Intel HD Graphics 5000 vs NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 256 MB

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by patstewart, May 19, 2014.

  1. patstewart macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2014
    I have an Early-2008 15in MBP with a NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 256 MB running 10.8.5

    My computer runs extremely hot, loud, and slow while on Netflix and even doing simple things like running Chrome with 5 or so tabs open. I've checked the Activity Monitor and nothing is hogging abnormal amounts of CPU activity. I've been contemplating an upgrade and have searched far and wide. I've found out I still can't find anything that will tell me if upgrading to a MBA with a Intel HD Graphics 5000 will truly be a step down. Would I be better off purchasing an SSD and seeing performance (and cooling) results?
  2. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    The Air will be faster in every respect, including graphics.
  3. mad3inch1na macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2013
    The hd 5000 is about 5x better, assuming I found the right cards. The issue you sound like you are having is RAM paging onto the hard drive. The current MBA with 4GB RAM will handle consumer tasks well for the next 4-5 years, considering the PCIE flash. You can pick one up for 750$ at BestBuy with student discount.

  4. patstewart thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2014
    So should I conclude from the 2 posts above me that trying to upgrade my laptop for a few hundred isn't going to see a noticeable improvement compared to buying a MBA?
    A genuine question. I don't want to feel like i'm throwing two grand away.
  5. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000


    Mar 19, 2011
    Trollhättan, Sweden
    A brand new MBA will be night and day better than what you are running now. It won't be throwing 2 grand away. More like throwing away a few hundred to throw in a SATA SSD in your current machine as a stop gap rather than using that money towards a new MBA.

    Say you can sell your current machine for $300. Add to that the $300 you were going to spend on that SSD upgrade, and suddenly you are less than $300 away from something you will be much more happy with in every way.

    Don't see how you count with 2 grand - or is that what you paid for your MBP 6 years ago? That's $333 a year for computing amortised over the life of the machine so far, assuming you haven't had any other repair or upgrade costs. $900 for a brand new 13" MBA should see you happy for another 5, lowering your annual cost to $180 a year. AND you probably won't have to pay for another OS update ever again. Even if it only lasts you 4, that's still only $225 a year, saving you over $100 a year.

    My trusty little mid-2011 11" Air is still making me smile, and I am a heavy user of productivity suites, up to ten large complex spreadsheets open at a time in both Excel and Numbers, the same number of Keynote presentations, tens of tabs on Safari, Photoshop and Illustrator, company Accounting system, W7 virtual machine, W8 remote desktop, etc. Yes it runs hot a lot of the time, but it very rarely slows down on me!

    Honestly, I may be biased here, but the only thing I think I would ever need a MBP over a MBA for would be graphics intensive gaming, professional grade video production, or high quality professional 3D rendering applications. It does hard core professional office work very well.
  6. patstewart thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2014
    2 grand for a new MBA. Knowing everything is soldered together I'd go for upgraded RAM, SSD, & AppleCare.

    Thanks for the info though. It seems upgrading my current comp won't give me enough in years payback to outweigh buying a new MBA
  7. kelub macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
    Yeah I was wondering how you got to $2,000 myself. Did a quick build-out: if you pick a 13" MBA, upgrade the CPU to the i7, the RAM to 8gb, the SSD to 512gb, and add Apple Care, then you do arrive at $1,998. And if you're looking to buy a machine that'll last you 5 years plus, then that's probably a good choice to go ahead and max it out.

    The other option is to go to a 2-3 year plan instead of 5-6, and buy an MBA with less specs for less money, with the intent of selling it in 2-3 years to buy a new one. Then you could get the i5 processor, still upgrade the RAM for $100, and keep the rest of the specs the same for a good deal cheaper. With Apple Care it's still under $1500. Then you can sell it for $700-$1100 in a couple of years and only have to put 200-300 into a new laptop again.

    Not advocating for one approach over the other, just a suggestion. In the end, 200-300 every couple of years vs 2000 every 5-6 years can wind up being about the same amount.
  8. MyopicPaideia macrumors 68000


    Mar 19, 2011
    Trollhättan, Sweden
    Ahhh...ok gotcha :) No you are right, spending few hundred to upgrade to an SSD is just money you could have put towards the new computer your probably going to buy in the next year anyway...unless you absolutely need to do an upgrade now but have your heart set on waiting for a retina MBA...
  9. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    If you're planning on a maxed out 13" MacBook Air, I would get the 13" rMBP instead. The CPU and graphics are both faster and it's not really that much bigger or heavier.
  10. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    The Air will be faster in every respect
    The Air will be faster in every respect

    what do you want more ??
  11. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2009
    There is nothing the ********* Apple laptop out now cannot do that the best Apple laptop from early 2008 can.
  12. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003
    In your position I'd go for either the base 15" rMBP or the 2.4/8/256 13" rMBP. Either will give you a lot more for your money than an Air.
  13. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I also have a 2008 15" MBP. I didn't realize how s-l-o-w it was until I got a MBA. My first MBA was a 2011 13" i5/4gb/256gb and that CPU was almost twice as fast as the core 2 duo on the MBP. Now I have a 2013 11" i7/8gb/512gb and it is maybe another 30% faster. But of course the SSD will make it seem much, much, much faster than the MBP.

    I have considered upgrading the 2008 MBP, but I think it would just be money down the drain. A couple months ago the battery completely died. I think it's living on borrowed time now, all I use it for is ripping DVD's and it gets hot as a pistol doing that. Those old MBPs always ran really hot.

    The machine you're considering will be a huge upgrade from your old MBP.

    BTW - have you tried resetting the SMC on your MBP? I had problems with mine overheating and shutting down a couple years ago but that fixed it.
  14. Hepatical macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2013
    Have you ever cleaned your computer ?

    With 6 years of accumulated dust on your fans and heatsink blades, any laptop doing anything non-cpu intensive tasks will bring significantly higher temperatures. There would be large balls of dust fluff clogging airflow there as well as insulating the thermal components... you do not want that.

    This is what I observe for my macbook pro, and after cleaning the temperatures are back to normal. If you have no clue how to do disassemble it, look at iFixit or have someone else do it.

    Adding to dust-cleaning your laptop, replacing the cpu and gpu thermal paste should also have a significant impact on your laptop's temps (especially after 6 years of use).

    I disassemble and thoroughly clean my macbook pro every year or two, and I have no issue playing youtube flash videos on 720p setting, the fans stay at 2000rpm which is their base speed.

  15. Anitramane macrumors 6502

    Dec 23, 2013
    If you have the 8600gt macbook you should consisdering selling it before it Nvidiagates.
  16. blesscheese macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2010
    Central CA
    If you google "MacBook Pro (Nvidia 8600M) GPU/Video Failures" you will find some interesting reading. My brother-in-law had one that broke, but he was able to have fixed under the warranty program.

    Basically, the new MBA, or any new computer, will be much, much faster than your old MBP, with it's paltry (by today's comparisons) 256mb GPU.

    If you are interested in going from a 15" MBP to a MBA, you must be interested more in portability and battery life...otherwise, maybe consider the rMBP? Anyway, I love my MBA, and I'm looking forward to getting another one, when I'm ready to upgrade my current 2009 MBA.

    If you are interested in comparisons, go to
  17. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Nothing you've mentioned would stress even a 6 year old NVidia GPU that you have now. Just because you're running stuff that displays things on your screen doesn't mean the GPU is involved in any meaningful amount. Everything you describe indicates that your CPU is stressed and a modern MacBook CPU will be night-and-day different than your 2008 machine.

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