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The Ultimate Mac Buyer’s Guide, Part 6: What GPU Cores Actually Do, and the Value of Upgrading

re: CPU cores
re: OWC articles by Lloyd

Sixth of a series of OWC articles by Lloyd.

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The Ultimate Mac Buyer’s Guide, Part 6: What GPU Cores Actually Do, and the Value of Upgrading

2024-04-10

...Generally speaking, GPU cores are oriented to parallel operations—all cores doing the same task, each on its own piece of data until some job is done (in parallel). GPUs are ill-suited to simultaneous unrelated tasks. They do not play well with multiple programs simultaneously, or even different tasks in the same application.

Even a single application like Photoshop will NOT allow you to work interactively while some jobs are being run on the GPU (e.g. Enhance Details)—you are blocked from proceeding until the GPU is free. Doing so would likely cause an application crash. And in general, GPU support has long been a science fair project with all sorts of reliability problems. 

But here in 2024, as APIs have evolved, things are pretty stable on Apple Silicon—much more so than on Intel Macs.

...

The Ultimate Mac Buyer’s Guide, Part 6: What GPU Cores Actually Do, and the Value of Upgrading
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