Why do YOU need a dedicated graphics card?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by darklich, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. darklich macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    #1
    I want to get the 13 inch MBP and I think the 9400 will suit my needs, but I'd hate to later find out that really needed that dedicated graphics card. I'm not a gamer. So, what are you doing that demands you have a dedicated graphics card?
     
  2. coolmacguy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    #2
    If you are not a gamer and are not doing anything else 3D related (such as 3D modeling or design work), then you probably don't need it.
     
  3. Wehrwolf macrumors 6502

    Wehrwolf

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #4
    I guess the easier way to answer this is to ask what YOU'RE planning on using the computer for. :p
     
  4. 1BadMac macrumors 6502

    1BadMac

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    #5
    The specs state a card supporting 256 MB VRAM and the other specs are rather mild. The mid-2009 13" will easily handle this with the 9400M.
     
  5. apw100 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #6
    Yeah, but those are minimum requirements. I have the need... for speed. ;)

    Also, there will be a lot more GPU accelerated software/plug-ins coming soon, so I'd like to be as "future proofed" as possible.
     
  6. darklich thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    #7
    You know there's a certain somebody on this forum you might like to meet. :D
     
  7. coolmacguy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    #8
    For video editing, you are not going to see much if any speed improvement with a better graphics card, at least currently. Video is 2D and is much more CPU bound.

    This is a good point though. If we start to see a lot of non-3D stuff starting to use the graphics card more with things like opencl, then it may be noticeable at some point in the future.
     
  8. jawa12083 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #9
    Wirelessly posted (iPod Touch 2G 8GB: Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

    Like one of the posters above me said, the higher you upgrade now, the better you will be in the long run.

    Sure, a 9400m can handles things today. But what happens whenthe screen becomes a holographic projection???
     
  9. coolmacguy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    #10
    Well you would need a new computer/display to support that most likely anyway. :D
     
  10. StopSign24 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    #11
    I personally don't mind it, though all I do is 2D work. If your thinking about doing anything with 3D, get the dedicated video card.
     
  11. apw100 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #12
    Yeah, but the GPU is starting to be used for much more than 3D graphics. We will definitely see OpenCL being integrated more into programs such as Final Cut Pro.
    There are already a number of applications that greatly increase video transcoding speed and rendering through the use of the GPU. A good example is the Nvidia Ion chipset which basically makes HD playback possible on an Atom system through GPU acceleration.
     
  12. kny3twalker macrumors 65816

    kny3twalker

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    #13
    That same hardware is also built into the 9400m.
     
  13. ozreth macrumors 65816

    ozreth

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #14
    I am a gamer and currently own the high end 15". I am starting to find it a bit cumbersome and would love to switch to the new 13", but will most likely only do so if it has dedicated graphics.
     
  14. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2002
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #15
    I have a 2.53GHz Mac Book Pro (prior generation) with 9400M and 9600M GT graphics. I have had this laptop for 17 months. I use it in the office during the day (Office Apps) and at night (iPlayer, Web browsing, e-mail, some World of Warcraft, and occasional Photoshop and Aperture work). Apart from when I first bought the notebook to try out the 9600M GT, I always use the 9400M as the laptop runs a lot cooler with this option, and I found that I did not need the higher performance 9600M GT discreet chip. Even playing WoW I can get up to 60 FPS using the slower and cooler 9400M.
     
  15. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #16
    The 9400M does seem to begin to struggle a tiny bit with a 2560x1600 resolution display. The Stacks and Expose animations are not totally smooth but in general that is minor stuff.
     
  16. kny3twalker macrumors 65816

    kny3twalker

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    #17
    That's probably because of the amount of memory available to the 9400m, and not because of the raw processing power of the gpu.
     
  17. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #18
    AtMonitor does report VRAM usage at about 70-75% when opening for example the Downloads stack (lots of files). The GPU time jumps to 90-95% though.
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #19
    My personal opinion being an owner of a dual gpu mbp is that most of the time the 9400m is more then up to the task. I usually run aperture, Photoshop, vmware (either win7 or fedora) and 9400 handles those tasks quite well
     

Share This Page