Macbook Pro 9600 vs PS3 (Ha Ha?)

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by BothBarsOn, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. BothBarsOn macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    Hi all,

    I'm buying a new MacBook Pro soon and was thinking of springing for a 15" model with a 9600m GPU. Can anybody with personal experience of both tell me how the 9600 would stack up against a PS3, which is my only other reference point? At native resolution (1400 x 900), what are we talking about - graphics that are 20% as good as a PS3? 50%? Not even worth equating? I haven't a clue (obviously).

    I know this is a vague and wishy-washy question and these things aren't easily quantifiable. But I've never seen a MBP running games in Boot Camp and Youtube videos are too low-res to be trustworthy. If the 9600 was hilariously pathetic next to the PS3, I know I'd never use it and would have wasted a lot of cash. I'd really appreciate some advice!
  2. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    Honestly, even if the MBP played games as well as the PS3, I'd get the base 15" MBP with the integrated GPU and a PS3. In Australia, there is $400 difference between the 2.53 and the 2.66GHz MBPs, which goes a long way to the $499.95 retail price. You'll end up with a better gaming machine, and you get a blu-ray player to boot.
  3. BothBarsOn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    Sorry, I made a mess of my original post. I've already got a PS3 and am just looking to upgrade my laptop. I suppose my question is: "To someone who's used to a PS3, how would the MBP 9600m look?" I know it's not going to compare well, but would it laughably pathetic or just ... not great?

    I'm afraid of spending all that extra money (over a 13", which is all I need for basic computing) to get a machine that, while being much better than its little brother, gaming-wise, is still fairly hopeless.

    Sorry for the lack of clarity!
  4. kate-willbury macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2009
    are you kidding me. i would say a macbook is probably about .0001% of a ps3 in terms of pure gaming. completely different architecture. save your money and just go for the 13". you are not going to get anything near ps3 quality on the 15" model or otherwise.
  5. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    The 9600m is a faster GPU than that used in the PS3 so i would expect a better visual experience and faster performance.
  6. BothBarsOn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    BETTER than my PS3? Really? I'm stunned! That would be great news, actually.
  7. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    What did you expect, the GPU's used in these gaming machines is very old hack compared to ATi and Nvideas twice yearly releases.

    Games usually work a bit smoother on consoles due to the lower resolution(no 720p and 1080p are not high compared to what pc games can push out) and frame rate requirements.
  8. BothBarsOn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    I'm kind of in shock here. I thought you had go Alienware or similar to get console-like performance on a laptop. I have been looking at YouTube videos of the new MacBook Pros in action but the vids are so grainy, they're hard to judge.
  9. kate-willbury macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2009
    DO NOT listen to babyjenniferLB who clearly has no idea what shes talking about. like i said, you are not going to get anywhere near ps3 gaming performance on a mac.

    only comparing the gpu is ridiculous. you don't have a cell microprocessor in a mac. you don't have extremely fast type of ram (xdr that runs at 3.2 ghz) in a mac. you are not going to get the same type of speed from the ps3 gpu + cell integration vs gpu + cpu in a mac.

    honestly this comparison is ridiculous.
  10. NeverhadaPC macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2008
    Civ 4 on my mac looks better than Call of Duty 5 on PS3...

    I think you are comparing apples and bananas as ps3 graphic output depends a lot on the TV and the game itself (720p version of CoD4 vs. 1080p version of Gran Turismo).

    I usually only run my mac in low graphics mode (to avoid melting my hands :) ) but I know when I load in Civ4, I get my eyes' worth with 9600.
  11. bartzilla macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2008
    Its not as easy as that. I do agree with babyjennifer that the 9600 based graphics have the potential to be better than those on a PS3, that doesn't mean they always are. The GPUs in a console might not be as modern as a PC (including Macs in that term here) GPU but its dedicated and optimised to what it is doing and the console doesn't have the same number of or type of background tasks that a PC has to contend with. Keep in mind also that games titles written for a PC (again, whether Mac OS or Windows) are written to a general level of performance on a wide range of machines and therefore won't always exercise every nook and cranny of your graphics device, whereas a PS3 game title is written to run on a PS3.

    I think that games titles for a PC always have the potential to look and play much better than console games, but you can't really sit there comparing the graphics chips in them in that way.

