Waaay Late, Mac Specs Suck Now


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Denis W.

Anywhere MX - problem solved. 

Thats all you got ?  LOL -

 

 

To be fair, even though generally Thinkpads are great machines the touchpads, much like other Windows-based laptops, still suffer from crappy drivers and if not that, scrolling performance is poor. I hate Synaptics drivers on Windows with a loathing passion and especially if you're upgrading a Windows 7-era laptop to the initial days of Windows 8 or 8.1, you're putting up with broken scrolling and manufacturers who could give a flying rat's arse about updating their laptop's drivers past one year of purchase. However if you swear by the TrackPoint, then more power to you :)

 

ThinkPad driver support is okay (save for the typical manufacturer-bundled bloatware used to install them). Most of my rants regarding this subject are directed towards Dell whose first two laptops I had from them, they didn't really care to update drivers for their hardware especially if you choose to jump to a newer OS. Example: my second-gen Alienware m11x didn't have its accelerometer drivers updated to work in Windows 8 since, well, Dell discontinued the entire line of laptops right around Windows 8's release. (And yes I did try forcing compatibility to no avail.) And lastly, there's Intel who drops integrated GPU driver support after 2 or 3 years - example, my friend's Studio XPS from 2009 couldn't run Windows 8 because Intel refused to provide drivers for this laptop, which NEEDED custom drivers as it was a dual GPU solution but not Optimus (hence hitting Fn+whatever to switch between integrated and dedicated).

 

On the other hand, Mavericks still supports the 7-year-old MacBook Pro from 2007, complete with full driver support. The advantage of having a small number of configurations and hardware possible means Mac users on laptops need not care much about driver support at all, so long as their machine is still supported by the latest OS X release.

 

Desktops are a totally different ballgame. Just about everything in a custom-built PC has hardware with driver support lasting almost forever so long as you aren't putting anything crazy in there.

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francescob

Way to compare 250 dollar crap machine internals when talking about macs in comparison. 

 

Not biased at all...

Those components aren't used exclusively only on cheap laptops, that's the point. You could find them anywhere because whenever they can save on something they do. Are you telling me you're expecting only high-quality components in an expensive high-end Acer, or HP/Compaq, or Fujitsu, Toshiba laptop? You rarely have the chance to know what you're going to get. You buy a 2000? laptop and - bam! - an ALPS touchpad with the most horrible useless gestures that freezes whenever it wants to, a cheap Radeon with defective vbios that crashes whenever you try putting updated Windows 8 drivers, or some random audio card with hundreds megabytes of software for what Windows already does by default (even worse the "Creative"-enhanced ones), or a screen where all colors look like garbage because either of a poorly configured Intel IGP power saving (and there aren't always are ways to fix that, even Intel now lets the manufacturers lock the drivers) or because it's a cheap antiglare panel for office use, etc. There are of course laptops with the best hardware available (e.g. some office Lenovos or some consumer Samsungs) but the whole PC market is a mess where manufacturers sell whatever garbage they can because they know people only look at "TEH SPECS!". Quad-core? Sold. 1024 video memory? Sold. 1TB hard drive? Sold. And then they're an AMD Quad-core, a 1024mb Geforce 710, or a 1TB 5400RPM 70mb/s 4 platters hard-drive, but people won't even check, because it's only the "buzzword specs" that count.

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Matt B

Denis W. nailed it

Fortunate enough to have a relatively cheap gaming PC I've built with a 6 year old macbook (about time to upgrade it).

Great combo

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Xerino

Whenever I am at Best Buy and see a $2000 macbook pro rocking intel HD graphics... I die a little inside, Apple is more focused on portability meets performance... other OEMs tried this with other portables.. it didnt bode well...

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T3X4S

apple has something any company wishes they could obtain (other than 1/2 trillion dollars in market capital) - a product that people will pay a premium for and ask for more.

 

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francescob

apple has something any company wishes they could obtain (other than 1/2 trillion dollars in market capital) - a product that people will pay a premium for and ask for more.

 

It's more products for which people would be eager to spend far more for higher-specced models. It's with the higher-end models that Apple makes tons of money, the base models aren't really that more expensive than similar PC laptops (of course taking everything in consideration including size and battery life, not just the CPU or RAM). See also with the phone and tablets, the memory-bumped models are crazily more expensive. Other manufacturers can't t even hope people would pay 100$+ for just 16 more GBs of internal memory.

