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Old Mar 3, 2009, 12:30 PM   #1
kresh
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ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro vs. nVidia GeForce 9400M

I have searched the forums for a 2600 HD vs 9400M thread but I did not find one and if this has been covered in another thread under a different topic I apologize in advance since I could not find it.

I am not a tech guru and I have a few questions:

The 2600 HD is discrete and the 9400M is integrated, right?

On the 9400M: 1GB Ram = 128MB VRam, 2 GB Ram = 256MB VRam, so does 4 GB Ram = 512MB VRam?

I think the 9400M has 16 cores, how many cores does the 2600 HD have?

Considering the upcoming OpenCL integration with the pending Snow Leopard release, which would be the better graphics chipset? I thought I heard someone say that the 9400M is not ready for OpenCL but that an engineer at nVidia had updated the driver and had it working. Is the 2600 HD OpenCL ready? (Sorry for all the questions bundled together, but they are related)

Many thanks in advance.


edit: The point to all of my questions is that I have a 20" 2.66 GHz C2D Aluminum iMac that replaced a 1.83 GHz C2D Mac Mini. I can't put my finger on it, but I like the Mini better than the iMac and am considering switching back if the graphics disparity is not too great.

Last edited by kresh; Mar 3, 2009 at 12:33 PM. Reason: reason for the questions.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 12:55 PM   #2
QCassidy352
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well, I can point you to this - macworld's review of the gaming capabilities of the unibody macbooks.

Despite what apple claims with their graphs (new imac page), the 2.0 macbook (which is basically the exact same internals as the new mini) runs about even with the 2.4 Ghz imac with radeon 2400xt (low-end of the last generation). I think the macbook wins out in 4 of 7 tests and the imac in the other three. Some of the imac's advantage may be the processor, but not much, as the 2.4 Ghz macbook only beats the 2.0 by a couple of fps in each test.

Yes, you read that right - that was against the 2400xt, not the 2600.

Now, look at this. It's not the same set of tests, but it does compare a 2.4 Ghz imac with 2400xt to a 2.4 Ghz imac with radeon 2600 in a couple of graphic-related tasks. The 2600 goes from "a lot better" to "twice as fast."

So if we put all of this together (and yes, I realize the difficultly of analysis across multiple sets of tests, but it's the best we have for now), we reach the conclusion that the nvidea 9400 is a noticable step down from the Radeon 2600 Pro.

Take it for what it's worth.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 01:02 PM   #3
Jack Flash
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The 9400M has 16 pipelines. The 2600 has 120.
Your iMac scores about 8700 is 3DMark05. The Unibody Macbook, therefore the new Mini will score about 4000 in 3DMark05

The 9400M is a great deal slower.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 02:45 PM   #4
NorrisKillsKids
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I'm surprised this isn't being discussed more....

I'd really like to know what the key differences between the 2 are.

On one hand the new 24 inch models have 4gb of ddr3 ram and 9400M integrated

the old 24s have the radeon 2600 HD with 2gb ddr2 ram and slightly stronger processor (referring to the 2.8 old vs 2.66 new)



Which is better which is better. I have a feeling it's a tougher choice than those numbers let on (benchmark wise).
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 02:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorrisKillsKids View Post
the old 24s have the radeon 2600 HD with 2gb ddr2 ram and slightly stronger processor (referring to the 2.8 old vs 2.66 new)
That's not the right processor comparison. The lineup went from:
2.4 (20")
2.66 (20")
2.8 (24")
3.06 (24")

to

2.66 (20")
2.66 (24")
2.93 (24")
3.06 (24")

Comparing the old 2.8 to the new 2.66 is not comparing comparably priced models.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 03:03 PM   #6
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It's all so complicated...

The quick and dirty method is that if you compare the current and same generation of graphics chips, the discreet graphics with dedicated memory always wins out...

But remember, the integrated graphics is essentially used in "budget" computers...
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 03:05 PM   #7
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Yeah I confused myself. My point was....I'm on the hinge on which is better between the two I mentioned.

I plan on either getting the first 24 inch model (new ones), or the 2.8 refurb from last time with the 2600 ati card.

After much youtubing I've come to the conclusion that the 9400M runs every game that the 2600 could even better than the 2600. And I've seen a ton of videos to make sure it was a trend. But then I look at the numbers above in benchmarks and whatnot and that doesn't seem to be the case.

So can anyone explain that? And are the 4gb ddr3 ram or 2gb ddr2 ram a large factor in the choice?

I wanna be sure before dumping almost 2K.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 03:18 PM   #8
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^^^^

Goes back to discreet graphics versus integrated.

