Intel Integrated graphics should be illegal...or at least upgradable

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Wow, this is bad.

So I have the latest Santa Rosa shiny new MacBook. And it's wicked fast--save for anything that involves your eyeballs.

I'm not even complaining about 3D performance. I'm no gamer. But even the 2D performance suffers with Intel integrated!

As a brand new product, it STILL says it cannot perform some of Keynote's super-cool transition. I think that's kind of sad for a brand new product.

Moreover, in other Quartz-intensive 2D things (like, say, using anything in the finder), this shiny new macbook is NOTICEABLY SLOWER than an old 12" PBG4 (both with Leopard). Ridiculous!

Apple, at least make non-terrible graphics a BTO option for your MacBooks! I just can't afford a MacBook Pro (not to mention it's too big..)

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Dr. Webster's picture
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Integrated graphics suffer if

Integrated graphics suffer if you aren't running dual-channel RAM.

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I am running dual-channel RAM

I am running dual-channel RAM!

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i couldnt agree with you more

i couldnt agree with you more about intel GMA being terrible as discussed in the other thread.

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i think the reason why Apple

i think the reason why Apple went with intel intergraded GPU's in the Macbooks was the fear that it would keep the Macbook Pro from selling, if they put a dedicated GPU in the Macbooks then they can perform the same or maybe faster then the MBP, and Apple doesn't want that to happen, they want you to buy a high price MBP to get the performance, and pay less for the MB with its slower in performance.

i do not know if this will ever change ( prolly not). but Apple decided that entry level Macs perform slower then the high end Mac's to keep them from competing with each other. if the MB was the same in performance as the MBP is then what do you think people would buy. the MBP would hardly sell but only to the people that want bigger screens, which would doom the MBP. cause people would be buying the Macbook cause its low price

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So you're saying the only rea

So you're saying the only reason the MacBook Pro is desirable is because of an artificial discrepancy created by Apple? Well that's encouraging...

No PC manufacturer could get away with this. I can see the conversation now:

"Oh, you want non-integrated graphics? you'll have to jump from the HP to the HP Pro. Oh, it's $800 more (a healthy 70% increase) and in an entirely different size/weight class of laptops...what's that? you're going to go buy a Dell instead?"

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That's the way it is in the PC world too

Janus wrote:

So you're saying the only reason the MacBook Pro is desirable is because of an artificial discrepancy created by Apple? Well that's encouraging...

No PC manufacturer could get away with this. I can see the conversation now:

"Oh, you want non-integrated graphics? you'll have to jump from the HP to the HP Pro. Oh, it's $800 more (a healthy 70% increase) and in an entirely different size/weight class of laptops...what's that? you're going to go buy a Dell instead?"

As I noted in another topic, as far as I know you have to upgrade from a $650-750 laptop to one in the $1200-1500 range to get a dedicated low-end graphics system in a PC laptop.

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I just checked HP/Compaq and

I just checked HP/Compaq and Dell.

Compaq has a $550 laptop that already includes dedicated graphics (GeForce Go 7150M) [V6500Z]

HP has a $600 laptop that has intel integrated but can be upgraded to 128MB GeForce 8400M for $80

They also have a $700 laptop that has a GeForce Go 7150M standard that can be upgraded to GeForce 8400M GS for $80

Dell also has a $700 laptop with intel integrated that can be upgraded to GeForce 8400M GS for $100

So it would appear that Apple has no excuse other than "because we can! muahaha!"

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i wanna chime in again here

i wanna chime in again here that the 6150 and 7150 Nvidia is not totally discrete. it still shares ram that the system uses. as for the 8400 its as mediocre as they come for "discrete" graphics. either way, all of them are better than Intel.

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Re: i wanna chime in again here

Smiththers wrote:

either way, all of them are better than Intel.

And THAT is what makes this so heartbreaking Sad

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if you take it into thought,

if you take it into thought, all of the newer intel GPU's get smoked by any ATI or Nvidia GPU that is even quite a few generations old.

but really you dont need allot of GPU power if you are only going to be doing word or text based work and a bit of web surfing. but it does impact the performance of OS X when a GPU isn't up to the task, and that can put a damper on how well a computer will run.

granted integrated intel GPU's should only be available to businesses and kept out of the hands of every day computer users, wasnt that originally what the intel GPU's was geared for in the first place. there is low end dedicated GPU's that have around the same price point as the intel GPU and will destroy the newest intel GPU's.

