Why Macbook Pro 15 has weaker(integrated) graphics card than 13 inch?

Luigi3

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 11, 2012
107
13
Hey there,

I noticed that the performance of Macbook pro 15 2017 on battery is somewhat mediocre(laggy scroll on Safari and Finder, laggy swipe on workspaces). I noticed that Macbook pro 13 inch has better! integrated graphics, it's about 15% percent better in 3DMark:

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Iris-...-HD-Graphics-620_7656_7652_7435.247598.0.html

I'll address the arguments that would show here:

'but pro 15 has discrete graphics'
True, but it's turned off until you ran app that requires high performance graphics(Photos.app for instance) and drains battery easily. So you're using integrated graphics most of the time.

'Well they saved money because two graphics'
But they could apply the same! And 15 inch has bigger screen estate to render and they gave even worse graphics! You can go to full screen safari default page and scroll up(favorites icons will go underneath the address) and this has, like, 30 fps? I had 13 2017 and it had no lags/fps drops in normal usage.

What the hell?
 
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Poki

macrumors 65816
Mar 21, 2012
1,317
903
Intel does not offer H-series CPUs with Iris graphics. Nothing Apple could do here.

Also, the Iris Plus in the 13" is theoretically twice as fast as the HD 630 in the 15", not just 15% faster (880 GFLOPs vs 442 GFLOPs). The 64 MB embedded memory should help even further. This 3DMark score seems to be worst case for the Iris in this comparison.
 

Luigi3

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 11, 2012
107
13
Intel does not offer H-series CPUs with Iris graphics. Nothing Apple could do here.

Also, the Iris Plus in the 13" is theoretically twice as fast as the HD 630 in the 15", not just 15% faster (880 GFLOPs vs 442 GFLOPs). The 64 MB embedded memory should help even further. This 3DMark score seems to be worst case for the Iris in this comparison.
True - this makes the situation even worse. To have integrated 13" performance I need to switch to discrete on 15".
But as a consumer I don't get the argument that Intel does not provide such config - I bought the most expensive Macbook pro and have worse performance than weakest 13".
 

Luigi3

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 11, 2012
107
13
Is the 2D performance worse?

As far as 3D being worse, it's dumb to complain about that when you bought the model with a dedicated GPU but refuse to use it
Yes. Fullscreen Finder scroll is choppy, same as Safari. Overall look and feel is bad, sometimes microlags that are not acceptable on laptop for $3500. Needless to say sticky buttons on keyboard.

And I answered you in first post - Macbook will use integrated graphics most of the time. I can have Radeon when plugged in to charger, but on battery I use integrated graphis - the performance is far worse.
 
Last edited:

Poki

macrumors 65816
Mar 21, 2012
1,317
903
True - this makes the situation even worse. To have integrated 13" performance I need to switch to discrete on 15".
But as a consumer I don't get the argument that Intel does not provide such config - I bought the most expensive Macbook pro and have worse performance than weakest 13".
With Intel CPUs, there's simply no way to do it better, except using a dedicated GPU all the time and burning through your battery, or by using a 28W Iris part which has less cores (two instead of four at 7th gen, four instead of six at 8th gen).

They could use Ryzen, but again, there's simply no Ryzen Mobile CPU as powerful as Intel's H-series CPUs.

So yes, there's nothing Apple could do against that with hardware. They may be able to make the UI smoother by optimizing the software though. No one can convince me that a 442 GFLOP GPU is not capable of smoothly running a UI, and 2880 x 1800 is not even a super high resolution. Maybe Mojave will improve things.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
11,473
5,988
Yes. Fullscreen Finder scroll is choppy, same as Safari. Overall look and feel is bad, sometimes microlags that are not acceptable on laptop for $3500.
I haven't noticed any of that. Is it possible that you laptop has some underlaying problem? There was some occasional UI lag in older versions of macOS, but that was due to less optimal algorithms used. That all should have been fixed by 10.13.
[doublepost=1528289211][/doublepost]
With Intel CPUs, there's simply no way to do it better, except using a dedicated GPU all the time and burning through your battery, or by using a 28W Iris part which has less cores (two instead of four at 7th gen, four instead of six at 8th gen).
And another thing is that throwing a faster GPU on it won't really solve anything, since it would kill your battery. The true answer is by optimising the software. And again, High Sierra should have fixed any issues in that area. With El Capitan etc. I was occasionally seeing some lag with Dock Stacks and Mission Control, but now everything is super smooth. Which is quite a feat, since Mission Control draws all the windows in realtime...
 
