When should I use the faster GPU?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by McGilli, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. McGilli macrumors 6502

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #1
    Ok. I do NOT play games on my MBP. I only run OSX. Mostly normal tasks, but I do a lot of video encoding with D-Vision, I-Squint and MPEG (Perian) Encoder and I-Movie.

    Should I ever switch over the the faster GPU? I never have since I bought this (early 2009 MBP)
     
  2. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

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    Aug 20, 2009
    #2
    Instead of waiting for opinions on this forum, it's better to just try it and find out yourself if their is difference in performance. This is a problem you can easily test out yourself. This way you will know the correct answer for sure. It's not like it will take much effort to test it out for yourself.

    You will get better battery life with the integrated GPU (slower GPU) and it will run cooler than the faster GPU especially if you play games or other graphics intense applications. So if you don't see much of a performance benefit then you just use the slower GPU.
     
  3. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

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  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    Why?

    Do you know the OP's needs or budget? Just because he's a little unsure of when to switch over to the 9600m doesn't mean he wasted his money. Besides its his to do with as he pleases.

    As for the OP, try running applications with the 9600m and then back with the integrated gpu (9400m) and compare which provides you with the best bang for the buck.

    If you have the machine plugged in, then keep it on the 9600m and then when you go mobile switch it over to the integrated gpu.
     
  5. McGilli thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 11, 2008
    #5
    Ya when I ordered my 17" online from Apple I must have missed the option to remove the extra GPU for a reduction in price. ;)

    Your response really is what makes this forum a miserable place to ask for advice sometimes.

    -----

    Everyone else thanks - keep the useful comments and advice coming if you have any. I ran a large encoding project last night and I was waiting to go to bed after it finished to make sure there were no errors - that's why I started thinking about the faster GPU. I'll re-run it under the 9600 and see if it helps.
     
  6. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

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    #6
    I'm sorry, I thought you had a 15".

    Wouldn't it have been a shame in that case, to pay for a 9600 and one year later not having utilized it even once?
     
  7. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #7
    you know what they say about people who assume?
     
  8. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

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    #8
    I owe you a cookie for the funny you made.
     
  9. m85476585 macrumors 65816

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    Feb 26, 2008
    #9
    No, if you bought it for future use. Maybe someone doesn't need the 9600 when they buy a laptop, but they buy it anyway in case they find something in the future than needs it. If Open CL becomes more widely used, a lot more programs should be able to take advantage of the 9600.
     
  10. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

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    #10
    I sort of know you line of thinking. Its like old folks buying a Corvette and never going over 55 on the interstate.
     
  11. johnnj macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    So because I wanted a 15" with 2.66GHz CPU and I don't use the 9600 that means I shouldn't have gotten that machine? I don't use my laptop for gaming (I have a PC for that) and I can perceive no performance advantage between the 9400 and the 9600. The only thing I notice is that the fans run all the time and the battery drains faster when the 9600 is enabled.

    Besides, what do you care if someone buys a laptop with a component that they don't need or use? What are you, the GPU police?
     
  12. MattMK45 macrumors regular

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    #12
    imagine if you could combine the power of both gpus while gaming, that would be awesome
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #13
    True, and there's been a fair amount of discussion on this when apple first came out with the dual GPU on the MBP. I don't think it will ever happen. Apple has largely ignored gaming on their Macs.
     
  14. ss957916 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 17, 2009
    #14
    How much is the other GPU in my June '09 15" MBP worth?

    Having never used it (and I'm very sure I never will), I'd love to know how much money the Apple salesman persuaded me to waste.
     
  15. Fuchal macrumors 68020

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    #15
    $900
     
  16. Macallan82 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #16
    When I had the MBP with the discrete GPU, I only used it while it was hooked up to an external monitor. My usage is pretty basic. It just ran way too hot for basic tasks, plus I only game on my PS3 now. I sold it and bought a 13" MBP with no regrets. :)
     
  17. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I believe this is a mistake for Apple to do because the gaming community is a fairly large group but more importantly they are usually the techie people in the family meaning other family members go to them for advice. If Apple can convince them to get a Mac then they will recommend Macs to their family members.
     
  18. Gabriel GR macrumors 6502a

    Gabriel GR

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    #18
    I don't care what you do with your money. What kinda bothers me is the marketing hype that if you do anything graphics related (which some people perceive as photoshop or watching videos) you have to buy the dedicated GPU.

    If apple buyers evaluated the hardware with more objective criteria (and not "I buy as much as I can to have the High-End model") we would get better, more powerful computers.
     
  19. Clete2 macrumors 65816

    Clete2

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    #19
    Does the switch automatically happen when you launch a 3D application? How do you switch?
     
  20. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

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    #20
    That would be very convenient now wouldn't it.....No, you have to manually switch the GPU yourself by going to System Preferences and in the Energy Saver icon you will see a section at the top called Graphics. It will allow you to choose either better battery life or higher performance. You are required to logout every time you switch cards so make sure to save everything you are current working on first.
     
  21. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #21
    I was hoping Snow Leopard would solve the logout/switching GPU issue but alas, we still need to log out any time we want to switch the GPU.
     
  22. Clete2 macrumors 65816

    Clete2

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    #22
    Wow, that sucks!

    I can see where you would have to switch it manually, but logging out too? If I was playing a game, that would be ok. But what if I wanted to power up Photoshop for 5 minutes (CS4 has GPU acceleration)? That would suck.
     
  23. m85476585 macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Some PCs can. It's called hybrid SLI.
     
  24. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 30, 2009
    #24
    It does have GPU acceleration but it will only be noticeable if you're working on massive files.
     
  25. Clete2 macrumors 65816

    Clete2

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    #25
    Yeah, but a big difference between an integrated GPU and a discrete one.

    Yeah, I see. Really, the only time I would switch would to be for games (e.g. WoW is really all I play on PC). Still, Photoshop would perform better with the discrete chip.
     

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