Company's keep buying the intel GPU's and using them for consumer computers and wont stop doing so until people stop buying computers with intel GPU's in them. but not everyone knows the difference between a intel GPU and a dedicated GPU, and there lies the problem and it wont change anytime soon, and there is the people that just want a computer and don't need a powerful GPU to do what they want it to do and that is the other issue.

i know the mini G4 used a dedicated 9200 (i think) the intel mini uses a intel GPU, if the 9200 GPU was in the intel mini do you think the 9200 would out perform the intel GPU. i know some things are not supported by the 9200 that the GMA950 supports. but which one would be faster and provide better performance.

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Re: if you take it into thought,

madmax_2069 wrote:

Company's keep buying the intel GPU's and using them for consumer computers and wont stop doing so until people stop buying computers with intel GPU's in them.

And therein lay the problem: Apple doesn't give me that choice. And forcing me to buy a model that is bigger and heavier than I want and almost 200% more expensive is not a real choice..

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Re: if you take it into thought,

Janus wrote:
madmax_2069 wrote:

Company's keep buying the intel GPU's and using them for consumer computers and wont stop doing so until people stop buying computers with intel GPU's in them.

And therein lay the problem: Apple doesn't give me that choice. And forcing me to buy a model that is bigger and heavier than I want and almost 200% more expensive is not a real choice..

oops forgot to add that point to my post. if a computer company dont offer a low end computer with a dedicated GPU you have no choice but to go to the next tier of their line and spend more money.

that is where apple has you by the balls.

i was looking around on ebay for a video card for my DA and i stumbled on a video card replacement for a laptop (it was a dedicated GPU, but cant remember the model or what computer it was for), if Dell, or other computer company do this Apple should as well. but i think that would require a redesign of the mobo (lobo to some) in the MB to do that with. yes there is allot of people buying the MB from Apple, but what percent woyld opt for a better video card in a MB if it was a option, do you think having that as a option would boost sales for Apple.

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I imagine it would boost reve

I imagine it would boost revenues if offered as an option. If Apple is worried about cannibalizing MacBook Pro sales, then maybe they should try differentiating the products in a way that makes the MacBook Pro comparatively good instead of making the MacBook comparatively bad.

I think enough little differences can add up to a substantial enough difference
-higher resolution iSight (done)
-ExpressCard expansion slot (done)
-FireWire 800 (done)
-backlit keyboard and ambient light sensors (done)
-7200RPM hard drives (should be standard)
-a ludicrously good discrete graphics card (against a merely non-terrible one in the macbook)
-touchscreen?
-swivel screen?
-WiMax/3G WLAN support?
-memory card reader?
-TV tuner?
-how about those high-tech OLED keys that can change what it says on each key?
-or one of the wacky touch-interfaces Apple seems to be working on in the labs?

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What can WE, the hackers (and wannabes) do?

If someone can do this: http://www.bigmech.com/misc/c64mods/ to a Commodore 64, maybe someone can hack better video into a MacBook. I guess though there is MUCH less room in an inch thick laptop...

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Seems like the best outlet fo

Seems like the best outlet for hacker energies would be to get Mac OS X running on Intel machines made by more flexible manufacturers...

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Re: What can WE, the hackers (and wannabes) do?

Unknown1 wrote:

If someone can do this: http://www.bigmech.com/misc/c64mods/ to a Commodore 64, maybe someone can hack better video into a MacBook. I guess though there is MUCH less room in an inch thick laptop...

I'm not sure how grabbing signals which already exist on a circuit board and running them to a jack through some resistors really compares to trying to shoehorn an AGP/PCI-E device into a machine without a slot (or even a header... or even solder pads) for it.

Not to say the remodeled C64 isn't a nice piece of work. I always thought the brown breadbox case of the original C64 was a good contender for the title of ugliest computer enclosure ever made. ;^)

--Peace

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i had a c64 once... never did

i had a c64 once... never did much with it though.

yea i think the whole hacking the video thing is a touch on the extreme/unattainable side....

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Hacking Laptop Video

Smiththers wrote:

i had a c64 once... never did much with it though.

yea i think the whole hacking the video thing is a touch on the extreme/unattainable side....

Extreme?!? That is what hacking is about isn't it?!?

Unattainable?!? Well, probably so. It was a pleasant thought for a moment...

What kind of graphics interface is involved in Intel 950 integrated? Is it AGP or PCIx or what?

What kind of graphics did the iBook G4 have?

