Questions re the graphics cards in MBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by snerkler, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. snerkler macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    #1
    I'm looking at upgrading my late 2011 MBP and trying to choose between the 2015 retina that's still on sale, or the new touch bar MBPs. My main use is photography using lightroom and photoshop. Looking at the spec of the 2015 model the graphics card is an Intel Iris Pro but does not give any more info than this. Looking on google it suggests that this card is only 128MB which seems very small as my current graphics card is the AMD radeon 6750 which is 512MB, 4 times more than the iris pro (according to google). Surely I'm missing something as I can't believe they'd take such a step back, so what is the difference?

    I see that the new touch bar MBP's have the radeon pro 450 and 460 with 2GB and 4GB respectively. For what I use how much does the graphics card play a part and would I notice any difference from the 2015 MBP to the touch bar, and would I notice a difference from 2GB to 4GB? My current MBP can get bogged down, especially when working at 1:1 image size but I don't know if this is a limitation of the RAM (I have 16GB), software, CPU, or graphics card?

    Any help appreciated.

    P.S. It does appear that my graphics card is no longer supported by Lightroom and I get this error message.

    Screen Shot 2017-01-02 at 09.03.40.png
     
  2. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #2
    Without proper benchmarks, we can't tell for sure. The Pro 460 can be 3 times faster than the M370X in the 2015 model for some tasks (yes, its an actual benchmark result), but it really depends on how good the software is at utilising the GPU. From what I've seen so far, Adobe software does not take the advantage of it to the same degree as, say, Apple's FinalCut.
     
  3. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for your reply. So it's difficult to know whether or not I'll see any benefit. I'm not a gamer either so I'll definitely not see a benefit there. Part of me thinks that I should always get the best that's available at the time as things move forward so quickly and a system can quickly become outdated, but those touch bar MBP's are extremely pricey, especially if I'm never going to to reach the capacity, or even close to the capacity of the machine.
     
  4. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #4
    The 2015 model comes with or without the dGPU. It appears you're looking at the model that lacks a dGPU, which will definitely be noticeable for some photo editing tasks. Even if you find the model with the dGPU, the newer ones are better. Indeed, the 2016 MBP is better than the 2015 in almost every way. Unless you're really pressed for money, the 2016 is the better choice.
     
  5. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    #5
    Thanks. TBH the cost is not the major deciding factor, although of course I'd like to keep costs as low as possible.

    When you say the lack of dGPU will be noticeable, in what way?

    Unfortunately my knowledge in computer spec is lacking, especially in regards to how much it will effect the speed of my workflow. For example, as I mentioned in my original post I don't even know if, or by how much upgrading from my current 512mb RAM GPU to a 2TB one will speed up editing in Lightroom and photoshop. Then if it does make a difference is it then worth upgrading the MBP to the 4GB RAM GPU? Likewise with the CPU, am I going to notice any difference if I spec'd the 2.7Ghz CPU over the 2.5Ghz CPU? As you can tell, I find it all very confusing ;)

    Having looked into the 2016 MBP I have a few concerns. Apparently the keyboard is hit and miss, some like it some don't. Also, the omission of an SD slot is a big deal for me as currently I take the card out of the camera and put it straight into the computer to transfer photos. The idea of a dongle/adapter isn't very appealing, likewise with the lack of standard USB ports. Obviously I need to investigate/think about this further.

    In the meantime does anyone know the tech spec of the GPU in the 2015 MBP that's currently for sale (there's only one in the U.K.)?
     
  6. Sanpete macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Utah
    #6
    For the software you mention, Lightroom and Photoshop, the benefits from the better dGPU, so far, are pretty limited. You can get a breakdown of the possible advantages of a fast GPU for Lightroom here:

    https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1828580

    The faster SSD in the 2016 may actually be more helpful than the GPU if you do large file transfers or if the scratch disk uses it. You might realistically get a 5-10% performance overall increase from the 2015 to the 2016 for still photo work.

    If you do any video work, the dGPU will make a much more obvious difference. The new machine will smoke the 2015 (and not get as hot doing it). Expect as much a a 50-100% performance boost.

    The keyboards are different, as you say, so if you get a chance, try them out. I like the new one fine, and most people do, but some really hate it.

    The ports on the new MBP are far more capable, but not as convenient, so it's a mixed bag. I'm used to using a separate card reader anyway, and a tiny $5 adapter works fine for my USB needs. I just leave it on each cable or device I need it for.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W98IJ0O/

    I've got a breakdown of differences between the 2015 and 2016 here, with some details in the comments, if you want more:

    https://www.amazon.com/review/R27MBWO99H5LZJ/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
     
  7. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 14, 2012
    #7
    Many thanks for this, most useful.
     
  8. snerkler thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    #8
    Tried the new Touch bar MBP this lunchtime. I like the "marmite" keyboard except for the fact it's noisy. Larger trackpad is nice, and I wouldn't miss the force touch as never had it anyway. Lack of SD slot and USB ports is annoying but oh that screen. I thought the old retina screen was nice but the new one
     

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