Apple to use stand-alone GPUs in new 15-inch MacBook Pros?

“Even though Apple has been shipping 15-inch MacBook Pro systems with Intel processors packing Iris Pro graphics since 2013, the Mac maker has also offered customers the option to buy 15-inch MacBooks with stand-alone graphics processors since then, as wel,” Ashraf Eassa writes for The Motley Fool.

“As long as Apple planned to offer 15-inch MacBook Pros with a stand-alone graphics processor option, then the company would be forced to engineer the chassis of the computer to handle the thermal profile of the stand-alone graphics processor anyway,” Eassa writes. “In other words, unless Apple was willing to transition to integrated graphics only, it couldn’t take advantage of the lower power consumption of the integrated solution to make the device smaller, thinner, and/or lighter. Clearly, Apple didn’t think the performance of Iris Pro was good enough to be able to completely forgo a stand-alone graphics option in the 15-inch MacBook Pro.”

“From a cost-structure perspective, it probably makes sense for Apple to use processors with more modest integrated graphics processors and no on-package memory across the board, and simply include a low-cost stand-alone graphics processor in the system,” Eassa writes. “The performance of that stand-alone graphics processor is likely to be better than what Intel’s integrated Iris Pro could deliver anyway, and if the stand-alone graphics solution winds up being a little more expensive to sell, then Apple could just increase the pricing of the base model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro a bit.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No worries. Apple will keep the “Pro” in MacBook Pro.


  1. I hope their implementation of a discrete GPU is better than that of 2011/12 when the mobos kept crapping out. I had an otherwise nice 2011 15 inch MBP that went through 3! mobos. luckily all under silent warranty, but I finally sold it after the last replacement.

    1. I had serious issues with my logic board stemming from that GPU. I had it fixed then it happened again 2 days later. I called Apple and in 15 minutes a manager overnighted a brand new machine, with the option to upgrade any of the options that I’d like. Technology doesn’t always work as well as we would all like it to sometimes, lol!

      It was the finest customer service I have ever seen to this day!

  2. I don’t want to see Intel-integrated ANYTHING on the MacBook Pro line. At all. Not on the 13-inch or the 15-inch. Pro customers deserve pro components. And no more Dual-Core processors on the 13-inch, either. Keep those on the MacBook Airs.

    Secondly, let Mac mini owners have an option at Quad-Core processors, and 16GB of RAM. Heck, make it a stock configuration. Apple customers deserve far better than what the current line has.

    Apple is WAY FAR BEHIND on their Macs. They updated everything else but their Mac hardware, and that bugs me to no end.

    I’ve refused to upgrade from a 2011 Mac mini because of it.

    1. I agree in general. Components in the Pro line should be first and foremost all about computational power. The discreet GPU should never be discarded from the MB Pro. That said, there is nothing wrong with utilizing low power, integrated graphics when the MacBook Pro is emailing or surfing the web. A laptop with low power fallback options is a better laptop.

  3. They’ve always used discrete GPU’s in some. And, unless Intel has changed their tune, they always will. Apple didn’t depend on Intel integrated graphics until Intel made it a requirement that if you use our CPU, you HAVE to include some form of integrated graphics.

    So the article is saying “Apple will continue to do what they’ve always done”. Seems like Motley Fool is on the click bait train 🙂

  4. Having both provides the ability to switch to low power mode when necessary. When you are mobile, battery life is important.
    Apple offers essentially 2 versions of the 15″ MBP: one with and one without discreet graphics. Within each you can modify memory and CPU speed.
    This gives options for those who need GPU power and those who do not. The GPU base model is a better deal since it has more SSD space, faster CPU plus the GPU. But it costs $500 more. So if you are unlikely to new fast graphics then the $1999 model is good.
    I would prefer however that Apple increase the base SSD size to 500GB. 250GB is too small for today’s needs.

  5. Colours, that’s what we want. GPUs in rose gold, silver, yellow and blue and a jet black version.

    Soldered on of course and even though we’ll never be able to see them because of the sealed cases, we know they’ll be cool, mostly because they’ll be so underpowered.

    And make em skinny Jony, don’t forget that, because nobody wants a laptop that might have enough power to handle VR or AR in the future.

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