Please Help Me Decide: rMBP 15" - Integrated Only or Dedicated GPU

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by EvossUK, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. EvossUK macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2014
    Hello all,

    Coming to pick the brains of those who know their stuff!

    I really cant decide between getting a rMBP with or without the dedicated GPU. My concern is the battery life when the GPU kicks in and not plugged in.

    I know there is gfxCardStatus but it may not work with future releases?

    I wont need to use the GPU a lot, but it practically comes free with the 2.5GHz and 512SSD model and I would prefer to have it in case I do need it, but not at the cost of loosing 1 or 2 hours of batter every charge.

    Does anyone know if gfxCardStatus will be supported in Yosemite or there are similar programs that do the same thing?

    Please help me make a decision

    Thank you
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    gfxcardstatus works well in Yosemite. I'm running it right now and it works.

    It's got a quirk bug though. You'll have to click on 'Integrated only' twice before it actually forces the GPU into Intel only. The first time you click it, nothing happens (but if Console is open, it'll show some errors resulting from a bug in the coding of the app. See screenshot attached). The second time you click on it, it'll go to integrated.

    I've a late-2013 15" rMBP (2.6/16/1TB/750M) and get about 8 hours out of it when in Intel only. So go for the variant with the 750M.

    Oh and don't use Chrome and you'll be fine.

    Attached Files:

  3. EvossUK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2014

    Thanks for your response. Does gfxCardStatus work as soon as you have booted into the OS or do you have to click integrated twice every time?

  4. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Do you need dGPU

    If you don't need this then don't get it if you do then do it seems a no brainer to me.
  5. EvossUK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2014
    Hey Samuelsan, I wont always need it, but it would be nice to have it when the iGPU does struggle. The dGPU comes free with the machine (£30 extra on HE discount) but I dont want it if A) I cant control it, B) It drains the battery
  6. aoaaron macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2010
    I got a dedicated gpu in my last MBP and ended up spending £300-400 more. I wish I didn't and instead went for the lower-end model and learnt to manage my space better.

    The low end 15 inch to high end 15 inch is like £400. Add an extra £200 and you can potentially purchase a gaming desktop rig which will utterly destroy the high end macbook pro in anything graphics intensive. Unless you need a PORTABLE dedicated gpu, i would save your money.

    My current setup is a base model 15'' MBP, a windows 7 gaming rig, iPad and I'll be buying the iPhone 6+ to replace my iPhone 4S and I am VERY happy. I have no worries about battery life, if the dedicated gfx is kicked on or not and I've had zero problems so far.

    The fact your opening post doesn't even list a clear use for the dedicated graphics makes me want to suggest to you to really just save your money. I used to want to spec out my laptops but the truth is with mobile technology, it becomes outstripped and ******* on very fast.
  7. EvossUK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2014
    Thanks for your post, my problem is to have the dGPU, only costs £30 extra. If it was a case of £300 I'd just got with the iGPU.
  8. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    It's not even really needed. Other than netflix and gaming, nothing seems to trigger the dGPU on the newer models.
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    You've to click integrated twice as soon as you boot into the OS.
  10. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003
    Personally, I would get the dGPU. Having watched the iGPU stutter and stall on some of the more intense apps, I would rather have the ability to enable the dGPU than go without.

    As we move forward, applications are only going to become more demanding and the iGPU seems maxed out today. How will it perform next year or the year after?

    If you are just web surfing and sending email, I can see being happy with the iGPU. However, you need to plan for the entire length you imagine you are going to keep your investment.

    Just my observations and opinions,
  11. EvossUK thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2014

    Very good point.

    Is there a way to disable the dGPU apart from gfxCardStatus, perhaps one where you need to reboot in order to restart it as gfxCardStatus seems quite flakey looking at their github issues page.

  12. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    Get the better hardware! You can tweak the power settings in system settings as well.
  13. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    With automatic switching, the difference between the two models is negligible unless you always do things that do trigger the nVidia card.
  14. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    Hope I am not flogging a dead horse here but the dGPU is probably the first part that will fail in your Macbook Pro 2-3 years from now....while it may cost 30 will at least cost you few hundreds later on .... I say stick with integrated..
  15. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    That happened with the 8600M GT, GT 330M and 6490M/6750M/6770M.

    NVIDIA acknowledged that there was a fault with the 8600M GT and GT 330M, and reimbursed Apple to launch an extended repair program.

    Meanwhile, AMD refused to do the same for the 6490M/6750M/6770M failures, because they said that Apple poorly applied thermal paste on the GPU, causing it to fail.

    For the 650M and onwards, iFixit teardowns have revealed that the thermal paste was properly applied, so another dGPU debacle is unlikely.
  16. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Unless you have some reason to need the discrete graphics (maybe CUDA or you game a lot), then I'd just get the one with just the integrated graphics.

    The Iris Pro is excellent and fast most things. It runs cooler and uses less power. I value battery life. I try to set mine to integrated only whenever possible.
  17. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    A lot of fairly uniformed posts on this thread. For a negligible amount more, the poster gets a part valued at a hundred times that. For resale value alone, it would be stupid not to get the better part.

    As for power savings, if the dGPU is kicking in (and draining power) then the user is by definition using an application that benefits from it. Therefore from a performance stand point, it is worth getting. But as others noted, it can be turned off with third party software. But again, if software is using it, then there is a reason. It may save time (encoding) or cause less frustration (frame rates or stutter-free video playback).

    There is no evidence that the 750m is faulty.
  18. Lukewarmwinner macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2012
    I went with the dgpu, and glad I did. I do however use it a lot for premiere and photoshop, but it runs definitely more smooth than my friends igpu. It runs hotter but if you need the power then go for it
  19. MTL18 macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2013
    I went iGPU for two reasons.

    1) Wasn't convinced I needed dGPU (mainly lightroom and photo editing - no games or video editing)

    2) dGPU failure rate: Probably very low, and no evidence of 750m, but the dGPU is the likely part to fail if you have a failure. History of fixes is murky, and I don't have the resources to replace a 3k computer if it dies suddenly.
  20. lJoSquaredl macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2012
    After using a rMBP for almost 2 years, i've come to this's a laptop. U wanna keep it cool if you can, and you wanna save battery life if ur off the wire. I use to have the dgpu on at all times, but now I use the integrated graphics for everything except editing and when I randomly hook up dual monitors...and this is with the intel 4000 graphics. I even use it when playing League of Legends, World of Warcraft, and it does a decent job at 1050p or 900p. Now with Iris Pro, they're even better and also work much better with FCPX and other programs that take full advantage of it. I'll be snagging an iMac soon, but as far as laptops go, from now on i'm just getting a baseline rMBP. Now with 16gb of baseline ram too, I can get a beast refurbished for pretty damn cheap:)

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