Inside Apple's 2016 MacBook Pro: Graphics processing unit choices

135

Comments

  • Reply 41 of 82
    I want a macbook pro that will power my Oculus Rift. I have to buy a PC but i dislike Windows. What is PRO about the high end Macs these days?
    repressthisoldbluegmc50
  • Reply 42 of 82
    What if...  Just what if the future of Mac OS is radically different...

    Think ARM based CPU with integrated AMD or Imagination GPU and new flash optimized APFS file system etc...

    The iMac becomes a 27" iPad like panel hooked on its stand and powered by a USB-C connector...

    Heck... Apple could make a play for the Enterprise with scalable ARM based servers designed for internal or external clouds running a new web platform based on Foundation DB and an advanced WebObjects programmable in Swift...

    Stay Tuned.  Time will tell.
    edited August 2016 acatomicoldbluegmc50
  • Reply 43 of 82
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Whatever, but Apple should bring standards to all devices, including Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Type-C (reversible) Generation 2 and SDXC with extra pins supporting maximum read/write speeds (300 MB/s). Just about time.
  • Reply 44 of 82
    i'm going to miss os x which is going to be named mac os sierra, im going to miss the user interface the simplicity steve jobs era's influenced thats left in it, but not the current buggy crashy os (by os i mean operating system not a name) but its about hardware here, no ? it's called PRO for a reason, u want slim ultra portable mcs u go for the airs, the macbook pros should keep being the most powerful computers as the first mid 2012 15" macbook pro was the most powerful of its time. i own a late 2013 retina mac and i expect it to be responsive, fast and good enough at playing games on bootcamp, i dont expect to throw 2000 dollars on mid range and a single gpu device.

    PS: thanks for the cmd option esc shortcut, i never knew it existed :wink: 
    repressthisxzuoldbluegmc50
  • Reply 45 of 82
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,758member
    lkrupp said:
    Marvin said:
    Producing high-end computers isn’t much of an opportunity these days. 
    So there’s just not much money to be made in high-end machines. I get it. Why should Apple bother with such a small market? And while we’re at it why should Apple bother with the low-end smartphone market when there’s little profit to be made? The problem here with AI commenters claiming otherwise is their demographics in that they think their needs and wants represent the majority market when clearly the truth lies elsewhere.
    Bingo! We see this all the time. If they and a couple friends want this feature/produce that must mean that everyone wants it! I mean, Apple never does market research to see what area best fits their product line up. Who would ever do that! 
    lkruppsphericrepressthislollivernolamacguy
  • Reply 46 of 82
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,758member
    FUN2020 said:
    I want a macbook pro that will power my Oculus Rift. I have to buy a PC but i dislike Windows. What is PRO about the high end Macs these days?
    Oculus Rift is dead...I don't know why anyone would care about what hardware supports this DOA product. You can thank FaceBook for that...
    edited August 2016 baconstangrepressthislolliver
  • Reply 47 of 82
    dchoydchoy Posts: 4member
    It's all going to depend on whether VR really takes off. If so, and Apple seems to think so, they are going to need hardware that can handle it. I agree it's unlikely all of the new macbooks will have a discrete GPU, but it's likely at least the top end one will and going into 2018 it's likely we'll see a swing back to notebooks with GPUs as standard. 

    Demand will be driven by the uptake of VR, if it's not the next big thing, then I don't think notebooks will bother with GPUs because apart from games there isn't a big consumer demand for graphics intensive applications that need it. 
  • Reply 48 of 82
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    dchoy said:
    It's all going to depend on whether VR really takes off. If so, and Apple seems to think so, they are going to need hardware that can handle it. I agree it's unlikely all of the new macbooks will have a discrete GPU, but it's likely at least the top end one will and going into 2018 it's likely we'll see a swing back to notebooks with GPUs as standard. 

    Demand will be driven by the uptake of VR, if it's not the next big thing, then I don't think notebooks will bother with GPUs because apart from games there isn't a big consumer demand for graphics intensive applications that need it. 
    Apple is more interested in AR. Not sure if VR covers that. 
    baconstang
  • Reply 49 of 82
    emrulemrul Posts: 26member
    The focus of the company has changed, and with it, the consumer type that it homes in on... new machines may just not have the level of graphical performance that long-term Mac aficionados clamor for.

