Is Thom Hogan correct?

Started Dec 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
blue_cheese Senior Member • Posts: 1,880
Re: Is Thom Hogan correct?

marike6 wrote:

Apple absolutely does protect their high end gear EXACTLY like Canon and Nikon. You can't even get a MacBook with a dedicated graphics card until you are at near the top-of-the-line Macbook Pro.

Find me any OEM that makes a sub $2000 laptop with a functional discrete graphics.... you may be duped by marketing people.

In nearly every consumer laptop on the market, discrete graphics is only upsell. Not only is unnecessary in most situations in terms of feature set and performance from the integrated part, but it actually does nothing even if it is actually is more powerful. Anything with Optimus/Switchable Graphics makes the discrete useless, in these configurations the discrete graphics is not driving the display, discrete units are powered up only in a handful of situations where an application has exclusive mode... I won't go into detail, but unless you are playing full screen games, there is zero benefit, the discrete could also perform video encode/decode in some cases, but really it doesn't do that any better or faster than the same size function specific circuit on the integrated part.Intel's .h264 encoder is actually among the fastest. Don't forget that since the integrated is driving the display, there could actually be a performance penalty.

*Good* dedicated powerful mobile graphics processors are expensive, simply because they are the same silicon wafer that the desktop counter part is made from, but screened for much lower power, and as a result can operate at lower voltage with less leakage current, taking that 100W chip and finding the best silicon parts that can bring the same performance in a 35W or so envelope reduces the amount of sellable units.

Add to that power saving features become enabled that will cripple its performance while on battery. Most mobile discrete cards are not any faster or better than the integrated counterparts, and are even often rigged to help only specific benchmarks. OEMs may further clamp down the overall system performance to keep it within a power envelope for the cooling solution they utilize (the laptop's chassis and cooling does not change based on how fast of a CPU or graphics card you "configure" and users often can pick chips from different manufacturer. Chances are it was designed for the configuration that will have the highest sales volume, not the fastest/highest power consumption. In the race to the bottom known as computer manufacturing, quality is the first victim.... I will not go into my opinions about various OEMs, but Apple's pricing is very reasonable for what you get, especially given the high cost of the high density DPI displays they call "Retina", go buy a 32" similar DPI 4K HDMI/DP panel on the market today, it will cost you about $5000 dollars.

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"There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil."
- Ayn Rand

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