Real Capabilities of 9400M? MBP Vs. MB (new)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Super Intendo, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. Super Intendo macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    Okay, just when i thought i was ready to make a purchase apple decides to make the thin line between the MB and MBP even thinner.

    the primary things i do- Photo editing, Graphic Design, Games (playing AND making [modding, mostly Source, that is, for now]), and then your typical every day stuff, surfing, music, video, the whole nine yards.

    I originally thought the macbook pro was a no brainer because of my needs, but now its somewhat closer, and i might be able to go with the portability i'd like to have.

    I've narrowed it down to two options:

    Solution 1
    -MacBook Pro 2.53GHz, 4GB, 512MB 9600M GT, 320GB. $2,300 with student discount

    -Netbook (to install OS X on) probably an ASUS or MSI. $400-$500, maybe less with Best Buy employee discount.

    Total: $2,700-$2,800 (it should be noted that the netbook would be about a month or two down the line)

    Solution 2
    -MacBook 2.4GHz, 2GB, 9400M, 250GB. $1,500 with student discount
    -500GB Hard Drive $150
    -4GB DDR3 SDRAM $120
    -Wacom intuos3 tablet $150-$290
    -Mobile Me $70
    -Saving Money Priceless

    Total: $1,990-$2,130

    so now the "obvious decision" has flipped, but thats ONLY if this new 9400M will do as well as apple says it will- "Quake, Call of Duty, and Spore" plus more, obviously.

    my whole decision lies on this question
    - Will the MacBook with the 9400M, 2.4GHZ and 4GB DDR3 be able to handle modern games on decent settings with a high FPS, as well as artistic game design elements like graphic work and 3d modeling?

    THANK YOU for any answers, i appreciate it so much, i've been saving for a while and want to make sure i dont waste money i dont have to! :)
  2. unwinded macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2007
    We'll have to wait and see for realistic benchmarks. Right now, it looks like it might be on par with the old ATI X1600.
  3. Super Intendo thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    hm... I've looked up screens for both the x1600 and the 9600M GT, and so far its uncomparable... although, its not a very valid comparison because the x1600 was Garry's Mod (half life 2) and it was running at 76fps while the 9600M GT was running crysis at twenty something...

    this is not helping my predicament lol ;)
  4. Super Intendo thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    so i've just found out that, apparently, the 512 card will have little to no improvements over the 256 card and if i was already considering a 2.4ghz macbook, why not a macbook pro as well. That cuts the top ones price down by 400... but then add in the 4gb Ram and the Hard drive and thats really only saving me a hundred bucks...

    decisions decisions! any advice... PLEASE! :eek:
  5. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    What is the explanation about there is no significant difference between 256 and 512 MB ?
  6. Super Intendo thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    it was something about there being no noticeable speed difference, heres the post

  7. Super Intendo thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    nobody knows? I need some real advice here... I've been computerless for a month now and I'd like to purchase ASAP!!!
  8. anamznazn macrumors regular


    Mar 10, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    I would advise you to just wait a few days before purchasing either of the systems. Let the early adopters benchmarks the results and just decide for yourself then.

    Personally, I'm shooting for the MBP. I've been with my Macbook for close to 3 yrs+ and I can't picture myself upgrading to just another Macbook.
  9. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
  10. Super Intendo thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    I'm worried that might be more of a numbers thing... i've always just gotten which ever graphics card got the best reviews, but now they've made this quite perplexing. I'm thinking if i want to see clear models and crisp textures i'm going to have to spring for the pro... and even then laptop graphics cards are nowhere near their desktop counterparts.

    hmph. :(
  11. redsteven macrumors 6502a


    Aug 22, 2006
    First off, I don't totally buy the "VRAM is crap" argument. If true, then apple and NVIDIA are blatantly ripping us off. So is ATI, since I've been told that about the card I have from them. I have a first gen intel iMac and first gen macbook pro. Both have the Radeon x1600, and both of them have the VRAM upgrade (so they have 256 megs).

    I'm definitely not an expert on the issue of VRAM, but why do some games specify specific amounts of VRAM for certain things? For example, if you want to turn textures to "Ultra High" in Quake 4, a warning pops up suggesting that you not enable the option unless you have at least 512 megs of video RAM.

    Another example is Fallout 3. The recently released system reqs. actually list the Radeon x1600 as a supported card (one of the only games i've seen that LISTS it as a supported card, even though it'll still work with everything). But the fallout 3 reqs. ALSO say that you need 256 megs of VRAM.

    If you're interested in gaming, then I don't know if you want to be getting a NEW computer with a card that's comparable in power to the one inside my 30-month-old iMac.

    I still love my iMac... and the x1600 isn't a horrible card or anything, but it's definitely dated (wasn't exactly a top of the line gaming card when i bought the imac, anyway).

    Also, the Source engine seems to be REALLY efficient as far as graphics go. It can squeeze more performance out of this x1600 than most other games can, so it might not be the best way to compare the card (might cause you to overestimate it's abilities).

    Also, why are you purchasing the Netbook "to install OS X on". Any reason you want to make a cheap hackintosh if you're buying an MBP anyway?
  12. Super Intendo thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    the macbook pro would be my primary home computer and i would take it on longer trips and to school ocasionally, the netbook would go most everywhere with me, school every day for notes and such, and i just prefer os x. :p

    but yes, based on what you've just said i think the pro's pretty much a no brainer, now i just need to figure out if i want the higher end one or not... lol
  13. wallstreetcrash macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2008
    New York
    Why not get the 2.0 MB model? I'm no expert, but the extra 400mhz won't make games run any better will they?
  14. Super Intendo thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    I decided i can deal with doing all game related stuff at home on my custom built PC (even though it needs to be repaired right now) and I'm going to save my money for right now.

    Sure, i'm only seventeen and its nice to have all this extra money from work when i dont have bills to pay or anything, but given the current state of our economy apples got to drop their prices or update their specs eventually. I'm waiting till spring of 2009, maybe a little longer for Blu Ray, Higher Res screens and Nehalem (or core i7 now i guess...)

    Tonight or tomorrow i'll be ordering an MSI Wind with the 6 Cell battery, as well as an extra GB of memory (bringing it to 2GB), a 320GB HDD, and the 1.6GHz Atom (which can be over clocked to 2.0GHz)

    My 10" MacBook Nano should be here within the next week :) i'll let you guys know how the OS X installation goes. :apple:

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