macbook 3,1 vs new base 13" macbook pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by allupons, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. allupons macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2010
    So I am fully aware that the dual core i5 will outperform the 2.0 core2duo in my current 15" macbook pro 3,1. What I am wondering is how will the new intel HD3000 compare vs the older nvidia 8600m. I know in the past integrated intel graphics were abysmal, but I have seen a few video clips of people playing starcraft 2 on the new 13" with seemingly good framerates. the old 8600m struggles a decent bit with starcraft2 and I can only really play it with settings all the way to their lowest settings. Any insight on how the two compare would be awesome.

    Also, I am considering the macbook air 13" for the fact that it is even more portable and has the benefit of having the nvidia 330m, but I realize that its pretty slow processor will be smoked by the core i5. What sort of differences would be seen between the 330m and the intel HD3000 graphics in a game like starcraft2?

    My most frequent uses for the new laptop would be final cut and adobe cs5, so I am drawn to the better processing power and thunderbolt port in the 13" macbook pro, but I do game a fair amount and it is a feature that matters to me enough to carry some weight in my final decision. Obviously the 15" macbook pros would be the most idea solution, but I am just not sure I can justify a $600 increase for my secondary portable machine. Any advice would be greatly appreciated on my current old 15" macbook pro vs 2011 13" base model vs 2010 13" base macbook air regarding final cut and gaming. Thanks!
  2. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2009
    Gaming, the MBA will have a slight edge due to the 320m and SSD. As far as rendering goes in Final Cut, the new MBP will be way faster, although during general editing, MBA will be quicker, due again to the SSD.

    Both GPUs are slower than your old 8600m. The 320m will be roughly 90% of the performance. The Intel HD 3000, maybe 70%-80%.

    That said, both laptops aren't a mind blowing upgrade from your old MBP. Personally, I would wait for the next MBA with Ivy Bridge. That way, both your CPU and GPU will see a substantial upgrade.
  3. SirStrumalot macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2011
    Minneapolis, MN
  4. AppleGoat macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2010
    Benchmarks show that the Air is worse for gaming. Quicker in general usage w/ the flash storage, but not better graphics (well, the slow processor cripples it a bit there).

    This site has compared the two 13" MBPs:

    Notice that the new '11 actually runs better in OS X. Some here have attributed that to immature drive support in Windows.

    Since you are a 15" guy, you're best bet might be picking up a refurbished 2010 15" from the Mac store. The discrete graphics will beat any of the aforementioned Macbooks in gaming.
  5. allupons thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2010
    I found those results somewhat shocking. The Intel HD3000 basically matched the framerates of the nvidia 320m. I never would have guessed intel could get their integrated graphics up to this level (even if it still is bested by discrete cards by a solid amount).

    Regarding the earlier comment that my 8600m would be slightly faster than both the 320m and the HD3000, do you have any benchmarks or references that show this? I have an impossible time believing an integrated nvidia gpu that is 2.5 years old would outperform either at all. For example in the above linked starcraft 2 avg fps are above and beyond my current machine. That could be in part because the 15" is 1440x900 instead of 1200x800, but I doubt it accounts for double the framerate. Any evidence would be welcome.

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