MacBook Pro refreshed with Nvidia Kepler GPU, Retina display

As expected, Apple announced new hardware at its WWDC keynote. Of most note to gamers is the upcoming MacBook Pro refresh, which includes a Kepler video card.

42
As expected, Apple announced new hardware at its WWDC keynote. Of most note to gamers is the upcoming MacBook Pro refresh. The 15" model includes a Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M--a GPU in the high-end "Kepler" series. Prices start at $1,799 for the standard Pro. However, the company also announced a new Pro model with Retina Display support. The enhanced model also includes at GT 650M, and supports a resolution of 2880 x 1800. The upgraded model will retail for $2,199. Although not many games have taken advantage of it, OS X does support Unreal Engine 3. Technically, that means the new line of MacBook Pro laptops are able to run the Samaritan demo. However, Windows-based laptops that support even higher-end NVIDIA cards are already hitting the market. For example, the Samsung Series 7 laptop includes a GTX 675M graphics card and is available for around $1900. The Origin EON15-S includes a GTX 680M, and starts at around $1600. With tech companies finally prepping "next-gen" engines, it's clear that gamers--on both Mac and PC--have a lot to look forward to.

NVIDIA's comparison of its current mobile GPUs

Filed Under
From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 11, 2012 11:30 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, MacBook Pro refreshed with Nvidia Kepler GPU, Retina display.

    As expected, Apple announced new hardware at its WWDC keynote. Of most note to gamers is the upcoming MacBook Pro refresh, which includes a Kepler video card.

    • reply
      June 11, 2012 11:40 AM

      I'm all for pushing tech forward, but I have to wonder why Apple pushes these extremely high resolutions on such small screens?

      Shouldn't Retina be on the next gen. iMacs rather than the tablets, phones, and laptops?

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 11:55 AM

        Isn't a bit easier to push the resolution on smaller screens?

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 11:56 AM

        Because it's cost prohibitive to push them on large ones, give it time.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 12:38 PM

        Pixels are more noticeable the closer you are to the display. So it makes sense that they'd target mobile devices first.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 5:10 PM

        Because if 2880x1800 is retina on a 15.4" display, a 27-30" will be 5760x3600. That's an insane number of pixels. That's more than a 3x3 grid of HDTVs worth of resolution. That would require some insane GPU power.

        • reply
          June 11, 2012 6:45 PM

          Resolution is resolution no matter what screen you put it in. It's really more of a case of having monitors with a native resolution that can match.
          What I am saying is, why not make some retina enabled machines built for 20 inch screen and beyond?

          • reply
            June 11, 2012 7:30 PM

            he just explained it... powering a retina type display at that size/resolution is manageable. Going retina on a desktop size display and requiring a triple SLI GPU setup to drive anything demanding at native res isn't a product that's going to sell.

            • reply
              June 11, 2012 8:46 PM

              Thanks. The only replies I could come up with were really condescending so I just said nothing, lol.

            • reply
              June 11, 2012 9:01 PM

              Same reason also why the 13 and 11 inch models likely don't have retina yet. The integrated intel gpus likely just don't have quite enough oomph to make it a completely smooth experience. Give it a few generations though and we'll probably see retina standard on everything.

      • reply
        June 12, 2012 5:52 AM

        You can't lug an iMac into a Starbucks and look cool.

    • reply
      June 11, 2012 11:41 AM

      The gtx670 and gtx675 are based off Fermi's GF114 die. The gt 650m is Kepler's lowest end die, the GK107. It's still a fairly fast GPU for notebooks, though. The gtx 680m was also announced last week, using the same amount of shaders as the new gtx670 (kepler's GK104-based desktop card) and being anywhere from 50-80% faster than the gtx675.

    • reply
      June 11, 2012 11:47 AM

      2880x1880? #datrez

    • reply
      June 11, 2012 11:57 AM

      Pick a number between 1 and 100

      Winner buys the laptop for me

    • reply
      June 11, 2012 12:19 PM

      Total yawnfest this news is. As much as bloggers love their MacBook Pro's, they are anything but gaming machines aside from light gaming... "a fan that's indistinguishable to the user" and thinner than the last... that's a recipe for overheating right there... and that mediocre 650M... please, your money is better spent somewhere else... unless you just want a status symbol with watered down hardware.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 12:24 PM

        Or it does exactly what you need on a nice SSD with USB3.0 and Thunderbird.
        Like say, portable game streaming or video editing triage.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 12:49 PM

        i have a 2 yr old Macbook Pro and and it had a GT450M.. it handled many games quite well, some of them on moderate settings though.. there is no way it would handle Skyrim on high-res..
        however, i found that the keyboard setup was sometimes really annoying.. even with windows installed, it was difficult to use the F1, F2 etc keys without changing their functions first...

        eventually, i got a bit fed up and bought a proper windows gaming laptop. with my mobile kind of lifestyle, i could never justify buying a PC..

