New MBP video card??

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by YoYoMa, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. YoYoMa macrumors 6502

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    Aug 3, 2006
    #1
    I am planning on buying a MBP when the Santa Rosa versions are released, but only if the video is upgraded. The x1600 is very old and was never that powerful to begin with. Also, the x3000 integrated graphics that will be available in a standard Macbook is actually superior to the x1600 chip in many ways. I therefore could never justify purchasing a MBP instead of a MB if the card wasn't upgraded.

    So basically the question is, do you guys think the card is going to be upgraded at WWDC, or whenever the MBP goes Santa Rosa? If so, what's out there that they could upgrade it to?
     
  2. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #2
    Three major problems:

    1. The MacBook uses the older GMA950 graphics, not X3000. (X3000 will be introduced with Santa Rosa, which puts mobile on par with desktop chipsets.)

    2. Even X3000 is noticeably worse for almost all activities than X1600. (See link. "...in actual games, the X3000 is consistently beaten by the Radeon X1250 in AMD's 690G chipset..." The Radeon X1250 is a SIGNIFICANTLY cut down integrated-graphics version of ATI/AMD's X1000 series core. And, here you go, a comparison that has the X3000 (as "965",) and the Radeon X1600.) I'm not saying they should keep X1600 by any means, but X1600 is WAAAY better than any integrated graphics.

    3. The MBP will be upgraded before the MB. It is always done that way. It would be silly for them to update the MacBook with Santa Rosa before the MacBook Pro. If they did, even disregarding graphics chip issues, the main processor would either have to be clocked slower than the existing MacBooks, or else the MacBook would be noticeably faster than the Pro. We'll see the Pro first, then the non-Pro a month or so later. Just like happened in the introduction of the lines, and the Core 2 updates.

    As for graphics? Well, ATI/AMD just released the Mobility Radeon X2300, which is, unfortunately, a new low-end chip. It *COULD* be better than an X1600, but it's not clear yet. Hopefully they release an X2600 or X2900 before Apple updates the MBP. (Based on past events, it is even possible that Apple could be the launch customer for the high-end part, and it won't even be publicly announced by AMD/ATI until Apple makes their announcement.)
     
  3. YoYoMa thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Aug 3, 2006
    #3
    Hey, thanks for the reply, but I've got three major problems with your three major problems ;).

    1- This was more of a "duh" statement than a major problem.

    2- This is only true because the x3000 drivers aren't there yet, not because the x3000 isn't powerful.

    3- See problem with #1

    I don't mean to be condescending. It's just that your major problems were mostly misleading and a bit of a spin. Yes the x1600 is better, but barely and not in all circumstances. That's a big deal when you consider that it's really the only significant performance aspect the MBP has over the MB.

    I'm hoping Apple won't keep things this way because I'd really like my new $2000 laptop to have a better graphics chip than the x1600. The ATIs performance was sub-par a year and a half ago, and now it's barely keeping up with integrated graphics from intel.

    The last part of your statement definitely gives me hope for the future. What about nVidia? Do they have anything in the works that could fit in the MBP?
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
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    Indianapolis
    #4
    I believe that the ATi X1250 is actually just an integrated variant of the older X700. I hope to see a ATi HD/or nVidia 8 Series mobile video card in the new MacBook Pro.

    Intel has mentioned that the X3000 will get its hardware support turned on eventually. It doubts that the DirectX 10 support will be activated though.

    How does the GMA X3000 out perform the ATi Radeon X1600 again?
     
  5. YoYoMa thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
  6. YoYoMa thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Aug 3, 2006
    #6
    Another thread that just opened up here has also reminded me that the x1600 in the MBP is underclocked by 35% and the memory is underclocked by 41%. It's thus very possible that the MBs integrated video would indeed be a better performer than the MBPs x1600 if Apple were not to upgrade it. I think that this, more than anything suggests that we'll see an upgrade to the x1600 very soon.
     
  7. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    Denmark
    #7
    I think we can expect a Mobility HD 2400 or 2600 (RV610/630) for the next MacBook Pro.

    Would be great but who knows :)
     
  8. Episteme macrumors regular

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    Jan 25, 2007
    #8
    Don't forget there's also nVidia though. There's a GeForce Go 7900 part that draws only ~3w more than than the X1600, and a GeForce Go 7700 part that is significantly faster yet draws the same.

