Understanding the 15" video card differences

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Landdogger, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. Landdogger macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2009
    I'm lucky enough to have waited to buy new new MBP and now have the chance to choose from the sexy new lineup. I'm having trouble understanding the difference between the least expensive and next expensive model, with the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card, and then NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics WITH the 9600M GT with 256MB (the $1,699 and $1,999 models, respectively).

    I've been doing research and understand that only one is used at a time, but I'm unsure if it's something I'll be needing. I'll be mainly using CS4 (Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects), probably Final Cut/Premiere and possibly some 3ds Max. I would want to get Windows XP on there too. I don't think I'm a "pro" user, but I would appreciate a machine that can handle all of this.

    I'm upgrading from a 15" PowerBook G4, circa 2005.

    Can someone please give me an idea if I should consider spending the money for the model with the extra GPU (is that the right term?)? I would rather spend less, especially if I won't notice the extra performance.

    Thanks for the help, you are all incredibly wise and informative!

  2. sputnik18 macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2009
    Hi, same issue with me, I'm trying to decide on my purchase as well...Though not using the laptop for professional work I will be using it with program like Adobe Photoshop to edit RAW files e.t.c. and maybe home videos... Is it worth to get 2.53GHz or 2.66GHz? I will get 2.66 GHz if the graphic upgrade does have significant differences to the tasks I need to perform, could some one in the know shed some lights? Appreciate it...

    Oo..Landdoger, apple website link below:


    does mention that with the 2.66 GHz line you could "Get up to 2.5x faster performance with discrete graphics over integrated graphics." e.g. games like Quake 4 e.t.c, could someone confirm this is will apply to photo editing program as well?? thanks a lot...
  3. ltldrummerboy macrumors 68000


    Oct 15, 2007
    I would advise that you get an MBP with the 9600 card in it. It will run graphically-intense apps smoother than the 9400. Also, when Snow Leopard is released having the dedicated GPU will make your computer significantly faster than if it didn't have it.
  4. sputnik18 macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2009
    Thanks, with that I'm leaning towards the MBP with 9600 on it for the upcoming Snow Leopard update...:D

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