Originally Posted by dafootballer
I dont think alot of people understand the GPUs in the Macbooks (unless someone already explained it)
Most of the new macbooks use two GPUs the integrated and a 3rd party (like Nvidia or AMD) when the macbook is in idle mode or not doing anything 3D intensive it switches over to the integrated saving battery, when the computer is playing a game or doing something with 3D models it switches to the AMD or Nvidia GPU
Most people also either don't monitor what the GPUs are doing, or understand how utterly useless
Apple's implementation of GPU switching is, and I say this as a previous owner of a maxed out 2.66GHz 15" i7 from April 2010. Sold that in November and have been using a 13" base model 2010 Macbook Pro as a temporary measure ever since.
It's good in that it no longer needs you to log out to manually switch GPUs or restart the system like older Windows notebooks with GPU switching. It is far less useful than nVidia's Optimus technology.
With the GPU switching on OSX it simply switches over to the more powerful GPU as soon as certain APIs are used. So anything that uses OpenGL, CoreAnimation (seeing increased usage in applications now) or hardware accelerated video will automatically switch over to the dedicated card.
Firefox 4 now has GPU accelerated page rendering, so if that is enabled, whenever your web browser is open (remember, the default behaviour for Mac apps is to close windows but leave the application
open) you are running the dedicated GPU. Even if you disable acceleration (which makes it the quickest browser on OSX by far
right now) as soon as you encounter any flash on the net that is hardware accelerated you are locked to the dedicated GPU until you quit the application. (Safari is the exception here) In all cases, except with a few of Apple's own applications, as soon as something uses the dedicated GPU the system is locked to it until you quit that application, even if it is no longer using it.
More and more applications are using CoreAnimation which means that even basic programs like twitter clients automatically kick it onto the dedicated card until you quit that application. It is a worthless
Apple's drivers for the Intel graphics cards are also very poor, so even if you do manage to force it to use the Intel GPU (some applications will still change it to the dedicated card in the background regardless) they either don't run properly at all, or the performance is very
Originally Posted by Citra
I don't get it, is thunderbolt the same as light peak?
They renamed it because it is using copper connections now rather than fiber optics. No light involved.
Originally Posted by andrews2547
with apple its not about the hardware its about the software, i got a 1.25GHz single core powerbook g4 with 1gb ram and i can open 200 safari windows before it starts slowing down. if you can find another computer running windows with similar specs that can do that then please tell me, i know that opening loads of windows for surfing the internet isnt the most important but i also done a start up race with my powerbook and my sisters laptop which has got a 2.8GHz intel dual core with 4gb ram and a 7200rpm HDD with windows 7 64bit and it took about 2 minutes to load to a usable state, where as on my powerbook it took 45 seconds and its got a 5400rpm HDD and it loads programs a lot quicker
What a load of crap. Browsers in general on OSX are much slower performing than their Windows counterparts on the same hardware. Safari and Chrome are painful to use on the 2.4GHz MBP I've got right now. OSX needs far more RAM to multitask well compared to Windows too. That notebook has 4GB and it can often hang for 30+ seconds if you switch from doing web browsing to photo editing (in Lightroom) or any other demanding applications. I have a lower spec PC with 4GB RAM which has no such issue.
I had a maxed out 17" Powerbook years ago (I think 1.6GHz? The last one before they switched to Intel) and it was not a fast machine at all. It cost me the best part of Â£3000 and couldn't even handle 480p videos on youtube.
Originally Posted by ez12a
windows 7 automatically schedules defrags by default.
This is another common misconception that Mac users have. OSX does try to manage things so that files over 20MB in size are contiguous but it ends up slowing down just as much as Windows machines do when you haven't defragged them for a while. The difference is that Mac users assume they never do have to defrag, and there's no utility to check current fragmentation built into the OS so they are blissfully ignorant.
One of the older Macbooks we've got here (running 10.6 though) absolutely needs
defragging every few months or else it gets unbearably slow to use.
Even better, as OSX does not come with any sort of defragmentation utility, you have to shell out $30 for a copy of iDefrag.
Originally Posted by hellonwheelz
I hope usb 3 dies quickly. Interfaces that you can daisy chain are always better IMO. Think of it as a combo port where you can use 6 devices at the same time... and 2 of those are displays! Faster and less port real estate FTW.
Hm, I disagree with that. It can
be convenient at times. For example once they update their cinema displays to use thunderbolt it will be good to "dock" your notebook to one which has several drives or other devices daisy-chained to it via a single cable.
On the other-hand, it encourages the use of less physical ports on devices and means you can end up with a right mess of wires when you have one devices going into another with only one wire actually going into your notebook.
With thunderbolt you also have to be mindful of what order your daisy-chain your devices into the system. You can bottleneck the whole connection with certain lower-bandwidth devices if they're early in the chain.
OSX is a far nicer
operating system to use as a desktop OS compared to Windows, and third-party applications for it are generally much better designed. The cost of the hardware and the limited selection of hardware that you have to run it on is crap though. It is only now in 2011 that we finally
have quad core processors in their notebooks and even then we still
don't have USB3 support. Their portable
systems (MBA) have far better screens than the 13" pro
notebooks. 1280x800 is horribly cramped to use and there is no option to get rid of that stupid glass panel they put on front of it.
Want to use Bluray? Tough. I can't understand why they even bother to ship the machines with a useless 8x DVD drive.
Yes the hardware looks nice and it is reasonably well made (though quality has been dropping over the years) but it's getting harder and harder to justify the premiums they tack onto their systems.
The reason I sold my i7 at the end of last year was in anticipation of these and I doubt I'm going to bother picking one up. There are so many little things that are still missing that I'll be wanting to upgrade again next year when Ivy bridge finally forces them to use USB3 three years late.