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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Intel HD 3000. What is it good for?

Intel HD 3000. What is it good for?
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The Godfather
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Mar 3, 2011, 07:03 PM
 
Watching 1080p MKVs?
Playing Windows games (bootcamp) better than last year's MBP?
Absolutely nothing?
     
[email protected]
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Mar 3, 2011, 07:12 PM
 
War.


(Sorry, with the title and the phrasing, I had to say it)
What, me worry?
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 3, 2011, 07:46 PM
 
I was singing it anyway.
     
Eug
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Mar 3, 2011, 07:46 PM
 
It's actually a half decent GPU, a first for Intel. It basically makes the entire very low end 3rd party GPU market irrelevant for machines with current generation Intel CPUs.


Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
War.

(Sorry, with the title and the phrasing, I had to say it)
Say it, SAY IT!
     
mduell
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Mar 3, 2011, 07:50 PM
 
It supports accelerating all the common codecs (VC-1, MPEG2, MPEG4, AVC) so if your player supports hardware acceleration it should work for your 1080 MKVs.
     
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Mar 4, 2011, 04:07 AM
 
Video acceleration is good - there is even a transcoding feature. Game performance is roughly comparable to last gen 13" MBP - it is actually better a low resolutions and low quality, but worse at higher res and higher quality. The upside is the so called graphics turbo - where the GPU will overclock briefly when the load increases, which improves minimum FPS - and the memory bandwidth, which with DDR3-1333 is higher than the DDR3-1066 in the older model. The downside is the the raw shader performance - even with that high clockspeed, 12 shader processors is not enough for higher quality graphics.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
The Godfather  (op)
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Mar 5, 2011, 10:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
It's actually a half decent GPU, a first for Intel. It basically makes the entire very low end 3rd party GPU market irrelevant for machines with current generation Intel CPUs.



Say it, SAY IT!
So, it is good for Intel, but is money well spent buying the AMD graphics in the more expensive (albeit not 13") MBP. Or is it wise to save money in the just-as-fast last year's 320M?
     
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Mar 5, 2011, 10:44 AM
 
For what? The 15"er is obviously WAY faster in every respect, but the 13" is no slouch. I'd say the one weak spot is gaming in Bootcamp, but even that might work out for a while given that the display resolution is so low. Depends on what sort of games you're interested in - Anandtech's tests might help.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
The Godfather  (op)
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Mar 5, 2011, 11:34 AM
 
I am not really interested in gaming, but light 3d work in Blender, iOS programming and longevity. Any OSX Lion features going to be throttled down due to the sub-par Intel graphics?
     
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Mar 5, 2011, 07:37 PM
 
Highly unlikely. Apple is going to be using that chip in a major part of its line for at least a year and probably more - it will still be current when Lion launches. They'll make it work or they would have squeezed better graphics.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
The Godfather  (op)
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Mar 9, 2011, 11:05 AM
 
Intel GMA950, the HD3000 of the 2006-2008 Mac generation, can't play many 720p videos, no 1080p whatsoever, and its Quartz Extreme driver is glitchy on the latest OS.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 9, 2011, 12:35 PM
 
"Glitchy" how?
     
The Godfather  (op)
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Mar 9, 2011, 01:20 PM
 
That sometimes, the Quartz Extreme kext cannot load and the MB owner is left with non-accelerated graphics.
     
Salty
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Mar 10, 2011, 05:45 AM
 
I never had problems with my GMA950. And I played 720p content all the time. Granted I generally downloaded non HD content because it was quicker and tended to look just as good on my monitor.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 10, 2011, 06:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
That sometimes, the Quartz Extreme kext cannot load and the MB owner is left with non-accelerated graphics.
Ah. I was thinking actual GLITCHES - as in rendering errors in iMovie, graphics freezes, etc.

Because I'd been seeing those symptoms in the past few months on my late 2006 MacBook - rendering errors were getting hard-coded into transitions in 720p iMovie exports, while lower-res films exported fine.
     
The Godfather  (op)
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Mar 13, 2011, 01:44 PM
 
SH: the glitches I was referring to would not apply to your iMovie problem. I was experiencing problems of Quartz Extreme being unable to activate often when I powered up the computer.

Back to the original point: there's a nice discussion in a Mac centric thread pointing out how Intel graphics represent a swamping of graphic ability in the latest 13" MBP.
http://forums.macnn.com/69/mac-noteb...rse-than-320m/
     
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Mar 13, 2011, 11:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Salty View Post
I never had problems with my GMA950. And I played 720p content all the time. Granted I generally downloaded non HD content because it was quicker and tended to look just as good on my monitor.
The GMA950 isn't playing them. Your CPU is.

With the more recent GPUs, you get hardware decode assist, freeing up the CPU for other stuff.
     
