ibook/powerbook videocard

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by slipper, May 17, 2004.

  1. slipper macrumors 68000


    Nov 19, 2003
    which video card is better, the 32mb ATI mobility raedon found on the iBook or the 64mb nvidia gforce fx go5200 found on the powerbook? when will i notice a difference between the video cards?
  2. Doraemon macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2001
    Europe (EU)
    Performance-wise, the cards are both (more-or-less) equal.

    However, the PowerBook has twice the amount of VRAM, hence it will perform much better.

    As for the difference, you'll only notice it when playing games. For the standard day work, it won't make a different (i.e. the iBook's card is good enough).
  3. Ozi macrumors regular


    Apr 9, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia.
    *agrees with above*

    However, The 64MB fx go5200 is absolutely OWNED by a 64MB 9700 ATI Radeon Mobility, and even more so by the 128MB 9700 ATI Radeon mobility (both cards come in the new pBooks)
  4. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Some very early reviews I found comparing the Radeon 9200 Mobility and the GeForce GX 5200 Go made it look like the GeForce was getting absolutely thrashed by the Radeon in most benchmarks. However, looking at the actual gaming performance when these chips are installed in Mac hardware, they are very close to each other. This page of benchmarks:


    which compares the 14" 1GHz G4 iBook (with 32MB Radeon 9200) to the 12" 1GHz G4 PowerBook (with 32MB GeForce FX5200) basically shows that there is no clear winner on UT2003, Quake III or Cinebench 2003. The scores are very close to each other in all benchmarks.

    Now that the new revision 12" PowerBooks have the extra 32MB of VRAM, you might expect that this would have some type of beneficial effect, especially when playing games which use a large number of details textures, or when working with dual monitors and high resolution desktops, then then using things like Expose. However, looking at the big picture, both the Radeon 9200 Mobility and the GeForce FX 5200 GO are low-end entry-level mobile GPUs. You aren't going to be getting spectacular performance out of either of them with modern games, especially when coupled to a G4. UT2004 is essentially unplayable at 1024x768 on my 12" 1GHz PowerBook (15fps and below frame rates), so you need to start lowering resolution and dropping details settings. If you want to even have half a chance of a decent gaming experience on a Macintosh portable in the future, stretch to the 15" PowerBook with the Radeon 9700 Mobility. Much better for gaming.

    That said, if you're a serious portable gamer, don't buy a Mac at all. It's not the iBook/PowerBook lineups greatest strength.
  5. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Sorry, should have reinforced Doraemon's comment in my post. He's right...for 'normal' tasks, both the Radeon and the GeForce will do a good job. You are going to notice the biggest difference when gaming or using 3D/OpenGL apps, and even then, the two GPUs are close.
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I really don't even know why Apple used a 32MB Nvidia go 5200 in the 12" PB, and not the same card in the iBooks. Its not like there's much difference anyway. Its not like the 12" PB got the better deal going with the Nvidia. Actually, I really have no idea why they don't just stick with ATI in the long run and buy more cards strictly from them, hopefully getting them cheap ass.
  7. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    of course a 64mb card is going to be better than a 32mb card :p

    abstract: if ibooks had the same video card as powerbooks then there may as well be no ibook. the more the ibook gets inside it the more it will cost and that totally takes away from the purpose of the ibooks existence.

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