AnandTech posted its full review of the Retina Display MacBook Pro last week, and the section on graphics performance bears review. At its highest resolutions, Apple is clearly pushing the limits of the machine’s graphic capabilities.
With the integrated Intel HD 4000 and discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics units responsible for driving 2880×1800 pixels in standard Retina mode and as many as 3840×2400 pixels before downscaling to display 1920×1200 at its highest non-Retina resolution, Apple is clearly pushing the limits of the machine’s graphics capabilities.
In assessing the Retina Graphics MacBook Pro, AnandTech says that it struggles at times to maintain a “consistently smooth experience”.
The review notes that at 2880 x 1800 most things run smoothly, but operations like zooming windows, or scrolling web pages can drop below 30fps. It notes there is simply nothing that can be done about that, as Apple is pushing the limits of today’s hardware.
MacRumors: “Focusing on browser scrolling behavior, which also involves substantial CPU load, AnandTech notes that the resource-intensive Facebook news feed pages can display at over 50 frames per second on a 2011 MacBook Pro, but that the new Retina MacBook Pro struggles to hit 20 frames per second as it pushes so many more pixels.”
The report notes that some of these issues could be addressed by OS X Mountain Lion as it will leverage Core Animation, but AnandTech’s testing was still only able to achieve 20-30 frames per second under Mountain Lion.