Graphics Card

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Kurios91, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. Kurios91 macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2008
    Couple questions about it;
    1) What is the diff in the 8600M 256 vs 512? I've heard that the VRAM on this card doesn't matter?
    2) Based on the question above, is it worth getting?
    3) Will the 9xxxM cards have the same issue w/ the VRAM or will they be able to handle it?
    4) Whats the chance Apple will put it into the next MacBook?
    5) Can I somehow ask Apple to put it into a MacBook for an extra charge to me?

  2. andrewdale macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2008
    Memphis, TN
    First of all, I think you're referring to putting it in a Macbook Pro. Or at least I hope you are. You can't stick a dedicated video card in a Macbook. Just not possible.

    As far as asking Apple to put one in a Macbook Pro. I don't think you can. As far as I remember reading, the video cards are not replaceable. But maybe someone who knows more can make sure I'm not blowing smoke, here.
  3. dab3 macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2007
    No, they are not removable. Apple, among many MANY other laptop producers, actually solder the Graphics Cards (be it Integrated or Discrete) to the actual Motherboard, therefore making it near impossible to remove them without entirely messing up your machine.

    There are only a few options for laptops with replaceable graphics cards, and Apple is not a distributor.

    and just a checklist:

    1. Very very minimal. Yes the 512mb MBP is the only GDDR3, but I've continuously heard that the 8600M GT cannot actually utilize anymore more than 256mb of VRAM, therefore the extra is slightly gimmicky.

    2. Not really, unless perhaps you got money to burn.

    3. If Apple were to use the 9600M GT, and they offered a 256/512mb option, the newer technology could possibly utilize more than 256mb of the dedicated VRAM.

    4. The reason why the Macbook's do not have dedicated ram, is because they want their to be a significant difference between the two. Macbook Pro's are a professional computer therefore has more options and perks, like the dedicated VRAM, aluminum case, backlit-keyboard, larger screen.. etc. If the Macbooks had discrete GFX cards, the MBP line probably wouldn't be as important.

    5. I've never heard of an option to ask for personal upgrades to a computer. What they have is what they have when it comes to Apple Website Customizations. I'm almost certain you can't customize beyond what they give you.
  4. andrewdale macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2008
    Memphis, TN
    Either that or you just want the larger L2 cache.

    I got the 2.5 not for the video card, but just didn't want to deal with a smaller cache. And, since I got the family & friends discount, it was a good deal to go ahead and get the extra 0.1GHz, double L2 cache, a slightly better video card.

    That's why I got th 512MB.
  5. Azmordean macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2004
    Silicon Valley
    Assuming by MacBook you mean MBP. MacBook will, in my mind, always use integrated graphics.

    1) As others have said here, little to none. 128 to 256 is a big difference, but the 8600M just isn't powerful enough to really take advantage of 512.

    2) In my mind, no. Depending on your uses, the cache MAY make it worthwhile but for most standard computer uses including office type apps, internet, music, iPhoto, and gaming I tend to doubt it. As mentioned above the extra VRAM doesn't help much. And, needless to say, 100MHz isn't going to do much either.

    3) A 9xxx card, depending on the specific specifications, should be able to take advantage of 512 VRAM, though even there, I suspect the increase in speed would be minor.

    4) I would say, slim to none. The 9xxx cards, from what I hear, are simply too power intensive and heat producing to work in the MBP. Applie prides themselves on the thinness of their computers, and a 9xxx card would likely require them to sacrifice that. Right now, the 8600M GT is really the best card out there that can work with the MBP form factor. Indeed, even on the PC side, 15" laptops are limited to the 8600M GT with one exception from Alienware, which is 1.3" thick and weighs 7lbs.

    5) No chance. For the reasons above, and because, to my knowledge, Apple does not offer special upgrades other than what is available BTO.

    As an aside.. I too have balked a bit about the 8600M GT - but after some research, I am satisfied that Apple is giving us the best card the MBP can support. They even use the GDDR3 version instead of the cheaper GDDR2. So you really have to decide if you want a sleek and portable laptop or a "gaming laptop" powerhouse. If the former, the MBP vid card is as good as it gets. For that reason, I have decided to make my purchase soon! :D
  6. Kurios91 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2008
    Alright cool, thanks guys

    If anyone has any other input, youre welcome to include it.

    And yes, MacBook Pro :)
  7. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    The 9600m, assuming it is coming, will only take advantage of more than 256 if they give it a 256-bit memory bus.

    However, there's already a 9650m which is really just a die-shrunk 8700m, so we'll just have to see what product scheme they come up with.
  8. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    1) Not much except one is twice the other. 128MB is enough so 256MB is already more than you need.
    2) Not really, but of course if you want the 17-inch, you won't have a choice.
    3) Well assuming they use a bigger data bus width and probably faster GPU, it could benefit from the addition VRAM.
    4) No chance. It's like putting big block V8 in a go kart. Not practical.
    5) Nope. Unless you have a few billion dollars to spend to get the OEM to build a separate assembly line for you, no way. There is also no space on the planar board for it.

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