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 1:07 PM

        Diablo 3 at 2880x1880 says what's up.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 1:13 PM

        In order to be a high level latest chatty user, you need to buy one and post several threads about how much you paid for it

        • reply
          June 11, 2012 5:21 PM

          also, how magical the unboxing is.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 1:31 PM

        The GT 650M isn't too far off from the performance of a desktop GTX 550 Ti.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 1:32 PM

        YAWNFEST

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 1:34 PM

        I am tagging this post so that when people start benchmarking it and you are wrong, you will look like a fool.

        Or I will be wrong and never talk about this.

        • reply
          June 11, 2012 1:48 PM

          The 650M has already been benchmarked: http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-650M.71887.0.html. It's not bad but like most laptop GPUs it can't do newer games at 1080p and very high settings (unless you consider 16 fps in Max Payne 3 acceptable).

          • reply
            June 11, 2012 1:52 PM

            Well I assumed he was saying that MBPs are not capable gaming machines while PC laptops are.

            Of course it's still a laptop, but also like a laptop, it does a lot more than just gaming.

            • reply
              June 11, 2012 1:56 PM

              In all fairness the only GPUs that will play Max Payne 3 on very high / 1080 are a GTX 680M or HD7970M.

              • reply
                June 11, 2012 2:02 PM

                My GTX 590 played MP3 on very high at 2400x1600 pretty nicely.

                • reply
                  June 11, 2012 2:05 PM

                  Well sure, but they don't make those any more. :)

                • reply
                  June 11, 2012 2:08 PM

                  O wait, you're talking about a desktop part.

        • reply
          June 11, 2012 2:00 PM

          People will bitch because the gpu can't play whatever at 2880x1800.

          • reply
            June 11, 2012 2:19 PM

            Yeah but no laptop GPU in existence can and probably won't ever as long as games keep pushing graphics capabilities.

            But what this hopefully does is make HiDPI more popular, and more manufacturers start making them, which will lead graphics card makers and developers to rethink having 1080p@60hz be their target.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 1:40 PM

        Go ahead and find a PC laptop with the same specs for cheaper.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 1:45 PM

        OMG! Have you seen the PR video for the MBP with retina display: http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/11/3078215/apple-stub-etc-whatevs (end of the article).
        IT'S A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF DESIGN!
        THE BEST COMPUTER APPLE HAS EVER BUILT!
        IT DISPLAYS SHARPER TEXT THAN A PRINTED PAGE!
        ASSYMETRIC FANS MOTHERFUCKER!
        They even busted out coldplay for emotional appeal.

        • reply
          June 11, 2012 3:56 PM

          lol aren't printed pages at 300 dpi usually? And that thing is like 220 dpi.

        • reply
          June 11, 2012 5:19 PM

          lol at coldplay.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 1:49 PM

        yeah just bloggers buy MBPs

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 1:59 PM

        Since when does the word "Professional" have anything to do with gaming?

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 2:01 PM

        Yeah only bloggers love their macbook pros, no one else buys them. You're spot on.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 5:20 PM

        hahahahaha front page posters rule :D

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 5:22 PM

        The front page at its finest.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 5:30 PM

        You are correct, no gamer in their right mind should be looking at a Macbook Pro primarily for gaming. The idea is laughable, however certain denizens of the forum here are retarded!

    • reply
      June 11, 2012 4:08 PM

      Time to start pestering my boss for that upgrade!

    • reply
      June 11, 2012 4:46 PM

      lol, good luck at playing games at that native resolution (diablo 3 and source games aside), seems like overkill - great for anything 2d though.

      My 27" 1440p monitor struggles on most modern games with an overclocked 7970.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 5:20 PM

        This is why the way to go is a separate gaming rig for when you are at home. Gaming on laptops is really just a convenience factor, performance is not paramount, because people do more than just gaming on their computer.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 6:47 PM

        Darn, guess I'll just have to settle for arguably the top two highest quality companies for games.

        • reply
          June 12, 2012 3:14 AM

          Arguably, yes, though between them they cover like 5% of the worth playing spectrum.

    • reply
      June 11, 2012 6:19 PM

      Doesn't retina still only have 1440x900 addressable pixels?

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 6:32 PM

        What do you mean by "addressable?"

        In terms of screen real estate, yes it's still 1440x900 equivalent on a 15 inch display.

        But in terms of apps, they can absolutely make use of the extra pixels however they want, this isn't iOS where devs are forced to do it a certain way. Though I will say most devs will go the obvious route where they do Retina versions of their apps, allowing for some incredible looking apps.

        Personally I think the real estate is perfectly fine, though a slider for DPI would be pretty cool as a toy (probably can be done with a hidden setting actually).

        • reply
          June 11, 2012 6:34 PM

          I mean if I have a 2880x1800 image can I see the whole thing at once?

          • reply
            June 11, 2012 6:44 PM

            Yes. You can see all the pixels. Do you have some 18MP image and want to see it without scrolling? Check. Want to watch 1080p in a window? Check.

            It's a lot of pixels, its a big deal.

            • reply
              June 11, 2012 6:46 PM

              But the window chrome and controls are all doubled in size or something?

