Would you buy a rMBP without a dedicated GPU?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by johngwheeler, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2010
    I come from a land down-under...
    It looks like there is a real possibility that at least one model of the next rMBP generation could have *only* Iris Pro integrated graphics, and forego a discrete GPU completely.

    My question is: "how much would this matter for most people?"

    It's obviously going to affect games performance, but Apple has never been very strong in this area anyway, and they may just be sending a message that "MBPs are not designed for gaming".

    What other uses would be affected by a lack of dGPU?

    Does Photo/Video editing really need a discrete GPU these days?

    Do any common applications use the mobile dGPU for non-graphical OpenCL processing?

    I've just got a new MBA with HD5000 graphics, and have to say that the experience is very smooth, and perfectly adequate for anything I need to do on the machine.

    I really think Apple may just decide that Iris Pro is good enough for the vast majority, and the battery life benefits will outweigh the criticism of the minority who demand a dGPU.

  2. LoMonkey macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2008
    Not made for gaming, huh?



    But I sure hope they keep the dGPU. I've been waiting to upgrade from my early '08 MBP and would love to finally have a powerhouse again. And just because Iris Pro is (almost) as good as the current 650, doesn't mean they should drop the dGPU. To me, it just means they should add a better one to continue to improve. :cool:
  3. dazlicous macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2011
    Not a chance I am spending over £2000 for a premium laptop that only has a iGPU
  4. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    Not much if at all. Because obviously not many people use their computers as a primary tool for their jobs.

    3D rendering, multi-monitor computing, etc...

    No. Most of those tasks are much more CPU-intensive. So lack of dGPU won't affect them at all, or very little. But the new CPU isn't much faster than the old ones.

    Better question is... how many applications actually use OpenCL at all? (and you already have a hint for the answer)

    I think Iris Pro would be a worthwhile tradeoff for some people.

    But on the other hand, that also means that aside from battery life and a few other features, there aren't a lot of things that the Haswell "update" would bring to the rMBP lineup, so owners of the old rMBP lineup may not feel so inclined to upgrade. And some other people may want to purchase an older rMBP 15" for much cheaper than a new Haswell rMBP 15" instead.

    Except that the 13" rMBP will see a huge boost in graphical performance going from HD 4000 to HD 5100.
  5. thaifood, Jul 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013

    thaifood macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2011
    No, I wouldn't.

    If an integrated GPU option was released I would at least like to see it at a reasonably lower price point than the current entry level rMBP. But, I still wouldn't consider it for the 15" option
  6. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    If you mean the 15" rMBP, absolutely not? I am waiting for Apple not just to put in a top of the line video card though to make sure it has a good amount if not the max amount possible of video memory.

    Take the Razer Blade and Razer Blade Pro as example. You have a GeForce 765M with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory.
  7. andeify macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2012
    It doesn't matter to me, Im not a big gamer, although I cant wait for GTA V. If I play its on the PS3
  8. iAppl3Fan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2011
    I'm not a gamer but I still prefer a dedicated graphics card when the system needs it. I don't see  dropping it any time soon.
  9. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Assuming Intel GPU has enough muscles to push retina display without hiccup for non-gaming apps, and integrated only option costs $100-200 less, I would prefer integrated graphics only.

    Discrete (high performance) GPU sucks up a lot of energy even when they aren't doing all that much, reducing battery life and contributing to heat (which in turns triggers the fan).
  10. Ursadorable macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2013
    The Frozen North
    Honestly, I'm not sure now. I would likely be pretty upset about not having a dedicated GPU. But the more I read about the capabilities in the Haswell, I'm not so sure anymore.

    Granted, I won't be using it to play hardcore FPS games. As I get older, my tastes are waning more toward strategy games that don't require tons of GPU processing power.

    I will carefully be watching how the benchmarks come out though. I mean, the higher the resolution, the harder it is to put out decent 3D graphics.

