Test drove a haswell 13" rMBP - not appreciably different from last year's

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by CausticPuppy, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    My local Apple Store had them in stock so I swung by during lunch to have a looksie.

    Just wanted to see if the Iris Graphics made the UI any smoother-- and it looked pretty much identical to my current base rMBP from last year.

    Particularly, in scaled resolutions, the Mission Control animation was still a bit choppy. This is something that got WORSE on my own Macbook Pro after the Mavericks upgrade. Native resolution seems better on my laptop, and maybe incrementally better on the Haswell version, but something broken in Mavericks with regard to how scaled resolution is handled. Native res looked fine but no better than my current model which is also smooth.

    Scrolling in Safari seemed to be unchanged-- which is fine, it's already very smooth on my current rMBP.

    The Verge was still choppy in scrolling even on the Haswell model. No different from mine-- I think this is also worse under Mavericks than Mountain Lion.

    The model I test drove was the base 2.4GHz i5 with 8GB memory, and Iris Graphics with 1024MB. My current machine is last year's base 2.5GHz i5 with the 128GB SSD.

    After the test drive I decided have no reason to upgrade yet. It seemed the same weight and thickness as my current model, though if I had them back-to-back I would notice the incremental difference.

    Cliff's Notes: 13" Haswell rMBP looks pretty much identical to the previous gen as far as UI smoothness; meaning that any remaining issues are certainly SOFTWARE related and not hardware. The fact that Mavericks performs worse than Mountain Lion in scaled resolutions is a pretty big deal, which presumably can be fixed-- and having a faster GPU doesn't help at all.

    BTW I was also going to test a 15" model, but there was only one that didn't have somebody already using it-- and it had a dead SSD. Whoops!
  2. JSalig macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2010
    I have the same configuration you tested. There is definitelly some UI choppiness going on when scaled to 1680 x1050. I find it to be pretty slight but my system actually froze once. Don't know if it was related to the res change. 1440 x 900 is really smooth though. Seems to be the sweet spot for my pro.
  3. dmk1974 macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2008
    I too was at the local Apple Store at lunch time and played around with the new 13" rMBP. Theirs on display all had 8 GB RAM (not the base 4 GB models).

    Maybe their internet connection wasn't top notch, but loading websites in Safari was not any faster than I remember compared to the 2012 13" rMBP that I had tried out for a while. UI transitions were possibly a hair faster than the 2012, but not as fast as the 2013 13" MacBook Air. I also tested them at 1440x900 and 1680x1050.

    I'm sure Mavericks plays into this to some extent. I have not tried a 2012 13" rMBP with Mav yet.
  4. FrozenDarkness macrumors 65816

    Mar 21, 2009
    i think partially because safari is slow as heck, try going with chrome
  5. justin216 macrumors 6502


    Mar 31, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    If I recall, and I may be wrong, but when Retina screens first started showing up, there was some strange scaling logic going on. Like, it was rendering it in Retina, then scaled the Retina to the selected resolution, yielding a performance hit due to the same pixels being rendered multiple times for a single frame.

    Again, I could be wrong, but I remember that being a "thing". I recall testing 1920x1200 on my 2012 rMBP, and it was laggy -- change to 2880x1800 / Native, and it was fairly smooth again.
  6. nealh macrumors 6502

    Jul 20, 2010
    Hmm, safari does seem bad but I will need to test chrome now
  7. johnnylarue macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2013
    I suspect the only appreciable difference you'd see in the real world between this and the prev. 13" rMBP would be with games/3D graphics stuff, since the GPU really is the most significantly upgraded component in that machine--and arguably the most significantly upgraded component in the entire rMBP lineup, for that matter.

    For the rest, noticing a 10% performance bump would pretty much require a stop watch, or an incredible world-class orchestra conductor's internal metronome, at the very least.
  8. CausticPuppy thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    Ugh, Chrome sucks on my rMBP. Safari is the fastest browser on retina compared to chrome and firefox by my usage.

    Yeah, there's no doubt the benchmarks would be faster. But I was only looking at the UI lag, since that seems to be blamed on the GPU. Right now the Haswell models are just as laggy as the last generation in scaled resolutions, but it appears to be due to some changes in Mavericks.

    I'll put it this way, in 1680x1050 mode, my 2012 rMBP-13 was smoother with window animations in Mountain Lion than the new Haswell model is with Mavericks. Mavericks really slowed it down-- it actually reminds me of the first Mountain Lion release as far as choppiness.

    On the plus side, it should be something that can be fixed in a patch release.
  9. FrozenDarkness macrumors 65816

    Mar 21, 2009
    i dono what's up but safari is backbreakingly slow on my new 13" it's so bad
  10. CausticPuppy thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    That's weird... on most sites Safari is liquid smooth for me.
    Exceptions are theverge.com which seems worse under Mavericks than under ML.

