Macbook Pro GPU refresh overdue

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by masterpace, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. masterpace macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2008
    Hi! I love my Alu Macbook Pro. However, I find that the 9600m GPU is quite lagging behind. I believe that the 9600m has become obsolete for the latest games. Hence, a refresh is greatly due, if it's not already "overdue". Don't get me wrong. I love OS X, Macbook Pro innovative and sleek design, the multitouch pad, etc. But for a machine costing more than 2000 $, I would expect "beefier" graphics.

    For the next revision, should we get something in the range of a GTX 260m?
  2. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    One can only stuff so much "beef" into a 1" thick chassis before small matters such as heat, battery life and practicallity become an issue that can't be ignored.

    Apple doesn't make dyno queens. Other vendors fit that bill quite nicely.
  3. hansolo1999 macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2009
    isnt a gtx 260 almost the same as the 9600 gt but with a rebranded name??
  4. Winters macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2010
    The gtx 260m isn't a rebranded 9600m
    The gtx 260m seems to score like 10k at 3dmark06 and the 9600m scores 5k.
    I think the problem is that the gtx 260m is rated at like 75w while the current 9600m is at like 23w.
    There's no way were are going to see that in the next macbook without losing much battery life and I'd rather get a good battery life on a laptop.
    If apple does upgrade the gpu it might be either with the 250m(27w) or more likely the 240m(23w).
  5. robj macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2009
    Madrid, Spain
    Are you talking about 9400M or 9600M GT ?

    I think that 9600M GT is a great card, and many modern games run flawlessly on the MBP.

    But keep in mind that this is a laptop, you need to keep it efficient in terms of energy, you need to care about disipation issues, etc.
  6. vaderhater245 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    Flagstaff, AZ
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I wouldn't say its over due and besides alienware has always built machines geared towards the gamer, so its no surprise they put a higher powered GPU in theirs.

    I'm very happy with the 9400/9600 in my MBP
  8. Winters macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2010
    According to the performance numbers given by nvidia so far the 335m looks somewhere between the 250m and 240m, the power rating shouldn't be that far from the 23w(haven't seen anywhere mentioning its power rating yet) as well so I think its actually possible that the 335m might make a good candidate to replace the 9600m if it really is close to 23w.
  9. vaderhater245 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    Flagstaff, AZ
    11" netbook...
  10. Puqq macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2009
    ...and has JUST 6hrs of battery life. Probaby, 4-5 is more down to earth, but still exceptional for the performance.

    It usually takes about 2 years for apple to change GPU. It has been 2 years since the introduction of 9400/9600... Lets hope for the best
  11. coast1ja macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2009
    I wish they offered the 9600m GT in the 13" MBP... that would be my ultimate machine. Even the 256mb would suffice.
  12. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816


    Oct 8, 2008
    i think the new paradigm is lighter, not more powerful. Then again, the only game I play is civilization, so....
  13. seanconn macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2010
    I have to agree with the original poster. Apple has had nothing but superficial upgrades to the GPU in the MBP since the Core Duo back in early 2006.

    I just sold my 2.33 GHZ Core 2 Duo, which had a ati x1600 with 256ddr3 vram... I bought that model specifically for the better GPU. they then updated it to include the 8600GT, then an 8600GT with 512ddr3 as an option (which I was REALLLy pumped to see when it first came out) then I heard it barely outperformed the 256 8600GT. and the current 9600GT is still basically the exact same card as the 8600GTM... just a different number.

    I think Apple really underestimates how many people want to play games on their MBP. granted you have to run bootcamp... that's not a big deal. I like video games, but I own a PS3. and refuse to buy an xbox. EVER... this is my way of especially "sticking it" to Microsoft, by not buying an xbox, and playing Microsoft exclusives on my mac.

