My uMBP 17" 9600m GT only running at PCI-E x1 !!!!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DualShock, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. DualShock macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #1
    Just noticed this on my uMBP 17" (the first 17" version), while running XP in Boot Camp.

    GPU-Z is reporting that the 9600 M GT is running with only ONE PCI Express lane! NVIDIA control panel is showing the same thing!

    Am I seeing things, or is it really only using 1 lane? The chip definitely supports x16.

    See attached screenshots.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #2
    Just checked on my MPB (Santa ROsa model with 8600M GT)

    And it shows PCI-E x16 @16

    Sounds weird that the 9600m GT should run @1x,
    could be a bug in GPU-Z tho.
     
  3. Eithanius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    #3
    Simple... Apple's cutting costs by downgrading obscure details here and there...

    This really put me off of getting a 17-incher and stick to my fume-emitting Mac Pro... how sad.., Apple's sacrificing quality in order to satifsy it's lust for quantity... :mad:
     
  4. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #4
    Btw the drives you are using is pretty old.
    I updated mine over a year ago and I´m having 177.73, newest are 179.xx for moblie cards i think
     
  5. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    Norway
    #5
    Shouldn´t be the case. The Pci-E lane does support 16x.
     
  6. DualShock thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #6
    I just updated to the latest NVIDIA reference drivers for notebooks, 185.85, and I'm still seeing the same thing.

    I'm guessing Apple must've crippled the # of lanes in their BIOS emulation layer. OS X shows the chip as running with 16 lanes.
     
  7. Voidness macrumors 6502a

    Voidness

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    #7
    Calm down :) Apple is definitely cutting costs here and there, but I doubt this is the case here. It's much more likely that the driver is reporting the number of lanes incorrectly. Using 1x PCI-Express causes a massive performance drop in graphics performance, unlike the SATA downgrade reported in the other MBP.

    DualShock, did you try running games under Windows to check its performance?
     
  8. Cattywampus_ macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 19, 2006
    #8
    For what its worth,

    I run Sims 3 with everything on full spank on a uMBP 17" and it runs smooth as anything. Must be reporting it wrong.
     
  9. DualShock thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #9
    Yes, I played the Half Life 2 Lost Coast tech demo, and GRiD.

    The Lost Coast demo ran super smooth on my original 17 " MBP with the ATI X1600 graphics, so it was no surprise when it ran just as fine on this new one.

    For GRiD, I set the graphics options to the same settings I use on my 2008 Mac Pro 8 core that has an ATI 3870 card. The uMBP was choppy. Though, I believe the 9600M GT is slower than the 3870 anyway.

    I guess I don't really have that much to compare it to, in terms of performance. But it *seems* to run ok.
     
  10. DualShock thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #10
    I see from your sig that you have the newest uMBP revision. Could you run GPU-Z and/or check the NVIDIA control panel to see if yours is running at x16?

    I'm wondering if mine is messed up for some reason.
     
  11. Cattywampus_ macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 19, 2006
    #11
    Hi mate.

    I just booted into XP 32bit Boot camp to check in the nVidia System Info bit. It is running at x16 - there was also information about core and mem clock speeds and also my version of drivers was 185.xx - try updating the graphics drivers to the latest version.
     
  12. DualShock thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    #12
    Already updated to 185.85 (latest notebook reference drivers available). Still showing x1 PCI-E lanes.

    I wonder now if it's a difference between the original uMBP 17" (the one I have) vs. the new revision.

    The only other thing I can think of is the NVIDIA chipset drivers. I checked NVIDIA's site if there were updated ones, but I can't seem to find the right ones.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. jgo78 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #13
    I have the exact same specs as you (new mid June 17" umbp) and im running the sims 3 at 1920x1200 with most options on high. I wouldn't say it's totally smooth, i've tried with osx and vista. if you try zooming in and out of the full city or scroll your mouse from end to end of the map, are you saying yours is totally smooth say 60fps.? I have to doubt that.
     
  14. maratus macrumors 6502a

    maratus

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    Jun 12, 2009
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    Canada
    #14
    Does it show x16 in Mac OS?
     
  15. Cattywampus_ macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 19, 2006
    #15
    Basically all my drivers were installed by installing the bootcamp version that came with my supplied discs. I think the nVidia drivers are automatically updated as nVidia release them. All other drivers were installed just by the Boot Camp driver setup off the discs.

    My Sys Info looks identical to yours, with the exception of the Bus, mine is x16.

    Try reinstalling the Boot camp drivers. See what that yields.
     
  16. DualShock thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #16
    Yes.

    It's possible, since you have a newer MBP revision, that the discs you have contain newer NVIDIA chipset drivers.

    Will try to reinstall the drivers off my install DVD's later.
     
  17. Cattywampus_ macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 19, 2006
    #17
    Yeah ok zooming in and out the city, the frame rate drops - but its nothing dramatic. When it counts though, the animation is very smooth - I was surprised - as this graphics chip aint top of the range mobile chips.

    I also tried it in OSX with everything bumped up - and while it drops a couple of frames - it plays surprisingly well. The Windows version feels overall more snappier and quicker to load - more than likely due to the poor emulation (still a Windows game at heart with windows filing system).
     
  18. DualShock thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #18
    Well I think I found the culprit.

    I removed all Boot Camp related drivers and software from Add/Remove Programs then reinstalled them. Suddenly I had x16 again!

    But as you guys and gals may know, the default driver settings cause the 9600M GT to run at full speed all the time, which heats things up quite a bit. So I had previously applied the registry hack described here to downclock the GPU. This apparently causes the GPU to run at x1 speeds. To get it back to x16, I have to 1) remove the registry changes, then 2) go to the NVIDIA Control Panel and toggle PowerMizer off, then on, then off again.

    Personally I'd rather have the system run cooler and with better battery life than have full speed all the time. But at least I know I can switch it back to x16 if need be.

    The only thing I'm wondering is if the GPU automatically switches to x16 under high demand, like gaming. Obviously I can't see the GPU-Z screen while playing a game, so I can only wonder if that's the case.

    Thanks for everyone's help! :)
     
  19. RiCEADDiCTBOY macrumors 6502a

    RiCEADDiCTBOY

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    #19
    Try running a game in Window Mode so that you can see the GPU-Z screen. I know most games from the past four years support it.
     
  20. DualShock thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #20
    I just tried a similar method. I used Winamp's MilkDrop visualization thing, which allows you to set the desktop wallpaper to be the visualization itself. (It uses DirectX to render.) I ran GPU-Z before starting Winamp to confirm it was at x1, then shut it down, started Winamp, turned on MilkDrop, and ran GPU-Z again. It showed the GPU at full speed, and using 16 lanes. So that answers that! :D
     

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