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Luigi3

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 11, 2012
107
13
I haven't noticed any of that. Is it possible that you laptop has some underlaying problem? There was some occasional UI lag in older versions of macOS, but that was due to less optimal algorithms used. That all should have been fixed by 10.13.
[doublepost=1528289211][/doublepost]

And another thing is that throwing a faster GPU on it won't really solve anything, since it would kill your battery. The true answer is by optimising the software. And again, High Sierra should have fixed any issues in that area. With El Capitan etc. I was occasionally being some lag with Dock Stacks and Mission Control, but now everything is super smooth. Which is quite a feat, since Mission Control draws all the windows in realtime...
Demo for you: https://gfycat.com/SlushyTheseBlackrussianterrier

First is the Intel, second(unckecking box) is the Radeon. You need to have full screen(not by tapping green button, but window is strechted to the maximum) and long list of files. Same with safari scroll.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
11,473
5,988
Demo for you: https://gfycat.com/SlushyTheseBlackrussianterrier

First is the Intel, second(unckecking box) is the Radeon. You need to have full screen(not by tapping green button, but window is strechted to the maximum) and long list of files. Same with safari scroll.
Dunno, all I see in that video is the user scrolling with different speeds :D Like you know, the speed of animation follows the speed of your fingers. Maybe my temporal visual perception is not so good however.

Anyway, I just tried it on a folder with 800+ items and maximised (not fullscreen) Finder window. If I scroll through the entire folder, there is a brief moment of lag at around the middle — no matter if I use the iGPU or the dGPU. I assume this lag occurs since the system actually has to load the list of the files. As to Safari — there are some pages where I see lag when scrolling, but those are almost exclusively very complex pages that load the content dynamically.

BTW, an application where you see a lot of lag is App Store. That is just how its coded... I can't perceive any difference between the GPUs though.
 

Luigi3

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 11, 2012
107
13
Dunno, all I see in that video is the user scrolling with different speeds :D Like you know, the speed of animation follows the speed of your fingers. Maybe my temporal visual perception is not so good however.
It is indeed - I can measure the fps counter and integrated is on average 10 fps worse. It's 45-50 integrated vs 60 discrete.
 

simonmet

macrumors 68030
Sep 9, 2012
2,625
3,577
Sydney
Intel does not offer H-series CPUs with Iris graphics. Nothing Apple could do here.
Money talks. Apple could’ve easily got what they needed from Intel but chose not to. It’s one of the many things that went backwards with the 2016/17 versions. One of the reasons the 2015 was so great was its excellent smooth UI performance, even on low-power integrated graphics.
Is the 2D performance worse?
Yes, 2D performance is noticeably and significantly worse with such poor integrated graphics on a high resolution screen. The Iris Plus graphics are much better (as highlighted above)
 
Last edited:

Closingracer

macrumors 601
Jul 13, 2010
4,067
1,652
Yes. Fullscreen Finder scroll is choppy, same as Safari. Overall look and feel is bad, sometimes microlags that are not acceptable on laptop for $3500. Needless to say sticky buttons on keyboard.

And I answered you in first post - Macbook will use integrated graphics most of the time. I can have Radeon when plugged in to charger, but on battery I use integrated graphis - the performance is far worse.
So go buy a 13 inch or a windows laptop. Problem solved. You know you hate it yet you aren’t doing anything to change it*?




* complaining isn’t doing anything then using up your time writing this
 
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Miltz

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2013
657
311
New York
Hey there,

I noticed that the performance of Macbook pro 15 2017 on battery is somewhat mediocre(laggy scroll on Safari and Finder, laggy swipe on workspaces). I noticed that Macbook pro 13 inch has better! integrated graphics, it's about 15% percent better in 3DMark:

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Iris-...-HD-Graphics-620_7656_7652_7435.247598.0.html

I'll address the arguments that would show here:

'but pro 15 has discrete graphics'
True, but it's turned off until you ran app that requires high performance graphics(Photos.app for instance) and drains battery easily. So you're using integrated graphics most of the time.

