Mid 2014 15" MBP - Iris Pro only Vs. 750M for 4K Output

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Arctic20, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. Arctic20 macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2014
    Firstly I am sorry this is so long but hopefully that just shows what I have bouncing around in my head which is making this so confusing, or at least for me!

    I’m just looking for some advice really please. I appreciate a number of topics have been discussed already in one way or another but I still haven’t found the answer I have been looking for even with every search combination in Google and Forums of “Iris Pro”, “4K”, “4K 60Hz”, and “750M” etc!

    My key question really comes down to the 4K output capabilities of the 15” Mid 2014 MBP. Ideally I would like to have 2 x 4K monitors running at 60Hz, 30Hz will just come with issues. I do not need the Retina screen powered on with both these monitors running. In an ideal world I would just have tested this myself under Apple’s 14 day return period, but I do not have the monitors yet which is half the problem! I plan to purchase them in the coming months to replace my 2 x 1080P monitors.

    So does anyone have any experience with the late 2013 15” MBP or mid 2014 15” MPB in terms of 4K@60Hz output and setup combinations (no. of screens etc)?

    It would be great to hear from people with the 750M or Iris Pro only who have tried them with 1 or 2 4K monitors, even better if you have tried 2! Obviously it has to be one or the other because if the 750M is installed then there is no way to force the Iris Pro to be used on an external monitor given the way it is wired, that’s my understanding anyway.

    Some more info about my situation which might help

    7 Days ago I took delivery of my new Macbook Pro 15” using my educational discount. So I have time to change my set up, which is what is going through my mind now.

    • 2.5Ghz
    • 16GB RAM
    • Iris Pro only (Basically upgraded the base unit)
    • 1TB SSD

    My planned use (helps to know as some pro’s and con’s are affected by this)

    • General day to day use within OSX
    • Development within OSX (Xcode)
    • Development within Windows (Visual Studio & SQL Server) Parallels looks like the best option as there is enough power not to need to go into Bootcamp
    • Photoshop, Dreamweaver and some video editing (FCP X) but the video editing is mainly family videos so not an everyday thing.
    • 95% of the time I expect the MBP to be plugged into the mains but only 60/40 connected to external monitors.
    • Key thing here is no gaming is planned. I would just like 4K to make work on my eyes easier.

    I went for the Iris Pro only for the following reasons:

    • One less part to fail. (Dedicated GPU’s appear to have failed more than CPU’s)
    • No hassle with GPU switching, though I did not realise I could stop the 750M from working if just working on the retina screen itself with gfxCardStatus. I still thought some apps ignore this and caused the 750M to fire up. I appreciate with an external monitor the 750M would always be used.
    • More power efficient.
    • Potentially less heat and thus noise.
    • I thought the Iris Pro would be enough for me, but it’s the 4K which might be the issue.

    Reasons for my second thoughts

    I am thinking the 750M has the best chance to run 4K monitors with less issues from my online research so far. I have seen no definite answer which is why I am hoping someone may be able to help here.

    • To add the 750M will cost £67.20 extra ($107)
    • To upgrade from the 2.5Ghz to 2.8Ghz will cost £127.20 ($200)

    I did notice that the Iris Pro with the 2.8Ghz CPU can overclock to 1.3Ghz vs 1.2Ghz in the 2.2 and 2.5Ghz variants. Not sure how much that helps, but has to be better in one way or another even if by a small amount. I appreciate TDP comes into play but that really depends on the situation. If I am looking for the max single core speed or max Iris Pro then the TDP might not be hit as quickly and I will see a benefit over the 2.5Ghz CPU. If bashing all 4 cores (unlikely) then I’m obviously going to see some throttling and loose some of the potential benefit of the 2.8 over the 2.5.

    Given I have already spent £1971.60 ($3130) on what is my base version I am looking at a 10% increase in cost to get these 2 parts. It might also help in terms of resale when compared to my customised base version with only the Iris Pro.

    I’m not even going to think 5K iMac, as that is another spanner in the works that is actually cheaper when taking into account that I am expecting to buy 2 x 4K monitors! I keep reminding myself that I need a mobile solution otherwise it would be a no-brainer.


