Inside the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display: Intel Iris Pro Graphics

The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

For the newest 15-inch MacBook Pro, graphics power is supplied by the Iris Pro 5200 chip on the Haswell Core i7 processor. The Iris Pro 5200 chip is Intel’s latest and best graphics subsystem yet, designed to keep up with the performance demands of processing- and graphics-intensive tasks.

The Iris Pro 5200 comes with a cache of embedded 128 MB memory, referred to by Intel as Crystalwell. Crystalwell is a high-speed eDRAM cache that provides a significant boost in graphics performance. Several tech experts have already put the capabilities of the Iris Pro 5200 and Crystalwell to the test, and the results show that Intel’s latest integrated GPU can hold its own against many high-performance discrete GPUs today.

According to experts, Crystalwell in Iris Pro serves as an ultra-fast cache that can be classified as a true Level 4 cache. The Iris Pro also uses more execution units (EUs) than the integrated graphics chips on lower-end Haswell processors; more EUs translate into improved capabilities at handling graphics tasks.

Iris Pro-powered graphics should also make the newest 15-inch MacBook Pro more than capable of handling the demands of modern gaming, though it’s not as fast as discrete GPUs. Experts believe that integrated graphics chips such as the Iris Pro greatly benefits users who expect to rely on the Retina MacBook Pro for light, non-gaming usage, including Web browsing and other productivity-related tasks.

Aside from boosting graphics performance on the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, Iris Pro 5200 also doesn’t eat up as much power as discrete GPUs, extending the MacBook Pro’s battery life.

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