Help on choosing a MBP

Magritte

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 14, 2007
91
0
Los Angeles, CA
I've narrowed it down to two configurations: a refurbished one with the ATI 1600 card with 256MB of memory, or a new one with the NVidia card with 128MB of memory. I really cannot afford the NVidia 256MB.

Mostly I'll be using the laptop for lower end stuff (no video editing or anything like that) but I am a gamer and I am thinking about the future of games. Right now mostly I'd be running Civ 4 and WoW as the most graphics-heavy applications. I know that the ATI OpenGL drivers are superior to NVidia's and I have read correlating reports of WoW running better on the ATI machines. But I'm not so much concerned about that (I have a very nice setup on my iMac so I don't mind dialing everything down on the laptop), more that I want a machine that will accommodate new games. Is NVidia working on their OpenGL drivers, does anyone know?

I'm leaning towards the new one and living with the lower memory but I would like to get your opinions. Thanks.
 

Sbrocket

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2007
1,251
0
/dev/null
If the difference in price between your two opinions is negligible, then I would say to go with the low-end Santa Rosa MacBook Pro. If you're not going to be doing anything extremely graphics intensive (which it doesn't sound like you are) then you really have no reason to worry greatly over the difference between 128MB and 256MB of VRAM; the performance gain for be minimal if existent. The SR MBP gives you the benefit of the newer Intel chipset with the 800MHz FSB. The Nvidia drivers for the 8600GT in the new MacBook Pros will continue to be updated, and while the state of the drivers currently is certainly not as optimized as the older ATI drivers...the 8600GT has enough of a performance difference versus the X1600 that it can beat it out with brute force alone. And that performance can only go up.

If you main concern is the 128MB difference in VRAM, then I say put your fears aside and go with the new SR MBP.
 

CalBoy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2007
7,849
36
Go for the newer SR mbp. For the long run, it will serve you much better.
 

booksacool1

macrumors 6502
Oct 17, 2004
293
1
Australia
Definitely the newer SR MBP. The old ATI was underclocked, making it even slower than it was (about half as fast as the 8600, poor benchmarking notwithstanding). Definitely not the card you want.

The 8600 supports turbocache in windows, allowing it to 'borrow' an extra 128mb (for the 128mb version) of ram. This makes up for the limited vram.

So yeah, definitely the low end SR MBP. Very nice laptop.
 

Magritte

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 14, 2007
91
0
Los Angeles, CA
The 8600 supports turbocache in windows, allowing it to 'borrow' an extra 128mb (for the 128mb version) of ram. This makes up for the limited vram.
That's interesting. But it only works on a Boot Camp partition? (I don't use Parallels.) Maybe I should play WoW Windows-side then.

Thanks for your comment.