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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Pro - Real world difference between the gfx cards

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Member Since: Dec 04, 2007
Posts: 1
mrskillful is on a distinguished road

mrskillful is offline
I'm looking to buy a new MBP after my macbook had a shower (thanks to my lovelly wife and a large glass of water ).

I've decided to upgrade to a MBP but can't get my heald around the different gfx card options . . .

The only game I am going to play on it is WoW (and maybe the odd RTS), and I can't see myself using the system for anything else graphics intensive.

Is there a massive real world performance jump form the MBP's with ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 to the MBP's with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT ??

Obviosuly I'm hoping to get the 256mb video card option on whatever I choose, but I can't find much info as to the benefits of the newer MBPs to someone who is not going to be using the machines capability to the max

any info wouold be greatly appreciated

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Member Since: Oct 12, 2007
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 107
KamileonX is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: MBP 15" Gloss, 2.4 GHz C2D, 4GB DDR2, 160 GB @ 7200 HDD, 256 MB 8600M GT

KamileonX is offline
Hi Dan:

The 8600M is a fantastic card. There should* (I'll get to that in a bit) be noticeable improvement from the X1600.

Why did I ay Should? Well if you are just running OS X, editing a couple photos and browsing the internet, the graphic card won't really do anything amazing. The "better" graphic card will only reveal itself when under stress (I mean in a good way, being used to its full potential).

Being specific to you, If money is an issue, the 128 MB 8600M would do you just fine. Fortunately World of Warcraft has an older graphics engine (about 5 years old) and should still run exceptionally well on the 128 MB card. you wouldn't notice a huge performance difference with the 256 MB card unless you were playing the more recent games (say Command & Conquer 3) playing at maximum settings.

so in short, 128 MB is fine, 256 will just allow you to run things a bit smoother and a higher framerate. However, if you have a few bucks (well I guess it's a few hundred bucks) available, the 256 isn't a bad option. It comes down to needs and wants. you might need 128 to play WoW, but want 256 just so you can max out every graphical setting...

Oh the choices! Good Luck!

KamileonX (Lawrence)
MacBook Pro 15" (Glossy) Custom
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB OCZ DDR2 667 MHz RAM, 160 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive, 256 MB GeForce 8600M GT Graphics, Mac OS X Leopard v10.5.2
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