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I am a macbook pro user. I currently use a 2012 Macbook Pro 2.3 ghz Intel Core i7 with 8gb 1600mhz ddr3 ram and a nvidia GeForce GT 650M 1024 mb graphics card.

I use the Manipulate function in Mathematica to show lots of 3D visuals in my class. I would like to know what I should be looking for in a new MacBook Pro to make mathematica render the Manipulate function on 3d object faster.

Apple has a few options on their top end MacBook Pros but I don't want to over pay for something I don't need as the cost difference is significant. I want to get the best machine for rendering graphics. Specifically using the Manipulate function on 3d Graphics while minimizing jumpiness.

Which is most important? Ram? Ghz? Graphics? Or all 3? Which gets me the most bang for my buck? Thanks in advance!

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  • $\begingroup$ The GPU can only render as fast the the system can feed it, the CPU can only feed the GPU as fast as the GPU can render. Mathematica likes CPU cores. It likes RAM. It likes fast GPU resources. Speed or Low cost, pick one. You might also consider posting some examples of your code in question as performance-and-tuning questions here, since there are tricks and techniques to maximize the results. $\endgroup$ – ciao Sep 29 '15 at 7:41
  • $\begingroup$ @ciao Does Mathematica actually use the GPU to render the 3D plots? I had always thought it was all CPU. $\endgroup$ – QuantumDot Sep 29 '15 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ @QuantumDot: I have no specific knowledge of how Mathematica divides the work, perhaps a WRI participant here can fill in the blanks, but commented based on observations of GPU utilization during some rendering I was doing, and increased performance of same after adding faster GPU (but that could simply mean old GPU was a bottleneck of some sort other than raw GPU speed). So... beats me, just personal anecdotal opinion. $\endgroup$ – ciao Sep 29 '15 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ Have a look at Benchmark $\endgroup$ – user9660 Sep 29 '15 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting. This is an area I know nothing about. It sounds like I may just fork out the money for the higher end machine. I can cut down on the cost of hard drive space as I store all my content in the cloud. Thank you! $\endgroup$ – Michael McCain Sep 30 '15 at 6:24

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