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francescob

Whenever I am at Best Buy and see a $2000 macbook pro rocking intel HD graphics... I die a little inside

 

The Iris Pro they use is faster than a Geforce 740M or Radeon HD7650M, that's why they put it in most of the models. If you consider that similar priced laptops start with a 740M having the Iris Pro is not bad at all. A mid-range Geforce 750M is only 30% faster (and that's pretty bad for a dedicated GPU). Is it worth it having 100 and more MBs of drivers loading at every damn boot just for a slightly faster videocard? Or a noticeably shortened battery life? With the recent speed gains Intel is slowly wiping the floor with the garbage AMD and Nvidia are selling (their recent mobile cards just suck).

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Denis W.

Mobile GeForce chips - ugh. Their current chips are okay but my first laptop was part of those GPUs who died due to poor soldering (I think it was on the VRAM)? Macs that had those chips weren't invulnerable either.

Suffice to say, the laptop which was repaired three times in a row with this same problem, dating from 2007 - it's fully dead now.

In terms of power use though, Intel by far exceeds in this respect, while having terrible driver support. Other way around for Nvidia.

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xWhiplash

I have never had a problem with the video cards in Macbook Pros.  Do people think these are gaming laptops or something?  These are laptops for professionals.  Photographers, video editors, ...

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tsupersonic

I have never had a problem with the video cards in Macbook Pros.  Do people think these are gaming laptops or something?  These are laptops for professionals.  Photographers, video editors, ...

I don't have a problem with the latest Intel integrated graphics. I think people here are just assuming it sucks without giving them a try, going off past history. The majority of laptops on sales today have integrated graphics...Macbook Air/Pro even have the slightly better Intel iGPU versions, so if anything they have an advantage over the PC (Windows) laptops. If you want to game, you're just better off buying a console or desktop computer, imo. Laptops with dedicated GPU's are just a terrible value proposition - you'll have an expensive outdated brick with poor battery life.

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xWhiplash

I don't have a problem with the latest Intel integrated graphics. I think people here are just assuming it sucks without giving them a try, going off past history. The majority of laptops on sales today have integrated graphics...Macbook Air/Pro even have the slightly better Intel iGPU versions, so if anything they have an advantage over the PC (Windows) laptops. If you want to game, you're just better off buying a console or desktop computer, imo. Laptops with dedicated GPU's are just a terrible value proposition - you'll have an expensive outdated brick with poor battery life.

 

I agree.  I have the classic Mac Pro as my main gaming computer as well as using OS X applications.  I installed a GTX 680 in it :)

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satysin

The thing is for me I don't care about spending ?1500 a year to buy a new Macbook Air. I used to spend that on takeaways in a year (?30 once a week) so just cutting that out allows me to buy a top spec laptop every year. Much better use of that money :yes:

 

Also it only costs me ?1500 the first time as I have been able to sell the machine when the new model comes out for about 60% of what I paid for it, around ?900-1000, so the cost each year is pretty small really. Considering how much I use the laptop I like having something as powerful as I can get in the form factor I want. I have been tempted to go for the rMBP but I am holding out for a rMBA if possible :)

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T3X4S

So many people with macs dont do anything anyway - just think they look cool @ Starbucks - so integrated grfx is moot (j/k) :D  For the others who are into media creation/editing - get that sexy beast of a desktop they make.

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francescob

The majority of laptops on sales today have integrated graphics...

 

Unfortunately no, only the cheap low-end models do. Mid-range models use cards like the Nvidia 710M that are absolute garbage, just like the previous Nvidia entry models (100M/110M, 210M, 310M, etc.), or if you're lucky an AMD card that is often noticeably faster (just because they generally don't use entry models bad like Nvidia's) but still garbage good only to slow boot times with bajillions of driver files to load because of the IGP is often still present. Also there are different Intel IGPs, the Iris Pro is much faster than IGPs used in other Intel models that aren't even remotely close. And Apple CPUs are actually custom (as you can see from the code numbers), they ask Intel to design models suited for their laptop/desktop lines with stricter performance, power requirements and this time IGP requirements, of course things you can actually get separately in other CPUs models, they just ask for a specific configuration that suits them best.

