nVidia, or AMD for 2015 rMBP 15"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rekhyt, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. rekhyt macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I'm really hoping for the 2015 rMBP 15" to get the new nVidia Maxwell mobile GPUs, which look absolutely amazing :D .

    Unfortunately the new retina iMacs are using the AMD GPUs (not a fan).

    Thoughts on this year's discrete graphics cards provider?
     
  2. vbedia macrumors regular

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    #2
    You are assuming that there will be a dGPU option, I am not so sure about that. Supposing Apple decide to go down that route again I think it could go either way (Nvidia or AMD) especially given the latest developments on the iMac 5k that comes with AMD.

    I would prefer a Nvidia GPU myself, but it is not my call. Anyways, I am gonna stick with my rMBP 15 late 2013 for some more time.
     
  3. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    #3
    If Apple elects to put a dGPU into the next MBP refresh, it will certainly have to be something with a similar TDP as the current 750M, which is 50W. As such, the 970M, 980M, and even the recently released 960M and 965M are out of the question.
     
  4. rekhyt thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    The dGPU in the rMBP has not been updated for 2 years now.

    What do you think will be the replacement for it (of a similar power draw level)?
     
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #5
    My best guess is that Apple will remove the dGPU completely.

    The Iris Pro 6200 in Broadwell would be powerful enough by that time to totally to away the dGPU.
     
  6. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    #6
    The 750M launched in the rMBP in October 2013, so not even 18 months ago. I'm of the belief that Apple will probably do away with the dGPU all together, especially if the Iris Pro 6XXX series is able to perform in the same ballpark as the 750M.

    Should they bring back the dGPU, I would wager on something like the AMD R9 M275X since the R9 M290X/295X are in the 5K Retina iMac. I don't believe NVIDIA has a low-power 9-Series mobile GPU, at least not yet anyway.
     
  7. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    #7
    750M and 650M are the same physical chip with some different software and firmware that ups the clocks a bit. 850M is the new chip. I doubt Apple will bother with a dgpu option next time. The next Iris Pro version will be faster than the 750M, which is cause enough to drop a dgpu option. It also simplifies their assembly line. If they do keep the dgpu, it'll probably be an 850M or whatever nvidia chips of similar TDP is released at that time.
     
  8. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    #8
    Same chip, but the 750M brought 2 GB of vRAM to the MacBook Pro line, which opened up more performance than just a bump in clock speed.
     
  9. kweevuss macrumors member

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    #9
    I hope it's nvidia. I'm looking to upgrade from my 2011, and I'm already calling it with the 5k iMacs, they are going to have the same exact problems as the 2011's because they have the AMD gpu's.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    Since the iMac is on AMD, there's a good chance the MBPs will as well, provided Apple will actually have dGPUs in their next model.
     
  11. Macaman, Jan 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015

    Macaman macrumors member

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    #11
    I dont think Apple will drop the dGPU yet. Its in my opinion way too early to do that. An iris pro 6200 would basically be like todays GT 750M in graphical power and therefore truly be miles behind the competition.

    It makes little sense to make the 15 inch, high end MBP so graphically weak considering the premium price you have to pay.

    I also hope they dont decide to put AMD dGPU:s in the MBP, they generally run way too hot, the r9 295x in the new imacs have substantial throttle problems because of heat.
    Nvidias new 900m series dGPU is superior to anything AMD can offer at the moment.
     
  12. leman, Jan 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015

    leman macrumors 604

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    #12
    I think that the Maxwell is the most likely option for the 2015 rMBP. Sure, they use AMD chips in the iMac, but I belive that the main reason for that is availability. In comparison, Low-end Maxwell chip that would be candidates for the MBPs are available in bulk.

    P.S. Also, the next gen maxwell with unified nemory is rumored to come out this year. That would be something.
     
  13. rekhyt, Jan 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015

    rekhyt thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Not a fan of AMD, unfortunately. I have a AMD card in my gaming PC and I wish I went with nVidia. More expensive, sure, but performance is a lot better as well (like Intel–AMD for CPU).

    It would make sense for Apple to widen the gap between the Air series (portability-focused) and the Pro series (prosumer performance-oriented), with graphical performance being a big emphasis.

    Agreed. Performance-wise, and heat-wise, nVidia is the better option (even if it is more expensive. As the dGPU is already the most expensive option, it makes sense to go with nVidia).

