ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro vs. nVidia GeForce 9400M

Discussion in 'iMac' started by kresh, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    kresh

    #1
    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.
     
  2. macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #2
    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.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    #3
    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.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #4
    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).
     
  5. macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #6
    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...
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #7
    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.
     
  8. macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #8
    ^^^^

    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.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #9
    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!
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kresh

    #10
    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)?
     
  11. macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #11
    Benchmarks are not the most reliable things in the world, but I trust them a darn sight more than youtube videos.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    avihappy

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #12
    I posted a bit on this topic in another thread. Here is the post: http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=7204207&postcount=31

    Yah, the both have only one core.

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

     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    I had the exact same problem as you. I ended up buying the refurb for 1199. Anyone know the difference between the two chips ???
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    #14
    No.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    avihappy

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #15
    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)
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #16
    Cool, I only got the standard 2gb RAM. How do I get more ??? Send it back ??? Do it myself ????
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    #17
    Wanted to add that in.
     
  18. macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #18
    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.
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    avihappy

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #20
    Thanks, I had a hard time finding numbers for the Mobile version of that card, so I omitted it.

    You can buy more RAM. I like Crucial RAM: http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.aspx?model=iMac 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (20-inch) MB324LL/A

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

    No, you cannot upgrade video on any iMac after you have purchased it.
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    ltldrummerboy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #21
    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.
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #22
    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!
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    avihappy

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #23
    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/Produ...E&N=2153340551 1327939683&name=For Apple iMac
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #24
    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!!
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #25
    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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