How Much Better Is The New Macbook Pro Graphics Card?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rich101682, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. rich101682 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    #1
    I'm in the market for a Macbook Pro. I can get one of the old models on clearance at Best Buy for $1,799. But for only $200 more, I can get the low end model of the brand new MBP. The only big difference I can see is that the old MPB has a NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 512MB GDDR3 SDRAM and the new MBP has NVIDIA GeForce 9400M/NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics, but it's only 256MB of SDRAM.

    So which one will work better for me in graphics intense operations (Photoshop, Final Cut, gaming, etc)? I don't know much about graphics processing, so I don't know which is better: 512MB on the old card, or 258MB on the new card. Or is the performance of the two close enough that the $200 difference isn't really worth it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Name101 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    #2
    Hey,
    9600M
    Advantage:
    -The 9600M will be more powerful. Smoother Frames Rates.
    Disadvantage:
    -having reduced amounts of RAM will reduce the amount of textures your Video RAM. Potentionally Increasing loading times

    8600M
    Advantage:
    -The Increased amount of VRAM will decrease loading times Faster loading times for games.
    Disadvantage:
    -The 8600M has a known manufacturing problem, which can be found in many threads on this site and many other sources.
    -If you intent to play demanding games, your GFX card will run hot which causes the 8600M to potentially "Burn out" faster.


    Just composed some advantages and disadvantages.
    all of the above points are from my knowledge, I'm not entirely sure of all of the facts.

    ~Regards
    Name101
     
  3. benjs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    #3
    All I want to know: can I play back 1080p .mkv or other types and have it run smoothly on a 8600? I'm not a gamer, but I want my videos smooth.
     
  4. marklight macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    #4
    You can definitely play 1080p vids on the 8600GT - I recommend using Plex or VLC or mplayer osx rather than QT or front row. Interesting though, is the supposed decrease in CPU usage with the new apple laptops when playing video. A lot of people think this is due to the graphics cards getting some of the work load. If this is true, hopefully the benefits are passed down to the previous gen of macbook pros. Either way, snow leopard will supposedly give all users speed bumps, so you'll be fine playing 1080p vids on the previous gen.
     
  5. Name101 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    #5

    Uh...sorry?

    You made reference to games. Not 1080p movies.

    But yes they will play fine on either MBP.

    ~Regards
    Name101
     
  6. benjs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    #6
    Thank you for helping me seal the deal on a new (well, slightly updated) 17" MacBook Pro!
     

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