Which MBP for Graphic/Video?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dOOsi7, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. dOOsi7 macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2010
    Currently using MacPro 3,1 (Quad Core 2.8, 16gb RAM, 10.8) for Adobe CC suite (photo/publishing/design/effects), FCPX(HD footages), and many other small apps. Lagging in many areas, but it's been a great work-horse desktop for many years. Would love to get a new MBP for next setup. I'm hoping that MBP can speed up some daily processing tasks when working with multi-layered PSD files, or FCP rendering, or in general working with Adobe CC.

    Question: Will either top-end 13" or low-end 15" MBP (both with max RAM) be a good replacement for current MacPro? Or, should I just go with top-end 15" MBP for Iris-Pro card?
  2. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2014
    These days, all video editing and graphic apps are moving towards GPU utilization. So the Iris Pro is not going to be acceptable for that.

    Don't even bother with the 13", its a dual core. The base model 15" is crippled because it doesn't have the nvidia graphics. The high end 15" is the only option.
  3. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Your only option is the high end 15" rMBP with GT 750M.

    A dual-core processor is unacceptable. The lack of a dGPU is also unacceptable.
  4. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    What he said.

    If you don't want to get the top end rMBP for cost reasons, you'd be better off getting one of the higher spec iMacs. You need discreet gpu, max ram, and the processors/form factor of the 15

    I did notice the refurb store has one model in stock that's appropriate
  5. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Any 15" MBP, either with or without the dGPU, will be absolutely sufficient for the task, unless you work with very high resolutions (4K). In the later case, the dGPU might be an improvement. Iris Pro is faster than 750M in general purpose computation scenarios, the 750M only beats it in simple computations with large amount sod data (e.g. where memory bandwidth becomes more important‚) — as, for example, simple effects on very large images.
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    I also forgot to mention that both Iris Pro-only and Iris Pro + 750M models cost exactly the same when both are configured to at least 2.3/16/512.
  7. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    if you are working with video, trust me, get the discrete gpu. As noted below, with max ram and 2.3 it doesn't change pricing. You will want the 2.3 over the 2 if you work with video, as well.

    Buying a Oct 13 release or newer means you have thunderbolt 2, which will drive a 4k monitor at 60hz, and will give you the bandwith for video production (otherwise you wouldn't notice the difference).
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Since you mentioned the pro apps, such as FCP, I'd also recommend the dGPU equipped MBP. You'll want the extra horsepower to be sure
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I trust only numbers :p

    Let's look at this benchmark: http://www.fcp.co/forum/hardware/18250-brucex-try-this-new-final-cut-pro-x-benchmark

    This was the only one I was able to find on the topic. In the end, they show that the 750M is around 2x faster than the Iris Pro. BUT! To show this, they have to use a ridiculous video setup with image size of 5120x2700 pixels! This is exactly what I wrote before: the 750M will be clearly faster in a bandwidth-limited scenario.

    The same thread also states that for a 'normal' video, both 750M and Iris Pro are identical.

    My point here is this: if you are on tight budget AND do not work with massive projects, the base 15" rMBP won't be much slower for you than the high-end one with the dGPU. I have assumed that the OP is concerned about the budget, based on how the question was asked.

    I absolutely agree with all of you that if the budget is not a concern, a high-end rMBP with the dGPU is the way to go. Especially for a professional who generates revenue out of their time.
  10. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    You're assuming only Final Cut use for what, dv and sd video?

    And I don't know what you are defining as "normal video", but increasingly, broadcasters and camera manufacturers are moving towards 4k formats.

    My point remains. If you are working with video, and especially if you are working with video for money, then do not get the integrated gpu macbook pro.

    Adobe Premiere, Adobe AfterEffects, Davinci Resolve grading, all will benefit from the 750m. Plus, if you want to drive an external monitor (and what editor doesn't), you will benefit from the discreet graphics.

    If budget is a concern, then move towards a desktop where you will get much better performance/dollar ratio, rather than underpower your sole computer for this work

    You might "only trust the numbers", but I've worked for money with video and film on macs for nearly 20 years, since the first Avid NLE come along, for broadcast television, cable and network. I trust my experience
  11. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    It is certainly not my intention to doubt you experience. And I have certainly no doubt that you have much more if it than I do, as I have never edited a video in my life.

    Still, I know something about computers and I know that performance is quantifiable. I have so far seen no benchmark that would show the superiority of the dGPU below the 4K resolution (again, for 4K I agree with you). Not to mention that the Iris Pro is actually faster, at least as far as computing power is concerned. Did you actually have a chance to try the Iris Pro and the 750m side by side? If you did, and you can confirm that the 750m is faster, then I will happily admit that I am wrong on this one.
  12. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    the benchmarks are the benchmarks, but how the software uses that hardware in real life is something else. CUDA and Open GL are factors in Adobe CSS and Resolve. The way the software is written to use the available hardware makes a difference, i.e. FinalCut is the only one moving towards actually using the dual GPU world of the new Mac Pro so far, though other apps like Adobe Premiere and AfterEffects will follow dumping more work onto the GPU.

    I don't care enough to compare, but I'm sure if you did put these two machines side by side and, working with HD video, in various resolutions up to uncompressed HD, and either rendered effects, rendered video, or drove an external display you would see a difference.

    not to mention the default integrated only MBP comes with only a 256g ssd and 8g ram. By the time you add those upgrades, there is not really a financial savings.