    This unfortunately seems true.  I bought my first Mac in 2002 and bought the iPhone due to my satisfaction with Macs and Apple.  Today, my iPhone feels less reliable than the original iPhone, suffers from random slow-downs even if I have no Apps open, etc.  and my MacBook Pro isn't as 'Pro' as it used to be (and as Pro as I need it to be for work).

    I stick with them both because the alternatives are less appealing but Apple shouldn't ignore the fact that the alternatives are catching up and as far as the Mac line goes, Apple may as well be standing still.

    HP Envys outclass the MBP hardware, Linux on-the-desktop has matured a LOT and Windows 10 (for all its faults) is on par with MacOS(X) in many areas.

    5-6 years ago the choice was between decently specced MBPs with OSX vs ugly looking laptops with poor battery life and a sucky OS.  That isn't the case anymore.

    repressthis
  • Reply 50 of 82
    holyoneholyone Posts: 377member
    lwio said:
    When new iPhones are announced there's always a section on how much faster they are compared to the last generation with a game demo or two.
    Macs don't get this because they aren't any faster, macs aren't important to Apple now, it's a shame because I think OS X is the best os out there and really deserves the best hardware at the pro level particularly at the premium prices Apple charges. 
    Hey guys friendly reminder Apple is no longer ran by a technophile but a number's guy who loves mentioning us about those numbers every keynote so as the saying goes Apple IS DOOMED DOOMED I TELL YA ;)
    oldbluegmc50
  • Reply 51 of 82
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,181member
    knowitall said:
    It's clear I think that the next PC standard will not be defined by Apple.
    But I think most people will be perfectly happy using a $30 ARM 64 bit super computer running Linux Ubuntu.

    But I think most people will be perfectly happy using a $30 ARM 64 bit super computer running Linux

    There, fixed it for you.

    Using Linux means you have a choice. I prefer CentOS + Cinammon.

    I'd go with an ARM Cpu provided :- that Adobe CS was available and there was at least 2TB of storage in the device. Cloud storage is useless for my use case.
    Ha, your right, having a choice is what matters.
    A 2TB ssd is a bit much to ask for $30, but in a few years time that will be the case.
    The point is that very serious computing can (and should) be dirt cheap, no matter what companies producing 'pro' systems try to tell otherwise.
  • Reply 52 of 82
    emrul said:
    The focus of the company has changed, and with it, the consumer type that it homes in on... new machines may just not have the level of graphical performance that long-term Mac aficionados clamor for.

    This unfortunately seems true.  I bought my first Mac in 2002 and bought the iPhone due to my satisfaction with Macs and Apple.  Today, my iPhone feels less reliable than the original iPhone, suffers from random slow-downs even if I have no Apps open, etc.  and my MacBook Pro isn't as 'Pro' as it used to be (and as Pro as I need it to be for work).

    I stick with them both because the alternatives are less appealing but Apple shouldn't ignore the fact that the alternatives are catching up and as far as the Mac line goes, Apple may as well be standing still.

    HP Envys outclass the MBP hardware, Linux on-the-desktop has matured a LOT and Windows 10 (for all its faults) is on par with MacOS(X) in many areas.

    5-6 years ago the choice was between decently specced MBPs with OSX vs ugly looking laptops with poor battery life and a sucky OS.  That isn't the case anymore.


    I don't foresee myself returning to Windows ever, and the reason why I converted to Apple was that for newer spec'd laptops always gave me problems with Linux (older laptops worked fine) -- or fighting to get multi-monitors to work the way I wanted.  I have never had any problems like that with macOS (rebranded from OS X) and it has always worked just fine.  I still find Windows to be busy and ugly - even in it's 10 reincarnation.... I just want a list of applications not whacked out tiles etc.   

