New Graphics Cards' Impact on Snow Leopard

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by can7ona, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. can7ona macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hi guys,

    I hope this hasn't been posted elsewhere - I did a search and couldn't find anything, but if I'm wrong please point me in the right direction.

    What I'd like to know is, will the extra 9600M GT graphics card in the Pro models make them better suited to Snow Leopard's OpenCL than the MBs and MAs that don't have the extra chip? Or any other benefit specifically relating to Open CL?

    I do think that at some point next year they will add extra cores to the laptop range but I can't wait much longer so I'm gonna make the jump now. So far the extra graphics chip seems to be the only major difference (for my purposes at least) and if Snow Leopard will be even better because of it I might as well pay the extra £250 now while I've got it.

    Thanks
     
  2. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Well, nothing specific on the 9600 is optimized for Snow Leopard. However, as Snow Leopard unlocks GPU power to use in computations as well, it's just that the 9600 has quite a bit of raw graphics processing power, compared to, say, a 9400. That's the only thing that it has going for it in terms of OpenCL.
     
  3. can7ona thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Thanks - I guess I didn't word my question properly. But you've answered what I was looking for anyway.

    So having that extra GPU power would give it potentially more processing power under OpenCL compared to the MBs and MAs. This could then increase the potential gap between the MBs and the MBPs once SL comes out right?
     
  4. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

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    #4
    well, it would... unless you're running battery-save mode, and using the 9400M :D
     
  5. polar-blair macrumors regular

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    Apr 20, 2008
    #5
    Can anyone predict the speed differences when using the faster graphics card say when encoding video. The keynote made it out to be some uber powered super card, just how good do you think it will be.

    Can you not use both of the cards at the same time?

    It would be cool to dedicate the 9400 for use in snow leopard for extra processing power and use the 9600 for your graphics alone.
     
  6. Fabiano macrumors regular

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    #6
    Right now I am wondering if we could use the both GPUs when gaming, this would be a lot of graphics processing power to play with :D
     
  7. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

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    #7
    There are quite a few hardcore PC gaming notebooks that already incorporate gaming SLI. I don't think Apple has announced:)confused:) any indication of the two being available for use at once. And your battery will be sucked dry like that. Not even SLI to work together. Only hybrid (powersaver/turbo graphics) modes.
     
  8. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

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    #8
    The video cards are not SLI, so no, you can't run them simultaneously. Perhaps a bigger concern is that switching between the two cards requires the user to log out and then log back in... am I the only one who is massively annoyed by this?

    Would it be possible for a software update to correct this issue? That is, will a software refresh enable switching between the video cards without closing all the apps and logging out? What is the probability of this happening?
     
  9. can7ona thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    That does sound like it'd be really annoying - but I can kind of understand why they may need you to do that - at least they don't ask for a complete reboot like Windows would!

    Perhaps I'm just thick but I had thought that both cards could be run at the same time from what Steve was saying so perhaps under SL we may not be able to run graphics off the integrated chip and use the 9600 for extra processing power?
     
  10. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

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    #10
    As it stands, it's either/or with the video cards - not both. In my opinion, Apple has always lacked in this department, which is why 90% of gamers flock to Microsoft/PCs. Given that I'm not a gamer, I don't care too much about SLI - battery life is still more important in my books.

    I think the 9600M will pay dividends when SL is released... try to think of it as an investment (of sorts). I do believe it's a step in the right direction, but the 9600M isn't all that spectacular. That said, I'm probably buying the 5.43 MBP in a week or two haha
     
  11. can7ona thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Cool... I think I'm sold on the base MBP - will order as soon as I get to Uni tomorrow!

    Anyone got any comments on the Printers in the offer? ;)
     
  12. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

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    #12
    I'm no expert, so don't quote me on that 'investment' piece. Personally, I'm leaning toward the 2.53 model (mainly for the double cache/RAM - not a bad deal). Overall, however, the MBP is characteristically overpriced for what you get. I try to justify this outrageous cost based on build quality (although design inevitably plays a factor).
     
  13. can7ona thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Lol! Don't worry - the main thing that's pushing me to the Pro is Firewire - the soundcard I'm looking to buy is FW only so I have no choice.

    I'd love the top end Pro but Postgrads are self-funded and my pockets aren't that deep.

    I've wanted a Mac for years now and now I actually need a new laptop I'm 100% sure it has to be a Mac as I hate windows and want something new to experience.

    Around my Uni all my lecturers have Macs - but they all seem to want to run Windows on them!
     
  14. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

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    #14
    Sounds like we're in the same boat! I'm using a bursary and scholarship money to pay for this computer, and banking on external funding for postgrad next year. Depending on your needs, you may still want to consider the 2.53 model because of the cache/RAM. For once, the Apple RAM is aggressively priced and the extra cache will make a noticeable difference when SL is released next summer (that's my guess anyway). I'm still unsure about the 512MB of memory though - a lot of people seem split on that one.
     
  15. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    #15
    It's not an uber super card at all. It's almost exactly what the macbook Pros have already shipped with for the last year-it's yet another Geforce 8600 variant.

    That said, it's EASILY over twice as powerful as the 9400 (even ignoring the lack of dedicated video memory on the 9400). There's no question anything that supports it will run much, much faster on the Macbook Pro than the Macbook.
     
  16. can7ona thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    Well I can't imagine needing extra power for my course (basically an IT and Business MSc with zero programming or anything more hardcore than report writing!) but I do music production as a serious hobby - though I'm not convinced that I'd do that often enough to warrant the extra money, in my case.

    I'm a little disturbed about the two graphics chips now. Surely, with SL and OpenCL coming next year, it would have made sense to be able to run one of the chips for the graphics and use the other one for extra processing, wouldn't it? That would seem like a fantastic idea to me.
     
  17. nzmc36 macrumors member

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    #17
    Not all Profs (just those that want the looks but can't be bothered to 'change' or experience something new/better).... having said that, I'm an engineering prof and there are a lot of software packages not (yet) Mac compatible. I was just lucky and made the switch when the Mac went to OS X... never looked back :)
     
  18. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    #18
    Good idea, but I'm not sure if it's possible with how they're implementing it. If it was though, you could assign graphics to the integrated part if you were running like a video encoder or whatever and just doing general desktop stuff. And vice versa if running games (heck, the 9400 might be a decent physics processor for games, while the 9600 was a decent GPU!) But...I wouldn't count on being able to do that sort of thing, just think of it as a neat bonus if it happens.
     
  19. can7ona thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    Don't get me wrong it's not exactly a deal breaker! I just find it hard to understand why they wouldn't use the two chips to their full potential - but what do I know, maybe they have tried and failed or maybe they will be able to do it next year.
     
  20. Wolfpup macrumors 68030

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    #20
    I'm just really not sure. It may not be technologically possible with they way they're set up. This whole are is really new-I mean being able to switch between integrated and dedicated graphics. Trying to use both at the same time is brand new (and AFAIK has only been theoretically shown when the integrated core is the same as the dedicated core...and I'm not even sure any real notebooks have shipped like that, since having a single, even low end part like a 9600GT is going to blow away a setup like that).
     
  21. raymondu999 macrumors 65816

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    #21
    5.43?:confused:
     

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