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Apple underclocking MacBook Pro graphics cards - Page 2

post #41 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
Did anybody check ATI's Specifications page for the x1600 Mobility?

http://www.ati.com/products/mobility...600/specs.html

And that page doesn´t even state anything about the speed.

Looks like graphics cards for laptops is an accepted custom fit and you cannot claim that someone cheated you from certain specs if the manufactor of the computer didn´t claim them.
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post #42 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by Flounder
Did you even read Lundy's post?

yes. And I would happy for you to show me where Apple (the notebook vendor) gives us a complete list of supported features.

Did you read my post?
post #43 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by makkystyle
yes. And I would happy for you to show me where Apple (the notebook vendor) gives us a complete list of supported features.

Did you read my post?

Do us a favour, will ye? Spend 10 minutes reading the official specs of the Mobility Radeon® X1600. You can find them here: http://www.ati.com/products/mobility...600/specs.html

Now tell me what part of these specs Apple is not delivering on?

And I won't even go into the fact that there is plenty of software out there, which will let you clock your graphics card whichever way floats your boat. You are getting a "real" X1600, not a X1400 or anything else.
post #44 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
And that page doesn´t even state anything about the speed.

Looks like graphics cards for laptops is an accepted custom fit and you cannot claim that someone cheated you from certain specs if the manufactor of the computer didn´t claim them.

yes you are right. they do not specify processor speeds.
post #45 of 87
And now proceed to http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/graphics.html -- and spend a few minutes reviewing that. Where on that page does Apple claim they have clocked the X1600 at a particular speed? That's right, they make no claims of any kind! In fact, they show you benchmarks, which are done on the actual MacBook Pro. They don't show you benchmarks of what it could be like.

And if you want to find out more, and you read the specifications on ATI's page, they specifically do not list a clock rate, just saying that the card will be tuned depending on what laptop you get.

And again, I will not go into the fact that it is dead simple to clock the card any way you like, though with obvious trade-offs (battery life and fan noise come to mind). Apple, nor ATI, have not done anything to prevent you from tuning the card to your hearts content. If anything, the opposite: ATI has made it very easy to change the clock and memory speeds.
post #46 of 87
If tuning the clock speed required you to hack the firmware, maybe you'd have a point.

Here is a fact: As every laptop manufacturer does, Apple has had to strike a balance between size, heat, noise weight, battery life, and many other factors. If you are a hardcore gamer, you would purchase an Alienware or similar laptop. It'll be huge, heavy and noisy, but it will be tuned for the highest possible performance. Maybe even factory over-clocked (it seems that more and more "factory over-clocked" PC's are coming to market)! A computer is a tool, and you get the tool that is best suited to your needs.
post #47 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by Robin Hood
And now proceed to http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/graphics.html -- and spend a few minutes reviewing that. Where on that page does Apple claim they have clocked the X1600 at a particular speed? That's right, they make no claims of any kind! In fact, they show you benchmarks, which are done on the actual MacBook Pro. They don't show you benchmarks of what it could be like.

And if you want to find out more, and you read the specifications on ATI's page, they specifically do not list a clock rate, just saying that the card will be tuned depending on what laptop you get.

And again, I will not go into the fact that it is dead simple to clock the card any way you like, though with obvious trade-offs (battery life and fan noise come to mind). Apple, nor ATI, have not done anything to prevent you from tuning the card to your hearts content. If anything, the opposite: ATI has made it very easy to change the clock and memory speeds.

yes you made your point the first time.
post #48 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by makkystyle
yes you made your point the first time.

It's the unadulterated truth. Unfortunately, there are limits to what today's technology can and cannot do. Blame the universe if you will, but it certainly isn't Apple's fault. And you can always change the clock speed of your ATI graphics card, it's not like it involves patching the firmware, or making any dangerous modifications. It's just a setting that can easily be flipped on or off, literally. It's your decision, and Apple is not taking that decision away from you.
post #49 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by Robin Hood
And now proceed to http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/graphics.html -- and spend a few minutes reviewing that. Where on that page does Apple claim they have clocked the X1600 at a particular speed? And if you want to find out more, and you read the specifications on ATI's page, they specifically do not list a clock rate, just saying that the card will be tuned depending on what laptop you get.

While ati doesn't state it on that page... there is a STANDARD that is assumed. If you look at all the ATI x1600 mobility gpu's they are all clocked at 470mhz OR HIGHER. A lot of manufacters will overclock the gpu and ship it that way. This is one of the reasons ATI doesn't list clock speeds on their pages. ASUS would do their x1900 and clock it 100mhz higher as a marketing point.