    I think you'll enjoy a Macbook Pro with a 9600... don't worry about the chip specs too much, just have fun!
  12. Sambo110 macrumors 68000

    Mar 12, 2007
    Lol, really? Consoles really aren't that good compared to computers, sure they are great, but laptops/computers>consoles for graphics.
  13. BothBarsOn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    Honestly, this is like finding out the world is flat. I knew that *high-end* PCs and laptops were better but I had no idea that 9600 compared so well. And I'm delighted!
  14. Rampant.A.I. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2009
    PC gamers and Mac-haters LOVE to spout this kind of misinformation without ever having actually played a game on a Mac, let alone actually used one for any length of time.

    So, I don't blame you! If you hear something over and over again, even if it's just from Sony hyping the graphical capabilities of the PS3, you tend to believe it! ;)
  15. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    why would you want to play games on a laptop if you have a PS3? Consoles are guaranteed to play their games well until the end of their life, while with a computer, they could be obsolete within a year. Save the money and get a cheaper MBP
  16. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    PS3 GPU:'Reality_Synthesizer'


    550 MHz on 90 nm process (shrunk to 65 nm in 2008[4])
    Based on NV47 Chip (Nvidia GeForce 7800 Architecture)
    300+ million transistors
    Multi-way programmable parallel floating-point shader pipelines
    Independent pixel/vertex shader architecture
    24 parallel pixel-shader ALU pipes
    5 ALU operations per pipeline, per cycle (2 vector4 , 2 scalar/dual/co-issue and fog ALU, 1 Texture ALU)[citation needed]
    27 floating-point operations per pipeline, per cycle[citation needed]
    8 parallel vertex pipelines
    2 ALU operations per pipeline, per cycle (1 vector4 and 1 scalar, dual issue)[citation needed]
    10 FLOPS per pipeline, per cycle[citation needed]
    Programmable shader Floating Point Operations per Second: ~200 GFLOPs
    The original marketing claimed 1.8 TFLOPs, this number is believed to include fixed functions such as texture interpolation.
    24 texture filtering units (TF) and 8 vertex texture addressing units (TA)
    24 filtered samples per clock
    Maximum texel fillrate: 13.2 GigaTexels per second (24 textures * 550 MHz)
    32 unfiltered texture samples per clock, ( 8 TA x 4 texture samples )
    8 Render Output units / pixel rendering pipelines
    Peak pixel fillrate (theoretical): 4.4 Gigapixel per second
    Maximum Z sample rate: 8.8 GigaSamples per second (2 Z-samples * 8 ROPs * 550 MHz)

    Maximum Dot product operations: 51 billion per second
    128-bit pixel precision offers rendering of scenes with High dynamic range rendering (HDR)
    256 MB GDDR3 RAM at 700 MHz
    128-bit memory bus width
    22.4 GB/s read and write bandwidth
    Cell FlexIO bus interface
    20 GB/s read to the Cell and XDR memory
    15 GB/s write to the Cell and XDR memory
    Support for OpenGL ES 2.0
    Support for S3TC texture compression
  17. soldierblue macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2009
    Your Macbook Pro, no matter which model you get, will never be as good of a gaming machine as a PS3. I mean never.

    I'm going to pretend nobody has said otherwise in this thread.
  18. H.isidorius macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2007
    Have a look at this site, they have checked the performance of the 9600M GT against a number of games.

    Please keep in mind that the 9600M GT is a rather modest graphics chips, so choose which games you like and decide than whether you actually want to go the Apple route. Also you should be aware that the notebooks runs very hot when using graphics intensive apps. For example, I play CIV4 a lot, but just after +/- 20 minutes gameplay, the notebook runs noticable hotter and the fans are kicking in. (Do not mis understand, I love my MBP none the less, but it is not a top notch gaming system :D )

    I just noticed an article on the front page referring to the possibility of new MBP's. I would wait to see what is comming..
  19. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    The difference between them, whilst the 9600 may be faster in general, is that PS3 games are developed under the knowledge that the PS3 graphics chip won't change. It's optimisation. That's why a (technically low spec) current gen console can almost produce graphics on par with a PC. And why they cost a fraction of the price.

