Apple's new MacBook Pros get 65% graphics performance boost from Intel's Iris

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
New benchmark tests show that Intel's new Iris integrated graphics chip can push pixels for Apple's latest laptops between 40 and 60 percent faster than its predecessor.

Late 2013 Retina MacBook Pro Benchmarks


Cinebench r15's OpenGL benchmark clocked frame rates 45 to 50 percent higher than the previous MacBook Pro generation, while Unigen's Heaven benchmark notched a 65 percent improvement on Apple's latest hardware, reports Macworld. The publication compared results from a 13-inch 2.6-gigahertz Haswell-equipped Retina MacBook Pro against those from an early 2013 vintage 2.6-gigahertz Ivy Bridge edition.

CPU performance also increased, gaining eight percent in Wolfram Research's MathematicaMark 9 test, while Cinebench's CPU exam edged up by five percent.

Surprisingly, the Haswell-based notebooks did not exclusively show what were expected to be significant gains from their new PCIe-based flash storage. Though intra-disk file copy operations were 33 percent faster on the newest high-end model's 256-gigabyte drive, the 128-gigabyte version came in level with its Ivy Bridge sibling.

Additional storage tests using a disk benchmarking tool from Blackmagic returned mixed results.

Late 2013 Retina MacBook Pro Benchmarks


Early benchmark results from popular test suite Geekbench, which does not include GPU performance in its scoring system, matched the results from Macworld's testing. Most models showed modest two to four percent gains on CPU and memory tests, with high end models notching up to eight percent improvements.

The new Haswell-based Retina MacBook Pros bring more than just performance increases to the market. Combined with the latest rendition of Apple's desktop operating system, OS X Mavericks, the updated models boast battery life of up to nine hours, an improvement of two hours over their previous maximum.

Readers in the market for a new MacBook Pro can use AppleInsider's Mac Price Guides to get the lowest prices anywhere for these new models both with 3-Years of AppleCare or with-out AppleCare.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 100
    What about the 15 inch lacking its discrete graphics on bottom end, what if they did the test for both in comparison? I really like how CPU and gpu have seperate rams in the past.
  • Reply 2 of 100
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,227member

    While they did improve GPU performance on the low end, the only option they have with a discrete GPU is very expensive.

     

    Since I like to play games,  the new line of laptop from Apple are too expensive for me. Maybe it will be better later on, but even the Iris Pro GPU is very low end in terms of GPU performance.  Those laptops are good as long as you dont plan to play games on them.

  • Reply 3 of 100
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,116member
    Apple usually doesn't fudge numbers, but it seems clear the 90% boost for the 13" was a bit much to claim.

    The Iris Pro 5200 in the 15" is also a tad slower than the old 650M default, especially when you start cranking the resolution/filtering/details as it seems bandwidth constrained.

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/34055/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

    [IMG ALT=""]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/34056/width/350/height/700[/IMG]
  • Reply 4 of 100
    Quote:


     Combined with the latest rendition of Apple's desktop operating system, OS X Mavericks, the updated models boast battery life of up to nine hours, an improvement of two hours over their previous maximum.


     

    To be clear, that is only the 13" gaining 2 hours, while the 15" gains only 1. Either is a very small increase when considering all the advantages such as lower clock speeds, Haswell, and Mavericks. Air 13" went from 7 hours to 12 hours on Haswell alone, then another hour on Mavericks. That's 6 hours additional battery life compared to 1 or  2 hours on the 13" and 15". Just seems disproportionate. 

     

  • Reply 5 of 100
    It's really too bad those rumours that Intel might have designed a custom chip for Apple didn't pan out, since something like a dual core Crystalwell with even just 32 MB of eDRAM would have really helped graphics on the 13" MacBook Pro. I guess it'll have to wait for Broadwell to shrink things down and make it viable.
  • Reply 6 of 100
    neilmneilm Posts: 903member
    Quote:

    AI writes: "Surprisingly, the Haswell-based notebooks did not exclusively show what were expected to be significant gains from their new PCIe-based flash storage. Though intra-disk file copy operations were 33 percent faster on the newest high-end model's 256-gigabyte drive, the 128-gigabyte version came in level with its Ivy Bridge sibling."

     



     

    No, that's not surprising. Depending on the density of their flash memory chips, the narrower internal memory bandwidth of small drives typically gives worse I/O performance than otherwise similar larger capacity drives. The dividing line is normally between 128GB and below vs. 256GB and above. You can see this in the various SSD test results performed by Anandtech.

     

    Other than the obvious capacity benefit, that's another reason not to cheap out on a low capacity drive.