Every single review site i have come across on the ATI x1600 mobility states it runs at 470mhz. So this should be assumed by the consumer. A lot of people aren't technically savy enough to overclock their gpus... i mean they could attempt it.. but they don't know the physical limits and could fry something.

The fact remains that if something is underclocked from a standard speed, it isn't the pure graphics card. This is where cards like the x800XL or the 6800SE come into play. These are cards that have been underclocked. Usually they are underclocked to get HEAT TEMPS down and to strive for pure silent operation. They can't be sold as a x800 or a 6800... but need some sort of extension to show they aren't their full self. Is it the same gpu? In most cases yes. Some cases vertex shaders and pixel pipelines are disabled, but in a lot of cases they aren't and are just underclocked. So tell me why these manufacters don't just sell them as a 6800? A PC enthusiast would be PISSED to no END if they bought an underclocked card. Why should we accept anything less?

 

 

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post #50 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by makkystyle
yes you made your point the first time.

I blame the review pages. They lists the maximum clock speed as was it applicable on all hardware

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2632
http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=188&type=expert
http://www.trustedreviews.com/article.aspx?art=2220

They should relay the real picture instead.
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post #51 of 87
I very much suspect that anybody who reads up on GPU clock speeds would be technically savvy enough to install and use an over-clocking application. Heck, I don't, and even I'm technically savvy enough to do it! Now if the GPU that Apple built in was a lesser version of the X1600, which wasn't even capable of running at the "assumed" speed, you would have a very reasonable point.

As it stands, you're not making a whole lot of sense.
post #52 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by emig647
While ati doesn't state it on that page... there is a STANDARD that is assumed. If you look at all the ATI x1600 mobility gpu's they are all clocked at 470mhz OR HIGHER. A lot of manufacters will overclock the gpu and ship it that way. This is one of the reasons ATI doesn't list clock speeds on their pages.

Do you have any evidence that proves the bold part?

Quote:
Originally posted by emig647
Every single review site i have come across on the ATI x1600 mobility states it runs at 470mhz. So this should be assumed by the consumer.

According to www.liesaboutcoke.org your penis will grow five inches if you dring two cans of coke every day. Should we hold Coca-Cola responsible for those claim if they turns out to be false?

Quote:
Originally posted by emig647
The fact remains that if something is underclocked from a standard speed, it isn't the pure graphics card.

If they are underclocked give a link that proves that they are slower than OFFICAL ATI specs. It should be easy, no?
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post #53 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by emig647
The fact remains that if something is underclocked from a standard speed, it isn't the pure graphics card.

The folks at ATI disagree with you, and in fact specifically make customers who read the official specifications of the X1600 mobility aware that the card will be tuned, depending on the laptop you are getting.

But hey, what do the folks at ATI know, right?
post #54 of 87
Quote:
But, but, melgross , I want my 30" MacBook Pro with SLI graphics and quad core. It must weigh no more than 3 pounds, and have at least 8 hours of battery life. It must also be completely silent, and not generate any heat of any kind.

Don't forget to say that you want to be able to OMG UPGRADE TEH VIDEO CARD and OMG UPGRADE TEH PROCESSOR and OMG UPGRADE TEH HARD DRIVE and OMG I WANT MORE PIXELS and OMG WTF NO PCI SLOT.
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post #55 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
What I find to be amazing is that all the people who crab about how they want a thinner, lighter laptop here, will also crab because said laptop can't cool enough, and that a bigger heavier battery can't be cramped in, so that these power hungry, and HOT chips can run at full speeds.

If the MBP were a half inch thicker, and a half pound heavier, then there wouldn't be a problem.

Life is a compromise. Get over it.

I have a MacBook Pro I am disappointed because it isn't a laptop computer.

I don't need a thinner computer, I didn't ask for a thinner computer than the previous revision. I wish there was a way to force the fans on, it could be cooling the unit better. I'm not sure what to do with the thing now, the damn thing has two fans with lower air flow than that of my reasonably quiet Windows laptop with one fan.

The MBP isn't set to cool itself properly when placed on a lap, the manual simply cautions against this use on page 107, saying that the product won't be able to cool itself when placed on any soft surface. Relying on the bottom panel of something like this for cooling isn't good thermal design.

I also see no way to enable or control SpeedStep or any other means of setting or verifying clock reduction for when the speed isn't needed.
post #56 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by makkystyle
Sure you are right melgross, life is a compromise. But a consumer should be the one who chooses to make the compromise. Apple should be clear that you are not getting what is 'in the box' so to speak. It should be very clear what you are compromising to get your thin, long-life-ed sleek MacBook. I love Apple computers but I am not a hacker and must rely on trusting apple's published specs as true.

