NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 vs. TI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics in PB

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Chip NoVaMac, Jul 9, 2004.

  1. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #1
    I know that I am probably opening a can of worms. Looking at maybe going with one of the rev. C PB's. I have a rev. B 12" right now. Want to add a 2nd Mac to the home.

    The info on the Apple site:

    It seems to me that this is more important for gamers, than someone liek myself that is more interested in Adobe PS CS (for photo work) and InDesign CS. Or am I wrong?

    The other question in regards to these two cards is with Tiger and Core Images. Given the two apps that I am most interested in will it give any additional benefit by have the ATI with 64mb or 128mb RAM? I guess the unanswered question is how quickly will Adobe update to take advantage of Core Images.

    Any insight would be helpful.
     
  2. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

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    #2
    get the 128mb ati 9700, not only is it used by the core functions of the OS (Core Image, Video, Quartz Extreme) but it will only be further incorporated down the line, increasing your laptops lifespan. the GeForce FX Go5200 is garbage for gaming (it works well enough to drive my 17" at 1280x1024 in Warcraft 3), so i'd suspect it's not that great in other areas either, ATi all the way.
     
  3. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #3
    I hear you. Games is not something that I play. And if I did I would do a dedicated game box. And with Applecare I look for only 3 years before I would need to buy something new to keep up with emerging technologies.

    I guess I am looking for someone to talk about the 9700 features and how Core Image would be affected by what Apple says about the 9700 features. It really seems that the 9700 is geared towards gaming. and with the 5200 Core Images should breath new life in to what some say is a crap video board.

    Thanks for the food for thought.
     
  4. nyprospect macrumors 6502

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    May 3, 2004
    #4
    i was just about to buy a 12" pb until i read this lol.Is it that bad of a card (5200 nvidia).Also when hooked up to the external how slow and choppy is it?
     
  5. kirk26 macrumors 6502a

    kirk26

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    #5
    Definitely go for the Nvidia card. That's one of the reasons I went with the 12" instead of the 15".
     
  6. jdogg707 macrumors regular

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    Apr 18, 2004
    #6
    The FX5200 is a pretty sad card in terms of performance. ATi has always had better 2D, so if you are hooking an extra monitor to the system, I would want something a bit more powerful. The mobile 9700 is a great performer, not just in games but also in terms of 3D rendering/modeling. If you are getting the Mobile 9700, adding the extra memory is $50, which will improve longevity and will increase the resale value later on. If I were getting it, I would splurge on the extra memory just because it isn't something I can add on later to the system...that and the fact that I already have!
     
  7. invaLPsion macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

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    #7
    What are you talking about? The FX5200 isn't even in the same class as the mobility radeon 9700. Hands down go for the 9700.
     
  8. psycho bob macrumors 6502a

    psycho bob

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    #8
    If you want a 12 inch then you have no choice but to go with the Nvidia card. The ATI card is by far the better card but your only driving a 1024x768 screen so it really won't tax it. Even if you have a external screen it won't prove a problem. My Rev A 17 inch has a woeful card considering the market it was aimed at but it works quite happily.
    Don't worry about it, all current laptop graphics cards are supported in Tiger. The speed of the CPU is a far more important factor than the graphics card. The longevity of a machine is normally determined by brute horsepower, the GPU just determines how much eye candy you can see.
    If you want a larger machine and have the money go with the 15 inch if not get the 12 and plenty of RAM.
    As for the difference between 64 and 128MB the difference in most apps especially the adobe ones you mention will be small (less than 10% at the mo), but if you go with the 1.5GHz model than for the minimal amount it costs max it out.
     
  9. furrina macrumors regular

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    #9
    wait, what happened, I'm confused...

    I purchased my 15" rev C PB just under 30 days ago, the BTO options were the (I think this was it but I can't find it anywhere) NVdia GForce, ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 pro, or ATI Mobility Radeon 9800 pro.

    I went with the 9600 at extra cost since so many people advised that this was a big step up from the NVDIA and I'm going to be using it for video so I wanted to get the best possible card (though it seems the difference betw. the 9600 and 9800 wasn't that big). I also got 128 mb of VRAM.

