Likely GPU for next MacBook Pro 15" ?

whitedragon101

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 11, 2008
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Microsoft has just launched their Surfacebook 2 with an nVidia 1060 which beats the stuffing out of the AMD 560 Pro used in the current MacBook Pro 15".

Do we have any idea yet what GPU is likely going into the next MacBook Pro? I really hope they switch to nVidia, the AMD chips just don't compete at the moment.

(Actually what I really hope is for AMD to pull something out of the bag and stop nVidia from becoming a true monopoly and charging crazy prices, but with such a low R&D budget compared to nVidia it seems unlikely).
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,682
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Microsoft has just launched their Surfacebook 2 with an nVidia 1060 which beats the stuffing out of the AMD 560 Pro used in the current MacBook Pro 15".

Do we have any idea yet what GPU is likely going into the next MacBook Pro? I really hope they switch to nVidia, the AMD chips just don't compete at the moment.

(Actually what I really hope is for AMD to pull something out of the bag and stop nVidia from becoming a true monopoly and charging crazy prices, but with such a low R&D budget compared to nVidia it seems unlikely).
It won't be Nvidia that's about all I will say its just not going to happen.
 

leman

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Oct 14, 2008
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Some variant of Vega most likely. Should probably have performance levels GTX 1050 (or slightly above) at 35W TDP. The Surface Book only has the 1060 because they reduce the thermal headroom of the CPU by 2/3. Total TDP of a MBP and a Surface Book 2 are very similar, just distributed differently. MBP invests its thermals into a more powerful CPU at the expense of the GPU and with the SB2, its exactly the opposite.
 
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Queen6

macrumors 604
Some variant of Vega most likely. Should probably have performance levels GTX 1050 (or slightly above) at 35W TDP. The Surface Book only has the 1060 because they reduce the thermal headroom of the CPU by 2/3. Total TDP of a MBP and a Surface Book 2 are very similar, just distributed differently. MBP invests its thermals into a more powerful CPU at the expense of the GPU and with the SB2, its exactly the opposite.
Given the CPU and dGPU are in two separate physical parts of the notebook I seriously doubt the choice of CPU has very little to do with the choice of dGPU outside of power demand. Nor has Microsoft reduced anything they are offering a more powerful range of notebooks for 2017. Your just stating nonsense to suit your own purpose.

Likely the choice of U series CPU's is to the thermal's in a 2 in 1 device that one will hold in the hand. Similar to Apple who recommend desk usage etc. for the MBP as it does and will get hot at the base under load, so would a Surface Book with a 45W CPU in the head unit...

Surface Book 2 can run a 1060 as the dGPU TDP has no interaction with the CPU's TDP, unlike the MBP with the CPU & dGPU sharing the same cooling system, so Apple has firmly straddled itself with dGPU's in the 35W range unless god forbid they apply some common sense and stop the ever thinner nonsense...

Q-6
 

leman

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Oct 14, 2008
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Given the CPU and dGPU are in two separate physical parts of the notebook I seriously doubt the choice of CPU has very little to do with the choice of dGPU outside of power demand.
Fair point, the CPU is hosted in the display assembly. So yes, cooling won't be an issue here. But I guess that power draw considerations lead into similar direction. What I was trying to say is that the MBP and the SB 2 target similar overall power consumption/TDP. They just balance it differently.

Nor has Microsoft reduced anything they are offering a more powerful range of notebooks for 2017. Your just stating nonsense to suit your own purpose.
Again, sorry for misunderstanding. I was not trying to claim that Microsoft have went back on their own specs. What I meant is that if they chose a more powerful CPU, they probably won't be able to fit in a GTX 1060... but then again, since you pointed out that the CPU is in a separate assembly, maybe they chose a 15W CPU because they simply can't handle anything more inside the display assembly in the first place.
 

DarkSel

macrumors 6502
Dec 22, 2012
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Given the CPU and dGPU are in two separate physical parts of the notebook I seriously doubt the choice of CPU has very little to do with the choice of dGPU outside of power demand. Nor has Microsoft reduced anything they are offering a more powerful range of notebooks for 2017. Your just stating nonsense to suit your own purpose.

Likely the choice of U series CPU's is to the thermal's in a 2 in 1 device that one will hold in the hand. Similar to Apple who recommend desk usage etc. for the MBP as it does and will get hot at the base under load, so would a Surface Book with a 45W CPU in the head unit...

Surface Book 2 can run a 1060 as the dGPU TDP has no interaction with the CPU's TDP, unlike the MBP with the CPU & dGPU sharing the same cooling system, so Apple has firmly straddled itself with dGPU's in the 35W range unless god forbid they apply some common sense and stop the ever thinner nonsense...