    I would like to have the most up-to-date spec'd hardware, but lets face it Intel has not produced anything more than small incremental improvements - which I would hardly notice anyways.  I long ago stopped "needing" the most up to date hardware... my 8-Core Mac Pro from 2008 (with updated graphics cards 5770 x 2) still has more performance than I use on a daily basis (with the exception of encoding).  My new Macbook (retina) works fine when I am on the road - runs everything I need on it (software development).  There are two things that interest me in upgrades and those revolve around storage bandwidth (thunderbolt and SSD speeds) -- I personally don't need the newest graphics cards (don't play games, and don't do much video editing).

    For me, the Apple hardware still works just fine.
    baconstanglollivernolamacguy
  • Reply 53 of 82
    I bought my first Mac in 2004 and had zero regrets.  For the next 12 years, every computer I bought was a Mac.  As the years went on and the iPhone and iOS became more and more Apple's focus, the only thing that really kept me with Mac was OS X/macOS.  But this year I finally decided the Mac just wasn't meeting my needs anymore and I built my own PC with a 980ti inside.  I thought about going the hackintosh route but the thing I liked most about OS X/macOS was that most of the time things worked without issue and I don't want a hackintosh where things might not be as smooth as they should be.  While the PC is only used for VR and rendering, my daily driver is still my 2012 MBA - which I would really like to upgrade but I'm not really feeling the current Apple lineup and if I have to give up the ports I have now for just one or two USB-C ports, I'll be fully migrating away from OS X/macOS by 2017.  

    and don't even get me started on the iPhone... all I know is I'm giving them until September 2017 to impress me or I'm giving up on Apple all together.  It's really sad to see just how much Apple has changed since I first fell in love with them.  I want the old Apple back.  The one that cared about their Mac users
    edited August 2016 baconstangtoranagaxzu
  • Reply 54 of 82
    appex said:
    Whatever, but Apple should bring standards to all devices, including Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Type-C (reversible) Generation 2 and SDXC with extra pins supporting maximum read/write speeds (300 MB/s). Just about time.
    Hard disks and Hybrids are out.  SSD are in.   600 MB/s Read/Write @ $200 per TB.
  • Reply 55 of 82
    It drives me crazy that Apple doesn't care about consumer and pro level products equally.

    They could absolutely afford to do so. Most companies would be ecstatic to have a business as large, vibrant, and profitable as Apple's Mac business unit.

    It's only in relation to the iOS business size that it might not seem "worth wile". But on it's on, there's absolutely no reason not to keep it going strong by investing in it.

    I have a late 2012 MacBook Pro. I haven't upgraded yet because the newer machines don't offer a significant boost in performance. Could I use one? Absolutely! Assembling a 200 megapixel RAW panorama in Lightroom is a p**n in the b*tt. Make it happen in 5 instead of 10 minutes and I will be the first one to spend the money and upgrade. I'm sure I'm not the only one waiting...

    AND: all the technicalities about components in honour... c'm on! This is Apple we're talking about: if something is important enough to them, they will make it happen. So no excuses there from my perspective.
    edited August 2016 baconstangxzu
  • Reply 56 of 82
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,687member
    dchoy said:
    It's all going to depend on whether VR really takes off. If so, and Apple seems to think so, they are going to need hardware that can handle it. I agree it's unlikely all of the new macbooks will have a discrete GPU, but it's likely at least the top end one will and going into 2018 it's likely we'll see a swing back to notebooks with GPUs as standard. 

    Demand will be driven by the uptake of VR, if it's not the next big thing, then I don't think notebooks will bother with GPUs because apart from games there isn't a big consumer demand for graphics intensive applications that need it. 
    Not only will VR not take off, it’s already dead, on the trash heap of technology along with 3D TV and Google Glass. The mass market does not want it and that’s again your problem. You think you represent the market... you do not. No one is going to walk around with silly looking gear on their heads swiping away in thin air at virtual demons. It’s too goofy and embarrassing. It’s the stuff of nerds and nerds are not the market. 
    baconstangrepressthispropod
  • Reply 57 of 82
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,200moderator
    dchoy said:
    It's all going to depend on whether VR really takes off. If so, and Apple seems to think so, they are going to need hardware that can handle it. I agree it's unlikely all of the new macbooks will have a discrete GPU, but it's likely at least the top end one will and going into 2018 it's likely we'll see a swing back to notebooks with GPUs as standard. 