I still have a Commodore 128D and an Amiga 1200 in storage (along with 3 Color Classics, a 6500 and an LC) to be resurrected when we have a dedicated computer room, someday....

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Re: Hacking Laptop Video

Unknown1 wrote:

What kind of graphics interface is involved in Intel 950 integrated? Is it AGP or PCIx or what?

The Intel GMA graphics are integrated into the same silicon die which contains the motherboard chipset memory controller. (Often called the "Northbridge") There's no separate piece you could unsolder and replace with something better. The Northbridge itself has the circuitry for a 16x PCIe video slot, (which is why competing manufacturers can offer upgradeable video) but said circuitry is completely inaccessible on Apple's motherboard. Getting to it would mean somehow getting underneath a 1,299 contact (not making that number up) FC-BGA chip and rerouting both the tied-off PCIe lines and the LCD interface outputs to an appropriate header. Good luck with that.

--Peace

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eek...right, back to os x86 t

eek...right, back to os x86 then!

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Maybe...

Maybe we should all go back to Commodore 64s and Amigas and be amazed at 16 color and 4096 color graphics and hardware sprites!

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And don't forget the multi-re

And don't forget the multi-resolution & frequency screen overlay (ie drag actual screens up and down like windows over each other). I've never seen anything else like that since. Multi desktops ala Xwindows and Leopard Spaces is kinda-sorta getting there.

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Love Da Bomb

Unknown1 wrote:

Maybe we should all go back to Commodore 64s and Amigas and be amazed at 16 color and 4096 color graphics and hardware sprites!

Just to play devil's advocate here, there's actually a fair bit to like about Intel's GMA graphics if you're a fan of Old Skool home computers. Intel's chipset may suck at 3D rendering (triangle generation, etc.), but it's actually very good at a lot of other things considering the minimalistic nature of the hardware. It has a good scaling engine, it can do video playback quite well, and if you like sprites just pretend that OpenGL textures are sprites. Big, arbitrarily scalable sprites. (All the "simple" video manipulation bits, like blitter and move operations are hardware accelerated.) Everything an Amiga could do in hardware the Intel GMA can do, if not quite the same way. It's *much* more capable then the old Framebuffer-only vampire graphics which came in some Macintoshes. (Like the IIci or Powermac 6100.)

A while back an item on my project list was to stuff a scrounged Intel motherboard with onboard graphics into a dead Apple IIe and use it as an emulator machine under Linux. GMA's plenty fast for that, and since the Apple II series also used framebuffers in RAM it seemed pretty apropos. Life moved on and I never had the time, but, well, it's still a good idea. An Intel Mac Mini stealthed inside an Apple IIc would be brilliant. ;^)

The real problem with Intel GMA graphics and Apple is that OS X's interface is such a freaking cow. GMA is "mediocre", but that should only show while playing "Doom", not just dragging stuff around the desktop.

--Peace

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So are you making the rather

So are you making the rather bold claim that a graphics chip from 2006 is more capable than one from 1994? i refuse to believe it.

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Re: So are you making the rather

Janus wrote:

So are you making the rather bold claim that a graphics chip from 2006 is more capable than one from 1994? i refuse to believe it.

*Snirk* Hey, I'm not the one who dragged up Amigas, which people still seem to think had magical properties unmatched by any computer since. ;^)

I do think this rant about Intel GMA graphics is somewhat overblown. Do they suck compared to real graphics cards? Yes. Does it suck that Apple makes you spend twice the money instead of another $80 to get something better? Yes. So what? Apple is all about selling a "total package", not about the performance or value of their hardware. In Apple's world fast graphics in a portable computer is the $2000 package, take it or leave it. Only a "business professional" who can easily afford that "level" needs to do fancy transitions in Keynote anyway, right? As for gaming Macs arn't about that anyway, so who cares? They're about flipping through your photos with Cover Flow and buying music and movies from the iTunes store while blogging about how great your Macintosh is compared to your bad old Windows machine. GMA is fast enough for that even with Leopard sucking up half your dual-channel RAM as long as you don't have anything else to compare it to.

(/done channeling Steve Jobs.)

