8700m GT coming to MBPs - Opinions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nines, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. nines macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007
    When Mac OS X 10.5 will soon be released there might be a tiny chance for the SR MBPs to get a little hardware boost around late October/early November or around Christmas this year.

    Quite some people hope there will be an option for a slightly faster graphicscard, especially for gaming purposes and because nvidia's current midrange product, the 8600m series still aren't really performing that great.

    Personally I'm not convinced that we will see an option for a 8700m GT, let's say even atleast in the 17'' models. The main reason for my doubts are of course heat issues. Apple would never gamble about the stability of their systems, there is nothing more annoying then your notebook shutting down all the time because it's getting too hot.

    The next thing is that even in the 17'' MBP the 8600m GT clocks ain't running at maximum speeds. The guys over at Barefeats found out that in the 17'' MBP the clock rates are like:

    Core Clock MAX - 520MHz
    Memory Clock MAX - 650MHz

    This is actually weird because regarding nvidia the maximums for the 8600m GT are:

    Core Clock MAX - 475MHz
    Memory Clock MAX - 700MHz

    What basically means that the Core Clock in the 17incher is already slightly overclocked. This should be no problem at all since both the 8600m and the 8700m have the same 80nm chip meaning that the only main difference between these two cards would be the clock rates. The 8700m GT would be capable of:

    Core Clock MAX - 625Mhz
    Memory Clock MAX - 800MHz

    Another difference between these two cards are their speeds of the Shader Clock - 950MHz/1250MHz. The rest is completely the same, both have 32 Stream Processors, a 128bit Memory Interface and a maximum capacity for memory of 512MB.

    Well, why not atleast a boost in VRAM then if the clocks are already performing their best regarding stability/quality? It's the same problem as with clockrates, more VRAM mean a higher overall temperature and heat is always bad news since the MBPs are already playing in the BBQ liga anyways.


    The chance for MBPs sporting the 8700m GT is very little. The 17incher is already running the 8600m GT's Core slightly overclocked what would be a big evidence that an 8700m GT wouldn't make much sense anyways. An option for more VRAM - 512MB is more likely because the heat won't be that raging as it would with a more hyperactive GPU. Still it's questionable what benefits additional VRAM would offer. Regarding gaming, the main benefit would be a tiny performance boost in streaming textures when playing MMOs but that's it.

    What do you think?
  2. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2006
    Carlisle, PA
    Wait... WHAT?!?!?!

    Since when are the 8600m GTs not performing well? I would expect that they would perform about as well as an 8600m would be expected to perform. Not quite as good as an 8800, better than an 8200.
  3. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2007
    I don't know if you're talking about the 8800 series for the desktop, but there is no 8800 series for laptops, yet. There is also no 8200.

    The 8600m GT performs less than a desktop 8600GT. I believe the 8600m GT uses the same core as the desktop 8600GT, except at lower clock speeds.

    Here's a comparison chart:

    8600m GT/ 8600GT
    Core Clock: 475/540 mhz
    Fillrate: 7.6/8.64
    Stream Processors: 32/32
    Shaders clock: 950/1190 mhz
    Bandwidth: 22.4/22.4 GB/s
    Bus Width: 128/128bit
    Memory clock: 700/700 mhz (1400/1400 effective)
    Power consumption (which will translate into heat): 20/43 watts.

    The 8600m GT is inbetween the 8600GT and 8500GT in terms of performance when compared to a desktop video card.

    And the 8600GT gets whooped by anything from the 8800 series.

    One thing that is interesting that nines pointed out is that the core clock of the 8600m GT in the 17" MBP is higher than what Nvidia recommends, but the memory clock of the 17" MBP is 50 mhz (100 mhz effective) lower than what Nvidia recommends. I wonder why they did this? As long as they didn't push the voltage up, it really shouldn't produce much more heat, and it seems that they lowered the memory speed to make the GPU stable at those speeds.

    If you're into gaming, then you'll probably be using Windows, and there is a program called Riva tuner that will allow you to overclock/underclock the video card. So, if you really wanted to, you could lower the core clock, and then raise the memory clock up to Nvidia's specifications.

    Also, the Nvidia 8700m GT is just an overclocked 8600m GT.
  4. El Cid macrumors member

    El Cid

    May 21, 2007
    What is this then? These have been out for months. And it seems the 8800s will be available in mainstream laptops by November.

  5. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2007
    That's odd.

    Nvidia's site makes no mention of an 8800 for a laptop:


    Also, when I go to Clevo's site, the D900C has no 8800, it has a 8700m GT:


    The Dell XPS M1730 currently features dual 8700m GTs in SLi.

    The Clevo M570RU also doesn't sport a 8800:


    The 8800m was supposed to be released in the summer, but that has yet to happen, and to some rumors. The N92 and N98 are well into development are slated to be released before december, but nothing official yet. Those two cores were supposed to be a part of the 9000 series, but I think they're going to end up as being labled in the 8000 series (maybe so people don't get them confused with ATi's 9000 series of video cards that's still pretty well known?)
  6. nines thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007
    Maybe that's just my personal opinion but to me the 8600m GT seems more like just barely scratching the boarder to the midrange cards. The 8600m GS won't already make a gamer happy and I'm talking about the so called 'casual gamer' and not about the hardcore nutjob.

    Bah... when I read on the NVIDIA homepage that the GeForce 8400m series are recommended for gaming it's making me sad.

    I'm convinced that a nowadays _new_ graphicscard should atleast be able to deal with a 30fps experience of Oblivion in a visually appealing quality. That 8400m G and 8400m GS both just got a 64bit memory interface, combine that with the poor clock rates and you will get a nice 2fps slideshow if you try to walk around in Oblivion's exterior. Seriously, the games to come will demand much more gas than Oblivion, end of spring 2008 will be a deadend for most of the current cards. The gaming industry is becoming more and more disgusting each year.

    Too bad it ain't possible to swap the graphicscard in the MBP or have Mac OS running on a PC. I don't care about a 'pretty box', what I'm interested in Apple is the software...
  7. blurb23 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2007
    Am I correct in the my thinking that 8700M's are nothing more than OC'd 8600Ms, correct?
  8. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2007
    I said that a few posts up. Yes, they are just OC'ed 8600m GTs.;)
  9. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2006
    Carlisle, PA
    What I was mostly saying was that I hand an incredibly hard time following your post... but i was pretty tired when i tried.

    Back to what i was saying before, I haven't heard anything resembling mumbles or grumbles about the performance of the 8600m GT, at least not from people that understand that the MBP is not built to take on Alienware, Dell XPS, Falcon, VooDoo, et al. The 8600m GT is a fine card, and gets the job done just fine. It can run BioShock on High, Prey on High, CS:S on High, and pretty much everything else under the sun (no idea about Oblivion, but I would say, yes). And that is the 128MB card. From what I have seen, there is about a 7-9% difference between the 2.2GHz MBP and the 2.4GHz MBP, which correlates to the difference in processor speed, so the additional VRAM is more or less useless if you are gaming on the laptop screen.

    If you are hooking it up to a larger external monitor... that is a different story.
  10. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    If you follow some of the 3d card forums, you will have found out that nVidia scrapped the 8800m for this year and came up with the 8700m instead. As others have said, its an overclocked 8600m. Maybe early next year we will see an 8800m and a Mobility 2900.

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