9600M GT + 9400M vs. 8600M GT!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by superspiffy, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. superspiffy macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 6, 2007
    #1
    alright all you gfx card gurus out there. wolfpup and eidorian i'm eying you ;)
    we know that the 9600m gt is not that much of an improvement over the 8600m gt, but SLI that with the 9400m, does performance go up leaps and bounds? Would it be worth the upgrade? And you finally be able to play Crysis in full res via a 30'' display?!!

    And does anybody know if the new MBP will automatically utilize both gfx cards when doing intensive graphics like playing a game and automatically shut down the discrete card when doing normal tasks?
     
  2. scott85213 macrumors member

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  3. Queso macrumors G4

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    #3
    My guess is the 9400 is only there in case some chip in the 9600 fails, but then I'm rather cynical about Apple's announcements these days :p
     
  4. MIKE666 macrumors regular

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    #4
    Haha exactly my first thought when i saw it.;)
     
  5. Mactagonist macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    It is there to save battery life during non graphics intensive usage.
     
  6. thedarkhorse macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I'm pretty sure the hybrid gpu is only meant to be used 1 gpu at a time.
    So browsing the net, chatting on msn, that kinda stuff will only need the 9400. When you pop into final cut or a game then the 9600gt will take over.
    I don't believe they are used in tandem, I don't know how much realistic performance increase would come from using both in a gaming situation, I just don't think the 9400 would bump up the 9600gt much.
     
  7. Hydroxs macrumors regular

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    Atlanta
    #7
    "GeForce 9400M integrated graphics processor for great everyday performance with up to five hours of battery life.1 Or switch to the discrete NVIDIA 9600M GT graphics processor for the fastest, smoothest, clearest graphics yet."

    Based on that I think it switches to the 9600M GT when you are gaming and goes back to the 9400M when you are running 2D apps.
     
  8. RavenWinds macrumors member

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    Sep 25, 2008
    #8
    i have a friend who custom built a gaming pc rig with 4gb of ram (and all the other works.

    he bought a directx 10 1gb card (cost him nearly £400 if i recall right) less than a month ago and it couldnt run crysis maxed out with smooth gameplay.

    it played it at around 22-24 frames with no real action but as soon as gunfire started it went down to average 17-19 frames.

    he only got it to run smoothly maxed out when he lowered the shaders slightly. it then ran about 26-29 frames with gun fights
     
  9. soms macrumors 6502

    soms

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    #9
    You can't SLI 2 non-like cards, it won't work. The 9400 is there for basic tasks, and the 9600 is for when you need more performance. I want to know what the slowdowns will be when switching between the two, as well as why they don't have an option for 2 9600s.
    What sucks is that unless they update with 2 9600s, the single 9600 isn't really that much better than an 8600. Just a tad faster clock/memory speeds really.
     
  10. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #10
    I can't wait until Barefeats get their hands on the new machines.
     
  11. tbae12 macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2008
    #11
    The two graphics cards in the macbook pros sound more like a way to save battery power than increasing performance. it's definitely an improvement over the 8600gt that nvidia had. i thought that apple would move away from nvidia because of whole failing graphics card issue and nvidia not admitting that their gpus were failing.
     
  12. Queso macrumors G4

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    Mar 4, 2006
    #12
    But then suddenly a couple of days ago Apple made an announcement of increased support. There's been some negotiating going on behind the scenes. Possibly the thing that has delayed the release of these models.
     
  13. soms macrumors 6502

    soms

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    #13
    I don't see why they didn't just throw in a 9650m or something, because all they would have to do is downclock it for non/ac useage, and upclock when its needed. Having 2 cards to me is not power savings at all.
     
  14. Hls811 macrumors 6502a

    Hls811

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    #14

    I don't think its an automatic switch.. Based on this statement on their website:

    "Out of the box, it runs the integrated NVDIA GeForce 9400M processor, which provides plenty of performance for everyday use with up to 5 hours of battery life.* But when you need turbocharged performance for the most graphically intensive tasks, the discrete NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT processor delivers. And thanks to a new graphics architecture, it’s easy to switch between these two processors."

    I'm thinking if it auto switched it would specify that you don't have to do anything - this sort of implies you have to switch it but its easy to do.
     
  15. emt1 macrumors 65816

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  16. thedarkhorse macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    the 8600gt should still be fairly better than the 9400.
     
  17. McBeats macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    after today I don't blame you.
     
  18. burningrave101 macrumors 6502

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    #18
    It should function with the ability of both Hybridpower where it switches between the integrated GPU and dedicated GPU as well as GeForce Boost where the integrated and dedicated work in combination with one another for an added boost in graphics performance.

    Hybrid SLI technology is what the new MacBook Pro's use and you can read more about it on nVidia's website:

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/hybridsli_notebook.html

    It's more than simply switching off one GPU and switching to the other to conserve power.
     
  19. Riemann Zeta macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 12, 2008
    #19
    The 9600M by itself is not much more powerful than the 8600M--it has a higher clock speed, but the feature set is pretty much the same. The 9400M is obviously less powerful than either the 86 or 96, but Apple got it "for free" because they wanted to switch to an NVIDIA chipset for the regular MacBook. This idea of "switching" is an odd one--they could have achieved the same thing simply by using better power management on the primary GPU (downclock to "2D" mode on battery, upclock to normal on AC). NVIDIA's GPU power management has always been more of a fantasy than reality, however.

    From the sound of things, it seems only one of the two GPUs will be available under Mac OS. I'm sure that someone will figure out how to hack the drivers to enable "Asymmetric SLI" under Vista, however. For those that claim "you can't SLI-link two dissimilar cards," remember that the entire point of all of these Hybrid SLI schemes that ATi and NVIDIA have been talking about is just that: using two dissimilar GPUs asymmetrically. For example, one vector array handles visual shading (the 32 processors on the 9600M) and another (the 16 on the 9400M) handles physics. Games have to written to support all this massively parallel insanity--developers need to add support for APIs like PhysX and DX10 (I think DX10 is requirement for Hybrid SLI).

    Edit: yep, if you look at the tech note for notebook Hybrid SLI mode, it is a Vista-only feature (requires Vista SP1 and is not supported with any other operating system--straight from the horse's mouth).
     
  20. thedarkhorse macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    so theoretically it's nice but if games aren't written to take account for it then it's useless? and there are no games that support asymmetrical sli?
     
  21. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #21
    Since I already get 5 hours of battery on the 8600M GT… So the 9400M GT will safe battery life, but that means the 9600M GT is very power hungry in comparison and they don't specify the battery life on the 9600M GT either.

    Also I'm glad there is no new 17" :D
     
  22. sukanas macrumors 6502a

    sukanas

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #22
    Please Help me here!

    What do you guys think is faster or know?

    the 8600 512mb or the new 9600GT 25mb?
     
  23. burningrave101 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 4, 2008
    #23
    They stated that the 9400M would provide 5 hours of battery life and the 9600M GT would provide 4.
     
  24. Riemann Zeta macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 12, 2008
    #24
    Some games do support for these "advanced APIs"--like games that are DX10-native or have PhysX support--but they are the minority right now, I think. Any PC game that is listed as "Vista Only" probably supports it.
     
  25. weemanpow3 macrumors 6502

    weemanpow3

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #25
    This is what I see. The laptop can't do SLI because the chips are not the same. Apple set the laptop up so one chip turns on and one turns off depending on the task to game or save battery. SLI in that thin laptop would give you 1st degree burns on your lap and drain the battery fast. I think nVidia gave Apple the chips for practicaly free. oh yah 9600m GT = overclocked 8600m GT with stability.
     

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