Underclocked GMA 950 Graphics In MacBook

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by amac4me, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. amac4me macrumors 65816

    amac4me

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    Apr 26, 2005
    #1
    Apple has underclocked the GMA950 in the MacBook. It is clocked to run at 250MHz instead of 400MHz. Can be confirmed by an Apple TechNote Document.

    "Internal to the North Bridge IC is the graphics subsystem, which includes the Intel GMA950 graphics processor with 64 MB DDR2 SDRAM shared with the main memory. The internal graphics interface runs at 250 MHz."

    Intel's documentation shows that the it runs at 400 Mhz

    I suppose it's an effort to conserve battery life and to reduce heat.
     
  2. bbrosemer macrumors 6502a

    bbrosemer

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    #2
    Im going to throw this one out there m processor could probably run at 2.18 ghz but nooo they underclocked it to 2.16 so that is a differnce of 20 mhz o ahh.
     
  3. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #3
    are you being sarcastic? What point are you trying to make? :confused:

    That is too bad. The GMA950 needs all the help it can get, not a handicap! Oh well, I don't really play games any more anyway...
     
  4. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

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    #4
    :( Why?

    Is there any way to restore it to its original clock speed?
     
  5. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #5

    running the GPU at 400 MHz is almost twice the speed. 2.16 to 2.18 is almost nothing. what are you trying to say?:confused:
     
  6. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

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    #6
    I have no idea what the effect of a 512 Mb 400 Ghz GMA 950 would be in a MB, but it will surely be more noticeable then a 0.02 Ghz increase of the main processor(s).

    This should be taken care of by the energy saving preference thing...
    Mobile: like it is now
    Powered: like it could be
     
  7. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #7
    yeah that would be ideal. Ditto the underclocked x1600 on the pro model. I can't believe that the laptops would really be too hot to use with the GPU at full clock speed...
     
  8. bbrosemer macrumors 6502a

    bbrosemer

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    #8
    im just saying there has to be a legit reason for this I know that my 17'' MBP did not come underclocked at all! Also right now there is so many complainers about the heat, and so many about the underclock where is apple suppose to go. The only time I would say that this gets uncumfortably hot is when I am playing HL2 other then that its luke warm.
     
  9. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #9
    Generally speaking, things like this aren't "underclocked", they are clocked to fall within the thermal constraints of the particular case design.

    There could be situations where Apple intentionally hamstrings performance to protect sales of higer end hardware, but this is not one of those. A) The Pro models have drastically better graphics even were the GMA950 running at 400MHz. B) The Mini is clocked at 400MHz, and it's lower-end than the MBs. I assume the mini just has more room internally to handle the additional heat.

    One question: I don't know if the GMA950 has on-the-fly clockspeed adjusting, but has anybody tested whether it ramps up when under load? I ask this because the X1600 in my 17" MBP increases its clockspeed significantly when it's doing serious 3D rendering. This is obviously to reduce heat and save battery when the extra power isn't necessary, so there's at least a chance the MB does the same.
     
  10. treblah macrumors 65816

    treblah

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    #10
    I think it has more to do with battery life than heat production, although they do go hand in hand. I just wish Apple would give us the ability to run at full clock speed when running off AC power. :mad:
     
  11. yoda13 macrumors 65816

    yoda13

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    #11
    I thought that someone had asserted that the graphics card in the MBP was slightly underclocked too for heat reasons. Was that just with the 15", or is it the 17" too? I thought it was both. Or maybe this was a myth that was dispelled and I never noticed that it had been dispelled. Oh well...:confused:
     
  12. amac4me thread starter macrumors 65816

    amac4me

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    #12
    I'd say it more than slightly underclocked. It's only running at 67.5% of Intel's spec'd speed. That's a significant reduction.
     
  13. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    #13
    Is there any way to check the clock speed ourselves? This is horrible if its true. Apple should really stop cutting corners after getting all this publicity with Boot Camp.
     
  14. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #14
    Neither way it isn't meant as a gaming computer in the first play. It's simply not the selling point of the MacBook.
     
