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Old May 25, 2008, 05:44 AM   #1
OS X Dude
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Upgrade MacBook Pro graphics card

hi,

just wondering whether the latest Penryn MBP could have it's GPU upgraded - to something like an 8800MGTX maybe?


Thanks
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Old May 25, 2008, 05:47 AM   #2
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No. They are not cards: the chips is surface mounted to the logic board. The only way to upgrade is to buy a new laptop.
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Old May 25, 2008, 07:28 AM   #3
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Even on the MacBook Pro?

So it actually has an 8600MGT chip not a card? :S
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Old May 25, 2008, 07:30 AM   #4
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Even on the MacBook Pro?

So it actually has an 8600MGT chip not a card? :S
What is a card? It's just the chip and some RAM with on a board. That takes extra space and height. They just take the same chip and RAM that would be on a card and solder it straight onto the logic board. Saves space and cost.
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Old May 25, 2008, 07:34 AM   #5
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Yeah, that can't be done. Sorry. At any rate, an 8800GTX that Apple hadn't approved would run too hot. I can see you melting the entire board with one of those.
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Old May 25, 2008, 01:33 PM   #6
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if i leave Apple stuff for any reason - this'll be why. Even with a Mac Pro i found you can only install Apple approved cards (read: cards made with EFI drivers) so they're still useless really for high end gaming.....

i found an alienware m15x with an 8800MGTX card (fastest laptop card) for 949..... jeez im tempted!
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Old May 25, 2008, 02:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by OS X Dude View Post
if i leave Apple stuff for any reason - this'll be why. Even with a Mac Pro i found you can only install Apple approved cards (read: cards made with EFI drivers) so they're still useless really for high end gaming.....

i found an alienware m15x with an 8800MGTX card (fastest laptop card) for 949..... jeez im tempted!
The Mac Pro isn't really a gaming machine, it's a workstation. If you're a gamer, you stick to machines designed for gaming, not machines designed for professional use.
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Old May 25, 2008, 06:07 PM   #8
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The Mac Pro isn't really a gaming machine, it's a workstation. If you're a gamer, you stick to machines designed for gaming, not machines designed for professional use.
I've been a mac gamer for...ever and though i'm definitely tempted sometimes, i very much doubt i'll get a PC any time soon.

The only thing that bothers me though (and most other gamers, i'm sure) is the graphics cards (which usually has no upgrade path).

Games are becoming more and more dependent on graphics cards, so the problem is just getting worse

Still wishing for that mythical mac mini-tower
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Old May 25, 2008, 06:14 PM   #9
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if i leave Apple stuff for any reason - this'll be why.
There aren't many laptops on the market where you can upgrade the graphics. That's one of the tradeoffs you make when you buy a laptop in the first place.
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Old Jul 5, 2009, 12:23 AM   #10
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The Mac Pro isn't really a gaming machine, it's a workstation. If you're a gamer, you stick to machines designed for gaming, not machines designed for professional use.
MacBook Pro is a machine for a professional use just because it does not have an adequate graphic card in it. Everything other than that is there and ready for gaming. That is only the difference. Just because somebody decided to target a particular group of users called "professionals" does not mean that it should be used just for that purpose. It is up to you and me.

I do not understand and will never agree that in the Macbook Pro there should be or it is a mediocre graphics card such as 9600m GT. Why to have two chips for graphics? Yes one is for professionals and the other for heavy duty tasks, more smarter professionals. However 9600m GT is not a such card. It is just an average graphics card and it is just suitable for few years old games that you bought and you did not have much time to play it before.

I wonder where Apple puts us all. Probably in the group of not so much sophisticated professionals. That is sad at least.

Unfortunately because of a single component, that is the graphics card, MBP seems to be just an overpriced sexy looking laptop.
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Old Jul 5, 2009, 08:46 AM   #11
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Cupertino is just obsessed with thin, thinner and thinnest when it comes to notebooks. Performance comes in a distant second. There is next to no wiggle room for shoehorning in a gpu that will serve as a makeshift hob ring.

For what professionals use, the gpu in Apple's notebooks is more than adequate. About the only sensible upgrade would be to a Quadro type chip for graphics. Professionals don't play games on a notebook. Nor, for that matter, do serious gamers, either.

If you are looking at Alienware as benchmark, then you are condemning one niche market (Apple notebooks) to an even more niche market (big, toasty sub-par gaming notebooks).
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Old Jul 12, 2009, 04:33 AM   #12
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ive seen to much dispute on whether the macbook pro should come with better graphics card, i say why the hell not i mean the computer is pretty close to top of the line everywhere else so why not the graphics card the previous MBP come wit 8600 snd the unibodys come with 9600 that means you can fit a 9800gtx with 1g vram plus for how expensive they are they shold coe with better cards. And whos to say profesionals dont play games lots of people do.
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Old Jul 24, 2009, 02:26 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by OS X Dude View Post
if i leave Apple stuff for any reason - this'll be why. Even with a Mac Pro i found you can only install Apple approved cards (read: cards made with EFI drivers) so they're still useless really for high end gaming.....