    Demand will be driven by the uptake of VR, if it's not the next big thing, then I don't think notebooks will bother with GPUs because apart from games there isn't a big consumer demand for graphics intensive applications that need it. 
    When VR is done properly, the performance demands aren't nearly so high. Just now, the software isn't optimal. When you look through VR goggles, your eyes are focused in the middle so they can render the outer parts at a lower resolution (foveated rendering or multi-res shading). This gives about 20-50% performance gain. Single pass stereo using simultaneous multi-projection gets over 30% gain. Interlacing could improve performance by as much as 2x as they'd only need half the frames to hit 90FPS (again it can be foveated). Just a couple of VR techniques will gain 2x the performance. Vulkan can boost performance by 30%.



    Once VR software is developed properly, the performance requirements won't be as high as they are now where they just brute-force render a separate frame for each eye. There's also a large scale of support for VR, it's not a case of supporting or not supporting it. VR film isn't going to need high requirements, nor will low-end games.

    The resolution of the VR headsets are around 2K total, just above 1080p. Framerates for the NVidia 970M are here:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-970M.126694.0.html

    The highest-end MBP should be just below this level with a 480M. Star Wars Battlefront gets 60FPS at 1080p. That's short of the 90FPS for VR but the quality can be lowered and the above rendering techniques can be used. The next iMac and Mac Pro will easily meet the demands for VR and there are other options for the MBP like running a GPU over Thunderbolt:

    https://www.akitio.com/expansion/thunder2-pcie-box



    http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/6971265

    With a desktop 970 it scores just below the 9271 VR requirement but that requirement doesn't take into account the software boosts above, nor does it vary for different software titles and a 1070 can be used instead.

    PC VR isn't going to take off any time soon because it's far too expensive. Most people don't have PCs to run it. Minimum investment is around $2k including the VR equipment. It's more likely to take off with consoles first at the end of this year:



    The PS4 uses a GPU that is about half the performance of the above 970 so if the PS4 can run VR ok then there's nothing to worry about with upcoming Mac GPU hardware, it's just a case of getting optimal software. The next MBP will be like having a portable PS4 if they use the 480M AMD GPU:



    VR headset sales are mentioned on the following sites:

    http://fortune.com/2016/07/05/virtual-reality-htc-sales/
    http://www.roadtovr.com/htc-vive-sales-figures-data-100000-steamspy-data/
    http://www.roadtovr.com/oculus-reveals-175000-rift-development-kits-sold/

    The enthusiast GPU market is a small fraction of the overall computer industry (<5% overall) and the PC VR market is a small fraction of that (~0.5% overall). When things are important to people, they are vocal about them but businesses have a different perspective.
    lolliver
  • Reply 58 of 82
    Marvin said:
    dchoy said:
    It's all going to depend on whether VR really takes off. If so, and Apple seems to think so, they are going to need hardware that can handle it. I agree it's unlikely all of the new macbooks will have a discrete GPU, but it's likely at least the top end one will and going into 2018 it's likely we'll see a swing back to notebooks with GPUs as standard. 

    Demand will be driven by the uptake of VR, if it's not the next big thing, then I don't think notebooks will bother with GPUs because apart from games there isn't a big consumer demand for graphics intensive applications that need it. 
    When VR is done properly, the performance demands aren't nearly so high. Just now, the software isn't optimal. When you look through VR goggles, your eyes are focused in the middle so they can render the outer parts at a lower resolution (foveated rendering or multi-res shading). This gives about 20-50% performance gain. Single pass stereo using simultaneous multi-projection gets over 30% gain. Interlacing could improve performance by as much as 2x as they'd only need half the frames to hit 90FPS (again it can be foveated). Just a couple of VR techniques will gain 2x the performance. Vulkan can boost performance by 30%.



    Once VR software is developed properly, the performance requirements won't be as high as they are now where they just brute-force render a separate frame for each eye. There's also a large scale of support for VR, it's not a case of supporting or not supporting it. VR film isn't going to need high requirements, nor will low-end games.