'Well they saved money because two graphics'
But they could apply the same! And 15 inch has bigger screen estate to render and they gave even worse graphics! You can go to full screen safari default page and scroll up(favorites icons will go underneath the address) and this has, like, 30 fps? I had 13 2017 and it had no lags/fps drops in normal usage.

What the hell?
You can force the 15" model to always use the Radeon GPU if you want.
 

davidmartindale

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2011
234
64
PNW, USA
Yes. Fullscreen Finder scroll is choppy, same as Safari. Overall look and feel is bad, sometimes microlags that are not acceptable on laptop for $3500. Needless to say sticky buttons on keyboard.

And I answered you in first post - Macbook will use integrated graphics most of the time. I can have Radeon when plugged in to charger, but on battery I use integrated graphis - the performance is far worse.
As for Finder being choppy it sounds like the OS install may have issues. I am writing this on a 2013 21.5" iMac with Intel Iris GPU and Finder scrolls flawlessly. I don't have any benchmarks to prove this but I can say with pretty good certainty that the current Radeon the 2017 MacBook Pro is more powerful that an integrated GPU on a 5 year old iMac
 

caramelpolice

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2012
211
227
High Sierra significantly improved UI performance over Sierra on the 2016/2017 15" MBPs, but it still has some issues in several places. Notably, opening my Downloads stack on my dock in the "Grid" view animates at a pretty rough 30ish FPS (which, to be fair, is significantly up from the probably 5fps it was in Sierra). I hope Mojave improves things further.
 
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Luigi3

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 11, 2012
107
13
How did you measure the FPS?
some magic tool called quartz debug: https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/2wf1mg/you_see_lags_on_yosemite_try_quartz_debugapp/
[doublepost=1528364730][/doublepost]
As for Finder being choppy it sounds like the OS install may have issues. I am writing this on a 2013 21.5" iMac with Intel Iris GPU and Finder scrolls flawlessly. I don't have any benchmarks to prove this but I can say with pretty good certainty that the current Radeon the 2017 MacBook Pro is more powerful that an integrated GPU on a 5 year old iMac
No, it doesnt' have issues. You mentioned iMac with Iris - Iris is much better than integrated Intel HD in Macbook pro 2017. Moreover, your iMac has lower resolution than my Macbook.
Apple has issues to provide good enough GPU to handle basic tasks in OSX such as Safari scroll.
 
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davidmartindale

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2011
234
64
PNW, USA
some magic tool called quartz debug: https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/2wf1mg/you_see_lags_on_yosemite_try_quartz_debugapp/
[doublepost=1528364730][/doublepost]

No, it doesnt' have issues. You mentioned iMac with Iris - Iris is much better than integrated Intel HD in Macbook pro 2017. Apple has issues to provide good enough GPU to handle basic tasks in OSX such as Safari scroll.
Provide some specifications to back up that a 5 year old iris gpu is better than a 2017 intel integrated gpu.

Have you tried a clean install of Mac OS? Because what your describing sounds like an issue and is certainly not expected behavior.
 

Luigi3

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 11, 2012
107
13
Provide some specifications to back up that a 5 year old iris gpu is better than a 2017 intel integrated gpu.

Have you tried a clean install of Mac OS? Because what your describing sounds like an issue and is certainly not expected behavior.
I tried to reinstall, no luck. There is no problem with my mac - it's a problem with all 15" line.
Here's the rough comparison - you can clearly see that your GPU is better and has to render lower resolution - thus no lags.
http://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compar...Intel-HD-630-Desktop-Kaby-Lake/m8190vsm178724
 
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davidmartindale

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2011
234
64
PNW, USA
I tried to reinstall, no luck. There is no problem with my mac - it's a problem with all 15" line.
Here's the rough comparison - you can clearly see that your GPU is better and has to render lower resolution - thus no lags.
http://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compar...Intel-HD-630-Desktop-Kaby-Lake/m8190vsm178724
Fair.

I just don't see the issues that you are having as being expected. But I have had very little hands on use with the new MacBook Pros. I do however work with a lot of people that do use them and have not heard of this sort of issue.
 

Glmnet1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2017
961
1,065
Well you can't have it all. Some windows laptops last 1.5 hours with Super Fast Graphics... Pick your poison.
I'm sure the MAC will last longer than that.
The whole point of the OP is that the iGPU of the 13" is better than the 15". We are all well aware that the dGPU is better, thank you.
 
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