rMBP choppy UI

dj95

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 25, 2011
74
3
Hello, I've just received my 2014 rMBP - what an amazing machine! Everything is perfect, and I don't mean to pick holes, but is there any fix for the laggy UI when using the three standard Hidpi resolutions? Its not horrendous, but a prime example is simply scrolling down my inbox on the Gmail website. It stutters quite a bit even at the best for retina setting. However, when i select actual 1440x900 non-hidpi resolution using SwitchResX (which obviously looks bad), all lag is gone in such examples, and the whole UI feels noticeably snappier. Is it possible apple will release a software fix for this, or is it down to the Iris graphics simply being too underpowered for the retina resolutions? I would've thought by now these GPUs would be able to handle it? Just looking for some advice :) Thanks
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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... is it down to the Iris graphics simply being too underpowered for the retina resolutions?
That's it.

What you are experiencing is normal. The retina is still very helpful for photos.
 

TechZeke

macrumors 68020
Jul 29, 2012
2,361
1,969
Rialto, CA
That doesn't sound very acceptable to me!
I don't know what you expect. I saw this coming when they first announced retina displays.

On non retina displays, all the little animations here and there don't mean much. However, quadruple the resolution and the GPU is having a hard time just keeping up with the OS.

On my rMBP, if I use mission control with 20+ app windows on one desktop, the computer struggles, but if I spread those same apps across multiple desktops, then mission control is smooth as silk. This definitely means the GPU can't handle it, not that the computer itself can't.
 

Sheza

macrumors 68000
Aug 14, 2010
1,724
1,228
I don't know what you expect. I saw this coming when they first announced retina displays.

On non retina displays, all the little animations here and there don't mean much. However, quadruple the resolution and the GPU is having a hard time just keeping up with the OS.

On my rMBP, if I use mission control with 20+ app windows on one desktop, the computer struggles, but if I spread those same apps across multiple desktops, then mission control is smooth as silk. This definitely means the GPU can't handle it, not that the computer itself can't.
I thought Apple likes perfection, it doesn't seem right to me to come out with a computer equipped with a graphics chipset that can't even scroll properly on a webpage.

The Surface Pro 3 has even less powerful graphics and a similar screen resolution and I've heard no UI complaints there. Mind you I like having a small number of windows open at any one time, so should I be okay?
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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That doesn't sound very acceptable to me!
It might not sound like it, but it is.

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I thought Apple likes perfection, it doesn't seem right to me to come out with a computer equipped with a graphics chipset that can't even scroll properly on a webpage.

The Surface Pro 3 has even less powerful graphics and a similar screen resolution and I've heard no UI complaints there. Mind you I like having a small number of windows open at any one time, so should I be okay?
You have been on MR for four years.
Didn't you consult this forum before purchasing a very expensive laptop?
There are tons of threads on the UI lag. I always advise folks to get the mba if they want a snappier UI.

I am not sure it is caused by the Iris gpu not being able to handle it, since it only shows on certain apps.
:apple: doesn't comment on it and I don't think it's a big deal, for me that is.
 

Sheza

macrumors 68000
Aug 14, 2010
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It might not sound like it, but it is.

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You have been on MR for four years.
Didn't you consult this forum before purchasing a very expensive laptop?
There are tons of threads on the UI lag. I always advise folks to get the mba if they want a snappier UI.

I am not sure it is caused by the Iris gpu not being able to handle it, since it only shows on certain apps.
:apple: doesn't comment on it and I don't think it's a big deal, for me that is.
I'm not OP, I haven't bought a rMBP (yet). I joined MR when the iPhone 4 came out as that was my first Apple product bar an iPod Touch.

I wouldn't get the MBA, ever. Terrible screen on that so everyone says. Can't justify the price for the screen.
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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I'm not OP, I haven't bought a rMBP (yet). I joined MR when the iPhone 4 came out as that was my first Apple product bar an iPod Touch.
I wouldn't get the MBA, ever. Terrible screen on that so everyone says. Can't justify the price for the screen.
I mistook your post for his. The lower part of the post was adressed at him. My apologise.

