CPU or GPU ??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Apple Corps, Oct 7, 2006.

  1. Apple Corps macrumors 68020

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    #1
    An important technical question involving my new MBP 2.16 17": is a keynote presentation with HD video clips and high resolution photographs more dependent on the CPU or the GPU for performance (given memory = 2 GB)?

    Also - would a FAST external SATA hard drive (Raptor) connected via the ExpressCard/34 slot make a difference? I am trying to learn what the "slowest link" in my performance chain is given my primary use.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ripfrankwhite macrumors regular

    ripfrankwhite

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    #2
    I'm gonna guess and say CPU. I've read that the GPU is for 3D apps and will make no difference with 2D stuff.

    Fast hard drives make a big difference, especially with large files like you'll have.

    These are just educated guesses from what I've read on here. I'd wait for a pro to give you a real answer.
     
  3. Apple Corps thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #3
    Thanks - that is pretty much the same "convential wisdom" as I have read it. I've tried to get clarity/confirmation on this before but not much response. That is a bit surprising given the number of people that go into GREAT detail on CPU pipelines / etc. but do not communicate the PRACTICAL impact for those of us that are not into all of that technical detail.

    OK some of you "pros" - cpu / gpu / hd / ?
     
  4. ormandj macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2006
    #4
    First, I'd like to know exactly why you are talking about HD video inside keynote, and so forth. That's pretty taxing stuff, are you projecting onto a 50 foot screen?

    As for the large photos, RAM will be your friend there. 2GB should have you covered.

    Your GPU is fine for these tasks, they rely on 2d. I don't believe any laptop Apple makes does HD video acceleration on the GPU, so it's moot.

    HD will help, but it all depends on what you're looking for. You can probably play HD video (compressed) off your laptop HD if you get a 7200 rpm model. A 10k Raptop will just make things load a bit more quickly.

    Finally, you talk like you already have the laptop. Have you even tried? If you did - what problems did you experience?
     
  5. Apple Corps thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #5
    I am talking about HD because that is what I use in my business - a 50' screen has nothing to do with it. A 96" diagonal screen displaying 1080 is stunning - way more detail.

    Yes - I just got my MBP and it was slow with 1 GB - the second sodimm really sped things up.

    That said - when transitioning from one slide to the next - using the cube or doorway effect - there will be a slight delay - not impressive given the quality of the presentation. I also notice that a QTVR takes about 2 seconds to start displaying - a delay I want to get rid of. Thus my question - would a better gpu in the next generation of MBP help or would I be better off spending the $$$ on an external SATA drive connected through the ExpressCard/34?
     
  6. Apple Corps thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #6
    Let me try to tighten up my question a bit. The gpu in my new MBP is the gpu - can't change that. If the gpu was the limiting factor then I would pay additional attention to that whenever the next MBP is released. OTOH, if my needs are more cpu dependent - then I'll probably pass on Merom whenever it comes out as would not be that big a bump in performance. Finally, if, due to the large size of data files I am working with, an external Raptor would make the transitions and presentation "snappier" - then I would invest the $$$ now and buy the ExpressCard/34 and drive.

    The trial and error method of finding this out on my own is simply TOO expensive.
     
  7. ormandj macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2006
    #7
    You didn't answer any of my questions, my friend. I'm quite aware the GPU is non-upgradable in a MBP.

    1. Do you own the MBP?
    (Yes/No)

    2. Why do you need HD video in a keynote?
    (Explain)

    3. Have you tried putting HD video in a keynote presentation, and did it work?
    (Yes/No and Yes/No)

    4. If you own the MBP, did you get the 7200rpm drive?
    (Yes/No)
     
  8. Chone macrumors 65816

    Chone

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    Aug 11, 2006
    #8
    Well video can be very GPU dependant since GPUs provide with video acceleration (very good acceleration) and whoever said GPU do nothing in 2D is wrong...

    That being said, in a keynote presentation I'm thinking the CPU is the defining organ of your computer.
     
  9. Apple Corps thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #9
    Did you read my response???

    QUOTE "Yes - I just got my MBP and it was slow with 1 GB - the second sodimm really sped things up"

    Your questions #2 and #3 WERE ANSWERED - are you reading???

    No - I did not get the 7200 rpm option.

    Also - why I need HD in KN is really not the issue (even though I explained it).

    I would suggest you go back and READ my earlier responses.
     
  10. ormandj macrumors member

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    #10
    Sorry, I didn't see that you posted two responses instead of a single one (the one I replied to). My apologies.

