Snow Leopard & Macbook Pro 15in - base version vs dual GPU - whats better

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by tripleacs, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. tripleacs macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2009
    Hi, Im looking at getting a Macbook Pro 15" to get into iphone development and also that its something that Ive wanted to try out for quite some time (long time Linux/Windows user). I do a fair amount of photo editing and occasional video editing.

    Budget wise, my eyes are firmly on the baseline Macbook Pro 15" (2.53ghz with the Nvidia 9400M. Im holding off buying until 10.6 is out.

    However, with Snow Leopard coming out, Ive heard that it can offload instructions to the GPU.

    Question is, is it worth putting the extra $$s and getting the next step up which has a 9400M and 9600M both??

    Anyone with experience with the beta builds??

  2. mgridgaway macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2006
    First off, while they are dual GPU's, they are not integrated. You pick one to save energy, and one when you want some beefy power.

    Do you think you'd benefit from a discrete graphics card? You'd only notice a real difference if you also plan on gaming or using FCP, things that are GPU intensive.

    Open CL is going support both the 9400M and 9600M. But since 9400M is using ram anyway, I doubt you'll see a real difference.
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    If I bought the dual graphics version of the 15" MBP, I'd probably end up using the 9400M around 99% of the time anyway. However, I never play games, never design 3D models, and I infrequently use apps such as Adobe CS3, where the 9600M will be minutely faster than the 9400M.

    Even if Apple allowed me to switch graphics cards without logging out first, I probably still wouldn't bother switching it. I like long battery life, and the difference in graphics speed won't affect my user experience enough for me to notice, not even when I'm editing photos from my DSLR.

    Are you anything like me? If you are, then don't bother with the 9600M GT.
  4. tripleacs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2009
    Thanks guys.. Looks like I'll be saving the extra money and looking at perhaps getting a 1TB Time Capsule (thats another discussion though;)..

    I wont be using the laptop for gaming at all.

    Just waiting to pull the trigger.. Hope that 10.6 is out next week, so I can get this system.

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