Big Mac
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Mar 14, 2011, 12:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Highly unlikely. Apple is going to be using that chip in a major part of its line for at least a year and probably more - it will still be current when Lion launches. They'll make it work or they would have squeezed better graphics.
You say that Apple would have squeezed better graphics in if necessary. What if that were the only choice available for Sandy Bridge integrated graphics?

The HD 3000 is supposed to be at best equal to the Nvidia intregrated graphics that it replaced. That's not very impressive to me.

As far as I'm concerned integrated graphics only is something that went out in the 1990s, at least in the area of desktops and regular laptops. I would never put down serious money for a computer with integrated graphics. It feels like a rip-off in my mind.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Mar 14, 2011 at 12:48 AM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 14, 2011, 12:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
As far as I'm concerned integrated graphics only is something that went out in the 1990s, at least in the area of desktops and regular laptops. .
As die sizes decrease integrated graphics make a world of sense - for those folks who do not need stronger graphic support - which is probably the majority of laptop users who will never really need strong graphics but will appreciate lower price and longer battery life.

Personally I need a strong GPU (for Aperture) and just ordered a 17" MBP, but certainly see a huge market for the integrated graphics boxes. IMO the best part of integrated graphics is that the high end MBPs can run efficiently on the integrated graphics for mundane work like surfing, email, office, etc. and only kick in the battery-draining GPU horsepower when needed for Aperture, video, etc.

-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Mar 14, 2011 at 01:15 AM. )
     
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Mar 14, 2011, 06:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
You say that Apple would have squeezed better graphics in if necessary. What if that were the only choice available for Sandy Bridge integrated graphics?
It is the only choice for integrated graphics. They could have squeezed in a discrete chip and sacrificed battery - if they had to.

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
The HD 3000 is supposed to be at best equal to the Nvidia intregrated graphics that it replaced. That's not very impressive to me.
It's the first chip on a new design, and it's equal to one year old nVidia graphics. That's much better than Intel used to be. It has a few strong points (access to the LLC and a higher memory bandwidth) but one big weakness in the raw shader power. Ivy Bridge supposedly fixes that last bit.

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
As far as I'm concerned integrated graphics only is something that went out in the 1990s, at least in the area of desktops and regular laptops. I would never put down serious money for a computer with integrated graphics. It feels like a rip-off in my mind.
Everyone doesn't need powerful graphics. The price for adding basic graphics capability is so low that it's an obvious addition to make. The big problem with Intel's graphics in the past is that they've marketed it as a powerful graphics solution when in reality it was always bargain basement. Personally I prefer discrete graphics on any computer I buy, but I can't deny that integrated graphics have their place.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Mar 14, 2011, 08:07 AM
 
^ Word.

I couldn't care less about graphics power as long as iMovie and iPhoto work okay.

My actual work is in audio, and I'd *much* rather not have discrete graphics take up weight, space, battery life, and cost. The i7 13" MacBook Pro is pretty much the perfect deal for me.
     
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Mar 14, 2011, 10:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
As far as I'm concerned integrated graphics only is something that went out in the 1990s, at least in the area of desktops and regular laptops. I would never put down serious money for a computer with integrated graphics. It feels like a rip-off in my mind.
Then you should probably rethink your position. HD 3000 is actually pretty decent. It does everything that is needed at the low end, including full 1080p H.264 decode acceleration. There is minimal advantage to putting in an entry level discrete GPU.

The performance advantage that could come with a discrete GPU would require a more robust GPU (not an entry level discrete GPU) at considerably higher monetary and battery life cost.

Intel has come a long, long way with their integrated GPUs, and personally for my laptop I'd rather save the $100 than get a discrete GPU, and I say that as a MacBook Pro owner. At most, I think they should have an optional higher end SKU with a mid-end discrete GPU, but I personally wouldn't be paying extra to get that.
     
The Godfather  (op)
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Mar 14, 2011, 01:49 PM
 
The 13" MBP is one too many "P"s in my opinion.
As such, the white Macbook will catch up to its "performance" come this Summer.
     
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Mar 14, 2011, 02:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
The 13" MBP is one too many "P"s in my opinion.
As such, the white Macbook will catch up to its "performance" come this Summer.
I chose the 13" MBP over the white because the Pro has Firewire and a backlit keyboard.
     
CharlesS
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Mar 14, 2011, 03:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
The 13" MBP is one too many "P"s in my opinion.
As such, the white Macbook will catch up to its "performance" come this Summer.
If it doesn't just get discontinued in favor of the MacBook Air.

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Mar 14, 2011, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
If it doesn't just get discontinued in favor of the MacBook Air.
I'd take a MB Air if it got Thunderbolt. A backlit keyboard and bettery battery life would be nice too.
     