    As to the effects, those are 3d accelerated effects you were discussing, and yes - you'll need a faster GPU to perform those without hesitation/jerkiness. You'll have to wait until probably 2 generations of notebooks from now, the merom updates will likely still not be enough to allow such effects when utilizing HD video.

    HD will not help with the transitions, those are performed in-memory. Sounds like you're hitting GPU limitations at this point.

    Again, my apologies for repeating myself in a more clear manner, most people post responses in one post, not two. I'll be more careful to read from now on (I just went via email notification and didn't look at the whole thread.)

    Cheers,
    David
     
  11. Apple Corps thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #11
    David - thanks for the explanation - I was worried I was getting into "troll feeding" :)

    I have found that some of the 1080p HD clips playing outside Keynote are excellen - a bit of "jerkiness" is introduced when launching the video from within Keynote for some reason.

    At any rate - my guess is that I will have to do the best I can until Penyrn arrives down the road.

    The current arrangement still produces an impressive show though :)
     
  12. generik macrumors 601

    generik

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    #12
    I suspect a faster hard drive would help you some.

    Alternatively you can try running through your slides once before the big presentation, to see if the kernel will cache the files and speed it up during the actual presentation.
     
  13. ormandj macrumors member

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    #13
    When you are playing them inside a keynote presentation, you're layering two sets of load on the GPU for both display/transitional effects in keynote, along with the video itself. Keynote itself is relatively new, and HD video in keynote is very likely a rather "bleeding edge" type deployment. Apple (understandably) develops applications with the "average" user in mind. Up until this year, nobody was really even considering HD video. Lately, with the advent of 1080p projection units (wow, big $$$ there, 10k+ for a good 1080p unit) HD video is starting to take off, but it'll be a while yet before it's mainstream. I imagine they are working on optimizing quicktime for HD playback, but as of yet I do not believe HD video decoding is accelerated on the current crop of notebook video cards in Apple machines, and this is why you're experiencing problems. If you were to play uncompressed HD movies, and had an external RAID providing the bandwidth required for this, I imagine you'd have no problem.

    Right now you are limited by CPU in terms of HD video playback. Launch a HD video inside keynote, then fire up activity monitor. You'll see your CPU is heavily stressed. Until Apple puts video cards in their notebooks that can do h.264 decoding as well as improve quicktime to support hardware decoding for h.264 streams, you're not going to see a whole lot of improvement. The Merom update isn't going to give you enough cpu horsepower to see a noticible difference. The Santa Rose upgrade might, however, be enough. Hopefully we'll have hardware decoding for h.264 across the board by then, and your issues will be resolved.

    Cheers,
    David
     
  14. Chone macrumors 65816

    Chone

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    Aug 11, 2006
    #14
    ATI X1600s CAN do H.264 acceleration... ever heard of AVIVO? Whether Apple supports it in their OS or not is another matter but all it takes is a software update... not a whole new videocard.
     
  15. ormandj macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2006
    #15
    Not at 1080p, they can't. They can only HW accelerate h2.64 decoding at 720p. He was talking about 1080p support. :) Either way, however, you are correct. It certainly isn't supported at this time in Quicktime. Hopefully, it will be. :) (Maybe 10.5.x? :p)
     
  16. Apple Corps thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #16
    generik - I may actually bite the bullet and go with two 74 GB Raptors in RAID feeding through the ExpressCard/34 slot. That will eliminate any hard drive bottleneck question.

    David - playing the video clips outside of KN improves the performance - very smooth playback. It does make for a less elegant solution - exit KN - launch movie - relaunch KN to continue presentation. Doing that three or four times during the presentation is a negative. I may have to just make some tradeoff decisions. One of those might be dropping to 740p. I've already dropped some of the more complex transitions - doorway and cube on a 1080p was just too demanding - that even choked my QUAD with 4.5 GB ram (but only the GeForce 6600 graphics card).

    Maybe Apple will release something better within my MBP return time frame and I would just eat the restocking fee. As several people have said - I'm right at the limits now.

    BTW - CEDIA just ended and the new SONY Ruby runs true 1920 x 1080 panels. VERY high reviews and street price right now < $4,000 USD - High Def has arrived for the masses :) :)

    BTW #2 - my new week 38 17" still appears to be flaw free - fast, quiet, and cool if used with some common sense - really pleased thus far. I continue to run 10.4.7 as 10.4.8 killed my Airport.

    Do any of you have any input on which ExpressCard/34 SATA adapter is the better - SeriTek or Sonnet??

    How many topics can I pack into this reply:rolleyes:
     

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