AMD vs NVIDEA Dedicated Video Cards: Which one would you rather have on your Mac?


macrumors G4
Mar 24, 2006
I'm biased towards AMD mostly because i've never had troubles/glitches with them.


macrumors 6502
Aug 24, 2009
I'm bias towards AMD too, I like the one in my MBP (see sig) I had a 4850 in my PC which was a little underpowered but no real issues, and now I have a 6970 in my PC and it ABSOLUTELY FLYS, also I think that the AMD product line up is a little easier to follow (but that's just me)


macrumors newbie
Apr 28, 2012
Nvidia manufactures the most reliable and powerful GPUs money can buy IMO.
I had to change the motherboard of my old Dell XPS 13 three times because of an fabrication fault of the Nvidia 8400M chip. So I'm a _little_ bit skeptical towards Nvidia chips.

AMD is definitely the way to go IMO. However, if rumors are right and the next gen MacBooks will come with a Nvidia GPU they will have the chance to convince me again :)


macrumors member
Jun 28, 2011
At least spell Nvidia right.

I've had nothing but issues with AMD graphics cards and I've had a few.

AMD drivers always seam to either be degrading performance or breaking things with their releases. And the latest drivers only support the most recent generation of cards.

Whilst Nvidia support all the way back to the 7/8 series up to the most current with their drivers. And always seam to be able to bring massive performance increases.


macrumors regular
Mar 24, 2012
Well i'm leaning more towards the amd, especially with the fiasco I went through with my Santa Rosa MBP 17"... I had to get the nvidia replaced twice... fortunately the first time was whilst still under warranty and the second time was a freebie as NVidia finally admitted it was their manufacturing of the grfx card that was at fault....:D


macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
The answer to this question shouldn't be based on preference or brand loyality. There are some reasons that speak for one or the other.
It can change each generation but this time I think Kepler (640-660M) is the best notebook GPU.

AMD clearly was more power efficient with its VLIW4,VLIW5 design. The last two generations always were clearly the better solution in a notebook. The new GCN architecture is a little worse in power efficiency which is offset by the new process but still a 28nm VLIW4 for gaming would probably get a bit more speed per Watt.

Nvidia Fermi was bad in power consumption. It was good for GPGPU stuff but not needed too much power. The new 28nm Kepler is a whole new thing and including the new process they claim a 100% increase in power efficiency. Since a new process usually only gets one 30-50% more power efficiency the rest should be architecture. The 680GTX also seems a bit ahead of the 7970 in the desktop while the 580 GTX was quite poor compared to a 6970. Thus I would suspect that Nvidia not only closed the gap in this generations but lead now.

On pure speed for the heat a 650M is probably the best bet with the new generation. There is not much known about the 7750M and if it was nobody really knows the true TDP in power efficiency because they don't tell. You need to check out notebooks and try over clocking to see that.

Generally if Nvidia and AMD would be equal, I'd still go Nvidia because they deliver the better drivers most of the time. For gaming that is worth it.
On OSX I think it really doesn't matter and I have no clue as I don't play games on OSX. Civ 5 is unplayable on a 330M that is all I know.


macrumors 68040
May 28, 2006
Manchester, UK
AMD. 9400M was an very good integrated solution in the Core 2 machines however.

Windows gamers might whinge about the drivers. I've always found them rock solid on all the Macs I've owned.


macrumors 65816
Dec 4, 2009
I have always been partial to nVidia as opposed to NVIDEA, seriously OP at least correct it in the title LOL!

I am currently running the GTX680 on my new PC and it is doing really well. If reviews are to be believed it seems the new GTX cards have really picked up their game for mobile platforms as well.


macrumors 68040
Jun 25, 2007
St. Paul, Minnesota
It really comes down to preference.

For me, I am a huge AMD fan and liked ATi better ever since I put a ATi 9200 SE into my desktop way back in I think 98.

AMD graphics have beat nVidia in power per watt and power per dollar (two of the most important stats of a graphics card) since the 3xxx series came out.

However, this generation I believe nVidia basically has it. Kepler cores have made a world of difference and I wouldn't be surprised if Apple put nVidia with Kepler into their MacBook Pros. nVidia has the better product this generation, pure and simple.


macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2012
Its always tough to say whats better since they change so quickly. I personally would pick AMD but I'm sure the difference is negligible.


macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2010
My personal experience with Nvidia has been very pleasing. AMD is still very good but software is more complicated to use and is not for unexperienced users I think.

I really would like Apple let Nvidia and AMD distribute drivers for MacOSX and keep them up to date by themselves. BTW, why do they do this?


Staff member
May 3, 2009
Which ever one gives me the best performance and least amt of problems.

Back in the day, (say 2001) AMD's had better drivers for the Mac, but since going with nvidia exclusively those drivers have been up to snuff. I'm more partial to AMD
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