    Now when I look there is no BTO offer for the graphics card and only the 9700 is offered in the PB.
    Questions:
    Is this new card the snazzy new card that was annouced at WWDC that costs like $600? that couldn't be right.

    Anyway, is the card I have as good as the new one that's being offered, or did I miss out on this great new addition to its performance (and what's better about it if it is better) ? I assume also that the card I got is much better than the NVDIA GForce that came standard?



    Thanks! :confused:
     
  10. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    #10
    Uh... there has never been a BTO option for graphics cards on a Powerbook (other than the VRAM on the current model) because graphics cards are not interchangeable on any Apple laptops.
     
  11. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

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    #11
    Ok... I'm going to correct everyone in this thread because many of them are wrong. Any current card can drive 2D graphics with NO problem. It doesn't matter if you have an external display, what resolution you're running, etc... 2D is a non-issue with today's graphics cards. However, Core Image may have differences because it is almost 100% graphics card dependent, unlike most 2D graphics programs (read: Photoshop, Illlustrator, InDesign) which are 99% CPU driven. The ONLY way applications like those use the graphics card is via Quartz Extreme, which is also a non-issue with any current computer.

    The only reason Core Image does not support cards lower than the Radeon 9600 or FX5200 is because of programable pixel shaders. I don't know how much actual GPU horsepower Core Image uses- but my guess is: not that much. That being said, Apple MAY release newer versions of Core Image, or if you start applying many many filters at the same time, GPU horsepower and VRAM will certainly come into play.

    If you want this machine to last, the Radeon 9700 Mobile is currently THE best mobile GPU available, so you can't go wrong with it. The Nvidia 5200 is the minimum graphics card that Apple could use in the 12" Powerbook and get away with it. Its not that powerful at all, and probably will not be useful for as long for high-res complicated graphics.
     
  12. soccerfan macrumors member

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    Aug 14, 2002
    #12
    Hold on a minute!

    OK, I'm about to buy a 12" PB and and one of the reasons is that my understanding was that the Nvidia is significantly better than what is inside any of the iBooks.

    Is this the case or not?

    I want to run dual monitors, use 2D applications, use Macromedia Flash (no gaming, no 3D rendering).

    I specifically figured that this card would give it more life than any of the iBooks.

    You all are making the Nvidia sound like an absolute piece of horse manure - is it really THAT bad?
     
  13. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

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    #13
    nVidia all the way!!!

    nVidia all the way if you want lousy unreliable support and performance.

    On the other hand, if you want an excellent product backed up by a professional company that actually cares about their customers, then get the ATI.

    And yes, I've had both and trust me, there is zero comparison!!!
     
  14. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #14
    I have a rev. B 12" with 32mb. The chop is only evident to me when I switch between the spanning and non-spanning to see what people are talking about. Otherwise I knew nothing when I first started spanning and using Expose.
     
  15. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #15
    Can you elaborate?

    So far in single and spanning modes i have not seen too much of a difference with my 12" rev. B. My concern is one of being able to take advantage of the 9700 today with PS and InDesign (both CS), and next year with Tiger and Core Image. Like I said the open question is how soon would Adobe take advantage of Core Image.
     
  16. furrina macrumors regular

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    #16

    ok, oops, I spent so much time comparison shopping that I got confused. I was either thinking of the fact that the 15" has a better one than the 12", or about the BTO options on the G5 that I was going to get. :eek: You know how it works: Put it together, think about it. Put it together, think about it. etc. etc... :rolleyes:
     
  17. AngeredTree macrumors member

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    Boston, MA
    #17
    I believe that the Mobility Radeon 9200 currently in the iBook is inferior to the Nvidia card currently in the 12" PowerBook. I certainly hope that the people in this thread are not suggesting to you that EVERY ATi card is better than EVERY Nvidia card...
     
  18. psycho bob macrumors 6502a

    psycho bob

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    #18
    No we're not (well I'm not). The 6800 is far better at Open GL tasks than the X800 probably why apple chose for the 30 inch panels. The 9700 mobility is without doubt a better card than the FX5200 I don't think anyone could logically disagree. When it comes to mobile chipsets ATI do seem to have an edge certainly in recent years anyway.
     
