Retina MacBook Pro Pushes the Limits of its Graphics Capabilities

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Just after the launch of the Retina MacBook Pro earlier this month, AnandTech provided a first glimpse of the machine's display performance, noting the various resolution options available to users and examining how its color and contrast compares to other notebooks.

    After having more time to analyze the new machine, AnandTech last week published its full review of the Retina MacBook Pro, bringing its thorough and technically-detailed perspective to the report. While the whole review is definitely worth a read, the section on graphics performance bears special attention.

    With the integrated Intel HD 4000 and discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics units responsible for driving 2880x1800 pixels in standard Retina mode and as many as 3840x2400 pixels before downscaling to display 1920x1200 at its highest non-Retina resolution, Apple is clearly pushing the limits of the machine's graphics capabilities.
    AnandTech goes on to assess this graphics performance, noting that the Retina MacBook Pro at times struggles to maintain a "consistently smooth experience".
    Focusing on browser scrolling behavior, which also involves substantial CPU load, AnandTech notes that the resource-intensive Facebook news feed pages can display at over 50 frames per second on a 2011 MacBook Pro, but that the new Retina MacBook Pro struggles to hit 20 frames per second as it pushes so many more pixels.


    Retina MacBook Pro at 21 frames per second while scrolling (See meter at top left)
    The report notes that OS X Mountain Lion will help address some of these issues by leveraging Core Animation, but in AnandTech's testing it was still only able to achieve 20-30 frames per second under Mountain Lion. Further improvements in performance will have to wait for hardware capabilities to catch up with demands imposed by these new ultra-high resolution displays.

    Article Link: Retina MacBook Pro Pushes the Limits of its Graphics Capabilities
  2. Eidorian, Jun 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012

    Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    On the desktop front you are looking at a GTX 670/680 for this kind of power in 3D. I know this is on the 2D/desktop rendering side but going from 1356 shaders down to 384 and at lower clocks is going have a large impact.

    1440 x 900 or 900p is going to be the native turf for a GT 640/650M
  3. Andy-V macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    This is why I feel like waiting for the 2nd revision really is a good idea.
  4. wickerman1893 macrumors 6502


    Dec 16, 2008
    I hope in a couple years every tablet/phone/computer maker puts these high res screens on them. After using the iPad 3 and rMBP it's impossible to go back to something not retina.
  5. O and A macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    New York City
    I'm really curious to see when external GPUS via thunderbolt will become available.
  6. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Pretty much what I thought would happen. Ouch! Apple needs to nitrous cool a GTX680m or something. Can't have both extra super thin and extra super fast. I'm sticking with the phatty 0.9" Ivy Pro.


    Why? They wont help.
  7. tomtom2234 macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2010
    New Orleans
    Hmm... This is a little bit frustrating. I NEED a laptop for college this year (current is a 08 MBP on its last legs). I'm most likely going for the MBPR simply because it's barely cheaper to get the MBP with the specs I want. Frustrating knowing Apple decided to ship with hardware that isn't ready./sigh.
  8. Rizzm macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2012
    So Apple released tech that wasn't ready yet. Awesome.
  9. HurtinMinorKey macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2012
    Maybe this will shut up the people clamoring for retina on the new iMac.
  10. GREEN4U macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
    Get the Air.
  11. appleguy123 macrumors 603


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    I want this computer really bad, but it looks like my MacBook Air will have to survive until Haswell at least. My bank account is breathing a sigh of relief.
  12. Patriot24 macrumors 68030


    Dec 29, 2010
    Yep. Time will solve these issues.

    A 13" Air with Retina display is probably still a ways off, but what I'm looking forward to.
  13. tomtom2234 macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2010
    New Orleans
    I NEED a dedicated GPU also. I'm not sure. I may try using my current laptop or maybe my ipad 3 and just bring my desktop to college. I really wanted to leave it at home though.
  14. hobo.hopkins macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2008
    At least they're pushing the envelope, although doing so at the expense of user experience isn't very Apple-like. Fortunately it seems as though it isn't that large an issue for most users.
  15. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    I'm just trying to figure out why MR is posting a week old review from Anandtech. This isn't news... or rumors...
  16. Konrad9 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2012
    Why? A larger device will be able to suck up more power, have a more powerful CPU, GPU, and RAM. It will also be able to more efficiently cool everything.
  17. lunarworks macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    Maybe with RAM slots of some sort.

    (Probably not.)
  18. Peace macrumors P6


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    "Whereas I would consider the rMBP experience under Lion to be borderline unacceptable, everything is significantly better under Mountain Lion. Don’t expect buttery smoothness across the board, you’re still asking a lot of the CPU and GPU, but it’s a lot better."

    ML is very important when it comes to this.
  19. musicpenguy macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2006
    I wouldn't worry about it too much - actual users aren't complaining just people that are trying to get all analytical about it - none of the reviews I recall mention a bad experience due to lag - reviews mention Diablo 3 runs at native resolution lag free - many have mentioned you can run 2 thunderbolt displays without any noticeable lag - this is not a problem :)
  20. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Aug 11, 2010
  21. Sensation macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2012
    I wonder how my sli 680s would cope with this. I imagine very well :eek:
  22. Mundty macrumors member

    May 7, 2012
    Give the new Mac Pro a 27" Thunderbolt Retina Display, and a killer graphics card to power it. I'll buy that in a heart beat.
  23. wiz329 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010

    Why not?
  24. Fynd macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2010
    There's no reason to believe this couldn't be sorted out through software.
  25. Patriot24 macrumors 68030


    Dec 29, 2010
    My thoughts from another thread on this very issue


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