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MacBook graphics chipset question

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Can anybody tell me how the graphics chipset in the new MacBook compares with the graphics card in the two out-the-box Mac Pros.

I'm particularly interested in how Adobe CS3 benefits from each of them.

Many thanks!
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post #2 of 12
It should suffice to say that notebook graphic chips don't compare well to desktop graphic chips. Desktop chips are much more powerful. Additionally, the Mac Pros should be updated soon with all new internals.

The Macbook was (obviously) just updated with some nice Nvidia chips though so CS3 and 4 should run fine.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm just wondering how the Mac Pro's 7300GT would compare with the MacBook's 9400M, given that the original Mac Pro is now almost three years old.

Also, CS3 doesn't really make the most of discreet graphics cards, so I wondering if there is any real world difference between those graphics chipsets as far as CS3 is concerned. Likewise CS3 doesn't take advantage of the Mac Pro's four cores,

Basically I have a friend who is considering selling her Mac Pro and getting a MacBook instead. If the MacBook can make a decent run of CS3 then the portability aspects of the MacBook might swing the decision!
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post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

Yeah, I'm just wondering how the Mac Pro's 7300GT would compare with the MacBook's 9400M, given that the original Mac Pro is now almost three years old.!

Probably not well. The 7300GT was a low-end GPU in its day. The 9400 is also a very low-end GPU, but two generations newer.

Edit: see the next post
post #5 of 12
Well, OK, the 9400 is basically the same as the Geforce 8400 discrete GPU. Almost the same specs, it's just built into a chipset now. So it should perform about the same as that card.

And after a little research it looks like the 7300GT is the faster of those two. Overall, I'd say performance should be just about the same.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey guys... thanks for your help.

I can certainly see the temptation in replacing a desktop like a Mac Pro with the new MacBook. It's a small price to pay for that level of portability!

Sure the new MacBook doesn't have 4/8 cores. But with dual cores, 6GB RAM, a 320GB Scorpio Black hard drive and support for a 30" Cinema Display it packs quite a punch. Especially as it's considered a consumer notebook.
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post #7 of 12
I have a new 2.4 GHz MB and am pleased with its performance running CS3 apps (mainly PS, ID, DW). I upgraded the harddrive to a 7200rpm drive, and that made a nice difference. The screen is not the best and it lacks firewire, but if you can live with those issues then I imagine you'd be pretty happy with it and its speed.
post #8 of 12
In the longer term, if you are looking to replace a Mac Pro, just get the MacBook Pro. 2.4ghz, put in a 7200rpm drive (warning: get Apple to do it the Scorpios may cause unwanted vibration), 6GB RAM, 256mb dedicated VRAM nVidia 9600M GT, supports 30" Cinema Display.

Packs a heck of a punch.

Adobe CS3 will run real smooth. Adobe CS4 will run even better.

While Adobe CS3 and CS4 do not use the graphics card intensely, when running multiple applications especially across a 30" high-res screen, the MacBook Pro's 9600M GT will come in very handy as the whole OS X window display, Expose, etc. is openGL based.

And.... *drum roll* you have FW800/FW400 which the MacBook doesn't have.

If you are doing a lot of Adobe CS3 work you'd want to have a FW800 external hard disk hooked up. This is for scratch disk, and also for Time Machine. This FW800 external hard disk should also be configured as a unit with two drives (RAID 1: mirrored).

For video, audio editing, print work, new MacBook Pro is IMHO the right transition away from a Mac Pro. You may feel dissapointed if you get the MacBook and try to really push it to its limits.

The graphics card in the Mac Pro out-of-the-box is now the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT with 256MB of GDDR3 memory and two dual-link DVI ports. This is definitely better than the MacBook's 9400M, though maybe not by a huge margin. Not sure why you guys are talking about the 7300GT? Maybe you mean you have an existing Mac Pro with 7300GT.

Compared to a Mac Pro with 7300GT, from a purely GPU perspective, the MacBook Pro 9600M GT pretty much destroys the 7300GT any which way you look at it.

Final recommendation: If you are using just one 30" Cinema Display, get the MacBook Pro. Proposed setup: MacBook Pro 2.5ghz, 512MB VRAM, 6GB RAM (aftermarket), 7200rpm 320GB drive (installed by Apple during order), FW800 RAID-1 external hard drive unit 500GB-1TB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

Can anybody tell me how the graphics chipset in the new MacBook compares with the graphics card in the two out-the-box Mac Pros.

I'm particularly interested in how Adobe CS3 benefits from each of them.

Many thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

Hey guys... thanks for your help.

I can certainly see the temptation in replacing a desktop like a Mac Pro with the new MacBook. It's a small price to pay for that level of portability!

Sure the new MacBook doesn't have 4/8 cores. But with dual cores, 6GB RAM, a 320GB Scorpio Black hard drive and support for a 30" Cinema Display it packs quite a punch. Especially as it's considered a consumer notebook.
post #9 of 12
For Adobe CS3 on the Mac GPU acceleration is not really there but like I mention, displaying graphics, switching between Windows, Expose, etc. will feel "snappier".

Also, playback of Quicktime H.264 content (eg in Quicktime Player, if you are looking through say video clips) has been shown to be markedly accelerated in the new MacBook Pros.
post #10 of 12
I'm not too sure about CS3, but if you are upgrading to CS4 here are some of the GPU accelerated features, for example.

http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/view...nalId=kb405745

http://arstechnica.com/reviews/apps/...4-review.ars/4

The thing that challenges me when I'm using Photoshop is the odd zoom levels (like 66.7%) where the entire image is not resampled properly when displaying the preview image.

In CS4 and on a MacBook Pro 9600M GT, this will be truly, a far, far away thing of the past.

The MacBook 9400M should support these accelerated features as it supports OpenGL 2.0 but it uses shared not dedicated memory. It's fast, but overall, go MacBook Pro.

Again apologies if I am obsessed about CS4, but anyways, here's the GPU acceleration for After Effects CS4. Actually, quite impressive now.
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEff...ff7-79e8a.html

They're trying to compete with RT on Final Cut Studio 2, in some ways, I suppose.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

Hey guys... thanks for your help.

I can certainly see the temptation in replacing a desktop like a Mac Pro with the new MacBook. It's a small price to pay for that level of portability!

Sure the new MacBook doesn't have 4/8 cores. But with dual cores, 6GB RAM, a 320GB Scorpio Black hard drive and support for a 30" Cinema Display it packs quite a punch. Especially as it's considered a consumer notebook.

FWIW the 7200rpm drive I installed in my 2.4Ghz MB is actually the 320GB Scorpio Black, and I have no problems at all with increased vibration.

I was not constrained by money in my purchase, but by my need for portability. So the MBP was out.

Though I am happy with the speed of the 2.4GHz MB, in the next 5 months if Apple releases a newer MB with a better screen and/or firewire then I'll immediately replace my new MB.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for all the help guys food for thought.
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