Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 10:30 am PT (01:30 pm ET)
Review: Apple's next-gen MacBook Pro with 15" Retina display
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That extra size and weight of the MacBook Pro, when compared to the Air, gets you a lot more power, most noticeably the inclusion of a dedicated graphics card from Nvidia. The GeForce 650M mobile GPU, with a full gigabyte of GDDR 5 memory, performs admirably on the most demanding of tasks, making the new MacBook Pro a worthy desktop replacement machine.
We put the GPU to the test with Blizzard's Diablo III, running the new title at the MacBook Pro's native screen resolution of 2,880-by-1800 pixels and all settings on high. Anti-aliasing was turned off, because it's unnecessary with such a high resolution on the Retina display. Even with iTunes downloading high-definition movies in the background and a number of enemies on the screen at the same time, Diablo III still ran at between 25 and 30 frames per second, and the new MacBook Pro more than adequately handled what we could throw at it.
As with previous MacBooks with dedicated graphics, this new MacBook Pro has automated graphics switching, so when you're not engaging in graphically demanding tasks, it relies on the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000.
The GPU can also drive dual display output and video mirroring. Full native resolution on the main display can be accompanied by screens with up to 2,560-by-1,600-pixel resolutions on up to two displays, driven by the Thunderbolt digital port.
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