Q-6

The TDP limit for both the MBP and the SB2 is related to power consumption, ie. the power that can be supplied by the power adapter. The MBP is limited at an 85W adapter, hence 45W CPU + 35W GPU. The SB2 is limited at a 95W power adapter, so a 15W CPU + 80W GPU (or 60-70W for the Max-Q, not sure what Microsoft is using here). Hence, the SB2 trades a more powerful CPU for a more powerful GPU.
 
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Queen6

macrumors 604
Fair point, the CPU is hosted in the display assembly. So yes, cooling won't be an issue here. But I guess that power draw considerations lead into similar direction. What I was trying to say is that the MBP and the SB 2 target similar overall power consumption/TDP. They just balance it differently.

Again, sorry for misunderstanding. I was not trying to claim that Microsoft have went back on their own specs. What I meant is that if they chose a more powerful CPU, they probably won't be able to fit in a GTX 1060... but then again, since you pointed out that the CPU is in a separate assembly, maybe they chose a 15W CPU because they simply can't handle anything more inside the display assembly in the first place.
The TDP limit for both the MBP and the SB2 is related to power consumption, ie. the power that can be supplied by the power adapter. The MBP is limited at an 85W adapter, hence 45W CPU + 35W GPU. The SB2 is limited at a 95W power adapter, so a 15W CPU + 80W GPU (or 60-70W for the Max-Q, not sure what Microsoft is using here). Hence, the SB2 trades a more powerful CPU for a more powerful GPU.
Like all simply an opinion; Cooling a 45W CPU in the tablet section would indeed be a challenge. I know VAIO did it, with the Canvas, equally much thicker and with three fans, nor a aluminium/magnesium casing. I do think it's correct to postulate that the 45W CPU would be too much for the Surface Book's cooling system with at the very least resulting in an uncomfortably hot to the touch tablet section, given an aspect of the cooling system utilises the back panel.

I am genuinely interested how Microsoft has overcome some of the power limitations as 95W is rather short on power. Max-Q is more a design paradigm with likely binned chips, also think if it was Max-Q there would be some noise on that one. I wonder if the 1060 will be clocked down a touch similar to Max-Q to help out on the power demand. I would be expecting something well in excess of 100W for the power supply, my own 15" notebook is near double, equally it's all about performance, with the capacity to overclock.

Will certainly be interesting once the non biased reviewers get to see the 15"Surface Book first hand. Given the spec, I wouldn't be overly surprised if the dGPU is clocked down...

Q-6
 

jerryk

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Nov 3, 2011
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I would love to see Apple switch to Nvidia, but I don't think that is in the cards. More than even technical issues, Apple and Nvidia have had a love/hate relationship for years which peaked in 2012. Given NVidia dominance in GPUs for computers and now AI/ML systems, I do not see Nvidia willing to make any concessions for Apple. Nvidia stock is over $200 on the way to $300-400 and only 20 months ago it was in the 30s. We will soon be driving, or be driven by, Nvidia powered self drive cars.

(Full disclosure. I own NVidia and Apple shares)
 
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ZapNZs

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Jan 23, 2017
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I think it also might depend on how a lower power CPU + a higher power GPU works in real life compared to a higher power CPU + a lower power GPU, both from a performance and energy efficiency perspective.
 

Falhófnir

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Aug 19, 2017
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Intel’s page for the 8550u suggests it can be configured to a tdp of 25W, I wonder if there’s any chance of that being the case for the 15 with more room for cooling and battery... as for the MBP, I’d imagine they would struggle to fit in a meaningfully more powerful gpu without a complete redesign.
 

unlogic

macrumors newbie
Apr 4, 2013
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AMD Vega 11 most likely.
How good (performance & power efficient) AMD Vega is?

NVIDIA Pascal has better performance per watt. I think if NVIDIA slighty downclocks the GTX 1050 (or MaxQ version) to meet the TDP 35W target, I believe it will have more performance than Radeon Pro 560.
 

PortableLover

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Apr 14, 2012
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How good (performance & power efficient) AMD Vega is?

NVIDIA Pascal has better performance per watt. I think if NVIDIA slighty downclocks the GTX 1050 (or MaxQ version) to meet the TDP 35W target, I believe it will have more performance than Radeon Pro 560.

Yeah thats if Apple want to use NVIDIA.. I dont know what vega for mobile will be like. Vega in the current form eats a lot of power but provides better compute performance then the rx 500 series.

Im not sure how much amd would reduce the power usage of a mobile vega card. I hope we get a better gpu then the pro 560 though.
 

leman

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Oct 14, 2008
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NVIDIA Pascal has better performance per watt. I think if NVIDIA slighty downclocks the GTX 1050 (or MaxQ version) to meet the TDP 35W target, I believe it will have more performance than Radeon Pro 560.
Pascal has better performance per watt when we are talking about a lot of watts :) Unfortunately, that relationship is not linear. Polaris seems to have its sweet spot in lower wattages. The 1050 GTX comes ahead in gaming mainly because it has significantly more RAM bandwidth due to higher clocked RAM.
 
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