Mba and rmbp are by far the best laptops on the market. People who call the screen on the mba terrible don't know what they are talking about.
 

TechZeke

macrumors 68020
Jul 29, 2012
2,361
1,969
Rialto, CA
I'm not OP, I haven't bought a rMBP (yet). I joined MR when the iPhone 4 came out as that was my first Apple product bar an iPod Touch.

I wouldn't get the MBA, ever. Terrible screen on that so everyone says. Can't justify the price for the screen.
They are over exaggerating. The Air has a nice screen. However, the retina display is VAST improvement. If you are still used to non-retina displays, the Air will be fine. Once you go retina, you can't go back.

Seriously, this forum would make you believe that you need 16GB of RAM to run Chrome, a dedicated GPU to play minecraft, and that any display other than retina will make you go blind.
 

Atomic Walrus

macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2012
878
425
Didn't Anandtech originally (2012 model review) conclude that the bottleneck was actually single-threaded CPU performance, not the GPU? Basically all of the UI pre-rendering work was being done by the CPU, leaving the GPU with nothing to do except render the finished frame (something it can definitely handle, even if you're talking about HD4000).

"Next-generation GPUs should do a better job of driving these ultra high resolution displays, but today it looks like our biggest bottlenecks are software and single threaded CPU performance. In every situation where UI frame rate drops significantly on the rMBP, the offending application usually ends up consuming 100% of a single CPU core. This is true in Safari, Mail and other applications where I notice drops in scrolling frame rate." -http://www.anandtech.com/show/6409/13inch-retina-macbook-pro-review/5

Mavericks improved this situation by moving more of the animation, scaling, etc. to the GPU, reducing the CPU load. I can't say how much more software improvement can be made in the future (and Anandtech never went back to address the state of this issue post-Mavericks).

What you need to do is look at the relative load on the CPU and GPU when the UI slows down. If the CPU is still the bottleneck then there's likely more that can moved to the GPU, however if the HD5100 is already running at capacity making software improvements falls to general optimization.

They are over exaggerating. The Air has a nice screen.
I disagree... The panels used in the MBA are, in my experience, bad even for TN panels. Maybe not compared to cheap Windows laptops, but compared to the TN panel monitors I've owned (including a 2010 17" MBP with a 1920x1200 TN panel) they're just low quality.
 

Sheza

macrumors 68000
Aug 14, 2010
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They are over exaggerating. The Air has a nice screen. However, the retina display is VAST improvement. If you are still used to non-retina displays, the Air will be fine. Once you go retina, you can't go back.

Seriously, this forum would make you believe that you need 16GB of RAM to run Chrome, a dedicated GPU to play minecraft, and that any display other than retina will make you go blind.
Oh I definitely don't need 16GB of RAM, but as I said I can't justify the price difference and I have seen the MBA in person and wasn't hugely impressed.
 

jennyp

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2007
464
67
Hang on - I was thinking of buying one of these ... but is this right, that we kind of "expect" this great notebook's UI to be all stuttery ? What am I missing here?
 

DJJAZZYJET

macrumors 6502
Jun 4, 2011
400
0
I see lag in a couple of spots, especially when scrolling down through Facebook or opening the apps utility tray.
On the whole its actually very smooth and impressive.

Im pretty sure Yosemite will have some updated graphics drivers and whatnot, something that will improve the graphics performance.

Right??
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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Im pretty sure Yosemite will have some updated graphics drivers and whatnot, something that will improve the graphics performance.

Right??
I have to disappoint you there. No fix for the scroll lag.

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Hang on - I was thinking of buying one of these ... but is this right, that we kind of "expect" this great notebook's UI to be all stuttery ? What am I missing here?
It's a known "issue". Please let's not blow this out of proportion.
I rather have the retina for photo editing and a bit of stutter with certain pages and apps than no retina at all.
 

