A Chinese source which claims to have had first-hand contact with the upcoming Retina Macbook Pro 13 (link, in Chinese) has noticed that the thermal design has not been build for two “hot” chips, which indicates that there is no discrete graphics processor (GPU) in the 13″ version of the Retina Macbook Pro.
In turn, this should impact performance negatively in a significant way: the 15″ Retina Macbook Pro was a beast when it comes to graphics performance (see our complete Retina Macbook Pro 15″ review), especially for a 4.5lbs computer. With integrated graphics, the 13″ version would simply be as slow as legions of Ultrabooks out there, and frankly, this is surprising for a “pro” laptop from Apple. It may be even be slower than the original Macbook Air.
As it stands, the integrated GPU would just be fast enough to drive the rumored 2560×1600 native resolution of the LCD, so you can basically forget about gaming, high-performance GPU compute and I wonder what the performance in Photoshop real-time previews is going to look like. We’ll have to review it ourselves, but this does not sound good. What do you think? Do you want a discrete GPU in the Retina Macbook Pro 13?