  19. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #19
    And that is where I am going with my questions - the eye candy factor. Eye candy can also be a productivity factor as well.

    Maybe I should explain a bit more my thoughts so far. I love the form factor of the 12" PB. I have a Leeds leather organizer that is perfect for work. My papers and computer are at the ready for my advertising planning meetigs.

    The pricing difference between the 15" and 17" (EDU) is minor at this point. There is a wow factor to the 17" screen. But more than that, i plan on upgrading to Tiger ASAP. The OS portions are interesting and "productive' for me maybe. But if it is going to take Adobe 2 years or so to take advantage of Core Image, then I don't see the benefit of the 9700 vs. 5200. I am repeating myself, but it seem that the benefit of the 9700 is for gamers. The Apple statement that I posted originally seems to state that too me (since I am not into 3D graphic creation).

    To be honest for the cost I would do the 128mb VRAM if I can get a better idea that the 9700 is that much better of a card for PS and InDesign.

    Thanks to everyone so far for the insight.
     
  20. soccerfan macrumors member

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    #20
    Bottom line for a guy just about to buy a 12" PB (that's me...) please...

    Where am I going to feel pain for having this chip instead of moving up to the 15"?

    I guess what I'm asking is this:

    Is this a big enough issue to warrant making a sacrifice and trying to move up to the 15"? I really want to go with the 12" but if it's THAT big of a deal, then maybe I'd find a way to do it...

    Thoughts? Is this a big enough deal to seriously sink going for a 12"?
     
  21. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #21
    Thanks a great explanation on the stuff that i did not reference back to in this post.

    I think that one of my other issues is that in my experience in the PC world if i got 2 to 3 years off a laptop I was doing great. PC desktops were never an issue since i was bale to update the graphics and such.

    What I am getting from your post is that I should expect that my rev. B or C PB should last 3 to 6 years without "major" issue. So unless I can be easily tempted by performance gains by the G6 6ghz PB in 2006 or 2007, your statement seems to say that the rev. C 15" or 17" are the best bets for the mobile user that is looking for longer term (I'll admit that I might have made some different choices last Xmas in regards to my PB 12").

    As I said in a post above, I really love the 12" PB form factor. Though I see the benefit for me to stay with a notebook (at any screen size) as opposed to going with a PM G5 dual unit (though that would be so sweet) or the rumored iMac G5. Since I have other monitors here, I am just trying to make sure that the $800 is worth it for a .2 processor speed increase and the better video card. For me it would be just a wow factor of the 17" verses the 12".

    To be honest if Apple offered the 12' with even just the 9700 at 64mb there would be no question in my mind. I am concerned that in the next year or two that my PS and InDesign performance could be increased by 30 to 50% if I had chosen the 9700 vs. the 5200.

    Again many thanks to all that are helping answer my questions here. Apple always seems to give us trade offs. :)
     
  22. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #22
    Care to explain further?

    I see very few comments here in Mac Rumors complaining about reliability of the graphic cards in iBooks or Powerbooks.

    At least for myself when I buy a notebook computer either the graphic card is what I need or or not. Never really concerned myself with the graphics card when buying a PC notebook. It is only now that I am in the Mac Rumors forum that the graphics card choice seems to be so very important.

    You mention level of concern for customers as a reason to go with ATI. But for PB users IMO that seems to be a transparent issue. Where is my thinking wrong?
     
  23. nyprospect macrumors 6502

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    #23
    It depends what you are going to do with your powerbook.If your not gonna crunch serious numbers then go for it.I thought about going for a 15 maxed.leaving a hole in my pocket and heart.Although i would probably be set for years to come with the 15.I just may go for a 12.If you want it get it.I once used an compaq ipaq internet appliance lcd display of 10 inches and i was all happy about it.5 years ago
     
  24. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #24
    Can you explain further between the 9700 and 5200 for non-gamers as why ATI has the edge?
     
  25. Chip NoVaMac thread starter macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #25
    You and I are in the same place. My rev. B has served me well so far. But as I have already said I have learned from my first purchase. And since we are adding a second machine, I want to make sure that I just don't go with the wrong graphic card.

    Like I said in the first post I hoped that I didn't open a can of worms.
     

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