According to Anandtech the 2880 x 1800 Pixel HiDPI Display of the new MacBook Pro Retina has to deal with so much pixels, the GPU cannot deal with that amount of information anymore. This results in slow performance and a jumpy interface (scrolling and zooming is very slow). Previous models of the MacBook Pro could display between 46-60 frames per second, while the MacBook Pro Retina is only capable of displaying 18-24fps. Mac OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion should improve this a little - but still under 30fps. According to Anand, the solution will be the upcoming Haswell and Broadwell chipsets from Intel, that will be released in 2013.
To quantify exactly what I was seeing I measured frame rate while scrolling as quickly as possible through my Facebook news feed in Safari on the rMBP as well as my 2011 15-inch High Res MacBook Pro. While last year’s MBP delivered anywhere from 46 - 60 fps during this test, the rMBP hovered around 20 fps (18 - 24 fps was the typical range). Remember at 2880 x 1800 there are simply more pixels to push and more work to be done by both the CPU and the GPU. It’s even worse in those applications that have higher quality assets: the CPU now has to decode images at 4x the resolution of what it’s used to. Future CPUs will take this added workload into account, but it’ll take time to get there.
For early adopters and for posers, the new MacBook Pro Retina might be a fit. For serious people using their computers to actually get work done, it might be better to get a MacBook Pro from the previous Generation, since the price drops are significant: the Apple MacBook Air MC968LL/A 11.6-Inch currently sells for $829 new (refurbished from $789), the Apple MacBook Pro MC700LL/A 13.3-Inch sells for $1050 new ($900 refurbished).
The Apple MacBook Pro MC975LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display (NEWEST VERSION) starts at $2,089.99.
This post was written by nanofunk on July 11, 2012 and last edited on July 11, 2012
Post categories: apple, examples, gadgets, hardware, interfaces, news, opinions, osx, review, Visual Graphic Arts
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