The AnandTech MBP with Retina display review is UP!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by arctic, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68020

    ugahairydawgs

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    #2
    Thanks for the link. Love the reviews this guy pumps out.
     
  2. arctic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    arctic

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    Jun 18, 2008
    #3
    On the get-go, this has grabbed my attention:

    Something wicked this way comes!
     
  3. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

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    #4
    Another fantastic, thoughtful, and honest Anandtech review. I already agree with everything said in this review, but if I didn't it's an immensely strong argument, both for, and against, buying the RMBP right now. I've been loving my RMBP (running with ML is better!) but buyers should understand that Apple hit the ball so far out of the park it's going to take a while for the right fielder to catch up with it. This is not the machine for Type A personalities or non-early adopters. But it's time for everybody to mentally adapt because, as the review states, the era of the computer as sealed appliance is here.
     
  4. stevelam macrumors 65816

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    #5
  5. ppone, Jun 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012

    ppone macrumors regular

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    #6
    My Facebook just got slow. :)

    "To be quite honest, the hardware in the rMBP isn’t enough to deliver a consistently smooth experience across all applications. At 2880 x 1800 most interactions are smooth but things like zooming windows or scrolling on certain web pages is clearly sub-30fps. At the higher scaled resolutions, since the GPU has to render as much as 9.2MP, even UI performance can be sluggish. There’s simply nothing that can be done at this point - Apple is pushing the limits of the hardware we have available today, far beyond what any other OEM has done. Future iterations of the Retina Display MacBook Pro will have faster hardware with embedded DRAM that will help mitigate this problem. But there are other limitations: many elements of screen drawing are still done on the CPU, and as largely serial architectures their ability to scale performance with dramatically higher resolutions is limited."

    "The GPU has an easy time with its part of the process but the CPU’s workload is borderline too much for a single core to handle. Throw a more complex website at it and things get bad quickly. Facebook combines a lot of compressed images with text - every single image is decompressed on the CPU before being handed off to the GPU. Combine that with other elements that are processed on the CPU and you get a recipe for choppy scrolling.

    To quantify exactly what I was seeing I measured frame rate while scrolling as quickly as possible through my Facebook news feed in Safari on the rMBP as well as my 2011 15-inch High Res MacBook Pro. While last year’s MBP delivered anywhere from 46 - 60 fps during this test, the rMBP hovered around 20 fps (18 - 24 fps was the typical range)."

    "Remember at 2880 x 1800 there are simply more pixels to push and more work to be done by both the CPU and the GPU. It’s even worse in those applications that have higher quality assets, the CPU now has to decode images at 4x the resolution of what it’s used to. Future CPUs will take this added workload into account, but it’ll take time to get there.

    The good news is Mountain Lion provides some relief. At WWDC Apple mentioned the next version of Safari is ridiculously fast, but it wasn’t specific about why. It turns out that Safari leverages Core Animation in Mountain Lion and more GPU accelerated as a result. Facebook is still a challenge because of the mixture of CPU decoded images and a standard web page, but the experience is a bit better. Repeating the same test as above I measured anywhere from 20 - 30 fps while scrolling through Facebook on ML’s Safari."
     
  6. Tibits macrumors regular

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    #7
    Nah, Broadwell will be better.
     
  7. mobi macrumors 6502

    mobi

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    #8
    Great depth as always, I appreciate those extra noteworthy tid bits!
     
  8. corvus32, Jun 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012

    corvus32 macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    qft!
     
  9. mac1984user macrumors 6502a

    mac1984user

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    #10
    It wasn't too clear to me when he continued with the discussion whether the lagginess only came when the resolution was beyond what is considered 'optimal'. I doubt I'll be working in a resolution outside of what is recommended, but if Safari (etc) is still slow with that setting, that would be pretty disappointing.
     
  10. henrikrox macrumors 65816

    henrikrox

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    #11
    Wow the new nvidia gt650m really destroys the amd 6770m
     
  11. stevelam macrumors 65816

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    #12
    another unclear thing to me was that the article says theres not much that can be done and that its a hardware limitation, yet they say mountain lion significantly cleans up at least some of the lagginess.

    so will better software optimization clean it up more? or are we just gonna be stuck with that slight but noticeable lag all of the time? i guess no one can really say at this point except apple, but its a little offputting.
     
  12. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Skymont. FTW!!!
     
  13. Jazwire macrumors 6502a

    Jazwire

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    #14
    Awesome read!

    Anandtech's reviews are always incredible, it was nice to see the MBP Retina get so much praise.
     
  14. stevelam macrumors 65816

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    Nov 4, 2010
    #15
    oh im sure it will!

    but in this case its not really a symptom of "theres always going to be something better if you wait" but more like next-gen hardware is actually required for a smooth experience that todays hardware can't handle. it seems like thats the case with the RMBP.
     
  15. corvus32, Jun 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012

    corvus32 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Stop. Hold up. FAcebook is unscrollable?!

    I suggest everyone cancel their order, and wait for new FaceBook Pro's next year.
     
  16. ppone macrumors regular

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    Sep 1, 2011
    #17
    If Anand compared the 2012 MBP to rMBP, that would have been great, would like to see the performance differences between the two, with the same specs.

    I wonder how much of performance increase you can get without using the retina display.
     
  17. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #18
    i would imagine not having to power that display would result in a substantial performance increase.
     
  18. stevelam macrumors 65816

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    #19
    we get it. you bought one, are now worried that the lag issue is a reality and not just an overblown forum issue, and feel the need to try and make light of it.

    sorry but if it can't handle scrolling up and down smoothly, it simply isn't ready and i can't see that being a good thing for when you actually do real work on it.

    scrolling up and down a page shouldn't invoke 100% cpu usage on a single core. maybe this will be addressed via software, maybe not, but it still sucks right now and certainly sucks for early adopters like you, whether you want to admit that or not.
     
  19. leenak macrumors 68020

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    #20
    I think this answers the question for anyone who does long term, graphically intense applications. The rMBP will have a higher sustained performance. Overall, I think it is really a good review.
     
  20. cmChimera macrumors 68040

    cmChimera

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    Feb 12, 2010
    #21
    There seem to be a lot of satisfied customers here in the forums. I'll take my chances. Worst case scenario, I sell it next year when Haswell and a better gpu are used. I'm pretty sure it'll be fine though.
     
  21. lannisters4life macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Skyfall's where it's at
     
  22. magbarn macrumors 68000

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    #23
    Considering even with ML optimized scrolling he was only getting 20-30 fps vs the cmbp getting a solid 60 fps. No way I'm paying $3000 for a laggy machine that will drop >$1000 when Haswell comes out. Even the original run of the unibody MBP still get 60 fps in just regular web browsing.
    Folks it's only going to get worse as more websites become retina aware.
     
  23. leenak macrumors 68020

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #24
    It does sound like a mixture of software and design. The interesting part though is it performs better for 'real' applications and games. I think most early adopters would be ok with Facebook not being optimized if it means that their games, video and photo work aren't impacted.

    If they aren't, then returning it and waiting a couple years is an option.
     
  24. surjavarman macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 24, 2007
    #25
    What isn't clear form the reviews is if ML will solve all performance related issues or if do we need haswell for that?
     

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