MBP 15": bigger hard drive or discrete graphics?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ryanrul, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. ryanrul macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2008
    On a limited budget, which do you think is a better upgrade option for the new MBP 15": Discrete graphics or larger hard drive? (would be buying the hard drive from a third party and installing myself)

    I've found that my current macs performs a lot better when there's a lot of free space on the boot drive. So there are some real, immediate benefits to a larger drive. Will the current 256MB discrete graphics card seem underpowered for Snow Leopard in about 18 months anyways?

    Any advice, links, etc greatly appreciated.
  2. CTechKid macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    Pretty no-brainer IMO. One option is easily user upgradeable at anytime, the other is bound to the logic board.

    Get the discrete graphics.
  3. Frosties macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    It's not a no-brainer. Not all need the little speed upgrade that the 9600M is.
  4. CTechKid macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    You always buy the most computer you can afford. If its a trade off between something that is user replaceable versus something imbedded in the logic board, and they are monetarily interchangeable to the user, than you better believe its a no brainer.
  5. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    I agree with CTech buy a lot of what you can't upgrade later on. Contrary to what others will say, the 9600GT is significantly superior to the 9400m and will be even more valuable when Snow Leopard is released
  6. ryanrul thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2008
    Thanks for the replies.

    Buying what can't be upgraded down the road makes a lot of sense.

    But my concern is that a) it could be a long time until apps start taking advantage of the extra processing power in the graphics card and b) i've read in several places that the 9600GT is not that great of a graphics card to begin with. The 9600 is apparently 2x faster than the 9400M, but the 9400M is supported by OpenCL. In a year or two when all of this really takes off (will it be that long?) will the difference between the two cards still seem all that great?
  7. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006

    I would say there will be apps out sooner than you think. The 9600 will get support for OpenCL, if it doesn't already I'd imagine. As lots of others have said - you can never upgrade to discreete - you can update the HD at any time.
  8. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

    Jul 12, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    Get the 9600GT. You will want an SSD anyway eventually when they become even more affordable soon.
  9. adamfishercox macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2007
    Also, the 9400M sucks and it's likely that it will have a problem so you'll want that 9600 to fall back on. (Speaking from experience.)
  10. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2004
    cheaper to upgrade the hard drive yourself anyway. go with the higher end graphics!
  11. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The 9600 shows dramatic improvements in Linux performance, which was spotty already. Get the discreet graphics and you won't regret it. So many more frames when you use animations in Mac OSX.
  12. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2009

    Well I think its a no brainer, you can get a better hard to cheaper than apple sells them for.

    I'd hardly call a >2x FPS in games a "little speed upgrade" :D
  13. runebinder macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    Nottingham, UK
    Will add my vote to the 9600, HDD's are dirt cheat now a days. At least if you go with the discrete graphics and regret not getting a larger HDD you can rectify it later on. Can't do the same vice versa. Also resell value later down the line will be better with the 9600.
  14. ThundrChicken macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2009
    +1 for the 9600M GT here as well. It is a no-brainer. I think if you were to upgrade your HD you should be waiting for SSD prices to come down anyways, and in the meantime current apps going into SL using OpenCl should be somewhat taking advantage of the 9600M GT. In any case, if you wanted to game on say, Windows, you're gonna need that extra muscle power for gaming on Win7 because that 9400M is only gonna have power to handle Aero, not much more. Plus the 9600M is non-upgradable, whereas the HD can always be upgraded, as many times as you want (again as others above have mentioned) :D
  15. Finlandboy macrumors 6502


    Oct 14, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    im just agreeing with everyone else....DEFINITELY the 9600
  16. ryanrul thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2008
    thanks again for the replies everyone.

    I'll be grabbing the discrete graphics card.
    Now I just need to get my hands on one of the new matte displays to see how they look.
  17. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007

    Especially with a notebook, always max out what you can't upgrade later, and upgrade later what is easy.

    that is unless you buy new computer every year.

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