DVD player: quality and questions...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by stieny, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. stieny macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Sorry that I'm asking so many questions but I am trying to just learn how to use and other general information about my new MBP. I always search first but if I can't find anything, I post up about it. No better way to learn than to ask questions, right?

    Anyways, a few questions:

    What does everyone think about their MBP's (late 2008) DVD playback quality? Seems as mine is alright but if I turn off the energy savings options (the one for better quality) it should enable the dedicated graphics card for enhanced graphics. Thats what I gathered from searching atleast. I don't really notice a huge difference though in watching a DVD. Maybe I wouldn't though, which brings me to my next question.....

    How do I know when the two cards are working and what exactly is the advantage to the dedicated card on the Pros? Is it really just for enhanced graphics overall (ie: watching DVD's, gaming) or are there other main advantages?

    My last question: When I started watching my first DVD, I was trying to pause the movie in a dark spot in the very beginning so I could check for dead/stuck pixels. When I was doing that I got some kind of error message but the movie kept playing and everything seemed fine. Ejected the movie and restarted but I never got that error message again. I know its not a lot to go on and I'm not exactly sure what it said but I was wondering if it is normal to sometimes get random error messages? I'm coming from a PC so I'm used to getting them and they not mean a whole lot. I know I'm probably just being paranoid but I like to learn as much as I can about my first new Mac.

    Great computer so far. I love it.

    Thanks for any input.
  2. mAc-warrior macrumors member


    May 11, 2004
    Hi there, Merry Christmas!

    DVD playback quality is pretty good I think on my MBP. I've viewed a few and have been pretty pleased. As far as the different graphics cards are concerned, there should be absolutely no difference in picture quality between the two. They're both capable of outputting an identical picture when viewing DVDs, and doing general OS tasks. The difference in the two cards is the ability to render graphics or motion in 3D games faster on the 9600GT. This becomes apparent in demanding 3D games and some professional video/graphics applications where rendering occurs. You won't notice a difference in picture quality, simply the increase in speed that graphics are rendered onscreen with the faster card. Certainly, within complex 3D games you can turn up the visual quality higher with the 9600GT, but within OS X you will not notice any visual differences between the two cards.

    You can switch between the two cards in the Energy Saver preferences pane within System Preferences. The 9400M is "Better Battery Life" and the 9600GT is "Higher Performance". That's the only way to tell which is running!

    The upcoming new release of Mac OS X is going to have solid enhancements in the way of utilizing these graphics cards. Really, all we know now is that the OS and some apps will be able to offload general CPU tasks to the graphics card for "parallel processing" between the CPU and active GPU. This nets you greater speed, because these new graphics chips in these notebooks are pretty fast! It's rumored that we may be able to use both cards at the same time after Snow Leopard is released, but I personally doubt that due to the heat generated using the 9600GT alone. Check out http://www.apple.com/macosx/snowleopard/ for more info.

    I hope this explains a bit for you, continue asking questions if you have any!

  3. stieny thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Merry Christmas to you too!

    That does help a lot. What about my error message I received? Seems as it was nothing because the DVD player works well. Just curious as to why it popped up.
  4. mAc-warrior macrumors member


    May 11, 2004
    Yeah, that message is a bit of a mystery! I've never had anything like that. I would just assume its a one-off kind of thing. If it doesn't happen again I definitely wouldn't worry. Sorry I don't know more about that!

  5. iMacDragon macrumors 68000


    Oct 18, 2008
    Changing the graphics card shouldn't really make any difference in visual quality, as both chipsets have the same basic capabilities graphics rendering wise, only improve speed for tasks using accelerated graphics, as one is twice as powerfull and has faster dedicated ram, though for daily use the 9400's acceleration should be plenty sufficient.

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