rMBP with Iris or Nvidia ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ApoorvPrem, Mar 5, 2015.

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  1. ApoorvPrem, Mar 5, 2015
    Last edited by Mato-11: Mar 6, 2015

    ApoorvPrem macrumors regular

    ApoorvPrem

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    India
    #1
    I am heavily confused between the Iris Pro and the Nvidia models.

    In the meanwhile I read many posts - Like the radeongate and the famous issues with Nvidia gpu too - overheating and display freezing. So at the end I though of sticking with Iris Pro Model. But I have a question - What if I get the Nvidia model and the gfx app that allows to forcefully use one of the GPUs? That should be cool right ? Use Iris Pro almost all the time and only during gaming shift to Nvidia. I have no plans of using bootcamp/windows. Mac Os all the way.

    Hopefully by doing this I can prolong life of my mac. :roll eyes: :apple::apple:

    .....
    by dusk from here
    I tried to put in all the pros and cons that came to mind. Feel free to edit errors or rephrase or add points.

    Benefits Iris Pro only model
    + lowest power use: system powers down based on load, the dGPU would still stay active even if iPhoto is open in the background just sitting there
    + better power efficiency for presentation use. External always triggers dGPU even if you only show slides
    + Quicksync is available in Windows for ultra fast video encoding with Handbrake, it is simply not possible to enable Iris Pro in Windows natively and quicksync does not work in a VM
    + better performance in OpenCL, GPGPU situations
    Downsides Iris Pro only model
    - lower performance due to worse drivers for gaming
    - under medium to high load Iris Pro is often less efficient than the 750M

    Benefits dGPU option
    + better gaming performance but only about 30% unless the Intel driver has serious problems
    + power efficiency under load
    + still some Cuda code paths that offer extra performance but this is dying out and evidence of benefits is scarce
    Downsides dGPU option
    - everything under + Iris Pro only option
    - the 750M is extremely outdated. Iris Pro and 750M are almost equal in performance (0-30% diff), 850M is twice as fast (which is much more than the usual 30-40% a new generation usually offers) and the 950M is still 20% faster both are available in current Windows notebooks. Just don't buy a 15" MBP currently if the Iris Pro only option does not appeal to you. It is horrible value for the price.
    - there have been replacement programs for various troublesome dGPU models in the past. Most troublesome 8600M due to Nvidia fault, 6750M, 650M and some current due to Apple production issues.

    What aren't issues?
    Heat: Without load the 750M is cool enough never to pose a problem, with load the dGPU is often even cooler because the heat is spread over two chips. Also the TDP of the 750M is fairly low and it steals TDP just like Iris Pro form the CPU cores. With no GPU load the 2.3Ghz CPU runs at 2.8-2.9Ghz with normal room temp after a heat up period. When either GPU is at a higher load the CPU speed drops until it runs at only 2.3Ghz. Regardless which GPU is active, both result in the same behavior. Also note that at 3Ghz TDP is 40W while at 2.3 Ghz it may only be 18W for the CPU cores. TDP climbs quickly around 3Ghz. The cooling system in the MBP is not built to support the full 47W of the CPU while the 750M is at full load (about 25W).

    ___________________________

    By Apoorv
    Correct - As you said - Cool if you are getting the Iris Pro Model otherwise the dGpu is just not worth it.

    And my bad but what does TDP mean ?
    thermal design power or the way I used it just the heat dissipation in W
     
  2. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #2
    They reprogrammed the auto gpu switching, so it only activates for me when gaming. You shouldn't need to worry about it, and the gpu switcher program still works too. Anyhow, 1.5 years in and no gpu problems for me.
     
  3. ApoorvPrem thread starter macrumors regular

    ApoorvPrem

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    India
    #3
    Any regrets ? Like ANY ? Any reason you would prefer the Iris over the Graphics card ? I am a student - I want this to last. I am not too much into gaming but since I live in India I just have two options

    2.2 i7/256gb SSD/Iris Pro

    2.5 i7/512gb SSD/Nvidia.