Longwalker
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Mar 16, 2011, 07:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
Personally I need a strong GPU (for Aperture) and just ordered a 17" MBP, but certainly see a huge market for the integrated graphics boxes.
Ahhh, so we're on the same Aperture upgrade path, except I'm going with a 15" 2.2 GHz MBP and an external 27" LED CinemaDisplay. I'm thinking that the 1GB VRAM of the Radeon 6750M will also come into play when running Aperture on the 27" display with it's 2560-by-1440 resolution. Would you agree?

Allen, have you found that 7200rpm vs 5400rpm drives make much of a difference in Aperture performance? I'm thinking the 7200rpm would help in the area of quicker seek times and faster reading of small read/write blocks. Benchmarks of the 5400rpm 750GB drive on BareFeats indicate it performs extremely well on large read/write blocks.

Originally Posted by SierraDragon View Post
IMO the best part of integrated graphics is that the high end MBPs can run efficiently on the integrated graphics for mundane work like surfing, email, office, etc. and only kick in the battery-draining GPU horsepower when needed for Aperture, video, etc.
I agree. I love this feature. I think the highly power-efficient integrated graphics are a significant contributor to the excellent battery life of the newer MBPs. Also, I just discovered this neat utility (free) that tells you whether you're using Integrated vs Discreet graphics and allows to you force your Mac to use one or the other:

gfxCardStatus - Cody Krieger

...David
     
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Mar 17, 2011, 06:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
You say that Apple would have squeezed better graphics in if necessary. What if that were the only choice available for Sandy Bridge integrated graphics?

The HD 3000 is supposed to be at best equal to the Nvidia intregrated graphics that it replaced. That's not very impressive to me.

As far as I'm concerned integrated graphics only is something that went out in the 1990s, at least in the area of desktops and regular laptops. I would never put down serious money for a computer with integrated graphics. It feels like a rip-off in my mind.
Have you been to a computer store lately? I recently tried to help a friend pick out a gaming laptop. Unless he wanted to go with an HP he was pretty well in integrated graphics land, and I wasn't going to let him buy HP based on the quality of their industrial design.
     
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Mar 17, 2011, 07:08 AM
 
Huh? HP is making the nicest looking notebooks after Apple...
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Mar 17, 2011, 07:18 AM
 
Nicest looking maybe. No one even comes close to Apple with regards to the way their laptops are put together. Everyone else is making generic plastic rubbish as far as cases go. They don't even think about it and they won't unless its cheaper than what they do now.

I have to wonder how long before we see PowerVR chips making their way into laptops. A couple of those should give the HD3000 a run for its money already.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
The Godfather  (op)
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Mar 17, 2011, 02:49 PM
 
Actually the earlier integrated graphics by intel inside the earliest Atom netbooks have PowerVR GPUs and operated better than GMA950 in many areas.
     
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Mar 17, 2011, 07:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Longwalker View Post
Ahhh, so we're on the same Aperture upgrade path, except I'm going with a 15" 2.2 GHz MBP and an external 27" LED CinemaDisplay. I'm thinking that the 1GB VRAM of the Radeon 6750M will also come into play when running Aperture on the 27" display with it's 2560-by-1440 resolution. Would you agree?
Yes.

Originally Posted by Longwalker View Post
Allen, have you found that 7200rpm vs 5400rpm drives make much of a difference in Aperture performance?
Yes. I ordered my new MBP with SSD, but the old MBP has a retrofitted 7200 rpm drive that was a big improvement. My intent is to retrofit a 7200 rpm HD into the optical drive slot of the new box but that voids the Apple Warranty so I decided to wait a few months and let any new-box issues work out before removing the optical drive.

-Allen
     
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Mar 17, 2011, 08:58 PM
 
PowerVR GPUs began in desktops.

Here's a PowerVR Kyro that competed against one of Apple's favourites, the early nVidia GeForce series.



     
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Mar 17, 2011, 09:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
Huh? HP is making the nicest looking notebooks after Apple...
Maybe for consumers.

The business laptops we get at work are shit. Looks and hardware.

-t
     
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Mar 18, 2011, 06:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Maybe for consumers.

The business laptops we get at work are shit. Looks and hardware.

-t
We also have HP laptops, and the most recent are a big step forward. HP calls them "Elitebooks". They're not as nice as MBPs, but they're better than the average laptops. The handrests and display backing are metal, which helps stability even if the keyboard and the bottom panel isn't. There is a line of indicator lights that double as touch buttons, which is pretty nice, and there is a small light over the screen that illuminates the keyboard. Not as good as backlighting, but not bad.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Mar 18, 2011, 06:07 AM
 
Thats because while business sounds good for a laptop, they don't really need any decent hardware. They just need Office. Since any PC up to several years old will run Office, the main decisive factor becomes the price.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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