it. Is it possible to run it without discrete GPU too?
     
  17. Cuniac macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Ya sure. Its about 3:30pm here now, I probably wont post my findings till about 11pm
     
  18. leman macrumors 604

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    #18
    It shouldn't lag. My 2012 rMBP with HD4000 did not lag in more demanding scenarios than those you describe. Things come to my mind spontaneously:

    - Your power management might be messed up. Try resetting PRAM/SMC
    - An application you are using is drawing inefficiently and this bogs down the window server. Try experimenting with the apps you use and also watch the Activity Monitor for power usage
    - Watch the Console for any suspicious errors or warnings
     
  19. cmm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    With 1 or 2 4k monitors? Trust me I've tried all of the above.
     
  20. cmm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Thank you! If you want me to send you a VM or something I'm happy to do it. I REALLY appreciate this! Lmk how I can help you...Amazon gift card? WHole Foods gift card? I'm on the east coast right now so I might not see it until the am depending how quickly I work tonight but i really appreciate it!
     
  21. Cuniac macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    One other thing it could be as I have this issue with my 2011 MBP 17in. With older mac, as well as Apple tries to make upgrading to a new os as seamless as possible, and while its smoother than any Windows update I've done there will be issues. These small issues add up, and start to take a toll years later. When I read my console after a reboot there are tons error that have to deal with things trying to run (apps, extensions) that are no longer compatible with the version of the OS I have now. If this problem got progressively worse over time you may consider backing up, reinstalling and starting as fresh as you can.
     
  22. Cuniac macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Don't worry about, I'm happy to help out :). I'll let you know what I see tonight.
     
  23. Cuniac macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Ok I ran the test, I had my MBP running at retina, an external 24" 1080P Via Mini Display to HDMI, and my 4k TV via HDMI. I had Safari running with 15 tabs, Chrome running with 10 tabs, 15 Textedit documents, 15 120MB PDF files, Mail and a Youtube video playing at 4k resolution on the 4k TV. The results are mixed and here is why.

    First with all of these things going the video played smooth. Activity monitor shows 14% to 19% CPU usage with 10.6GB of Ram being used. All of the apps when in the app themselves ran very well with no noticeable graphical issues or slow downs.

    The mixed comes from performance with the Mac OS itself. These results were the exact same from when I had all these apps running to when I had them all closed and it was just desktops on these displays.

    Going to Launch Pad = Smooth
    Going to hidden down with magnification and scrolling apps = Smooth
    Using the Apps = Smooth
    Resizing windows = Chrome was not as smooth as it could be but not bad, finder windows were smooth.
    Swipe between desktops = Seemed smooth but it did take longer to go between desktops.
    Mission Control = Poor. It would take 1 second to fully processes the action.

    Again these results were the same wether or not I even had any apps running at all. Just being connected to these displays caused these results. Because some things listed above were perfectly smooth and others were not and running the apps made no difference it didn't really make a lot of sense. It really feels like there has to be something with the Mac OS causing this slowness. Why would Mission Control have the same lag at 0% CPU usage as it would at 19%? it does not add up.

    If these results are similar to what you see, you may not want to buy a new rMBP at all. But thats for you to decide. Again running the apps themselves had no issues, it was just the actions listed above that had lag.

    I did a screen recording doing some simple tasks in the OS as well as Activity monitor CPU and Memory usage stats when testing with the applications. Keep in mind again results were the same with no apps running.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    #24
    As Cuniac says, the issue is not with the hardware, that easily has the performance needed. It is just very poor coding and bugs in OSX causing things to lag.
     
  25. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I don't get how apple can't code OS X to get 30 apps simultaneously running smoothly while this is no problem with Windoze at all when both OS are running on the same hardware, regardless of the resolution (hidpi retina or just full HD)
     

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