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sockpuppet
09-26-2017, 08:45 AM
Hello there,

I have used Macs professionally for many years and am now considering getting a second hand one - cannot afford new - for the home.

However I am being seriously put off by Apple's continued use of integrated graphics rather than a 'proper' dedicated graphics card.

I've always liked Mac Minis but the only one I can find with a dedicated card is from Mid 2011 (the I5 running at 2.5ghz) all the others use integrated and the price for this model second hand - if you can find one - is quite frankly stupid. In fact most Macs seem to have integrated graphics unless you go for a Power Mac, like the cheese graters I have been using at work, and sadly I just do not have the space for one.

Space restrictions also mean that an iMac with built in screen is just too large.

So does anyone know of an old Mac model that has a dedicated graphics card given the above space issues?

I guess, unless I have missed something, that it would have to be some kind of laptop and these are thin on the ground in the PC world with dedicated graphics so I suspect I am asking the impossible. But if you don't ask...

Hope someone can help. (Oh I'm in the UK)

pendlewitch
09-26-2017, 11:42 AM
Hello sockpupet,
The MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012) and MacBook Pro (Retina, Early 2013) models had automatic switching between integrated and discrete or dedicated processors namely the Intel HD Graphics 4000 and Nvidia GeForce GT 650M if that helps.

MacInWin
09-26-2017, 12:03 PM
Welcome to the forum. You said:

However I am being seriously put off by Apple's continued use of integrated graphics rather than a 'proper' dedicated graphics card.
What, exactly, causes you to be "seriously put off" by the design? How something is accomplished is immaterial. What is key is simply that it is accomplished. As long as the resulting graphics output meets your operational needs, why do you care how that need is met? So, how is the current set of offerings from Apple (or the recent past, in the case of used equipment), not meeting your operational need? If it's truly a "need" then perhaps none of the Macs, short of the Mac Pro, can meet your requirements.

sockpuppet
09-26-2017, 02:08 PM
Hello sockpupet,
The MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012) and MacBook Pro (Retina, Early 2013) models had automatic switching between integrated and discrete or dedicated processors namely the Intel HD Graphics 4000 and Nvidia GeForce GT 650M if that helps.

Hi,

Many thanks for the suggestions, I'll check these out - here's hoping!

sockpuppet
09-26-2017, 02:21 PM
Welcome to the forum. You said:

What, exactly, causes you to be "seriously put off" by the design? How something is accomplished is immaterial. What is key is simply that it is accomplished. As long as the resulting graphics output meets your operational needs, why do you care how that need is met? So, how is the current set of offerings from Apple (or the recent past, in the case of used equipment), not meeting your operational need? If it's truly a "need" then perhaps none of the Macs, short of the Mac Pro, can meet your requirements.

Well to be blunt I have yet to find any small format computer, be they PC or Apple which has an integrated graphics system that can outperform a dedicated one. There are too many bottlenecks (memory clock, amount of memory available, bus speed etc etc.) It does not matter on the make of the graphics system they are designed to do a specific job well where as an integrated system is a bit of a compromise, how much depends on how it is implemented but they just cannot produce the same frame rates at the same resolutions as a dedicate system can.

To be honest I don't know why Apple has chosen this route, they have a great OS - a hell of a lot better than that 'other' one, good designs - Apples just look so darn cool when compared to a PC blob and yet they keep going for integrated graphics, and seem to be reducing the options for a dedicated system more and more with each new release. Wish I knew why.

If anyone can point me at some benchmarks that show otherwise then please do so, but as far as I can tell dedicated beats integrated no-matter what platform they are implemented on.

MacInWin
09-26-2017, 05:13 PM
I don't dispute that a dedicated GPU can outperform an integrated one. That's a given. What I asked was, why does that matter to you? What do you want to do with an system that cannot be accomplished with an integrated graphics system? If you are a dedicated gamer, or want to do some sort of high-power graphics work, then the small format computer of ANY brand is simply the wrong system for many reasons, the GPU being just one. But, again, if you can do what you want with a system what does it really matter HOW that deed is accomplished? As integrated systems continue to shrink in size but increase in performance, the difference in performance between integrated and separate becomes narrower and narrower. Increasingly these boxes are becoming appliances that we use to do stuff, not systems that need to be fretted over. I've learned to simply get a system that does what I want and then don't sweat HOW it does it, just get on with the work.

pm-r
09-26-2017, 09:06 PM
However I am being seriously put off by Apple's continued use of integrated graphics rather than a 'proper' dedicated graphics card.

Maybe have a look and read here:
http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/mac/best-mac-for-games-3446272/
and
http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/mac/best-mac-for-designers-in-2017-3450093/

And for more possible suggestions:
https://www.google.ca/search?client=safari&rls=en&dcr=0&q=mac+model+with+best+GPU+&oq=mac+model+with+best+GPU+&gs_l=psy-ab.3...355364.376115.0.377388.16.16.0.0.0.0.142.10 39.15j1.16.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..0.3.211...0i22i30k1j0i13i30k1j0i8i13i30k1.0.vH pmorVVv30


And included there is a hit on an article which seems to be akin to what you were saying:
Apple needs to sell a computer with a good GPU for $1,000, not $5,000
https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/6/7/15746994/apple-imac-pro-expensive-gpu-wwdc-2017




- Patrick
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sockpuppet
09-29-2017, 05:09 PM
Hi Patrick,

Many thanks for the links, a couple I was aware of but the others are new, and very helpful info. I'm currently considering a mid 2012 Macbook Pro, but there are also a couple of 2011 Mac minis with the Radeon graphics on hand as well. Just wish I could find room for a cheese grater - they offer the best value second hand. G5s are even cheaper but I suspect they are a bit too old now, shame. I cut my Mac teeth on a blue G4.

pm-r
09-29-2017, 06:01 PM
@sockpuppet

Many thanks for the links,

BTW: I just happened to come across this if its of any help or use to you:
About integrated video on Intel-based Mac computers
https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT204349

And I guess one isn't supposed to mention anything about a "Build Your Own" model, which I sure wouldn't want to contemplate these days. My tinkering days i think are behind me, especially with all the various technologies etc. involved.






- Patrick
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