Why is 320M on macbook pro so sluggish?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vslo, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. vslo macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2010
    I am about to buy a macbook pro 13", I fell in love with the screensize, weight and everything else. The only thing that bothers me is that its a little sluggish when it comes to graphics. I mean, the dock and the grid for example... They are so much smoother n the 15" ! I know it has a dedicated video, but still, shouldnt a 1280x800 resolution run smoother with a 320M?
    Is it a hardware limitation or just bad graphics drivers ?
  2. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    Its not sluggish at all. And I own one.

    Of cause this is assuming your judgement is solely based on the dock popping up. Obviously you're not gunna get killer frame rates on the latest games
  3. Ralzy macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2009
    I'm not noticing any sluggishness on the 320m. I'm using the 2010 Mac Mini and 15'' i5 MBP and they seem the same on general usage.
  4. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    I'd also like to add, what is the OP's source for this?
  5. vslo thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2010
    My source is an Apple store macbook pro that I checked out today.
    Ok, I might be exagerating. Its not THAAAT sluggish, its just get a little glitchy sometimes at the dock i.e. . What I mean is that in the 15"with the dedicated on, it feels so much smoother.
    Are those little lags normal ?
  6. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Jun 16, 2009
    From the looks of things, maybe the card on the Apple Store computer is defective and needs replacing. That being said, I'm sure you are right and that the dedicated card is smoother as opposed to the integrated one.
  7. vslo thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2010
    Tested it in 3 different macbook pro 13". Not defective, for sure. I think its just a power management or even a driver problem. We all know Apple suck at drivers. But still, a 320M in 1280x800 resolution should be kicking ass, c'mon !
  8. bhattsan macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2010
    Unless I'm mistaken, doesn't the 15 inch i7 use the intel graphics in integrated mode? If so, thats probably why :p
  9. stefan1975 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2010
    how could you tell it was running on the dedicated card at the apple store? with just the dock and some default OSX apps open i am sure it would be running on integrated only and that in theory should be even sluggisher (?) then a so-so 320m.
  10. thecarrot macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2010
    Its sluggish because its not a dedicated graphics card.

  11. pandamonia macrumors 6502a

    Nov 15, 2009
    It cant be sluggish.

    my 15" 9400m was fine and i never used the discrete GPU in OSX.

    i have never noticed anything being jerky on nvidia integrated.

    MY new 15" 2010 i7 has the intel GPU on permanent and no jerky graphics in OSX.

    I wont test the 330M GT until tomorrow when my F240 Corsair SSD arrives
  12. vslo thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2010
    They were side by side, and I set the 15"to use only the 330M, thats why.
    I know its a dedicated, but in the 9400M models, it wasnt that sluggish. I can only suggest that the drivers in those new Nvidia's were poorly made.
  13. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Guys, for a bit of reality check, the Dock only covers a tiny tiny portion of the screen, and redrawing the Dock at gazillion frames per second is no problem not even for a four year old 950 integrated graphics, so whatever you think is sluggish has nothing to do with video. More likely that on one machine the icons had to be read from the hard drive or something similar.
  14. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    record it please and show us what you mean by it? lol...
  15. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    I tend to agree with this. I have a 13" with the 320m and the dock, expose and dashboard do feel sluggish or choppy at times, but I don't think its because of the GPU. Maybe the i7 also offers better performance with simple GUI functions as well?
  16. vslo thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2010
    I have to disagree. Why in a 15" changing from the onboard to the dedicated makes the dock SO much smooth, for example ? And why this framerate drop didnt ocurred in Leopard machines (I used to have a 20" core 2 duo imac with 9400M and the thing was smoooooth ) ?

    To me, this still a mystery. I tend to think that the responsible for this are the drivers, but in the other hand, even Apple should be able to make drivers capable to run smooth all OS functions as Dock, spaces, expose, etc....
  17. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    I don't think the way to judge a graphics card is basing it on a single animation on the desktop. You haven't made any references to other things you might have tried, like inertia scrolling, or gaming on it. You're asking why the 320M is sluggish, but seem to only base it one aspect, and several people have given reasonable explanations (such as the possibility of the HDD spinning up to load an icon) which you have rejected.

    As you are looking to purchase, and want to be sure that the MBP does not have dodgy drivers, you have to at least try out a variety of things which would test this.

    However I still maintain, as well as others who have posted, if there is a problem with the MBP you have tried it seems to not be widespread as no one else seems to suffer from this problem. I've owned my MBP since a month after launch, have used it for many things including gaming, and even before the recent graphics driver update, there have been no graphical issues.
  18. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    Only thing I would argue is that others definitely suffer this problem. I experience it regularly and there are several other documented cases on this forum and others. But it's not likely that it has anything to do with the GPU's ability. As people have said, the 9400m equipped notebooks didn't seem to suffer from stutter, so perhaps some other hardware change between generations is causing the problem.
  19. unwinded macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2007
    The OP probably has really good eyes or the units were defective. I remember my very first MacBook having sluggish graphics which I thought was because it was integrated only to see that on synthetic benchmarks the memory tests were very low compared to reviews. Turned out to be bad ram.

    Anyways, on Tiger even with the GMA950 the dock, expose, and dashboard were all smooth. On Leopard they were a little choppy, less so after subsequent launches. The integrated Intel after that one was worse in the UI than the GMA950 and I even remember seeing a Mac Pro with an nvidia card (don't remember which one) performing 'choppy' animations in the UI

    On the otherhand, I noticed that animations were smooth on ATI cards, even the older ones in Snow Leopard.

    Currently I have a 13" MBP with 320m and I wouldn't consider the UI choppy, but expose is definitely less smooth than in Tiger. It's likely a driver thing that nobody as bothered to optimize. It has nothing to do with the card being 'integrated'.

Share This Page