How bad is the GMA 950, honestly?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by polevault139, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. polevault139 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois
    #1
    I am planning on getting a Macbook for college in the summer. I have heard alot of stuff about how horrible the GMA 950 is, but it can't the that bad, right? I am going into Materials Science and Engineering, so I will need to use a few 3D programs. I will also have to run Windows for some exclusive thermodynamics programs. So I was going to get the 160 GB Hard drive and give 70GB to Windows and 90GB to OS X.

    So my main question is will I have to spend the extra money to go for the MBP, or will the MB be fine. I do not game at all so the only restriction I can see it the 3d programs in windows.

    So the overall question, is the GMA 950 really that bad??
     
  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    Yahooville S.C.
    #2
    If you arent a gamer I wouldnt worry about it, it will be fine for you. You may though want to state which 3d programs you are running because some do much better with a real dedicated GPU.
     
  3. vanzskater272 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #3
    It is pretty bad if you are using a program that uses the graphics card a lot. But I dont know what programs you are using. What are the system requiermnets for the 3d programs?
     
  4. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #4
    This has been beaten to death already. For christ's sake, it's not that bad. It works quite well for many tasks. It's just not suitable for certain 3d tasks.
     
  5. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #5
    not to derail this thread, but rather than start my own i figured i'd ask here

    i have an iMac and i'm looking at getting a MacBook, but i'd like to be able to play WoW on the MacBook occasionally.. the iMac would remain the main machine for playing. would the GMA 950 be good enough for light WoW useage?
     
  6. vanzskater272 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #6
    It can handle it fine. I played it on my friends cousions macbook all day and it ran perfectly.
     
  7. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

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    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #7
    also...

    Would the GMA 950 be capable of powering say... a 40'' LCD tv? Its a bit much to ask I'm sure, but my MPB does it just fine.
     
  8. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #8
    Yes. It could feed a 1000" TV as long as the resolution is 1920 x 1200 pixels max.
     
  9. polevault139 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 24, 2006
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    Illinois
    #9
    I guess what I was trying to say is that are there any limitations from using the GMA 950 or will the performance just suffer? As long as I can run all of the applications I need to speed should not be an issue because I will have access to plenty of iMacs. I'm sorry but I do not know the specs of th programs I will be running. I am visiting Iowa State this weekend for Scholars weekend and I am going to get all of this straightened out. Thanks for the responses.
     
  10. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #10
    3D applications that require advanced shader and lighting work very poorly on the GMA950.

    On Windows I was able to emulate a lot of Direct X abilities using 3D Analyzer. You just pick the application that you want to run, check all the Hardware Limits (Cap Bits), and then run the application. It's a single threaded application that uses the CPU. It'd work JUST FINE if I could use the second core.

    I was getting 15-20 fps on Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising and Escalation using the normal settings at 1024 x 768. This game demands hardware T&L too.
     
  11. 9Charms macrumors regular

    9Charms

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #11
    I can vouch first hand that GMA 950 sucks when in dual display mode. However, if you're just using 1 display (external or internal) it works just great. As for the 40" LCD TV, it should be fine. I believe the TV has larger fewer pixels and thus lower resolutions.
     
  12. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #12
    That's a load of garbage. I have a cd MB and it handles dual display mode excellently. I often have dual display operating with a 17" LCD monitor using Corel Painter or Photoshop ( I have all the tools on my MB display and the canvas on my external display) and I have had no issues at all. In fact it handles it even better than my 12" Powerbook use to and that handled it fine as well.
     
  13. 9Charms macrumors regular

    9Charms

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #13
    First of all, it isn't a load of garbage. I have a MacBook and am experiencing this first hand. Second, I would expect better language out of a 65816 user. Third, I guess it would depend on what model you have or what you consider to be good vs poor performance. I suppose it's all subjective. As for my experience, there are many many more spinning beach balls when connected to an external display than when only one is in use at a time.
     
  14. Pct1theory macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    #14
    GUYS GUYS GUYS,

    The Chip Is Great, It Runs Most Games... It's All MacBook Users Need,
    Don't complain about How YOU Don't Like It, Then Go Buy A MBP,

    I Run The Halo Trial (w/ Mods) In BootCamp (w/ Vista, I've Had Vista for over 2 months now..) And It Runs Great.

    I Got The Halo CE Version (Not Trial) As A Gift For Chanukah, And it Did Not Run On My MacBook B/C Of The 950, It Didn't Matter To Me, B/C My Mods Didn't Work On That Version Anyway. :apple:
     
  15. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #15
    Looks like we have a new multimedia at MR....
     
  16. deadkenny macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    #16
    It gets a higher 3DMark under Windows than the Mobile Radeon 9700 / 64MB on my old Acer, so it's quite good. The newest version of C&C will run or at least I tested a game that has the same engine and its well playable.
     
  17. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #17
    "Good" and "Bad" are relative terms.

    I personally do notice the effects of the GMA 950. Particularly, when using my C2D MacBook with my HDTV in both display mirroring/spanning modes. Some video content does appear soft, and I have seen it "tear" (particularly with h.264 and MPEG-4) on occasion.

    Another MacBook owner, Leo Laporte mentioned the same issue on his latest "The Tech Guy" podcast.

    If Apple would lift the 64MB hard-limit, and let the driver function similarly to way it does on Windows ... the softness and tearing may be less of a problem.
     
  18. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #18
    Not sure what you Mat Sci folks use, but my CD 1.83 macbook runs Pro/Engineer and Autocad Inventor just fine.
     
  19. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Salt Lake City UT
    #19
    It's not all that bad. I can play all of my PS1 emulations using Windows 2000 and VMWare Fusion Beta without any lag time using my Macbook.
     
  20. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #20
    Better language? Is there something wrong with my spelling???

    Mine is an original cd MB with 2GB ram and my first had experience is that it absolutely does work in dual display without any issue. Both screens work perfectly at the same time when connected to an external monitor. I have never had a spinning beach ball in this situation.

    If my cd MB works perfectly well in dual display then I have no doubt the latest model c2d MB would do just as well if not better. May I suggest it might be something else causing this for you, how much ram do you have installed?
     
  21. 9Charms macrumors regular

    9Charms

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #21
    Well there you go. You're assuming, while I'm experiencing, and so have others on this forum.

    As for RAM, I have 2 GB, check my sig, it's been there all along. :)
     
  22. extraextra macrumors 68000

    extraextra

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #22
    If you are going to be running ANY 3D applications extensively (it's not just games that are 3D, you guys... someone people actually have 3D work applications), while running an external monitor, I would strongly consider a Macbook Pro.
     
  23. phungy macrumors 68020

    phungy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    FL/NY/TX
    #23
    I've tried running a Quake 4 Demo and got a headache within 2 minutes because it was running so choppy, I even set the quality on medium. At certain parts it was smooth but I ended up not playing because it was impossible to enjoy.
     
  24. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #24
    Assuming what??

    Anyway like I said the MB does handle dual display without issue and I speaking from my experience as I have a MB and a 17" LCD monitor as I have already mentioned.
     
  25. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #25
    For some 3D games, the MacBook is faster (by far) than my G4 PowerBook with 64 MB Radeon 9600. For others, it's slower. It really depends on how CPU-dependent the app is. CPU-heavy apps fly on the MacBook. (Especially with sufficient RAM.)

    For NON-game 3D, I doubt you'd have much of a problem. But, in future, who knows? Graphical needs will increase over time.
     

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