              • reply
                June 11, 2012 6:46 PM

                (pixel wise so as to be the same actual size) ?

              • reply
                June 11, 2012 6:48 PM

                Once the developer updates it, the button will effectively have more pixels, so it will look sharper and be double in size yes. Text will also be double in size technically, but since your resolution is higher, you will see a super sharp rendered version of that text.

                • reply
                  June 11, 2012 6:49 PM

                  so every app has to be updated to specifically take advantage of this? It's not like a plain display whose native res is 2880x1800?

                • reply
                  June 11, 2012 7:02 PM

                  This is not iOS where applications have to be sized in a specific manner. Just think of your desktop resolution as 2880x1880 and your desktop apps have "no predetermined size" -- simply resize them as you want.

                  It's a ton of freaking pixels for you to resize all your apps any way you like. There aren't any limitations on how to use it, just play with a ton of possible pixels!

                  • reply
                    June 11, 2012 7:06 PM

                    all this "apps dont have size maaaaaan" stuff really makes me think this is all hand wavey bs. I get the idea about resolution independence and scaling and stuff, but it turns out some things are measured in pixels and not inches. If I have an image that is 2880 pixels wide, I can weather I can see the whole thing on the screen or not. There doesn't appear to be a clear answer to this (yes, no, yes if the dev updates the app, etc).

                    I totally understand why high pixel density is awesome. I have the highest pixel density 13" laptop available and it's amazing.

                    • reply
                      June 11, 2012 7:24 PM

                      Let's break it down this way:
                      If you have an image that is 2880 pixels wide, with this screen, you can see every pixel of that image.
                      If you have a image that is 1880 pixels high, with this screen, you can see every pixel of that image.

                      Some believed that apple simply doubled the 1440x900 screen (it would be 4x, technically) and all images are really 4x larger. This is NOT the situation, at ALL (unlike iOS and how it handles scaling)!

                      You have a legit canvas of 2880x1880 pixels, period. There *can* be scaling for applications for that high DPI, but it will only work for apps that support it. Think of it this way: for applications that support this, you will use a slider to make the icons and text bigger/smaller. If the application doesn't support this, then that slider will do nothing for the icons or text for that application.

                      Now that Apple is pushing this kind of PPI, I want to buy the Asus Zenbook that will stuff a 1080p screen in a 13.3" panel.

                    • reply
                      June 11, 2012 7:32 PM

                      I think the answer you're looking for is it will function just like your 13". the thing with OSX though is it supports making the OS interface 4x as big so that its not super tiny on the big ass resolution

                    • reply
                      June 12, 2012 1:38 AM

                      I dont get how you're struggling with this concept...

            • reply
              June 11, 2012 6:46 PM

              Yup. I was explaining this to someone today who couldn't grasp what the big deal was. Then I explained it like you just did and their eyes went wide like anything was possible.

              Can't wait to get mine.

              • reply
                June 11, 2012 6:53 PM

                For those of us who have seen and used the high PPI setups, we know exactly why its a big deal and buy. Everyone else? It's not a big deal to them until we can show them this kind of cool stuff, side by side.

                i'm curious how Apple is pushing that resolution. Even dual-link DVI doesn't push that resolution:
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Visual_Interface

                They must be using something displayport related.

                • reply
                  June 11, 2012 7:13 PM

                  DisplayPort is only limited by bandwidth in terms of what resolution it can do.

                  60 fps * (3 * 8) bit colour * 2880 * 1800 = 7.464Gbit/sec which is well below the limit of Thunderbolt and DisplayPort.

                  I think that for Apple to do external displays above that resolution, they will need newer Thunderbolt chipsets with much higher speeds, with optical cables and such.

                  GPU speed is also important as everything in OS X uses it, so that is very important as well, and probably the reason the MBA didn't get Retina this time.

          • reply
            June 11, 2012 6:54 PM

            If you view it at 50% zoom, you can.

    • reply
      June 11, 2012 7:00 PM

      Installing iOS6 beta was a bad idea. All my apps are gone. Don't know why I didn't realize that would happen, I'm a dummy.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 7:18 PM

        Because you probably didn't restore after the update. iOS usually doesn't do in-place updates for major developer builds like this, you should have prepared for this possibility.

        • reply
          June 11, 2012 9:02 PM

          my iphone updated in place just fine, as did my ipad. one was done on my pc at work, the other on my mac at home. YOU HAVE TO CLICK THE UPDATE BUTTON, NOT THE RESTORE BUTTON

    • reply
      June 11, 2012 8:14 PM

      So the MP with Retina is only available with a flash drive? As if it wasn't already expensive enough?

      Still not convinced that Retina on a 15" laptop is worth all that much, but making it so you can't get a cheaper drive seems a bit cavalier.

      • reply
        June 11, 2012 8:38 PM

        do you own a computer with an ssd drive? Once you have you will never ask this question again.

        • reply
          June 11, 2012 10:43 PM

          This. Plus in like 2 years we won't even have HDD in laptops any more.