So, you would choose not to buy the computer because they clocked the graphics subsystem down? Pretty much all laptop companies do the same thing. Those specs reported are maximum. ATI even says that the speeds will vary.
post #57 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
I have a MacBook Pro I am disappointed because it isn't a laptop computer.

I don't need a thinner computer, I didn't ask for a thinner computer than the previous revision. I wish there was a way to force the fans on, it could be cooling the unit better. I'm not sure what to do with the thing now, the damn thing has two fans with lower air flow than that of my reasonably quiet Windows laptop with one fan. The MBP isn't set to cool itself properly when placed on a lap, the manual simply cautions against this use on page 107. I also see no way to enable or control SpeedStep or any other means of setting or verifying clock reduction for when the speed isn't needed.

If you go through the PC sites, you will find more than a few "laptops" that are too hot for a lap. Apple's customers want thin. Apple is giving it to them.

If it is performing the way it's spec'd, then it's fine. You're not supposed to be able to control Speedstep. The cpu does that itself.

The fans cool the internal components to the temps THEY need. It's not there for your pleasure. These laptops are not much hotter than the G4's they replaced. But the performance is much better.

Take it or leave it. There's not much else to be said.
post #58 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
If you go through the PC sites, you will find more than a few "laptops" that are too hot for a lap.

I don't care. Ten wrong products don't make a right, and neither does the status quo. If Apple wants to claim its products are better, then I see nothing wrong with holding them to an acceptable standard. It is a significant mode of use for the product that is a basic expectation for the people that use the product and shouldn't be disclaimed near the back of the book with weasel words.

Quote:
You're not supposed to be able to control Speedstep.

Says who? OS X gave more control over the G5's energy management than it does over the Core Duo. There is no way to set "reduced" on the MBP for maximized energy savings, the energy savings control only seems to control the display backlight. The chips shouldn't be running so hot when they are idle, that leads me to believe that it is running at full speed.

Quote:
Take it or leave it. There's not much else to be said.

I may end up having to leave it because the product is effectively a luggable in its current form.

I must say though, using the bottom plate as a significant heat transfer method is bad thermal design, I learned that in first semester of thermal engineering.
post #59 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by Robin Hood
But, but, melgross , I want my 30" MacBook Pro with SLI graphics and quad core. It must weigh no more than 3 pounds, and have at least 8 hours of battery life. It must also be completely silent, and not generate any heat of any kind.

...and cure cancer. It must cure cancer, even if it is only a BTO option.
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post #60 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
[B]I don't care. Ten wrong products don't make a right. If Apple wants to claim its products are better, then I see nothing wrong with holding them to an acceptable standard. It is a significant mode of use for the product that is a basic expectation for the people that use the product and shouldn't be disclaimed near the back of the book.

Jeff, laptops have been getting hotter for years. That's the way it is. Until technology allows a cpu to use even less power than now, with the same performance, you will have to suffer with it. Nobody is happy about it, but it can't be helped. People are not willing to accept the alternative, which is; heavier machines, and larger machines. Not for the same performance.

You might be, but few others are.

Quote:
Says who? OS X gave more control over the G5's energy management than it does over the MBP's chip. There is no way to set "reduced" on the MBP for maximized energy savings, the energy savings control only seems to control the display backlight. The chips shouldn't be running so hot when they are idle, that leads me to believe that it is running at full speed.

Sez Intel. This has been discussed already. Not just here, but on other tech sites as well.

Quote:
I may end up having to leave it because the product is effectively a luggable in its current form.

That would be sad, but it's your choice. Let us know if you do.

Quote:
I must say though, using the bottom plate as a significant heat transfer method is bad thermal design, I learned that in first semester of thermal engineering.

It's good for the components, bad for your naked knees. Aluminum is a very good heat conductor. Of the common materials, only copper is better. There is no other heat sink area that Apple could use on a laptop. PC manufacturers that use plastic, have a lower external temp, but a higher internal one, or are larger, and weigh more. Most people want thin and light.
post #61 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
It's good for the components, bad for your naked knees. Aluminum is a very good heat conductor.

My point was that the bottom surface of a hot object has the worst thermal transfer coefficient, in non-circulated air. Actually moving air would be better, but this product really doesn't seem to try very hard at that either.
post #62 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
My point was that the bottom surface of a hot object has the worst thermal transfer coefficient, in non-circulated air. Actually moving air would be better, but this product really doesn't seem to try very hard at that either.