    In regards to feasibility of slotting in a decent mobile graphics card: the Razer Blade, which is essentially a copy of the retina MacBook Pro 15" (down to the fan/cooling mechanisms), has a decent graphics card: the 870M, which isn't bad. It's a fraction (30%) of the performance that the 980M offers, but it's double what the 750M can do.

    What would be an example of a low-end Maxwell chip? 850m or...?

    What would be the impact of unified memory on GPU performance? (Update: Read a bit more about it. Looks like it's only going to come a few years later (2016?), and my MacBook Air 11" is really starting to wear out.)
     
  14. leman, Jan 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015

    leman macrumors 604

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    #14
    If I am not mistaken, right now there are only there Maxwell chips: GM107 (640 cores), GM108 (384 cores), which are the Maxwell gen 1, and GM204 (2048 cores), which is Maxwell gen 2. I was mostly referring to GM107, that is part of products usually branded as 850M and 860M

    Edit (typo): its supposed to be GM107, not GM108, sorry

    From what I read, its a bit unclear. Some sources say that the unified memory will come earlier, so say it will come later. Per se, there will not be a big change in performance of current games applications, but unified memory will allow a more flexible programming model. GPGPU will probably benefit most.
     
  15. rekhyt thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Ok thanks.

    Quick question, regarding power consumption: The 14" Razer blade notebook, which is essentially a retina MacBook Pro 15" painted black (internals are suspiciously similar, especially the fan-cooling part. No idea why Apple hasn't gone after Razer yet.) has a GPU (870M) which has a TDP of 100W. The current rMBP 15" one has a GPU (750M) of 35-40W.

    Looking back at the 970M: it's said to have a TDP of 100W.

    Does this mean that it's completely feasible for a graphics card like this to be included in the rMBP?
     
  16. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #16
    The 750M is not 35-45 W it is more like 25-30W. That can just be guessed from total power consumption in the different activation states.
    Without Turbo and at 925Mhz it is probably even below 25W.

    The Razer Blade is insane but the cooling system is actually different. It draws fresh Air directly from underneath. Not the back like the Macs. It has two heatpipes on each side rather than one (Apple) and a bigger heatspreader (about twice as thick). That is about twice the heatsink area more or less even in the smaller 14" chassis.
    That increases its cooling power probably by some amount. It also gets really hot and is really pushing it. In the name of ergonomics they should probably have kept it with a 960M or the new 965M.
    But both of these Apple could use with small changes like a stronger power supply and some small tweaks if they really wanted to.

    [​IMG]
    The Razer is different and a simplistic design can just very easily look the same. Same as many thin notebooks are wedge shaped like the Air. If you don't put sharp corners on it it looks the same. And rounding some part of the bottom to make the whole unit look thinner than it is, is not something Apple invented. If you do that too, you can change little more than the color. Inside there is also not that much choice in how stuff can be arranged at such a small space.
    All computer manufactures play lego with more or less the same parts. There are a couple notebooks that look quite similar to the Razer as well.
     
  17. leman macrumors 604

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    #17
    dusk007 already has a very good answer to this. I would only like to add that in order to achieve its superior cooling capacity, the Blade needs to make other sacrificies. For instance, it dedicate significantly less space to the battery (this is clearly seen from comparing the teardown pictures). All in all, the design focus lies on GPU performance which is a bit different from what Apple attempts to do with the MBP.

    So no, I don't think that Apple would include a high-end GPU. But the modern GPUs have experienced an incredible jump in their power efficiency. A 35-40W Maxwell 2.0 or Maxwell 3.0 should deliver around twice as much performance in the same thermal envelope compared to 750M, which would make the MBP both an adequate gaming machine as well as a decent GPGPU performer for a mobile professional.
     
  18. rekhyt thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Excellent, thank you for the reply, and for clearing things up. I do understand that the internals of hardware tends to be the same, and although I like Razer, I do tend to have a feeling that some of their products (especially hardware, and the marketing part. Their videos on YouTube have a very Apple-Esque feeling to it) borrow quite a lot of ideas from Apple.

    Good to know otherwise.

    Ah right, shame. It would definitely be a bit too extreme to do that overhaul just for one specific configuration of the retina MacBook Pro. Perhaps a MacBook Pro^2 or MacBook Extreme is in order.
     
  19. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #19
    Maybe they drop the dGPU in the 15" but bring back the 17" and put some serious GPU in that like a 965M class.
     

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