  15. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Youre right, its not, but never the less consumers, the people this computer was targeted for, will play games on it. A 400mhz graphics core compared to 250mhz makes a big difference in how a game will perform. I have integrated on my desktop and I'll tell you that by overclocking it 100mhz you can see up to 10fps more and at times even beable to run the game on a higher resolution and with more effects. If the IIG was clocked at 400mhz instead of 250mhz its possible (with a gig of ram) that games like the Sims 2 and Civilization 4 will be much much more playable on this machine (under windows for sure).
     
  16. longofest Editor emeritus

    longofest

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    #16
    It's not underclocked folks. Read the Intel article. It is simply running at the max speed it can run at when given 1.05 V. Apple would have had to given it 1.5 V in order for it to run at 400 Mhz, which would have most likely drastically risen the heat that it gives off (.5 V may not seem like much, but that's 50% more voltage going to the circuit). Since the laptop already has heat issues, they probably wanted to keep it safe.

    In order for it to truly be "underclocked", it would have to be BELOW what it is spec'd at. 250 Mhz is the high-end of the 1.05 V spec, so I think Apple is fine.

    The MacBook Pro was more of a true underclocking if you ask me because they didn't use one of the spec'd speeds of the X1600's speeds (to my knowledge)
     
  17. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #17
    There is a good reason why Windows-laden laptop computers come in a form factor almost 2 inches thick.

    Apple are making certain that their warranty claims don't exceed the money they're saving for them. They want to provide something thin and light but they can't do that and provide maximum performance in such a small enclosure reliably. Still, they probably have a 15 % comfort zone, just to be extra safe.
     
  18. treblah macrumors 65816

    treblah

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    #18
    I disagree. Maybe underclocked is technically the wrong word but Apple is advertising the GMA950 in the MB and the mini.

    One is running at 400MHz and one is running at 250MHz. Apple should not advertise them as the same chip if they are not going to perform equally. Or at the very least advertise the actual clock speed.

    Your argument would be akin to apple putting 2.0GHz chips in the MB but only running them at 1.83GHz due to voltage requirements yet still advertising them as 2.0GHz.
     
  19. carlos700 macrumors regular

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    #19
    I disagree. The Intel GMA950 will run at different frequencies when set to different voltages. Many graphics cards have the same SKU but run at different frequencies. For example NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT sold by Leaktek runs at 450MHz while the one sold by XFX runs at 470MHz. Both under the GeForce 7900 GT SKU.
     
  20. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Thats because Nvidia basically just lisences their technology and names to other companies, how the actual card manufacturer clock the cards or how much ram the card manufacturer uses is up to them. IIG is only manufactured by intel, its not rebranded or manufactured by anyone else, its a completely different situation and a null comparison when compared to Nvidia.
     
  21. longofest Editor emeritus

    longofest

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    #21
    I think your analogy is flawed. Apple isn't advertising the clock speed of the GPU on the MacBook or the Mac Mini. They are advertising the chipset. So, if we use your example (and assume the chips you talk about are "Core Duo's"), what Apple is doing is placing a 2.0 Ghz Core Duo in one machine, and placing a 1.83 Ghz Core Duo in another, but claiming both are Core Duo chips.
     
  22. treblah macrumors 65816

    treblah

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    #22
    Exactly, and they are intentionally misleading the consumer, who would in all likelihood assume that there is parity between the mini and MB based on what Apple advertises.

    Directly from Intel… Read the specs.

    Apple is either underclocking or false advertising.
     
  23. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #23
    No, they are not. You could claim they are being sly in their advertising, but it is not false advertising.
     
  24. Timepass macrumors 65816

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    #24
    And you all wonder why people dont trust apple on there specs or numbers on how fast there computers are.

    This is just another one of those times where apple is trying to pull the wool over the consumers eyes. The more media attention apple gets the more it going to hurt when these cover up come to the light. Some big media outlets going to figure out some day soon that nailing apple on all this lieing and sly things they are doing is going to be huge story.

    Apple will go from being this great clean company to lower than dirt in a matter of days.
     
  25. longofest Editor emeritus

    longofest

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    #25
    Guess it depends on what material you read. Reading that page from Intel would definitely make you believe that the chipset would be clocked at 400 Mhz and no less. But if you read this, you get another picture.
     

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