GPU clock speed differences in MBP 15/17"

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ClayDavid, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. ClayDavid macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2006
    I've seen people say that the clock speeds of the GPU are different between the 15" and the 17" MBP, namely that the 17" is clocked higher.

    My question: is the actual speed difference between the two noticeable when using GPU intensive tasks, like games and video-editing?

    If one planned to game a bit on the MBP, would it be worth it to get a 17" over a 15" simply because of the clock speed of the GPU?

    Thanks for any info!


    From this link: on the right hand side, the 17 and 15 inch comparison bar cought my atention.

    I hadn't realized that there was such a difference in performance betwwen two identically specced MBPs.

    Again, my question: is it noticeable from a user standpoint?

    Thanks again.
  2. dynetk macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2006
    Sacramento, CA
    If you look closely at the small text on top of the graphs it's being compared to a Powerbook and not a MBP. If you run at native resolutions for gaming the 17in MBP should actually be slower frame rate wise when compared to the 15in MBP.
  3. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2006

    Also the 15in was tested back in Feb. while the 17in was tested in April, which means the 15in was far newer technology when tested than the 17in. Not sure if it matters that much, but I thought I might point it out.

    If you are serious about gaming, you will probably be running windows, and there are a good, free, safe, tools for changing clock speeds; with software that does not flash the GFX processor. It is not over-clocking to bring your speeds up to factory-recomended settings, but it will still void your applecare. It DOES improve video quality, however...not that I would know...:D
  4. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    They use the exact same chip, which support clock gating and dynamic voltage regulation. They may, however, not be supplied with the same voltage due to the design.

    It shows there is a difference between the MacBook Pro 15" and 17".

    The MacBook Pro 15" is 2.2x faster in Doomed III (pun) gaming, while the MacBook Pro 17" show its 2.4x faster compared to the baseline PowerBook 4.
  5. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia

    "...Though the CPU clock speed advantage of the 2.16GHz MacBook Pro is only 8%, it outperformed the 2.0GHz MacBook Pro by as much as 43%, depending on the application... we rechecked the 17" MacBook Pro's X1600 GPU's core and memory speeds before, during and after running 3D Games using Graphiccelerator's "Show ATI Frequencies" function. Before starting a series of runs, the core measured 311MHz frequency. When we ran 3D games, it jumped to 423MHz. After sitting idle a few minutes, it fell back to 311MHz. We measured a similar jump in the GPU's memory clock from 297MHz to 450MHz."
  6. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2006

    I can confirm this. In XP HL2 runs far better when the gfx card in my 15in is clocked at 400/400 as opposed to its standard 300/300. I guess this means that the 17in will have better video without warranty-voiding procedures.
  7. n8236 macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
    I ran the overclock ATI tool on boot camp:

    my default: 300/295 - the 3d fps was ~60-70

    oc'ed to: 430/430 (rock stable, no artifacts or extra noticable heat) - the 3d fps was 90-100.

    The difference is so obvious it's not funny. I have it set at 430/430 whenever i play games now.
  8. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6

    Good article risc, the GPU in the 17" MacBook Pro is indeed faster than the 15" MacBook Pro. :)
  9. madmax_2069 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 17, 2005
    Springfield Ohio
    i wonder why they underclocked the GPU thats in the 15 inch MBP when both the 15 and 17 use the same GPU

    it makes no since to me other than marketing

    so is there any way to get the GPU in the 15 inch to be the same as the 17 inch

    in OS X or win xp and have it stay there cause if the GPU is rated to do that speed shouldent they all do that well of cource have it idle back down when not in use since its in a laptop to drain less power

    what i got from that benchmark is that the gpu in the 15 inch dont clock itself up when gaming as the 17 inch does am i correct
  10. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    It would only be a marketing thing if Apple made a deal out of it, and they don't--you won't see this mentioned or touted anywhere. Much more likely it's just a heat issue--I can confirm that with the GPU cranked up to full speed it does put out significant heat, and based on all the complaints about the 15" as is, I expect raising the clock on it would generate even more, even if it's physically possible.

    I woulnd't read any more into it than that--bigger case = more room to dissipate heat.

    That is correct.
  11. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    The clock speed changes depending on how much performance is needed. When your notebook isn't doing much, you want to run it at the lowest possible clock speed to safe batteries.
  12. madmax_2069 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 17, 2005
    Springfield Ohio
    for the 17 inch yea but not the 15 inch. they should have added another fan some where to remove heat from the case to the outside. they have real small fan's that dont take to much power or like the cpu fan have it only turn on at a temp

    so at what clock is the GPU in the 15 inch stuck at. the 17 inch tops out at 450 when gaming from the idle speed of 300 some odd mhz

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