Possible GPU update for the upcoming MBP refresh.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by chrmjenkins, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    CA
    #1
    Before, everyone was expecting a MWSF update on the MBP, but since that didn't happen, it opens some possibilities for a new GPU (and boot camp gamers)

    The first is the multi-touch trackpad, which was already mentioned. Also, waiting this long means Penryn chips are a given.

    However, both ATI and Nvidia have new product launches in February. If you go to ATI's website, you can see information about new mobility hd 3400 and 3600. Unfortunately, information is scarce, but you can tell that it's mostly just a die shrink of the current 2600 available for notebooks. It does add DirectX 10.1 support however. Also, a die shrink means higher clock speeds, so a 3600 would likely perform moderately better than the current nvidia 8600m gt.

    As for Nvidia, their desktop series is confirmed to be going into the 9 series in February, but there is less information about the mobile 9 series. An Asus laptop with a 9500m GS was demonstrated at CES, and some retailers claim to be getting stock for this in February. However, there are no hard specs on this (and people have pointed out that nvidia products with 5 in the name tend to not be so great. This is coupled with the GS in the name, which points to slower RAM), and no way to guesstimate its performance against the current chip. Information on the 9600m is completely non-existent.

    If you go to wikipedia, you can see that 9500 is the entry level desktop platform, suggesting 9500m is the same for the mobile market. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_9_Series
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_8_Series (for previous gen).
    However, in the last gen, the entry level and mid-level for notebooks had a simultaneous launch. So we'll have to see what happens.

    One thing that is certain is that you will NOT see a 8700m or 8800m in a MBP. They are too large and consume too much power (8700m is just an overclocked 8600m anyway). The only reason Alienware crammed the 8800m in a 15.4" is they made the case almost 2" thick.


    Others have said they expect the iPhone SDK announcement to coincide with a new MBP, and this would be the prime time for one of these new chips if Apple opts to upgrade the GPU rather than just giving VRAM bumps from 128MB and 256MB to 256Mb and 512MB.
     
  2. Paix247 macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Interesting... but this would mean no new MBP until Feb 29, which would be a painful wait for most of us.
     
  3. pianoplayer1 macrumors 6502

    pianoplayer1

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    #3
    Yea even though the 8700m makes sense, its probably a little too hot for the fairly thin case. Other than this, I don't think we will be seeing any Nvidia chip in the MBP. I think the 3600 is the #1 possibility, maybe the 3400 for the entry level MBP.
     
  4. chrmjenkins thread starter macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #4
    I sure hope we don't see a 3400 in the next MBP. It is entry level and I'm almost certain it will actually be slower than the 8600m GT.

    Like I said about the 8700m, its architecture is the exact same as the 8600m, it just has a larger package and higher clock speeds. If they wanted to include it, they could just overlock the one they already have in there.
     
  5. pianoplayer1 macrumors 6502

    pianoplayer1

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    #5
    True, so then I'll say 3600's across the line, lower RAM on the entry level.

    or maybe

    8700m (they would say 8700 so that people don't "think" that its pretty much the same card)

    maybe they will underclock an 8700m to be a bit faster than the 8600
     
  6. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #6
    LOL, a "painful" wait. Oh how we in this world are all so spoiled and impatient. I just ordered Time Capsule and it's not shipping until Feb 29th and it won't be delivered until March 6th and I need my data backed up. Who's waiting painfully now?
     
  7. chrmjenkins thread starter macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #7
    I won't say it's impossible, but there's not much reason to it. Since the package is bigger, they would have to compensate by making other things smaller or increasing the case size. If they were willing to do that, they might as well slap a 8800m in there and severely underclock it.

    If we get the 3600, I'd say there will be modest gains, but if they go for a new Nvidia chip, I certainly hope we see at least 25% better in benchmarks. Waiting is the fun part!
     
  8. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

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    Florida
    #8
    buy a mybook
     
  9. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #9
    Nothing terribly new but I did enjoy your analysis of the situation. I have some slim hope for the Mobility 36xx/38xx Series since ATi's 55nm process has led to some much cooler cards. My Radeon 3850 is dead silent even at full load. Once you toss in AA/AF and ATi really starts to hurt against nVidia.

    Aren't most of the nVidia 9 Series cards still just derivatives of the G92?
     
  10. chrmjenkins thread starter macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #10
    Yes, it's just a 65nm die shrink from 80nm mostly. I don't think any wildly impressive updates are coming in the 9 series.
     

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