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adrynalyne

I have never had a problem with the video cards in Macbook Pros.  Do people think these are gaming laptops or something?  These are laptops for professionals.  Photographers, video editors, ...

Except that those you mentioned and the likes should be using pro cards, not IGP.

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wrack
johnnyftw, on 23 Jul 2014 - 00:20, said:

This. If you're gonna spend that kind of money and you're looking for laptop with serious power, I'm sure you can find something far better.

I would select something like HP Elitebook or Dell Precision Workstation but that is just me.

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francescob

Except that those you mentioned and the likes should be using pro cards, not IGP.

But what are Pro cards? The "Pro" cards are usually just plain standard cards with different names, firmware and drivers. And still they market they have is pretty small, generally only Autocad/3D modeling. The Iris Pro performance-wise wipes the floor with most of the mid-range cards (that's why Intel puts it on 500$+ expensive CPU models), including most of the Quadros/FirePros and though Intel still isn't getting the Autodesk certification the drivers are getting better and better (and certainly both Adobe and Apple do make sure everything works alright since almost the entire Macbook line only comes with Intel IGPs now). The "pro" cards are also extremely expensive so the manufacturer just slap in the slowest models just for the certification, and by slowest I mean some Nvidia 710M-esque (or worse) garbage. Also Apple was already using consumer-grade GPUs in their laptops so it's not like anything has changed at all, if you want a certified AutoDesk machine you still need a Windows laptop.

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adrynalyne

But what are Pro cards? The "Pro" cards are usually just plain standard cards with different names, firmware and drivers. And still they market they have is pretty small, generally only Autocad or other 3D modeling. The Iris Pro performance-wise wipes the floor with most of the mid-range cards (that's why Intel puts it on 500$+ expensive CPU models), including most of the Quadros/FirePros and though Intel still isn't getting the Autodesk certification the drivers are getting better and better (and certainly both Adobe and Apple do make sure everything works alright since almost the entire Macbook line only comes with Intel IGPs now). The "pro" cards are also extremely expensive so the manufacturer just slap in the slowest models just for the certification, and by slowest I mean some Nvidia 710M-esque (or worse) garbage. Also Apple was already using consumer-grade GPUs in their laptops so it's not like anything has changed at all, if you want a certified AutoDesk machine you still need a Windows laptop.

Iris Pro wipes the floor with those cards, in gaming.

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francescob

Iris Pro wipes the floor with those cards, in gaming.

As a general-purpose GPU it wipes the floor with almost everything mid-range. And also in video processing, see QuickSync. As I said for AutoCad and other specialized software that have specific requirements you need a Windows laptop.

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vhane

Except that those you mentioned and the likes should be using pro cards, not IGP.

 

Video editors and 3D modellers could probably use dedicated graphics. For the rest: designers, DJs, music producers, photographers, programmers... they don't need a dedicated card. IGP is good enough for most pros these days. Technology progresses. My iPad has better graphics oomph than my desktop used to have several years back.

 

It's also simple supply and demand. People are buying MBPs with the integrated graphics, so Apple is going to continue selling them. If you need the dedicated graphics, that option is there for you. If you don't need that, take the $ savings and enjoy your longer battery life.

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adrynalyne

Video editors and 3D modellers could probably use dedicated graphics. For the rest: designers, DJs, music producers, photographers, programmers... they don't need a dedicated card. IGP is good enough for most pros these days. Technology progresses. My iPad has better graphics oomph than my desktop used to have several years back.

 

It's also simple supply and demand. People are buying MBPs with the integrated graphics, so Apple is going to continue selling them. If you need the dedicated graphics, that option is there for you. If you don't need that, take the $ savings and enjoy your longer battery life.

Thats why I said what I did.  The original comment didn't include programmers, DJs, etc.

 

As for photography, I suppose the screen's color accuracy is more important.

