MacBook performance with an external monitor

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Objectivist-C, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. Objectivist-C macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    #1
    How does a MacBook compare to the later iBook G4s when spanning the desktop to an external monitor? My iBook is a bit choppy with Dashboard and Exposé effects at 1024x768 + 1600x1200.
     
  2. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #2
    I've ran a co-worker's MB on my 24" Dell (1900 X 1200), and it ran as smooth as butter. By "spanning" you mean extend the desktop to the second screen right? I didn't seem to have issues with it, though to be fair he has 2GBs of RAM in that thing.
     
  3. donster28 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Great White North
    #3
    I connect mine (MBP C2D) to a Sony 32" Bravia 32S2010 (1080i) through VGA and looks great. Although not ultra-hi res but awesome nontheless. I used to have a toshiba Regza 32" and that TV just isn't optimized for this kind of purpose so I suggest you stay away from it...the screen cannot scale to the right size no matter what resolution you set on ur macbook pro.

    I record HD content from my cable box to the MBP via firewire and when played back in the Bravia, it's per pixel beautiful...although the frame rate from live TV will be reduced to 24fps which give a cinema feel to them.
     
  4. 9Charms macrumors regular

    9Charms

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #4
    I have 2 gigs of RAM in my MacBook C2D 1.83, and currently have it attached to an external 17" Viewsonic monitor, and for some reason, the performance is noticeably worst with the extended desktop. There are many many more "spinning beachballs" than usual.

    However, when I close the lid and run it (so that it only outputs to the monitor) all the problems go away. I'm thinking this is an issue with the GMA 950 graphics.

    I'm thinking of trading this one in and upgrading to a MacBook Pro.
     
  5. sunfast macrumors 68020

    sunfast

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #5
    When you're spanning, doesn't that chop your VRAM in half (i.e. split between the two screens)? That way in clamshell all the VRAM is used for the external.
     
  6. 9Charms macrumors regular

    9Charms

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    May 19, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #6
    I don't see how that would factor in since the GMA950 shares RAM with your system. I have 2 gigs of RAM, and activity monitor shows over 1GB unused, even while in extended desktop.

    Anyone else with this problem?

    I should mention that I installed generic RAM instead of "recommended for Apple RAM"
     
  7. sunfast macrumors 68020

    sunfast

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    Oct 14, 2005
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    London
    #7
    But doesn't the GMA use a maximum of 64mb RAM? Therefore you'd have 32mb per screen irrespective of how much RAM you have.
     
  8. Magnus Reftel macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #8
    Yes.
    I'm using my CD MB with screen spanning for normal use, but not for demanding games - switching to just using one display improves performance drastically.
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #9
    Yeah, it would split the RAM.
    Rather than use your monitor in clamshell mode, can you leave your laptop open, turn off the screen, and use the external monitor? I like the MacBook keyboard. :apple:
     
  10. 9Charms macrumors regular

    9Charms

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #10
    How would you turn your MacBook monitor off? The only way I know is to close the lid, put it to sleep and then use an external keyboard to wake it up... is there an easier way?
     
  11. 9Charms macrumors regular

    9Charms

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #11
    So that explains it.... I think I'm definitely trading this thing in... only a month old, too. Shame...
     
  12. Pomme.inc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    Montréal, Québec
    #12
    I would like to know too... cause when I connect my macbook to my 24 inch dell 2407 I just want to use the big screen not both
     
  13. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000

    CaptainCaveMann

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    Oct 5, 2004
    #13
    I think by "turning off" he means dim all the way down! ;)
     
  14. 00hkelly macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    #14
    that wouldnt make any difference though because the graphics card will still be displaying the screen just the brightness would be reduced. Im sure performance would be increased when the screen is turned off (just before sleep or something chosen in energy saver) however when you went to use the keyboard on the macbook the screen would wake again. What happens when you press the monitor button on the keyboard, is there an option to just use the external display alongside mirror and extended desktop?
     

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