How bad is the 9400M?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by donga, May 19, 2009.

  1. donga macrumors 6502a

    donga

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Location:
    AZ
    #1
    So how bad is the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M? I want to buy an iMac, MacBook, or MacBook Pro, and this is one of the big questions I have. I'm not going to be doing much graphics intensive stuff, but want to be able to play CoD4 and watch movies well.

    Is the 9400M okay enough for gaming (CoD4, SC2 when it comes out, medium settings) or will I regret getting it and should have a gotten discrete gpu? Yes, I know discrete is always better than integrated, but will it be okay to go cheaper?

    For the iMac, the $1500 24" is a great deal (in my opinion), and I'm debating whether or not to go $300 more for the processor and gt120. With the laptops, I like the smaller MB (and price), but would consider the entry level uMBP if needed
     
  2. Menge macrumors 6502a

    Menge

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #2
    It's equivalent to my old desktop's GeForce 7600GS.

    Putting it in numbers: Grid runs at 640x480 low at about 30fps :p
     
  3. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #3
    For an iMac, I would say spend the extra money and get a discrete GPU if you do alot of video and/or are serious about gaming.

    With Apple starting to leverage the GPU in Snow Leopard, you will see faster conversion speeds with a discrete GPU. The 9400M will still accelerate the encoding and video playback, but just not as much. If you really don't care about about video, and can live with lower resolutions for games, then save the money, but I would honestly recommend it for the iMac.
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #4
  5. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #5
    I've never played CoD4 so I don't know the requirements but my 9400M runs UT3, Bioshock, Half Life 2, L4D, TF2 etc all very well at my Macbook's native resolution.
     
  6. 11800506 macrumors 65816

    11800506

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Washington D.C. Area
    #6
    If you want an iMac you might as well go for a refurb previous gen 2.8 with the ATI 2600. It'll be faster than the 9400M, plus it's cheaper too. They also have it on clearance for slightly more if you don't want to buy a refurb.
     
  7. RipeRetina macrumors regular

    RipeRetina

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    #7

    I envy you... i have the same setup but unfortunately ut3 is very very slow even with toned down settings... plz email me or something and let me know how you have it running...
     
  8. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #8
    I can speak for CoD4 for Windows runs well and even for Mac it runs not as well but still fine. Have to turn off a few of the extras for 30+FPS but really no problems with it. Can't speak for SC2 although I'm sure it will be fine.

    I don't think the 9400m is bad at all, I use it to game A LOT esp on steam. The question should be how capable is the 9400m b/c it's not bad by any means. It definitely helped turn my laptop into a "gaming" laptop although not hardcore but it's what I use it for.
     
  9. otis123 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #9
    on my pro i always turn on the 9600m GT when im plugged in, but on batt power i switch to the 9400m, i really haven't done any gaming with it, but it can handle any video i throw at it, including 1080p.
     
  10. otis123 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #10
    have you updated the graphics drivers? the boot camp ones are garbage, go to nvidia's site and DL the newest ones.
     
  11. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #11
    Quake 4 ran fine on my MacBook (2.4GHz) with the 9400M

    It's a boat load better than the X3100 in my old BlackBook.
     
  12. voyagerd macrumors 65816

    voyagerd

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2002
    Location:
    Rancho Cordova, CA
    #12
    I installed COD4 on my friend's MacBook with the 9400M and I was surprised at how well it ran in Multiplayer, even with the Mac version.
     
  13. Ov3rlord Falc0r macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    #13
    In all seriousness, the 9400m really isn't that bad of a card for LAPTOPS. I play CoD4 with good results.

    If you are going to get an iMac, I would seriously recommend spending the extra cash (if you have it, don't spend what you don't have) and get the gt120 or the 4750 (if you have 50 more dollars).

    OR like somebody suggested, go referb and see if you can't get a good deal that way. If you aren't in too much of a hurry to purchase check the referb store every other day or so to check on new merchandise and see if there is something up your ally. I got a referb uMB and I think it is phenominal. :)

    Good luck!
    Post back and let us know what you ended up doing.
     
  14. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #14
    I use hacked drivers and its slightly overclocked (not as much as my iMac though which has another 150mhz added to CPU/Mem). Ingame I've unticked some effect boxes like distortions. Every slider bar set to medium or high. No AA, ever. 25-35fps.
     
  15. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #15
    hah same situation in bootcamp, I'm using DOX drivers 185.20 I believe and OC'd some to 2.3ghz and the graphics core up to 525 and shaders to 1100..

    Code:
    3DMark Score: 2381
    SM 2.0: 843
    SM 3.0: 900
    CPU score: 2007
     
  16. waiwai macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    #16
    for the price you pay... the 9400M is a steal. it can run COD4 but at low settings... but what do you expect from an onboard gpu?
     
  17. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #17
    My brother has COD4 and a MacBook with the 9400M and I set his textures all to Extra and turned of shadows and specular map and he runs at about 30fps constant. It's definitely playable and it's still fun for him. He runs at the native resolution too.
     
  18. sven- macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    #18
    This is very true. You can run Cod4 with decent framerates at 1280x800 but you have to lower some settings to keep it playable (having FPS above 30 is recommended in first persons imo). For example, turn off "specular map", "shadows" and "V-Sync".
     
  19. edddeduck macrumors 68020

    edddeduck

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    #19
    If you do have one having more RAM (so the card has more VRAM) makes a big difference. Overall it is the best integrated card Apple have eve put in their machines and unless you are a massive gamer it is good enough for most things.

    As someone who makes games on the Mac the 9400 made us smile compared to the GMA cards that existed previously.

    It is not a gamers card but it can play games just expect to be on the lower end of the settings for the new stuff.

    Edwin

    Feral Interactive
     
  20. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #20
    You know what would really make me smile.... If you put V-Sync in Tomb Raider Anniversary. I hate hate hate horizontal tearing. Are there any sort of dev-mode codes or anything I can type in to get v-sync to work in TRA?
     
  21. edddeduck macrumors 68020

    edddeduck

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    #21
    We can certainly have a look at putting that in a patch when we do one, i don't think there is any debug vsync mode.

    If you have other ideas email the tomb raider support email address.

    Edwin
     
  22. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #22
    I've tried that. They pretty much told me that they never plan on adding that feature and basically said tough luck. I think it sucks. They suggested that I max out the settings to bring my framerate down as low as I can and that should help the tearing... what kind of crappy workaround is that? Anyways... I tried that and I still get insane framerates and crappy tearing. How do I go about purchasing a Mac game without knowing if it has a vsync option or not?
     
  23. edddeduck macrumors 68020

    edddeduck

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    #23
    v-sync really depends on if the PC version had it in the code and how it was implemented. I when we had a quick look it was not simple but I will see if we can get v-sync looked at again when we do a patch.

    We take feedback seriously and I have to say the best workaround is Max res with FSAA on. If we do release a patch the game will auto-update your copy when it is released.

    If you have any other questions drop me a PM

    Edwin
     
  24. MagicWok macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #24
    I played spore on my 17" UMBP at native resolution (1920x1200) and all details set to high, though I think I lowered shadows down by one level but I didn't even test to see if it made an impact, and it ran silky smooth through the 9600M GT

    Fans did pick up quite a bit, but was impressed. :)
     
  25. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #25
    The OP was asking about the 9400m. Not the 9600m.
     

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