Can the GeForce 9400M drive a 24" Display?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mark-itguy, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. mark-itguy macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #1
    I am planning to get a MacBook Pro 13.3-inch, probably the 2.53 GHz model. I selected the 13.3-inch because when I travel, size and weight are of upmost concern. But when I am not mobile (90% of the time), it will always be plugged into a 24" LED Cinema Display.

    So my question is, is the integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M strong enough to almost always be driving a 24" LED Cinema Display?

    I'd hate to go up to a 15-inch just to have the option of a dedicated GPU, but if that is recommended for when you always have an external monitor attached, I would consider it...

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    Depends on what do you do but yes, it'll drive it fine
     
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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  4. mark-itguy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #4
    Cool. Knowing the limitations of the integrated chip itself, I wouldn't try to do anything GPU intensive, (I save that for the Mac Pro).

    I was just concerned the picture quality on the 24" display could suffer if only driven by the integrated chip. Like maybe flicker when the system got weighted down, lessor picture quality, a variation in picture based on CPU & RAM usage, etc...

    If the base picture on the external display is as good with the integrated chip, then it sounds like I'm all set!

    Tks!!
     
  5. dan5.5 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #5
    I have my computer hooked up to a 24 inch monitor all the time. You can tell the difference between the 9400 and the 9600
     
  6. reallynotnick macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 21, 2005
    #6
    I have never heard in my life something like that happening, the card can either drive the resolution or it can not. Of course any sort of 3d work/games won't be amazing on it but that's really it.

    "Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors"

    The only thing you could possibly tell is if the display calibration is different for each card.
     
  7. babak macrumors member

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    Oct 1, 2009
    #7
    Yes

    The answer is YES, it can. I'm doing it all the time. The system only starts to warm up (fans kicking in) when playing games or video processing.

    Re distinguishing between 9400 & 9600 - I can't personally tell the difference (and I can tell the difference between an ATI and an nVidia GPU just by looking at the screen). If interested, do a blinded test: ask someone to change between 9400/9600 without telling you which one is being used, and try telling the difference :)

    Actually, the 9400 will be able to handle a 24" (1920x1200 usually) AND the laptop display without a problem.
     
  8. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #8
    Here's the thing. The cards use different drivers, so one may feel smoother then the other. While I don't have either card in my mac, I know people were reporting when they first came out that the 9400m was more optimized, and actually worked smoother than the 9600, which is the faster card.

    babak, I call baloney on you being able to tell the difference. Here's a test: What video card(s) am I using on my computer right now?
     

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  9. Azrel macrumors regular

    Azrel

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    Jun 8, 2005
    #9
    I have a 23" display I use, the 9400M works fine, even when I'm using it during some heavy CUDA/OpenCL code.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    I've not had any issues running on the 9400m and driving my 24" monitor.
     
  11. babak macrumors member

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    Oct 1, 2009
    #11
    2 thejadedmonkey

    The disadvantage of a glossy screen are it's reflections - I can see you starngling someone in the background when taking picture :)

    In reply to your question - I can't really tell from the screenshot provided. I am able to tell on screenshots from games when set side-by-side for comparing, only then the subtle differences become obvious. There is no magic ;)
     
  12. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #12
    Sorry, I thought you meant just staring at the screen/ I agree, some games tend to look better using an nVidia card rather than an ATI one.

    For the record though, my MBP has an ATI card, and my desktop (what you're looking at in the screenshot) has a fanless 3200 and a fanless 4550 in it. It's super quiet :)
     
  13. mark-itguy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #13
    You CAN?? In what way?
     
  14. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

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    Feb 12, 2008
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    Illinois
    #14
    I use the 24" LED all the time (even though I have a MacBook Pro, I keep it on 9400M for OS X) on 9400M. No flickering or anything even when weighed down with a 3D intensive game (course framerate is less, but no flickering or anything).
     
  15. Thomas Davie macrumors 6502

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    Jan 20, 2004
    #15
    Not only is the 9400 powerful enough to drive a 24 inch display; it can play 2 different vifor sources; one on the internal screen, and one on the external display. It is a nice little gfx card.

    Tom
     

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