The GPU: Faster

The GPU was the main recipient of Apple's attention for this upgrade. The old entry level model shipped with a pretty disappointing AMD Radeon HD 6490M. Apple has since upgraded the entry level 15-inch model to the Radeon HD 6750M, more than doubling its compute horsepower and memory bandwidth. Memory capacity has doubled as well to 512MB. I don't believe 512MB is ideal if you're going to be driving an external 27-inch panel, but for use on the notebook's screen alone (even at high res) you should be fine.

Discrete GPU Options
  AMD Radeon HD 6750M AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Manufacturing Process 40nm 40nm
SPs 480 480
Texture Units 24 24
ROPs 8 8
Core Clock 600MHz 725MHz
Memory Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit
Memory Clock 900MHz 900MHz?
Frame Buffer 512MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5

The upgraded configuration now comes with a Radeon HD 6770M. The 6770M increases shader clock but not the number of processors on the GPU. Memory bandwidth may be improved, it depends on what memory clock Apple decided on - by default the memory interface is no faster than the 6750M. The bigger difference for non-gamers will be the 1GB framebuffer that comes with the 6770M. If you're going to be using a 27-inch display, you'll want this GPU.

I tested the 6750M in the $1799 model and found it generally comparable to the 6750M in the old upgraded setup. The old 6490M is much slower and thankfully, out of the picture:

Half Life 2: Episode 2 (Mac OS X)

Half Life 2: Episode 2 (Mac OS X)

Starcraft II - AT GPU Bench (Mac OS X)

Starcraft II - AT GPU Bench (Mac OS X)

Starcraft II - AT CPU Bench (Mac OS X)

Starcraft II - AT CPU Bench (Mac OS X)

Silicon Updates Display Quality & Peripherals
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  • ananduser - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    You don't dismiss my point. "Obnoxious" SC2 players REACT to their Apple branded brethren. Being the veteran gamers that they are, they remember always being falsely told how crappy windows on their beige boxes was :).
    The Mac userbase, small part of it nowadays but nonetheless significant, is "cultured". So the obnoxious part of it is also "cultured". OSX SC2 users should ask questions on the mac support part of gaming forums and not in "broad daylight" :).
  • KoolAidMan1 - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    "OSX SC2 users should ask questions on the mac support part of gaming forums and not in "broad daylight" :)"

    What a garbage fanboy apartheid attitude you have.

    My main desktop is a PC, but I wouldn't hesitate for a second to help someone on a Mac if they wanted a hand. Hell, one of my Mac friends is Masters league, the last thing he needs from me is advice.

    I bet you're also a bronze/silver/gold league scrub. ;)
  • ananduser - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    Never did I point at you in my ramblings. Present persons are always excluded. Think of it, how can the majority of SC2 players which are PC gamers can possibly know OSX related issues.
    Good luck in your SC2 matches...for me SC2 was a disappointment(personal opinion).
  • KoolAidMan1 - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link

    It isn't about Windows users not knowing how to help, its about them going out of their way to be negative for no reason. I know it's the internet and you should expect people to be jerks, but meh.

    Also, SC2 is the best game presently out there. Spent a lot of the weekend watching MLG Providence (AMAZING) and will soon break from Skyrim to get back on the ladder. :D
  • MacTheSpoon - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    This is very good to know! I know some people actually resorted to filing down their laptops. Thanks for the info.
  • zsero - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Anand, please review the Sony SE!

    It is the most interesting laptop for me in 2011 and no one is talking about it!

    - 15 inch matte 1920x1080 IPS-like display
    - 2.0 kg
    - dedicated graphics 6670M
    - OK, not quad core
    - quiet
    - slice battery for 12 hours
    - around 1000 dollar for i5 + 6670M

    I believe it could be one of the most interesting laptops to be reviewed on Anandtech in 2011!
  • ananduser - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Anand does not get Vaios for review.
  • zsero - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Google: vaio
  • ananduser - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Did not search thoroughly enough. I remember that Anand was denied a review unit of the 2010 VaioZ.
  • kevith - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    It's always depressing to read the comments when ever there has been a Mac review in these pages.

    Almost every post is so filled with HATE.

    Why? Every other review has lots and lots of interesting and clever comments, sometimes ranging to expert analysis. Lots of good points are made, even the reviewers sometimes get enlightened with points they didn't think of during the review. And all of it is kept in a civil and friendly tone.

    But when it comes to Mac reviews, it's quite the opposite: Sarcastic remarks, only trying to make the reviewer or other commentators look idiotic. Ironically ending up being pretty idiotic themselves. Remarks like "I don give a s... about your opinion", "bug off, fanboy,.. you make me laugh", "you spew crap", "nice trollin'", "wow, so mad!", "I am sure all the pathetic apple cultboys, like Anand,..." are all a disgrace to all of you who posted them.

    OF COURSE you care about others opinion, otherwise you wouldn't read them! Or answer for that matter.

    Please drop it, it's not welcome in serious sites like this, it doesn't do ANYONE any good.


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