Might as well get high end 15"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BlueXIII, May 31, 2014.

  1. BlueXIII macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2014
    Hi Friends,

    I am looking to get a rMBP soon. I want to get a beast that will handle what the world throws at it in the coming years (ideally 4-5 years at least), so I want to get it with some upgrades (16gb RAM and 512 SSD for sure). If I do those upgrades, it will end up being only 100$ less than the upgraded model with the dedicated Nvidia GPU and 2.3 GHZ processor.

    My question is, it worth it then to just go for the upgraded 2,599$ model? Is there any disadvantage to the dedicated GPU (battery life, heat, etc.?)

  2. joebingo macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2014
    I'd say you might as well go for the dedicated GPU model.
  3. MUWarrior10 macrumors member

    May 7, 2014
    go big or go home!
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
  5. BlueXIII thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2014
    So you think it'd have substantially higher resale value if it ever came to that?


    I'm gathering that there isn't really a downside at all to having the dedicated GPU in terms of heat/battery life or anything?
  6. dmccloud macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    The rMBP with a dedicated GPU will run warmer, but not to the point of shortening the life of the system. The hit on battery life in OS X is marginal as well, because situations that are taxing the dGPU heavily will be taxing other system components heavily as well. If you install Windows on the machine though, it will use the dGPU exclusively, and the power management features are there, so battery life does decrease under Windows.

    The higher the specs of the model, the higher the resale value will be. dGPU models usually retain a little more of their initial value simply because of the additional part. I went with the fully maxed-out model because I wanted a machine that would have the capacity to last a while, while also being able to play games. So far I haven't had any issues with games running at high settings, even in Windows under Bootcamp.
  7. MikeVera macrumors regular

    May 5, 2014
    I have had both recently and found that the Nvidia model did run a fair amount warmer in a variety of situations, but especially in boot camp (where GPU switching is not supported).

    If your doing primarily processor intense tasks and using it primarily for day to day things, with perhaps some medium gaming, then the Iris Pro model will be fine.

    But for only $100 more, if you plan to keep it for a while, having the dGPU will open up a lot of gaming ability that 128MB eDRAM will potentially hold you back from (I.e. Better vector processing, better GPU off loading with supported programs, and ability to crank up anti-aliasing and texture quality levels in games).

    I know it's completely unwarranted, because the iris pro is a very impressive iGPU, but I still had a hard time paying 2 grand for a laptop with a iGPU that is supposed to be a higher end performance workstation (I.e. CUDA being used for GPU offloading in many editing and rendering programs).
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    The Iris Pro actually runs hotter than the 750M in heavy tasks as all tasks are consolidated into a single chip (the Iris Pro is part of the CPU), so the CPU will throttle. With the 750M, tasks are spread out across two chips and so heat is dissipated more evenly.

    In Macoh stress-testing, the Iris Pro model throttled about a minute into the tests, while the 750M model did not throttle at all throughout the entire duration of the tests.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    You may have trouble selling a high end machine over a stock model. While the resale value will be higher the potential pool of buyers willing to pay more is less.

    Just food for thought.

    The only disadvantage of the dGPU is Apple's recent history with failing dGPUs - that has me concerned.
  10. MikeVera macrumors regular

    May 5, 2014
    Good points.

    Although, I was referring more to when the dGPU is being utilized...

    Since the i7 in the model with the dGPU also has an Iris-pro on-die, in most situations (under OSX) it should operate fairly similar to the base model. But when ever it switches over, or if you're in boot camp, it will run noticeably warmer. You have an extra chip with a 35-40W tdp firing up. One chip running hot vs. two chips running medium-hot in two locations.

    Although my machine may have been faulty, as even idle temps under OSX ran noticeably warmer on the model I had with the dGPU....Which eventually led me to return it.

    I'm gonna wait to see what a die shrink with Broadwell, and next gen iGPU/8-series does for the next iteration of rMBPs.

  11. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2011
    If you're talking about regular use, you can always disable the dGPU through gfCardStatus (not sure about it since I've never anything beyond the mid-2012 15" rMBP). With that, battery life and heat should be more or less the same. However, the heat sink design due to the added chip might be a factor (again, can't be sure about it). In any case, the difference should be minute. Go for it.


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