Next MacBook Pro's Video Card

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by emex, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. emex macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2006
    Hello folks! I'm brand new here so if I am unknowning doing something wrong you have my sincerest apologies in advance!

    Anyway, I have sufficent funds to buy a MacBook Pro up to $3,000 USD and am hugely tempted by the current Core 2 Duo models. It would be my first Mac purchase.

    However, I'm into my Windows games and the MacBook Pro would become my main computer for 4+ years and am aware the Radeon 9600 won't cut it for 'off the shelf' mainstream games.

    My question for you Mac followers out there is this - What is the likelyhood of Apple putting in an option to have a "gaming" video card in their MacBook Pro and is there any speculation of Apple switching to NVIDIA (highly preferred.)

    I'm just thinking of a laptop version of the 7600 chipset or a yet-to-be-announced 8xxx model.

    I guess no matter what I'll wait 'till February, to give January's product annoucements a chance to turn up.

    Would it be at all likely for Apple to release new MacBook Pro's in January? I doubted it considering they just gave them new processors- but it was a small upgrade...


    EDIT: I ment X1600, sorry.
  2. Warbrain macrumors 603


    Jun 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I don't think there'll be any major updates to the MacBook Pro at Macworld. If anything, just minor speed bumps.

    Also, I doubt that you'll ever be able to upgrade the graphics card in the MacBook Pro when you order it.
  3. PillarFan1 macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2006
    uh it handles "off the shelf" games fine and will for games to come.

    i boot into windows and play counter strike and it runs beautifully, same with WoW in windows and os x
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Even though ATI was purchased by AMD, a rival to Intel -- it is doubtful this will affect the terms of their current supply contract, and I do not know where they are in the typical 3 year supply contract term.

    Plus Apple likes having two graphics chip suppliers, so they may renew anyway.
  5. Maxwell Smart macrumors 6502a

    Maxwell Smart

    Jan 29, 2006
    It's not a radeon 9600 it's an x1600 which is quite a bit better ;)
  6. e12a macrumors 68000


    Oct 28, 2006
    I just hope they decide to switch to nvidia. ATi drivers are crap and you all know it.
  7. macman2790 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 4, 2006
    what do you mean, it handles games fine, in windows and mac os x, also the upcoming open gl patch will allow games to run much faster than os x. Well it's a pro laptop, don't you think it will handle modern games fine?
  8. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    the graphics in the current MBP are quite underpowered for a $2000-2500 laptop. I'd never buy a PC because I'm in love with apple aesthetics and OS X, but come on - the x1600 was a mediocre choice a year ago in the rev. A MBPs. To still have it is pretty sad.

    Apple insists on design first, which means a 1" MBP. It does look beautiful, but there are tradeoffs. The video card is the biggest one in the MBP. Hopefully by the next revision there will be something substantially more powerful with low enough power draw to fit in there.
  9. emex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2006
    Hey. Sorry for posting "9600." A typo - I promise.

    PillarFan1 uh it handles "off the shelf" games fine and will for games to come.

    I doubt that.

    Well, WoW and Counterstrike are A. Not current generation games (though admittadly they are still very active and "on the shelf") and B. Not targetted towards people with high end PCs.

    Right now I have a Dell Tower with an Nvidia 6600GT, I'm playing Dark Messiah Might and Magic which came out a few weeks ago and it runs between 10 and 25 FPS. Mostly around 15. At this point in time it is barely acceptable and does hamper the gameplay.

    Now, according to CNET, the Core Duo Mac Book pro was able to run a Doom3 timedemo in Windows and get 21.6 FPS. I can run Doom3 at High Quality textures and models at 1280x1024 resolution and get 45-60 FPS.

    Keep in mind that Doom 3 was made in 2004 and that the human eye just beings to see fluid motion at around 20 FPS...

    That's why I doubt your statement. Prove me wrong?
  10. emex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2006
    I totally agree with that statement. I'd easily sacrifice size for power as long as it doesn't look totally ugly. But I doubt Apple at the moment could make something near ugly.

    There are chipsets these days that allow for great gaming with small power tradeoffs. There's even some with integrated graphics for non-gaming and a dedicated video card for gaming - to help with power consumption. That'd be nice to see in a MacBook Pro...
  11. Emptea macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2006
    Well I don't know what settings CNET were using on Doom 3 but this video shows Quake 4 playing pretty smooth at 1024x768.
    Personally I think you're expecting too much from a laptop. If you want to play the latest games then stick with a desktop PC because no laptop is going to last 4+ years and be able to keep up with the latest games.

    The latest laptop graphics use too much power for a laptop anyway, since those Alienware laptops last like 1.5 hrs. If you have to get a laptop that's going to last 4+ years then you may as well wait till a DirectX 10 laptop video card comes out since that's what all the games are going to be using.
  12. Zadillo macrumors 65832

    Jan 29, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    Mediocre? Compared to what? The X1600 is one of the most common GPU's used in most 15" laptops, and the GeForce 7600 is on a similar performance level. The MacBook Pro compares very well with similar 15" PC notebooks.

    You say it's mediocre, but what exactly do you see out on the market right now that is superior to it for the basic form factor, or even the same general form factor? I've seen 1.5" thick 15" notebooks also using similar X1600s/GF7600's.

    The only superior mobile GPU's out right now are things like the GeForce 7900 and ATI X1800, but those have only been found in considerably heavier and larger 17" gaming notebooks.

    I really don't see why you would say it was a mediocre choice then or now, considering that it is basically one of the top performing mobile GPU's for 15" notebooks on the market today. Especially with the current C2D MBP's where it is clocked much closer to normal spec.

    The only other choice at this point are things like the X1700 and GeForce 7700, but from what I've read, the actual performance increases in those are not that big.
  13. emex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2006
    I agree with the statement that I can't expect a laptop to run the latest games 4 years from now at a high quailty level and am hugely impressed by the YouTube video. I guess I should just wait for us to get out of this murky transition period into WinVista, Leopard, DirectX 10, the new video card series bound to churn up, etc. Battery life in gaming laptops is pretty awful, I agree - but there are ones out there that do an okay job and battery life isn't the hugest thing for me just considering that I can play with the clockspeeds to lower consumption and am not going to be playing games away from an AC adaptor too often.

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