    I don't care for the GPU but this gets me the better HD. Sadly we can't configure here in India.:(
     
  4. Storaro macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #4
    Sorry, wrong thread, cannot find the delete button. :(
     
  5. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #5
    No regrets in OSX. The GPU literally never enables unless I would want it to anyway, but there could be some program you use that I don't. In bootcamp, the GPU is on 100% of the time. It is annoying that I can't switch over to the intel gpu if I'm just using office, even if I had to reboot in order to do so. But, I'm using bootcamp less and less these days.
     
  6. fabriciom macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Madrid, España
    #6

    Do you happen to know if this is the case with vmware and win8.1?

    -Thanks
     
  7. dmccloud macrumors 6502a

    dmccloud

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    Anchorage, AK
    #7
    Doesn't matter how you are running Windows on the machine, the system will use the dedicated GPU all the time.
     
  8. kwokaaron macrumors 6502a

    kwokaaron

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    #8
    Watching videos on Dailymotion always triggers the nvidia card for me, which is annoying as hell.
     
  9. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #9
    No idea about vmware, but virtualbox with windows 7 Ultimate and all the 3D drivers installed does not enable the dGPU.

    ----------

    I never use dailymotion, but I just gave it a shot. Yes, it does enable the dgpu, but only during the time you are watching a video. Youtube doesn't though, so I have no idea why this is the case. Ironically, I just also tried dailymotion in a VM, and it doesn't enable the dGPU.
     
  10. SamB11 macrumors member

    SamB11

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    Location:
    Cornwall
    #10
    I have the Iris Pro in my Mac that I use for Uni. Not had any regret as of yet for not splashing the cash for the dedicated GPU. I run bootcamp with various CAD Packages and have zero issues. The only thing that strains the Iris Pro is when doing video editing in Premiere Pro. And when using Netflix the fans kick in but I think thats a normal Mac thing.
     
  11. vbedia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2014
    #11
    That's a pity, in bootcamp I would've appreciated using nVidia Optimus; however there is none. Most of my workload is under OS X though, except for a very few things when I have to use Excel on Windows.

    The times I run my rMBP on bootcamp mode are essentially for gaming, so it is not a problem that the GPU kicks in.
     
  12. steveyo macrumors regular

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    Feb 2, 2015
  13. ApoorvPrem thread starter macrumors regular

    ApoorvPrem

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
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    India
    #13
    Why do you say so?
    :eek:
     
  14. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #14
    Having seen Apple's previous track record with dGPUs (2008 NVIDIAgate, 2010 NVIDIAgate, 2011 Radeongate and 2012 NVIDIAgate), Apple may be ditching it altogether.

    Besides, Intel is really upping their game with iGPUs.
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #15
    Because for most users, they don't need a dGPU, and its gotten expensive for apple, i.e., their repair program. They seem to have an awful track record with dGPUs. One thing is for sure, my next MBP will only be iGPU
     
  16. Queen6, Mar 6, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
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    #16
    OP`s already had the answer previously in other threads. The MacBook Pro with dGPU brings both benefit and potential risk of premature failure, this is historically obvious. Apple are making too many sacrifices for the sake of form over function. Literally model after model of the MacBook Pro with dGPU has issue. With Apple now being forced to extend warranty cover on the dGPU for the 15" MBP from early 2011 up to early 2013 until February 2016 or three years whichever is longest. This alone taken in isolation speaks volumes...

    Apple has stated in the past that iGPU is their preference. This clearly makes sense given the thermal design power (TDP) of current portable discrete GPU`s, and the ever shrinking thermal envelope of the MacBook Pro.

    Bottom line is; if you need the dGPU for work purpose etc. then it makes sense as the cost of the machine will be rapidly recovered. If you don't need the dGPU avoid it, as there is a good chance it will fail after 2-3 years of use. If you want to game buy a console or build a cheap gaming PC, as gaming on the MBPr is an expensive proposition.