    But, I blame the site-- as much as I like the content, their site is just an absolute mess.
  11. JSalig macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2010
    Both safari and chrome are pretty fast on my rMBP. Chrome seems to be much quicker though, especially when it comes to loading images. What I don't like about safari is that I get blank screen flashes when I scroll down too quickly. Kinda similar to what I used to experience with my ipads.
  12. phero macrumors member

    May 3, 2013
    So the "best for retina" setting always has smooth UI animation framerates on the 13 inch haswell? No drops whatsoever (mission control or switching between fullscreen apps)?
  13. Vanilla35 macrumors 68030


    Apr 11, 2013
    Washington D.C.
    No, it's just a bit better than the other resolutions. Mission control has lag across all Mac's pretty much. And apparently the lag is still real, and in some cases worse in Mavericks. WTF Apple! I was surely hoping Mavericks would finally be the fix :mad:
  14. phero macrumors member

    May 3, 2013
    By "across all Mac's" you mean all retinas? Because I never noticed mission control lag on the 2013 MBA, always smooth framerates on that machine.
  15. CausticPuppy thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012
    FWIW the UI animations are a bit stuttery on my Mac Mini driving a dell 27" monitor. So it's not retina-specific. Granted I only have an HD3000 GPU in this machine though, but it's still not as smooth as Mountain Lion.

    The good news is that this is the only complaint I have about Mavericks so far.
  16. vpro macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2012
    Mine is the 2.8Ghz i7 with 16GB ram and 1TB pci-flash and it is a lean mean working blazing a machine. For the road, plane and busses. But still not as smooth and zippy as my late 2011 17" MBP maxed out 2.5GHz monster. There hasn't been any notebook that I have test driven over the last few years that really comes close to the performance of that monster I must admit. I'm happy that I did all those upgrades ^_^ But yah, my 13" 2.8Ghz i7 retinaMacBook I just got yesterday delivered to my door step, super wicked fast for sure. But not liking Mavericks at all, I installed Lion, today, running even faster and smoother, cooler than with Mav. Funny that.
  17. Vanilla35 macrumors 68030


    Apr 11, 2013
    Washington D.C.
    Yeah my b, I always forget about MBA's. Also cMBP's have no problem that I have heard of


  18. iosuser, Oct 24, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013

    iosuser macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2012
    I updated to Mavericks as soon as it became available on my 2012 13" rMBP. Everything is more responsive, especially noticeable in Safari, websites just pop open faster. Scrolling in theverge.com is way better. Out of curiosity I went to the Apple store to try the Haswell version myself. I agree the difference in smoothness is not that noticeable, after my Ivy Bridge 13" rMBP was upgraded to Mavericks. But I bought the Haswell anyway, went with the 8GB/256GB config.

    Edit: just got done setting up Safari with my usual pages. the 2012 seriously lagged when resize the Safari window on my Yahoo page (MUCH worse than scrolling in theverge.com - I'm talking like half a second for the screen to catch up. It is hugely improved with the 2013.
  19. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    I am debating between 2012 15" and 2013 13". The deciding factor could be the difference in gaming performance as the price difference is only $170.

    So how slower Iris is compared to 650m?
  20. AirThis macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2012
    You're abandonning your beloved 17" mbp. What's the world coming to? :D
  21. Chrsanthny5 macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2013
    May I ask why you don't like Mavericks? I'm seeing some love it saying it's tons smoother, and some not liking it for jitters or w/e.
  22. vpro macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2012
    *Hehehehehee* no silly. I still use it to master/mix/produce my albums and other artists in the studios. Now I run around more with the latest 13"rMB because it feels like a diary now.. *Shhhhhhhhhh* ^_^


    Hi. I am going to give it some more time to improve for sure. Lion is just really, really still so wonderful, smooth and zippy for all my needs. These newer OS's are just really sluggish and glitchy - especially with safari. There are also way - way too many add-on apps included with Mavrks that I really couldn't care less for, so I have shut them all down, which really helps a bit and reduces a lot of ram use I also noticed. I love optimizing my systems to suit my efficiency needs. At least it isn't like the MS Windows platforms, ick, they have all sorts of junk apps included and sometimes you can't even shut them down - always running in the background jamming everything up!

  23. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    haswell is all about battery life.

    if you have an ivy bridge machine, performance wont be a massive change. battery will though.
  24. Moshe1010 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    It's all software related, and Verge is one, giant, crappy website. Having lag at this website, has nothing to do with rMBP. On my rMBP 15" Mid 2012, I also have lag on Verge, and if you look at its CSS, you would understand that it's just one big failure in terms of coding.
  25. nbevans macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2013
    For what it's worth I just tested theverge.com on IE11 and Chrome on Win8.1 and they both exhibit lag, especially Chrome. I'm surprised by IE11 as that, traditionally, has the smoothest scrolling and surfing experience of any browser because it's massively GPU-accelerated. It's certainly far better than Chrome's attempt but still isn't quite perfect. I'm testing on an HP Elitebook 2570p.

    Verge must be terribly designed as a website because I've never noticed lag this bad on other sites.

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