    The DirectX 10 functionality is having a lot of issues. It's currently not enabled and Intel has said they may never enable it.

    Re: that demo THG cites -- the ATI setup used was broken, so I'd be careful what I read into any of that comparison.

    I'm somewhat suspicious of the X3000 core myself, given some of the stories I've read, as well as the odd forum post, and then there was the "leaked" SR platform at CeBIT where the integrated graphics only scored 2.7 on the Vista System Performance tests; my girlfriend's Toshiba has 945 and scores 3.1, I believe...

    Now, granted, all of this could be down to bad drivers and flawed testing methodologies, and at least on paper the X3000 should blow away the older 945 part. I'm just leery of making great claims about it right now, and it's certainly significantly inferior to the X1600.
     
  9. Episteme macrumors regular

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    Jan 25, 2007
    #9

    Only true for the original Core Duo MBP. The C2D models were only slightly underclocked when running 3D apps.

    However, I agree the MBP needs a newer GPU. In GPU terms, it's ancient.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple went with nVidia for the next round though.
     
  10. Butthead macrumors 6502

    Butthead

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    Jan 10, 2006
    #10
    IIRC, the GG7900 consumes somewhere in the neighborhood of 35w max, perhaps much lower at less than full bore, but still unusable in a MBP...too much heat. Fine for Dell gaming laptops, with lots of fans, doesn't fit with Apple's MBP design parameters, I would think.

    No X2600/2900, they dissipate way, way too much power, unless Apple is going to shoehorn in wicked high powered gaming laptop fans into the MBP.

    GG7700 is significantly faster, in what way? Both are low power, rather pathetic compared to the desktop versions which blow them away. Apple had the opportunity to add the GG7700 with the C2D update as they were released at about the same time, but apparently was already committed to using the X1600.

    Unless the nVidia G80M is in the same range as the X1600 as far as power dissipation, don't expect Apple to give you a mid or high-end range GPU in a laptop, they drain the battery (yes, most will use them AC powered, but so what, Apple doesn't care) in no time. Best best would be the early adoption of the ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro which dissipates <25w (meaning Apple could underclock it, or the mobile version would be underclocked enough).

    More than likely though, you'll get the least expensive of them all; as ehurtley pointed out, the already released X2300, which dissipates how much power and would it also need to be underclocked in the current MBP case design?

    I somewhat doubt there will be a mobile version of the Radeon HD 2600, with such lower clock rates that consumes <20w, if the desktop is at <75w.

    http://www.mikeshardware.co.uk/RoadmapQ207.htm
     
  11. Episteme macrumors regular

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    Jan 25, 2007
    #11
    The C2D update was just dropping in a C2D instead of a CD. It made no sense from Apple's PoV to redesign the motherboard when SR was on the way, I guess.

    The 7700 has a theoretical fill-rate double that of the X1600 and a texture fill rate of around 3x the X1600. The shader perf is pretty much the same.

    I've not seen any useful specs for mobile versions in the G80/R690 generation to comment on those.
     
  12. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    San Francisco, CA
    #12
    Apples to Oranges - sorry for the pun.

    The X1600 will never be outperformed by an integrated video set offered in the current gen MBs. Even then, with a move to SR, there's a very unlikely chance they'll retain these aging boards.
     
  13. Emrtr4 macrumors regular

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    Feb 6, 2006
    #14
    There will be a new graphics chip at some point...hopefully...maybe...before 2008...well it is Apple, so maybe not for another year but...ha jk I love to poke fun of apple for having the utter WORST graphics cards availible, it just pisses me off so much.

    Ummm if your like me though, the apple graphics cards do everything you need to do in OSX and you only want a better graphics card for bootcamp, well in that case buy the Asus XG station with an actual decent graphics card in it (its about 50% better than the POS x1600 in the MBP now) and use that for anything in windows.
     
  14. Episteme macrumors regular

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    #16
    mmm... the XG Station is nice, but expensive. A console or desktop system makes more sense IMO.
     
  15. Episteme macrumors regular

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    Jan 25, 2007
    #17
    For games. Windows has a lot of excellent games that never arrive on OS X.

    Some people need it for apps, but most of what I do doesn't need it. I just like playing games.

    Vista leverages the GPU much like OS X does, but neither needs much beyond what the GMA945 can provide for just the UI. It's all about the apps.
     

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