What are the design limitations that keep Apple from having a dedicated GPU in MBP 13

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mgartner0622, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #1
    I was just wondering, What exactly keeps Apple from putting a Dedicated GPU in the 13"? The only reason I bought the 15" was because of the GPU, otherwise, I loved my 13". I've read about the Nvidia/Intel Lawsuit, and how there has to be a Sandy Bridge Intel GPU in addition to another graphics card, but, I've read that the Intel CPU and GPU will be combined, so doesn't that free up space on the logic board? That is, enough space to get a dedicated card where the old 320m used to be?
    Thank you
     
  2. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #2
  3. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #3
    Also to get people to buy the 15" model...

    I'm guessing there is often a correlation b/t users who need discrete gfx options as well as needing a larger display/high res.
     
  4. mgartner0622 thread starter macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #4
    Thank you for the Info iLog.Genius,
    @aznguyen316, what would you think if they were to push the resolution to 1440x900 for the 13", like the 13" Air?
     
  5. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #5
    Well personally, I would love that. I just recently sold my MBP13" 2010 and a major contributing factor was assuming that the next iteration of 13" MBP would have the res seen in the MBA. I was already skeptical of purchasing the MBP 13" for it's screen resolution which I found a bit low, but after seeing the MBA's screen and how well it worked in the 13" I took the chance to sell my Pro in hopes of seeing the 1440x900 in the next refresh or just go after a 15". I'm leaning toward 15" anyway b/c I long for some sort of discrete graphics, although the 320m was a VERY solid performer.
     
  6. JonTa macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #7
    Apple should stop pushing users with their intentions. If the 13" is in the same line, PRO laptop, they should offer a model, higher end of 13", with discrete graphics. I for one, love the 13" form factor and seeing myself getting 27" cinema display I would love to have decent gfx and not the intel one. Its the same as they did with 2008 alu Macbook where they left out the FW port and have put it back in 2009 13"MBP after many PRO users demand it.

    I would say, the PRO line should have top components no matter the screen size and form factor. The white MB should be the entry level without discrete gfx.
     
  7. Wattser93 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    #8
    I currently own a 13" MBP and one of the things that prevented me from getting a 13" MBA is that terrible color gamut on the screen, it just looks "bland".

    If they took the 13" and gave it a 1680x1050 AG screen I'd be all over it assuming Lion has resolution independence.

    I think Apple didn't do discrete with the current 13" MBP for a few reasons:
    1. Cost, the 13" MBP in an entry level Mac, they want to keep it affordable
    2. Logic board would have to be redesigned, would cost Apple money for R&D
    3. Apple believes in a "streamlined" product line, if they added discrete, it would bump up the cost and less people would buy them, by sticking with the 320M they gave people the option of low cost with the 13" or more power with the 15"
     
  8. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #9
    Except there has been nowhere near the response on the GPU issue as there was on the Firewire issue.
     
  9. JonTa macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #10
    Indeed, but current 13" MBP still has 320m gfx that is superior to the SB IGP, so if they go only SB IGP on refreshed 13" that will be a step backward. I will take i3 with discrete gfx over i5 or i7 with on die IGP anyday.
     
  10. vectus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    #11
    The Sandy Bridge IGP will be on par with the 320m. It actually performs better than the 320m at higher resolutions.

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-320M.28701.0.html

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-3000.37948.0.html

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4084/intels-sandy-bridge-upheaval-in-the-mobile-landscape/5
     
  11. mgartner0622 thread starter macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #12

    Well, if that's the case, then I'd be plenty happy with a 13" and the i3 or i5...
    What some others said about the cost makes sense, but i'm sure there's a low cost solution somewhere, I don't know about anyone else, but I'd be happy with a 330m in the MBP 13".
     
  12. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Location:
    Washington State
    #13
    I agree here. It may make the pro unaffordable to me but I'd like at least the chance to have a 13" that is as powerful as bigger laptops but without the size. Cause if I had the money, that's what I'd pick. It would also differentiate the 13" MBP from the 13" MB a lot better. For now it seems there is so little difference the biggest reason to pick the MBP is you like the casing (aluminum, backlit keyboard, black border) over the the white plastic of the MB. Everything else different is so small it is not going to make a big difference to people (save maybe the extra port - the firewire port).

    And I say this as some one who did pay the extra cause she liked the form factor better of the MBP. A change like that may relegate me back to the MB (blech), but I'd still like there to be a chance that if I saved my money or got a better job I could actually get the computer I really want (Though I will say my 2010 MBP at least addresses the biggest improvements I wanted over my 2007 MB).

    Granted, I'll change my mind if it significantly affects battery life in a negative way. I really really like having the good battery life (I wish it actually was 10 hours like they claim. I find even with word and safari on half brightness like they claim their tests were it's more like 7.5).
     
