Is a video card necessary?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ropedartman, Jul 26, 2009.

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Video card or not?

  1. 9400 will be just fine.

    12 vote(s)
    52.2%
  2. You need dedicated graphics.

    11 vote(s)
    47.8%
  1. Ropedartman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #1
    I am in the market for a new MBP and am interested in hearing feedback regarding the video capabilities of the Nvidia 9400. I am in Industrial Design and have been using a SR MacBook 2.2 with the 3100 for a couple of years. I have been pretty happy with this machine except for the video capabilities. I do not game, but CAM with 3D rendering, and full use of CS3. When I get more than 100 layers in Ai, my MB is pretty much unusable. I will get a 2.8 15" MBP with the 9600 if necessary, but would love to save money if possible. Has anyone done heavy work with just the 9400? Most people I talk to tell me I need a dedicated card, which makes sense, but just wanted to hear from you guys. Thanks.
     
  2. guydude193 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    MI
    #2
    I don't use the professional apps you've stated, but I "tested" my 9400m with a few games. All on high. They were Halo Wars, Laura Croft Tomb Raider (anniversary edition) and this new game called Toribash. Steve Jobs said that it was a graphics card without the battery draining, and he was absolutely right! I've yet to find something the 9400m can't handle. :D
     
  3. designgeek macrumors 65816

    designgeek

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Location:
    "Town"
    #3
    I run CS4 at about 10% the intensity you do (OMG 100+ layers? I can't even manage a dozen) and the 9400M handles it like nothing although it's mostly CPU as I understand it. The 9600GT is an amazing mobile chip in my opinion, does more than I can.
     
  4. Ropedartman thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #4
    Yeah, I'd have to check, but my last big Ai piece had over 125 layers. I had to shut everything else down and every little movement I made took several minutes to process! Since then I have doubled my RAM and it has helped a little. Applying textures to 3 dimensional objects is very time consuming, but the 9400 is supposed to be much better than the Intel I've been using.
     
  5. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #5
    A lot of people underestimate the 9400M. It is actually quite powerful. From my understanding the 9600 Is just a 9400 with a higher clocked core and more shaders. Of course it is quite A lot more powerful than the 9400M but not as much as everyone seems to think. There both great GPU's in my oppinion.

    -If you need the most from your GPU get the 9600GT as it will add substantial power to your graphics needs.

    -If you just need basic to moderate Power from your GPU the 9400M will serve you well.

    Edit: The 9600GT is actually a lot more powerful than How it seems from reading my post. I think it gives you somewhere around 17FPS more on average than the 9400M. Im not sure what that would translate into for your needs.
     
  6. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #6
    It will be about 5x more powerful. (according to apple when running COD4. The fps actually verify that this is true)

    For what your doing it will be a much bigger improvement over the x3100.
     
  7. adamk77 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #7
    You'll want to go with the 9600M GT.

    9400M is fine, but it looks like you'll need more for your level of usage. Photoshop wouldn't let me open more than a certain number of images at the same time on my 9400M. I had to switch to the 9600M GT (I'm on a late 2008 uMBP).

    And from the looks of it, you're a lot more active user of these graphics apps than I am.
     
  8. bolen macrumors 6502

    bolen

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #8
    IMO it sounds like you should stretch for the 9600GT, even if it may be a tad overpowered. It will last longer and in a couple of years you may still be able to run your applications at good speed. At that time the 9400M may be to slow to handle any increase in work / newer applications.
     
  9. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    Who needs a video card? All I need a power jack and an ethernet port.
     
  10. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #10
    Noob. I just need a empty logic board with one DE-9 serial output. :p
     
  11. Ropedartman thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #11
    Neck and neck I see, that's the sort of info I was hoping for. I've been doing some research and it seems that a lot of 3D CAM and rendering is largely CPU. So I guess the faster 15" would be better there anyway.

    Anyone been using Adobe Illustrator?
     

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