9600 same speed as 9400

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MyDesktopBroke, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. MyDesktopBroke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    #1
    I have a late 2008 MBP with the two graphic cards. Something I noticed was that there was almost no noticeable between the two, even during tasks that would benefit from the 9600, like gaming. For example, to play the Mac Bioshock demo with no lag on max graphic settings, I had to lower the resolution to 1024 by 640 on the 9600. When I tried those same settings on the 9400, it was almost exactly the same performance.

    Some I did notice was the under the 9600 stacks appeared much smoother, but scrolling up and down in any window (browser, finder, ect.) was extremely jerky. Under the 9400 scrolling is entirely smooth.

    Is there any way to make sure my 9600 is working as it's supposed to?

    10.5.8, 2.53ghz late 2008 MBP, 9400+9600 graphics, 4gb ram, refurbished (could that be a problem?)
     
  2. Hydroxs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    Turn up the resolution to 1920 x 1200 while playing games and you will see a difference. Playing game at such a low resolution does not tax the video card as much as it does the cpu.
     
  3. MyDesktopBroke thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    #3
    What I'm saying is that on Bioshock, any resolution over 1024 was very jerky on either card, but the 9400 handled 1024 by 640 just as well as the 9600. Shouldn't the 9600 be considerably fast than the 9400 when using the same settings?

    And resolution, I'd hazard a guess, doesn't have much to do with scroll smoothness (and turn smooth scrolling on or off doesn't help).
     
  4. sn0warmy macrumors 6502a

    sn0warmy

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #4
    The only insight I have is that Red Alert 3, set on LOW settings, lagged a ton on the 9400 AND the 9600 in skirmish mode.

    After doing some research I decided to upgrade to a 7200rpm Hitachi drive. Now there is no lag at all with the 9600 on HIGH settings at 1440x900 resolution. But the 9400 still has the same lag issues even on low settings.

    My first thought was the graphics card as the culprit but the more I looked into it the more I realized the 5400rpm drive played a large factor in game performance.
     
  5. jseyf5 macrumors member

    jseyf5

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    #5
    So as for this i did not read the post, or any of these for that matter. Anyhow, I saw that you were a Spartan. Just thought i'd say go green! After a dissapointing football season were going to be #2 for basketball! so pumped!
     
  6. MyDesktopBroke thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 2, 2007
    #6
    Well, my HHD is only a 5400rmp, but I don't think that explains the laggy scrolling.
     
  7. Hydroxs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    Hard drive speed shouldn't affect game speed with the exception for a little longer loading time. Have you tired reinstalling the demo? My guess is either it is a poor port over to the mac or there are some driver issue.
     
  8. sn0warmy macrumors 6502a

    sn0warmy

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #8
    I had the same mindset as you. But now I understand that's just not true. Most games are supposed to load to virtual memory (RAM) during the initial loading process. But games made by EA and 2K Games were created for Windows, and they require a built in emulator to play on OSX. Current emulators constantly pull data from the hard drive to the RAM, even during game play. Which is why the 5400rpm drive is slowing down your performance (including scrolling).

    Red Alert 3 is not all that graphically strenuous and is basically all scrolling, dragging and dropping. Before, my scrolling was really laggy. After doing nothing more than upgrading to a 7200rpm drive, the game now runs perfectly. No lag in scrolling AT ALL!!

    I'm convinced that a faster drive truly would make a difference in your case. I'd be willing to bet money on it.

    haha yeah - I graduated last year and live in Boulder, CO now. And I have to admit that the game vs Iowa was damn good. I had the whole bar cheering for MSU by the end of the game. The bartender even gave me a couple free shots because she felt bad that we lost. :D

    Basketball season should be better though.
     
  9. reallynotnick macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #9
    Did you log out and back in after changing the card? Because otherwise you were just using the 9400m the whole time. ;)
     
  10. MyDesktopBroke thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    #10
    Um, yes, I know how to change my graphics card . . . you can't not logout when switching.

    Also, I mean scrolling in finder or browser windows is laggy under the 9600, not games.

    As for the bioshock port. Even if the port was poor, wouldn't the 9400 still be slower than the 9600? Even if both cards performed poorly, the 9600 is a dedicated card with it's own memory. It should outperform the 9400 every time, right? When put in the exact same program with the exact same hard drive, the exact same amount of ram, the exact same resolution, the exact same settings, shouldn't the 9600 come out on top even if both cards were less than perfect?

    I don't want to waste any more of your time just explaining the issues. Is there a way I can check if my card is running properly? I don't want to drag the computer into a macstore if I can help it.

    P.S. I'm leaning towards it being a driver issue, because I can run Red Alert 3 at almost full settings with no lag in Windows 7, which always runs under the 9600, but uses the Windows drivers.
     
  11. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    #11
    I can only speak for my computer but when I play WarCraft 3 at the highest settings I do notice a difference between the two graphics cards. The 9400 has more split second pauses as it tries to catch up. The 9600 has it occasionally but definitely not as often as the 9400. The 9600 isn't the best card out there but I do notice a difference from the 9400.
     
  12. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    Illinois
    #12
    1024 x 640 isn't that high of a resolution. It's entirely possible that you don't notice a difference because the 9400 can perform well with that resolution as well. So if the 9400 gets 60fps on those settings than the 9600 will be not noticeable in speed because our eyes can't discern anything higher anyway. Now I don't know why Bioshock is like that, but keep in mind that resolution (along with AA) is the one that makes a huge difference in performance and it's possible that when you set it higher, it is a larger jump than you imagined. So 1024 is not any work for the 9400 (so the 9600 will not be noticeable) and anything higher is too much work.

    However, while I do not have Bioshock for the Mac, I find it ridiculous that you have to use that resolution. Sure, it's a port, but even ports perform reasonably well (Sims 3 and Spore I can almost play it at 1920 x 1200 [LED Cinema Display]. Actually I can play it, but almost play it with no lag).

    Maybe you should make an appointment with Apple.
     
  13. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #13
    What resolution? I can tell for fact that on the native MacBook Pro resolution, there is no difference. Even playing at full 1920x1080, there isn't a difference. If you're getting any lag/delay, might be the host if you're playing online but single player, you won't notice because both cards can run W3/FT no problem.
     
  14. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    #14
    I'm only playing single player game and not online. I'm not playing it with an external monitor so the highest it seems to go is native resolution 1440x900. You can tell me all the facts you want but I notice a difference when switching between the two. Whether it's fully related to the graphics card I can't say for sure but there is still a difference regardless.
     
  15. MyDesktopBroke thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    #15
    I'm sure the bioshock thing is due to the port. I can run Doom 3 and Red Alert 3 at max settings under windows 7 via boot camp.

    I guess now I'm more concerned over the finder and browser scrolling lagging under the 9600.
     
  16. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #16
    I don't play games, but during normal usage, I found the 9400 to be on par with the 9600. I'm not testing out the 9600 vs. 9400 in VMware to see how using the discrete GPU will impact vmware and my guest OSs.
     

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