  13. mgartner0622 thread starter macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #14
    I'd have to agree as well.
    Plus, they could always use the same graphics card they do in the 15", sans memory.
    For instance, the 13" gets 256MB, the 15" 512MB, and then the 17" 1GB.
    That way, people could still be coerced into spending extra money to get the 15". And, we already know 256MB is perfect for 1440x900, so that's not a problem.
    The white MacBook is not going away IMO, too many people still buy them, including most of the education market. Ideally, if I were deciding prices, i'd price the White MacBook at $799 with a i3, and SB Graphics, and then have the MBP's prices stay where they are.
     
  14. macmac88 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    #15
    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/04/why-the-13-macbook-pro-didnt-get-a-core-i5-upgrade.ars

    The size issues... Even though they settled, Nvidia also said it has no intentions of building a chipset for the Intel cpus. So that would mean that Apple would have to use another chip, and they wouldn't have room. If they removed the ODD they could easily fit in the chip, so that may be a possibility.

    They already use all the space they have....
    [​IMG]
     
  15. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #16
    ...

    exactly as that picture shows there isnt room for anything else in the 13" without either
    1) losing the optical drive
    2) Using flash instead of a standard HDD
    3) going to a smaller battery

    I personally think they will switch the pro to flash to add a GPU, then the optical drive will be optional as it is in the mac mini vs mac mini server where they will allow you to either get the disc drive in the standard config or pay more to get a hard disk in its place.
     
  16. mgartner0622 thread starter macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #17
    Yes, that would make sense.
    Even though Apple loves doing things like removing still used devices (The one that comes to mind, at least for me, is a Floppy Drive in the iMac G3, and that was a success)
    A CTO Option 13" would be successful in this regard, IMO. Say, Standard config is the intel i Series processor with the Sandy Bridge GPU, and then CTO is a 128, 256, or 512GB Flash drive, with Dedicated GPU.
    They could also do the same thing with a CTO Optical drive removal, however I, like i'm sure many other users, still use my optical drive, although with the
    Mac App Store, and many things (iWork and iLife) available for download through the store, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
    I also really hope we see 500GB Standard, 640GB Upper model 13" with 750Gb or 1TB HDD's in the 15" and 17"
    250GB is old stuff, I mean my 2.4GHz Black MacBook from Feb '08 has a stock 250GB.
    For what you're paying, 320 in the 2.4GHz 15" also isn't that great ether, and it seems to be an ideal time to offer SSD's for a cheaper price than Apple currently is.
     
  17. fibrizo macrumors 6502

    fibrizo

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    #18

    Probably not so much. You do realize they are comparing a quad core second gen core i processor as well right?

    Also from the same article as you actually bump up the rendering detail from say lowest possible settings to settings you might want to play with, even the date core2 + 320m starts to pull ahead.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4084/intels-sandy-bridge-upheaval-in-the-mobile-landscape/6

    This is the best IGP intel has ever made, but then again, they've only made crap so far, so it wasn't such a high bar to shoot for.

    I think to be honest, Sandybridge IGP is probably closer to ~80% of the gpu performance but the processor is going to be like 80% faster, which will make up quite a bit. But in terms of games, it's probably a slight step back. In terms of everything else, a big leap forward.
     
  18. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #19
    ^ true the benchmarks are misleading bc at low settings the CPU is playing a huge role in which the sb destroys a C2D. When u bump it to mediums, where they actually use decent graphical rendering the 320m pulls ahead. The igp on the sb chip is good but definitely not better than the 320m which today is not good enough IMO. There needs to be some discrete action in the 13" at least or an option.
     
  19. skidmarc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    #20
    Losing the optical drives and smaller battery seem the only logical choices.

    By using flash instead of an HDD, you're locking out a lot people, storage capacity drops, upgrades (through Apple or other) will cost an arm & a leg (for the time being anyway). Or they coud use a base flash module for the OS and any future program files, and add a second SSD/HDD to where the ODD would be (like mentioned above). This may present a problem for users as well by making them relocate or direct a program to use the second drive for say scratch disc space.

    They could offer an external ODD like that of the MBA.

    Batter-wise, I don't know how much smaller the battery could be made to shave an hour (or two) off of total run...or if that would even be acceptable
     
  20. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #21
    How about a logic board redesign? This same topic came up when there was no Arrandale in the 13" MBP last spring. A logic board redesign could accommodate a dedicated GPU in the 13" chasis, but that redesign would be costly, and cut into Apple's razor thin profit margins :rolleyes: They'd also have to redesign the internals to accommodate for the extra heat.

    It all boils down to profit, and if people are buying the laptop despite its lack of dedicated graphics, Apple doesn't really care. Hell, the same can be said for any company, but Apple tends to have much higher profit margins than most.
     

Share This Page