  • Reply 7 of 100
    [QUOTE]What about the 15 inch lacking its discrete graphics on bottom end, what if they did the test for both in comparison? I really like how CPU and gpu have seperate rams in the past.
    [/QUOTE]
    Two things:

    1. Mavericks dynamically allocates VRAM, which can significantly help the shared RAM situation.

    2. the improved GPU performance yields across-the-board performance increases, and in some cases may yield even better performance gains *BECAUSE* of shared RAM (reduced copies to/from GPU memory in OpenCL operations)
  • Reply 8 of 100
    Wow, the SSDs are slower than they were at the beginning of the year... hey Tim, we care about performance too. The more I read about this new generation of macbook pros, the more it looks like you guys don't give a shit about anything other than looks and size/weight anymore.
  • Reply 9 of 100

    LOL @ the crappy Iris and Iris Pro graphics... For 15" MBP this "update" was a step backwards, if you think about the GPU power. Unless you'll buy the grossly overprices top model.

     

    Steve, come back. It's almost Halloween. Rise from your resting place, and teach Tim a lesson.

  • Reply 10 of 100
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member

    Man, this is grasping for positive news:

     

    "The new, shitty integrated graphics are less shitty than the old, shitty integrated graphics."

     

    The question of why a "Pro" machine is limited to integrated graphics in the first place is left to be posed by critical persons who will be labelled "haters."

  • Reply 11 of 100
    eluardeluard Posts: 319member

    As an aside, love the handle 'God of Biscuits'. Obviously a dog owner.

  • Reply 12 of 100
    Those specs are basically the old GT 650M from last year but with Intel's integrated. If you want battery, thats probably best.. honestly, it's impressive that Intel is starting to catch up to nVidia's midrange cards.

    However, anyone interested in performance will go with the GT 750M w/2GB GDDR5 model. I really wish they had gone with the GT 775M chip though..
  • Reply 13 of 100
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,765member
    eluard wrote: »
    As an aside, love the handle 'God of Biscuits'. Obviously a dog owner.
    Jeff?
  • Reply 14 of 100
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,227member
    adrayven wrote: »
    Those specs are basically the old GT 650M from last year but with Intel's integrated. If you want battery, thats probably best.. honestly, it's impressive that Intel is starting to catch up to nVidia's midrange cards.

    However, anyone interested in performance will go with the GT 750M w/2GB GDDR5 model. I really wish they had gone with the GT 775M chip though..

    Well, the 650m is last year mid range. The iris pro performs like this year 720m at retina resolution or like the 730m at low resolution. Bottom line its a low end GPU. For me the GPU is the single most important part of a pc/laptop, so Apple laptops are not for me.
  • Reply 15 of 100
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post



    [...] For me the GPU is the single most important part of a pc/laptop

     

    For me the single most important part is the operating system, making hardware decisions much more limited and sometimes frustrating.

  • Reply 16 of 100
    v5v wrote: »
    The question of why a "Pro" machine is limited to integrated graphics in the first place is left to be posed by critical persons who will be labelled "haters."
    Because not every Pro works with graphics.
    The irony is most of the complaints from the "pros" is because they can't play games.
  • Reply 17 of 100
    tzterritzterri Posts: 100member

     Battery is glued in. RAM is soldered in. Proprietor solid state drive that can only be upgraded by Apple. Only way to use ethernet is on the one and only Thunderbolt connector. Same thing with Firewire. Same thing with an external display so if you want to use more than one of things you will need to be a Thunderbolt hub plus all the adapters.



    These latest laptop from Apple are nothing but expensive throwaway toys and this is coming from someone that has used nothing but Apple computers since the eighties. 



    Pissed

  • Reply 18 of 100
    gotapple wrote: »
    Steve, come back. It's almost Halloween. Rise from your resting place, and teach Tim a lesson.
    Because Steve always cared so much more about performance at the expense of battery-life and aesthetics.
  • Reply 19 of 100
    v5vv5v Posts: 1,357member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post



    Because not every Pro works with graphics.

     

    Perfectly reasonable argument, and if there was an "good enough" version for those folks and a "High Performance" version for those who need it, the world would have one less reason to point at Apple and laugh!

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post



    The irony is most of the complaints from the "pros" is because they can't play games.

     

    LOL! I never understood the idea of buying a $$$ computer to play games instead of a PS3 or XBox or whatever.

     

    I actually don't care how Apple does it, I just want to be able to scrub and play full-frame uncompressed HD video without hunting, buffering and stuttering. I don't think Intel Integrated is gonna cut it, but then the discrete systems Apple used in previous generations weren't exactly "high end" either.

  • Reply 20 of 100
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,383member
    Iris Shmiris ... I want my dual ATI GPUs! :)
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