MBP 15 integrated versus external GPU speed

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by chp5592, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. chp5592 macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2007
    I have mostly kept my MBP unibody to the energy saving mode with NVIDIA 9400M because I like the longer battery life and I don't do any gaming...

    However, recently while playing around, I decided to try the 9600M GT mode. What a surprise. Everything is a lot faster!! Applications load faster, everything is just snappy!!

    I know that Snow Leopard uses the graphics card if needed for general processing (?Grand Central Stuff?), but I didn't expect such an improvement on general performance that is not gaming...

    I was thinking about getting an SSD, but I don't think I need it!

    Has anyone else noticed this? Does the Processor also run at a slower speed when in the energy saving mode?
  2. coolmacguy macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2002
    General speed of 2D apps should not be that much different between the two cards. On 3D games you would notice it significantly.
  3. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
  4. iKay macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2010
    Scotland, United Kingdom
    Admittedly I find that with the 9600GT card some things tend to work better. Photoshop CS4 is one. It just seems to handle the general OS animations better when there are lots of windows drawn on the screen too.
  5. stevemiller macrumors 68000

    Oct 27, 2008
    in terms of speed i don't notice any difference in everyday computing. what does happen is i get graphical glitches like horizontal lines through the display every now and then.

    i use my computer more frequently on the 9600 (which works flawlessly) so its no big deal to me, but i was curious if its a common issue?
  6. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2009
    I'm going to go with this.

    Most things you use most likely don't even use the GPU. Also graphics card has NOTHING to do with how an application loads.
  7. Cali3350 macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2009
    Expose will be much snappier and prettier due to the fact the GPU is accessing dedicated, local ram and not going to the system memory for read/writes. Expose notices a rather extreme performance boost.

    Things like application launch times and all show absolutely, positively, 100% 0 improvement from the GPU.
  8. kawixsiyu macrumors member

    Feb 9, 2010
    Ventura, CA
    I use the 9600gt only when im editing videos and using photoshop. The thing is... my macbook gets so damn hot from it. I keep mine on the 9400m about 90% of the time because of the heat.
  9. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    Photoshop CS4 has GPU acceleration, so it's no surprise that it goes faster with the 9600. While I think much of this could be placebo, doesn't OpenCL come into play here? Applications coded to work with OpenCL would indeed run faster with the 9600.

    Anyone know if the general system apps, like the Finder, take advantage of OpenCL?
  10. dan5.5 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2008
    all the effects of osx are snappier, it makes the computer seem faster....
  11. Cali3350 macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2009
    OpenCL is used very little at the moment, and even then only in processor heavy tasks. Application launch times are nearly 100% limited by your HDD, your GPU literally has nothing to do with it. Other than Expose your dedicated card does nothing for general desktop use.

Share This Page