rMBP 1GB graphics question

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Madvillain, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Madvillain, Jun 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012

    Madvillain Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #1
    Going from a 2011 MBP with 512MB graphics to a retina MBP with 1GB graphics being used to power 4x as many pixels as the normal display...


    Is this essentially a doubling of graphics power but a fourfold workload increase - basically meaning a loss of overall graphics capabilities?
     
  2. Puevlo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #2
    Correct. Many people have noticed increased lag and overall less snappiness.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    Yes, and there's an article on MacRumor's front page

    I guess if you don't play games, it may not be too bad, but there definitely will be a lack of zip in the UI
     
  4. Madvillain thread starter Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #4
    I have a rMBP on order and am getting nervous about it.

    I use lightroom and photoshop a lot and certainly don't want a downgrade in performance.


    My 2011 already seems very slow when editing large raw/dng files...
     
  5. Office Hours, Jun 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012

    Office Hours macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #5
    Don't worry about it. The scaled resolutions do take a hit, 1680 is 99% fine but you start to notice some choppiness in the OSX GUI under 1920. Under the native retina resolution you will not find GUI lag. This is all with the iGPU, dGPU is better.

    What you WILL find is that Safari is choppy and it's 90% a redrawing software issue with Safari. If you enable GPU acceleration under Chrome, 90% of the sites will be silky smooth. Sites with lots of images are even smooth. Sites like Pinterest and The Verge that use a lot of CSS3 effects (box shadows and complex CSS gradients in their cases) will still lag. This is true even in non-retina MBPs, compare fast scrolling between Pinterest and MacRumors and you'll see what I'm talking about. The rMBP will be even slower under those cases but I'm certain that it just needs SW optimization. The iPad 3 can handle it and it's chip is NOWHERE near as good.

    Photoshop/lightroom is fine but a blurry mess at retina resolutions but I run my rMBP at full native resolution and have it connected to a external when I absolutely need the bigger scale. Browser lag is at full non-retina performance since the browser is not spanning the full resolution and I have it set to 125% zoom, so all is good. It's like a having a mini iMac. Really great.
     
  6. draughn101 macrumors regular

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    Feb 23, 2011
    #6
    Games run great on the rMBP. I've been playing Battlefield 3 for the last few days and I'm very impressed with how the system is holding up. I also don't think the UI lag is as bad as everyone is making it sound.
     
  7. CountSessine macrumors regular

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    Feb 19, 2010
    #7
    Scrolling in web browsers is the big difference you'll notice.

    I've been fiddling around with my mouse acceleration settings the last week, because something didn't feel quite 'right'. Scrolling felt clumsy and inaccurate, for some reason.

    Then I started up my old mid-2010 MBP, and I realized why - scrolling in Safari AND Chrome is much MUCH choppier on the new machine. Scrolling on my old MBP feels typically mac-like - super precise and razor sharp.

    The difference is really noticeable when the two machines are side-by-side. It's almost like the scroll wheel on the mouse has 'slop' - it's like using an Android phone - how the touch screen lags and can't keep up with your movements.

    I've heard things are a bit better in Mountain Lion.
     
  8. fs454 macrumors 65816

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    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #8
    Not really. Doubling of the graphics memory from 512mb to 1GB does not double the graphics power. The performance of the rMBP is adequate but it does give off a bit of that "first generation product" feel because Apple is really pushing its capabilities more than ever.
     
  9. Office Hours, Jun 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012

    Office Hours macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #9
    In Chrome (I'm running the dev channel so YMMV):

    1. Go to: chrome://flags/
    2. Enable GPU compositing on all pages, Threaded compositing, Per Tile Painting, Enable hardware-accelerated video decode

    Chrome will be silky smooth under EVERY resolution. Only sites that use a lot of CSS3 effects (Box Shadow, complicated gradients, border radius, etc.) will be slow. I think browsers have not optimized these newer effects when rendering. To emphasize this, run a flash video in engadget or youtube. Silky smooth scrolling, right? Safari and Chrome are not optimized for CSS3 yet and I very much doubt that they are more intensive than a flash video.

    The iPad 3 somehow does not suffer from this despite having a CPU that is slower than an Atom and a GPU that can't scratch the surface of the HD4000 let alone the upclocked 650m we have.
     
  10. fs454 macrumors 65816

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    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #10

    THIS is what confuses me. If they can make an ARM-powered device buttery smooth no matter what at 2048x1536, why can't they do the same to a machine over 20 times more capable at 2880x1800?
     
  11. Office Hours macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #11
    My experience has been that the main lag comes from web browser redraw, specifically when there have been a lot of CSS3 effects applied. My guess is that web browser performance was a immediate concern for Apple engineers working on the iPad, and it was especially noticeable because of how low powered they are. Lack/Omission of flash also made HTML5/CSS3 optimization a big thing I guess. I think the changes in Lion was a first step towards optimizing, and you're right, this chip should be able to handle this much better than the iPad 3. It's only a matter of time, I wouldn't sweat it too much. We're all beta testers right now.
     
  12. CountSessine macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    #12
    This is a very good point. It makes me think that at least at optimal retina resolution, there should be plenty of opportunities for scrolling to be optimized.

    Also, I'm using the release version of chrome. I'll try out the dev version tonight. Thanks!
     
  13. golu14 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Location:
    Delhi, India
    #13
    no matter what one say, i can never assume it correct.

    you are not increasing the whole workload, just the resolution. i know its a big deal but theres more to it.
    you are not playing videos or anything all the time, just stable resolution.

    like when you are on the desktop screen you are using only the intel hd 4k not the 1gb nvidia.

    the overall snappiness will definitely be improved by future software updates.
     
  14. Office Hours macrumors member

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #14
    If you do, apply the experimental settings. They make a HUGE difference.
     
  15. CountSessine macrumors regular

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    Feb 19, 2010
    #15
    Cool. I just tried this out on the dev channel version and indeed, the web page scrolling is back to normal. There are still a few pages that are slow - my facebook feed drags a bit, but it's slow on just about every device I have. Also, the Chrome settings page, curiously enough, is very slow to scroll. But otherwise, it's MUCH better now. The anandtech article, for example, is lightning quick now.

    One big hitch, though, is that two-finger swipe backward and forward is broken or disabled. I've never used the dev channel before - maybe this is a known issue?
     
  16. CountSessine macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    #16
    Yeah - it definitely seems like Chrome in the dev channel has a problem hooking the system events for two and/or three finger swiping. Oh well. It performs so well otherwise, and is retina-enabled, that I'm pretty happy even without the swiping.
     
  17. Moriarty macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #17
    Someone else understands! Scrolling is also mostly done on the CPU, I believe... and very poorly optimised at that (not at all multi-threaded for a start).

    These computers have a pretty sweet graphics chip. Hopefully Apple eventually takes greater advantage of it. My frame rates in The Witcher 2 on high settings are faster than my Facebook frame rates.

    I think Apple needs to do some more coding... hopefully they do optimise things further (even more than what's already done in Mountain Lion).
     

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