    Since they added the 9600GT+9400M option, adding a better card with 512mb DDR3 256bit memory, instead of the cards using ancient 128bit memory that they still use would not be a worry for battery life, as the 9400M can handle mostly everything, and if you really need to do some video editing or play a game... I'm sure you're going to have a power source available.

    keeping a 128bit memory GPU is just ridiculous, and gives PC fanboys some real fuel to say why mac's are overpriced. At least make it an option!

    but Apple consistently disappoints the "portable gaming demographic" by not updating the cards really, and not having an option to upgrade the GPU on any model of MBP. It sucks so much that you have to buy the top of the line 15" or 17" to get the 512MB GPU, it should at least be an option on the lower models.

    come on, you guys can't really think that they should keep 128bit GPU's in Pro-sumer laptops in the year 2010.

    I'm especially hoping for a GPU upgrade in the next MBP model, but I fear I will be once again dissapointed.
  14. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...problem is, apple keeps gaining market share so they don't need to see a reason to change "much"... and look at the size of their $$ accounts...
  15. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007

    A) Unless you are pirating Windows and MS Games, you are sticking it to no one. :p

    B) Apple never touts the MBP or any of the notebooks as the worlds greatest gaming machine. As I said earlier. There are companies that cater to this demographic quite well.

    C) I agree what you get is underpowered compared to some of the other offerings out there, but once you look at the mainstream MBP user, lots of these individuals would be fine with a macbook air spec machine with a 15 inch display. No use in giving customers (and subsequently charging for) more horsepower than they know what to do with. Of course the 17" MBP does offer some concession. I myself have the 512 MB version w/ 6 MB of L2 cache, but that would be overkill for many of my colleges.

    D) The topic of the Macbook's "Pro"ness has been discussed many o time and the overwhelming majority generally agree that the pro moniker is just for show, though I disagree. I think they could do more. The discussion usually divulges into "what is pro" philosophical BS where people throw around titles like lawyers and doctors and graphic artist and musicians and try to quantify their relevance wrt a macbook "pro". It's good stuff.
  16. seanconn macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2010
    Defskies pirated the Windows OS... although I did fold and legitimately purchase Halo 2, so I could play online. But Fable, Gears of War, Mass Effect... all pirated.

    ... I'm not asking for a SLI... or other type of bleeding edge laptop gaming GPU... but simply something with 256bit DDR3 memory! 128bit is ridiculously old tech. and power consumption/battery life is really a non issue now that they have the discrete graphics option added in.

    although, now that the mbp's use DDR3 memory and insanely fast CPU's the GPU does present a pretty serious bottleneck when gaming.

    I'm half considering buying a 13" mbp, and building a cheap gaming rig.

    but I think I'll just go with the 15" or 17"... much better resale value:D :apple:
  17. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Could remove the optical drive for a bigger vid card or cpu. The Envy by HP uses 3 fans, 2 of them are dedicated to cooling the Core i7 processor alone.
  18. Panzo macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2006
    im still saddened that apple doesn't keep up with hardware as efficiently as other companies, implementing i5xx mobile processor in the new macbook pros is half awesome and half fail, they supposedly say its a 19-32% performance boots as opposed to the current core duos, but the reality is that the i5 mobile chip still only uses 2 processors instead of the much anticipated 4 core ix's.

    If apple releases the new macbook pros with a minor processor bump a la "Santa Rosa" i will be deceived, if they do not update their graphics card it will also deter many from "upgrading"

    In my honest opinion, ATI gpus are a must.
  19. benzslrpee macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2007
    you're shopping at the wrong company for gaming laptops. even if they did refresh it you'll likely still be dissappointed.

  20. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    No, Apple's engineering team can only stuff what makes them maximum profit margins into a 1" shell. Shouldn't the fact that HP and Dell are shaming the MBP in terms of power be an indication that the thermal envelope isn't nearly as restrictive as Apple PR wants us to think?
  21. Nano2k macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2009

    Buying laptop with gaming as an important purchase factor is fail anyway.
  22. Yixian macrumors 65816

    Jun 2, 2007
    I don't buy the whole "Apple doesn't do graphics" crap, would the same people saying this defend a $2000 MBP that was still using the first Core Duo by saying "Apple doesn't do processors"?