    As I said, for graphics/editing work, he'd be much better off spending even less and getting a high end iMac. He could have up to a 3.5ghz cpu, which believe me, he would notice a huge benefit for doing this work, for nearly the same amount of money.
  13. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    First of all, your argument just boils down to authority. You say it yourself, you never tried out one of the new iGPUs, you have no idea how they perform, and you don't care, but you are against.

    Second, all applications you mentioned also support OpenCL, so they could (potentially) run better on the Iris Pro. Again, the Iris Pro is faster than the 750M as long as you are not bandwidth-limited. So the more work an application dumps to the GPU, the better Iris Pro will become.

    Third, benchmarks are the only thing that matters for this discussion. Everything else is called 'speculation'. You do realise that I am talking about benchmarks using the very software you refer to? Another example for you: in Anandtech tests, the Iris Pro beats the 650M in Sony Vegas Pro by around 1/3.

    I do agree with the rest of what you are saying. An iMac with the 780M will obviously be more price-effective.
  14. CASLondon, Jul 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014

    CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    Jesus, dude, you're really invested in this and your benchmarks.

    Here is a well-known benchmarker comparing the two models using the alternate gpu


    Granted, that is testing games, but its a bit of a proxy for us here. Have you ever used Adobe AfterEffects? I am telling you, the video pro apps WILL perform better with the discreet GPU option. The original poster was even thinking of a 13", so he clearly asked for advice and I'm giving him the right advice. Its not a good idea to think the two models are the same for his needs because on some raw computational basis on paper they look the same.

    Even if they were, as is pointed out, there is NO financial savings by buying the irispro only model, as by the time he gets the required ram and ssd, they are the same price

    As for these apps supporting OpenCL, I think you need to dig into this stuff a bit more to understand what is going on here. Here is Adobe support explaining to someone how the software needs to be written to take advantage of specific GPU models in order to use OpenCL. Its a little dated in the specifics, but I think you can assume that it apply here to the nvidia cards. And you can assume that the Adobe software will add the 750, but I wouldn't assume it will add the IrisPro. Also, even if it can use OpenCL, CUDA is faster in the real world Adobe


    Lastly, here is a discussion of the issue, including your benchmarks, on the REDUSERS forum. Red is a manufacturer of a well-loved digital camera.


    You can choose to argue with me because I haven't given you a spreadsheet, or not. But the original poster clearly asked for advice, and my advice is that he would be selling himself short on performance, for no financial gain, by going IrisPro only.

    let me quote the reduser who actually used both in the real world.

    "I just did a side by side comparison and the difference is pretty dramatic. A 30 minute render in Resolve takes 2-3 hours in the Iris only version.. not to mention tracking gridns to a halt in the lesser version. I was really shocked when I saw what was happening."
  15. librarian macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2011
    I guess you never rendered a premiere project with CUDA? Also being able to real-time edit it, color-grade it without any performance impact…
    Not to mention that the moment you plug an external monitor iris pro start to struggle already with multiple apps open..
    Let's be realistic, the current production standard is moving to CUDA, many applications moved to it with huge advantages. Nobody cares about openCL, most developers aren't going to invest time and money to rewrite software from scratch just for the mac pro or for integrated cards, their market shifted to windows and linux workstations, and they're lagging behind on mac because of fewer CUDA platforms (CUDA capable mac pro is technically discontinued).
  16. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    Glad to have some backup here.

    The other factor not addressed is the additional vram you get with the discreet gpu. This kind of use eats vram at a rate only below that of flight simulators like x-plane.
  17. happyfrappy macrumors 6502

    Oct 14, 2007
    Location eh?
    Benchmarks on Intel IGPs don't reflect real-world work environments just like game benchmarks Intel uses for bragging rights of their IGPs due to customized driver tweaks usually fall behind in other areas. AMD/nVidia produce graphics chips for performance, Intel on the other hand is more into "general purpose" with a goal of power efficiency--Intel can ramp up clock speeds/physical memory buffer but without higher shader/compute count they're falling into the same pit as Matrox had when ATI & nVidia helped drive 3Dfx into the ground, you either innovate or get trapped into a certain usage sector. Intel's Iris Pro is a replay of Matrox G400, great on paper, some benchmarks to drool over but too general purpose for high-performance tasks relying upon highspeed VRAM. (Matrox multi-head video card solution back in 2000-2003 was popular for stockmarkets, design, film, custom simulation solutions, security/automation monitoring, etc and once ATI jumped into that market for design/film/games it pushed Matrox out)

    While Iris Pro supports OpenCL, unless Intel takes driver updates seriously like AMD/nVidia you can't remove the stigma of Intel abandoning their IGPs with the next OS as the other big two improve drivers rather frequently--Apple so far has been good at supporting newer IGPs on OS X but Windows your experience is based on Intel product EOL driver support.

    If the OP at some point dual-boots for whatever job reason, Intel rarely supports the 3rd Windows release with their IGPs and with Windows 8 being such a turd, Intel is likely going to lump Intel HD 4x00/5x00/Iris Pro into Windows 9 as the last supported OS. My 2007 era Thinkpad w/Intel IGP was given sloppy WinXP drivers then fixed at EOL, decent Vista drivers and rather so-so Win7 drivers which broke after SP1... it became useless for day-to-day work as the graphics driver would randomly "crash", on the flipside an nVidia version Thinkpad avoided GPU driver hell and also supports Windows 8 thanks to nVidia.
  18. dOOsi7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2010
    Thanks all for suggestions. Looks like today-released MBP 15" top-end model (dGPU) will be way to go for me! Hope Apple doesn't release another 'new' MBP model in Sept/Oct.

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