It's not ideal. But the fans are no doubt the largest that could fit. They also take up power. Being mechanical devices, no matter how efficient they are, the draw would be considerable if they were to be on for a large percentage of the time. The battery itself gets hot as current is being drawn.

As I said, there isn't a better place on the machine that could sink the heat other than the bottom. would you rather they sunk it on the top, through the keyboard?
post #63 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
As I said, there isn't a better place on the machine that could sink the heat other than the bottom. would you rather they sunk it on the top, through the keyboard?

Actually they do that too. There is a considerable amount of heat going to the keyboard. It's not as much of a problem as there is no heat trapping going on.
post #64 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Actually they do that too. There is a considerable amount of heat going to the keyboard. It's not as much of a problem as there is no heat trapping going on.

But that isn't intentional. Some of the heat rises through the keyboard because it has no other place to go. Heat trapping isn't 100% efficient.
post #65 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
But that isn't intentional. Some of the heat rises through the keyboard because it has no other place to go. Heat trapping isn't 100% efficient.

Regardless, I've looked around, the part between the keyboard and screen exceeds 120 F and has been the subject of numerous complaints.

I've looked around, the claim that using the fan would waste too much power doesn't hold much water. I found a few small ones that are quiet and only consume 0.5 W. Still, something like this wouldn't be as good as not turning electrical power into heat in the first place, especially at idle. The amount of heat generated at idle is the reason I'm not convinced that SpeedStep is being used properly.
post #66 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Regardless, I've looked around, the part between the keyboard and screen exceeds 120 F and has been the subject of numerous complaints.

I've looked around, the claim that using the fan would waste too much power doesn't hold much water. I found a few small ones that are quiet and only consume 0.5 W. Still, something like this wouldn't be as good as not turning electrical power into heat in the first place, especially at idle. The amount of heat generated at idle is the reason I'm not convinced that SpeedStep is being used properly.

It's aomething that Apple has no control over. The chip makes all of the decisions. So you have to blame Intel on that one.

Look, I'm with you on the heat thing. I think that the machines could be a bit thicker, and and as a result, have a better internal path for the heat to be withdrawn through. But, as I said, thin is in.

As far as the fans go, I don't know what models Apple uses, or the cfm. But even if they use .5 watt, there are two of them, and even that 1 watt would draw that battery down if they were on much more often. also, if you read many comments in the thread, you will see that people just HATE it when the fan comes on for long periods. So, one just can't win with this.
post #67 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by lundy
Don't forget to say that you want to be able to OMG UPGRADE TEH VIDEO CARD and OMG UPGRADE TEH PROCESSOR and OMG UPGRADE TEH HARD DRIVE and OMG I WANT MORE PIXELS and OMG WTF NO PCI SLOT.

This is....TEH 13373ST P0sT oF TEH y34R!
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post #68 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
It's aomething that Apple has no control over. The chip makes all of the decisions. So you have to blame Intel on that one.

Did Intel remove the software controllability of SpeedStep? I haven't used a Pentium-M or Core anything laptop, but my PIIIm (1.2GHz) only needed a simple little applet (SpeedSwitch XP for Windows XP) to force any SpeedStep capable laptop into the slow clock. That unit didn't need it so much because it doesn't run hot. That laptop was very thin for the time and light too, 1.25" thick and 5lb.
post #69 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Did Intel remove the software controllability of SpeedStep? I haven't used a Pentium-M or Core anything laptop, but my PIIIm (1.2GHz) only needed a simple little applet (SpeedSwitch XP for Windows XP) to force any SpeedStep capable laptop into the slow clock. That unit didn't need it so much because it doesn't run hot. That laptop was very thin for the time and light too, 1.25" thick and 5lb.

It's not so much as removed it, as this being a new series, it was never put in. That doesn't mean that some hack doesn't exist that might allow it. But, right now, at least, Intel doesn't support it.

What speed machine do you have? The faster, the hotter, after all.
post #70 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by gugulino81
I'd like to know, how other Laptop-Manufacturer handled this problem? It seems, that the ATI graphic-card is a bit too hot for Notebooks!

Making a laptop that's thicker than a fucking inch?
post #71 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
As I said, there isn't a better place on the machine that could sink the heat other than the bottom. would you rather they sunk it on the top, through the keyboard?

Of course not. MBPs should have liquid cooling, with a radiator on the back of the lid.
post #72 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
It's not so much as removed it, as this being a new series, it was never put in. That doesn't mean that some hack doesn't exist that might allow it. But, right now, at least, Intel doesn't support it.

