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

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Luigi3, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. Luigi3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    #1
    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?
     
  2. Poki macrumors 65816

    Poki

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    #2
    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.
     
  3. Luigi3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    #3
    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".
     
  4. robvas macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    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
     
  5. Luigi3, Jun 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018

    Luigi3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 11, 2012
    #5
    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.
     
  6. leman macrumors G3

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #6
    There is no such thing as 2D performance in modern computing, hasn't been in almost a decade. UI composition uses the same hardware as 3D graphics.
     
  7. Poki macrumors 65816

    Poki

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    #7
    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.
     
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #8
    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.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 6, 2018 ---
    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...
     
  9. Luigi3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 11, 2012
    #9
    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.
     
  10. leman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #10
    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.
     
  11. Luigi3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 11, 2012
    #11
    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.
     
  12. simonmet, Jun 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018

    simonmet macrumors 68000

    simonmet

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    Sep 9, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney
    #12
    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.
    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)
     
  13. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #13
    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
     
  14. leman macrumors G3

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #14
    How did you measure the FPS?
     
  15. Joined:
    Oct 24, 2016
    #15
    does it really matter? overall, it's a better computer
     
  16. Miltz macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 6, 2013
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    New York
    #16
    You can force the 15" model to always use the Radeon GPU if you want.
     
  17. Glmnet1 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2017
    #17
    The battery would drain really fast.
     
  18. davidmartindale macrumors regular

    davidmartindale

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    Jan 28, 2011
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    PNW, USA
    #18
    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
     
  19. caramelpolice macrumors regular

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    Oct 6, 2012
    #19
    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.
     
  20. Luigi3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 11, 2012
    #20
    some magic tool called quartz debug: https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/2wf1mg/you_see_lags_on_yosemite_try_quartz_debugapp/
    --- Post Merged, Jun 7, 2018 ---
    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.
     
  21. davidmartindale macrumors regular

    davidmartindale

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    PNW, USA
    #21
    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.
     
  22. Luigi3 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 11, 2012
    #22
    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
     
  23. Miltz macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 6, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    #23
    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.
     
  24. davidmartindale macrumors regular

    davidmartindale

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Location:
    PNW, USA
    #24
    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.
     
  25. Glmnet1 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2017
    #25
    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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