NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics vs NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 256MB

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by man.city, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. man.city macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    #1
    Hi

    I am new to this forum today despite using its many useful insights in years gone buy.

    I am going to college this year to study Graphic Design and i am looking to purchase a MBP 15". I have read a couple of other threads which cover similar questions however i am not truly satisfied with the answers i have read.

    My MBP will have to run the following programs on a regular basis: Photoshop, Bridge, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash. It will also have to run basic tasks such as word processing, internet surfing and email. Finally i would also like to install parallels and XP on the machine just in case an work or applications need to be run on windows. Obviously all of these applications will not be running simultaneously however there is a strong chance 2 or 3 maybe running at the same time. My Imac deals with this without problems, will the MBP be the same?

    Could you please recommend which MBP i should opt to buy within the next few weeks?

    Appreciate your help

    Would really appreciate your comment.
     
  2. onlnagent macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    #2
    You need to look into openCL. This will be available in snow leopard allowing the OS to use the GPU for more performance.

    With that being said if you have the option of getting the better GPU I would highly recommend it.
     
  3. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #3
    Although the 9400M handles your tasks/applications well, if you know for sure you're going to be using those applications, I would get a MacBook Pro w/ the 9600M GT since you never know if you're going to need it. Plus, OpenCL with Snow Leopard will benefit you down the road.
     
  4. kimosaabee macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #4
    any MBP will do fine for that. Although, you will want to get the 7200 HD if you are going to be doing any video. The 7200 HD's right now are not stable, not sure what to tell you on that one, I myself am waiting for a solution... my 17" MBP has the 7200 500GB HD in it and is subject to the weird behaviors you may have heard of... if not, search around if you would like.

    I work as a graphics professional and use all those programs you're talking about. My 17" MBP does a far better job than my work computer, which is a PC, quad core q9550 with 8 GB of ram... Some might not believe me that my Mac runs better, but I dread doing work on the PC for that fact alone, my Mac blows it away.

    If you get any MBP you will be more than fine... The 17" is always what I recommend, it kicks ass!
     
  5. man.city thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    #5
    Thanks for all your comments guys.

    I doubt i will be doing much video editing so i think i can remove that from the equation.. the 17" is very tempting indeed.. 2 problems my budget and the size to carry it around a college campus all day.

    Appreciate all your help so far.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    I have a dual GPU MBP and I found that I'm on the 9400 90% of the time. I'm not sure what the future will hold with Snow Leopard but I can see how easily I could have opted for (a then) MacBook.

    The dual gpu does give you peace of mind knowing that you have the equipment to handle current tasks and tasks tomorrow as well.
     
  7. kimosaabee macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #7
    I too find myself on the 9400 all the time, mainly cause logging out to switch is just annoying! I usually like longer battery life so to be on the 9600 makes that less, so it's just easier to be on the 9400, and the 9400 handles all those programs just fine! I do love having the 9800 though, and if you're going to watch blue ray movies, or any HD video on your Mac, you will want the 9600.

    Carrying the 17" isn't going to be any bigger of a deal than carrying the 15", they will both be in a backpack right? Believe me, carrying the 17" is not as big of a deal as people make it out to be... unless you weigh 90lbs and have nothing but bones on your body you'll be fine.

    My logic was... spending 1500 - 2000 on a 15" or a 13" laptop, it better last me 5 years or so to justify it, so why not go all the way and spend another 500-700 and get the 17" and be secure that its technology will last. If you bought a 13 or 15 inch before june you would have been screwed, they both upgraded big time, although the 17" was still basically safe, all you did was get a bigger HD and lower price...

    My opinions is all.
     
  8. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

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    Jul 12, 2009
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    #8
    By the time the 15 will be outdated, the 17 will be outdated as well. It's pretty much the same technology.
     
  9. kimosaabee macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #9
    i'm just talking about the last updates to the macbooks. If you had one before june of 09 you missed out on a lot of features they added in june. I'm sure they next updates will be across the entire line.
     
  10. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #10
    What is missing other than the SD card and battery? It really is just the battery because many would rather have the ExpressCard than SD but even still would be split. There's something about an integrated battery that rubs off on people the wrong way.
     
  11. kimosaabee macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #11
    they newer 13's and 15's are able to have all the options that the 17 has, basically. before that 17 inch was unique in that it had the best battery, you could get matte screen, faster processors, maybe a few other things, I can't remember.. after I got mine I stopped paying attention or remembering all the differences. I just remember listening to all the changes and thinking if I had gotten a 13 or 15 inch before june I would have been mad.

    It doesn't even matter at this point since any new one you get is going to have the new options (go figure).

    All you need to do to decide is #1. budget, #2. what you're using it for. Plenty of people use 13" and 15" for what you're going to use it for, hell, plenty of people use the plain macbook for what you're going to use it for. it's just a matter if you want the best of the best, or if you can settle. Personally I didn't want to settle, I came from PC's and was sick and tired of waiting for my computer to do what I was telling it to. I would have gotten an iMac or Mac Pro but I needed portability, and MBP was the next best thing. So far, the 17" has impressed and made my work flow faster. I couldn't be happier. (well besides the HD issue)
     
  12. GodWhomIsMike macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #12
    13" does not have the same options that the 15" and 17" models have. There is NO DEDICATED graphics solution on the 13" model. It only gives you the 9400M, which is ok for general office/productivity/web browsing tasks, but you can forget doing any gaming or graphic intensive tasks with it.
     
