NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor 256MB or 512MB

usefuldesign.au's picture

"Selected models: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR3 memory on 2.66GHz configuration; or 512MB of GDDR3 memory on 2.8GHz and 3.06GHz configurations"

So if I have to upgrade my Mac from PPC G5 is A$500 worth it for 512MB instead of 256MB on the GPU, a fractional CPU speed bump 0.14GHz and 180 extra GB on HD? Usually I buy 2nd hand to skip initial devaluation period but really want the matte screen (I think) and up to date GPU for OpenCL etc I recon those reflections would be annoying on location.

Any suggestions?

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franz's picture
Re: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor 256MB or ...

9600/512MB + 3.06GHZ + 250MB SDD + 8GB RAM , and then you're good to go.

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor 256MB or ...

Haha. Price point, lah

cwright's picture
Re: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor 256MB or ...

$500 (assuming USD? though you're in Oz if I recall?) isn't quite worth 133MHz, 512MB, and 180GB, in my book.

Really, it's probably cheaper to get the 256, and then buy a 512MB video card (or something better) later -- should cost less than $500. And you can snag ram for super cheap, ditto for harddrives.

So really, all you're gaining is 133MHz on the CPU -- which probably isn't noticeable (unless there's more Cache, or a faster FSB -- if either of those are true, you might actually notice a benefit. Apple generally doesn't modify the FSB, but cache sizes do vary, so that's something to investigate).

dust's picture
Re: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor 256MB or ...

i got a 2.8 and well i told my self i don't buy first gen apple products but i thought they really had the mbp sorted but the aluminum one is first gen the 2.8 that is so. i will tell you im turning it in to get over hauled. my sound card never worked the isight goes out, the hard drive is on the way i guess it clicks etc..

so i suggest to get the newer one because you can put ram into into it. 2.8 maxs at 6gb ram. if ram is important otherwise if the price is good? can't really complain thats the game, i spent 2k on a mb that now sells for 8 hundred basically over half the value in less than two years. its called "planned obsolescence" the automotive industry used to practice this but actually now are making solid cars that will go 100k before a tune up.

so some things with nvidia you need to log out to put it into 512 mode the default is 256. i haven't noticed a great deal of difference but for things like making visualizers using gl etc.. its great. that way you can do the apple protocol and have two visualizers open one in itunes the other in QC etc... i will tell you the truth seeing it defaults to 256 sometimes i will think i am running 512 and i am not and well can't tell the difference. theoretically you should get a doubled frame rate i mean mathematically that makes since but im really not sure about QC performance and how it load balances the cpu and gpu to tell you the truth like i just said yesterday i was running in 256 and thought i was in 512 if that means anything to you.

look into the maxtrox GXM or related external card.

i really think if you want to keep up with the future of quartz composer it is a requisite to get a good video card. classic example of the software industry driving the hardware industry.

cwright's picture
Re: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor 256MB or ...

dust wrote:
theoretically you should get a doubled frame rate i mean mathematically

Nope. More video ram means exactly this:

  • you can store more textures/larger objects on the video card before the OS needs to start swapping VRAM.

That is all. If you're not swapping now, you won't notice much of a benefit (however, other app textures can live there, so switching apps/windows etc won't incur as much of a hit).

Same for non-video stuff -- if you add more ram, the system doesn't need to page in/out as frequently (writing ram to the harddrive, Virtual Memory), making things run more smoothly in general. If you're not paging now, adding more memory won't do anything for you (and can sometimes incur a slight performance hit -- there's marginally more management overhead when there are more memory pages for the OS to keep track of.. this overhead would be almost immeasurable without pathological microbenchmarks or something weird like that).

** There's one quirk with system memory -- if you have "paired" (or now even trioed?) memory, the motherboard can break the memory bus into 2 or 3 virtual busses, and schedule transfers on all of them concurrently, giving some performance benefits (higher peak throughput, mostly). This does not apply for vram though.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor 256MB or ...

