The GPU Does NOT Matter

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Dwalls90, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. Dwalls90 macrumors 601


    Feb 5, 2009
    Will people PLEASE stop whining about how the new low-end MBP has the 9400M and not the 9600 GT? It kills me to see people claiming that the 9400 M suits their needs for "video editing". Video Cards do NOT have ANY performance impact on ANY processes except those strictly visual. These strictly visually intensive tasks include 3D design/Auto-Cad and heavy duty gaming. A 9600GT will NOT enhance the color quality or performance of working in Photoshop, LogicPro, or any other non-gaming, non-3D program. For almost the majority of you, the 9400M is MORE than enough video processing power.

    Another common misconception is that the Memory on a video card has a heavy impact on performance. VRAM (GPU memory) has less than 5% of a change in GPU performance as well. The architecture of the GPU is MUCH more important than the memory strapped onto it. A 9400M with 512mb shared will still be a worse GPU than a 9600GT with 256mb.

    That said, can people please stop complaining about the lack of the 9600GT in the lower end MBP's, and more importantly, start understanding what GPU's are actually used for?
  2. CTechKid macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    OpenCL is going to change all that, and the reason why the educated user is somewhat annoyed.
  3. UrFatMom macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    I agree with you, but I don't think it's worth getting worked up for... If people think they need the 9600 for photoshop, it's their problem not yours...
  4. atticus18244fsa macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2008
    Waterloo, ON
    Plus I read that the MBP automatically uses the 9600 in Bootcamp and causes major heat issues. One of the reasons I don't want the 9600+9400. I only want the 9400.
  5. n0d3 macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2006
    CS4 is already starting to leverage the GPU in certain tasks so for some people, it IS an issue. Aperture is another app that sucks quite a bit of GPU. You might not see apps using the GPU that much now but I believe it'll change in the future, especially with the introduction of OpenCL in Snow Leopard.
  6. Dwalls90 thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 5, 2009
    1) Open CL will benefit nearly the same from the 9400M as it will the 9600 GT. It's not like the raw processing power of the 9600GT being much greater than the 9400M, means that same raw processing power advantage will be translated into CPU power. In addition, nearly no setups can completely utillize the CPU's that exist today, aside from maybe video encoding. That said, with OpenCL released (which it's not for a few months), the performance gap coming from a 9600GT vs a 9400M is none to minimal.

    2) Adobe CS4 only benefits from Workstation graphic cards, like the Quadro. The other cards, as long as you have a Nvidia branded card, you will notice "enchanced photo rotation speeds by up to 10%". Right .. because it takes hours to rotate a photo in CS4.
  7. 173080 macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2003
    Another reason why Apple should have used a Quadro in every Macbook Pro. It would be more expensive, but it's okay because the Macbook is the affordable notebook.

    Macbook -> GeForce
    Macbook Pro -> Quadro
  8. Dwalls90 thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 5, 2009
    Not a good idea. The Quadro is limited to workstation tasks, such as 3d shape generating and those extra performance benefits in CS4. In all other GPU tasks, it falls behind the GeForce line - and by a significant margin.

    It would be nice if it were at least an option.
  9. 173080 macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2003
    Yeah, that's true. Maybe it should be:

    Macbook -> Integrated GeForce
    Macbook Pro -> Discrete GeForce or Quadro option.
  10. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Thank you for this thread. It's getting tiresome seeing people claim "it's not PRO because it doesn't have discrete graphics!".

    The fact is, people, that discrete graphics do not matter for many, many, many tasks. Most tasks one would ask a notebook to do, even. Discrete graphics are not a requirement for a "Pro" machine, and if you think they are, then you either have no idea what the GPU does, have been brainwashed by marketing, or are a pretentious idiot looking for a reason to hate on the new MBPs.
  11. Shiner macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    Never buy a integrated card

    The advantages for an integrated card:
    1) Conserve power-That is it.

    The advantages for dedicated card:
    1)Future proof. The OP wants you to think there will be no difference between a 9400m integrated card and the 9600M GT. He is wrong.
    2)If you ever decided to run a program that utilizes the graphics card you will have it waiting for you. Better to have it and not need it (great that the 9400m is still there) then need it and not have it.
    3)Snow leopard is a few months away and we are unsure of what might come from developers. The OP thinks he knows the entire future of snow leopard. I think he might be surprised. He also states that snow leopard is still a few months away, like it is to far in the future to worry about. Please how often do you replace your macbook pro?

    People come on these forums and make a big stink about something and usually it is to justify their purchase.

    9400m is great for an integrated card. Most people use their computer to check email and surf the internet. This is what this card is made for. It will work great for a majority of people.

    But think down the road just a few years, at least more than a couple months, and think what you might be doing. Is the $300 worth it? You decide on your own.
  12. MacModMachine macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2009

    yea that makes no sense....

    video editing , photography , engineering , music editing/recording

    those are things macbook pro's are targeted and mostly used for.

    i see 3 of 4 that would highly benefit from discreet GPU's
  13. TRAG macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2009
    Louisiana, USA
    You said it. I tried talking someone out of a 15.4" MBP and all they could think about was getting the extra graphics card and 2.1 extra inches to play Sims 3. SIMS 3! What a waste …
  14. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    I see ~.5/4. Engineering MIGHT benefit if you are using some sort of 3D CAD software. Other than that, the 9600 will do more or less squat for those tasks.
  15. Dwalls90 thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 5, 2009
    Wrong. I want you to know that for almost all users, the 9600GT is NOT necessary. Furthermore, the gains realized from a 9600GT and a 9400M under OpenCL will be not that big of a difference.

