MacBook Pro Graphics Chip Upgrade?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BlackMax, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. BlackMax macrumors 6502a

    BlackMax

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    Jan 14, 2007
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    North Carolina
    #1
    I've been considering upgrading my 12" PowerBook to a MBP for a couple of months, but I would really like to see the MBP with a little more 3D horsepower before I plop down my hard earned greenbacks. With the recent upgrade of the MBP to the Core 2 Duo, I've been waiting to hear that Apple has also decided to upgrade the ATI X1600 to something newer.

    The little bit of digging I've done to try and figure out if there is a MBP graphics chip upgrade on the horizon has not yielded much information. On the one hand, given Apple's relationship with Intel, the AMD/ATI purchase has led some to speculate Apple might turn back towards Nvidia for their new graphics chips. On the other hand, Nvidia chips tend to be less energy efficient and run hotter, which is probably not a direction Apple wants to go with the MBP. I'd be happy to see Apple upgrade the MBP to the ATI X1800.

    Has anyone heard any rumors that Apple has plans to upgrade the graphics chip in their MBP in the near future?
     
  2. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #2
    What follows is pure speculation. The next chip is certainly not going to be the X1800. My guess is that the next generation midrange chip that ATI has in the works will be the X1600's successor. Heat and power usage are huge concerns in such a thin notebook, and the high-end notebook chips have huge thermal and powere requirements. Additionally, all anyone can do is speculate at this point since we all know how little information manages to leak out of Cupertino. I haven't heard any rumors, and even if I had, I would put very little stock in them.
     
  3. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #3
    What are the details on the Asus External graphics card? Is it gonna be any good/work? I'm really interested in that!
     
  4. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #4
    I haven't heard of this, but the other day I was wondering whether there was any technical reason that you couldn't have an ExpressCard video card. Looks like it might be possible after all :)
     
  5. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #5
    I am so tired of reading this already. What kind of relationship does Apple have with Intel? They sleep together in a metaphorical sense? I certainly don't see Intel going "Oh poor you! You don't have enough non-laptop sales to be able to buy our desktop processors at this pricing tier! Don't worry! You can buy the same chips at the same unit price as Dell for the measly 10,000 iMacs you sell a month at the same price we sell to Dell, which buys 100,000 of them a month"

    Apple is a business.

    Intel is also a business.

    Why can't Apple buy from a subsidy of Intel's arch rival? You reckon Apple and Intel signed a trade embargo against AMD?

    I'd very much hope to see Apple avoid nVidia chips as much as they can, especially considering how how anal nVidia guards their so called IP to the point where you cannot even talk about their display driver bugs.

    http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/14/211242
     
  6. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #6
    There is no reason at all to think that an ExpressCard video care will not work on a MacBook Pro. Specifically, Asus' new external video card should work just fine.

    In Windows.

    I really doubt that Apple will do anything to get it to work in the Mac OS. (Although if you put in a video card pulled from a Mac Pro, it could work.....)
     
  7. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #7
    2 things. First off, it's ExpressCard 5/4. It won't physically work. Secondly, it's 1-lane, meaning it's probably slower than the X1600, no matter what card you put in it.
     
  8. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #8
    I figured it was the express54 card. But can't we just get the express34->express54 adapter and use it.

    Also why would they come out with it if it is just 1 lane? for all those that are like the macbook's graphics cards?
     
  9. djejrejk macrumors 6502a

    djejrejk

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    Uhh...
    #9
    I dont know why it would be an issue. I traded my decked out PC with a new top of the line ATI card out for a 15in mbp and I havnt looked back. Even while using CS3, The MBP is faster hands down. At some point you have to accept the fact that in 6 months, and computer you purchase will be obsolete.
     
  10. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #10
    If such an adapter exists, you could use it. I have no clue why it is only 1 lane. The only benefit I see from this is the ability to add a DX10/OpenGL 3.0 graphics card or to add one that can drive more than 1 monitor at once.
     
  11. BlackMax thread starter macrumors 6502a

    BlackMax

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    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #11
    Thanks for all the insightful responses. I think I'm going to wait until Leopard is released (2Q07?) before I pickup my new MBP 15" to see if Apple has any more upgrades in store for the MBP between now and then.
     
  12. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #12
    Hrm. I thought I had read that it was EC/34. (Double checking...) Can't find confirmation. The images show it certainly inserted into an EC/54 slot, but it's not clear if the card itself uses the whole width. The plug is certainly only as wide as a /34 slot.

    As for bandwidth, a GeForce 8800GTX, even on a 1x PCI-E slot, will most certainly be faster than the built-in X1600. The bus bandwidth isn't as important as is sometimes claimed. As can be shown by the comparisons of AGP 2x vs. AGP 8x from a few years ago. (PCI-E x1 is as fast as AGP 2x.) Especially with the current texture compression schemes, bus bandwidth isn't nearly as important as the in-card chip-to-memory bandwidth. Yes, an X1600 clocked the same as the internal card would be slower, but if you get a 'generation newer' card in the external box, it should most certainly be faster.
     
  13. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    #13
    Sounds good to me... hopefully it won't kill me in the money department or it just might have to wait...
     

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