Questions before buying a MacBook Pro

  • Hi guys,

    Thank you for your aswers!

    Somehow I have no choice if I want a Mac and performances. The last RMBP with the AMD GPU is the only choice I have... It's breaking my heart, I always complained about Apple :'(

    I'll have to give up CUDA, but anyways I think the standalone R9 M370X  will always be more powerful than the GT750M with CUDA.

  • Arrockant

    Which apps are you using that support CUDA?
    Will you miss it?

  • I use the Adobe CS5... But don't worry I'll still use it, even without a Nvidia GPU ;)

  • I almost certain that OpenCL is preferred for performance in Adobe CS Premiere Pro even if you have a CUDA supported card. I don't use Adobe Apps so not sure what else might use CUDA.

  • For me the main cuda software is resolve, it is not cuda only it can do open cl but there have been some disasters with opencl and AMD (focused on the nMP, but it scares me a little away from AMD).

    Here is an article 
    Here is 2 years of problems using AMD cards, apple admitted there was a problem for some models and it is expected they will extend the repair soon.
    Basically the AMD cards could not function above 50°, this is also personal as every AMD cpu or gfx card I had had problems. The catalyst control centre is way less stable (however more flexible) than the Nvidia control centre (on any OS), so much so that linux releases have now completely dropped support for AMD released drivers, they will only work with 3rd party community developed drivers ( In the wild AMD seems to be going well on imacs and they are super powerful, but not portable.
    For the apple laptops with AMD I was working with some people to iron out a few problems with performance on a show, there were 3 maxed out retinas with Nvidia and one newer model with AMD. In playing a simple HD movie but with a complex sync system, the AMD was always lagging and glitching, the Nvida machines kept up well. (they were all fresh installs with the same software ram disk space and specs), out tests showed all the other hardware and software was functioning properly and timing was spot on for data, it was just the gfx rendering that was the issue and the only variable was the card.
    Both this scenario and the resolve scenario are very specific, and most likely will not have any impact on Izzy users. The fact that I saw these issues scared me off AMD and when it comes time to get a new machine I will have a much more serious look at non apple alternatives that can run OSX.

  • I'm in the same situation : for a new live project I need to advise a Theater to buy a computer in the next month. I was waiting skylake processor and it'll not be on time. 

    My set is this one : 2 BM ultrastudio mini rec thru thunderbolt for 2  720p inputs and one output thru thunderbolt for a Matroxtriplehead2GO DP edition with 3 X 1366X768 max resolution.
    For that, I miss one thunderbolt. I have the possibility to use a usb3 BM input instead of thunderbolt but I never tried it and it's more expensive.
    The latest iMac tested with triplehead on Matrox website is a 2012 model... and the answer from Matrox assistance to my question is :

    "Although we have not tested the MacPro of 2013, and cannot therefore put it into our recommendations, we understand that some of our customers have successfully used it with our device.The same applies to the most recent iMac  - we have not tested it ourselves but we know of people who tell us they are using this combination."

    Thanks a lot Matrox, your answer helps me. I have already a Matroxtriple digital edition which doesn't work anymore with my MBP 2,6 GHZ intel core i7. I can't advise to buy a MBP or an iMac for 3600 € and 1000 € more for externals if it's not strong enough for 50 performances.

    I have 2 besides questions : did someone try 30 m optical thunderbolt wire (from Corning) to put my matrox on stage ? And did someone try a thunderbolt 2 dock like OWC for a 720p input (with BM minirec) and a different output thru hdmi at the same time ? (it's maybe the alternative of Matrox).

    Thank you.

  • Hi all,

    I have some questions about almost same subject. But it's more focused on using Isadora.
    I have to buy a MacBookPro for a music band that will be used to play fullHD movies with 8 audiotracks : one movie at a time, basic vid-gpu effects (chroma,luma,contrast corrections, H/V flip, basic quick corners mapping).
    Of course, the mac will have internal SSD and at least 8Go RAM.

    I'm a bit lost in OpenCL, CUDA (NVIDIA),... I'd like to know what videocard will / will not handle vid-gpu's new Isadora capabilities. If not, what happens. ?

    What about AVFoundation engine on Intel HD Graphics 3000 (MBP 13' early 2011) by example ?
    Does it plays smoother with a dedicated videocard like GeForce GT 650M (MBP 15' mid 2012) ?

    Your lights are more than welcomed.


  • Perhaps and sometimes,, mac is not the only way.....

  • @fifou definitely go for a dedicated video card not the integrated. Mac is way behind in this, current decent cards (even for laptops) are 4 gig of GFX memory, mac is still 2 max, but this is better than an intel integrated.

  • Thanks for your replies.
    Personally I would definitely go for a dedicated GFX card, but we have budget issues.
    My questions are :
    What functions a GeForce GT 650M can handle in Isadora, that an Intel HD Graphics 4000 can't ?
    (by example..)
    For playing a single PhotoJPEG FullHD movie (with QT engine), with basic vid-gpu chroma-luma-contrast corrections, and basic quick corner mapping, I need a SSD drive, at least 8Go RAM, but is a 13' MacBookPro (Intel HD 4000) powerful enough ?

    All the best


  • I did not do any side by side tests. Generally when I have had to use the integrated gfx everything is limited, less effects and slower performance- for non live stuff you watch the render time double. You can not upgrade it later so it is worth the money up front- or buy a PC with much better specs for the same price.