Benefits Of The NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT Discrete Graphics Processor

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by shambo, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. shambo macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2009
    Apart from when playing games in what other situations do people benefit from running the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT discrete graphics processor? :confused:

    I'm looking to compile a list of situations.
  2. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002

    For most people, that's it. There are some high-end photo and video editing software packages (Photoshop, Final Cut Studio,) that can use it; but most standard apps other than games won't do anything with it. (There are some 'distributed computing' apps, like Folding@Home, as well.)

    When Snow Leopard comes out, more apps will start to use it, because Snow Leopard includes "OpenCL", a simple-r programming interface to allow the graphics chips to be used for more 'general use' functions. It is assumed that QuickTime and iMovie will use your graphics chip for video encoding.

    And in Windows, if you use Boot Camp, there are some lower-end apps that use it now; mostly 'distributed computing' apps and video encoding apps.
  3. paulbeattie87 macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2008
    North East Scotland
    Something to bear in mind when deciding whether to get the 9600M, to use it you have to log out and in. That is if you haven't enabled it previously. Leaving it enabled all the time does however give less battery life.
  4. Some Guy 555 macrumors regular

    May 26, 2009
    Able to handle a larger external display. Try handling a 30" external monitor on the 9400M, that would be slow as heck (it would do decent on a 9600M GT though).

    Also here is a sort of "benchmarking" example here using passmark software.

    There are 3 charts for video cards (desktop and laptop chips are in the same charts). There is a low-end chart which consists of TERRIBLE chips (even worse than most integrated chips in netbooks. Then there is the mid-level gpu chart (the 9400M resides halfway in here). Finally there is the high-end chart which contains the most powerful chips in the world (GTX 285, Radeon 4870, 4890) this is where the 9600M GT resides (near the bottom).

    Here is the link showing the 9400M and its position in the chart (keep scrolling down until you see it highlighted).

    9400M = 347th best card.

    Here is the link showing the 9600M GT and its position in the chart (keep scrolling down until you see it highlighted)

    9600M GT = 169th best card.

    So in conclusion the 9600M is way ahead of the 9400M and has a score that is triple the 9400's.

    Overall, the card is really useful when gaming. When Snow Leopard is released however then everything will see a benefit from it.
  5. shambo thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2009
    Could it run Crysis?
  6. Some Guy 555 macrumors regular

    May 26, 2009
    It can easily run crysis on medium - high settings (with the 9600M GT).

    On very high settings it has trouble though (low fps, under 20).

    On medium it sings though.
  7. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Obviously because of the dedicated GDDR3 RAM and extra cores the 9600M GT is much better than the 9400M.

    The 9600M GT will be more powerful in renders, powering monitors and dealing with games hands down. The question comes down to if you are willing to pay th cost of having that card.

    I know I would, but under a budget, the 9400M is great
  8. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    I've got Windows 7 beta RC1 running via bootcamp, I've got Crysis on it and you have to really keep everything on medium. You can set a couple of settings on low to really get it moving, Crysis is a damn punishing game on your hardware, when your in an alien ship is the worst.
    But I haven't updated the graphics drivers if you can.

    Anyway the 9600GT is much better for games and as said with Snow Leopard the potential for using it to be a processor is big.
  9. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    um ... what is a 'Collector's Edition Al MacBook 2.4GHz'?? Does it use 9400M 9600N GT card?
  10. winninganthem macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2008
    Fancy way of calling the 13" Macbook that was made out of aluminum before Apple renamed the entire line to be "Macbook Pros". I personally think calling it a 'collector's edition' is a bit much, but whatever.

    It only has the 9400M card.
  11. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    That benchmark is terrible!

    All-in-wonder topping???
    With Geforce4 TI as number two??

    The 9400M is beaten by the Radeon 9000 in that test too...

    It's utter bs the whole benchmark
  12. 6SSD4 macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Would there be any problems at all playing Counter-Strike: Source on the 9400M?
  13. peskaa macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    No. The Source engine is pretty old.
  14. mossme89 macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2009
    Does that include converting for DVD's? I dont burn DVD's anymore on my current laptop (Celeron M 1.73 GHz) because it takes so long to render. To convert 1 90 minute movie to DVD takes easily 2 hours, which is WAY too long.
  15. andothfc macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    If you don't plan to play graphically intensive games, the 9600 will make no discernible difference other than to make the computer much hotter and reduce the battery life.

    I had the 9600 but, after initial experiments, I rarely used it as it didn't make my computer any quicker but it did work the fans and scold the lap.
  16. onlnagent macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Other than simply getting the best GPU available for the Macbook which is a no brainer you need to consider OpenCL. In the new OS this will allow the computer to use the GPU for some CPU calculations. Overall improving the performance of the computer.
  17. almostinsane macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    No, thats entirely cpu dependent.
  18. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    At present, the better graphics chip will not help at all. With OpenCL, if Apple recompiles iDVD to take advantage of OpenCL (they might not, iDVD hasn't seen a real update in a few years,) yes. So, to see an improvement, you would need Snow Leopard, plus iLife '10, if they add that to iDVD in iLife '10. Also, Roxio Toast might add support for it as well.

    But, even the 'slow' 2.26 GHz Core 2 Duo in the bottom-end MacBook Pro will run circles around your Celeron-M. In raw GHz, you would see a 30% improvement; with the second core, you would see an improvement to 260% your current computer's speed. With the architectural improvements and chipset improvements (much faster front-side bus, faster RAM, etc,) you are probably looking at a total increase in speed of around 3x. So instead of 2 hours, you'd be looking at 45 minutes. This is without any help from the graphics chip.

    And as for the comments about the 9600M running a higher-resolution monitor better than the 9400M, that's hogwash. The mere running of the display is in no way dependent on the speed of the graphics chip. *GAMES* (or other full-screen 3D apps) will run worse, but that is true at any resolution. Running something like Safari or iMovie or even Adobe Illustrator won't see a lick of difference. The first higher-than-1920 digital flat panels were beasts that needed custom video cards; and they tended to be custom Matrox four-head cards that were the bottom of the barrel, 3d-wise. (I truly mean 'bottom of the barrel', they make the graphics chip in a NetBook look impressive.) Just to push the pixels to the screen doesn't care how fast the GPU is.
  19. Some Guy 555 macrumors regular

    May 26, 2009
    Keep in mind that the charts contain BOTH desktop gpu's AND notebook gpu's together. Desktop GPU's have distinct advantages: more power.

    For example lets take a look at the most powerful notebook gpu ever made: The Nvidia GTX 285, it scores in the 900 range while its desktop version scores over 2000.

    Keep in mind that the scores given for any card is an "average" of people benchmarking there system with that card. Look at the samples taken for each card, chances are if you see a card getting a ridiculously good benchmark it has only 1 sample then.
  20. ravensfan55 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2009
    I was in the same boat. I don't do a lot of gaming, but do do photo and video editing, some in HD. I decided to get the mid-range model because I plan on keeping this MBP for a while. Spent the extra money so it will be better in the long run.
  21. illibball087 macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2009
    most people just dont bother to log out and switch the cards manually if only apple had the macbook do it automatically based on the application or game you were going to use would it be truly innovative
  22. Pommy macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2009
    The AIW isn't at the top, the first link has its scope limited to cards "around" the 9400M's range (which is like low-mid). Click the 2nd link and you can see the whole chart.

    But yeah, PassMark or synthetics in general aren't the end-all metric for graphics card performance ... google for actual reviews of the cards to get a better idea of how they perform, since those reviews will usually cite both a range of synthetic benchmarks and real-world (gaming) performance.
  23. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2008
    lol that's a joke right? XD

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