Is it bad that I almost never use the 9600 on my MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vader1990, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. vader1990 macrumors regular

    Sep 23, 2008

    I really needed a laptop for college back in OCtober 2008--I was a freshman engineer and my old laptop couldn't really handle the basic things I was throwing at it--like full screen youtube videos!

    So I took the leap in October, when Apple first announced the Unibody Line-up. A lot of people told me I was foolish to buy into a Rev. A line-up, but I really needed a laptop, and I loved the new designs, and features.
    I bought the 2.4Ghz, 2GB, 250GB, 9400+9600, 15"

    Fast-Forward, about 9 months. I LOVE my MBP. I have used it quite a bit [187 cycles, 94% Health; just to give an idea of my usage.]

    Now my issue, I almost never use the 9600! Like, I do a lot of work with MATLAB, Xcode, and Eclispe, often having 2 of them open at once+my normal stuff like Mail and Safari running; and I see no slowdowns, even with only having 2GB RAM. And I still get around 4+ hours of battery life, with 50% brightness. Its really awesome.

    But will not using the 9600 be deterimental in anyway? I feel bad sometimes for having spent on a feature I dont use--9600! Did I make a bad choice? See, I watch A LOT of HD movies on my laptop--720/1080p--so I felt the 15'' would be better to watch them, but I always had a HDTV in my dorm room, so...Did I make a bad choice? I love my laptop A LOT! But I dont use its only "pro" feature :(

    Will the OpenCL or w/e in Snow Leopard make a big difference in performance with the 9600?

    Should I switch the card to 9600 anyway and not look back?

    Sorry for the long post, but I need some comforting, a bunch of people made me feel really bad about this purchase last night :(
  2. shambo macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2009
    SL will use the extra processing even if you don't.
  3. Frosties macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    Don't fret about it. I would guess most of all computer users today don't need the processing power they have installed but once in a while it is good to have.
  4. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I only use the 9600 for games (on Windows) and a demanding application on OS X.

    The 9400M is still a really decent chip, even for integrated graphics. I don't really need the 9600M unless it is for gaming.
  5. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    I never really use the 9600 either I prefer the battery life i get with the 9400. I'll be honest I'm not a "pro" user at all but i always like getting the top of the line for products I buy plus i love the 15" screen.
  6. Trivial rock macrumors regular

    Trivial rock

    Oct 9, 2008
    No need to feel bad at all. I only ever use the 9600m GT when gaming in windows. The rest of the time the 9400m is great, better battery life (according to Apple) and for web browsing, film watching and using handbrake.

    No need to feel bad about the purchase the screen is great and you have the option of using the 9600 IF you need it. If you didn't have the option and you needed it, that would be worse :D

    No need to feel bad its a great purchase and look at the price of the MBP that you have to buy now to get the 9600m GT.
  7. ian.maffett macrumors 6502


    Aug 1, 2008
    I wouldn't worry about it - once the machine gets some age to it you might find the boost useful in future apps.
    Just goes to show you they're pretty potent machines off the shelf, I guess. I always have mine enabled. Perhaps I'll disable it now...
  8. Sehnsucht macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2008
    I *always* have the 9600M turned on, and the only time I've ever used the 9400M was when I booted up my brand new MBP for the first time. :D

    Running on battery, with a DVD in the Superdrive, iTunes and Google Earth running, plus Hulu videos playing means about 10 seconds of battery life, but it's cool. That's what the charger is for. :cool:
  9. PhixionFilms macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2008
    Deployed atm
    If you feel bad enough you can trade your 15" mbp + Some Cash for my 13" MBP :)
  10. coolbreeze macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2003
    I don't really use it that much either...

    On a related note, how do I force my Mac to stay in the 9600 mode? It seems I switch to 9600 and after a reboot, it defaults back to 9400? How do you get it to "stick" on battery and while plugged in? (on just plugged in only)?
  11. RobT macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2007
    Ohio, USA
    I'm kind of the same way. Bought the MBP and really only use the 9400. SL should/will change this, however.
  12. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    There's no way the OP could've made a bad choice. There's was no other choice for a MacBook Pro when he bought his. You don't have to take advantage of every feature in your computer.
    Ha, sadly, I think the OP was just bored and created this thread. :p
  13. fehhkk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Same here, always using the 9600GT at least when I'm on AC power...:)
  14. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    I can probably count on 1 hand the number of times I have used 9600. I don't even have Windows running so I don't play games. But, its good to know WHEN you need it, its there.
  15. track09 macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2009
    Not really. Depends on what you use.

    I bought a 13" MBP fully knowing

    A) Portability
    B) Battery Life
    C) Computer Engineering (Xcode, occasionally VMware fusion for Visual Studio).
    D) Internet, Mail, typing, and basic college work.

    The 9400M will have hardware h264 decoding in Snow Leopard. It never hurts to have the power there if you need it, though.

    You can choose either power, or flexibility, its good to know if you need it.
  16. Sehnsucht macrumors 65816

    Sep 21, 2008
    :eek: Oh, you have nooooo idea...I hate this piece of s**t. :mad: I should have bought a PC laptop instead. There's this Acer Aspire at Walmart that I'm drooling on, with a 15" 1024x768 display, 2.0 GHz AMD processor, 1 GB of RAM and Windows Vista. Should be beastly!!


    On a serious note, the short battery life doesn't bother me one bit. :cool: I nearly always have it plugged into the wall with the AC three-prong cord attached. My MBP is close to two months old and only has 19 cycles on it, battery health 100%.
  17. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    In my opinion, it's always good to get dedicated graphics in a laptop, even if you don't plan on using it right away. My old Dell laptop had some Intel integrated chip, and it was OK for regular use (internet, email, etc) when I first got it, but doing anything with even the most basic graphics demands was painful. Now, a few years later, even standard Youtube videos are almost unwatchable (I blame Flash player), and you can forget about fancy h.264 HD videos. When I used that laptop as my primary computer, there were times when I really regretted not having a real graphics card.

    Now, with your computer the 9400 is a huge advance for integrated graphics chips, and it can handle everyday tasks just fine. RAM is also a lot cheaper, so the memory shared by the video card (256mb?) probably won't be missed too much. But there could still be something in the future that will be better on the 9600, or even require it, in which case you will be glad you spent the extra money when you got the computer instead of having to upgrade. Maybe it will be hypothetical 2160p video (never mind that the display can't handle that, maybe you could hook it up to your 2160p TV), or a game, or an application greatly accelerated by the 9600 in SL. I'm sure at some point you will find something that makes the 9600 worth it, even if it's not right now.
  18. TBi macrumors 68030


    Jul 26, 2005
    This is one of the reasons i'm glad they brought out a 15" MBP with just the 9400. I can save money on a graphics card i'll never really use and get the 15" screen i want!

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