    A "pro" laptop costing the amount a MacBook Pro does should be powerful in all areas, it shouldn't skimp on something clearly many people ask for just to squeeze another pointless millimetre off the thickness. If the paradigm was thickness, we'd get a MacBook Air...
  23. seanconn macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2010
    I wouldn't exactly say a lot of apple customers are asking for "added thickness" to get better features. We buy Apple because we enjoy their computing experience a hell a lot more. which very much involves a sleek product and OS.

    Apple's go thin attitude isn't all looks, it's smart design for heat distribution using aluminum, and better power consumption. Powering Computers is a huge part of some peoples electrical bills.

    I know I'd be much better off to buy a PC notebook, with some crazy SLI GPU or something, in terms of being able to game. but playing computer games is like maybe 5-10% of what I use my computer for, and maybe like 15-20% of my overall gaming.. (may change with Mass Effect 2 coming out though)

    but I could never ever ever ever buy a non apple notebook. OSX + Macbook design is just too good. no other PC maker comes close to having a trackpad as good as apples, or utilizes actual keys on the keyboard (not lame ass buttons you see on PC notebooks... Apple will actually inplement these buttons into the keyboard.. volume, spaces, ect.) Therefore, I'd rather spend a bit more and be able to do everything on my MacBook Pro, then say buy a 13" mbp, and then also build a gaming rig.

    If Apple just upped the card a bit, to something with 256bit memory... even if it was a 256mb card... opposed to the current 9600GT with 512MB of 128bit memory.. I would have no reservations buying another macbookpro to use as my main computer for school/ and gaming.

    If they keep the same GPU's The CPU and DDR3 memory will make up for a lot of it, and it will meet my gaming needs pretty much fully... but I'll seriously consider buying a 13" this time around, and build a bare bones gaming pc... if there is no update to the GPU at all. But I'd much rather give more money to Apple and less money to PC hardware manufacturers and Microsoft.
  24. rmbrown09 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2010
    Hmm, I believe that if apple takes the right step in this direction, they can pull in a whole slew of the market that hadn't considered them prior.

    Mac is known for being overpriced, and underpowered. Now a days paying 2k and getting a core duo and a 9600m gt makes some people laugh. By keeping the price the same, but throwing in an i5, a perhaps a 5 series ATI, things could change.

    They would no longer be overpriced for the power (at least noticeably) and the gaming market could finally seep over.

    I am at work right now, and therefore I use a 2.8 duo 9600m gt 512 macbook pro. I have been testing it out with Mw2 and HL2, Wolfenstein and others. It handles them well enough, (though you cant max mw2) but the future is going to start seriously rocking a 9600m.

    crysis is damn near un doable unless you run 1024 on medium settings.

    The biggest factor will be, if they up the resolution to be in the range of an Envy (1920x1080)

    Mw2 on 1440x900 runs ok, but no way would it run at native with 1080. Nor HL2 for that matter.

    5 Series ATI would be good in so many respects.
    1. Bring the Gaming Market
    2. More bang for you Buck
    3. PC- ers (like me :) will stop heckling you for your 4 year old gpu.
    4. etc etc

    PS this is my first post, but i felt it important enough to make an account and comment. I hope to make the transition to mac for my home laptop. But if they don't make this refresh worth it (or at all) ill be sticking with a PC and i feel a lot of users feel the same.
  25. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    Apple has little incentive to cater to markets that require heavy 3D processing power, which are pretty much gamers and people who do 3D models. Gaming is not a good market since there are fewer PC games released each year. OSX has very few games available so people have to use Bootcamp with Windows.

    I don't know about you, but the hassle of booting into a different OS just to play games is not something I like doing. I'd rather have a great desktop system or a console for gaming (got both actually) because both will be far more powerful than what you can cram into a laptop.

    For most things, the Macbooks are more than powerful enough. The next update will most likely bring a slightly more powerful GPU but don't expect to see any of the top end ones they put into machines that have 1 hour of battery life and **** like that.

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