    It's also great to have $300 more in your pocket, when almost everyone won't need it. Future video cards will greatly realize OpenCL as a performance boost - current ones, not so much.

    You still don't understand. A GPU WILL NOT REPLACE THE CPU. For one who does NOT do anything visually intensive, the GPU is USELESS, BEFORE and AFTER OpenCl is released.

    Funny that I have a blackbook with neither GPU and do not plan on ugprading until Arrandale with a TRUELY strong GPU.

    And you have just agreed to what my post was all about - most people do NOT need the 9600GT. They don't need it now, and won't come OpenCL (who goes from surfing the net to creating 3D pixar films and playing games at x16 AA?)

    $300 IS worth it to someone that will NEVER see that benefit.

    And so where do you see that Apple has claimed OpenCL will transfer GPU power to CPU processing? Trust me, if they haven't advertised it as a feature of Snow Leopard by this point - It's not happening.
  16. Jiten macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    We have come a long way. Remember when people were actually editing movies and doing "Pro" Photoshop work on a G3 Powerbook? :)

    I know some folks in the Magazine business that still do their layout, illustration and Photoshop touch up work on "obsolete" Mac Minis and Macbooks with the Intel integrated GPU. And they are doing just fine.

    As for OpenCL, its really exciting but I'm guessing that it will take a while until major Apps like Photoshop would be able to take advantage of it. Heck, they are even taking their sweet time to make the Photoshop version of OSX 64 bit!

    I own a 17 inch Unibody and do tons of hi-res Photoshop and illustration work. So far both 9600 and 9400 provides no difference in performance in what I do. So I use the 9400 chip 98% of the time. I also own a 24 inch LED ACD and noticed that the 9600 made the UI much smoother when my MBP is connected to it and spanning its desktop across both screens.

    Perhaps in a few years from now that will be a different story however...
  17. 173080 macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2003
    The 9400 still isn't worthy of the Pro name, because its not among the best. Even the 9600 is debatable.

    Apple has been watering down their products so much lately.
  18. Dwalls90 thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 5, 2009
    Please, get your head out of your butt.

    The hardware itself never made the divide between MB and MBP. You know what did? The imaginary line in people's minds.

    I find it laughable that so many people are angry that there is a MBP offering without a graphics card, when many people with a MBP NEVER USED IT. People that are calling this stupid, are sour towards them no longer having the 'best' MBP, or are downright tools.
  19. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Thank you for proving my point: "if you think they are, then you either have no idea what the GPU does,"

    The GPU makes no difference in video editing, no difference in photo editing, and no difference in music editing or recording. It makes a big difference in a limited set of engineering programs, like 3D modelling software. So that 0.5/4 areas where discrete is necessary.

    Nice try, though. :rolleyes:
  20. Philflow macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2008

    Does the 9600 not provide significant benefit over the 9400? I don't know, I don't have the benchmarks to prove it.
  21. Shiner macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    Relax guy. No reason to get all crazy. You use your mac for very easy and playful things like word, email, and surfing the internet. That is great, apple made you a great laptop. They also sell a little better laptop that has ALL of your features plus a better graphics card. Maybe some people will play a game or two. Hell maybe I will actually use my macbook pro to help fold proteins for my job. Either way, you buy your macbook and I will buy mine.
  22. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    Although I agree about the complaining what you say is technically not true. For example Aperture uses the GPU and you will get a speed boost in that program with the faster GPU. Additionally in Snow Leopard you will see a speed boost in more programs because of the GPU that will have CPU tasks offloaded to it.
  23. 173080 macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2003
    The hardware itself should be different in a Plastic vs. Aluminum kind of way.

    I don't get what the problem is with people who don't want to keep the Pro label only for the greatest models. You could still buy the watered down notebook, only it should be labeled Macbook because that's what it is.

    I'm not against Apple offering affordable computers, in fact I think that's great. What I am against is Apple passing off affordable computers as their top of the line models which negatively impacts the brand image for those who paid twice as much.
  24. picklesmand macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    To the OP you're completely right, and I've tried to explain that to people. I think in this case though, it's a psychological thing for some people, who have to have the "best". Hey, if they have the cash to blow, better that Apple gets it than some other company I guess. I'm an engineer, so I have the natural engineer's thriftyness about matching the best possible tool for the job for the least amount of money, but not everyone thinks like that.

    Both graphics cards are great. I suspect that for a lot of people, the 9600 is in the words of my russian friend (but not his awesome accent) "like using lamborghini to go to the grocery store". If they want it, great.
  25. ZnU macrumors regular

    May 24, 2006
    This is simply not true. Aperture is GPU accelerated. Motion relies heavily on the GPU. FXPlug plugins in Final Cut often use the GPU. Color is largely GPU-based. There are a fair number of GPU-accelerated operations in Photoshop CS4 now. And OpenCL means a lot more software will probably be leveraging the GPU in the future.

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