What's the Verdict on the New MacBookPro's and graphics?

Dec 10, 2008 at 10:48pm

What's the Verdict on the New MacBookPro's and graphics?

Are people noticing better Open GL performance with the new 15″ Mac Book Pros versus the old — especially regarding the new NVIDIA cards?

well, when the old ones are not failing that is — (talking about the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT)

http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2377

If so, do you suggest the:

15-inch widescreen
2.4GHz
2GB Memory
250GB hard drive
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 256MB

or

15-inch widescreen
2.53GHz
4GB Memory
320GB hard drive
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 512MB

BIG QUESTION: ***Is it WELL worth the extra money to the Jitter Open GL user for the 512MB and 4GB RAM??

Thanks in advance…

With all the NVIDIA issues recently, this is all very confusing to me right now.

-Brian

#41290
Dec 11, 2008 at 1:07am

Hi Brian,

If you already have an 8600M MBP, I personally wouldn’t recommend
getting the new MBP. Loss of s-video output, loss of built in FW 400
port, no significant CPU performance advantages from most benchmarks.
There are some advantages to the 9600M, but they probably won’t be
huge depending on what you’re doing. If you’re streaming/mixing video,
that’s most likely the bottleneck. If you’re doing pure 3d stuff, then
it might be better (I’ve seen conflicting benchmarks online). To me,
the most exciting thing about the new MBP is the extra GPU for
potential OpenCL use in Snow Leopard, but that’s still some time off.
Well, one thing right now about the extra GPU is that under bootcamp,
you can allegedly get the two cores to work together in SLI (unlike
current OS X drivers which allegedly don’t allow this).

I’d personally wait until the next big speed boost unless you’re using
a much older generation MBP, since the rumors are that it might be a
quad core machine. Then again I don’t know when that’s going to be. As
for 256MB vs 512MB VRAM. You’d really need to make that call for
yourself based on how much VRAM you think you’ll be using for your
work. If using *lots* of textures and slab objects or *huge* amounts
of GPU cached geometry, then the 512MB will probably help. Otherwise,
the difference will probably not be noticeable.

Just my $0.02

-Joshua

#146924
Dec 12, 2008 at 5:20pm

hi joshua,

thanks for the thoughtful response.

my current machine is an MBP (2.33GHZ/2GB RAM with an ATI Radeon X1600 — works very well — knock on wood!).

so, hypothetically, given the negligible difference in the 8600M vs. 9600M, does it make sense to take a chance on an 8600M MBP given the discounted prices that are out there now?

even with the reports that are out about faulty chips? or, is it safer to go with the new 9600M if one can not wait for the next speed boost?

thanks,

brian

—–Original Message—–
From: jitter-bounces@cycling74.com on behalf of Joshua Kit Clayton
Sent: Wed 12/10/2008 8:07 PM
Subject: Re: [jitter] What’s the Verdict on the New MacBookPro’s and graphics?

Hi Brian,

If you already have an 8600M MBP, I personally wouldn’t recommend
getting the new MBP. Loss of s-video output, loss of built in FW 400
port, no significant CPU performance advantages from most benchmarks.
There are some advantages to the 9600M, but they probably won’t be
huge depending on what you’re doing. If you’re streaming/mixing video,
that’s most likely the bottleneck. If you’re doing pure 3d stuff, then
it might be better (I’ve seen conflicting benchmarks online). To me,
the most exciting thing about the new MBP is the extra GPU for
potential OpenCL use in Snow Leopard, but that’s still some time off.
Well, one thing right now about the extra GPU is that under bootcamp,
you can allegedly get the two cores to work together in SLI (unlike
current OS X drivers which allegedly don’t allow this).

I’d personally wait until the next big speed boost unless you’re using
a much older generation MBP, since the rumors are that it might be a
quad core machine. Then again I don’t know when that’s going to be. As
for 256MB vs 512MB VRAM. You’d really need to make that call for
yourself based on how much VRAM you think you’ll be using for your
work. If using *lots* of textures and slab objects or *huge* amounts
of GPU cached geometry, then the 512MB will probably help. Otherwise,
the difference will probably not be noticeable.

Just my $0.02

-Joshua

#146925
Dec 12, 2008 at 6:32pm

On Dec 12, 2008, at 9:20 AM, Knoth, Brian wrote:

> so, hypothetically, given the negligible difference in the 8600M vs.
> 9600M, does it make sense to take a chance on an 8600M MBP given the
> discounted prices that are out there now?

That’s really up to you. If I had to get one or the other right now, I
suppose I’d get the 9600M version. General speculation is that the
quad core MBPs are probably not happening until Q3 2009 at the
earliest when Nehalem is introduced. So if you need something better
before then, it would make sense to upgrade to either one you prefer.
Otherwise, I’d wait.

-Joshua

#146926
Dec 13, 2008 at 12:24am

From what I’ve seen, the 9600 seriously outperforms the 8600 in GL and video/GLSL performance. From testing my friends 2.4GHz with an 8600, my older x1600 outperforms it for just about everything we threw at it.

I test a friends brand new 9600, and it stomped all over my x1600 in serious ways. Id be a bit weary about the newer models however as there are some reports of issues with the machines. Check out some regular mac blog sites to read up about them. All in all though I think they are seriously sexy, if you can deal with the glossy aspect ;)

#146927

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