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tsupersonic

Unfortunately no, only the cheap low-end models do. Mid-range models use cards like the Nvidia 710M that are absolute garbage, just like the previous Nvidia entry models (100M/110M, 210M, 310M, etc.), or if you're lucky an AMD card that is often noticeably faster (just because they generally don't use entry models bad like Nvidia's) but still garbage good only to slow boot times with bajillions of driver files to load because of the IGP is often still present. Also there are different Intel IGPs, the Iris Pro is much faster than IGPs used in other Intel models that aren't even remotely close. And Apple CPUs are actually custom (as you can see from the code numbers), they ask Intel to design models suited for their laptop/desktop lines with stricter performance, power requirements and this time IGP requirements, of course things you can actually get separately in other CPUs models, they just ask for a specific configuration that suits them best.

No, really, the majority of laptops on sale today have iGPU's. Take a look at Bestbuy's site - of the 396 laptops on sale, 257 of them have Intel iGPU's. That number doesn't even include AMD's iGPU's. Newegg: 554 iGPU's vs. 165 dedicated GPU's. Even "high-end" laptops/ultra-portables come with iGPU's: Macbook Air/Pro, Surface Pro 1/2/3, and basically most ultrabooks on the market. You need to go re-read my posts in this thread. I've already stated the Iris Pro iGPU's used in Apple hardware has an advantage over the Windows laptops that use the Intel HD4xxx series. Yep, I already knew Apple has "custom" Intel CPU's. Anyways getting back to iGPU - iGPU has gotten much more powerful to the point that it satisfies most people's need, hence why they're more popular than dedicated GPU's. 

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francescob

No, really, the majority of laptops on sale today have iGPU's. Take a look at Bestbuy's site - of the 396 laptops on sale, 257 of them have Intel iGPU's. That number doesn't even include AMD's iGPU's. Newegg: 554 iGPU's vs. 165 dedicated GPU's. Even "high-end" laptops/ultra-portables come with iGPU's: Macbook Air/Pro, Surface Pro 1/2/3, and basically most ultrabooks on the market. You need to go re-read my posts in this thread. I've already stated the Iris Pro iGPU's used in Apple hardware has an advantage over the Windows laptops that use the Intel HD4xxx series. Yep, I already knew Apple has "custom" Intel CPU's. Anyways getting back to iGPU - iGPU has gotten much more powerful to the point that it satisfies most people's need, hence why they're more popular than dedicated GPU's. 

I don't know which kind of laptops BestBuy usually keeps in stock but from what I've seen in stores/online websites the laptop models that aren't low-end, except for truly high-end models or ultrabooks/tablets that are a different market, come with garbageish dedicated GPUs like the 710M-740M/AMD counterparts. Now a lot of them are also coming with garbageish low-power CPUs (U series). Of course if we're talking about sales (rather than model availability) most of the laptops sold are the ones with IGPs just like it has been for a long while. That said unless I had 2000-3000? to spend on a laptop I'd take an Iris Pro over any mid-range GPU nvidia/AMD have to offer. What is really bad about Intel IGPs is that you are forced to buy them even when you don't use them (since they're integrated in the CPU) therefore Intel has zero incentive to improve the IGPs in low-end models when Nvidia/AMD are basically just "cashing in on the dedicated GPU stickers".

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adrynalyne

No, really, the majority of laptops on sale today have iGPU's. Take a look at Bestbuy's site - of the 396 laptops on sale, 257 of them have Intel iGPU's. That number doesn't even include AMD's iGPU's. Newegg: 554 iGPU's vs. 165 dedicated GPU's. Even "high-end" laptops/ultra-portables come with iGPU's: Macbook Air/Pro, Surface Pro 1/2/3, and basically most ultrabooks on the market. You need to go re-read my posts in this thread. I've already stated the Iris Pro iGPU's used in Apple hardware has an advantage over the Windows laptops that use the Intel HD4xxx series. Yep, I already knew Apple has "custom" Intel CPU's. Anyways getting back to iGPU - iGPU has gotten much more powerful to the point that it satisfies most people's need, hence why they're more popular than dedicated GPU's. 

Most of Best Buy's laptops are not high end.  The majority are low end.

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sanctified

You do that. Sorry about your poor value proposition.

 

Value is not inherent, a person has to grant an idea of value in order to be detonated by a source. You are, basically, arguing that everyone should hold your own ruleset of values, else they are all wrong.

 

Please, call us when you find a cheaper laptop not made by Apple that runs OS X natively and with support... because, you know, some people like OS X.

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