    Personally I like the PC way of doing things. Some folk say that you need to buy a new graphics card every few months etc, which is very untrue. I've been using a 9400M Macbook and an x1600 iMac for games for years now (3 years in the iMacs case). A good card doesn't even have to be expensive. I played through Crysis this summer on a PC with a £60 graphics card; it was even the cheapest component in that computer!
    No. If you're an addict and have to play the latest games at the best settings then you're going to need a new card ever 2-3 years (so long as you buy the utter best each time). A GTX285 or an Ati 4870 aren't new cards by any stretch of the imagination but they run everything, ever, still.
  20. dragonmantek macrumors regular


    Oct 16, 2007
    New York
    I think that all modern graphics card would beat PS3 graphics, because in actuality, a macbook pro is doing a lot more than running a game.

    if you were to take the GPU, rip out all of the other components and just do GPU vs GPU, the 9600m would win.

    but that's just what i think, not know.

    9600 if just more modern, and the ps3 is based on 7800, which is 2 generations behind.
  21. gavriels macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2007
    The posters claiming that the 9600M in the MacBook Pro is faster than the GPU in the PS3 are incorrect.

    The two critical areas for GPU performance for modern applications are raw shader GFLOPS and the texture rate.

    As per the above specs:

    PS3 => ~200 GFLOPS, 13.2 GigaTexels/sec

    And from here

    9600M => 120 GFLOPS, 8 GigaTexels/sec

    On top of which, the PS3 has 6 SPU vector processing units which feed the GPU. And most PS3 titles write directly to the GPU, avoiding CPU driver overhead, another significant win. Not to mention the fact that Apple tends to underclock the notebook GPUs to reduce heat consumption.

    In real-world performance, I would expect a MacBook Pro to get at most 40-50% of the performance of a PS3.

    That said, it's not all about performance. You're never going to be able to take your PS3 with you to your hotel room like you can a MacBook Pro. You're never going to be able to play MMOs like EVE Online, City of Heroes, and Warhammer Online on your PS3. FPS and RTS games play much better with a mouse (or even a trackpad) than a controller. Etc. etc.
  22. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level

    people fail to realize that games for pc, much less osx, arent making the most out of the gpu

    the ps3 is eeking every bit out as THATS ITS SOLE PURPOSE FOR EXISTENCE

    at this point, id still say the ps3 is a much better gaming machine, and better games imo with a better setting (couch with friends vs crunched over a keyboard)
  23. 251920 macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2008
    I would not recommend this site, coz things like gta 4(on that site it said that it is not playable) run smoothly on even nvidia 9400mGT(low settings) and (med to high settings) when using the 9600mGT. And even in low settings the game looks similar if not better than on my xbox 360 and ps3.
  24. JackAxe macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2004
    In a cup of orange juice.
    I was figuring the 9600m(32 stream cores) would be similar to that of a PS3 or 360, as my previous GPU a 9600 GT(64 stream cores) didn't break a sweat with these console derived games.


    That's not true about PC gaming not taking full advantage of the GPU.

    Under XP, a window can have 100% of the GPU's performance. Microsoft when they were for the PC, really made it game happy.

    Any overhead that is inherent of the OS is extremely light on the PC side and has very little impact now days. It's definitely not noticeable with a modern CPUs, or any GPU that's in the 800 GT range -- so an outdated video card.

    With my Core 2 Quad(2.66 Ghz), under task manager, I can see that most games only really need about two of my cores. Either they're maxing out my first core, then the second is being nibbled on, or they distribute the load to all for of my cores for about 25% of each core. That's quite a bit of resources left for the OS, which idles at 0% might I add.

    My PC is about mid-range by today's standards(Q9450+ GTX275($199)) and it can push games at a way higher detail level, a way higher resolution, and way higher frame rate than any current console can eek out. PCs always improve, where as consoles spike in their performance, then plateau off -- which is nothing new. It's almost 2010, not 2005/6, so that's lots of improving on the PC's part. So any extra eek a PS3 can mustard is more or less it just trying to keep up with lower end PCs.

    Gaming covers many fronts, not just consoling it up on the TV. To assume that there is only one way to game and it's the best way, is being somewhat narrow minded, as we all have our preferences.

    Some of us don't like playing PC derived games on a console, as their controls are too slow and rather limiting, but it goes both ways as other games are best played hunched over a gamepad on the couch in front of the TV.

    Anyways, to all their own.
  25. BothBarsOn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    Thanks for all these replies, everyone. I'm learning a lot!

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