    The resolution of the VR headsets are around 2K total, just above 1080p. Framerates for the NVidia 970M are here:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-970M.126694.0.html

    The highest-end MBP should be just below this level with a 480M. Star Wars Battlefront gets 60FPS at 1080p. That's short of the 90FPS for VR but the quality can be lowered and the above rendering techniques can be used. The next iMac and Mac Pro will easily meet the demands for VR and there are other options for the MBP like running a GPU over Thunderbolt:

    https://www.akitio.com/expansion/thunder2-pcie-box



    http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/6971265

    With a desktop 970 it scores just below the 9271 VR requirement but that requirement doesn't take into account the software boosts above, nor does it vary for different software titles and a 1070 can be used instead.

    PC VR isn't going to take off any time soon because it's far too expensive. Most people don't have PCs to run it. Minimum investment is around $2k including the VR equipment. It's more likely to take off with consoles first at the end of this year:



    The PS4 uses a GPU that is about half the performance of the above 970 so if the PS4 can run VR ok then there's nothing to worry about with upcoming Mac GPU hardware, it's just a case of getting optimal software. The next MBP will be like having a portable PS4 if they use the 480M AMD GPU:



    VR headset sales are mentioned on the following sites:

    http://fortune.com/2016/07/05/virtual-reality-htc-sales/
    http://www.roadtovr.com/htc-vive-sales-figures-data-100000-steamspy-data/
    http://www.roadtovr.com/oculus-reveals-175000-rift-development-kits-sold/

    The enthusiast GPU market is a small fraction of the overall computer industry (<5% overall) and the PC VR market is a small fraction of that (~0.5% overall). When things are important to people, they are vocal about them but businesses have a different perspective.
    Conservative estimates for VR with Augmented Reality headsets included are 200 million users by 2020. Do some research and you'll figure it out that the future of immersion will be the next wave of computing for the consumer.

    As has been pointed out by AMD, Vulkan is akin to Metal API where both cover the identical areas. So converting Vulkan [ask Unity and Epic] to Metal or Metal to Vulkan has only accelerated their ability to deliver greater and greater performance over OpenGL. DX12 will eventually lose to Vulkan even in the Windows world.
    edited August 2016 xzulolliver
  • Reply 59 of 82
    appex said:
    Whatever, but Apple should bring standards to all devices, including Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Type-C (reversible) Generation 2 and SDXC with extra pins supporting maximum read/write speeds (300 MB/s). Just about time.
    Hard disks and Hybrids are out.  SSD are in.   600 MB/s Read/Write @ $200 per TB.
    Only on the boot drive.  Putting my 50TB all on SSD would be rather unaffordable.
  • Reply 60 of 82
    Conservative estimates for VR with Augmented Reality headsets included are 200 million users by 2020. Do some research and you'll figure it out that the future of immersion will be the next wave of computing for the consumer.

    As has been pointed out by AMD, Vulkan is akin to Metal API where both cover the identical areas. So converting Vulkan [ask Unity and Epic] to Metal or Metal to Vulkan has only accelerated their ability to deliver greater and greater performance over OpenGL. DX12 will eventually lose to Vulkan even in the Windows world.
    Conservative or any estimates are all over the map right now.  Conservative estimates from last century had us all flying around in our flying cars by now.... 

    The technology that exists right now is clunky and over spec'd for the general market - it is really just stuff that should remain in the lab since it is not ready for prime time.  You have silicon right now (processing power) that is maxing out and getting more and more expensive for each generation that comes out.  If you were to wear what is currently available right now regularly you have a generation in hospital in neck traction by their 40's (right now with the constant smartphone use - probably the 50's right now) with a bunch of blown discs in their neck.  Until you solve the current generation of problems -- estimates are nothing more than smoke in the air.

    By the time it becomes "mainstream" your laptop GPU is going to be many generations beyond the current generation - so nothing to worry about right now since it is not going to be the laptop you are using then.
    edited August 2016
Sign In or Register to comment.