Is the Intel HD3000 better than Nvidia?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jamie0003, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Jamie0003 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I used to have a mid 2010 13" MBP. However, I have had a lot of problems with it in the past and so Apple replaced it. This one had the Nvidia 320M card.

    I now have the latest gen MBP that Apple gave me as a replacement. I love the new core i5 chip (Is it quad core? I see four cores in windows and mac). However, something that puzzles me is the graphics.

    Before I got my MBP, I had an old Macbook that had the horrible intel GMA x3100 chip (something like that). I was ALWAYS getting graphics glitches on it, and it was a terrible chip.

    However, the Nvidia chip has been very good, especially for gaming. Hoping that the intel chip would be better, I tested a few games with it, and it is not, in fact it seems much worse. So why have Apple changed this if the Nvidia is better? Especially considering the last intel chip that in my experience was terrible.

    I don't know much about graphics so am not sure as to apples reasoning for this, apart from the fact that Nvidia chips are better for gaming graphics.

    I suppose I am a bit disappointed that it's not as good for gaming, but I'm not much of a PC gamer. Either way, why did Apple go for the Intel line rather than Nvidia? I am also aware that Apple do not design their computers for gamers, and as I said i'm not much of a PC gamer. Does it offer other benefits? If so, what are they?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    Intel doesn't allow third parties to make chipsets for their Core iX CPUs. NVIDIA has a license to do chipsets for Core 2 Duo chips but after a battle in court, they weren't able to extend the license to cover the newer CPUs. FYI, 320M is integrated into the chipset (PCH).
     
  3. Jamie0003 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Makes sence I suppose, but which chip is better for general computing? And does being integrated into the chipset mean it would work better?
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

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  5. Jamie0003 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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  6. ABadSanta, Jul 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011

    ABadSanta macrumors regular

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    #6
    I read somewhere that the Intel HD 3000 chip is ideally supposed to be on par with the 320m, but benchmarks show otherwise.

    Generally, you're going to see better performance from a dedicated graphics card over an integrated chip. I know the 13" can still play games well, but do the games you play run significantly worse than on your old MBP?
     
  7. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

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    everything I have read says they are in essence equal. like you I'm afraid of any kind of intel graphics which is finally how I managed to not sell mine and buy an i7 13".

    Chris
     
  8. Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

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    OP, in real world performance, the difference isn't noticeable they're about the same.

    In some rare cases it may be advantageous to be on the Nvidia chip due to CUDA support from certain apps. Otherwise it's not much of a conversation between the two.
     
  9. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #9
    you will only notice a difference in gaming or other gpu intensive tasks. otherwise, the hd3000 is fine and you are going to benefit quite a bit from the dual core i5.
     
  10. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #10
    Could you be more specific regarding what games you were playing and what you were doing? There are often specific strengths, and weaknesses, of different combinations of CPU, GPU, and *drivers*. I would speculate that the drivers for the Intel GPU, being new, may not be as optimized as Nvidia and AMD/ATI drivers, on particular activities. Knowing what game/situation you experienced the slowness in would help understand the weakness.
     
  11. dsio macrumors regular

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    #11
    If you're playing games under Windows, the HD3000 could be a bit slower, the DirectX performance doesn't seam as optimized as the OpenGL performance under OSX.
     
  12. NZed macrumors 65816

    NZed

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    #12
    oh the HD3000 can use more ram when upgrading from 4gb to 8gb
     
  13. Jamie0003 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Well, my old MBP could play GTA IV just fine, with a bit of lag. This chip can't run the game smoothly at all, or even fullscreen.
     
  14. dsio macrumors regular

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    #14
    That explains a fair bit, GTA IV is a DirectX game running under Windows, DX performance on the HD3000 is nowhere near as good as OpenGL at the moment with current drivers, World of Warcraft was running for me very noticeably better under OSX and OpenGL rendering than it was under Windows 7 and Direct 3D.

    The Linux drivers are also a bit shaky at the moment but they're at least getting better.
     
  15. Jamie0003 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Ah well, i'm sure the HD3000 is good for general computing, I don't seem to have any problems with it and i'm loving the new i5 core processor, makes a huge difference! I'm sure Intel will improve the drivers in time too.

    This is unrelated, but is thunderbolt all it's cracked up to be? I haven't been able to try it out yet, mainly because it's brand new and there isn't much that's supported by it.
     

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