    If the Iris Pro can handle 2 x 4K monitors at 60Hz for my needs then I can keep what I have. If only the 750M can manage this then I need to upgrade. If both can only handle 1 x 4K at 60Hz then again I can keep what I have unless there is a performance issue.

    Be great to hear any thoughts and sorry again for the length of this post.

  2. nickbarbs macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2009
    all that cash and no 750m. Seems a bit silly to me not to have a whole other 2gb nvidia gpu for 67£ more.
  3. Arctic20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2014

    I agree to a certain extent, but the main thing is in regard to my usage requirements. I.E. What are the benefits to me, hence the 4K monitor questions really. Other than resale value there is little point me paying £67 if there is no benefit to me whilst I own the system and thus only taking on the possible cons of having the 750M, at least in my case.

    That has led to me thinking more about the CPU upgrade 2.5 to 2.8. That is only worth considering if I am staying with Iris Pro only. If I add the 750M I can't see any benefit to the extra overclock in iGPU as the one time it might come in handy, if at all (external monitors) is when it can't be used do to the dGPU being wired to do this. The Iris Pro with the 2.5 is already handling the Retina screen with no problems at all.

  4. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    This thread over at Apple's Discussion board seems to indicate that a 750M rMBP can't power two 4k displays at 60Hz simultaneously. Based off this, I don't believe that the Intel graphics alone would be able to cut it.

    I think presently, if you are dead set on dual 4k 60Hz monitors you should really be looking at a Mac Pro setup.
  5. Arctic20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2014
    Thanks, that's really helpful and pretty much what I needed to hear.

    With that in mind if Iris Pro can run one 4K monitor at 60Hz which I have seen is possible, then for my usage there is no real extra benefit in me going for the 750M. I can live with a single 4K monitor knowing that the 750M can't do any better in terms of two 4K's.

    I don't like giving up something that is pretty cheap in the context of things, but avoiding some extra risks/cons at least in my situation is preferable where the benefits are not great. Obviously for others that do some gaming then the 750M's pros far outweigh those potential negatives and it becomes a no-brainer.

    Looks like I get to keep what I have short of a total U-turn and going with an riMac! Its a very nice machine so I can not complain at all. I will of course wonder what benefit the 2.8Ghz CPU might bring in terms of the slightly higher clock boost on the Iris Pro of course. Haven't seen any information on that anywhere. :)
  6. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    Yeah, having 2gb of dedicated vram is nice. If you want to run 2 4k monitors though, you probably can with the 750M. However, one will be at 60hz (thunderbolt) and one will be at 30hz (hdmi).

    I think a rimac or mac pro would be a far better choice though.
  7. Arctic20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2014
    Thanks Freyqq.

    Yeah that's what I am now seeing as well:

    Late MBP 15" with 750M can output 4K 60Hz on one thunderbolt port which leads to the other thunderbolt port being shut down. The HDMI port can still be used at the same time to output 4K at 30Hz to a second monitor.

    I do not know about the Iris Pro only version except I have seen it will output 4K @ 60Hz from one thunderbolt port. I can imagine if the HDMI does allow output things might get a bit laggy, but that is a guess. To me the crucial thing was to make sure that I wasn't missing out on 4K @60 to 2 displays at the same time, which I can see I am now not.

    riMac.... Yes with a week to change my mind it is tempting. It means I don't even have to purchase any 4K monitors. My work is 60% office, 30% in living room and perhaps 10% out of home. It's the last 40% that is the problem, more so the 10% away from home! Sure I could move the screen into my living room, but taking it out with me.. I wish :D

    Why did I sell my 32Gb of Corsair Vengance in the last week! :eek:
  8. airattack111 macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2008
    I think it's a little crazy that you would pay extra to have additional storage and ram on the base model instead of just buying the model that comes with the Nvidia GPU.

    To me the 16gb ram + 512gb + Nvidia base model ($2,500) is easily the best choice. If you needed more storage just use the cloud and/or an external ssd/hdd.

    To each his own I guess. At least it won't get as hot.. haha.
  9. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Aug 28, 2009
    You aren't paying to up the RAM. All Mid '14's 15" rMBPs come with 16GB RAM.

    So the extra cost is purely the storage.
  10. airattack111 macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2008
    Ah you are right, I thought the normal model came with 8gb.