Even earlier - I had a Compaq Laptop with GMA900 integrated graphics and my Thinkpad X31 with discreet ATI Radeon Pro graphics beat it out when playing back iTunes Videos.

For the gamers out there - the gaming sites are your best bet, maybe even see if you can get away with a cheap Mac Mini for Mac stuff and a Wintel Gaming Rig for games (that's what I did, bought a recycled HP Workstation and now I can put whatever graphics card happens to come along).

The Mini was $579 and the HP workstation was $150 plus about $200 worth of parts... My monitor has two (DVI and VGA) inputs.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 03:34 PM   #9
dorman1979
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I'm having the same question????
I'm looking for the best Imac for HD video editing via Final Cut Pro Studio 2.
Do I go with the Refurb 2.8ghz 2gb ddr2 ram ati2600 pro 256ram $1199.00
Or the brand new 2.66ghz 4gb ddr3 ram 9400m $1499.00

Which system would be faster for video editing?
Thanks so much for your help guys!
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 03:53 PM   #10
kresh
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Thanks for the replies. How about OpenCL though?

(edit) opps. I must have missed the post with the pipeline count. I assume that with 120 pipelines vs 16 then the 2600 HD will offer dramatically faster OpenCL acceleration?

Does the number of GPU cores matter, how many does each graphics chipset have (2600 HD vs 9400M)?

Last edited by kresh; Mar 3, 2009 at 03:59 PM. Reason: missed the pipeline counts (changed from cores to correct)
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 04:00 PM   #11
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Benchmarks are not the most reliable things in the world, but I trust them a darn sight more than youtube videos.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 04:01 PM   #12
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I posted a bit on this topic in another thread. Here is the post: http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...7&postcount=31

Quote:
Originally Posted by kresh View Post
Does the number of GPU cores matter, how many does each graphics chipset have (2600 HD vs 9400M)?
Yah, the both have only one core.

Here is an snippet from my post that I linked to:

Quote:
Ranks are...
...
69: Radeon 2600 (Mobile from old iMac, and not the "PRO" version)|3DMark06 Score: 3134
96: GeForce 9400M|3DMark06 Score: 2067
110: Radeon 2400 XT Mobile (the one from the old low end iMac)|3DMark06 Score: 1735

Last edited by avihappy; Mar 3, 2009 at 04:09 PM.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 04:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorman1979 View Post
I'm having the same question????
I'm looking for the best Imac for HD video editing via Final Cut Pro Studio 2.
Do I go with the Refurb 2.8ghz 2gb ddr2 ram ati2600 pro 256ram $1199.00
Or the brand new 2.66ghz 4gb ddr3 ram 9400m $1499.00

Which system would be faster for video editing?
Thanks so much for your help guys!
I had the exact same problem as you. I ended up buying the refurb for 1199. Anyone know the difference between the two chips ???
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 04:15 PM   #14
Jack Flash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorrisKillsKids View Post
Yeah I confused myself. My point was....I'm on the hinge on which is better between the two I mentioned.

I plan on either getting the first 24 inch model (new ones), or the 2.8 refurb from last time with the 2600 ati card.

After much youtubing I've come to the conclusion that the 9400M runs every game that the 2600 could even better than the 2600. And I've seen a ton of videos to make sure it was a trend. But then I look at the numbers above in benchmarks and whatnot and that doesn't seem to be the case.

So can anyone explain that? And are the 4gb ddr3 ram or 2gb ddr2 ram a large factor in the choice?

I wanna be sure before dumping almost 2K.
No.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 04:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roski11 View Post
I had the exact same problem as you. I ended up buying the refurb for 1199. Anyone know the difference between the two chips ???
OK, here is how I rank those iMacs:

1: The new 2.66 one [IF YOU UPGRADE TO GT 130 (better) OR RADEON HD 4850 (by far the best)] (best video + more RAM)
2: The refurb exactly as you made it IF YOU GET MORE RAM! (OK video + more RAM)
(tie): The new one exactly as you said. (more RAM but crap video)
(tie): The old one exactly as you said. (better VIDEO but less RAM)

But know this: RADEON HD 4850 (new iMac) > GEFORCE 8800GS (old iMac, thanks to Jack Flash) > GT 130 (new iMac) > GT 120 (new iMac) > RADEON 2600 PRO (old iMac) > GEFORCE 9400M (new iMac and Mini) >= RADEON 2400 XT (old iMac) > INTEL GMA 950 (old Mini)

Last edited by avihappy; Mar 3, 2009 at 04:54 PM.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 04:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avihappy View Post
OK, here is how I rank those iMacs:

1: The new 2.66 one [IF YOU UPGRADE TO GT 130 (better) OR RADEON HD 4850 (by far the best)] (best video + more RAM)
2: The refurb exactly as you made it IF YOU GET MORE RAM! (OK video + more RAM)
(tie): The new one exactly as you said. (more RAM but crap video)
(tie): The old one exactly as you said. (better VIDEO but less RAM)

But know this: RADEON HD 4850 (new iMac) > GT 130 (new iMac) > GT 120 (new iMac) > RADEON 2600 PRO (old iMac) > GEFORCE 9400M (new iMac and Mini) > RADEON 2400 XT (old iMac) > INTEL GMA 950 (old Mini)
Cool, I only got the standard 2gb RAM. How do I get more ??? Send it back ??? Do it myself ????
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 04:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avihappy View Post
OK, here is how I rank those iMacs:

1: The new 2.66 one [IF YOU UPGRADE TO GT 130 (better) OR RADEON HD 4850 (by far the best)] (best video + more RAM)
2: The refurb exactly as you made it IF YOU GET MORE RAM! (OK video + more RAM)
(tie): The new one exactly as you said. (more RAM but crap video)
(tie): The old one exactly as you said. (better VIDEO but less RAM)

But know this: RADEON HD 4850 (new iMac) > 8800GS (old iMac) > GT 130 (new iMac) > GT 120 (new iMac) > RADEON 2600 PRO (old iMac) > GEFORCE 9400M (new iMac and Mini) > RADEON 2400 XT (old iMac) > INTEL GMA 950 (old Mini)
Wanted to add that in.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 04:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avihappy View Post
RADEON HD 4850 (new iMac) >8800GS (old iMac) > GT 130 (new iMac) > GT 120 (new iMac) > RADEON 2600 PRO (old iMac) > GEFORCE 9400M (new iMac and Mini) > RADEON 2400 XT (old iMac) > INTEL GMA 950 (old Mini)
I'd say that about sums it up. I'd just add that the difference between the 9400M and the 2400XT is pretty minimal, and benchmarks show them outperforming each other in different situations.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 04:40 PM   #19
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So it seems the best deal is to get the refurb and upgrade the ram to the max 4gb.

One last ? Can the Video card be easily upgraded later down the road?? And is it something I can do myself.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 04:41 PM   #20
avihappy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Flash View Post
Wanted to add that in.
Thanks, I had a hard time finding numbers for the Mobile version of that card, so I omitted it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roski11 View Post
Cool, I only got the standard 2gb RAM. How do I get more ??? Send it back ??? Do it myself ????
You can buy more RAM. I like Crucial RAM: http://www.crucial.com/store/listpar...29%20MB324LL/A

To install it look here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1432

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorman1979 View Post
So it seems the best deal is to get the refurb and upgrade the ram to the max 4gb.

One last ? Can the Video card be easily upgraded later down the road?? And is it something I can do myself.
No, you cannot upgrade video on any iMac after you have purchased it.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 04:50 PM   #21
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I would definitely recommend the refurb 2.8. It's a great computer. In my opinion the 2600 Pro beats out the 9400m by a lot.
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 05:29 PM   #22
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Okay I just ordered it!!!! WOOOOOOHOOOOOOO and paid the extra 46 for next day shipping!

Does it matter what type of ram I get as long as it is compatible!
Cause I'm finding huge price differences!
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 05:33 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorman1979 View Post
Okay I just ordered it!!!! WOOOOOOHOOOOOOO and paid the extra 46 for next day shipping!

Does it matter what type of ram I get as long as it is compatible!
Cause I'm finding huge price differences!
Yes it does matter! Make sure you are getting RAM that fits in the slot and operates at proper speeds. Also, the old iMacs only hold 4GB Max. So that is 2GB Max per slot. Here are some examples of what works: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...20Apple%20iMac
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Old Mar 3, 2009, 08:03 PM   #24
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4GB crusial kit on the way and Im ready to go!!!!!!

Thank you all SOOOOO much for all your help!!

P.S. JC's "Avatar" is gonna rock!!
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Old Mar 4, 2009, 12:20 AM   #25
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I ended up getting the HD 2600 pro refurb! I just need to buy 4g ram and I saved myself 400 dollars. I don't think 400 warrants ddr3 ram....

I've been sitting here for hours hoping I made the right decision. And I'm extremely excited. If it's any consolation, the only game I ever plan on playing is Starcraft 2 and probably Diablo 3 and it's pretty obvious it'll run on either so I think I'm safe.

Anyone know the best apple memory retailer in Canada?
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