Apple has a right to arrange their product line anyway they like. They've chosen to arrange that product line in such a way that getting any significant upgrade in functionality involves a major upsell rather then a minor upgrade, because it maximizes their profits and simplifies their inventory. You have the right not to buy said products if they don't meet your needs. Howver: Apple's software and OS are an integral part of their product line, and by refusing to buy their products you no longer have the option of running their software, which should figure into your calculations when doing feature comparisons. (How important is OS X to you, really, then?) You don't have the legal right to pirate their software because you don't like the terms they sell it under, no matter how "unreasonable" they might be. ("They wanted me to spend $800 more then I had to carry a laptop two pounds heavier then I wanted in order to get fast graphics!" is not a constitutional defense capable of trumping Apple's copyright and contract rights in a court of law.)

I'm not defending them here, but it's the way it is.

--Peace

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oops...sorry i should have pu

oops...sorry i should have put a Wink smiley face after that as it was all shitsngiggles, not meant to be any sort of serious affront. my bad.

Either way I still hate Apple for this.

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Re: oops...sorry i should have pu

Janus wrote:

oops...sorry i should have put a Wink smiley face after that as it was all shitsngiggles, not meant to be any sort of serious affront. my bad.

Eh. ;^)

Quote:

Either way I still hate Apple for this.

I personally hate them for the single-button touchpads. Come on now, really... :^b

--Peace

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Re: oops...sorry i should have pu

Janus wrote:

Either way I still hate Apple for this.

And you're completely free to purchase a computer of your liking from any of the other myriad manufacturers, provided you don't want to run the Mac OS. I hate Paramount for making Star Trek: Voyager, but I don't start threads saying that Voyager should be "illegal".

(Incidentally, talk of hacking OS X to run on generic PC hardware is verboten around these parts, seeing as it's illegal and all.)

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Re: oops...sorry i should have pu

Dr. Webster wrote:

(Incidentally, talk of hacking OS X to run on generic PC hardware is verboten around these parts, seeing as it's illegal and all.)

i was wondering when someone was going to bring that up, though it'd be neat, ive heard many horror stories of even getting it to work and it isnt worth the time or the legal issues.

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hey justin how is your HP? i

hey justin how is your HP? i was thinking of picking up their little tiny tablet

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i have NOTHING bad to say abo

i have NOTHING bad to say about this little thing, also i was able to find drivers for XP so i have my choice of OS for it too. that may not be the case with any of the brand new ones though, mine was a variant model of the ones that came with XP before vista was released. However, i have tweaked vista to the point that it runs as smoothly as XP with the exception that it takes atleast 1 minute to find a wireless network on boot up. other than that i love this thing, it plays games that it shouldn't!

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It's all about the drivers, m

It's all about the drivers, man. It's as frustrating as Windows gets when you want to upgrade and the manufacturer doesn't deem your hardware worthy enough to generate new drivers. Apple doesn't deem anyone else's hardware worthy of running OS X but their own (and as long as it is recent up to point X in the model line). Wink

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X3100

Ok, I know the Intel 950 is bad new. I have one in the Mini and one in the MB. I was forced to get a MBP for the simple reason that the 950 in the MB can't handle the software I need to run while I boot camped into XP. I got tired of carrying 2 notebooks... I used to carry a Mac for my own use when I am on the road and a Toshiba with a 6600 Go to run the demo software.

But, anybody know how is the X3100? How is that compare to... say, a nVidia 6150?

I am kind of expect the X3100 in to show up in the Mini any time now.

Red

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something tells me that intel

something tells me that intel will always be intel and never really make better than a sub-par video chipset. just my thoughts. I just think that after several years of making these things they could come out with something better thats all. Im a very strong Nvidia fan and 6150 is great built in video...

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My wife was given a Compaq C7

My wife was given a Compaq C713NR laptop with X3100 on the 965 series chipset that runs Vista. The Windows Experience Index rated it at about 3.1 or so. I just picked up an ATI HD2400 Pro AGP card to use in my P4 tower and it was ranked at 3.3. I swapped out the ATI for an nVidia 7600GS card that ranks at 4.4. So, I'd say that it ranks right along with bottom end DX10 chips because the bottom end nVidia 8400 is supposed to be slower than the HD2400. Of course now that I've got a card that runs fine under Linux again, I'll drop my 30 day trial install of Vista. The only reason I even installed it was to see if the HD2400 card actually worked... and it didn't under Linux, thus the nVidia.

I haven't done much playing with her laptop but I did find out that Second Life has specific issues with the chipset under Vista. Something abut broken support in certain functions, but I didn't check any further to see if it was the Intel hardware or the drivers that were the source.

I haven't researched a lot, but it seems the Compaq C700 series might be good for a BYO Macbook. Wink

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