    I just priced it out to his specs.

    $2,899 (1tb + 2.5ghz)


    $2,499 (512gb + 2.5ghz + dedicated GPU)

    Seems like a no brainer to me. I guess everyone is different.


    If what you say is true (I'm not sure) about the 14 day return. Send that thing back asap and get the Nvidia model. Especially if you're planning on running 2 external 4k displays.
  11. andeify macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2012
    Check this link out. Some really good information straight from Apple, looks like its been updated for Yosemite.
  12. PatrickVogeli macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2014
    Karlsruhe (Germany)
    I have also been thinking of getting a Macbook Pro lately and think the 15 is clearly a better value than the 13.

    That said, I would definitely get the intel only model. I don't have a use for the nvidia card, so I'd get the "simpler" model..

    I did the same when I bought a Dell XPS 14 : got the one without switching graphics, since I had no use for the 2nd card (it was an Nvidia 630 I believe) and didn't want the increased complexity.

    EDIT: graphic card failing in laptops is not an uncommon thing.. my girlfriend had a Sony laptop (around 2009 I think) and that line was plagged with GPU issues (Nvidia 8400 and 8600), they eventually extended the warranty from 1 to 3 years.
  13. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I went for the Iris Pro only MacBook Pro 15, I don't game and it's plenty fast for everyday computing.

    I did go for the 256GB SSD and a 128GB flush mounted SDXC card for my media. A Synology NAS rounds it out nicely with TM & plenty of networked storage.
  14. Arctic20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2014
    Thanks for the posts guys..

    @ airattack111

    It's about what I feel I need, not necessarily just about saving some money here or there. The dGPU was such a low cost extra that money saving was not part of the question for me in terms of the GPU; it was do I need it to achieve what I want. My question was can the dGPU power more 4K monitors at 60HZ than the iGPU. The answer I have now found is basically no. With that in mind the pros of the iGPU then far outweigh those of the dGPU for me. For a gamer the answer would be totally the opposite, but I am not looking to game on this system.

    So dGPU or iGPU will only give me one 4k monitor output at 60Hz.

    Storage and RAM play no part as again they are what I need and what work for me, everyone has their own requirements. Sure 1TB feels like daylight robbery and it hurts to pay that. But if I am spending this much on a system I want to be happy with it, I tried 512Gb in 2012 and that didn't work for me.

    Again in terms of the 2.8Ghz CPU, my question was really about the slightly higher clock boost of the iGPU (1300Mhz vs 1200Mhz in the 2.2 and 2.5).


    13" is a really nice machine, I actually found it felt like a better fitting glove in terms of using it (typing and on lap), more personal I would say. But what was playing on my mind was I was missing out on so much more for a tiny amount of money that would be of use to me. The 2 extra cores, the bigger screen and the better speakers though the 13" is not bad in that area. What also swung it was the the iGPU (Iris) in the 13" can only output 4K at 30Hz, so not even one 4K monitor at 60Hz whereas the 15" (Iris Pro) can.

    Thanks for the info on dGPU's, that was my feeling to, I saw that with an XPS 13 and M6500 I owned in the past (both Nvidia). Potentially failing dGPU's is/was one of my con's for getting the dGPU this time around. I have already seen some people posting they have had issues already with the 750M. A very small number, but more than the iGPU failing where I have yet to ever see one.

  15. lionkin, Nov 9, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014

    lionkin macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2014
    West Hollywood
    I have no problem using Iris pro and It can do all my task. Also failing dgpu is one of the reason I prefer Iris pro over dgpu. My previous macbook pro was early 2011 15 macbook pro and 2.5 years later it started dgpu issue.
  16. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Hey guys this is still a laptop.

    If youy have a use case that you need to run 2 4K screens then you should be looking at buying a Mac Pro, these macbooks are superb but running 2 4K screens seems a bit excessive for any laptop. Use the tool that is best for the job...
  17. Arctic20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2014
    @ Samuelsan2001

    That wasn't really the question but never mind! I was making sure that I wasn't missing out on something in regards to the iGPU vs dGPU in terms of 4K @ 60Hz.

    I fully appreciate there are other product lines that can push that output, it was all about the Macbook Pro.


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