"CPU Hungry Retina Macbook Pro"

I had a chance to play with one of the new Retina Macbook Pros in the Apple store in Portland the other day and noticed two things:

  1. It's beautiful
  2. Its graphics performance is sluggish

I found point two surprising because I have been watching Intel's roadmap for years and thought Ivy Bridge was just going to slay all expectations. It turns out that pushing 4x the pixels is a daunting task even for the mighty Ivy.

Part of the problem is the way current OSX applications handle their UI processing--the GPU is under-utilized. Mountain Lion (coming later this month) is theoretically going to deal with this, but beta testers have said the improvement is modest at best.

A wonderfully written article by Anand Lal Shimpi states:

There’s simply nothing that can be done at this point - Apple is pushing the limits of the hardware we have available today, far beyond what any other OEM has done. Future iterations of the Retina Display MacBook Pro will have faster hardware with embedded DRAM that will help mitigate this problem.

Sadly, as much as I want that retina display, it looks like I'll be waiting a little longer for the chip makers to catch up with Apple.

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