Nr123*123

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2014
295
1,002
I really can't say I've noticed this on any of the rMBPs I've had. It all looks fine to me.

The only time the computer lagged between switching windows and scrolling was yesterday. I put that down to the battery being at 3% and getting ready to sleep.
 

KimHansenDK

macrumors 6502
Jul 29, 2011
363
39
Even on the MBA, that does not have to drive that many pixels, you see some lag when scrolling on facebook.

But shouldn't Yosemite improve the lag that sometimes happen when switching spaces/desktops and resizing windows etc?
 
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jennyp

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2007
464
67
It's a known "issue". Please let's not blow this out of proportion.
"Out of proportion" ? Why doesn't Apple increase the spec to take care of it? There's obviously at least one person here who's not happy with it.

I seem to remember Craig Federighi talking recently about a "buttery scrolling". OK that was supposed to apply to Yosemite, but I bet the OP still sees it on the new OS.

I guess it's all down to mercantile math.
 

DJJAZZYJET

macrumors 6502
Jun 4, 2011
400
0
I have to disappoint you there. No fix for the scroll lag.

----------

Isn't that a bit contradictory as to what mavericks did with the scrolling for retina macbook pros?

Scrolling lag isn't that bad anyway, and for what the laptop GPU has got to push out it does an impressive job. Im still sure it can be improved as I hear a lot about Apples negligence with updating graphics drivers.
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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There's no increase in spec on the GPU that would fix it?
some folks here reported less stutter with dgpu.
I believe that, like most issues, it's software related. Throwing specs at it is an expensive and unefficient temporary fix. :apple: traditionally focuses on the software part. Increasing specs to mask bad programming is Microsofts job. Just look at MS office ...
 

watchthisspace

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2010
617
30
Didn't Anandtech originally (2012 model review) conclude that the bottleneck was actually single-threaded CPU performance, not the GPU? Basically all of the UI pre-rendering work was being done by the CPU, leaving the GPU with nothing to do except render the finished frame (something it can definitely handle, even if you're talking about HD4000).

"Next-generation GPUs should do a better job of driving these ultra high resolution displays, but today it looks like our biggest bottlenecks are software and single threaded CPU performance. In every situation where UI frame rate drops significantly on the rMBP, the offending application usually ends up consuming 100% of a single CPU core. This is true in Safari, Mail and other applications where I notice drops in scrolling frame rate." -http://www.anandtech.com/show/6409/13inch-retina-macbook-pro-review/5

Mavericks improved this situation by moving more of the animation, scaling, etc. to the GPU, reducing the CPU load. I can't say how much more software improvement can be made in the future (and Anandtech never went back to address the state of this issue post-Mavericks).

What you need to do is look at the relative load on the CPU and GPU when the UI slows down. If the CPU is still the bottleneck then there's likely more that can moved to the GPU, however if the HD5100 is already running at capacity making software improvements falls to general optimization.



I disagree... The panels used in the MBA are, in my experience, bad even for TN panels. Maybe not compared to cheap Windows laptops, but compared to the TN panel monitors I've owned (including a 2010 17" MBP with a 1920x1200 TN panel) they're just low quality.
Wow, hard to think that my RMBP is 2 years old now.. Mavericks definitely helped cut the UI lag down, it's still persistent, but I put that down to the fact I notice it coming from FPS gaming.
 

UBS28

macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2012
1,016
319
Because increasing the specs doesn't take care of it.
It's a software issue and maybe they will be able to fix it.
My machine doesn't lag like that with the 750m. I have seen the lag on those rMBP machines in the Apple Store, was very easy to spot.
 

mr.bee

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2007
707
422
Brussels, belgium
I thought the lag was because of the low clock speed. Once you start doing the same UI action several times, it will up the clock speed and the UI lag dissapears.