What speed machine do you have? The faster, the hotter, after all.

I wasn't aware of that.

I bought the 1.83MHz version. I was tempted to go higher, but I am thankful I didn't. I had expected that the increased power saving of the latest SpeedStep, combined with the transistor size shrinks (.065 vs .13 on the old notebook) would allow enough efficiency improvements to offset the clock speed increase.

I did find some posts where people claimed that the 1.0.1 firmware helped so I installed that for completeness sake, but the Apple info makes no claims to that effect. That isn't to say that Apple didn't sneak in some bug fixes without saying anything, the only thing Apple claims about 1.0.1 is to support languages that read right to left.
post #73 of 87
Just increase the speed in windows and leave it alone. Apple dynamically adjusts it however they have been runnning it somewhat slower for most things.
post #74 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
I wasn't aware of that.

I bought the 1.83MHz version. I was tempted to go higher, but I am thankful I didn't. I had expected that the increased power saving of the latest SpeedStep, combined with the transistor size shrinks (.065 vs .13 on the old notebook) would allow enough efficiency improvements to offset the clock speed increase.

I did find some posts where people claimed that the 1.0.1 firmware helped so I installed that for completeness sake, but the Apple info makes no claims to that effect. That isn't to say that Apple didn't sneak in some bug fixes without saying anything, the only thing Apple claims about 1.0.1 is to support languages that read right to left.

Too bad they didn't continue to offer the 1.67. You know, if the Speedstepping IS working correctly, and there isn't any reason to believe that it isn't, just think how hot it would get without it!

Apple probably stuck some very minor fixes in, but if it were anyrthing that a user, or programmer, would see, they would have mentioned it.
post #75 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Did Intel remove the software controllability of SpeedStep? I haven't used a Pentium-M or Core anything laptop, but my PIIIm (1.2GHz) only needed a simple little applet (SpeedSwitch XP for Windows XP) to force any SpeedStep capable laptop into the slow clock. That unit didn't need it so much because it doesn't run hot. That laptop was very thin for the time and light too, 1.25" thick and 5lb.

into the slow clock? yeah that was P3s.

SpeedStep doesnt do that anymore. It dynamically scales its frequency from the lowest setting to the highest setting in 100mhz increments. It could be running 600MHz on second and th next at 900, or at 1000, or at 2000... it dynamically changes all the time.
post #76 of 87
It should be noted that other manufacturers have underclocked GPUs in the past (i.e. Sony's thinner laptops with GPUs).
post #77 of 87
Can someone check if they brought the clockspeed up on the Windows side they would hit these standards for x1600 Futuremark 3Dmark05 scores (free download from http://www.futuremark.com) ???


source: http://service.futuremark.com/orb/index.jsp

(yes I love to cross-post my pretty pictures )

I feel that in Windows on the MacbookPros and iMac Intel there would be no reason for arguments, ATI has appropriate clocking tools (just check up on the PC overclocking forums) to set things to your heart's desire and get the most frame rates out of your x1600/x1600 mobility. Overclock too if you dare

I agree though there should be some way to set clock speeds on the Mac OS X side of things (the "highest" and "normal" and "reduced" settings in the system preferences), but really, if your pro apps run well and smooth why bother with clocking your GPU higher?

I agree that (and why not send feedback to Apple) one should have more control on GPU clocking on the Mac OS X side of things but it should be not too long before someone comes up with a Macintel OS X ATI overclocking tool

That said, Apple has worked out a balance of performance, heat, etc, etc, so at least you're better informed now going in to purchase a Macintel.
post #78 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by Robin Hood
First of all, I'd like to say that I'm all for this. I'd rather have a laptop that runs as silently as possible, and trade some performance for longer battery life.

That being said, wouldn't it be cool if Apple offered an "overlooking" tool, like ATI does? That way, if you want to squeeze every last frame per second out of Quake 4, you could, and than clock it back to the "recommended" state.

****************************************

That's right.

Afterall, if I want to run on the power brick to do video capture / conversions etc., I should have the choice of clocking up, then back down for battery operation.

Could this be a simple SW solution ???
---gooddog

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post #79 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by gooddog
****************************************

That's right.

Afterall, if I want to run on the power brick to do video capture / conversions etc., I should have the choice of clocking up, then back down for battery operation.

Could this be a simple SW solution ???

Revving the GPU up won't help that.
post #80 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
Revving the GPU up won't help that.


Specifically, Core Image operations* will benefit from a higher clocked GPU right? The question then is how much Core Image operations there are in your workflow

*Core Image operations = GPU-only tasks
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