    The Mac has never really been a die-hard gaming machine though.. if you want a gaming laptop, go buy a Razor blade and then you can replace it in 2 years when it won't run your new games as well.. and if anything like other Razor products I've owned, crap out well before then.
  11. tgi macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2012
    Where exactly on Apple.com is this photo from?
  12. bbapps macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    Just seems there will be less distinct differences between the 13" and 15" (5100 vs 5200). Don't think they can maintain the justification for a large difference in price. Currently, it is HD4000 vs (HD4000 + 650M + 1G GDDR).
  13. Ursadorable macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2013
    The Frozen North
  14. smakdown61 macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2008
    For my use I'd take a slightly cheaper igpu only version. I was going to get a 13" anyway but if the 15" price comes down it would be tough choice.
  15. tgi macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2012
  16. BuCkDoG macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2013
    This is a great question. I personally could not spend that kind of money for this type of a machine only for an integrated GPU. Intel's GPUs are not where you need them to be yet for video editing, gaming, etc. To eliminate the need for a discrete card, Intel would really have to blow Nvidia or AMD out of the water for Apple not to include one in its "Pro" series. So all I see Apple doing here is upgrading them to the 700 series for modest gains and performance.
  17. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    At this point I'm really not sure what I would do.

    For most of what I do, the dGPU is unnecessary, and getting rid of it would actually be beneficial. On the other hand I still like to game a bit, and while Iris Pro looks decent, the dGPU is still faster.

    I like to see the 15'' (r)MBP as a desktop replacement, so if they drop the dGPU I might instead consider an Air + iMac setup for the future.

    Who knows, we will find out!
  18. john123 macrumors 68020


    Jul 20, 2001
    If you really mean "top of the line," then you're going to be waiting a long, long time. As in never.
  19. swerve147 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 12, 2013
    It really depends on the performance of the integrated graphics. Iris Pro gives you about 80% of the performance of a GT650M in games. That translates to about 48 fps on a game that would normally give you 60 fps.

    In return you get:
    • Improved battery life
    • A cooler lighter notebook
    • Simpler architecture = less headaches
    The third one in particular is important. Discrete graphics/Automatic Graphics Switching come with their own set of issues (e.g. external monitors not waking the MB properly or the MB intermittently shutting down for no reason, not being able to run BootCamp without the power drain of the discrete chip).

    Personally, I would gladly trade the graphics hit for the benefits in return. But then again I'm not a hardcore gamer.
  20. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    Say wha??? It is on the U.S. site too.


    To the OP, for me it would depend on what my needs are at time of purchase. If I can get performance from the then-current gen system, with about a 25-30% room for performance growth over the life of the machine, then non-dedicated GPU will be ok for me. The better question for me would be, "What are the odds of that happening?"
  21. Jamesesesesess macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2011
    The most demanding game I play is The Sims 3 so... yes. Assuming the price drops a bit, I wouldn't have a problem. As long as the Iris Pro delivers equal performance in Photoshop.
  22. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    Yeah you're right on that. I like the rMBP and I would definitely give it a try on this year's model if of course they have a discrete card in it. I wasn't interested in the inaugural model because I figured it had some growing pains to go through.

    Unlike Razer, I would not expect Apple to put in a 765M with 2 GB of GDDR5 inside. Selling just the "Iris Pro" over 2k though? Fail!
  23. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Adding a dGPU costs < $100 if you configure a PC from Dell or HP. Given that the technology exists to keep the dGPU off if necessary, so we aren't going to sacrifice any battery life, for a mere $100 in savings, I would rather the dGPU.

    Especially because even the Iris Pro graphics aren't going to be able to drive a high DPI display as well as a newish nVidia or AMD card could.
  24. Qaanol macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    I strongly prefer having only the Iris Pro graphics.

    If there were two identical versions for the same price, one with just Iris Pro and the other with 4600+750m, I would take the Iris Pro. It would have better graphics performance the vast majority of the time, it would have more total battery capacity plus less power draw, and it would not have any of the headaches from graphics-switching.

    I hope Apple makes the right choice, and by all appearances they have done so. I am very much looking forward to replacing my mid-2007 15.4″ MBP with a Haswell 15.4″ rMBP with Iris Pro as the only graphics processor.
  25. sofianito, Jul 10, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013

    sofianito macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2011
    Here is what I think Apple's roadmap and strategy for its future products:

    * For surfing the net, watching movies, and light gaming, get a MBA...

    * For something still portable and better than MBA CPU, iGPU, and display, get a 13" rMBP...

    * For something more powerful than the 13", with a bigger screen, a better CPU, iGPU, and finally 16 GB of RAM!!!, get the 15" rMBP...

    * For 3D rendering or gaming, get a MacPro...

    * For hard gaming, get iPlay, iGames, you name it, the future Apple's XBOX, PSP3 competitor...

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