Skype Frame Rates: Plastic vs. Aluminum MacBook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by ThomasJL, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. ThomasJL macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2008
    Will there be any difference, whatsoever, in terms of frames per second when using Skype on a plastic MacBook with the Intel X3100 GMA versus the aluminum MacBook with the Nvidia integrated graphics?

    (The reason I ask is this: I am planning on getting two of the exact same computers for myself and my dad so we can video chat with Skype. We'll both be using a top-of-the-line Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro webcam, and we'll both be using a fiber optic Internet connection. My biggest concern in purchasing a computer is running Skype at the highest frames per second rate possible.)

    Thanks for any and all feedback. :)
  2. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    You may want to first look into the highest resolution and transfer rate that Skype is limited to offer. I have a feeling that would be your limiting factor, or the internet connection (even fiber optics), not the laptop itself.
  3. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    Why buy a web cam when the macbook has a built in webcam? They work great in skype.
  4. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Your limiting factor here is the speed of the internet connection, not the video hardware.
  5. ThomasJL thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2008
    On Skype's download page for OS X, it reads, "Your video conversations are now set at a whopping 640 x 480 pixels by default with up to 25 frames per second."

    My #1 concern is having the absolute sharpest video quality with as little pixelation as possible. In regards to this concern, will the new aluminum MacBooks with the Nvidia integrated graphics offer any advantage, whatsoever, to the old plastic MacBooks with the Intel integrated graphics?
  6. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    Think about a DVD movie, which has a slightly better resolution, and similar frame rate. I'd say the graphic capability of most recent laptops can handle that without problem.

    Of course, it's not just the graphics, because the signal needs to be encoded into or decoded form data, which is a processing task.

    I still think your internet connection will be the determining factor, especially if you are chatting with someone oversea, rather than the laptop.
  7. cellocello macrumors 68000


    Jul 31, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    No. What you're seeking ("having the absolute sharpest video quality with as little pixelation as possible") is 100% reliant on the internet connection.
  8. rd261 macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2007
    Chatting with skype does not require a high end graphic card. As long as your internet connection is fast, then you should be fine with both computers. I video chat with ichat from time to time in my last gen. black macbook and is sharp and smooth, so I guess the same will apply for skype. By the way, I have internet by cable at 6 mbps.
  9. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    What's the resolution of the camera on pre-aluminum Macbooks? 320x240?
  10. priller macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2007
    640 x 480
  11. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    Ah, thanks.
  12. ThomasJL thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2008
    Thanks for all the replies, guys. I appreciate it. :)

    So, if the two chatters had the exact same computers, the exact same broadband Internet connection, and the exact same top-of-the-line Logitech webcams, will a better graphics card even make a tiny difference in picture quality?
  13. beg_ne macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2003
    The hardware makes no difference at all. My mom has a new Macbook but the video is pretty crappy because of the less than awesome internet connection in Montana. I have a 1st gen low end Macbook and my video image is much better because I'm on a solid connection.
  14. beg_ne macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2003
    Also I don't know that I would waste any money on the Logitech cam, you're up to the mercy of the crap drivers and software they tend to put out. Plus their site is basically BS regarding the video quality:

    You'll notice their wording of high-quality "images" with the *. Which reads:

    So in most apps you won't gain any resolution on the iSight, if there is even any difference. also the "BTV PRO" program they reference is a fricken' pre-OS X app that hasn't been updated in about 7 years.

    "The latest version of BTV Pro is 5.4.1, released 7 May 2002"

    Regarding the difference between the Plastic MB and the Unibody MB, as I mentioned in my previous post there was no difference as far as that goes, but I guess in the future perhaps Skype might make use of the video card to improve something, but I really doubt they are doing anything now. Not to mention that Skype hasn't had any updates forever so who knows if they'll ever give Mac users anything new.
  15. wagonofdoom macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2008
    i have 17mb down and 15mb video quality on skype is spot on
  16. likemyorbs macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2008
    im still not getting why the OP isnt using the built in i-sight which is awesome. people used to pay a pretty penny for isights
  17. ThomasJL thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2008
    I've done a side-by-side comparison, and Logitech's top-of-the-line QuickCam Vision Pro (which, by the way, is Mac only) has a much better picture than the built in iSight. Higher resolution, much better sharpness, clarity, and color. It has a glass lens made by Carl Zeiss, and it's autofocus. You can view more info about this webcam here:,en

    The aluminum external iSight, on the other hand, has a lower picture quality than the built-in iSight on any MacBook. It shouldn't surprise, as the technology on the external iSight is literally a couple of years older than the built-in iSight on the very first MacBook.

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