My suggestion on the screen would be to checkout both at an Apple store if at all possible. I've really wanted to go in for the matte hype on several occasions (both in computing and home electronics), but I feel like it's a kind of dulling thing. The higher price makes you want to feel it's premium, as does the hardcore contingent of people that claim truer color. If I shift the angle of either monitor type relative to my viewing position, I see the same apparent color shift. Matte doesn't improve outside viewing, which would be a nice thing, but it doesn't really deliver in that department.

It doesn't get rid of light reflections, it just diffuses them. To me, I like the effect of the blacks seeming so deep on a glossy. If you put a lamp right behind yourself, a glossy could be irritating, but a matte would probably be kind of hard to see as well.

smokris's picture
Re: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor 256MB or ...

gtoledo3 wrote:
I've really wanted to go in for the matte hype on several occasions (both in computing and home electronics), but I feel like it's a kind of dulling thing.

Wasn't it just a couple years ago that it was the glossy screen that cost extra?

(This is starting to remind me of Orwell..)

cybero's picture
Re: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor 256MB or ...

Quote:

Wasn't it just a couple years ago that it was the glossy screen that cost extra? (This is starting to remind me of Orwell..)

All a matter of which type was / is being primarily produced, effects of contribution costs and JIT management strategies.

How boringly factual of me •~

Of course it is merely all a social engineering conspiracy [isn't it ?] - regards the erudite Orwell {I just don't see the connection with Keep the Aspidistra Flying :-)}

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor 256MB or ...

I saw some shots a photographer had of a matte and a glossy inside but getting window reflections. Claimed all conditions were replicated/controlled and the snap shots should huge improvement for matte, but yeah best to check it out. Someone suggested if they really wanted to justify extra cost Apple could treat the glass the way expensive eye-wear is to kill reflections.

Yeah the A$500 is in aussie dollar, cwright and it seems like a bunch of not much value to me. Apple are known to add plenty of cream on their higher spec machines because a decent share of their market will pay it. It's funny when they lauched that MacPro that was 2 grand cheaper than equivalent Dell (from memory) now it would probably go the other way now production of multi-core PCs is ramped.

Can I buy an older MacBokPro and upgrade the GPU card to the latest or does SL need the newer mother boards and buses and what not?

cwright's picture
Re: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor 256MB or ...

Regarding the photographer "documentary" stuff -- it's laughably easy to tilt subjective things to your liking. I personally run a MacBook (and have since April 2007) -- glossy display. In doors, out of doors, on planes, on trains, in taxis, windows in front, behind, above, beside. In the snow, in the rain (yes, I trash my machines!). screen glare has never been an issue. If it ever has, it has required less effort to tilt the screen or reorient the machine slightly than all the effort people put into ranting/raving about how fabulous/heavenly/awful/unusable/coma-inducing glossy/matte displays are. Like you say, I wholeheartedly agree with test driving one or both -- there are bunches of people too lazy to scoot their machine a bit to the left, but all-too-willing to spend $100000 on a Red Camera setup to show just how "Bad" a particular orientation is. (Disclaimer: I also have a matte MacBook Pro -- the display is much brigher, has a much better viewing angle, but to me, it washes out more easily in certain lighting scenarios. It's no news that MacBook displays are trash compared to MacBook Pro displays though...).

Regarding upgrading the GPU: don't count on it. The GPU is soldered to the motherboard, as is the vram, and the GPU/VRAM bus/chipset is all on the motherboard -- all three of those need to change to upgrade a GPU, and you'll be hard-pressed to replace any of those three things (rechipping a gpu isn't a big deal, but 99% aren't even pin-compatible anymore, so that's out -- RAM is in a similar state. buses are un-changeable because they depend on specially-engineered electrical characteristics that older boards simply aren't designed around).

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor 256MB or ...

Cheers, that's kinda what I've often assumed re GPU swaps.

'Apparently' gloss or matte the colour space is a step up with the new MBPros. More brightness probably plays a decent part in that.

Yeah high end gear comes into it's own when your at the bleeding edge of the commercial world but I am less and less so in that place.

As I speak I have an old 20" LCD with burn in issues if the screen doesn't change for a while and a vertical ghosting issue on dark lines that I only picked up once I got it home and being 2nd hand didn't have much of a case when I asked the guy for my money back :/. So anything new will be a step up I reckon.