    If you look at it like this there should be no confusion. As in the OP`s case there is no option for Apple`s increased internal storage, then you go with a third party such as a JetDrive, Nifty Mini Drive and add 128Gb to the system, a wireless SanDisk Media Drive is another, 64Gb onboard with the option to expend by SD card up to 128Gb, possibly 256GB or the venerable USB 3.0 external drive.

    I have owned the MBP since the first model. So far I have been very lucky, equally from day one the limitations of the systems cooling versus the CPU/dGPU TDP was obvious, requiring the Notebook to be elevated and a third party application employed to ensure the fans spool up far sooner and more aggressively. Apple`s obsession of "Thin, Light & Quiet" results in portables that run overly hot. On the MBPr the fans start to spool up once CPU Core temp approaches 90C (194F) which is ridiculous, same applies for the dGPU. This rapid heating and cooling cycle induces Thermal Shock over time the dGPU breaks down internally and fails.

    Even if your covered by Apple, they will only replace a failed Logic Board with a refurbished one, which will likely fail very rapidly once stressed, leaving you in the same position. Nor will Apple cover you in all cases, especially in the case of extended warranty for the dGPU. All my future MBP`s MacBook Pro`s will be iGPU only, as is my latest. Nor will Apple continue to offer the dGPU given the cost of repair and bad press it generates.

    The MackBook Pro with dGPU should be considered a "buyer beware" product and avoided by those who don't absolutely require the additional hardware...

    Q-6
     
  17. sachin234000 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Location:
    India
    #17
    Definitely go with Iris pro if you want peace of mind.

    MacBooks with dedicated graphic card has a long history of failing. I got the Iris Pro model and it completely blows away the 2012 GT650m version, no over-heating, no random shutdown, no freezing, no fan noise...literally nothing.
    My 2012 MBPr graphic card almost failed so finally purchased Iris Pro model and faced no problem since then.
    Also Iris pro handels graphic intensive applications just fine. In our country we cannot customise it otherwise 512SSD with Iris pro would have been the best option IMO.
     
  18. ApoorvPrem thread starter macrumors regular

    ApoorvPrem

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    India
    #18
    Absolutely true. Also I had made my decision on your views. I just thought that if I could make the dGpu run only when I need it I could prolong the life. Expensive investment so gave it one last thought.:rolleyes:
     
  19. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #19
    Unfortunately it`s not possible to switch GPU`s on demand manually, it`s been tried and in general resulted in more problems than it was worth.

    I definitely appreciate your concerns regarding storage, as I have been in the same situation in the past, and can only say that there are extensive options available a separate post or search will reveal all.

    Q-6
     
  20. fabriciom macrumors 6502

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    Feb 17, 2008
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    Madrid, España
    #20
    Is there an app (windows and/or osx) to force the usage of one or the other?
     
  21. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #21
    When you open up an app that requires more GPU power it will switch to using the dGPU. So basically any somewhat GPU-intensive app.
     
  22. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Location:
    south
    #22
    a while ago i did some testing by running WOW @ 1280x800 on the iGPU and dGPU.

    dGPU runs WAY cooler. probably because it wasn't being stressed.
     
  23. fabriciom macrumors 6502

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    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Madrid, España
    #23
    What I meant was there a way to switch one off and the other on permanently.
     
  24. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #24
    Yep.

    gfxcardstatus app allows you to manually switch them, and also alerts you when the dGPU turns on/off.

    Anyway, coming from the 650M to the 2014 15" Iris Pro - very happy to NOT have a dGPU!!! Piece of mind is much better, and for light gaming (civ 5 and a few others) Iris Pro does very well.
     
  25. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #25
    Nope, you need to read the Dev`s site in detail, if the dGPU is called for by an application it will switch irrespective of gfxCardStatus installed or not. the Dev previously attempted to stop the switching, it resulted in havoc with a lot of applications, subsequently he removed the functionality from gfxCardStatus...

    Q-6
     
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