i found an alienware m15x with an 8800MGTX card (fastest laptop card) for 949..... jeez im tempted!
Okay, bye! Enjoy your four-inch thick slab of plastic you call an Alienware.
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Old Jul 24, 2009, 03:11 AM   #14
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i have a mbp 2.4ghz 8600gt, the june 07(santa rosa) model. isnt it possible to change the entire logic board to the one with the newer aluminum mbps, ie: the ones with the 9600 nvidea cards? i am sure there are places where the logic board for the newer mbp models can be found
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Old Jul 24, 2009, 03:23 AM   #15
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Would the logic board fit your older case though? After all, there is a slot for the FW400 port missing from the latest MBPs. Secondly, it would probably be cheaper to buy a more recent MBP from the refurb store rather than trying to retrofit the logic board and new style battery into a case clearly not designed for it.
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Old Jul 24, 2009, 03:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by predragp View Post
I do not understand and will never agree that in the Macbook Pro there should be or it is a mediocre graphics card such as 9600m GT. Why to have two chips for graphics? Yes one is for professionals and the other for heavy duty tasks, more smarter professionals. However 9600m GT is not a such card. It is just an average graphics card and it is just suitable for few years old games that you bought and you did not have much time to play it before.
Now you are exaggerating. I have played Mirrors Edge and Fallout 3 with most settings maxed, some on medium on native resolutionon with my mbps 8600m GT, both games are only a few months old. Of course it's not a gaming laptop, it's too thin for that but therefore it's actually portable - and obviously it's not a desktop.

If you are actually taking your laptop out almost every day you are thankfull it's a mbp and not an alienware.

As a desktop replacement with gaming as the main use, by all means get an alienware or some other gaming laptop. In that case, the weight difference of course is worth nothing.
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Old Jul 24, 2009, 03:50 AM   #17
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Okay, bye! Enjoy your four-inch thick slab of plastic you call an Alienware.
My little brother had an Alienware laptop. It wasn't bad for gaming, and it could launch the space shuttle if it had too but it did weigh almost ten pounds.

I was under the impression that aside from said Alienware, the only thing that could be upgraded in a laptop was the ram and hdd since the CPU socket or any PCI slots would take up way too much space. I was sure this had always been the case. That said, if I was a hardcore PC or Mac gamer I wouldn't use a laptop, I'd get a tower with proper cooling.
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Old Jul 24, 2009, 11:45 AM   #18
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I was under the impression that aside from said Alienware, the only thing that could be upgraded in a laptop was the ram and hdd since the CPU socket or any PCI slots would take up way too much space. I was sure this had always been the case. That said, if I was a hardcore PC or Mac gamer I wouldn't use a laptop, I'd get a tower with proper cooling.
Yeah that's right 99% of laptops since the beginning of time are upgradable in two ways more RAM and a bigger HD the rest are all soldered to the board.

The 9600 card in the latest MacBookPro allows you to play all PC games on the market right now, some games not at Max specs but gaming and laptop are basically mutually exclusive, gaming machine is designed for power so high CPU, loads of RAM fast HD and a huge powerhog card, laptops are different with portability, battery life etc being important. If you could fit a HD4870 into a MacBookPro you would likely have about 20 mins of battery due to the wattage on the card.

Edwin


Apart from the odd crazy laptop like from Alienware which is so big and heavy you would not want to have it on your lap!
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Old Mar 25, 2011, 10:55 AM   #19
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I imagine an innumerable amount of tasks that involve serious graphics processing fall under the umbrella of professional use.

Final Cut Pro HD? If this sort of thing is only relegated to desktops, then why DOES Apple produce a "professional use" laptop at all?

There is a laptop sized hard drive in there you can switch out. By what logic should you not be able to also switch out a laptop sized GPU?
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Old Mar 25, 2011, 11:07 AM   #20
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By what logic should you not be able to also switch out a laptop sized GPU?
An internal HD a separate device that can be swapped out for a bigger capacity one. Graphics cards are built into the motherboard when it is designed.

Laptop sized GPU's don't exist as a connectable component they exist as a chip which is built into the motherboard. The reason is all laptops (even PC ones) have limited space, by building the graphics card into the motherboard you don't need PCI-E connectors and all the wasted space that you need to cool and install a graphics card.

Basically you can have a portable machine or you can have an easily upgradeable and flexible machine like a tower.

But to answer you question, you suggestion it is not possible as "laptop sized graphics" that are easily swappable don't exist and due to how graphics cards and motherboards work it is highly unlikely to happen.

However some clever person might be able to make an external Thunderbolt graphics card, but it will take some large amount of clever

Edwin

Last edited by edddeduck; Mar 25, 2011 at 11:09 AM. Reason: Fixed some shocking grammar :)
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 11:02 PM   #21
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Smt

you could always just take the graphics card off the board and replace it with another one with the same chipset. yes it is SMT but you can always just use hot air(i.e. a reflow station) and take the chip off, then put your new chip on.
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Old Oct 29, 2012, 12:09 AM   #22
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you could always just take the graphics card off the board and replace it with another one with the same chipset. yes it is SMT but you can always just use hot air(i.e. a reflow station) and take the chip off, then put your new chip on.
lol... good luck with that.... 99.9% of people who even tried that would just ruin the whole board... and finding a chip that would even work isn't worth the hassle.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 05:15 AM   #23
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lol... good luck with that.... 99.9% of people who even tried that would just ruin the whole board... and finding a chip that would even work isn't worth the hassle.
I know people who work at AMD and NVIDIA and even they would not attempt anything like that. It might be possible to do but it not practical even if you happen to work at a graphics card company and have million dollar tools to work with...

Edwin
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 03:30 AM   #24
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I've been a mac gamer for...ever and though i'm definitely tempted sometimes, i very much doubt i'll get a PC any time soon.

The only thing that bothers me though (and most other gamers, i'm sure) is the graphics cards (which usually has no upgrade path).

Games are becoming more and more dependent on graphics cards, so the problem is just getting worse

Still wishing for that mythical mac mini-tower
You could buy an external graphics card.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 03:35 AM   #25
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You could buy an external graphics card.
redsteven probably has a more modern Mac nowadays that might fulfill his gaming needs, after all, it has been almost five years, when Thunderbolt was not implemented yet.
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