  13. kimosaabee macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #13
    thats right... the 13inch doesnt have those options. It's the 15 and 17 that are similar... The 15" still doesnt have the 1920 by 1200 right? That is one big reason why I got the 17"... the resolution is amazing, and VERY helpful and productive!
     
  14. man.city thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    #14
    Appreciate all your help,.

    Guess i have to work out what i can afford. Would love the 17" however i rekon my budget will not be able to stretch. Think the 15" with the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 256MB graphics card will do me just fine.

    Thanks
     
  15. GodWhomIsMike macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #15
    Have you looked at Apple's refurb site?

    There is a 2.53GHz Unibody Macbook Pro from late-2008, which has the 512MB 9600M GT in it. Comes with 4GB DRR3 memory and a 320GB hard drive. Only downside is that it only officially supports 4GB DDR3 memory as per Apple, and unofficially can address and use up to 6GB DDR3 memory. The current mid-2009 models can address a full 8GB of DDR3 memory.
     
  16. SamJ macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #16
    go for the 15"

    trust me. you'll end up carrying sketchbooks and ideas with you as well you'll appreciate the mobility of the 15. as a recent graphic design graduate, my advice would be to put any saved pennies towards an external monitor. you'll run into all problems if you you're working primarily from a laptop screen and then printing. macbook 15 and a larger matte screen is the way to go. I cant emphasize this point enough!
     
  17. Dwalls90 macrumors 601

    Dwalls90

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    #17
    This topic has been debated to no end. That said, unless you are going to be using a graphically intensive app (3d rendering, autocad, gaming), you do NOT need the 9600M GT. Contrary to popular belief, in order for OpenCL to use the GPU to it's full extent, software must first be written take advantage of it. While software is in the works, nothing has been officially released yet, and is slated to be out in a few years. That said, even still, the GPU cannot ever act completely like a CPU - it's abilities will be limited to all things graphics. I.E., you can't run a computer using a GPU only in place of the CPU, the GPU can only assist in graphical matters.
     
  18. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #18
    Tbh, the MBPs are virtually the same as they were in mid 2007, when the LED screens was introduced. Graphics are pretty much the same, screen size is pretty much the same too. The earlier MPB has a far superior keyboard.
    The low-end was 2.2GHz back then and the low-end is 2.26GHz now :p
    (i know that it's not entirely true, since the introduction of 13", but close!)

    I would wait for USB3 and Blue-ray!
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #19
    Except for faster CPUS, faster GPUs, faster memory, faster FSB, and larger max ram (8 gig). Sure they're practically the same as two year old computers ;)
     
  20. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #20
    The 2.26GHz is in in synthetic benchmarks only slightly faster.
    The 8600M GT eats the 9400M for breakfast.
    Use a 2007 MBP alongside with a 2009 MBP with 9400M with an external screen and you'll even notice difference in Finder performance.

    Fire up a game and the 2007 MPB will sustain 50% better FPS than the 9400M.

    The 2007 MBP supports 6GB, last generation only supported 4GB and the current can support 8GB.

    When i bought the 2007 MPB it was 3-4 times faster than the latest generation of G4s (late 2005 models) which it replaced.

    Today, you'll have to get the midrange 15" even to get a slight upgrade.

    Face it, the laptop upgrades the last two years almost non-existent.
    They are slightly faster, but paying that kind of premium for so little extra is in my (little) world not worth it.
     
  21. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #21
    But what about the 9600m?

    the difference is 2GB between the 07 and 09 MBPs that's a sizable hunk of ram.

    So to summarize 3.06Ghz is faster then 2.26
    9600M is faster then the ati 8600m
    1024 FSB is faster then 800MHz FSB
    8GB is larger then 6GB

    So yeah the 09 MBPs are virtually the same computer as the 07 version ;)
     
  22. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #22
    The low end MBP2007 is faster or on par with the low end MBP2009.
    It's slightly slower on most tasks, except when you need graphics power!
    With OpenCL it will probably leave the new one in dust.

    The high-end is ofc an upgrade, but at what costs?

    The 9600M is 10% faster than the 8600M at most!
    Here's some gamebenches comparing 9400 8600 and 9600,
    the 2.4GHz MBP with 9600 only beat the 2.4GHz with 8600 in one single test!
    http://barefeats.com/mbpp05.html
    (The 8600 is 80-120% faster than the 9400 in all tests)

    From 2005 to 2007 (late 2005, so its ~20 months) u went from Ati 9700 (or even Geforce 5200) to 8600M GT.. That's light years in performance.
    27 months later again you'll get, slighty bump on everything, and a missing express slot :)

    So 2005->2007: 300% cpu upgrade, 300% more ram, 300% gpu.
    2007->2009: 10-15% cpu, 33% more RAM, -30% gpu
    (comparing low end 15" at the given time, and very roughly estimates..)

    I've had 6 Powerbooks, one ibook, and one MBP.
    Until now, every two years you got a machine that ran circles around your old one, but not now.

    The huge plus with the new MPBs are the amazing batteries!
    The 2007 model can squeeze out 5 hours max with light use and dimmed screen. The 2009 model can probably do 8.5 hrs if you dim it and only do light tasks. That's a huge upgrade :) The 2007 MBP didn't really offer much more than 30 mins more battery than the Powerbook,
     

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